Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thank a veteran today!

Today I opened my Facebook and Soldier surprises daughter is the first story I see. I watched this heartwarming story over my morning yogurt and thought this would be something great to write about later. I scrolled through some of the comments posted and after reading some of them, I had to post something myself. This is what I wrote in response to another military spouse's comment:

Amen@ Brandi Neal...I am right there with you! My husband has done two tours in Iraq. The last tour he missed the birth of his twin boys and their first six months. I can't tell you how many holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and other stuff he has missed just so the rest of the American public still has the freedom to voice their opinions. Pointless war? Maybe, but the fact of the matter is we are at war. We as a nation need to remember the sacrifices of our service members and their familes and support their effort. Welcome home SSG Johnson....enjoy your family!

Being a military spouse, I have a strong sense of support for our fellow men and women in uniform. I was appalled that some people who commented were going on and on about the politics of the war. Obviously they missed the whole point of the story.  The story was meant to show the unsung heros and what they sacrifice, not another debate on whether we should be at war or not.

What most people fail to realize are the things that these brave men and women give up to protect our freedoms here at home. The birth of a child, the death of a family member, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, soccer games, award ceremonies, band concerts, and weddings are just some of the things in a long list that they will miss in the course of a single deployment. This doesn't include all the other things every parent should not have to miss like teaching your child to ride a bike or the first time your child takes their first step. It is a sacrifice that each soldier, airman, or seaman will gladly make over and over again. Our society has come to expect the rights that we have and have begun to take for granted the people who protect them.

Not only do servicemembers make sacrifices, the families that get left behind do also. There is a husband or a wife left home to carry on with daily family life while the other is absent. Sure we learn to become independent and carry on. It doesn't change the fact that we are left worrying day in and day out about the safety of our other half. When we do hear from them it usually isn't the best phone connection, hearing every other word, or the internet is slow at best. We deal with the trials of being lonely and stressed. We are expected to stand tall and not show any weakness while secretly inside we are just yearning for the return of our hero. It is one of the most trying times for a military spouse.

I think it is time that we as a country stand behind our men and women in uniform along with the families they leave behind and show them how much they are really appreciated. This is my challenge to you;  the next time you see a veteran make a point to stop and thank them for their service. Also show some support and send a cup of coffee to a soldier deployed through Cup of Joe for a Joe.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

10 Easy Halloween Costume Ideas For Twins

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I'd share some of my ideas for dressing up twins to go on that annual treck for a bagful of goodies.

1. Dr. Seuss' Thing 1 and Thing 2

To create these costumes you will need 2 pairs of red flannel, footed pajamas, white felt circles about 12" across, black marker, 2 turquoise ski caps(or wigs), and safety pins.

On one felt circle write Thing 1 and on the other write Thing 2 and safety pin to the front of the each pair of pajamas. For an added touch you can add some craft hair dyed turquoise to the ski caps or just wear the ski caps all by themselves. Nothing better than a couple of childhood favorites!

2. A Set of Fuzzy Dice

To create these costumes you will need two boxes approximately the same size, red paint, white construction paper, Elmer's glue and a long piece of heavy duty rope.

Paint both boxes red and cut out circles from the construction paper. Glue the circles on each side to make it look like a dice. Be sure to cut a large enough hole on the top to fit a child's head through and two holes on each side for their arms.  Attach the rope to to the top of each box. Voila! You have a pair fit to hang from the rearview mirror!

3. Salt snd Pepper Shakers

To create these costumes you will need a white sweat shirt and sweat pants, a black sweat shirt and sweat pants, black craft felt, white craft felt, Aleene's fabric glue, 2 metal colanders, and craft twine.

Out of the black felt cut out a large "S" and glue on the white sweat shirt. Out of the white felt cut out a large "P" and glue on the black sweatshirt. Attach a colander to each child's head with some craft twine. Instant salt and pepper shakers!

4. Ketchup and Mustard Bottles

To creat these costumes you will need red and yellow poster board, black paint or marker, and some strong adhesive.

