Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010--WHITE CHRISTMAS

The days leading up to Christmas are very busy for the Dalrymple family. We stay busy baking cookies, making Gingerbread houses (out of foam this year), looking at Christmas lights, visiting family and friends and  last minute shopping deals. Being in Alabama, I love getting together with my best friend and her kids to make cookies for Santa. Of course their interest in cookies is overtaken by the urge to play in James room :) but we managed to get a few done for Santa's plate.
The 21st we went to my mom's house to do Christmas with our nieces and nephews. We kept it simple with Domino Pizza which was SOOOOOOO yummy to me. It is always a fun time where I can actually relax, laugh and be myself. When you get us all together in one room there is no telling what is gonna be said :). Both boys loved their gifts from MawMAw and the cousins. Our goal was to make real gingerbread houses but time slipped away so we just put on hold.

The 23rd we went to Shawn's sister's house in Harvest for Christmas with Papa (Shawn's dad). Initially we were to host but things just got hectic here and Shawn felt best for us to do it there. The meal was delicious and something I am going to try soon. We had Spasagna (spaghetti noodles in lieu of lasagna noodles). It was sooo good! Then we did gifts to and from Papa. Each child got a reel for a fishing rod, except James got binoculars since he got a reel for his birthday in November. James was SO excited with them b/c he had been wanting some for a while. After the festivies were done there we went to Gran's to spend the night for Christmas at her house on Christmas Eve. Of course Ethan had to be stubborn and not want to sleep which made for a VERY long night. This mommy doesn't work well on little sleep, finally he zonked out but was up bright and early.
That morning we just hung around the house. James, Shawn and Ethan went on a "snake hunt" around Gran's pond with his binoculars. He was so funny, I love his creativity. Of course I was hoping they didn't REALLY see any snakes! After a battle at nap yet again with Ethan it was time for Santa to make his grand arrival at Gran's. All the kids sat on Santa's lap...yes even the BIG kids :). Ethan still wasn't sure of him but sat with me for a family shot. We all were so excited that Gran and PaPaw bought each family a Wii game console and accessories.  Not sure if the adults or kids were more excited.  James got a Buzz Lightyear Wingpack from the Tucker's and Ethan got a book and outfit. We draw names so that we aren't buying for 5 kids each time. 

After that excitement we hopped in the van for the drive back to Florence. James knew he had to be in bed so Santa could come. Once we arrived home our friends the Conner Family called and said Santa stopped by to visit and asked James to come. So James and I hopped in the car and visited. Ava was so afraid of him she wouldn't even look up. James ran right over and gave the Jolly Man a big hug and proceded to tell him what he wanted. I loved it! When we got home Shawn and James tracked Santa on the radar. We saw he was coming soon so we put out his cookies and milk and James ASKED to go to bed :). 

 The boys woke up to some good stuff. But I think James was more amazed at the SNOW on the ground!! Yes we had a WHITE CHRISMAS in Alabama!! It was beautiful. Stocking filled with goodies. James got a remote control helicopter, tool bench, blocks, camera and so much more stuff!! Ethan got a CARS ride on (which he is terrified of), lots of Elmo stuff to include a chair and guitar and jammies. After opening gifts we had biscuits and gravy and then decided to make a snowman. Whew, it takes 10 minutes per child to get dressed and they only stay out maybe 15...glad we don't live in cold climates year round. This year it seems we didn't go all out which I kinda hated at the end of the day but the boys were thankful for what they got which is all that matters.  That night we hosted dinner for my family but due to the weather only my mom, my sister and Shawn's dad were able to make it. But it was delicious if I say so myself. I made a red velvet cheesecake that was yummmo! 

