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It’s a……

The last time I posted I was able to share my family’s exciting news! We are expecting. Life definitely has a way of keeping you busy. It’s the end of January, and life has been flying. In the last two months, we have settled into our new home, and started finding activities that the kids will enjoy. They have an amazing toddler learning center here that offers free child play once a week. The kids love it, and they offer so many things that expand the imagination. Plus it breaks up the sameness of the rest of the week.

We also discovered the local library has toddler reading time. They read stories, sing songs, and do a craft to help the kids remember the story. This is also free for the kids!!!! I swear if you are new to an area, check out the local library. They are usually really good at knowing what is available.

Other than that, we’ve been dealing with Daddy on Deployment. We got super lucky this time. He actually has internet capabilities, and the kids have seen him almost every day so far. Sometimes Blue Eyes asks if daddy is sleeping at work. It’s hard to explain to a three year old that daddy had to go super far to work and won’t be home for a long time. So we are in the process of putting together a daddy wall! I’m buying little pieces here and then, when I get them all gathered, we will have a day to put it all together. I want to make a chain for each day, but we aren’t sure when he will be coming home, so I don’t want to make it too short.

In other exciting news, our baby is growing on schedule. And I’m excited to post this picture that a great photographer friend of mine, Chrystal Parks, made to do our gender reveal! And it looks like we are going to be a two boy, one girl family!!!

It's a boy!!!!

It’s a boy!!!!

Snow White finally gets a baby blanket

The other night, as I was waiting for my husband’s Dixie Cup to dry, I finally finished my scrap yarn blanket. I could not be happier with how it turned out.

My son has his “Kie, Kie” that he is in love with. I didn’t make the original, but I did make his replacement once the first one was ripped beyond repair. I searched for ages before I was able to find a pattern close enough that he wouldn’t notice the replacement. The closest pattern was from Hodge Podge Crochet, and like most of the patterns I use, it’s completely free.

Blue Eye's Baby Blanket

Blue Eye’s Baby Blanket


For Blue Eye’s awesome baby blanket, Click Here.

I made Snow White a blanket when she was born, and although she likes it, it has always been too heavy for her to carry around. So I decided it was time to make her another blanket. I searched Pinterest for an idea of a blanket that she would like, and I ran across Daisy Cottage’s granny square blanket. The one she made is very small, but I just continued on and made the blanket a decent size for a baby girl.

For Snow White’s beautiful granny square blanket, click here.

Modern Granny Square blanket

Modern Granny Square blanket

I love these two baby blankets. I’m happy both kids like their new blankets. Blue Eyes will need a replacement again soon, this one is starting to see a lot of love. I also couldn’t stop at making Snow White one blanket. I decided to make a second to use up some extra yarn. I had planned on using it as a baby gift, but by the time I had finished, I had fallen in love with the new one as well….

bold and beautiful

bold and beautiful

10622941_727964820583162_4685990101326817159_n (1)

What do you think? Do you like the softer more normal girl colors? Or the bold colors?

Snow White is One!!

Happy First Birthday Snow White!!!

Happy First Birthday Snow White!!!

My beautiful Snow White turned one!!! Mommy has been wanting to make her wear a tutu for a long time, so Snow White’s first birthday was the perfect opportunity. We aren’t having the party until Saturday, but I had to share a picture of my beautiful little girl. It makes my heart happy to see her cute little face in all her ribbons and glitter. It seems like just the other day I was announcing I was going to have her, now she looks like my beautiful little princess.

birthday

princes

Daddy’s not coming home… 5 ways to help kids cope

Ideas to help with deployment

Ideas to help with deployment


There is a lot of change happening right now. If you haven’t read, we have orders and a date to leave. Hubby and I have both been finishing up our two separate degrees. Surprisingly enough, they will be done within a week of each other. That means that we have double the finals, and trying to fit in time for our kiddies in with his work schedule.

To make matters worse, we found out he will be deploying withing months of being at our new Duty Station. We’ve been through deployment and underway before. But we have been extremely blessed. The last time Hubby left for two months was right after Blue Eyes left. It was a hard adjustment, but at least at that point Blue Eyes was solely dependent on mommy. This time, it’s going to be a lot harder. Daddy gets home and both kids run/toddle after him like he’s the greatest thing in the entire world. While I love the looks on their faces when daddy gets home, how will I explain when daddy’s not coming home? They will be three and almost two when daddy has to leave.

I’m so grateful for friends who have already gone through the deployment with kids. They have been amazing at helping me to keep from getting sad. They’ve given me ideas for things we can do to help keep them from missing daddy. After talking to multiple military wives and kids who have gone through deployments, here is a list of 5 things people agree help their kids during the deployment.