Glue each piece of poster board together to form a tube and cut hole out for the child's arm to fit through. Take another piece of each color and form a cone to be worn on the child's head as the top to the bottle. On the red tube paint the word "ketchup" in black and on the yellow tube paint the word "mustard." Now you've got a burger's favorite toppings!

5. King and Queen of Hearts

To create these costumes you will need 4 pieces of white poster board, black or white ribbon, two plastic crowns, and different colored paints or a printer.

Attach the ribbon to the corners on the top of each piece of poster board. Tie two peices together to create a sandwich board that your child can wear on their shoulders. You can either print out what looks like the front of a king and queen or paint it on. Do the same for the backside of the sandwich board. Wear a crown on your head and you have become royalty of the playing kind!

6. Bride and Groom

This one needs no explaining. I suggest rummaging through your closet or making a run to your local thrift store to create these costumes.

7. Angel and Devil

This one also needs no explaining. I'm sure at one point or another we have all dressed up as either one and have some stuff  kicking around to create these costumes. All it needs is a pitch fork, horns and a tail for the devil; a halo and wings for the angel.

8. Peanut Butter and Jelly

To create these costumes you will need two pieces of poster board, paint, and some strong adhesive. These costumes are similar to the ketchup and mustard costumes.

Form a tube with each piece of poster board and cut holes through each side to put your child's arms through. You may need to attach string on the inside to go over their shoulder's to hold up the costume. Paint one tube to look like a jelly jar and the other to look like a peanut butter jar.

9. Cop and Robber

To create these costumes you will need an all black outfit, black mask, a black ski cap, and a police officer outfit.

Have one child dress in all black and carry a white pillow case to carry their "loot" and the other child dress as the cop.

10. Raggedy Ann and Andy

These are probably the most complex costumes on the list, but I had to include them. I would suggest purchasing ready made costumes if you're like me and don't have the time to sew an elaborate outfit.

Please remember that whatever you decide to dress your little ones up as; be safe, stay in well lit areas and most of all have fun.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Temper Tantrum Troubles

When raising a family there are good days and there are bad days. Today would be one of those bad days.......

It started with a knock at my door right around the time the sun was peeking in through the bedroom window. I arose from my slumber to see who in their right mind would be interrupting my much needed sleep. To my surprise it was an employee from the electric company informing me they needed to inspect the poles in my yard. Really? Was it necessary to wake me at the break of dawn just to climb a pole to make sure it was working properly? I just nodded to the man and waved him off with a gigantic yawn.

I preceeded to climb back into bed when I heard an unfamiliar noise coming from my yard. What now? I jumped back out from under my big, brown, fuzzy blanket to go investigate what was going on. It was the electric company employee at the top of the pole with a chainsaw clearing branches away from the lines leading to my house. Now I was getting annoyed. Not only did he wake me, but now he was going to wake the twins.

Before I could find my shoes and make it out the front door to protest all the noise, I heard a faint "momma" come from the same room I just exited. Great! It was Thing 1 waking from the strange noise. When Thing 1 wakes, Thing 2 is usually not far behind. My day was really starting off on the right foot. NOT!

The twins both followed me out to the living room like little ducklings waddling after their momma duck. Both grumpy from being woke up a bit too early and saggy diapers begging to be changed, I decided that some Wiggly Waffle is just what they needed. I went on the great remote hunt that I find myself doing every morning so I could tune into PBS Sprout for a dose of silly songs and cartoons.

After diapers were changed and boys were dressed, it was time to find something they would both eat for breakfast. This is where it gets tricky having wants eggs while the other wants yogurt. That is until you give one eggs and the other yogurt. It always seems one wants what the other has.

Here comes tantrum #1&2.....

