We now have a date for my husbands deployment, July 10th 2008.
Now we have 5mths to get some items to make life/deployment easier.
We are looking at picking up a laptop. We are trying to figure out what we need. Here is what we need it to do;
Hold a ton of pictures. We have several years worth of photos on our Dell PC and he wants to put them all on his laptop.
He wants to transfer all our ripped music from our PC to the laptop.
Be able to make, watch and record to disc home movies.
We would love to have a webcam of some sort.
Flexibity in internet access; we don't know what method they will be using in the sandbox.
Good keyboard for writing long emails
And I was thinking of picking up a memory key or we need a disc drive, in case he can't use his laptop for internet access at all, then he can write his emails on his laptop, and then transfer them to the base computer to send them out or to save them to read in his laptop later. Online time is pretty limited.
And then we would like to pick up a video camera that also takes stills. And that records in a way where I can have my kids watch the videos on my TV or on our computer, and so that my husband can watch any videos on his laptop that we send him. The debate we have is that we have a Canon EOS that takes some videos, so should we send the Canon with my husband and get me a video camera that can double as a still camera. Or should we get me a cheaper video camera in addition the the Canon for myself and get him a more expensive one that can double as a still and video camera. I think either way we need two video cameras.
Although all that I propose is really expensive, he will be gone for at LEAST 13 months. And we have three kids that love their father more than anything. And I want to keep some connection going. When he leaves we will have a 1 year old, 3 year old and 7 year old. My 7 year old has been thru this before. My 3 year old has only had her father gone for two weeks at a time. And it is inevitable that our younger kids will sort of "forget" that they have a father after about a month or so. They will know in theory that they have a father, but in practice it won't really connect. I want to have alot of videos going back and forth so that when we see him again our younger littles aren't terrified of him. My husband is braced for this possibility, but I want to lessen it as much as possible. Not to mention it is hard for ME to recognize him after awhile. Once he is deployed he works out hours a day and is in the sun a great deal. So he comes back thin, muscular and REALLY tan. He is already pretty thin, but deployment takes his 6ft 185lb body down to a very cut 165lb body. Literally, he nearly walked by me without me knowing it was him when he came back on one deployment. (He knew it was me, I just didn't recognize him).
And we need a webcame to use here at home.