Monday, November 30, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Last year we discovered that Bass Pro Shops hold a Winter Wonderland at their stores each Christmas. It is such a great place to take kids, especially boys and everything is free. They have remote controlled trucks, race tracks, moving trains, target practice, craft/coloring centers and of course SANTA!!! This Santa is the most authentic Santa I've seen. There are so many great picture opportunities while it is decorated and no lines like at the mall. So this year we took the boys for their annual Christmas picture with Santa and Ethan's first Santa picture. I again was NOT disappointed in them. I loved them. James enjoyed playing with the boy toys set up while Shawn looked around at the fishing stuff. Shawn put Ethan in the Baby Bjorn and carried him while James and I spent time is so rare for us to have alone time b/c Ethan is very needy (aka SPOILED).

James is such a great kid. Granted he is only 3 but he doesn't have this long unrealistic list of what he wants for Christmas. I find myself wanting to buy him so much stuff but have to refrain. He has only asked for one thing for the last month or so. When it came time to tell Santa what he wanted he simply told him the same thing he has been telling us. "The blue truck with the pontoon boat". He saw it in the Bass Pro Catalog and has not forgotten about it. So needless to say I think "Santa" added that to his sack of toys to be delivered at the Dalrymple home :). Even on the way out of the store an employee asked if he gave Santa his list of Christmas wishes and he said "no I only want 1 thing"!! How great is that?? So this year I think it will be a light Christmas which we are fine with for many reasons. The most being that he is satisfied with a $25 toy and not these outrageous things......YET :). We know as he gets older this will change but for now we are going to enjoy our sweet, innocent little boy.

All Aboard the Polar Express

This weekend we went to the Heart of Dixie Railroad in Calera, AL to ride the "Polar Express". We bought tickets for James birthday and he has talked about it ever since. Finally the day arrived and he couldn't wait to put on his Christmas Jammies and board the train. My favorite part of the entire trip was while we were unloading from the van I turned around and he was holding his Pooh Bear out, looking him in the eyes ,and with such magical excitement said "we get to ride on the train". I will NEVER forget that moment.

So we got our tickets and waiting in line to get on the train. James walked up to the train conductor and handed him his ticket. Then asked why he didn't "click" it like in the movie with a word. So we got on the train and got into our seats. He was so excited to look out the window. As luck would have it after a few shots of James and Ethan on the train our camera decided to act up again and quit working :(. So we had no shots from that point on which I was bummed. The people behind us said they would email us a copy of our boys with Santa but I doubt we see it :(. Then the train ride began and we traveled towards the "north pole". The story of Polar Express was read as we traveled. As we rode James would squeal with excitement..."we're off to the North Pole". The actual train ride was only about 15-20 min total. The other time was filled with the visit from Santa. Santa had to visit about 5 train cars so that took a bit of time. After Santa, came the cookies and Chocolate milk. James was so excited b/c they do that in the movie too (except with Hot Chocolate). Then the Elves come thru with bells for everyone from "santa's sleigh" and a really cute keepsake Train Ornament. All the time we are on the train Christmas carols are playing and James is singing along so sweet.

This was a time with James that will always be special to us. He waited so patiently for this time and was not disappointed with the wait. Little boys and their love of trains amazes me but I absolutely LOVE it. The simple things in life makes him happy.

This truly was a magical train ride that will live in our memories forever

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Small Glimpse into the Future

This weekend Shawn has been in the field doing the FTX with ROTC. don't you love acronyms for the Army stuff :). On Friday I told James that Daddy wouldn't be home for a few days b/c of work. Well Friday evening rolled around and James asked "when is daddy coming home?". To which I replied..."Daddy is doing the Army thing this weekend remember?" and James pretty much read my mind and said "I don't like the Army." The innocence of children is precious. So Saturday morning rolled around and James woke up nice and early at 6:30 a.m. and walked to Shawn's side of the bed and was shocked when it was just me and Ethan. Again I reminded him. I tried to occupy him by playing games and yes--even putting up the Christmas tree. But James wanted to talk to Shawn so I called Shawn hoping he'd answer and he did. James was excited to talk to him. Shawn got to sneak out and come home for about 45 minutes tonight so James so happy.

Of course at this time I asked Shawn if he was ready to go ahead and get out and look for civilian job. His reply with no hesitation...NO. He said in 12 years he can retire and he is very close to making Major in the near future. He knows that he will deploy and that it will be SO difficult on all of this time b/c neither of our boys will be "babies"....they both will understand and question where is daddy. But I also know if all soldiers got out because of deployments or missing family then we wouldn't have the strong army we have today. Sadly we won't be able to pick up the phone and call just to hear that voice. And worry will consume me on top of being a single parent during that time. This isn't the first time Shawn's spent the night or been away but I guess James is jsut noticing he is gone more b/c there are 2 kids now and it is SO hard to split my time. I go to bed exhausted and in tears a lot b/c i see that I lack in patience so much with them at times. Between Ethan's constant need to be held or he cries and James just wanting to play or swing it drains me. I have to learn to enjoy the little things because soon they'll be in school and I'll miss it. Granted I do NOT have the desire to have any more babies :). I love being a mom but I miss being an adult at times. I need my peace and quiet and lately it is few and far between.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday James!!

3 months old vs 3 years old

James turned 3 on Nov. 9, 2009. I can't believe that he is three. I admit I get misty eyed just thinking how fast it has gone by. I never understood it when my mom would say "it felt like yesterday that I had you" but now I truly understand. I remember that I was induced at about 5:30 p.m. on the 8th of Nov and you made your arrival at 9:15 p.m. on the 9th! Yes it took forever but it was SO worth it. I remember seeing you and thinking how amazing it was that we created you (of course with God's help :))!! Holding you and loving you was amazing. Your daddy left for what we thought was 12 month tour to Afghanistan when you were barely 2 months old. It was such a rollercoaster of emotions for me....hormones from birth, emotions from Shawn leaving and getting ready to move to AL for a few months. As army life has it your daddy's tour was extended by 3 months so once he left for R and R it was 11 long months before we saw him again. You were a good baby...quite chunky but I loved it. I loved how you made me smile when times were hard although you had no idea how much I needed it. You transitioned into thing so easily and were a great traveler! Then when daddy came home you took very well to him adn we began our life as a family of 3 finally!! You were 18 months old when he came home. Then the moves began..first to GA then to AL within a year time.

Now at age 3 you are such a SMART child. You know your alphabet, numbers, sounds, memory verses, songs, colors and so much more! You started really talking well at about 18 months. You speak so clearly and pick up on things so fast. You are fast learner and always bring a chuckle to our lives. You have adapted to another baby in the house so well and are so gentle with Ethan. I think I had the harder time adjusting :) You are all boy but not in the rough house kind of way...just full of energy. You are a thoughtful, caring, sweet boy with a dash of attitude mixed in :) We pray each day that we raise you in the way God intended and that you will know Him and come to rely on Him. When I look at you I see that you are perfect in every sense of the word to me. You are my world and because of you I am a better person. I love your hugs and kisses....your cute little comments. I can't wait to see what the future holds for you b/c it is wide open for you. Remember that mommy and daddy always and forever love you and are proud of you!!

Happy 3rd Birthday to my sweet angel boy!!

For your birthday friends and family celebrated with us at the park. We will go to Polar Express at the end of this month for your gift from mommy and daddy.

About Me

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Shawn and I have been married almost 10 years. We married right before he commissioned out of college so we have gone thru military life together. Not always easy but makes you appreciate the time together. We have one son, James, who was born in Nov. 2006. Ethan was born July 2009 That's it for us! Two is a good number.


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