Exclusive Competition

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW OVER, WELL DONE TO THE WINNERS!!

We hope to bring you a new competition VERY SOON! Keep checking back for news and updates!

Thank you!!

 

We at Squaddie Wags are very excited to announce we have an exclusive competition in association with ‘Hand on Heart’ Jewellery, they are a fantastic company who create beautiful personalised jewellery and accessories.

Find them at http://www.handonheartjewellery.co.uk

Enter our exciting competition and win one of 3 Metal backed keyrings, personalised for you. A fantastic present for a loved one.

Please find the competition at the following webpage: http://www.handonheartjewellery.co.uk/page35.html

Competition closes on the 22/10/11

Hand on Heart Jewellery have also kindly offered a 10% discount to all members of Squaddie Wags forums (For more details see the Forums)

The First Few Days…

For me I think the first few days before they leave on tour and the first week or so after are the hardest. You are trying to get into a routine without them being there again knowing it will be a while before you see them, for me, my emotions are (as generally they are) all over the place and you don’t really know ‘how’ to feel…. The thing is there is no right or wrong way to feel. Everyone and every tour is different and any feelings you have are perfectly normal.

Some people cry… a lot, some people dont cry at all, there is usually a sense of ‘loss’ and you could find it hard to sleep, it usually takes me about a week to start sleeping properly.

This is mine and my husbands 6th Operational tour, this one just feels ‘different’ I don’t know if it’s because we are older now and theres more of a realisation of what could happen or not but it seems somehow we are ‘pushing our luck’ with him coming home safe this many times. I am grateful that he always has but I still feel worse this tour about him going away than what I did when he left when I was 23 weeks pregnant.

This was sent to me in our Deployment package from our welfare office, I have typed it out as I feel that it pretty much described the stages my husband and I and many others I have spoken too went through:

Emotional Cycle of Deployment:

Getting ready for a deployment starts long before the spouse actually leaves. Many people tend to:
a) Ignore/deny that the deployment will actually happen.
b) Fantasize that the ship will sink or plane will break before the soldiers get on it, or that something will happen so their spouse does not have to leave.
c) Try to avoid the recognition of the reality of departure – that a small event, a date or a commonplace happening will trigger an emotional and/or cognition of the fact that the departure is imminent and real.

Thus the cycle begins:

STAGE ONE – ANTICIPATION OF DEPARTURE

- from 1-6 weeks prior to leaving, people may experience:

1. Difficulty accepting the reality of leaving or separating
2. Crying unexpectedly at “silly’ things– allow this to happen as it is essential to release the varying emotions
3. Feel an increase of tension, arguments may occur
4. A cramming in of activities/projects– fixing up the house, lawn mower, washing machine, etc.
5. Experiencing feelings of anger, frustration and emotional distance between a couple
6. Some couples dent the separations likely occurrence by putting off the chores, discussions, etc., not facing the inevitable, procrastinating on projects
7. Difficulty in intimacy and sexual relations. It is hard to feel warm and loving when feelings angry at each other. Some say “It’s easier just to let him go,” or an increase in activities such as hanging on, or fearing the loss of lover/support person may occur
8. Symptoms of restlessness, irritability, anxiety, feeling an inability to cope and concern about the changes in the home environment that will occur
9. A sense of panic even though good plans have been made and most of the chores done

STAGE TWO – DETACHMENT AND WITHDRAWAL

- Last week before departure- A difficult stage where some people may experience:

1. A sense of despair
2. Feeling the marriage is out of control, feeling a desire to separate, to run away to lessen the pain
3. A lack of energy, feeling so fatigue, depression
4. Difficulty in making decisions or keeping self together
5. Ambiguous towards one’s partner and sex. It is difficult to be physically intimate when trying to separate emotionally. This should be viewed as a reaction to deployment rather than rejection of each other
6. A stopping of sharing of thoughts and feelings

***Remember these feelings and events are normal- your relationship is not generally breaking up or going down the tubes. Though you are both together in the same house, you are mentally and emotionally preparing for the separation. This is a necessary adjustment to reality.

Sometimes wives think “If you have to go, go” and the husband thinks “Let’s get on with it so we can get it over with.” Or vice versa depending on which spouse is leaving. Everyone will survive this stage!!!

STAGE THREE – EMOTIONAL DISORGANIZATION

- Begins at the start of separation and can last up to 6 weeks into deployment. Partners of experience:

1. Shock when the deployment finally arrives, a feeling that preparation has not been adequate
2. An initial sense of relief that the pain of saying goodbye is finally over, may be followed by feelings of guilt and emotional turmoil- “If I love him, why am I relieved he’s gone?”
3. Feeling numb, aimless and without purpose as old routines have been disrupted and new ones have not been established
4. Depression and the desire to withdraw from the world, family, and friends, especially if friends’ husbands are home
5. Feeling of being overwhelmed by responsibility and trying to be everything and do it all
6. Sleep disruption- due to loss of security and the support person; tendency to sleep too much (to escape) or too little. Eating disorders may also come to light, or become worse
7. Feeling anger at the husband for not doing everything that needed to be done around the home fro safety/security reasons
8. Feeling anger towards the military for taking spouse away when you needed him/her the most
9. Felling restless, confused, disorganized, indecisive, and irritable at everyone, especially the children
10. Feeling guilty for things that did not (or did) happen before separation

