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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Care Packages

I've been picking up on some tips and tricks for sending care packages overseas to deployed individuals. I'm no expert, and I'm not going to pretend that I am. This is my first go at it, so there's a bit of a learning curve. I think it took me 10 minutes to fill out my customs form last week at the post office, and I asked a million questions while I was doing it. I didn't want to do it wrong and then him not get his box! I would have been so mad!!!! I didn't put all that effort into buying, making, filling, shipping the box for it to be stuck somewhere - not in Lane's hands!

Here are some of the things I've learned:

ALWAYS ship priority mail - It should get to them within 10-14 days.

Use flat rate boxes! They're much cheaper and you can pack them full of all kinds of things because the weight of the box doesn't matter. It should only be just over $13 to send a large flat rate box

Take forms home with you. You can have them already filled out when you get to the post office. Supposedly you can also then pay online and they will pick it up off your doorstep and you don't have to step foot into the post office to ship it. {I don't like letting go of that much control. I'd rather hand the box over myself, but that's just me and my personality type - control freak!!!!!}

Order the flat rate boxes online. It's free and they will drop them off with your mail. You can pick to have it sent to you in bundles of either 10 or 25 I believe.

Address the box exactly as it was given to you. Supposedly if you don't include the - #### after the zip code the package won't be delivered

If you want to decorate the inside of the box, use the large flat rate box. The box is 12x12x5.5. If you use scrapbook paper to decorate, they make a 12x12 size and you don't even have to cut it {except in half as you put it on the flaps.}

Protect the stuff in the box. We shop on Amazon often {diapers come every month} so we have a lot of the packing air bags. After I stuff the boxes with goodies, I make sure to include some of those if I need to.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Beach Day

The kids and I enjoyed Saturday morning by having a breakfast picnic on the beach with friends. It was their tradition to do this with their Daddy, but since he's gone, we were invited to stand in. I'm glad we went because the kids loved it and I had a good time!




Sunday, May 26, 2013

Motherhood Is...{21}

This week I am blessed by good friends.

We're bound and determined not to let deployment get us down! Our first weekend is a long weekend that most people spend with family - mine is at Fripp and we're missing it again! It's Memorial Day weekend and people are enjoying time off work and spending quality time with their loved ones. Well, as a mom I don't get time off, and since my husband is gone, my "loved ones" are friends who are family! Their family tradition is to do doughnuts and a beach day on the weekends. Since both families are lacking daddies, we decided to tackle the beach as 2 moms and 4 kids. Sounds scary right? It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Hunter is afraid of the fact that the water moves, so he stays out of it, and the girls are content to play in the sand, so the water wasn't a huge issue for them. There was also plenty of beach before getting to the ocean, so we were able to enjoy some time in the sun.

I'm excited that through this deployment I have another mom {more than one who's husband is gone, actually} around to endure the good times and the bad. It's nice that our kids have someone to play with, and we have an adult to talk to. If I didn't have that I wouldn't be as good a mom! It's what you need sometimes - a break from the kids! I'm glad to be able to enjoy quality time with friends. It makes the absence of Daddy a little less in-your-face.

We are also surrounded by friends who have volunteered to help in whatever way we need while Lane is gone. Our friend had us over for dinner the day Lane left so that I didn't have to worry with cooking, and so that I could just go through whatever emotions I needed to that day and know that my kids were still going to be fed. She's also reminded me that since her husband is home that if I need anything done around the house that he'd be able to help us out. We've been called and texted by friends all week.

When family isn't close by, it's nice to know that our military family has our back! Makes taking care of every day life much easier. They say it takes a village to raise children - I'm here to tell you, it's the truth! I'm glad to have my village. Because of them, I have my sanity!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

At 10am sleepy head finally decided to wake up!
My crazy kid climbed up into the chair at the kitchen table and was coloring on the pad of paper with Daddy's phone in his hand.
What a cute kid! I sent this picture to Parker for him to see.
In the middle of a tantrum Hunter found a bug {or a spec} on the ground.  
I keep thinking that he's too small to realize the deployment is happening. I think he knows, and I think he will miss Daddy. The good news is that I think he's too young to remember this one!
I some how bruised my thumb. I have no idea what I did or when I did it, but it hurts, and it's a HUGE bruise!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Guilty

Now that the pain of saying goodbye is just about gone, I'll admit it...Once the bandaid was ripped off, he was gone, we left the airport {and did it all again the next day for the rest of the guys leaving on the C-130s} it hasn't been so bad. I say that now, and I know I'll be totally ready for his return, but we've been good.

Yesterday we went to the squadron to see off the rest of the guys. Since Lane flew out commercial, he left a day earlier than most of the deployment. The planes left a day after him and so the kids and I went down to be part of the send off. I knew that the spouses that will be going through this with me would be there. They'd be left standing on the flight line with tears in their eyes as the planes took off for never never land. It was hard all over again. Luckily there were other little kids around, so Eden was excited to play with them, and I even let Hunter get down and run around for a bit too.

