Sunday, December 13, 2009

Long update!

Just this morning I was sitting back thinking about the differences between Aden and Angel at this point in their lives. It's amazing that even at 10 months old, I can identify how different Aden and Angel already are! Here are some examples:

Aden: extremely clean eater as a baby
Angel: I have to do a load of laundry every time she eats

Aden: didn't sleep through the night until 9 months
Angel: slept through the night at 3 months

Aden: took medicine like a champ
Angel: insert medicine, output stream of medicine down her cheek

Aden: needed to be entertained
Angel: plays well by herself

Aden: pacifier
Angel: no pacifier

Aden: weighed 15lbs at one year
Angel: weighs 18lbs at 7 months

Aden: if bedtime routine was messed up-had to start all over
Angel: no bedtime routine, just lay her down and walk away (it's glorious!!)

Those are just a few of the things I can think of! It's just so fun watching her develop and being able to compare the kiddos.

Let's move on to more things I haven't posted over the past couple of months! In October, we drove to New Orleans and met Arthur's family. Spent a weekend exploring New Orleans including a night on Bourbon St (not recommended!), a ghost tour of the city, enjoying some local eateries, and a World War II museum. Aden also went on a paddle boat ride and toured the aquarium. On our way home, we stopped in Mobile, AL and toured the U.S.S. Alabama and a submarine. Aden loves battleships, so this was an amazing experience for him!

In November, our pass to travel home over Thanksgiving was denied by the ARMY, which was extremely disappointing. Especially for Arthur! Since driving home was too far, we made an impromptu trip to Orlando. We had free day passes to DisneyWorld and SeaWorld. We travelled on Thanksgiving day and had a wonderful homecooked meal with a neighbor that was also in Orlando. They have 4 children and had rented a house in Orlando for a week! We felt very welcome and it took the edge off of not seeing family since we enjoyed a homemade turkey day meal! We spent Friday at the Magic Kingdom, which of course is just magical. I actually got to ride some rides this time, since I was not pregnant this time! On Saturday, we spent the ENTIRE day at SeaWorld! We rode all of the rides, watched all of the shows, and pet all of the live animals that we could. Aden loves sea animals, especially orca whales, so this was also an amazing experience!! He sat in the splash zone everywhere we went and I'm pretty sure had smile on his face during every moment! We stayed for a ice skating and fireworks show in the evening. By this time, it was cold/late/crowded, but the kiddos, husband, and I survived! We spent the Sunday morning at DownTown Disney, ate lunch at Planet Hollywood, and then headed home. We are very blessed to have theme parks treat the military families to special days! What a neat way to show support!

During Christmas, we were able to take Arthur's entire leave and head home to visit family! What amazing times we had at each of their houses! We were in OKC when a blizzard hit-18 inches of snow! It's not very often that happens, and it definitely made way for some great snow play! We went sledding and tackled each other for 3 days! We were able to see grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. We LOVE them and miss them all so much!

During January, we went to Orlando (again) to visit Arthur's parents. They were there on business, and we had the fortune to stay with them over a weekend. We went to Universal Studios (with a great military discount) for 3 days. Aden LOVED it! This park was perfect for him! Spiderman, Shrek, Jimmy Neutron, Terminator, Dr. Seuss, etc. We rode all the rides he could fit on, then Gran watched the kids while Arthur and I rode the big roller coasters. We never get to do that, so we enjoyed every single one! Apparently roller coasters make me experience motion sickness, so by the end of each day I felt loopy. Aden did actually get 'sick' in the trash can, toilet, and van for one entire day while we were there! So sad! We still took him to the theme park:( Poor guy!

During February, Arthur started flight school. He has early mornings and late nights of studying. We try to sneak family time in when we can! I made a yummy dinner and cake for Valentine's that the family ate by candlelight! Aden started soccer and so far is doing GREAT! He scored a goal in his first game for a tie, then his team won the second game. He is quite the competitor. He told me that when he was kicking the ball to make a goal he was thinking to himself, "They are not going to win this game!" Ha! Out of the innocent mouths of babes:) As for me, I'm raising Angel and trying to stay healthy in the midst of this awful sick season. Enjoying new neighbors and friends that we meet along the way, along with saying goodbye to good friends that continue to go where the Army tells them! We'll find out sometime in April where we will go next. Will update again around that time:)!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

One Year down...

