Tag Archive for Army Brats

Sammy’s Soldier Giveaway

Wow! I added the contest late in the giveaway and I did not think there would be so many military families and friends of military families playing!

I wish I had forty-four copies to give away–there were so many touching stories about military children who need some support and encouragement while their soldier is away! I would strongly encourage you to ask your local or post library to pick up a copy. If you are near or on an Army Base, Army Community Services and the unit Chaplains should also be able to order copies to share with families.

Also, I will have an interview with Sarah White, the author of Sammy’s Soldier, in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, check out her new MySpace for “Sammy’s Soldier”.

Without further ado, random.org chose: Margaret Herrin.

If I don’t hear from her by this Wednesday, I’ll select another winner. Thank you to everyone who entered. Hopefully you all won at least one Bloggy Giveaway.

ETA: Sarah White has also begun a wonderful blog, called “Healing Little Heroes,” on which she will share advice, tips, and information to help children of military families from her perspective as a trained counselor, mother of two, and wife of a former Marine. One of her first articles is about preparing children for a deployment. She was so touched by your interest in the book, she is giving away two more signed copies of Sammy’s Soldier on her blog this week.

If you didn’t win: If you would like to purchase a copy of your very own, Sammy’s Soldier is available on Amazon.

More Contests: Remember, I’m listing more awesome contests throughout the blogosophere on my Win It On Wednesday feature. Check it out for more chances to win.

More Military Family Bloggy Fun: Finally, I hope you’ll stick around to participate in my new Military Family Carnival (starts Monday) and consider Guest Posting on An Army Wife’s Life (all members of the Military family are welcome–you don’t have to have a blog to share and I will accept anonymous contributions)!

Sammy’s Soldier Helps Children Cope With Deployment: Review & Contest

Sammy’s Soldier is sweet picture book, written to help young children feel more comfortable with the deployment process. You can have a chance to win a signed copy at the end of this post.

As both a trained family counselor and the wife of a former Marine, Ms. White understands how confusing and trying deployments can be for our littlest patriots.

Her book follows Sammy through the preparations leading up to his father’s deployment, some of the activities Sammy and his mother do during the deployment, and then finally the homecoming. Personally, I would have enjoyed seeing a few more pages identifying ways Sammy and his mother pass the deployment.

The naturalistic illustrations and simple text make for an easy and enjoyable read for children, ages 3-8. At the end of the book is a page for the child to draw a picture of his or her own hero.

This picture book is a wonderful starting point for children to discuss deployment with their families, including their feelings about the deployment and also ways they can cope with their emotions positively.

Military life is certainly different from civilian life (in fact, this review was delayed as our final military move ended up taking up more time and energy than I had planned) and Ms. White understands that. Sammy’s Soldier goes a long towards normalizing the deployment experience, making it less threatening and stressful for military children.

This is a great book and I’m hoping to pass it along to someone who can use it. Whether you have a young child who loves a soldier, or you know of a friend who would like the book, or you are a soldier’s angel, it is simple to enter this contest.

As part of the Rocks in My Dryer Fall, Y’all Bloggy Giveaway, I’m hosting a giveaway of a copy of this book, which has been signed by the author.

All you have to do is leave a comment by November 2 and make sure to include an e-mail or website where I can reach you. Your e-mail does not appear publicly but I will be able to view it. I hate spam and will only e-mail you if you win!

Contest Ends: 11:59, November 2 and the winner will be announced on Nov. 3

While you are here, don’t forget to check out my upcoming Military Family Blog Carnivals (with a prize) and the opportunities to Guest Blog.

Stressed? Need Help? HA!

So, I just finished posting a review of Sittercity on Mamanista, and before I went to bed I figured I would check my e-mail. Only the usual scary e-mail from Baby Center about all the horrible things that will happen if I do/don’t do x, y, or z.

Of course, I always click. Just because I know what they are doing, that doesn’t mean it does not work. Then I saw this title, which caught my attention for obvious reasons:

No, really? You don’t say? I thought the timing was interesting and also thought I would share this info with you.

Narcissist that I am, I originally assumed it was going to be about MilSpouses. Nope, even worse! It is about the women who are actually IN the armed services. I have often wondered how these women do it…they truly do deserve our support. I wish I had some call to action to go with this post–write your congressmen or hug a female soldier (wait, don’t do that, you might get seriously hurt if you aren’t a friend)…lemme think about it for a while. And if you have any ideas or know of any programs, please fill me in.

Here’s some information from the article:

WASHINGTON, May 11 (Reuters) – Mothers in the U.S. military are stressed, poorly paid and need more help caring for their children, according to a report issued by Congress on Friday.

Nearly half of all women in the active-duty military have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and 24,475 women are there now, the report by the Joint Economic Committee said.

Moreover, women get only 6 weeks of leave after the birth of a child, it found.

“Making sure military mothers have the quality child care, generous family leave, and access to mental health services they need is key to their family well-being and our national security,” New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney said in a statement.

[The Joint Economic Committee] said that women represent one in seven U.S. military personnel in Iraq, and that most are in the lowest-paid ranks.

However, military mothers are much more likely to be single or divorced, or married to other members of the military who also face deployment.

The report, available on the Internet at http://www.jec.senate.gov, said the military may be stretched to recruit and retain women if it does not provide better services.

Party Girl

I know a baby, her name is Party, Party Baby…

Lilah had a big week last week! We never found a baby sitter for her and, at seven months’, she is still almost exclusively nursing. So, where I go, she goes. I think this is part of the military experience because if we lived closer to home, I would be more willing to leave her with one of her grandmothers.

First, Lilah went to an all-ranks Military Ball:

Then she went to a rehearsal dinner:

Then she went to a wedding:

Along the way she picked up many new admirers and turned seven months’ old!!!

The Mommy and the Childfree Can Be Friends?

A couple of weeks back, Andi from SpouseBuzz posted a reader e-mail about military support for childfree couples. Having been childfree for 5 years of marriage, three of which as a MilSpouse, I can empathize.

That got me thinking. Anecdotally (no, I haven’t done a study), MilSpouses seem more reluctant than civilian parents to leave the kids at home. Why?

Now that I’m a mom, I’ve come up with a couple of theories.

1. Money: As they say, we ain’t in it for the money. Duty and honor may be priceless, but they don’t pay so well, either.

2. Family: Mine’s in New York. The friends here I trust mostly have small kids, too. Those who do not…well…if I were to have them sit, who am I hanging out with, anyway?

3. Deployment: Sure, girls night out sounds fun, but Daddy’s a bit far away to watch the babe.

4. Priorities: Hopefully many families (military and civilian) put family time as priority number one, but the difference is that many military families have little time for priorities number 2 and beyond. In today’s military, many soldiers are either just coming back or about to leave for deployment, which means there is precious little time to bond.

5. Stability: When Daddy or Mommy has deployed at least once in the last few years, and the family has made who only knows how many changes of duty station, many MilSpouses may be loathe to deprive the younger children of the one stable thing in their lives–even for an evening.

Not all of these apply to everyone, and some may find multiple reasons apply.

All that said, that doesn’t mean you footless and fancy-free gals can’t be my friend. True, I might beg off on the smoke-filled nightclub. However, not all activities with kids have to be childish. Let’s go to an outdoor concert or shopping or go to a museum or go apple picking or you can come over here for a nice dinner with a glass of wine.

I still read and follow the news and have other interests and I promise not to tell you about Lilah’s last bowel movement.