Clickin' Moms

Camping With Kids

The last weekend in June we went camping at the Land Between The Lakes with our kids and dog for the first time. I grew up camping. We went to Yosemite, Big Bear and other random spots in Southern California. I was a Girl Scout for 12 years so that also included a lot of camping. We also went a couple of times as a couple before we had kids.

Camping With Children

Man, camping with kids and a dog is something else.

We stayed for two nights although we were going to stay for three. We ended up going home early because it was rather stressful and it was so hot that second day. I am used to camping in the mountains of California where it gets warm but not humid hot like that. It also rained on us on Sunday morning. At first that was frustrating but it actually cooled down the day and we got used to it.

Overall it was a good little trip. Stressful yes, but I am glad we did it. It has taken us all this time to go camping with the kids. Partly because of deployments and partly because of being worried about camping with small children.

I think if I didn’t like camping already, I never would have wanted to try it.

Camping at Piney Campground

We are probably going to wait until next year to go again. Probably in May before it gets too hot.

We need to get a tarp to put over the eating area. That would have made things easier with the rain. And here, there is always going to be a chance of some rain.

We bought a new tent because our other one was too small for all of us. We still had a stove and other random items from our pre-kid camping trips. The boys loved the smores and swimming in the lake. Drew had a hard time with the whole idea of it. On Sunday morning he was ready to go home. “Awe, this was fun but I am done now. I want my own bed.”



Next time I would like to find a campground that is more spread out. We went to Piney and I was impressed with it. Everything was nice, bathrooms were clean but the camp sites seemed really small and close to me. I guess I am used to have more space. I think I would like a campsite that was a little bigger, had more room for the kids to play and was a little further away from other sites. It might just have been where we were located within Piney. I did love the view we had of the lake. That was nice to wake up to.

Camping at Land Between The Lakes

Camping at piney campground

Have you been camping with your children yet?


Giving Birth Without Your Husband And What To Do About That

Giving birth without your husband

Me and Baby Drew!

If you walk into a room of Military wives and ask how many of them have given birth without their husbands, you would get quite a few hands. It is something that has happened to a lot of us. Despite planning, a compassionate chain of commend and lots of prayer, sometimes the dads have to miss the birth. It just comes with being a Military spouse. It can happen.

For us it was because I was having a baby during our deployment. He left in August and I was due in December. In some cases they might let someone stay back for a birth but it just depends on the situation. When I was due with Josh, my husband did get to stay back but it was also a case of him not being allowed to deploy until November 1st even though the unit left in August. I was due December 1st so they let him stay back and he eventually left in February.

With Drew, the baby I had without my husband, I was due December 18th. I was pretty sure I was going to have him early because I had Daniel two weeks early. They told us they would try to send him home for R&R in time for the birth. They ended up sending him back to Germany for R&R leaving on December 14th so he would be in home on my due date. Yes, it can take three days to get to Germany from Iraq, even though it is closer than flying to the US. Anyway, I went into labor the morning of the 14th and had him without Ben. Ben got to meet him when he was three days old.

Luckily I was able to have my Mom there with me. When I found out he might not be there in time for the birth, I asked if she could come out. Since we knew Daniel was early, we had to plan on Drew being that early too and she came about 2.5 weeks before my due date. In the end he was only born four days early.

In some cases the service member is not going to make it home for the birth or be home for a few months after the birth either. It really just depends on the situation, the unit, rank and all of that. During that first deployment I had a few friends who got pregnant on R&R thinking their husband would be home in more than enough time to be there for the birth. In the end, the deployment was extended for 15 months total and the men were not allowed to go home to see their children being born. They got to meet them when they were about two months old.

If you think you might be in a situation where you will have to give birth without your husband, it is important to remember that you are not alone. Others have done it before and you will be able to get through it.