My favorite part of the season is that James can tell the Christmas Story in his own words. He understands God sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross. I love it more than any present under the tree. I hope Ethan is as enthusiatic as James when it comes to Bible stories and learning...knowing Ethan probably not. Ethan is still my hard headed child for sure!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chattanooga Choo Choo

As part of James birthday present we bought Polar Express tickets for a train ride in Chattanooga, TN.  I initially wanted to stay at the hotel so we could get the "full" experience of Elf tuck in and all the jazz but after seeing the cost I wasnt' sure it was in our budget (come to find out I was WRONG...about the same for what all we paid) so we decided to go camping with the camper.
We stayed at the KOA which was nice but it had rained the night before and it was so messy. There was a nice playground and sandbox that the boys enjoyed. They also had a jumping a trampoline but much more fun! Shawn and I even had to take a try on it. :). Ethan giggled as he jumped and James wore himself out jumping on it. I will admit my breakdown because camping is so confined especially when the weather isn't cooperative...I wished I was in a hotel to bask in the relaxation :). But we made a fire and roasted marshmellows which the boys enjoyed a lot.

Friday morning we went to the Chattanooga Aquarium. James LOVES sharks and fish of all kinds so this was right up his ally. He got to pet a sting ray, catch a butterfly, see penguins, stand in a shark cage and so much more. Ethan just took it all in and pointed at things and would get excited.

We rode the Polar Express on Friday night. The Train Depot itself was pretty neat with all the trains and Christmas lights. We boarded the train and James got a window seat of course. We rode a few minutes down the track and then they read the Polar Express Book while handing out chocolate milk and gingerbread cookies. James loved it. Then we waited for Santa to board the train and make his way to us. James waited ever so patiently and told Santa his list (which I think has changed with each Santa). Ethan just screamed and clung to Shawn like "please don't make me visit him". James enjoyed it which is all that matters. But we learned that it is just not much of a train ride which is what we were hoping for so we probably won't be doing it again for a while. :)
Then the next day we went to Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel and visited the trains. James loved seeing all the gears and what it looked like inside the train. We also did the Elf Workshop which was a craft station set up. James made about 7-8 different crafts which he loved. He loved the glitter and glue a lot. Of course I loved it because I love crafts.  We ate at the Garden Restaurant and it was so delicious. We followed it up by goign to the candy store there and splurging on yummy treats. By the time we were done this it was nap time and both boys zonked on the car ride back to the camper.  Later that night we hit Toys R Us to do some shopping! James was in hog heaven!! We don't have that store where we currently live so all the toys sent in to la la land!! He picked out a boat for Ethan...although secretly he wanted it so we grabbed 2 to be their presents from eachother.

After my normal meltdown of the camper :) was a good trip. James loves trains and this will be another memory for us in our scrapbooks. We are so fortunate to travel and do things together as a family.

Monday, December 13, 2010

James is 4!!

It is still hard for me to believe that James is FOUR years old! Hard to believe that 4 years ago I gave birth after 28 hours of labor (from start to finish) to the perfect little baby boy. I get a little misty eyed at the thought of how fast time seems to go. We spent the first 15 months of your life alone in North Carolina while Daddy was in Afghanistan. You were my world then and you are my world now. I am such a proud mommy.  It seems that time is going too fast and before I know it he will be in school :(. James has been the best baby and child so far. He has the most wonderful caring and loving heart I have ever seen on a child. Don't get me wrong, he is ALL boy but has a kind sould. He is very sensative to others which is so sweet. He is also a funny little squirt who is very animated. The things he says and how he says them will keep you entertained for hours! I must say that he is quite the athlete too. He has played two sports, tball and soccer, and has excelled at both of them. I am so proud of him and proud that he gives it his best each time despite if he they win or lose. James is also so smart and enjoys learning. He attends MMO 3 days a week and always is bright eyed ready to learn each morning. He can write his name and loves to draw his family. He enjoys doing crafts and playing outside. He learned to swim this past summer and would jump off and swim to the side. He amazes me how fast he picks up on things. He definitely is the child everyone dreams about :). James has adjusted so well to having a younger brother. He loves him so much and to see him give Ethan hugs and kisses makes my heart melt. I hope they continue the bond and are best friends throughout life.

James, you have brought more joy to our life than ever imagined. You have shown us what unconditional love is. I truly know that I would lay my life down for you and that I would do anything to keep you from hurting in any way. How God sent His Son to die for us is something that hits me hard often especially now being a mom.  Our hopes and desires are that you will continue to learn and explore God's word and accept Jesus into his heart one day. You are already asking questions and it thrills us. We hope you continue to enjoy learning and get excited at new things. We see such a bright future in you.