One year down in the Army! We moved to Alabama on Sept 19, 2008. This entire year has been an incredible experience! I have had open ears and eyes to take in the life of a military wife. We are surrounded by a completely different lifestyle that many of you probably do not know about!

Everywhere we drive, it's 20 mph (you don't want a ticket from the Military Police!). The grocery store is the 'commissary', the city we live in is a 'post', the gas station is the 'shoppette', the shopping center is the 'PX', the town hall is the 'soldier's center', etc... Helicopters fly overhead every waking hour, men and women in uniform walk up and down the street, people are always exercising (mom's are always out with strollers-post partum is apparently 'in'!), and people randomly walk up to Arthur in Wal-Mart to tell him "Thank you for serving our country".

Honestly, if you are reading this, please start doing that when you see someone that is in uniform. It's a small way to acknowledge them for all the sacrifices they make for this great country and it puts a smile on their face! Or for that matter, thank the wives! I have met so many wives that have given up their career to move around with their husband, are willing to act as a single mom while their husbands are gone during training or deployment, and have moved away from family and friends into the unknown.

Getting involved in church and Aden's soccer is one of the greatest ways we have met other couples. Arthur and I have made friends that are hopefully lifelong and will keep in touch with all of our Army careers. There are a good handful of couples that we care very intimately for, and are looking forward to seeing where God is taking them next. The interesting thing about it is...I live on a street full of stay-at-home moms, and we barely know each other! You'd think we would all be sippin' sweet tea and talking about our husbands outside under the car port every night:)
When I meet a wife, my first questions are: How many kids do you have? Do you live on post? Do you stay home with the kids? Where did you just move from?

When Arthur meets another man, his first questions are: What kind of helicopter do you fly? How long have you been here? Where are you moving to next?

After our questions, we can usually put their story together! Kinda funny, huh? Usually Arthur will find out the other persons rank and tries to explain that to me. They are all serving our country, and I am just appreciative for that.

Do I miss my family? YES
Do I miss my friends? YES
Do I miss working? YES

Do I love my kids and would give up work to raise them? Double YES
Do I support my husband and would do this all over again, including the sacrifices? Yes Yes Yes

I am proud to be an Army wife, living on a post, shopping at a commissary, and will be ready to move again in 1 year and start again from scratch. This journey has just started!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama

Happy 4th of July!! (a couple of months late!)

I've been a little slow on posting lately, but that doesn't mean I have been a little slow:) Arthur has been incredibly busy with flight school (only 2 days left!). When he is finished, he will return to what is called a 'hold'. We will have a LOT more time together then! For now, it has been like finals week Freshman year of college since March-with a newborn around the house!

Pictures of the kiddos at Aunt Bridget's house! We had to have a photo op of the cousins together! (Garrett-11, Georgia-9, Aden-5, Angel-3 months)
Mama and Angel together in the pool for the first time!
Aunt Cyonne came for a visit!

So, Angel is doing absolutely amazing! She is now 16 weeks old, and looks like she's about 6 months old! She is rapidly going through her closet that is full of sweet little pink, purple, and yellow outfits. About a week ago, she started sleeping through the night. I think that it has something to do with a little thing called her thumb! That's right, I have a little thumb-sucker! It's cute for now, maybe not so much later:) She smiles all the time, and loves to have someone talk to her! She can carry on a conversation like any good girl can!

Aden is also doing great! His first day of Kindergarten was on Friday, so this will mark his first full week of all day school! We met his teacher and ran into some kids that he knew on Thursday night at his open house. Last school year, he had 4 or more friends move away and was a little nervous about meeting all new kids. Also, he has made friends with our neighbors and they get to ride the same bus to school! We have spent most of the summer playing in our pool in the backyard. Since Arthur is so busy, I usually lay Angel down for a good long nap and we go splash around. He has become an incredible swimmer and quite the little water dog! I really could go on and on about how proud I am of him making new friends, being incredibly flexible attending new activities, adjusting to being a big brother, and helping me around the house! That could be an entire blog in itself!

