5 Nuts in a Nutshell

http://nutsinanutshell.blogspot.com

Just a crazy family trying to juggle 3 boys (4 if you include daddy-dearest), Army life, school, and everything in between!

Cat is a winner of Top 25 Military Moms - 2013

What's a tip for celebrating a holiday or milestone with your kids when your partner isn't able to be there?

Heaven knows we have had MANY of these. My husband has been in the military since my boys were babies -- I guess you could say we just got used to it. I think my best tip, is to just not make a huge deal out of the fact that Dad can't be here. Kid's take their cues from parents, and if I am cool with my husband being gone (or at least put on a good show that I am), they usually are too. We make the best out of it as much as we can, we aren't afraid to have fun without him, and we take a million pictures to send to dad later! Holidays and milestones are great and all that, but our best times are when Dad is home no matter what the calendar says!

What have you learned about parenting from living in different places?

I have learned that attitude is EVERYTHING. No matter where we go, or what we do, if we have a happy positive attitude, it rubs off on our kids. Good vibes are contagious. We are currently getting ready to PCS -- and this will be the first time with school aged kids. Whenever my boys talk about leaving their friends, I remind them of all the new friends they are going to make and all the adventures we are going to have. If I am excited, they get excited too!

What are your best tips for traveling with kids?

My kids have never been on a plane. We do all our traveling on the road in our mini van. My best tip is to travel during bed or nap times. But that isn't always convenient, so... I make sure we have plenty of snacks, everyone has their own water bottle, and they can "earn" juice and chocolate milk with good behavior. We went for years without a DVD player, so my kids got used to coloring and doing activity books. They also enjoy blank paper to draw their own stuff. Music is always fun too. I think the most important thing is to not stress out too much. When I get anxious and frustrated and want to hang my head out the van window and close it... my kids can sense that, and it makes them that way too. Most of our traveling is without Dad. It can be hard especially if someone needs a potty stop. I have to get all 3 boys out and myself and into a gas station where they beg and plead for all the treats they see. But I stay calm and remind them what is waiting for them back in the van. Traveling can be fun... like I said above, attitude is EVERYTHING! If I make it pleasant with my positive attitude things go SO MUCH smoother!