***Getting “stuck” at this stage can create an unwillingness to move on emotionally and can be detrimental to healthy adjustment

STAGE FOUR – RECOVERY AND STABILIZATION

- Variable between weeks 3-5- For most people, begins several weeks and lasts until about a month before return. Most people begin to:

1. Realise at some point, usually by midway in the deployment, that “Hey, I’m doing OK.”
2. Establish a new family pattern that works for them
3. Feel more comfortable with their situation , self, and the reorganization of roles and responsibilities
4. Complete successful experience, which ass to self-confidence and feeling of being able to cope
5. Reach out for support though friends, church, work, wives groups, etc.
6. Eat “cruise food” to save time/energy and to choose priorities- let some things go to have more time
7. Have higher long distance telephone bills- but must learn to keep within budget
8. Go thought the “my syndrome- my house, my car, my kids, etc.
9. Appear more mature and independent as “single” wives- you have developed new activities, accepted more responsibilities to fill the void- while secure in being married
10. Experience more sickness, initially, as increased responsibilities are more stressful until healthy coping skills are practiced
11. Feel vulnerable due to isolation from the husband and even family. Wives may feel uncertain of their abilities and may experience self-doubt
12. Feel asexual- no longer in need of sex or affection- or feel estranged due to suppressed needs and desires. Some women see themselves as unattractive and stop caring for themselves
13. Minor crisis can put person back into the disorganization stage

STAGE FIVE – ANTICIPATION OF RETURNING

- About 4-6 weeks prior to spouse coming home, people begin to feel a sense of anticipation “He’s coming home and I’m not ready!”

1. Compile a long list of things still left to do and begin to pick up the pace to get things done
2. Experience feelings of joy, excitement in anticipation of the spouse’s return and being together again
3. Experience feelings of fear and apprehension. “Does he still love me?” “Will he have changed?” “Will he have like what I’ve done?”
4. Clean house of activities required to fill the void- now- to make room for the man again. Some resentment may be felt at having to give up some of the things and having to change again
5. Experience process of evaluating- “I want him back but what am I going to give up?”
6. Feel tense, nervous and apprehensive- burying fears/concerns in busy work and activities
7. Experience a sense of restlessness again but it is generally productive. Some spouses may feel confused due to the conflicting emotions they are having
8. Put off important decisions until the husband’s home gain
9. Experience changes in eating and sleeping patterns developed while the spouse was gone
10. Children also go through a range of emotions and react to the temperament of the parent

STAGE SIX – RETURN ADJUSTMENT AND RENEGOTIATION

- First 6 weeks home- The return to home and family stage. The husband and wife are back together physically but are not emotionally adjusted to being together. They still may feel distance and have trouble sharing decisions or talking to each other. Be patient, this stage will take time to complete.

The husband and wife:

1. Need to refocus on the marriage- share experiences, feelings and needs and avoid forcing issues on each other
2. May stop being “single” married spouse and start bering married again
3. May feel a loss of freedom and independence- feel disorganized and out of control as “deployment” routines are disrupted
4. Need to renegotiate roles and responsibilities. Husbands often feel isolated, unwanted, unneeded, which can cause arguments and hurt feelings for both partners
5. Need to be aware that too much togetherness can cause friction due to having been apart so many weeks/months
6. Need to begin to share the decision-making hat should be “their” decision
7. Need to increase their time to talk together and with the children. They may want to plan special activities of short duration as a couple and as a family.
8. Will need to progress slowly with desired sexual relations, which may fall short of expectations. This can be frightening and produce intense emotions. Wives may feel like husband is a stranger and can be hesitant at first about intimate relations.
9. Need ot allow sufficient time to court each other before true intimacy can occur
10. May find questioning threatening and see their partner as being judgmental not just curious
11. May miss the friends that helped them through the separation or who served with them during the deployment

STAGE SEVEN – REINTEGRATION AND STABILIZATION

- Sometimes within 6-12 weeks after homecoming, wives have stopped referring to “my” car, house, kids, and returns to using “we” or “our” and husbands feel more at home, needed, accepted, and valued.

1. New routines have been established and adjusted to by the family.
2. Both partners are feeling more secure, relaxed, and comfortable with each other.
3. The couple and family are back on track emotionally and can enjoy warmth and closeness with each other and their children

Squaddie Wives and Girlfriends

We hope to bring you a variety of exciting new features, the forums are still the same and you can gain access to them with your original username and password by clicking on the ‘Forums’ link above.

We have recipes, articles on a variety of subjects and many other new features.

As always if you have any problems please contact the Squaddie Wives website admin by emailing: managers@squaddiewives.co.uk we will reply as soon as possible.

Any suggestions or articles

Halloween Ideas

Ohhhh its nearly that time of year again where our little monsters go out to Trick or Treat.

