Little adorable monsters who thrive on routine, familiarity, and consistency just don’t make great PCS companions. While I myself have offered tips for PCSing with children, read many of the same type of blogs, and have moved 7 times now in 11 years – 5 of which have been with children, I have never –until now- PCSed with a 2 year old. It’s a whole new beast. Seriously, in my utter exhaustion only 6 days into our 4 week transition to our new duty station, I make no attempts to offer advice. I have no wise words on how to make the best of it, I can barely say PCS without needing a nap (which wouldn’t ever happen anyway because why would my 2 year old need to nap when there are hotel hallways to be explored).
PCSing with a toddler does not feel like a simple Permanent Change of Station but more like I Probably Can’t Survive. How has my sleeping-through- the-night, good-natured toddler turned into a blue eyed, hotel night shrieking banshee? My nightly self-commentary has been going something like this: “Sweetie, I know we’ve slept in 4 different places in the past week. Get it together kid, lay down and go to sleep. It’s 4am, I don’t care what time zone we are in, yes we have been through three of them but everyone in the U.S. is sleeping somewhere, so please for the sake of mommy’s sanity and ability to keep her big girl panties on, please go to sleep.”
Ok. Maybe I’ve lied. I am not this patient at 4am in the morning but who wants to admit to anything less, right? In all honesty, I envy my toddler’s ability to unabashedly show his emotions, his frustrations with our transition and his desire to control the world around him because really, I feel exactly the same way.
Here are 10 things that I have learned on our journey so far… Read more >
As every military family knows – a PCS can be challenging and stress inducing. (Hey, wait… P-C-S: Personally Challenging and Stress inducing. Well that makes a lot of sense now!) Thankfully as the military community continues to network and grow in personal relationships and through social media, we have a plethora of resources at our hands to help plan, conquer and divide (quite literally). Whether you are planning your very first PCS or your fourteenth, there are always new ideas out there to help the process go smoothly.
As an Army spouse, I’ve moved 8 times in the past 12 years, and have done everything from watch in horror as my newlywed lingerie collection came tumbling down the staircase; to sitting in a hot, empty German house and breastfeeding a 7 day old baby as odiferous German moving men meandered around me. By honorable mention, I have made an epic 20 hour drive with a 3 year old from the East Coast to the armpit of Hell (Fort Polk, Louisiana) – by myself and arrived at our new rental house that had sat vacant for 6 weeks amidst the sweltering Louisiana summer. Close yours eye for a moment and envision black widow dens in the living room, mold growth in the fridge worthy of hazmat suits, and a swarm of maggoty fruit flies moving around inside the microwave.
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We have PCS’d 5 times in the last 8 years, and 3 of those moves have been with small children. (Wow, does that thought make me want to run to the liquor cabinet.) Ten months after our last move, I finally have my head together enough to share some tips that make it a bit easier to handle a PCS while your “helpers” shadow you during those weeks surrounding the move. (Or at least keep your happy hour to after naptime.)
Things to Prep
Remember that TLC show where the people had big tarps on their lawn to separate all their stuff into “Keep”, “Sell”, and “Donate” piles? That’s you right now. Obviously keep the things your child still uses and likes, as well as those a future sibling might need. But that ridiculously loud battery operated nose sucker you tossed in the garage to hide? You won’t miss it. Is your last baby going to outgrow the swing in a month anyway? Sell it now. Use CALL DIBS to sell or give away the stuff you won’t need. Consider donating some of your books and easily cleaned toys to charity, to your pediatrician’s office or a Caribou Coffee kid corner (love those).
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The Call Dibs Team is commited to making Call Dibs useful and user friendly. We are always receiving comments and questions, and do our best to put your feedback into action and make the app work for you. Part of what makes Call Dibs unique, is the users ability to “see” who they are transacting with by viewing their Profile.
When setting up your Call Dibs account; keep in mind that creating a thorough user profile with a picture has proven to increase the amount of success you will have when selling items because visual familiarity is comforting and gives us a point of reference. Below is a step by step guide to putting your “best face forward” and successfully completing your user profile.
When you create an account with Call Dibs you will be asked to fill in the following fields:
- Name: First and Last – only your first name and first initial of your last name will appear to other Call Dibs users
- Email – currently this is only being used to log in and to reset your password
- Phone – This is for our records but will be used for future upgrade and only used at your discretion.
- Affiliation – This is important because you are claiming your branch of service and status
- Password – This is to login to your Call Dibs account
- Picture – Option to upload a picture, aims to provide those you are transacting another layer of personal identification and accountability.
