Teddy Bears for Children of Deployed Service Men/Women

We are HUGE fans of teddy bears in our home. My husband has a collection of many bears he has acquired throughout his childhood and when the twins were born, they came home from the hospital to all kinds of matching furry friends. Each child chooses the “it” toy, the one key toy or blanket that will travel with them everywhere. I had my rag doll, made by my grandmother, Jenny, who went everywhere – college, Europe, and still sits in my room. My husband has Ba-Bear, and my boys have Baby Bear, Koala and Pooh. Baby Bear and Koala joined the family while my husband was on an 18month deployment. We had daddy record his voice in a voicebox, so when the boys gave the bears a hug, the bear said “Daddy loves you”. I think this is one of the reasons these two bears have become the “it” toy.
Donating $15 can give another child something huggable while their parent is away, for months at a time, on deployment. I can’t think of ANYTHING better!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Did you know that Operation Gratitude sends cuddly bears in care packages to our youngest Warriors — the children of deployed Military? Battalion Buddy packages come individually assembled in a box 8 1/2″ by 11″ by 5″, that closely resembles the “care packages” we send to our brave men and women serving overseas. Inside each box is the Battalion Buddy bear dressed in a “camo”-style jacket.

battbuds-patrioticTo learn more about the Battalion Buddy Program and how it got started, please go to: http://bit.ly/BattalionBuddies

Family Readiness Officers and battalion leaders wishing to **request Battalion Buddy packages should visit our website and/or send an email to Info@OperationGratitude.com for more information.

Each Battalion Buddy Care Package costs Operation Gratitude $15 to assemble and send to a Military child. Financial donations to support the Battalion Buddy Program can be made online here:Donate to Battalion Buddiesor by check made payable and addressed…

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The Dreams We Once Dreamed

I was cruising around the twittershpere this last weekend while the kiddos were happily digging in the dirt or staying otherwise self occupied for about 15 minutes (And what precious minutes they were!) when I came across two tweets that had me thinking about what makes me the mom I am today opposed to the mom I thought I would be. So, of course, I had to blog about them.

“Why do people think its okay to say mean things about their parents when they brought you into this world?”

In answer to the first tweet, we tend to lash out at those closest to us, our family and loved ones for two reasons: One – We know we have their true love, which means we will never lose it. Two – They know just the right buttons in just the right order to push, in order to piss us off. That is a two way street, kids do things to push back and gain their independence from their parents and parents do things to protect and raise their kids well.  Those two objectives are constantly at cross purposes and will lead to conflict.

“My future child will not be disrespectful, talk back to me, or disrespect other people”

The second tweet made me think of my own dreams of family, how often as a teenager, I rolled my eyes at my mom, how she “just didn’t get it”. Then, when I was pregnant, all the promises I made to myself how I was going to do things different, better. There was new parenting advice: sleep babies on their backs, rear facing till 25lbs or 2years old, wear helmets while riding bikes.  I was going to talk TO my kids, not AT them. And, most of all, “Because I said so” was NEVER going to cross my lips.  My kids were always going to love me and respect me, because Mommy Knows Best. Don’t laugh! It was true.

But, five, almost six years & three children later, I have broken many rules. Yes, I slept my kids on their back but that is about the only rule I didn’t break, at least until they started turning themselves over. At that point, I started giving in. The twins were too big for rear facing car seats by the time they were 13 months, so I turned them around. “Because I said so” is sooo much easier than taking 15 minutes to explain: why I want you to brush your teeth before putting on clothes after a bath or why I want the play room picked up before lunch when I know it will be destroyed by dinner time again, and the list goes on. Nothing is more complicated, and more wonderful than the love between a parent and a child. Lets face it, kids have a mind of their own, *gasp*. Its true. They see situations in their own way and have their own opinions.

So, my new dream is thus: Bring it! Bring on the questions, the fights and the struggles. Bring on the times you say “Im not happy with you right now mommy”. I want to see the temper tantrums when you just don’t get it. I hope r to choose my battles, reach for patience (my new daily mantra) and remember these moments are teaching moments. Yes, you really must fold your clothes before you put them in your drawer. Some days will be great, and I will be able to give you a reason. All the other days: “Do it because Im Mom, I win and I say so.” eventually you will learn the why (so your clothes don’t wrinkle and you don’t look like a reprobate). Till then, trust that I love you, want the best for you and will fight (even you) to ensure your greatness.

Make a Wish Foundation – Matching Air Miles

Wishes In Flight: You Hold the Ticket to a Child’s Wish!POSTED BY KERIDWYN ⋅ JULY 30, 2012 ⋅

KOMO News & Make a Wish Alaska & Washington are pairing up for a special pledge drive this Thursday! (8/2)

Did you know over 70% of the kids who become part of the Make A Wish program ask for trips? Here’s how you can help bring smiles to little faces & their families: donate your airfare miles to Make a Wish!  Miles are accepted from Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines & US Airways.  I hear Alaska is matching up to 250,000 miles!

Don’t have miles to donate? You can donate $5 now through August 10th, by texting “MILES” to 80088.

via Wishes In Flight: You Hold the Ticket to a Child’s Wish!.

Cookies for a Cause

This is definitely a wonderful cause! I plan on cruising through the Facebook page tonight? Will you help?!

Raising Boys


The other day, a person I follow on twitter, @manvdadhood, retweeted this article. This article seems to be a great piece written from a moms perspective on the best way to raise boys. I am the mom of 3 very amazing boys. And, let’s face it, most boys of any age are from a different planet than us ladies. While I adore my boys, there is rarely a day that goes by when I don’t think ‘Really?!? What is THAT about?’

Those thoughts are usually attached to some sort of bodily function they think is hilarious, or a the deep discussion of how Batman is cooler than Superman because he has all kinds of gadgets, see like me mom, and I can dig a really big hole. I just shake my head and agree, because really I have no clue, except ‘Yes, it is a lovely hole. Where are you going with that hole?’

According to Dr. Peggy Drexler, author of the article: From Boys to Men: Raising Independent, Open-Minded Sons

Through years studying children and adolescents and their families, I’ve observed that the mothers who are the most successful at tapping into their sons’ boy power are those who realize that boyishness can, and should, show up in many different ways, from messing around in the mud to running home to help fix dinner to expressing themselves creatively. To help your son harness his “boy power” and grow into a strong, independent man:

This resonates with me on a very deep level. As a mom to boys, I only need to understand they are boys. I think every mother wants her boy to grow into a smart, loving, strong, independent man. Someone who is confident enough in themselves to: identify what they want out of life, plan for it and go get it.

So when my oldest wants to dig in the dirt and play in the mud, that’s okay. When the middle child wants dance class and music lessons, that’s okay (as soon as we can afford them) and when the youngest wants cooking classes, that’s okay too. Each boy has a unique set of abilities and within that framework, I will instill the values of love and kindness. I don’t need to worry about understanding them as ‘boys’ so much as understanding them as people. The ‘boy’ thing they’ve got figured out; I don’t need to do it for them. I just have to love them, and that is easy…most days.