Here are some crafty ideas for that scary time of year

Halloween Cupcakes

For the cupcakes

  • 250 g unsalted butter softened
  • 250 g golden caster sugar
  • 250 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • Method
    1. Preheat the oven to 170C/ fan 150C/gas 3. Line muffin trays with 18 Cupcake papers.

    2. Place all the cupcake ingredients into a mixing bowl. Beat together, preferably with an electric mixer, until the mixture is pale and fluffy

    3. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake papers and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes in the tin, before transferring to a wire rack.

    4. To decorate: once cool, you can start decorating your cakes. Bring the apricot jam to simmer in a small pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the exposed cake with the jam.

    5. To make a gravestone effect, take a walnut-sized piece of ready rolled white icing and add a few drops of natural black food colouring. Mix and knead until you get a marbled effect. Flatten slightly and place over the top of the cup cake. Top with chocolate letters.

Spinach and Feta Pie

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Large onion, finely chopped
1 kg fresh spinach, washed or 500g frozen spinach, thawed
4 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh dill
3 Eggs, beaten
200g Feta cheese
Salt and pepper
100g Butter
225g Filo pastry


Method:


1) To make the filling heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and fry until softened.Add the spinach (if using fresh spinach just shake the water off and add to the pan, if frozen just add to the pan when thawed, cook for 2 -5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.


2)When the mixture has cooled, add the parsley, dill and eggs, crumble in the feta season well with sakt and pepper and mix well.


3)Melt the butter and use a little to grease a deep 30cm x 20 cm baking tin. Cut the pastry sheets in half widthways.


Take one sheet of pastry and use it to line the base and sides of the pan. Brush the p[stry with a little of the melted butter. Repeat until you have half the sheets in the pan, brushing each one with butter.


4) Spread the filling over the pastry in the pan then top with the remaining pastry sheets, brushing each one with melted butter and tucking down the edges to seal the filling. Using a sharp knifen score the top couple of layers of the pastry into 6 squares.


5) Bake in a pre-heated oven, 190 degrees C/375 F for about 40 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot or cold.


 

Themed Army Survival Box

Themed Packages

Army Survival Box

Gum – to help your unit stick together
Cotton Ball – to cushion the rough roads
Paperclip – to hold it all together
A Hug – to let you know there’s always someone on your side
A Kiss – so that you will always remember I love you!
Mint – because you are worth a mint
Candle – to light up the darkness

Romantic Items for Boxes

Romantic Items to Send

Small Stuffed Animal sprayed w/your perfume (Send in a ziplock bag)
100 Reasons that you love him… Write 10 in a card and send a card for 10 weeks
Pillowcase sprayed w/your perfume
Put some of your lotion or perfume in a travel size bottle
Coin w/ a heart shape cut into it

Use a new pillow case for this tip. Every night for a week go to bed with your hair damp from being freshly washed with your regular shampoo. After a week package it in a Ziplock bag and send it off to your loved one. They’ll be able to use it and have the scent of your hair on their pillow for quite a while before it wears off.

Make a puzzle out of your picture or a love letter. You can do it yourself very easily. Write the letter or print the picture on heavy card stock then cut out in different shapes. Don’t make it too difficult

At some stores there are “pet tag” machines that let you customize tags for your dog’s collar, usually for contact info if the pet is lost. How about making one with your name with your loved ones name and your anniversary on it? They can put the tags on their keychains and have a constant reminder of home.

There are “talking” picture frames out now that allow you to record a message. Record yourself saying goodnight and I love you, so your sailor/soldier can hear you say it every night.

Get some white boxers and paint on handprints on the back, kisses all over.

With a CD burner, make a CD of favorite songs. You can also make a cassette tape. Love songs that are meaningful to both of you are nice to have around.

Send at least a few VERY steamy letters. You can even go online and read sexy stories for inspiration, or copy them right into your letter!

This is for spouses or significant others. Get a pair of chopsticks, a fortune cookie and a chinese takeout box. Write on a piece of paper, “Sex with you is like eating Chinese food…..I’m always satisfied, but an hour later I want more!”. Put all items in the box. They’ll LOVE it. To go the extra mile, BAKE a fortune cookie with the saying inside it!

Make “vouchers” to use when they get home. Some ideas – One Half-Hour Foot Massage, One 15 Minute Back Rub, etc… Be creative.

A “memory chime”. In most craft stores in the jewelry aisle there are chimes. They’re balls with a loop on them for hanging on a keychain or necklace and they have a chime inside. There are different meanings – memory, ocean, courage, strength, and many more.

Buy one for you and one to send with a note that says every time they hear it chime, you’re thinking of them.

Wives or girlfriends can send sexy panties. Just be sure to put them in an envelope all their own marked Private so he won’t open them in a common area and get embarrassed.

If your special one is a reader, send a paperback book or magazine with love notes tucked inside at different places inside. They’ll love finding the treasures as they read.

Try this fun idea for a little shock of surprise. Take a plain pillow case of any light color. Using a contrasting darker color in fabric (or other washable) paint, make a “boob print” (there’s just no other way to say it) on the front. Leave the other side plain. It’s a very interesting way to make a statement!