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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, we've known for awhile now that the deployment to Afghanistan was on the horizon. We got the mobilization call yesterday with a narrowed down timeframe of when he will leave the sate for his mob site.

It's coming up very quickly and between now and when he leaves, they have all sorts of drills, schools, and oh yeah, A MONTH LONG ANNUAL TRAINING!, that will keep him away from the family.

We have known since approximately March '09 that this was coming up and that he would be gone late summer/early fall. At the time, we had just started trying for baby # 2, then decided we would wait until he got home. But Maggie MooCow didn't want to wait, so now we are working on ways to help her remember her daddy when he is gone. Wesley is going to take this deployment a lot harder than he did the Iraq deployment, I think.

And even though we had been expecting the call, it didn't make any easier when we did get it.

ETA--Ugh, just noticed the typo in the title. Should be 'Got the Call We had been Expecting'.
 

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Do you have a video recorder? With sound? I'm thinking of the wee ones. It's gonna be tuff.

I have no idea - other than SO leaves ever summer and I know it's coming. I'm counting down the days.

Give him a video of all of you before he goes and stay in touch w/ the Village!
 

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:grouphug: We're currently going through deployment so I know how you feel.

(Well since I'm too new I can't post links but you can use google to find them.)

Look for Daddy Dolls. I got one for each of our boys, they have really helped. If you don't want to spend the money and are crafty or at least know someone with a sewing machine you can make small pillows with printable heat transfers. I did that during our first deployment for my then 2 year old.

There's also Sesame Street's Talk, Listen, Connect.

This really helped my younger two (2 y/o and 4 y/o) understand what was happening. I think you can actually order the DVD if you want.

I took a picture of each boy with Daddy then got some cheap unpainted frames. They decorated them how they wanted and now they sit on their dressers where they see them every day.

We set up Skype on both our home computer and his lap top so once he can get on the internet we can talk over web cam.

You can find self laminate sheets at most places that sell office supply (I know Walmart has them) and you can laminate pictures (double side them) for them. They hold up pretty well.

And definitely record some videos if you can.

Hang in there. PM me if you ever need someone to talk to.
 

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I know how that can be. Tell your husband to take a journal with him and tell him to write in it EVERYday. It helps later on . Halmark has books that he can read that record his voice. When we found out we were have Hunter, We both retired from the military. We were NOT going back to Iraq again. We also just found out a couple days ago that our
2nd son is going to Iraq at the end of the month.
 
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I know that this is a part of your life...but to me...it's still so scary! You guys sacrifice alot for the American people..it's not just the soldiers themselves, but their families too. God Bless you both for what he does and for the amount of support you give him..you are better than I!
 

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Like frugalfoster said............god bless you both for doing what you both do.

Prepare the best you can and hang in there......you know you have friends here that will help you in any way we can.
 

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I completely understand what your kids are going through. :grouphug:

Another poster mentioned quite a few great ideas.

When our friends were in Iraq, we were able to video conference once in a while with the family. It was a nice way to keep in touch and have them feel like we were together.
 

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What great ideas!! I also love it when parents tape books so they can read bedtimes stories even when they are not there - it's so comforting for all to hear a loved ones voice!!

Mahalo for all you do - our world is a better place because of all of you and your families.
 

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We truly appreciate your husband's service to our country and all the sacrifices your family makes! :hugz:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
While hubby was in Iraq, we got quite spoiled. The nature of his mission allowed for a lot of downtime, even while on missions, so we were able to webcam every weekend, talk on the phone at least once a week, and gmail chat almost every day. The area he will be at in Afghanistan, combined with his mission, means he may not even have internet access. So that's kinda sucky.

We have the Sesame Street DVD--used it to help prepare Wesley for the first deployment. We'll probably use it again this time around. We are also planning on buying the recordable story book. I just saw an neat article in Parents magazine that featured fun things to do with pictures--including a customizable jigsaw puzzle. Wesley loves jigsaw puzzles and I think it would be fun to put a family picture on there.

