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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.

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Mess free fun….

Image

Image

Sometimes, I feel like I spend all day following my kiddos around with a camera, trying to get that one good picture. Other times, I feel like they are climbing all over me and will never stop. Lately it seems to be the later. I can’t seem to do anything without one or both of them climbing all over me. It’s so frustrating when I’m trying to get stuff done. I could use five minutes of mommy time. What are your favorite keep the kids busy activities? I need something that won’t cause more messes. That’s the biggest problem I find with all the wonderful pintrest ideas. They make more mess, and I’m trying to get the first ones cleaned up. I would love to have one of those picture perfect homes, but that would mean locking my kids out of some of the rooms, and I don’t believe in that. 🙂 How do you keep your kids mess free, busy?

Rainy Day Fun!

Believe it or not, we have actually been getting rain! Rain! I have always been a rain lover, but around here it’s a rare thing. The only problem I’ve seen with the rain, is that sometimes the kids feel a little cooped up. I don’t mind them splashing around in the mud, but I can’t always supervise. So today, we thought we’d have a little rainy day fun indoors.

My kiddos are getting super big, but this is the perfect age for a little messy fun. This is the best part about being a mom.

Finger Paints!

Finger Paints!


My serious little painter

My serious little painter


Of course we had to taste the paint

Of course we had to taste the paint


I have to thank Gunny’s Sandwich shop for the amazing roll of paper. They were willing to order an extra one so that we could have a roll.

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

Open the door and seize the day…

Climb away

Climb away


And this is how we sit now

And this is how we sit now


Well it’s finally happened! Blue Eyes can open doors. He’s been running since 7 months. He’s been climbing on things just as long. And now, it’s happened. He can open the doors. My life won’t be nearly as simple as it used to be. I put him to bed about 830 like normal. I thought he was out cold. I didn’t hear any noises and he was so happy to take his blankie and curl up with his milk. I was starting to consider going to bed myself when I see a blonde head pop up from behind the couch. Super quiet he came over and gave me a hug and goes “mom, mom” and then takes his blankie over to the big floor cushion I made, curls up and sits there with his cars driving them on the couch.

He’s being so good and quiet that I can’t send him back to bed. He also didn’t get his second nap until way later than normal. So maybe he can have some mommy time. He’s now playing in the curtains, laying there like it’s a vertical blanket. Our whole family has been sick lately. It started with daddy and eventually went to both kids and mommy. It hasn’t been too bad but daddy is cranky and grouchy. Blue Eyes needs more sleep but seems to make him sleep less. Little bug needs more sleep, but she’s doing okay.

Little bug is amazing. She got onto blue eye’s schedule so quickly. She wants to go to bed at 800 and if you don’t put her to bed, she will cry until you wrap her up and tuck her in. She only gets up at midnight and four. I’m so blessed. She is smiling now, and has even managed to roll herself over a couple times. I’m not sure where that falls on the timeline of development, but I’m pretty proud of my little girl.
pretty girl

Is it 5 o’clock somewhere?

I have been trying to post the same blog post for almost a week now. Honestly, being a mom of two is definitely more time consuming than I thought. I knew it would be a lot of work, but I was hoping with fingers crossed, that it wouldn’t be to bad. And generally it’s not. But blue eyes likes to push his limits with mommy. And as soon as daddy gets home, he’s back to a perfect little angel, so of course daddy doesn’t believe me. Our little bug is growing like a week. She’s got some seriously chunky cheeks, but the rest of her is as thin as her brother.

Hubby is finishing up school for the semester. That means a ton of proof-reading for me. He’s super smart, but cannot write to save his life. Usually I get a paper full of no punctuation, bullet points, and websites instead of citations. Then we have to sit down together so I can figure out what the heck he’s trying to say. Let’s face it, school is a full-time job for both of us.

We are also leaving at the end of the week to take care of some home repairs back at hubby’s hometown. Can’t say I’m looking forward to that drive with two kids under two. If things go well, we will be picking up my nephew to spend a couple weeks with us as well. So it will definitely be a chaotic trip.

With having baby bug, I’ve of course read everything I can about breast-feeding and pumping. Blue Eyes was such a bad nurser that I was lucky to make it three months with supplementing. He was impatient and hungry all the time, to where it took all of my efforts to even give him three months. I’m glad I stuck with it though, he has really bad allergies and asthma. I can’t imagine how bad it would have been if I hadn’t given him as much breast milk as possible. Little bug on the other had isn’t having any trouble at all. But that doesn’t mean I always like being attached to her. Sometimes I feel banished to my room since we have so many people here all the time. So I stumbled upon this site for mom’s who exclusively pump, and I have to say, it makes me feel so much better!

Naptime Tales

Enjoy the read! I hope to update again soon, but please bear with me as I adjust to our new life. :0) Oh and someone pass me a frozen drink please?
-MB

Soaring…. Flying…..

Soaring.... Flying.....

Soaring…. Flying…..

Okay, believe me as a mom, this is one of the scariest sights in the world. While editing this picture though, I can’t help but notice the sheer joy and trust in my son’s face. This is one of those moments when mommy closes her eyes and prays, and lets the boys play.

A rare moment of peace…

Flying Baby....

Flying Baby….

It’s a very rare quiet moment in our house. Blue Eyes is asleep, Little bug is content in her swing, and even hubby is out cold. The pups are out on a walk with BIL and I have a few minutes in the living room to myself. I was asleep. When little bug and I went to eat, we fell asleep on the bed, but hubby woke us up. So I get the house to myself for a few short minutes. I feel sleep deprived, but not exhausted like I was with Blue Eyes.

