Kinskii – Bringing Military Families Closer Together

This is a sponsored post, in partnership with TapInfluence. I was compensated for my time. However, I only participate in sponsored posts that I believe are valuable to my audience, and to the Military community.
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I am so excited to tell you about an exciting Kickstarter campaign that could potentially be so amazing for Military families. Today is the launch day and I thought it would be the perfect time to tell you a little bit about Kinskii and let you check it out for yourself. It definitely intrigued me as a military spouse, and a mom to Military Brats. Its more than communication, its an interactive way to have some “hanging out” time when your loved one is gone, military or not.

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While this video doesn’t show a military family, I was totally picturing it! Tugs at the heart strings!
What is Kinskii? : Kinskii is a way to have family playtime with your little one from any distance. Kinskii will be available in the app store or on your PC/Mac. We are creating every single game with education, safety and engagement in mind. 
How does it work?

I’m really excited to demo the program myself and give my readers some more feedback about it, so please keep an eye out for that. But on first glace this program seems like a fun and unique way to incorporate what we already do with technology in, perhaps, a more meaningful way. Now your kids are simply playing a game to waste time, but they are engaged with their parent that is gone. Typically I’m all about less technology, but if they are going to do it, this would be how I would want them to. Check out the videos, read about Kinskii on their kickstarter page and see what you think.

what unique things do you do to keep engaged with your loved ones while they are traveling?
what do you think of this idea?
If you watched the videos, what did you think?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kinskii. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Dear Spouse Who Pretends Not To Know….

I couldn’t really think of a good title for this, mostly because I think I was too irritated to narrow it down to one quippy line.  I stumbled upon the post on Facebook of coure, via a very irate friend.  She’s amazing and has amazing things to say and that’s how I first saw it.  Instead of linking you directly (to make myself feel better) you can find it on my blog’s facebook page, along with my initial reaction.

At this point I’ve had several hours to process what’s happening.  At first I was outraged and barely read it before I was seething.  Then I felt bad for her.  Maybe she doesn’t get it, maybe she doesn’t understand.  People say, “well she is the wife of a reservist, she just doesn’t know!” No way! We may get the short end of the stick when it comes to programs or support but no, we know.  Finally after some much needed twitter therapy with my fellow Millies I settled in the “I fully believe she knew what she was doing, she’s not an idiot and she and her hubby are not newbies” camp.  Her husband is a Captain – or a Major, apparently the author is unclear on her husband’s rank – and yes they aren’t active duty, but she’s been through deployments and she no stranger to the military life.  So her bogus “update”….yeah, I’m not buying it.  I basically almost never discuss Mr. Air Force’s schedule, for more reasons then just OPSEC.  He prefers that I don’t, and I think it’s the best idea for us, and to avoid any of the comparison/my life is harder then your life issues.  People who know me, know what my life is like.  Let’s just say we’ve experienced it all – geo-bachelorhood while I finished school because my college credits wouldn’t transfer, deployment, extended duty, shift work, frequent but relatively short term travel.  I wouldn’t even want to think about adding up cumulative time and all that he’s missed.  The amount of time he’s been gone this year alone makes me want to cry.  There’s been times that I (and I know its horrid) have wished for a regular deployment.  But only because it has a beginning and an end.  I’ve done it all, while raising three kids, being Active, Activated and traditional Guard.  So, I get it.

That being said, its not a deployment, its not even training or field work, or working on the planes and having lots of air time.  It’s nothing that she can’t avoid.  And while I’m sorry you are going to be separated from him, and your children will not have him around, but it was your choice.  The way you presented it in your article wasn’t that way.  You took advantage of military spouses, the civilians who read BABBLE and preyed upon emotions and the poor usage of words to get people to feel sorry for you.  And while I’m not going to judge your reasons, whether it be becuase you already have support there, you don’t want to rent your house, or you just don’t like Kansas, it’s still your choice.  Very few of us have that kind of control.  If people want to be supportive you let it come from them, but shameless and not-so-subtling trying to garner it is shameful.  And if the article was supposed to be about how to prepare children for that you should have talked about it more, and less about yourself and the fact that your husband is awesome for getting the opportunity.  Frankly it cheapens the honor, an honor that I full understand.  I even liked the paragraph where you talked about not holding each other back and him letting you go off to travel abroad or write your book.  I know lots of other military spouses who have that midset, some who have been geo-baching it for years because of their careers.  It was nice, but it was lost in all the other stuff.

