Sunday, March 4, 2012

reach out and read

ever been stuck in the doctor's waiting room, on-post or off, with a child that just isn't having it with the few toys available to them? have no fear, there is a new resource in town to help you keep your sanity and help develop your little one's reading skills all while you wait. so, what is this wonderful source of sanity you ask, well, each week on the army wife talk radio show, they feature a 'resource of the week.' and back in december they featured 'reach out and read:'

'reach out and read' works in three parts: the doctors speaking to you about the importance of reading aloud with your little ones, they provide age-appropriate books, and that waiting room where you seemed to have been sitting for the last decade has information about the importance of reading together and has books to pass the time.

want to know if there is a program near you or how to get one near you, check out their website:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

another one done, another handful of lessons learned

i know, it's been ages, it's been too long, it's inexcusable, but i'm back and ready to help y'all survive, the days leading up to that day, the days that linger, the day you've been waiting for for what seems like for forever, and life after he's finally home again.

update on us so you know where i'm coming from now:
october 2010 hubby deployed for the fourth time, our third time together, second time for our preschooler, and i was 16 weeks preggers!
usual deployment routine for our lil man and myself: lots of traveling for the holidays
march 2011 hubby comes home for r&r half-way through the deployment. three days later our other lil guy was welcomed in to the world
april 7 2011 we woke up next to each other for our fourth anniversary, but he would be gone before i laid my head down that night
september 2011 our lil guy's 6 month birthday and daddy made it home finally!

okay, and since that deployment, life has been amazing! i honestly was terrified that reintegration would be aw-ful, stressful,, but it's been the complete opposite. it's only taken us three deployments to figure out the whole reintegration thing and how to keep it realistic and open to changes, i think we've got it finally figured out, for us.

so, the lessons learned:
preschoolers are smart. they can count, they can sense your emotions and fears and joys and are very keen on wanting to make everything better... so i was pregnant through this last deployment, with morning sickness so long we were way up above sea level out west. so everyday our preschooler would rub my back as i upchucked and every evening he would remind me that 'daddy is a good soldier and that's why they need him at the other office. and when he's done with the bad guys, he'll be home.' {{wub}}

get yourself a cheerleader. yes, my hubby has always been one of my biggest fans, but as i juggled everything back home and cheering him on each day, i found myself burnt out. and well, i loved my battle buddies, but we were all in the same slow-moving, sometime sinking boat with kids, life and a household to run. so, i found myself someone who was strictly my cheerleader. grant it, "she" was my mum, but this deployment her main role was cheering me on and boy did she.

be realistic. last deployment i was super care package diva who was super busy, this time around, i'll admit, there were days that our lil man and i spent the day in our pjs eating nothing but junk food and watching nick, jr. and well, it felt good. knowing my limits this go around, i knew my pregnant body needed 'pj days,' and when it was just the two boys and myself, i knew it was ultra important that i was honest with myself with post-partrum depression set in. and when i admitted to myself that i was only human and that i looked ridiculous running around with a cape on, i was able to take better care of myself. yes, we had monthly goals and yes we kept busy, but i was also realistic with how much we could and really needed to do to 'survive.'

enjoy the little moments. there was nothing like the sunday afternoon when hubby was holding our few day old lil guy and just sitting, still, together. there was that moment when hubby took my hand as we walked out of the reintegration brief and i knew he was home. there's nothing like hearing our lil guy saying 'dadda dadda' when hubby gets home at the end of the bad, irregardless of how crazy our day was. it's those little moments that have made reintegration so much more bearable and manageable this go around.

so, we're caught up and now i have long list of resources, advice, tips and photos to share. so stay tune and don't forget to follow and survive on facebook:
from dropping off bags

to hanging the welcome home sign

Sunday, January 9, 2011

operation hi honey! from canvas on demand

a while back i was flipping through the coupon saver from the commissary and found this and nearly started bawling like a baby. canvas on demand is doing a program where you (actually your hero) can have your favorite picture of you, your hero, your family, printed on a canvas and delivered to you, for free on a 16"x20" pixelpainted canvas.

check them out at:

Saturday, January 8, 2011

the little things that help

so this is deployment #3 for me, deployment #2 for lil man and deployment #4 for hubby. and along the way, we have found little things that have helped. here are a few we are using for our current deployment:

i filled a jar with 'kisses' for lil man and for our hero. there are the same number of kisses in each jar, counting down until our hero is home again.

after reading paper hugs, we all traced our hands and wrote special messages on them for each other. our hero left his 'hands' with us and took our 'hands' with him. every evening, our lil man gets a 'hug' and a 'kiss' from daddy.
to help our hero remember how loved he is, we wrote little 'love notes' and stuck them in his gear so as he unpacked, he would be reminded just how much we love him.
daddy recorded himself reading bedtime stories for our lil man. not only does it help having daddy as part of the bedtime routine still, it has helped lil man with his literacy skills.
and nothing beats snuggling up with 'daddy cheetah' at night. daddy made a build-a-bear for our lil man and recorded a special message for him. we did the same for our hero to take downrange with him.
recordable books have been a big hit this go around too!
lil man has a 'daddy doll' from operation give a hug. it's been great to have 'daddy' to take with us everywhere in a small version.

milawear bracelets and more: feeling closer so far away

so i found these bracelets one day some time back and never more have they helped me feel a little closer to my hero when he's so far away.

these bracelets are made from para cord (the stuff they use to make their jump beads on and tie up their gear and a million other uses) by veterans. so not only are you helping employ vets, you are able to personalize your bracelet (or if you want a dog collar or lanyard) and for me personally, i feel like i'm getting something that keeps my hero close to me when he's so far away.

check them out at:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

got a yard that needs mowing?

project evergreen works to connect local lawn service providers with deployed families. so, if your yard looks like it could use a trim, check out the link and see if there is a participating provider in your area:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

have a kid who may need some fine-tuning in the academics this summer? ever get stuck helping your kid do homework because your deployed hero is better in that subject? have no fear, is here to help, 24-7, just for service members.