  • Find someone who can attend the birth with you. Family member, friend and in some cases a doula can step in when your husband can not be there. Find someone you trust that you want to be by your side. It will make a big difference if you don’t have to go through the birth alone and that you know you have someone on your side there for the whole thing. Ideally the father of the child is supposed to be there for the birth, but if he can’t, a good friend or family member is the next best thing.
  • Prepare yourself for the possibility. If your husband just left and they tell you he can come back for the birth, don’t believe in that 100%. Things always change in the Military. Promises can be broken. Nothing is set in stone until it happens. Tell yourself early on that if he can’t be there, you will be okay. Then hope and pray that he can be there. It is all you can do.
  • Use Skype. We didn’t have this back in 2006 but these days women are giving birth while their husband is watching and cheering them on using Skype. Now this will take planning and help from the Unit but it can be done. Thank goodness for modern technology that this is even an option. Now a dad can help coach his wife through childbirth, even from overseas.
  • Take any help you can get it.  When people find out that you are having a baby by yourself, they will offer to help you. Take them up on it. From watching your other kids to taking you meals. Don’t say no to it. You will need the help and be very grateful for it later.

As a Military spouse, you have to make sacrifices and giving birth without your husband could be one of them. Know you are strong enough to handle it and remember, you are not alone.

Have you had to give birth without your husband? How did it go?



My Baby Is On His Way To Four

Sometimes I wonder how it got to be that my “baby” is over 3.5 years old now. It seems strange to me. He was born and now, in a blink of an eye, he is on his way to four. Or so it seems. A lot has happened since he has been around. Two deployments, a move, a couple of trips, Ben getting out of the Army, Drew getting diagnosed and more. In some ways it has been a long 3.5 years yet it is still hard to believe he is that old.

He is now older than Drew was when I got pregnant with him.

He talks a lot, about everything which I am very very happy about. My oldest had a lot of speech problems at that age so it is always good to hear Josh talk.

We are work on colors, ABCs and all of that.

He loves everything his older brothers love. Leos, Skylanders, Infinity characters. This can sometimes cause a lot of fighting in the house.

We are still working on potty training. I was hoping he would get it earlier than his brothers did but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen :(

Anyone else have a three year old?











Taking An Autisic Child To Church

download (5)Finding a good church home can be difficult. Add in a child that doesn’t always do or act the way everyone else does makes it even more complicated.

We have been trying to find that mix between going to a church we believe in, with people who are loving and welcoming, where our kids can learn about God and Jesus. We have attended great churches where we just didn’t agree with the theology as much as we would have wanted to. We have gone to great churches where the pastor was amazing but it just didn’t work for our kids. Especially our autistic kid.

Last June, with my husband deployed, I took a little break from church. I didn’t know which church to go to and I didn’t have it in me to look for a new one. However, a few months of not going to church really got to me. I missed it. I decided to try a church I had heard about before. I was told they were really good with special needs kids. I hadn’t tried it before because it is about 20 minutes from our house. I know that is not too far but I really liked the idea of being really close to church.

Anyway, I took my boys there and ended up really loving it. The people were so friendly and helpful. The pastor was very nice and I loved the service. I joined a Sunday school class and now nine months later we finally have found our home church. That being said, sometimes it is hard to go on Sunday morning.

My son just finished the 1st grade and was in a Sunday school class with 1st and 2nd graders. His teacher is really amazing. She has a family member with Asperger’s and she totally gets Drew. This made me feel so comfortable. When he had a rough morning, she seemed to know what to do to help him. Other people at the church have been very helpful and understanding too. It really has worked out well for us.

Still, I feel sad sometimes that church is so challenging. It is another place we go where it can be very stressful for Drew. I know that in the end it will be worth it and he will get a lot better about it in the years to come. I want my children to have what I had. A strong church background. I want them to know the Bible stories, experience church camp and all of that. If they decide church is not for them as an adult, at least I know I gave them that background.

Little things like the church Easter egg hunt or a longer than normal service can make for a frustrating day. Even things you wouldn’t even think would set him off, sometimes do. Some mornings I just can’t do it. I want to stay home and relax and not have to worry about it for that week. I know church is important though so we do try to go almost every Sunday.

A couple of months ago I met a couple at church with a son with Asperger’s who is about 21. They talked to us about some of the struggles they had when their son was Drew’s age. That really helped. It made me think about how as the years go by he will be able to understand how to act a little better. And that when he is 21, he hopefully will be able to have a job, go to college and be an independent young man.

I am thankful we finally found a church that really works for us and our family. I am so thankful that it is filled with people who are willing to be patient and help my son when he needs it. Even if the time at church is challenging, I am so glad we have finally found a church home.

If you have special needs kids, have you found church challenging?



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