Thing 1 decided that he no longer wanted his eggs and wanted the yogurt Thing 2 had. He quickly swapped his eggs for the yogurt he wanted and it sent Thing 2 into a full blown tantrum. I tried to step in and give Thing 1 another yogurt, but he did not want the one I was offering, he wanted the one he had just swiped from his brother. Now not only was Thing 2 kicking and screaming, but now Thing 1 was in a full blown tantrum. It sounded like the world was coming to an end right in my kitchen. The yogurt they both wanted so badly went sailing through the air and with a splat landed right in the middle of the kitchen floor. With both boys screaming and crying I went into mommy mode; I scooped them both up and went to the table. We sat down together and had a talk about how we all needed to share. At this age I can't be sure of how much my boys comprehended what I was saying, but I at least was trying to instill good morals in them and eventually they would stick. When the last sniffle was gone and the last cry let out, we shared what little bit of the yogurt was left.

Breakfast finished and the boys quietly playing with their cars in the living room, it was now time for me to start my housework. I gathered up all the laundry strewn about my older kiddos' floors and tossed a quick load in the washer. Next I washed, dried and put the breakfast dishes away. With the wash going and the kitchen clean, it was time for what I like to call a little computer therapy. I checked my email to see if hubby had written, logged into Facebook and opened my blog. I spent the next half hour catching up on what was going on in the world outside.

LUNCHTIME! My favorite time of the means time for the boys to eat then take a nap. Well on any normal day that is how things go in my household except for today. Neither of the boys wanted anything to do with eating what I made for them. In fact, Thing 1 decided it would be fun to see if his pb&j sandwich would fit in the vcr! What a mess that made!

Here comes tantrum #3.....

Thing 1 is not happy that mommy just cleaned up what he worked so hard at making a mess. Instant meltdown smack in the middle of the living room floor. This one I was just going to let him work out on his own. There comes a time when you just have to walk away and ignore the behavior and this was it.  After about 20 minutes of screaming and kicking the floor, he finally realized mommy wasn't paying any attention to his madness and he quickly stopped.

Patiently waiting for my middle child to arrive home from school, I packed the twins up and got ready to make the dreaded trip to Walmart. My daughter had so kindly left me little yellow sticky notes all over the house prior to her leaving for school reminding me she needed a flash drive for her school project. As soon as Bubba arrived, we headed out to pick up LouLou's item she needed for school.

Here comes tantrum #4.....

Have you ever noticed that when you want to get in and get out quick, it never happens? I was just going in for a few groceries and a flash drive. Bubba had other ideas. Apparently he assumed that just because we were going to the store it meant that he was going to get a toy. He begged and pleaded all the way through the store for that toy he just had to have. When actually he would play with it for about two days and never pick it up again. I even got, "mom, I promise to behave if you buy me this." Nope, I was sticking to my guns, he was not getting another toy. Well he threw such a fit in the check-out that I wanted to find the closest exit and quickly escape the pure embarrassment he just caused.

Safely at home, it was time for dinner., bath and bed. Thank goodness this day was finally over and I owe it all to the early wake up call from the electric company!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Beginning

This is my first attempt at blogging so bear with me as I get the hang of it. I guess I should start out by telling you a little about me. I am a military spouse and mother of four beautiful children. My oldest is 12 who really thinks she is going on 21. We'll talk more about her later. Then there would be my middle child who is almost 10. He is what you would call my "difficult" one. Just one year ago he was diagnosed with ADHD and it has been an ongoing struggle for him. Last but not least there are my sweet 2 year old twin boys. Man are they a handful at this age. I have been married to a wonderful man for going on 10 years. We have had our ups and downs, but we are in it for the long haul. I currently call Florida home for as long as the Army lets us or until we decide we have had enough moving and decide to stay permanently here.

I hope through my experiences that I can enlighten other women and create a fun and safe place to air our frustrations. Being a woman with many titles is not just demanding, but tiring. Not only are we expected to be mom, but also taxi driver, nurse, housekeeper, accountant, teacher, chef and counselor.  We as women do all those things for the love of our family, expecting nothing in return. With this in mind, I think I'll go pour myself a glass of wine and begin to unwind from a long day.

Stay tuned for more about me and my wacky family.....