I’m sure it works for you, and that I can appreciate.  But here’s where my anger comes from.  It wasn’t the word you used, it was the whole package and way you conveyed your message.  And I can tell you whoever you were trying to get through to it wasn’t fellow military spouses, at least the ones I know, the ones that comment on my facebook and twitter pages and here on the blog.  They tried to offer bits of understanding, but in the end they couldn’t.  It came across haughty and elitist.  I just can’t believe you didn’t know what you were doing.  I do understand that kids realm of understand can be almost like tunnel-vision.  When Daddy’s gone it must be a deployment.  Believe me, that I get.  That happens in my household and my kids frequently confuse all the times and reasons daddy is gone.  But I would never claim that word if it wasn’t true, just as I would never claim that my time is harder than anyone elses.  But you did both, literally and figuratively and I don’t believe that you didn’t understand that fully.  But I’m not a totally horrible person, so if by some chance you did then you should never write for Babble because clearly they don’t check things or just plain like drama.  I want to support you like I do other MilSpouses that I know that have done this very thing. Because it’s not necessarily the choice you are making that I disagree with.

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Deployment Dare: Patience is a Virtue

Separations and deployments are difficult, and for those of us that frequently endure such things it becomes difficult to figure out how to deal with each one.  Life is forever changing, and my kids are always growing and entering new stages of life.  This, alone, has been the one factor that has most affected how I deal with the separations that come my way.  It is no longer about me and my emotions. I can’t simply waste the time simply reading and watching movies, going out with girlfriends or shopping.  No, life has to for the most part continue on as normal.  We must rise early in the morning, get ready for school, clean the house, cook, do laundry and change diapers.  We must move forward and no time can really be spent wallowing away.

So, we must we must…..I’ve read the Love Dare before but apparently there is a military/deployment version.  It’s a 40 Day dare and I’m excited to talk about each day with you all, sharing stories from my twelve years as a military s/o and 15 years with the man I now call hubby, or Mr. Air Force.

Day 1: Patience
This is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of a separation.  Patience is a virtue, but whoa is it perhaps the most difficult one.  There are so many emotions that occur during those first days, and patience isn’t the thing at the top of my list. When dealing with my emotions it is often my most deep and darkest one that I don’t display: Sadness.  I miss him terribly when he’s gone. Those ridiculous bumper stickers that talk about how half your heart is gone.  It’s true. Half my heart is gone, therefore mimicking a broken one.  Have you ever stopped to think about that?  It’s true isn’t it.  In its most basic, and broken down explanation, a missing piece of a heart is basically a broken one.  So let those real feelings come out, in a positive way.  Talk about how much you love your missing half, tell them you love them.  Don’t let those feelings of sadness come out in anger, which I know so often does with me.  Truth be told I have been all set to have an “honest” conversation about something, but I fooled myself into thinking because it was an honest conversation that I was somehow doing something right.  Maybe being honest about this thing would be a good idea in theory, but, in the midst of a separation stop and think, is it really the best thing to do?  Is it perhaps an attempt to hurt them as they have hurt you, by leaving?
Check out Day 1 of the 40 Day Deployment Dare

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Raising Strong Military Kids: One Mom’s Story *guest post*

Today, in celebration of Mother’s Day tomorrow, I am happy to bring you a great guest post, about military moms.  The ones that stay home and keep the homefires buring, help arrange the pcs’, attending the departures and homecomings, and tuck little children into bed at night while
daddy is away.  The amazing military spouses (men or women) who remain on the Homefront…..
 
