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Catching Up…. (Pictures)

Look how they've grown from one Halloween to the next!!

Look how they’ve grown from one Halloween to the next!!

Wow, It has been a chaotic couple of months! I had planned to write through the entire PCS process, but it definitely didn’t happen. I thought I’d share a couple pictures from the past two months.

We stayed with my family for a while in-between so my hubby could fix up the house. Unfortunately my hubby had an accident with the table saw, and ended up in the emergency room to re-attach several tendons. Several months later, he has regained most of the use of his hand, although it still really hurts him and his fingers can’t quite straighten out. That caused a lot of panic and fear for our family, but I’m so glad he is doing much better.

When we finally got moved up to our new home we realized that we lost almost all of our storage space. So we’ve been struggling to find homes for everything. Especially things like books (which are still in boxes in the living room) and clothes. I was really spoiled with our custom closets in CA. I feel like I’m constantly buying hangers or struggling to get our two small dressers crammed with clothes. I could really use help from an Organization Fairy!!! I wish they existed. Snow White at the apple orchard

We’ve also been exploring our new home. I must say this is the most beautiful duty station we’ve ever been at (except maybe Pensacola). We love all of the outdoors and the fresh air. We are on an island, so there is gorgeous water all around us and Daddy and Blue Eyes go fishing. Mommy and Snow White went to an apple orchard!

Blue Eyes fishing with daddy

Blue Eyes fishing with daddy

As for my kiddos, Blue Eyes has shot up. We had to go buy 4t clothing for him the other day and he’s not even three yet! Snow White is still a tiny little thing, but her curls are ever present. Not to mention she has developed her mama’s temper. Yeah, we might be in trouble with that one. As for more exciting news??? We are expecting baby number THREE!!!!!  We can’t wait for that one!!announcement

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Staining in a uniform…

All military wives know the panic…. the one where their husband finds out that they needed their uniform ready, and some part of their dress uniform is messed up. Hence the reason I am up so late tonight. My husband needs his dress uniform in the morning, and although his uniform has been dry cleaned and his ribbons are new, there is of course a small problem…. His Dixie cup has a yellow mark in the back. Undoubtedly, the handiwork of our wonderful two year old Blue Eyes. So I am up, making sure his cover gets clean.

I managed to locate a second cover, and it’s getting washed at the moment, just in case I can’t get the yellow out. I’ve tried baking soda and vinegar, and I’ve tried the hydrogen peroxide mix…. I’m not sure what else there is.

So in the madness of transferring, and getting our new housing set up. In the madness of boxes everywhere and my kids unpacking as fast as we can re-pack it, I am up super late making sure his uniform is ready.

Isn’t that what us wives do though? We make sure our men are ready to fulfill their duties. We take care of their uniforms, and pack up when we need to. I’ve been in the service. I know how important uniforms and haircuts can be. For all of you military spouses…. What is your go to trick for uniform care?

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.

Death of a Navy Man

My Grandpa, the Navy Man

My Grandpa, the Navy Man


Some people live and breath military. Everything about them screams the fact that they were part of the armed forces and that they love the red, white, and blue. From his hair cut to the faded blue tattoos on his arms, my Grandpa was a Navy man. And oh the stories he could tell. My favorite will always be when they were in port next to a Scottish ship and my Grandpa wanted to see if they wore “panties” under their “skirt”. Yep, my Grandpa was a rough and tumble Navy man. And nothing made him prouder than his children and grand kids that served.

There is something about older military men. They have an undying loyalty that we don’t see in today’s military. My Grandpa is the reason I chose the Navy. The way he talked about being on the Ocean made it seem like one of the greatest feelings in the world. I’m sure in his mind, he glorified the bad, but I can’t say I don’t agree with him. When I was still in the service, I was asked to be part of a burial at sea. It was cold and windy, and nobody wanted to do it, accept me. It seemed like the greatest honor I could give to someone who lived military. It was one of the best experiences in my life. The sound the the 21 gun salute, the rocking up and down of the ship, the spray of the icy sea on my face as I stood at attention. But most of all the family. The family who loved this die Hard Navy man, were standing there so grateful that we were there. I talked to one or two of the members and they did remind me of my own Grandpa. The greatest joy in his life had been the sea.

This memory can flooding back when my Grandpa died. My Grandfather was an old school Navy man. To his dying breath he was loyal to the Navy and everything it stands for. Honestly? There is a lot I don’t know about my Grandfather. Does he have a middle name? How old was he really? How long did he actually serve in the military? But when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter. My Grandfather was an energetic and spunky man. He was loving and full of colorful stories. It’s been a rough couple of weeks, but he’s been ready for heaven for a long time now. He was not a perfect man, but he was perfected in grace. I have never met someone so ready to be with Jesus.

Last sign of honor

Last sign of honor


I wasn’t able to make it to the funeral, it was to far for me to drive in the short time frame I had. I didn’t want to send flowers, because flowers wilt and I’m sure there were plenty there. My Grandpa loved two things beside all of us kids. He loved Jesus, and he loved the military. Thanks to my family, he had a military burial. Memories of the burial at sea made me think I needed to make sure there was something personal to honor my Grandpa’s time in service. My Grandpa would have never worn a baseball cap, so that was out of the question, but he needed something with dignity, that showed his love of the military. So I sent the only thing I could think of to honor his memory. I went to the military store and found a Petty Officer First Class pendant. Hubby and I rushed it to the mail to make sure it would get there in time, and I had my dad call when it arrived.

