I remember when my first daughter was born. My husband was deploying 5 weeks later and not only was I coping with that, but I was a first time mom, 3500 miles away from family (this is where my San Diego friends came in, they were awesome). I never thought before she was born, how difficult it is to explain to a child that her daddy loves her very much, but he needs to go help other people. She is three now and every time he leaves she tells me about how her daddy helps people. She is so proud of him and it makes me so happy that she is adjusting relatively well.
Military life is difficult on children, I won’t lie or sugarcoat it. Somedays they are upset, sometimes people forget that kids have feelings too. They miss their dad, they feel sad, they don’t want to get out of bed, they worry about him, they get angry…normal feelings that most adults have, but we need to remember kids have them too, they just can’t always express those feelings in words. I don’t foresee it becoming any easier. Both kids understand more and more everyday. We don’t show them the really bad stuff. But we do talk about the soldiers building schools in Iraq and the humanitarian efforts going on. We move, a lot. In the past three and a half years, we have lived in Maine, San Diego and Hawai’i and we’re getting ready to move again, this time to Rhode Island. Both kids will go to preschool there and I can only imagine how difficult it is going to be on them to move again, away from all of their friends. The positive side to all of this, is that both girls have incredible opportunities to see the world as well as the United States. That makes me happy. I want them to see as much as possible and understand as much culture as they can. They will have friends all over the place to share their experiences with.
My husband and I always try to put them first. Weekends are their opportunity to pick an activity to do as a family (it’s usually the ‘Bouncy House’, which is a place at the mall filled with bouncy houses). Seeing the world through a child’s eyes is wonderful. The girls both have wonderful imaginations, they prefer playing outdoors, they love to help bake and make things out of simple ingredients. They are both so creative. My oldest loves to sing and make up her own songs and dances around most of the day. My oldest loves to teach her little sister how to do things, like ‘bake cupcakes’ and ‘build houses’ – it is adorable.
My kids have taught me a lot. I continue to learn patience from them, because I’m just not a patient person, but kids don’t live by the clock, they live by their own time. Everyday they show me the wonders of the world, they notice things that we adults would never see without them pointing it out. They have slowed me down (I’ve always been a go go go person). They are so incredibly creative, it has lit a fire in the creative part of me that was missing for years. They have no sense of order, they color outside of the lines, but it’s all beautiful. I think kids are a lot smarter than we give them credit for.
When my oldest daughter was, probably around 21 months old she started to get really upset at the San Diego Zoo. We took her out of the stroller and walked with her. She was upset at the trash everyone was throwing on the ground and no joke, my 21 month old child started picking it up and putting it in the garbage (I know, it’s germy, purell is good). I was amazed. She continues to do that when she see trash on the ground anywhere. She appears to be very conscious of the world around her and really doesn’t like to see it trashed (a girl after my own heart). My husband and I have learned to embrace this side of her. On Halloween all she wanted was to pick up Plumeria flowers that had fallen off the trees. She would have been happy with filling her pumpkin with those. She would pick them up and smell them. She does the same when we are walking to the playground, she just doesn’t want to leave them on the ground and will always tell us how beautiful flowers are. It is wonderful. Three is a great age.
When my youngest was born, I feel like I had more of an opportunity to embrace newborn-ness. My husband was home and not scheduled to go anywhere. I have had a lot of fun embracing infancy with her and feel like I really missed out on that wit my oldest because my husband was gone and I was a little stressed. She was the happiest baby and at 20 months she continues to be the happiest person I know. Both girls are so different and it’s wonderful.
Cupcakes, are the perfect dessert for kids. They are kid sized cakes. Both of my kids LOVE cupcakes (depending on the flavor). I decided to make them some Apple Pie Cupcakes. I had some extra Granny Smith apples that I wanted to use and these look fantastic.
They were…AH-MAY-ZING. Yum yum yum. So perfect for a fall day…in New England, but they still taste just as great here in Hawaii. I got carried away with the pictures…
They are just soooo beautiful!