We are going to Polar Express in Chattanooga for your birthday present. Too many schedules to work around to have a big party. But Gran came to Florence to eat with us at Demo's. Aunt Andrea and Maw MAw joined us for dinner at our house on your birthday.

I just pray I can be the parent you deserve because you are more than I deserve for sure. I love you sweet boy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Halloween 2010

It's hard to believe that Halloween has come and gone! It seems that this year has flown by...could be because I have been sleep deprived because of Ethan so days just run together :). But overall this has been a great year being in Alabama.
Halloween fell on a Sunday so Lauderdale County deemed Saturday night Trick or Treat night. James was so excited this year. He picked out his costume at the first of October...of course Woody since he was Buzz Lightyear last year. :). He loves the Toy Story characters. Ethan was going to be a Monkey. He wore the costume that James wore for his FIRST Halloween. I loved the costume and because Ethan's bedroom and wardrobe are filled with Monkey's it was so perfect.
James had a soccer game that morning and being the slacker mom I am, we carved our pumpking that afternoon. James told me he wanted a happy jack o lantern with round eyes and nose. So I drew it on the pumpkin and he actually helped carve the face on it. He was so proud of his work.
Then we napped and got ready for the big night of fun. We visited Maw-maw at work to get her back of treats and then headed back home to get some goodies. James was really into it this year. He would look for porch lights that were on and then go running up to the door. Everytime he would say "trick or treat" and would tell them "thank you" or "have a happy halloween". I swear that kid is the sweetest thing ever!!! His manners amaze me and make me feel I am doing something right :). I took Ethan to a few doors (mainly for my chocolate pleasures) but he was content riding in the stroller so we just left him in there. He was enjoying the suckers and smarties he received. We walked a good bit of our neighborhood before we called it a night. Our neighborhood is one of the busiest neighborhoods in the area. Cars line the streets for the entire neighborhood length. It is crazy. James was thrilled with his loot and wanted to eat all of it but we put it up after a few pieces.
Seeing the excitement in James eyes as holidays approach is one of the best feelings ever! I can't wait for Ethan and him to share in the festivies together very soon!

Friday, October 29, 2010

This and That

Whew, it seems I never really have time to sit and update the blog like I would like. We are gearing up for the Holidays and it is so exciting with kids! We are doing some fun stuff at Christmas time especially while Shawn is here to share in the fun.

We have about 7-8 more months here and then it looks like we will be going to Kansas for Shawns ILE school (Major school). We are debating if I will go or stay but more than likely I will go because after he does his schooling and we PCS again he will most definitely deploy since he has been stateside since 2008. He is still planning on career Army which means we have about 12 more years of this thing called "Army Life". Living in Alabama has definitely had its ups and downs. I love having my friend, Courtney, nearby. She is a lifesaver in so many ways for me. I have also grown very close to Kristin, another Army Wife, which is great. She is so fun and just laid back, she balances me. The family involvement, however, isn't what I had hoped. It seems that when we are gone everyone is so anxious to see James or wonder what he is doing and wish they could be involved, yet while we have lived here we just haven't seen much company. This is really the only time that they will be able to see him play sports or just see his every day life. Despite the words of "we'll visit" when we move, we know traveling the distance we live when we move is difficult. Maybe my expectations were too high moving here. Families expand and get busy, schedules are hectic.

James will be 4 in just a few days. James attends MMO 3 days a week and is doing so great. Mrs. Emily is a wonderful teacher and I can see James learning so much this year. He is taking gymnastics Tuesdays after school which he loves. I peek in on him and he is so good at it. James is a natural at most things he does which is awesome. He has his two final soccer games and then we get a break until Tball season begins in April. (I will update more on James after his 4th birthday)