We did the laminated photos for Wesley when Zac was in Iraq and he carried those things all over the house. They are so beat up and raggedy--I have them in his special box of keepsakes. The Easter Bunny brought Maggie a little smooshy photo album that is waterproof and has a teething ring handle. I'm going to load that up with pictures of Zac for her.

My big concern is that when Zac deployed to Iraq, Wesley was 15 months old. He had already made that connection that Zac=daddy, so when I showed him pictures, he knew and could verbalize who it was. It was easy to keep that up, especially iwth weekend web-camming.

Zac will leave when Maggie is about 8 months. She will know him but I can't make her remember what it feels like to have daddy pick her up and toss her in the air. I can't make her remember how it tickles her tootsies when Daddy rubs his whiskers against them.

And I really worry about how this will effect Zac. It still really bothers him that he missed out on so much with Wesley. Wesley changed in huge ways from 15 months to almost 3 when Zac got home. Can you imagine how he will react when he leaves an 8 months old baby and comes home to a two year old toddler? I don't know how to help him not feel guilty about it.

I don't worry about him handling the deployment. He loves what he does and is good at what he does. He equated it to the way a football player feels going into the big games after endless practices. He handles it much better than I ever could. I left the military when I became pregnant because I wasn't willing to deploy. He had just reenlisted when we found out about Wesley. The contract is up in 2011, but by then he has 12 years in. We are talking about him switching to the Air Guard to finish his 20.

Thanks for the support everybody. It means a lot to me. I do appreciate it.
 

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I just wanted to say that I'm sorry he has to go and want to let you know this family sends a heartfelt thanks to all of you who sacrifice so much to keep us free & safe. :grouphug2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I hadn't heard of that program, but will definitely check into it.

We recorded Zac reading to Wesley before he left the first time. We loved to watch it, but at the same time it was really really hard to watch it. Probably harder for me than for Wesley.
 

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Just wanted to send some positive thoughts your way. I've been in the same position before too, and I can relate to what you are dealing with. Military spouses are among the strongest people on Earth, I truly believe that. You have the strength to help your children and your husband through this. At homecoming you will all be together again and the pieces will all fit. When he comes home, Maggie will adjust in time, and will know how special daddy is because she will see how much you love him and how happy you will be to have him home. Just keep swimming hun :)
 
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Two friends of mine are just about to get back from their 6 month deployments. Their spouses have been alone for a long time. I send you prayers and good thoughts.
 

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:heartsm: to all of you for everything you have and will be going through.

I agree with Jerry... Have Zac make video recordings before he goes with special ones for the special days, birthdays, holidays etc... as well as a few general recordings of him... and a few of him with all of you and each of you.

Audio recordings of Zac reading, singing, talking and laughing would be good too, you can play those to the kids before bed.

Also, and it may sound strange... have Zac buy a Christmas and birthday gift for each of the kids NOW, even if it's a small gift, and make a recording of him and the wrapped gift to be played on that day... a special gift on a special day, just from Daddy.

Stay as strong as we know you are!
 
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Your posts are so heartfelt. I got a little teary-eyed reading how you will try to prepare your little ones for your DH's deployment. I cannot imagine how hard that must be on you and your husband. I don't have anything profound to add, I just wanted to thank you both for the great sacrifices you are making for our country. :grouphug:
 

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We taped DH reading stories to the oldest when he left for six months right after he was born. We still had the tape when the boys were older. They would pop in the tape and get the book that Daddy read and flip through the pages while Daddy read the book to them. They thought it was great even though Daddy was only at work and would be home in a few hours.
 

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Good luck hunny. I was a military wife for years. Had my 1 daughter while my husband was deployed. Like others said kids bounce back quickly. Quickier then adults.

Our oldest son is in the Army. He only seen his youngest daughter 7 times before she turned 2. He was in Germany then Iraq. He has been home now less then a year. That little girl is attached to his hip.

My dil and son did the webcam alot so he could see the girls and his wife. The girls talk to us on the webcam and I love it.

Good luck.
 

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no advice.... I cannot imagine. Only hugs,oh, and tears for you.
 
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