I don't know about life in any branch other than the Navy, but in the Navy before deployment sailors have to do something call underways, or workups. It's kind of like doing short practice deployments before actual deployment. Well, our family is going through our very first underway right now, and the kids don't really understand why Daddy isn't home yet. They are used to him being gone overnight sometimes when he has duty, but they are spoiled in that they are used to him being around most of the time. I guess Shane is too young to remember when we lived in Texas and Daddy was gone for weeks at a time, but he knows now and asks me often how many "sleeps" Daddy will be gone. Azaria doesn't seem to realize that he isn't here, or maybe she just doesn't have the words to express it. I was trying to think of ways to help them understand, and I remembered about a favorite from my childhood--paper chains! They're not just for Christmas, yo!
We started with a pile of markers and bingo dot painters and some big pieces of scrap paper. When they got tired of making art, we moved on to cutting. I drew lines on the paper for them, and figured it would be good cutting practice for Shane.
This was Azaria's first time using scissors! She cut for a few minutes and then tried to cut her hair. Sigh, how predictable. Shane LOVES cutting--I think something about being destructive and not getting in trouble for it appeals to him. He did a pretty good job of cutting on the lines, and he cut them all even though he said his hand was tired.
While the kids colored and cut, I used my favorite homemade stain remover on a pile of stained clothes. I'm not sure how it happened, but some of my stored baby clothes seemed to develop stains while in storage. And then of course the already-born kids get stains on their clothes on a regular basis. This stuff is like magic--it even gets dryer set in stains out!
Once we had all the strips colored and cut, I counted up "sleeps" and then we stapled the chain together.
One paper chain, ready to go on the wall!
Azaria got to have the first turn ripping off a night. Also, this picture proves that my children actually DO own clothing!
And that's that! We can't wait to see you, Daddy!