Ethan is 15 months now. He still looks so much like me as a baby...sheesh he is cute :) Although he finally has his sleeping habits regulated he is still an awful traveler! He screams almost the entire ride just going to Huntsville. He also is developing his personality and it is so funny because he grasps so much more than what he can verbalize. I bet it must be so frustrating to have all this stuff going through your head that you want to communicate but just can't! He is doing a lot of pointing of what he wants with a little "eh" as he points. We have taught him sign language for "more" and "all done" for meal times. However, often times he would just rather dump his food in my floor to tell me he is done. Oh the tantrums this little boy can throw! He lays down, kicking his feet while screaming. Then if James has a toy and won't give it to him he just screams...tenses his entire body up and screeches as to say "I want that now give it to me".  Yes he gets time outs and little pops on the hands but I really don't see them working too much. Ethan is completely opposite in every aspect of James as a baby. I know people say don't compare your children but we all do. Ethan is so much smaller than James which is so odd b/c I look at Ethan and think he is a James must have been a massive baby :). Ethan loves brushing his teeth, likes his vegetables, LOVES yogurt raisins and peanut butter.

Having two boys definitely keeps me on my toes. They provide numerous challenges but also plentiful and abundant love for me and Shawn. I love watching them interact. My favorite part of each day is in the morning when the boys wake up, James always gives Ethan a hug and kiss. Ethan will then wrap his short, chubby arms around James too and smile. It is the sweetest thing ever!! I always said I only wanted one baby after James was born but I am SO thankful that God knew my plans and didn't hold back. I can honestly say our family is complete with Ethan and I can't imagine life without him. I am thankful for two healthy boys that I would lay my life down for at any given time. You never know love until you have kids of your own.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Upward Soccer

James is playing his first year of Upward Soccer at Crosspoint Church of Christ in Florence.  Initially he was to be coached by Courtney and another girl but because they needed more coaches Courtney asked me if I would be her assistant coach. Yes I know....I am clueless about any sports so this was quite a task for me :). Our team is the Dragons and it consists of 2 boys and 4 girls. James and Rorie are the two boys. Bonnie, Barklee, Ava and Olivia are the girls. Rorie has proven to be quite a challenge for us but we know that he will get it soon. The first week I was asking what did I get myself into with this? Kids were hot, tired and not getting it not to mention James meltdowns when he didn't score or get the ball...seriously?? But now that we are further into the season things are going great!! The kids are learning TEAMWORK which is the key to any sport. It is so great! In this age league we don't keep score, don't have goalies and play 4 on 4..although we prefer 3 on 3 so whenever possible we use that theory.

We scrimmage diffferent teams during practice and on one of the teams is a really big girl who is kind of a bully...she pushes and is super aggressive which our kids aren't use to. James told Shawn about it and Shawn told him to just push her bag and that he can use his elbows to get her out of his way. The entire time I am wanting to push Shawn down b/c James doesn't need to start off being a bully but learning what is allowed and what is good sportsmanship. Well next practice the girl is all over them again. James bends his arm and chases her with his elbow bent...SOOOOOOOOO funny!!!! he didn't knock her down but it was SOO obvious he was trying to do what Shawn said. So when James got in the car we had to talk to him....without cracking up.  Then next game James got the whistle blown for pushing :(. I understand he needs to be aggressive but he doesnt' understand the happy medium of being fair and aggressive together. I know he will learn.

James is an excellent player and has great potential.I love that Courtney and I have this opportunity because once we move we won't be back for a while. I love that two of my dearest friends in AL kids play on our team and we have fun. This has been well worth the experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything. However, James has told me he will be playing tball again in the spring...I prefer soccer though b/c it is more involvement than just hitting the ball off a tee. But he can do whatever he chooses right now :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Break Time for Mommy!!

Another year of Mother's Morning Out has began and I am so happy!! Yes I miss my little boogers while they are gone but it allows me to get stuff done without neglecting them or dragging them with me to do errands. It's amazing what you can get done when you don't have kids to drag around with you. James and Ethan are both attending Woodmont Baptist Church (King's Kids). It is so nice because it is literally 5 minutes down the road unlike in GA.

Because James initial teacher was offered a full time job the day before Open House we knew that she would not be his teacher but didn't know who would be at that time. I was very anxious because I always like to meet the teacher and get a feel for them before sending my kids to them. So going in today I kept a very positive attitude for James and knew that God would provide a good teacher for him. Mrs. Emily is a recent grad of UNA and has 2 kids of her own. James settled in with his friend from last year Anna Kate and they colored together. He was fine so I kissed him and I left. He is so big now and I am so blessed that he adapts to new places and routines so easily...a HUGE bonus since he is an Army Brat :).

