Before my husband deployed I asked some of my military wife friends for ideas to help my children keep daddy real, even if they don't actually remember them. I received some wonderful tips and have implemented several of them.
Scattered around the house are various pictures of Daddy, some of him in uniform and some not. We also Skype occasionally and talk on the phone frequently. I try to talk about Daddy frequently - anything I can to keep him fresh in their minds. We got them Build-A-Bears with a little voice recording inside personalized for each child (and my sweet hubby got one for me!). I bought picture dog tags personalized for my kiddos (and myself) that hang around their Build-A-Bear's necks.
|The kiddos playing with their "Daddy Picture Books"|
One of my favorite ideas, though, was a personalized picture book. I put it off for a while because the recommendation was to get the pictures laminated in order to hold up under the use of toddler hands. I wasn't sure where to get them laminated (and, being perfectly honest here, I didn't really put in the energy to look!).
After much procrastination I stumbled across a laminator on sale and found myself without excuse! I ordered it, along with some laminating pouches to fit my 4X6 pictures; I used 20 pictures per book, placing them back to back which meant that I needed a total of 20 pouches. After I laminated the pictures I used a hole-punch and then stuck a key chain ring through the whole to hold it together. I'm thinking I might have to use two key chain rings per book but otherwise they are perfect. Each book contains pictures of that child with their daddy doing various activities (swinging, eating, sleeping, etc). Some are pictures of us as a family. It's absolutely perfect. Easy to make - I definitely recommend it! I'm planning on making another one of extended family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) to keep faces familiar :)
|The Li'l Diva's "Daddy Photo Book"|
(her's has a flashlight attached)
|Little Man's Daddy Picture Book|
(isn't this picture the sweetest thing ever???)
|The Li'l Diva with her Daddy Photo Book|
|Pointing and saying "Daddy" - totally melts my heart!|
|Little Man with his Build-A-Bear - complete with ACU's|
|The Li'l Diva with her Build-A-Bear (er, uh, Monkey)|
She refuses to keep it's clothes on. She has also named him "Daddy George" in honor
of her love for daddy mixed with her love for Curious George