5. Bedtime Stories
One of the best things I’ve heard is those books that daddy’s voice can read to them. Hallmark has quite a few of them, and other companies are starting to make them as well. There are other options for bedtimes stories as well. I ran across the website for a pen that will read “Anybook” that daddy’s voice has recorded. That’s amazing if your child’s favorite book is not the normal bedtimes stories. Blue Eyes loves Star Wars ABC’s, Colors, and 123’s.

4. Daddy Dolls
My friends have also pointed me to the amazing world of Daddy Dolls. We’ve been talking about getting each kid a build a bear with daddy’s voice, which isn’t a bad idea, but then we found daddy dolls. There are a ton of websites that make them for military. Different looks and possibilities, it’s really up to you, what look you want.
Daddy Dolls Inc. -This site will do dolls, dog tags, pillows, teddy bears, and homecoming outfits.
Operation Give a Hug -this is where you can chose to donate or request a doll. It’s great if you want to support military kids, or if you can’t afford to give your kid a daddy doll.
Hugs to Go -has cute little people in uniform that you can put daddy’s face on.
US Deployment Dolls -This site has several uniformed dolls and the face it put on the doll instead of a removable picture.

Whether you decide to do a daddy doll or not, it’s up to you.

3. Deployment Wall
I’ve also been talking to several friends who have created a Deployment Wall. The Deployment wall is all things daddy. Two clocks, one with your time, and one with your spouse’s (daddy’s) time. Most have some sort of countdown, or a jar of “Kisses for each day” daddy is gone. Other walls I’ve seen have maps with pins, pictures, letters, and other types of things to help them know daddy is close.

2. Homecoming Outfits
And then there is the all exciting day daddy comes home…. Letting the kids get special outfits for daddy coming home can be a great way to get them excited. Do they get their own “uniforms?” Most of the time, your branch will sell kids versions in their exchange. Do they get a tutu? If you can’t make a tutu, there are many wives on base who can. Find your base spouse page, I’m sure you’ll find someone.

1. Homecoming Decorations
Do they get to decorate? Make sure you do some research, some places like Build a Sign will do free banners for returning military members. By streamers, get ice-cream! It’s a time to celebrate. The wait is over! Daddy’s home!

Since it’s a fact that my husband will be deploying, I have started a Pinterest board called Deployments. I’m not very good at putting the “Pin” button on my page, but you are more than welcome to check out my Pintrest board for ideas. The link for Deployments is here and the link for Military life is here.

The little hat in the photo is my own design. I didn’t like the patterns I came across, so I spent a couple days designing it. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you like the design. Also, if you have any other great ideas for helping kids with Daddy deploying, PLEASE leave a comment. I’m always looking for new ideas.
-MB
This article is solely my own research and thoughts. I am not a paid sponsor. I am simply a military wife with two kids who will soon be facing the realities of deployment.

PCSing here we come…

Hubby’s time for orders snuck up on us. Don’t get me wrong, we were counting down days until we looked at new orders. I waited patiently as the time counted down to see where our fate would lie. But still, it sneaks up on you. One day you are waiting for the chance to even look, and the next thing you know, you put in for orders and you sit and wait to hear back. I’m really impressed with my hubby’s detailer. He was quick to respond to questions about the orders. He was really friendly and understood why we wanted out of CA. Blue Eyes asthma seems to get worse every year we are here. He was nothing at all like my experiences with a detailer.

Then then we waited, until all of a sudden hubby heard from a sponsor. We have a sponsor! That means he has orders and a date to arrive. It took us a while to track down his orders, but they are two months sooner than we had originally planned. So now the confusion and panic have begun. BIL needs to find a place to rent/buy. We have to figure out what we are keeping, living for BIL, or selling. I have to go through the kids clothes since we will be getting there in winter. Coats and rain boots will be a must. Especially since even Snow White will be walking any day now. I have to gather puppy records and make sure they are up to date on their shots. And so much more! There is so much involved in a military move.

It’s also time to get the house ready to sell. We’ve been working on getting rid of the weird colors for a long time, but it hasn’t been consistent or very fast. Looks like I’ll be getting a babysitter for a day or two and knock out every room so we can get the new flooring estimated and planned.

For some reason this move is different than most. I’m nervous this time. Maybe because it’s the first time hubby and I have moved together, maybe it’s because we have kids now not just the pups. Maybe it’s because we are planning on living on base… whatever is making me nervous this time, I’m hoping my heart will stop racing soon.

Navy Acronyms:

PCS -Permanent Change of Station
Detailer -Person responsible for give new orders.
Sponser -Someone from your new command who will help you in the checking in process.