Ethan has two teachers, older ladies so that is so nice. They adore the kids and spoil them as any good grandmother would do :). I was worried about him since he is SO clingy to me but he did great. He went to his teacher and I waited a few minutes and left once I saw he was playing and not upset. Shawn went with me to pick them up from school and Ethan kinda snubbed me and went to his daddy, as if to say he was upset with me. When we got home he kept saying "bye-bye" really loud as if he was telling me I left him bye bye today! I know maybe i"m interpreting things totally wrong but it was SO funny!

James filled us on his day and was so excited about it. I think he was getting bored at home as well. He loves to learn and play with friends. James was so excited when he told us about seeing Ethan being strolled around outside while he was at playtime. He said he waved to Ethan and Ethan waved to him. I love it!! Ethan is just at the age that we can do stuff like play outside but i still have to be right there with him which is so hard on James because he wants my attention too. Again, wondering if Mother's Guilt ever goes away from not spending equal time with each child. James said he saw Mrs. Cassie, his teacher last year, and that she was so glad to see him and gave him a big hug. That kids is so funny.

It is going to be a good year I do believe.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Destin 2010

We just got back from one of the best vacations I can remember in a very long time. I love that Shawn has a flexible schedule and more importantly is HOME. We know his time to deploy will be here before we know it so we are taking advantage of having both parents home and traveling. Buying the camper affords us the opportunity to travel more and spend more time. We spent the same amount on the 5 days at the campsite as we would for 1 night in a hotel plus making most of our meals at the campsite is a huge money saver. Shawn and I honeymooned in Destin almost 8 1/2 years ago so it is very dear to us. We haven't been back since so to go back as a completed family was so amazing.

We spent 4 nights/5 days in Destin, Florida at the MWR Campground/Resort. It was so nice! Although it wasn't directly on the beach it has breathtaking views of the Bay and a pier you could walk out on to view the Ocean. It also had a pool (crappy hours and rules..but only negative of the entire trip), playground, workout facility, nice running trail, and  nice areas for kids to release energy for sure. The beach was 5 minutes away and we were so close to everything. It was truly AWESOME!

While we were there James and Shawn kayaked, we rented a pontoon boat, James held an alligator, Ethan said MaMa for the first time, we shopped, we ate, we built sandcastles and most importantly we enjoyed time as FAMILY. We ate at Fudpuckers one afternoon where James got to hold a live alligator (the mouth was taped shut) but he was thrilled. Ethan even was excited to touch it. Me, not so much. The other restaurant of choice was McGuire's Pub where we ate so much we all needed naps. I love that place and it is a place we ate when we were newlyweds. James got to Build-A-Bear...of course he chose the outfit for him to be Buzz Lightyear. It was so sweet how he'd kiss the bear at night and cuddle with him. Ethan enjoyed the peaches and watermelon we got in Clanton, AL. He is a fruit baby for sure.

Our family truly enjoyed every minute and did so much while we were there. James loved boogie boarding in the clear water. I was amazed at how clear and beautiful the beaches were. The sand was as white as sugar. I was worried because of the oil spill but we saw no signs of it. The weather was awesome every day. It was a refreshing trip after the meltdown I had during our first camping experience in Myrtle Beach :).

When we took the pontoon boat out we saw Manna-rays which James referred to as Mr. Ray's from "Finding Nemo".  Hearing his squeals of excitement was so sweet. We also got to go to the sandbar in the ocean and it was amazing.  Shawn said while they were kayaking that they saw a dolphin too. There is so much to do there that even after 5 days we hadn't really done 1/2 of what we'd like to do...but that is more incentive to go back.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The mullet is gone :)

Yesterday we took Ethan for his first haircut. His hair has a mind of its own so I was nervous that cutting it might create a bigger disaster. However, he was starting to look like he was sporting a mullet (business in the front, party in the back) and it was driving me crazy. So I decided to take both boys to the girl who does my hair. I sat in the chair with Ethan while Nikkole cut his hair. He did really good and only got squirmy when she went towards his neck. But she did a great job and he looks so handsome and mature now. After he was done he got a sucker from Miss Nikkole which he loved, as was evident by his soggy shirt ;). James did great too and looked handsome as ever!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ethan's First Year...