As I’m sitting here to write, there are a million things calling my name. I have laundry that needs done. Somehow little bug puked on every single swaddling blanket we have. There are still dishes in the sink, which I have been putting off doing all day. I have toys all over the living room, and I don’t even walk into the area I consider hubby’s. His pool table made it into the house one day and that room has been his ever since. But in all the chaos, and unfinished work I feel a few small minutes of peace. Those short moments definitely keep you going.

I downloaded a new picture editor. It’s supposed to be really good, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet. So I’ll stick to my old one for the time being. While my family was here, we all went swimming at the neighbors. Okay, they went swimming I held little bug and took pictures of everyone. My little boy is fearless! I mean absolutely not a hint of acknowledgement that he doesn’t know how to swim. He trusts daddy to catch him when he jumps. It’s great for when he does learn to swim, but we missed the lessons by a few days for bug’s birth. I’m hoping there will be some more classes later this summer because I dread him having an accident. Daddy was super good about being right there, but my crazy kid wanted to go down the big boy water slide, and get tossed in the air, and all of those other things moms sit there and pray for. We have a floaty for him, but the day the pictures were taken, my little niece used it.

Recovery

2013 June 006

Little Bug is crying yet again…. she can’t possibly be hungry when I’ve fed her twice in the last hour. I know she’s not dirty, yep changed two of those diapers. Blue Eyes isn’t messing with her, he’s down for a nap (after fighting it for an hour). What on earth can Little Bug be crying about? Absolutely nothing. She’s a baby, that’s what babies do. She’ll be okay in a second when she realizes the swing is on. And as crazy as it is, she wants to be swaddled in 106 degree weather. Well we try to keep the house at 75, but still that’s hot!

I’m exhausted. Don’t worry I won’t get blunt here, but do you have any idea how hard recovery really is? You spend hours in a hospital having a baby, and a day or two after depending on how healthy mommy and baby are. The nurses were amazing and even took little bug once or twice so I could get a little sleep, but coming home… coming home is the real challenge. The first day or two you feel like your body got ran over by a truck, or maybe like you pulled every sensitive muscle in your body. No, you definitely feel like hell froze over. You still have to feed your little one every two/three hours. And it’s sensitive! Sometimes just the cloth from your clothing is enough to make you cringe. I was definitely not prepared for that with Blue Eyes, and no matter how hard you try, you forget some of it until the next little one is here. Being on demand is hard work. You have to try to come up with ways to entertain blue eyes, all while trying to keep little bug from screaming from impatience.

Thankfully Blue Eyes has discovered the wonderful world of Cars. He’s so cute. He brings me the movie case and makes the “vroom vroom” sound so I’ll let him watch it. Don’t get me wrong, that child knows more words than I’ve heard, he’s just selective about when he uses them. I will say this, Blue Eyes is super amazing when it comes to Little Bug. He looks at her and giggles. Tries to hold her and share his blankets. The only time we really have problems is days like today, where he’s a little sick and just wants to be held. Then you have to try to get him to lay across your lap so that you can also hold little bug.

Hubby has been around a lot because of baby leave. We weren’t sure he would get to use it, but 10 days of leave has been a grateful welcome to me. He’s still had to go in to work three/four days, in dress uniform to top it off! But considering it was to make sure his officer’s package was submitted, so we’ll take it. It usually takes an average of two or three submissions to get picked up (accepted) so we know it’s a long shot, but we can still dream. Last year his command royally messed up and didn’t submit a single person’s package. This year the NEW CO has talked to every single applicant to make sure that doesn’t happen again. So we have one year submitted! Well anyways, hubby’s leave will take him right up to the 4th of July. I have never understood why the military doesn’t have that day off. It is after all the celebration of our country… At least he can spend the evening with us!

As I suspected, Little Bug is out cold now. So while there is a few minutes of peace and quite I’m going to try to get some chores done.
-MB

Brotherly Love and Kiddie Pools

Little Baby Bug
My wonderful Blue Eyes adores his baby sister. That’s not to say I don’t have to watch him, on the contrary, I have to watch him even closer for that reason. More than once we have caught him trying to unswaddle our little bug and pick her up by the diaper. Or else we catch him trying to share his blanket and completely covering her face. Or his version of hugs is to roll on top of her head. I’m happy to see that he really loves his sister, but oh lord do we have our hands full.
Now that Bug is a week old, I still sit there in shock that we have two kids. It sees like just yesterday we found out about Blue Eyes. Now there are two…. My body definitely believes it, even if my head doesn’t. Recovery seems a little easier with Bug than it was for Blue Eyes. At the same time, my stomach hasn’t thinned out as fast as it did the first time. I feel better though. This time I know we are done with kids. Well at least for the next couple of years. So if I want to work out and lose some weight, it’s not a hopeless battle. Hubby even brought me some beautiful orange lilies. Okay, maybe they aren’t lilies, but I really have no idea what they are, but they are beautiful. They make me happy. I don’t like the color orange, but I love it when it comes to flowers. All of my hate towards the color orange melts and I love the beautiful color it leaves for flowers.

Flowers from my hubby

Flowers from my hubby

Daddy bought Blue Eyes a little pool this week. Oh my goodness, he turned purple playing outside and cried forever when we made him come in. I was amazed at the water features of the little pools. There is a flower that sprays over the surface and a little entry way that he can walk under and get drenched. The puppies walked in circles around it trying to figure out if it was okay for them to get wet. I have a feeling one of these days we will have several puppies in there playing with Blue Eyes.

Blue Eyes playing in his new Kiddie Pool

Blue Eyes playing in his new Kiddie Pool