We also went home during July for a much anticipated visit with family! Interestingly enough, we have had family visit almost every weekend since March-and I am not complaining! It has done wonders for Aden's memory of family, helps me keep the house clean;), and has allowed the visitors to see Angel in different stages of her life so far. We decided to head up to AR and OK to pay them a visit in return. Don't get me wrong, I don't recommend driving 15 hours with a newborn and a 5 year old, but the trip was so worth it! Aden travels like a champ, and Angel was only fussy for about 20 minutes there-and maybe an hour on the way back!
I love a sleeping baby, and my sister is the best at getting them to cuddle!

Now that we are back, I have been looking forward to getting more active in church. We have recently split our life group into two groups, and Arthur has taken on the role of the facilitator. Tonight was our first night to host, and we had a really great time! It's so nice to be around other couples that share your faith and struggles-all while attending to young ones! We are given such beautiful gifts from God, and being a mother is hands down the most challenging job that I can think of. Arthur would say that being in the ARMY is no easy task, and I can't deny that the men and women that serve our country put their lives on the line every day! I don't really get into that much danger when I go to the library or the grocery store! We also have a great MOPS organization and Bible studies that I'm looking forward to getting involved in. It's amazing how much your schedule fills up when you have a husband and children to take care of!

Also...Happy 5th Birthday to Mackenzie Manthe! Aden will be turning 6 on August 23rd! I can't believe how much you both of grown!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The joys of being a mom...

One thing I haven't really mentioned is how happy I am to be a new mom! There are so many joys that come with it! Here are a few to mention (among the many):

*Feeling her tiny fingers wrap around mine

*Watching her melt with relief when she hears my voice

*The excitement I feel every time I hear a burp or see a 'poopy' diaper

*Quiet moments in the middle of the night when I feed her

*Pulling her hands through the arm holes in onesies-I feel like I've accomplished a mission every time

*Her contentment as she takes a warm bath

*Her bald head:)

*Tiny FEET!! They are my favorite!

*Random smiles that are so big and quick-there's so way to capture them on camera

*Watching Aden sing to her or play peek-a-boo, even though she probably can't see him yet-he's a great big brother! I can see God's preparation in his heart and actions

*Seeing Daddy be a natural born father! He makes it look easy!

Okay, so here are some pics that have been taken since she was born. She's 7 weeks old today!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

We love the beach!

Well, things here just keep getting better! We've had visitor after visitor, which is incredible for how far away we live. Our family is keeping us happy and healthy! We've also been incredibly active lately.

Arthur's school has taken a turn and he is currently gone until about 8 pm. We take trips to the library, in town to VBS, and any other random errand I can think of. Aden finished school on Tuesday, and has had 4 different sets of friends over already this week! Angel just sleeps through the kiddos or is excited about the new faces she sees. I have also been enjoying cooking/baking again. I made some Arthur some dinner by candle light last night to surprise him after a hard day...Aden was sleeping, Angel was grunting, and we were both tired:) We enjoyed some good food, though!

Last Saturday we decided to head to Destin for the day. Rough, huh? We packed our boards, lunches, towels, and sunblock as quick as we could. Angel was an absolute doll! I fed her a bottle as soon as we got there, and then she slept for the next 3 hours while we played. Mission accomplished! I did get in the water to jump the waves with Aden, but no swimsuit pictures will be posted this summer!:) Aden made a friend and dug sand castles while Arthur and I enjoyed the nice breeze. We bought an above ground pool to play in for the summer. I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures to post later! If I can ever get my camera out! Geez. Angel is 6 weeks old, and I'm struggling to remember to take pictures. Uh oh. I've always heard the 2nd child gets photographed less. I sure hope not! I love to scrapbook:)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life for the 4 A's...

So, there are many positive things that are happening since I'm not pregnant anymore! First of all, I get to hold and kiss the feet of the most beautiful girl in the world! (I'm a little biased) Also, I can wear shoes other than flip flops, eat tomato based meals without fear of heartburn, I can breathe again, and I sleep with only 2 pillows instead of 7! My energy is up and I'm feeling great!