Security is top priority at Call Dibs. We are using the same and best practices and security measures that many of the well-known mobile and web apps are using. (i.e. Twitter, Facebook).
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When I left the military in 2007, my next move was business school. As a fresh veteran I knew little about the private sector, let alone business. What I learned one short week after arriving was that networking is everything.
Networking can be unusual and unnatural for soldiers. We do little of it in our military careers. For the most part, our OER and NCOERs (military performance appraisals) speak for our professionalism and experience. The Army and sister branches rely on this system, in my opinion, for these three reasons:
- Efficiency – The Army is the largest organization in the world with an enormous Human Resources challenge.
- Continuity – If everyone operates under the same grading system, with all soldiers given equal opportunity to succeed (shine), promotions and job assignments should be fair.
- Community – When we enter the service we’re designated to a career within a specific branch or corps. In short, everyone will eventually know each other or be one degree away from knowing each other before long.
This system is designed to practically eliminate the need to network the way our counterparts do in the private sector. So where does that leave veterans as they transition into the civilian workforce? Read more >
I have to say, amongst all the responsibilities as an Family Readiness Group (FRG ) leader, fundraising was the thorn in my side. I know it is necessary to support families and host events for morale – but it’s really difficult!
Current technology, social media connections, and combining the local advertising power of Call Dibs, can aid FRG leaders with raising funds for welcome home parties, care packages, and hail and farewells.
Below are three AMAZING fundraising ideas to cut out the stress! But you also have to follow these three steps:
- Contact the companies highlighted below by creating an account and creating your product (That’s the time consuming part!)
- Post your product/campaign on Call Dibs. Share the Call Dibs link to FB, Twitter, and also email everyone on your email rosters!
- Sit back and let Call Dibs work for you! (That’s the easy part!) Read more >
Humans are creatures of habit and checking Call Dibs every morning has become a part of my daily routine. It’s a habit. As part of the first military community to ever use Call Dibs, I have seen people use it in some pretty incredible ways. So here are 5 tips for Call Dibs in your daily life that maybe you’ve never thought of before.
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Moving from San Antonio, TX to Palo Alto, CA… packed up and realizing I can’t fit everything in my tiny car… so I tossed some stuff.
The concept of Call Dibs was born from all the times I PCSed when I was in the Army. I moved and put my household goods into storage nine times over the span of an eight-year career. During each transition I gave away or threw away hundreds of dollars worth of good stuff. What a waste!
From the very beginning of Call Dibs, we have had one community in mind – the military service members, their families, and veterans of the U.S.
We’ll verify active military, veterans, military spouses, and DoD Civilians
Verified Community Members: Our community desires TRUST that we are buying and selling with someone within the military community. By late Fall we will be rolling out a verification system that will allow users to verify their affiliation without faxing us a copy of paperwork or a visual inspection of their ID card. Call Dibs is not a group in which you’ll need to keep requesting access. Call Dibs is your community and you will always have access to it, regardless of where you PCS or how many times you find yourself in a new location. This feature will release in Nov 2013 Read more >
Adjacent Apps is a company founded on a strong culture of community. CEO Anthony Garcia, an Army Vet, was groomed for military life and his career as a Dust Off Pilot during his childhood as an Army Brat. After transitioning to civilian life Anthony still felt a pull to his military roots and the deep sense of community that accompanies this lifestyle. He wanted to give back to the community that had given so much to him: an exciting childhood, a successful career, and a bright future. The idea for Call Dibs was born from this desire. Anthony recognized that military members and their families needed a way to ease frequent transitions and to find and interact with one another with peace of mind. He developed Call Dibs to be the solution. Anthony has put together a team of devoted and talented technical minds to develop the Call Dibs App. Throughout development he’s consistently elicited the input and first hand experience of military spouses to market Call Dibs. The Adjacent Apps team has become a family and a unique community all its own.
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It’s not in the Webster’s dictionary and it’s not even in the Urban Dictionary. So let’s define it. Generation upon generation of military spouses can tell you exactly what it is…they may just not realize it yet. Friendating: v. The awkward, yet often necessary, process of making new friends in the military community.
I PCSed just 4 weeks ago, at the same time a friend from 3 duty stations ago was PCSing too. Her Facebook post hit home and sent me into a frenzy of “oh my gosh I have to make new friends again” distress. Finding new friends every 2 – 3 years is like a long string of really healthy relationships that experience an involuntary severance. It’s hard. It’s sad. Maybe even a few tears with a lot of heartache. These are friends who you learn to depend on and who totally get you and what’s going on in your daily life and then POOF! orders start spilling out of your printer and you know it’s about to start all over again. Read more >