I remember going to the doctor on July29th and being told that I would be induced the next day because my amniotic fluids were low (same issue as with James-ogliohydrosis). Fourteen hours later our little baby boy arrived. To say that Ethan has not been the easiest child is an understatement. He had colic and reflux which makes for one unhappy baby not to mention the chronic ear infections for about the first 10-11 months of life on top of routine teething. I honestly lived day by day wondering when the crying would stop...I worried I wasn't bonding with him the way I should because it seemed that he only cried and wanted to be held. I was beyond exhausted and got so tired of people making me feel worse by saying that he was fine for them or that he isn't that bad. I felt as if I was doing something wrong. I prayed things get easier so I can enjoy our last baby and not rush him to grow up too soon. Luckily I had a friend with the same feelings which helped me feel at ease some.  I felt I was doing an injustice to James as well because I was just so drained to do anything even when Ethan was sleeping (which was not often). I didn't want James to resent me because I couldn't give him the attention I did before he was born.  I didn't believe that Ethan was spoiled so I disregarded when people said that..I knew something was causing him discomfort. We waited it out and finally by 11 months he was a different baby. Then when he got his tubes he has been such a happy baby overall and sleeps FINALLY sometimes through the night. All I can say is I am SO glad that Shawn was home this go around and that we were near family.

Now here, a year later, and I feel so blessed to be the mom of two healthy beautiful boys. I know that things could've been worse for us and I am just so thankful they are both thriving, active boys. Ethan has such a loving and sweet personality. He is still a mommy's boy but I know that will all end one day soon so I am going to cherish it. He isnt' quite walking yet but is taking several wobbly steps and even walked across the living room last night. he waves bye bye and can say Hi. He has discovered his voice and lets out what sound like chirps. It's kinda funny b/c in the car James will tell him to be quiet and Ethan will just "chirp" at him louder! Ethan understands a lot. He has found a new love...FOOD. That boy can eat his weight and then some in food! I guess he is making up for lost time. Also he enjoys the water a little more since his ears aren't hurting all the time. He is a beautiful baby boy with piercing blue eyes and a sweet personality. I am so thankful that God chose me to be his mommy. Happy 1st Birthday Ethan Charles Dalrymple!

Fun to Be One!!

We celebrated Ethan's first birthday last night. We had it at Monkeying Around in Florence (inflatable jump area) which we normally don't do for 1st birthdays but because the number of cousins, mosquitos in our backyard, the heat and Ethan not walking yet this was the only place. The theme was Mod Monkey and I loved it. I am a bit obsessed with monkeys with him for some reason!! Clothing, bedroom, shoes, bags..anything with monkey I buy for him. Our friend, Elizabeth, made his cute monkey romper for his special day and I loved it!!! It was perfect for this day.

Anyway...the entire family was there for this one and it was so fun. Shawn missed James first birthday b/c he was in Afghanistan so this was extra special to have him here. The kids bounced and ran and got some much needed energy before it was time to celebrate his first year. Ethan got his first taste of pizza and loved it. When it was time for Ethan to eat his cake he wasn't too sure about it. He poked it at first but when he got a taste of that frosting it was all over at that point. He devoured it like a champ....much like his brother did when he was that age. He also was a little upset when it was all gone :). Then came present time (which was a bit chaotic b/c we were running out of time). He got some awesome presents and money for his bank account. Being the 2nd boy he has so much already handed down.
We were so thankful that the entire family was there to celebrat this last of the first birthdays with us. :( And for the we aren't having more :).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ethan 11 1/2 months