Although my dad is a veteran as well, he said he didn’t feel right pinning a Navy pin on a man that it meant so much to. Thankfully my cousin who had also been in the Navy, was able to attend. After the opening prayers, my cousin took the pin and placed it on the suit of this great man. My dad said it filled what was missing at the funeral. That final goodbye in the death of a Navy man.

Guest Blogger: Mesothelioma Cancer Awareness

New Mesothelioma Statistics and Facts Page -Jennifer Bigaman http://www.asbestos.com/blog/2011/07/20/new-mesothelioma-statistics-and-facts-page/

New Mesothelioma Statistics and Facts Page -Jennifer Bigaman
http://www.asbestos.com/blog/2011/07/20/new-mesothelioma-statistics-and-facts-page/


Today is Mesothelioma Cancer Awareness Day.
If you’re like me, the most you’ve ever heard about it has come from the late night ads on television. A week or two ago I was contacted by a wonderful lady named Emily Walsh, who is the Community Outreach Director for Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Taking a closer look at the article, I realized that Mesothelioma is like Breast Cancer was ten years ago. It loomed around us all the time, but nobody really knew anything about it.
Here’s one of the big reasons Emily stumbled upon my blog…”United States Veterans are at the greatest risk….Many veterans and shipyard workers were exposed to high levels of asbestos from several different applications.” Military vetrans, service members still working, and shipyard workers are still exposed to this dangerous form of cancer. I don’t write often about life in the shipyards, but I would believe this statement. I can’t tell you how many nights I stood fire watch while they worked with chemicals that could catch fire. Do me and this wonderful group a favor and take a look at her information. 8 Things You Should Know About Mesothelioma The information could save your military man’s life.

If Emily’s article interests you, here is another site about Mesothelioma, including statistics by state.
Asbestos.com

-MB

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.

Patriotic much?

Every so often I make an attempt to get to know other military wives. I would like my kids to have playmates, and as much as I love my civilian friends, there are times when they don’t understand the constantly shifting world of the military. So I joined a spouse group. More specifically, I joined one for this base, where I thought I might be able to meet a few wives who would like to do some play dates.

I do not say this to insult anyone, but I understand why military wives have a hard time staying unified. People love to jump down your throat for any given reason. They think that the “benefits” of the military don’t have a price. The biggest price being how you live.

A lady posted on there that she was shocked at the lack of respect in a MILITARY movie theater. The anthem came on and nobody stood or stopped talking or in any way showed that our country’s anthem was playing.

Now I will admit, I’m a bit of an extremist and I can occasionally be abrasive, I believe that a lack of respect for our country should be punished. I think that if you don’t want to stand for our anthem playing, you should find another country that you do respect. I think that if you want to be part of this great nation, go get your green card. I think that we should help those in need, but not give when people are just looking for a handout. Every nationality in our country has been persecuted at some point and NOBODY deserves a handout over other people. The Chinese died in the mines and railroads, along with the Irish working in mills and on those same railroads. Japanese were put into camps during the WW’s. Blacks were forced into slavery. Non Christians were burned in the Salem which trials.

That being said take a look at the conversation that happened when I stepped in to defend her opinion of it being disrespectful. I will label me, but I’m taking out other names. Remember, we are talking about people ON BASE, in a MILITARY theater, enjoying a FREE movie provided for military members. That being said, please explain to me, how I am a disgrace to the military? I served my time so she could have the right to say ignorant stuff like that. I would do it again. But DO NOT tell me ever that I do not love my country, and that I am not patriotic. I am not saying force all civilians to stand, but on a military base, and in a military theater, show some F-ing respect.

ME: I think they should be forced to stand there. If they don’t want to live in this country and respect our anthem they can move somewhere else. I’ve been out for a couple years and I still stand at attention.

PERSON A: Isn’t this country based on Freedom? Once you start forcing people to do something, where do you draw the line?

ME: i’m not going to argue, but I think it is a slap in the face to this country if you can’t even stand to support your own freedom. I won’t be responding to this post again, so I won’t be arguing with your views. :0)

PERSON B: We shouldn’t have to force a vet to show respect for their countries national anthem.. I don’t think I’ve ever said this about a vet before. But it was sick reading what she wrote, and I’m ashamed of having someone like that represent our country. You’re disrespectful and shameful.

PERSON B: We all have the freedom to do whatever we want.. But, there needs to be a certain degree of respect and pride.. She has neither..

Curious George and the Zoo

It’s been a great week, but exhausting. BIL’s little boy is here. BIL’s little boy loves Curious George. We decided to drive down to San Diego to see the zoo. We left super early in the morning and got there right at opening.

Our little navigator

Our little navigator

We love the monkeys

We love the monkeys

they were all called George.... :0)

they were all called George…. :0)

but the pandas were sleeping...

but the pandas were sleeping…

So we decided to copy the statues

So we decided to copy the statues

Yep, a couple of monkeys

Yep, a couple of monkeys

Mommy and Little Bug's turn!

Mommy and Little Bug’s turn!

Of course there were animals

Of course there were other animals

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One of my favorite animals

One of my favorite animals

2013 August 007

my princess needed a bottle break

my princess was happy as long as she got a bottle break

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

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