 

I will never forget my first time shopping at a commissary. At 21 and newly married, my husband Jim and I had just packed up all of our belongings to drive across the country from Seattle to Fort Belvoir. We were new to the military way of life, moving for Jim’s new orders with the Army Corps of Engineers. I went to the commissary and had no clue how the system worked – I didn’t even know that I needed an ID card! When we began adding our kids to the mix, I found out there was so much more I needed to learn.
Although we’ve come a long way in helping service members and their families, navigating deployment is still challenging. I want to share with you some tips that helped my three sons and me get through the tough times when my husband was called to service.
1. Network with other military wives and moms. Early on in our marriage, I met a woman who was raising four daughters. She gave me some tough love about coping with the day-to-day stress while Jim was away, but she was also a great example of how to face deployment. I learned that if she could do it, so could I! Make it a priority to meet fellow wives and moms to share your experiences and get the support you need from friends who truly understand.
2. Listen to your kids. Though you might feel alone without your spouse, pay close attention to how your kids are feeling. I realized that I had to be strong for my boys, but they often felt like they needed to be the adults while dad was away. Reassure your kids that it’s okay to be sad or angry and that you will get through the deployment together.
3. Reach out for support. As the director of the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program [link to www.yellowribbon.mil], I’ve had the opportunity to meet military wives and moms from across the services and around the country. We host programs that help National Guard and Reserve members and families connect to other folks who understand what they’re going through. At these free events, you can meet other military families and get expert advice on everything from family communication to employment issues to financial planning.
Raising kids when your spouse is deployed can be challenging, but there are a number of support resources out there to help you. Register for an upcoming Yellow Ribbon event near you at www.yellowribbonevents.org.
 
 
~ Marie Balocki is the Director of the Office of Reintegration Programs at the Department of Defense.  In addition to being an Army Spouse for more than 30 years, she has served Military Families around the globe as a volunteer and Federal civilian for 18 years.  She is the mom of three grown sons.

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Rewind 365 April 22nd – NoVA/DC Adventures

WELCOME TO REWIND 365!  

 LETS GO DOWN MEMORY LANE!
Every third tuesday come join us in ‘Rewind 365’!
It can be something you posted on your blog a year ago, a memory, a photo or even a video taken  a year ago!
This is what was going on with me a year ago:
So What Happened With You A Year Ago Today?Join in and “Rewind 365” days and tell us what you were up to A Year Ago Today!
It’s all simple:

1. Follow me!  2.Tweet your post and tag me @RheChristine #rewind365 3. Create a Post with a picture, a memory, or even a previous blog post from 1 year ago, make sure you include our button so we have more people joining every week. 4. Leave your link below!

Hopefully I’ll be able to resurrect this little post here.  I always think its fun to look back on where you were the last year, how big the kids have gotten.  Occasionally I’ll even come across a really sweet memory that I haven’t thought about in awhile.  So, the point is its really fun and you know you wanna!!

About this time last year we made our way to the National Harbor on the DC/VA/MD border.  It was our first time in the Harbor and it was lots of fun.  There is definitely a lot to do with kids.  There are lots of stores to visit, but be prepared for the “I want this” game, which will inevitably follow.  Am I right?!  After we hit up a couple of the stores, the Peep Store (which if you’ve never been, go now!!) and frozen yogurt, we made our way to the little beach/sand type area.  There is a really cool sculpture there called “The Awakening“.  Apparently it used to be by the Jefferson Memorial, but was purchased by the developers of the Harbor.  We went on a weekend and it wasn’t overwhelmingly crowded, but I’m not totally averse to crowded places so keep that in mind. 

If you want to share your memories from last year sometime this week come back and leave me the link!  Want to share your post from last year on this date (ish) leave me the link to that!

My post last year was one of my post popular posts ever.  It was entitled, “Let’s Make a Readiness Folder.”  I wanted to help other spouses like myself.  After having been stationed remotely for so many years, having gone through deployments and separations without the supports one would find on a base, or with a larger unit, I wanted to pass on what I had.  Having a basic Readiness Folder is really important to your piece of mind while your spouse is gone.  Even if you have one, just take a look at the post, see if you’re missing something, or pass it on to a friend.

have a great week everyone!

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