On the 15th Ethan got tubes due to chronic ear infections. I was so anxious about my baby going under anethesia even if it was mild.  We drove to Birmingham the night before and stayed in a hotel since we had to be there for 6 a.m. surgery. Of course we made our regular trip to the Cheesecake Factory and indulged that night. I barely slept a wink that night b/c I was so worried. Finally 4:30 rolled around and I got up, showered and got a cup of coffee before waking Ethan. He was wide awake when we got to the hospital and got to play around for a while before falling back asleep on me in the room. The time came for me to walk him down to the operating room where I had to hand my baby off to a nurse. He opened his eyes and looked at me and I thought I was going to start sobbing. I quickly said (another) prayer that God be with the hands working on him and that he not be in in any pain. Honestly 10 minutes later my baby was safely in my arms drinking his juice. We got the ok to leave so off we went. About 5 minutes into the ride I heard him gagging a bit and because it was rush hour work traffic in Birmingham I couldnt' pull over....a few minutes later he vomited in the car which I had planned for b/c of the motion sickness right after surgery. Shawn and James were waiting on us so that he could get bathed before heading home. Ethan did great and slept most of the way home.
It's been almost 2 weeks since the surgery and I swear this is a totally different child. He is happier, more independent and eats like a grown man!! It makes me so sad that his ears were causing such pain for him. Seriously, he LOVES food now and eats more than James. I am so thankful that we have resolved what has been causing such pain for our baby boy!! Now it's time to get ready for 1st Birthday!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Magic Drops

Ethan is officially 11 months now. On Monday I took him back to the doctor and the prognosis was just as I thought...double ear infection AGAIN!! URGH! So another round of antibiotics here we go. I decided to ask for numbing drops for his ears because he is so restless at night none of us sleep. HALLELUJAH they worked!! The first night he slept thru the night (waking once is sleeping thru the night for me) which was SO nice. Then in the car he didn't scream and enjoys looking out the window and at James. Then we tried the pool..SURPRISE SURPRISE he didn't scream while in his floatie for an entire hour!!! Who has taken Ethan and where is he?! Seriously 11 months later I can FINALLY say he is a happy baby with a sweet personality...He is so playful and loves to climb over pillows and James Cars couch. He is still very clingy to mommy but I know that soon will end and I'll be wishing it was back. He is standing for several minutes at a time so walking is very close. Ethan is eating so much more lately. He loves canned fruits and peas. he could make a meal out of them on their own!! He also loves the gerber meat sticks that smell like dog food to me but hey he likes them! I think he is making up for lost time from when he wouldn't eat before for whatever reason. He loves to play pattycake and peekaboo which is so funny. He also likes to clap his hands as if saying "Yeah" while eating and after taking his meds. He is so funny. I just hope this fluke is the real Ethan who has been waiting to emerge from the crabby baby he has shown to be the past 10 months. This Ethan I can work with!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Two Thumbs up for Tubing!

Today we took James tubing for the first time today. Our first run was not a good one because I didn't lean back enough and we tipped forward and went spilling into the water. Thank goodness for life jackets! James bobbed back up and was terrified. So that was round one. The second round I went alone and showed James that we wouldn't tip anymore. I enjoyed it so much except my bottom hitting off the water :)...even with padding it hurts :). Finally we convinced James to trust us to ride again. So I leaned WAY back and off we went. James LOVED it. He insisted on wearing his swim mask to block the water out :). I kept asking him if he wanted to stop and he looked at me and said "when I want to stop I'll tell YOU"! He cracks me up!! We rode for a while and then decided to let Daddy take a turn. he told me to keep it at about 20 mph but it felt like we were barely moving so I vamped it up to 35 mph...finally I got the signal to slow down so I did. Then James was feeling brave and said he wanted to ride alone so we let him and went super slow. He didn't last but maybe 5 min and was ready to come back to the boat. But he gave it a try which was awesome. James wasn't too keen on swimming in the river at first but of course as it was time to leave he wanted to swim. We told him we'd come back another day to swim because we had to get Ethan at MMO today. Those few hours of just focusing on James while Ethan is at MMO is very  nice. I know he appreciates it as well.By the end of our time on the river, we got TWO thumbs up!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ethan-10 months