When I woke up and I wasn't crying, I felt a little guilty. I felt like I should miss him more. I thought I should still be sad that he's gone. I mean, I do miss him, and I do wish he was here with us walking through the door each evening for dinner, but it isn't terrible. Eden and Hunter colored pictures for him today, and we took his first box to the post office today. We're making our new normal. We're getting into our own groove. I'm glad that it isn't terrible - because I know we'll have our days and our moments that it is. I'm glad that it seems like we're going to get into a routine relatively quickly. We're doing great and we've already got 2 days under our belts!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hasta La Vista!

Well, we made it. Lane left and we survived! I didn't make it through without tears, but I made it, so I'm counting it as a success. We're a day in, so we're a day closer to a homecoming hug! I don't want to get too excited about it at this point, but we're just a little bit closer now.

As we were walking into the airport Eden insisted on helping Daddy. She walked by his side and held onto his bag as we walked from the parking lot to the wrong terminal, and then to the correct terminal. She was excited to be a "team player" {which is what she and I have agreed to be together while Lane is away!}
 Once we got to the airport we were lucky enough to get paired with a check-in agent who would give the kids and me a gate pass. We didn't have to say goodbye to Lane before security! I was so excited to be able to have a few more minutes with him. We were early, so we were able to have a drink and get lunch for the kids. We were getting pretty close to nap time for Hunter {and Eden on some days} so he started getting grumpy. Not to mention, he pooped and the diapers were in the car because I didn't think we were going to be inside for too long. Have you ever had to search the airport for parents of young kids so you could beg for a diaper?! Well, I have now! You get some pretty weird looks from people!

 Before Lane boarded his plane to leave he gave the kids a present. We got recordable books for the kids so they could hear Daddy read a story to them even though he's far away. Eden was happy to get the books, and Hunter loves any book, so he was having a good time too.



 Ugh, the dreaded boarding call. Lane gave hugs and kisses and I was a wreck! Every time Eden asked a question about where we were, where Daddy was going, if that was Daddy's air plane, where was Daddy going {all over and over, and over, and over, and over again...and then again, and again, and again!} I would cry. Oh my goodness!


 We stood by and watched Daddy's plane depart. Both kids were excited to watch the planes leave. To them they were just planes, but I couldn't get my brain to agree! I knew that Lane was on the plane that was headed off into the big blue yonder.







 Remember how tired Hunter was getting before Lane left? Well, when I put the stroller in the car and got in the car, Eden said to me, "Mommy, Hunter is asleep!" He had fallen asleep before I even got the stroller in the car! I guess he was more tired than I even realized.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Motherhood Is...{20}

This week I'm blessed by the fact that I can take a picture of the 3 of these people together - all in the same place at the same time.

Ahhhhhh!!!! How has the time come that motherhood will be "single" for a while? I'm so glad that Lane has been home for all major holidays and birthdays this year. And he should be home by the fall. If he's home by fall, then he'll be home for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! Fingers crossed, prayers being sent up, rubbing a rabbit's foot, picking up pennies that are heads up - all that jazz!

As of now, I'm glad that we've had the time together that we have. If Lane had left a week earlier, I would have been institutionalized! Eden got her first ear infection and was put on antibiotics for the first time in her life. Let me tell you - everything combined with impending change, she lost her mind! She was just sitting around, not doing anything, no drive, and no personality. She was not herself. I thought she was forever changed and that we would never get our Eden back - I was scared. I'm so glad that Lane didn't leave right before - or while - she was acting like she was. I'm not sure I could have handled her behavior all on my own. Now that I know how bad she can get, I think I might not be as freaked out about it!

All the while, Hunter was just hanging out. We were pushing him past his bed time, waking him from naps, and he was a trooper {most of the time.} He had his moments, but he was good. Now he's the one that's got the runny nose, so he's a little bit grumpy, but he's ok.

We're all dealing with change in our own way. We're all trying to learn together how to work together as a new team of 3. Eden knows we'll talk to Daddy on the phone and that he can send us mail, so hopefully we'll be good to go. For just little while longer, I'm going to enjoy the fact that all 3 of them can by hugged by me.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Friends In Town

This past week, the day after my parents left, some friends of ours from flight school came in town to visit. They stayed with Angie and James who are just a mile away from us, so we crashed the party and enjoyed company without hosting. It was great fun to see Eden back with one of her best friends from Texas! We haven't seen them since we left Texas, so it was awesome to see them again. We all went to the zoo, had a cookout, and just let the kids run around and re-learn to like each other like old days.













Saturday, May 18, 2013

Gearing Up

As the time grows closer and closer for Lane to leave, we're trying to soak in every last minute with him. We've tried to make sure to enjoy the every day things just as much as the special trips to Disney, the zoo, and other things like that. We sure will miss him when he's gone...
Hunter was making sure the team was stretching right at practice
Best goalie on the team...
After not being able to shake her fever, we decided to take her to the minute clinic. Come to find out - after 5 or 6 days of a fever - she's got her first ear infection. Poor kid!
Me and my mom on Mother's Day

Hunter using the remotes.
Eden wanted our family drawn on her etch-a-sketch thing
Hunter is starting to have a birth mark on his right shoulder. It is still pretty light, but I tried to get a picture of it anyways. His skin is so different than Eden's was.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Lane!

Lane celebrated another year of life this week. He was able to go out and play golf in the morning, and then after a trying afternoon at the mall, we went to dinner with my parents on our way to take them to the airport.

"Birthday Boy"
His  birthday shake - p-nut butter