Angel is truly and angel! There is no doubt in my mind that God had chosen her name for us, and spoke through Aden to get it here! No other name could suit this little girl! She's just precious! She sleeps most of the day, and gradually is beginning to have more 'awake' time. Today, I popped on some Norah Jones while I cleaned the house and she gently fell asleep after playing for an hour! I feel so blessed, and God is so good!!

Aden is doing amazing! He is doing such a good job as a big brother, almost like he was designed for it! He sings to her and helps without question. My favorite thing he does is sing to her, and as her crying gets louder-so does his song:) He finished his soccer season strong! His team was undefeated (until the last game, but that doesn't count for Aden, since he was in OK!!). He had a soccer party at a pizza place and got a trophy and a medal that he is so proud of! Some of the games, he scored up to 3 goals! He also had a play (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) at school last week. This week, he has a gymnastics recital, which I'm looking forward to watching! We take a weekly trip to the library and pick out new books and movies to tide us over. No t.v. here, so you can imagine keeping a 5 year old entertained while feeding a newborn every other hour! He's so much bigger than he was last summer! It's hard to believe that our little man is growing up!

Arthur is also doing wonderful! He is currently neck deep in flight school. We were able to watch him fly last Friday at his 'family day'. He works about 12 hour days, sometimes starting at 3:30 am. We run into each other, as I am giving a middle of the night feeding to a hungry little girl:) He studies hard, is staying in shape, being a great new father, and supportive husband all at the same time! Did I mention that I feel blessed?

I am working on a gift for Arthur...shhh, don't tell! Our one year anniversary is on Sunday (Angel will be 1 month old on the same day!). I have a book that says the 1 year gift in paper. Really, paper? I'll let you know what I come up with! He is making plans for us, but I'm secretly looking forward to unwrapping our wedding cake and eating it! Oh glorious day:)
P.S. This post has been ready since before May 17 (Our anniversary), but the computer didn't allow me to upload pics until now...and I wanted to show you what we've been up to!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Angel is here!

Have you ever had an answer to prayer? We have! This little girl now has Arthur, Aden, and I captivated, and she is absolutely an answer to our prayers!! Currently, Arthur is in flight school and his hours are extremely long. We both knew that when he started flight school, our best 'option' (as if to say we had one) was to have her over a weekend when he could be with us at the hospital. For two weeks in a row, the Doctor told me that I was progressing towards an early delivery.

Well, last Thursday night, I laid awake in my bed just praying that she would come during the next day. After about an hour and a half of only sleeping 5-10 minutes at a time, I decided that it was contractions that were waking me up! After timing contractions for 3 hours, packing our bags and waking up Aden at 4:00 am-we drove to the hospital! To make a long story short...labor went EXTREMELY WELL!! Thank you for all of your prayers from my previous post! I progressed rapidly without pain (until the hospital decided to give me pitocin to speed up the contractions). I soon received my epidural and went from 7 to 10 cm in about half an hour. Angel arrived at 11:58 am-only 12 hours since I had said my last prayer! That sure beats the 36 painful hours of labor with Aden!! She was born approximately 3.5 weeks early, but all of the doctors and nurses said you can't even tell! She's amazing!!

Later, I found out that my sister Bridget and my mom were also lying awake in bed that night praying for me!! Only God knew our individual prayers, and he took care of our small family like no one else could! No timing that Arthur and I could dream up would have ever compared to His PERFECT timing! Arthur was able to miss work on Friday, and stayed at the hospital with Angel and I until we came home! We had some amazing friends that were able to keep Aden until my sister Bridget and niece Georgia arrived. We came home Sunday evening with our arms full of blessings!

OH! I need to mention another blessing! I have recently mentioned attending MOPS meetings (Mothers Of Preschoolers). Well, yesterday, two of the women from the meetings called and are planning on setting up meals for us for all of next week!! Just another prayer answered that we didn't even ask for! God is definitely preparing the way for this family!

Okay, so here's the stats of our baby girl:
Name: Angel Michelle Clymer
Weight: 6 lbs 9 ozs (she's currently down to 5 lbs 13 ozs, but it's coming back up)
Height: 20 1/2 inches long
Birth date: April 17, 2009 at 11:58 am