Orders to where?

orders
It’s that time again. It’s the time that military wives wait for, hopefully if they hate where they are living, and dread if they love their duty station. Yes, it’s time for a first look at the dreaded Orders. It’s not my first rodeo. We’ve been through it a couple times already, but this is the first time I’ve ever actually cared. When it was just hubby and I, I could make the best of any situation, but with Blue Eyes’ asthma, it’s not so easy to not care where you get sent.

There are a couple of things different about this duty choice though. The first is that my husband will be done with his degree. This means that he needs orders that will look good on an Officer’s package. That means that if phenomenal orders for opportunities comes up, it doesn’t matter where it is, hubby wants it. The second thing that’s different is that hubby is coming up on the end of his enlistment. This is the pivotal point. He’s almost at the half way mark. Re-enlisting this time means we are in it for the long haul. Something that we’ve both planned, but it’s scary when you think about the next 13 years of your life.

Realistically, we are hoping that this set of Orders will make it easier for him to go O. I know I have a few military wives following…. if any of you have ever dealt with the process and transitioning, I would love to hear from you! We are definitely open to advice from those who have managed to accomplish it!

Exploring

Snow White is fascinated with my camera.

Snow White is fascinated with my camera.


This morning, as I was struggling to wake up, my beautiful Blue Eyes tried shoving my feet into my shoes. “Bye Bye” he kept telling me, as he got made that the shoes wouldn’t fit right. I pulled my shoes on the rest of the way and looked around. Blue Eyes and Snow White have been getting up at six am. It’s to freaking early to be going bye bye. I was able to distract him for about an hour with his favorite cartoon, PAW Patrol. But when that was done, he started dragging his favorite blanket and two teddy bears to the stroller. I’ve given up on putting the stroller away. If it isn’t in the living room, we never go for a walk, so we leave it there. Blue Eyes put his teddy bears in the seat and tucked them in.

Then he starts pulling Snow White’s blanket over to the stroller. He has given up the idea of leaving without her, so he gets her ready. There is a small box of clothes my sister sent on the desk. Blue Eyes spotted a pair of Snow White shoes and starts trying to shove them on her feet. Flip Flops do not go well with little tights. Getting frustrated, he came back over. I’ve given up at this point. I’m going on a walk. So I tucked both kids into my monstrous double stroller, and away we went.

I walked and walked, Blue Eyes babbling happily about the cars we walked past and the “pup-pups” we saw. I could only make out a word here or there, but he was telling a good story. Snow White looked around wide eyed with her thumb in her mouth. Thankfully, I was able to convince her to wear ear warmers. It’s not terribly cold here, but she freezes easily.

The walk woke me up. And even though it is far from a pretty walk, hearing my son babble about the things he is interested in, made me happy to be there. Walks are still magical for my little boy and my little girl. They talk, and giggle as we go. Soon Blue Eyes will be speeding around me on a bicycle, and Snow White will be my only stroller baby; but for a little while longer, I get to enjoy my two babies as we explore the world.

We spent the rest of the day reading stories, coloring, working on the names of colors and counting to three. One, Two, Three, is still not clear but he says them with the same tones I do, so I’ve figured out what he’s doing. Snow White has finally become mobile, and spent her time wiggling into the kitchen and getting mad when I put her back at the starting point. We pulled the cushion off of the couch to hide behind them, while sis sis tried to stand on the abandoned cushion. (She may decide to skip crawling like Blue Eyes did). Then we chased the puppies around. When the sprinklers went off, we watched in amazement from the little slide yelling “Water, water”. And when it was night-time, my little girl finally fell asleep from exhaustion and Blue Eyes cuddled with me for one more episode of Paw Patrol. From my babies stand point, today was an amazing day. From mommy’s view, I didn’t get a thing done. But sometimes we don’t need to get things done. We just need to watch our babies grow and explore.

Dear Mr. Blue Eyes

Mr. Blue Eyes and his "colors"

Mr. Blue Eyes and his “colors”