I cannot believe that 10 months has passed since we brought our baby boy home!! In 2 short months we will be celebrating his 1 year birthday and it is bittersweet. Ethan has been a TOTALLY different baby than James ever was. I dont' know if God helps block out the "bad" stuff with the first so you will have more or what but James seems like an angel baby compared to Ethan. Here it is 10 months later and he still cries a lot, very clingy to me and still wakes up several times throughout the night making my days very long. He has recently had a dual ear infection for over a month so I know that has some bearings on his behavior. We have a referral to an ENT in the works so I am SO thankful to get some kind of answers and hopefully relief for him. Ethan is the worst medicine taker...unlike James at this age. Shawn and I both have to hold Ethan down and tilt his head to get meds in him. It almost is comical how strong this little guy is. Ethan really likes real food much more over baby food. He loves waffles, bananas, pudding, jello, french toast sticks, cheerios just to name a few. For some reason the baby food makes him scream and I don't know why?! Maybe it's his way of telling us that he is ready to bump it up to big boy food all the time :). He is a crawling pro and scoots around rather fast. He loves to get into James room and play with his toys.....James doesn't like it so much but he is learning to give him a toy in order to keep him away from his train table! So funny. Ethan has more of a personality now and does smile more than he did before that's for sure but he is a very demanding baby at times. Anyone who asks me about a 3rd baby should be shot :). NO NO NO is the answer. The only way is if we adopt later on down the road but this mommy knows her limits and isn't willing to push them :)

I am still battling mother's guilt and wonder if it will get any better. Ethan is so time consuming that when I am not dealing with him I am so tired that I feel I often don't pay James the attention he deserves. That is still so hard on me and I wonder how to make it better. I do my best juggling them and feel confident most of the time but I miss James time. I also feel guilty taking any time for myself in which I have to ask for anyone, including Shawn, to watch the boys. If it wasn't for the wonderful daycare at the gym I probably wouldn't even get that time to myself. But I know that they will be in school before I know it wishing I had this time back with them!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baby Dedication

Today, on Mother's Day, we dedicated James and Ethan to God. For those who are not familiar with it, it symoblizes our recognization to God that he gave us such a wonderful gift that we now are dedicating/ returning them to Him. One of the first moms in the bible was Hannah.We publically pronounced that we will do all in our power to bring them to know God and Jesus. As parents we strive for this daily and just pray that we can set the example for our boys to be strong men of faith, to not give into temptation, to stand up for what is right, to be good spouses one day. Also I pray for the right reaction and discipline when we or they fail at these things. We just pray that they will accept God and Jesus in their heart and live life in a positive way. We know that they are not perfect and they will face hard times but I pray that as parents we can guide them and comfort them during those times. But just as there are hard times there are many joyous times that we will celebrate together.

We were so blessed to be able to do this in Alabama. Because Shawn deployed when James was 2 months old and returned when he was 18 months followed by a move to GA and then to AL, we just weren't able to do it earlier. Our entire family joined us in this special day. Grandparents, Aunt, Uncles, and Cousins were all there! It was so nice having both sides there at one time. Although at times I got stressed because I am a planner and not everyone understands that and respects the need for me to plan all and all it was a special day.

This is my first Mother's Day as a mommy of 2. I know that at times I complain about being a SAHM, the late nights of no sleep, etc but I wouldn't trade it for the world. To be given the opportunity to be home and not have a "fill in" mom with my children is the best feeling in the world. Although not everyone has the opportunity to stay home I know that I am blessed to stay home with them. I love watching them grow and learn new things. I love how smart and kind James is (well most of the time). I love how snuggly Ethan is and how his smile makes me smile. I love watching my two boys interacting even with Ethan only being 9 months old. The decision to have a 2nd was a very difficult one for me...everyone who knows me knows this. But I can honestly say I can't imagine life without my 2 boys and to give James a sibling is awesome. I hope that they will share a strong bond as brothers and be the best of friends. I hope that they will select women who will accept me as their mother in law and that I don't overstep boundaries but that I am allowed to be as active in their lives as possible. I understand that the bond between mothers/daughters and mothers/sons is very different. I accept that and am not nieve. 'A son is a son until he finds a wife, a daughter is a daughter all her life'. I can't imagine life without my boys...and yes for the record we are done :)

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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