Dun dun dun… the time has come. Our first deployment with a child that is a toddler. Last deployment, Anakin was only an infant. The one before that, he was growing in my belly! We’re exploring a new territory, and while I’m so sad my husband isn’t around for the rest of the year, I AM PUMPED! Without belittling my own hardships,  I can acknowledge that this is as easy as it will ever be. I only have one child, I am my own boss, and I am in full control of how I react. The upside: Anakin is learning new words, he is exploring new foods, he is easier to take to a park, he is becoming more social… I’m on the offensive y’all! So I really got to prepare his little heart for the big changes that he can’t comprehend yet. This is an add on post to: 5 WAYS TO HELP AN INFANT TRANSITION TO A SINGLE PARENT. We are still clinging onto all five of those tips, so if you haven’t seen that yet, sink your teeth in there and come back! Here are five additional things we have done to help our young toddler transition to this deployment: 

Update Family Photos

I am doubly biased to hiring a photographer! Not only are you supporting the art, but you are establishing the presence of who is missing from your home. Personally, I do not want to have a daily reminder of the gaping hole in our home. We will be skipping the countdowns until the tail end, but I do want to celebrate and honor who isn’t physically here every day. Canvas, mounted photos, or any sort of print that we walk past will be a fresh face of why we keep moving forward. The reason we chose to update our photos MULTIPLE times a year, is because we change. Oh Lordy, our styles change, our hair changes, our bodies change… shoot, even my husband’s uniform has changed! We aim to have our sessions booked the month prior to his orders. It’s always exciting to know the next photos together will be the homecoming!

Story Time

 I am currently writing this while my husband is on the other side of the camera reading every hard page book we own (there’s a lot). To make this as effortless as possible, here is what we are doing: 

  1. Set camera on tripod
  2. I hit record
  3. He reads a book
  4. I stop recording 
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for how ever many books
  6. Transfer files to desktop
  7. Create a folder. Ex: “Storytime W/ Dada”
  8. Rename files with book titles

Extra: For traveling, you can transfer copies of the files to your phone, laptop, or my favorite – Dropbox!

Build a Bear 

Okay, maybe this was more for me then our toddler! I sent my husband to Build A Bear to get a bear with his voice… I kid you not, he came back with a dog that barked. DISAPPOINTED ISN’T STRONG ENOUGH OF A WORD. They were out of voice recorders and asked him to come back. Luckily during our next visit, they had ONE voice recorder left. His clip says, “Hi Anakin, it’s Dada, I love you!” It makes me cry and laugh at the same time, and it’s always nice to have an extra dog around the house.

Relatable Books

We only have one book about homecoming, so I’ve been on the hunt for the everyday in between to help explain why Dada is in the phone now and that he will eventually come home. Here are the ones I am adding to our next Amazon order! 


Even though our toddler is on the younger side of toddlerhood, I thought it was important for my husband to get him toys chosen by him. I tend to go for the Disney characters while my husband picks out the expensive helicopters for ten year olds. We are well diverse-d in the toy area. He is little and still so small, but ADORES anything having to do with my husband. I know I could present anything to him and tell him it was from his Dad, but since it was a quick trip to Target, why not make it truth? Anakin will be stoked on his new helicopter from Dada.


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