My dear baby boy,
You have no idea how relieved I am that you love your little sister so much. Right now, it’s a little frustrating when she gets a bottle in the eye, or when all 24 lbs of you tries to pick up all 10 lbs of her, but I’m so grateful that you have such a loving heart. I love that you want to help mommy take care of her. I hope that you will remember how much you love her when she is big enough to follow you around and get in the way. Right now sis sis is learning to crawl, and I know you don’t like sharing your cars, but I’m so happy you do. Some day she will discover princesses and tutus and then you’ll be left in peace with your cars and planes.
I hope you remember how much you love her when you two are fighting or teasing each other. I hope you will protect her when mommy isn’t around and that you will look out for her when you two are old enough to go to parties. I hope you will protect your sis sis when you both start school. It’s scary for mommy to know you are going to grow up, but you have mommy and daddy to teach you how to be a good boy and man.
Your mommy and your sister are your first examples of how to take care of your future wife. So when mommy is punishing you because you, “don’t hit girls” or making you open the door, it’s not to be mean. It’s because mommy and daddy want you to love and respect your future wife. We want you to grow into a man who deserves the best and knows how to pick someone based on quality not looks. Mommy and daddy want you to have a better life than we could ever hope for you. We want to teach you to be kind and strong. To protect those weaker than you, and care enough to rescue all of your little pup pups. We hope to teach you how to handle money better than we used to, and to value hard work.
Mommy is excited to explore the world with you and your sissy. I can’t wait to take you on adventures, and to dress up to find buried treasure. I can’t wait to take you to see plays and teach you how to have tea parties with your sister. Believe me, even if you don’t like dressing up, mommy will make sure there are plenty of cookies.
Today we color, and play airplanes. Today we pound on the piano, and splash the bathwater all over the floor. We dig in dirt and run around to the “Bananas” song. Today the dirtier the better. We steal sis sis’s hair bows and climb on the counters for cookies….
Someday, you will grow up, but for today, I’m going to enjoy you being my little wild child.
-Mommy

Here a project, there a project…. everywhere a project.

I’ve had a lot of projects to finish up lately. Some I tried to do before my little girl was born, but just couldn’t do them all. A couple, I’ve been dying to try. And a two small beanies, I’ve been looking forward to making for Halloween. I don’t have as much time as I used to (what mother with two little ones does?) but I’ve been crocheting at nap times or sometimes when my hubby and I watch a movie. I love to see the results, and there is something so satisfying with creating something from your own hands. That being said here are a couple of my finished projects!

I have to admit, this project was originally for my husband. He and a friend of ours went to a baseball gam and you got in free with a mustache. Since I have made hubby swear to NEVER grow a mustache again, I decided I would make him one. This lovely pattern comes from Easy Makes Me Happy. I obviously made mine a lot bigger, but I love how simple it was and every easy to understand.

Crocheted Mustache!

Crocheted Mustache!

The outfit pattern came from Follow the Stray, but she also got her pattern from Repeat Crafter Me and Flower Creations. I have to insert my opinion here. Repeat Crafter Me has amazing free crochet patterns. I’ve followed her patterns a couple times and always had great results. She is also willing to explain things that are confusing.

Minnie Mouse outfit

Minnie Mouse outfit

This sweet hat pattern came from the Lovely Crow. But what’s a cowgirl hat without boots… I didn’t buy her pattern but I did find this pattern to use, from Hodge Podge Crochet. I also used the “Minnie Mouse” skirt again here.

I love how sweet this little cowgirl outfit turned out.

I love how sweet this little cowgirl outfit turned out.

This is the one I’ve been dying to do. I have to admit though, I could not find a pattern I liked, so I made my own. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, but now I’m trying to get the pattern together to share with all of you! If I have enough people wanting the pattern, I will create a separate post with the pattern, but otherwise, enjoy the picture of my little bug.

My grumpy Cupcake

My grumpy Cupcake

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I also recently tested two amazing hat patterns, but I need to wait for it’s release to share with you the picture and site to find it on. The other project I was working on, I’m not ready to share yet. I have both of my babies Halloween costumes started, but I would like to finish Hubby and mine too before I share with you the cuteness that is my babies.

To Catch any of my past projects, check out some previous blog posts:
State Board and Crochet
Crochet Top Hats
Dinosaurs and Homecoming
Mermaid Tail
Floor Cushion and a Good Night’s Sleep
Breast Cancer Fighters
Artsy Mommy
Grumpy Bunny

Please Note, I try to give credit to the creators of the patterns, but sometimes I loose track of which pattern I used, who created it, or I’ve adjusted it so much it really isn’t their pattern anymore. If you ever notice an error, please don’t hesitate to help me give the author of the pattern credit.

Why do you have to play there?

Mr. Blue Eyes got super quiet yesterday. That’s usually my queue to find him asap. So I had to put a crying little bug down and go find him. Thankfully little bug fell asleep in her swing so the crying stopped and I had plenty of time to catch what blue eyes was going. Normally he likes to get into the pantry and bring me all of the bags of chips, but so far my hands were empty.

Peeking around the corner of the pantry I saw my little boy happy as can be, sitting in the bottom drawer of the stove. Thank god the stove was not on! Instead of yelling at him, I decided to see what he was doing…. Sure enough, he climbed out and went to find his blankie. I was about to shut the drawer when he came back with blankie and cars in tow. He gently placed his blankie in the drawer, and then piled his cars on top before climbing back in. And there he sat, happy as can be.

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