Save the Children Campaign: Social Good Moms

For many of us here in the United States there is never a thought given to our pre-natal care.  I know I never have.  I am blessed with great health care and everything that I could need or want.  When I give birth there are many options available to me.  I am not shy about the fact that I had three medicated births.  My middle child was induced.  With the guidance of my doctor I was able to make those decisions, and they worked for us.  My first birth experience was a really traumatic one, and I have no doubt that if it wasn’t for the gift of medical knowledge my life, or Brian’s would have been in some serious trouble.  And while mentally I was almost just as traumatized by the horrible bedside manner of the on-call doctor, we were taken care of.  With my third child I had tested positive for Strep B.  We went to the hospital and I was hooked up to an iv and my child was protected.  There are thousands and thousands of women who don’t have the options that I have, or the safety that I was provided.  
                                                              mommy and ami rose

Since the early 1930’s Save the Children has been dedicated to ensuring that children get the best start in life as possible.  Over the years it has grown to assist children all over the US and worldwide.  In 2014 Save the Children has created a report dedicated to ending newborn deaths.  The research performed for the report has indicated some startling things.  Half of first day deaths occur around the world could be avoided with skilled midwives and proper health-care.  On top of that, 1.2 million babies are stillborn each year due to childbirth complications, infections and hypertension.  The organization has called on world leaders to commit to The Five Point Newborn Promise.  The focus for this year is to ensure that there are enough trained, and well-equipped, health care workers, as well as removing fees for the services.  While statistics concerning infant mortality have steadily improved, there is more that can be done.

Here are the five promises:
1. Issue a defining and accountable declaration to end all preventable newborn mortality
2. ensure that by 2025 every birth is attended by trained and equipped health workers 
3. increase expenditure on health to at least the WHO minimum of US$60 per person.
4. to pay for the training, equipping and support of health workers, and remove user fees for all maternal, newborn and child health services (including emergency ob care)
5. the private sector should help address unmet needs by developing innovative solutions and increasing availability of products 

The full report is available on the Save the Children website, as well as information about advocay and what you can do to help!  please take the time to check those out, and lets make sure the #firstday is the best day for every baby.
*This post is part of The Moms for Global Good campaign that I have recently become a part of.  I am thrilled to be joining 200 other mom bloggers out there, talking about social good on a global level!*
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Preparing For A Little One: Babyproofing your Marriage

Preparing For A Little One

Happy Friday ya’ll!  It’s the weekend everyone…however not really a weekend for us.  This is our Sunday.  So lame.   This is the final link-up for “Preparing For a Little One.”  I’m kind of a little bit sad.  I’ve had fun thinking about each of the topics, remembering what I did with my kids, what I would have done different.  I really had fun reading the other posts from the link-up, making a connection based on the fact that we had similar ideas.  Our amazing host, Kaitlyn, is about to have her little one and I’m pretty excited about that too!  Babies being born…swoon…it’s so much fun.  There have been so many wonderful topics in this series.

Our final talking is about Babyproofing Your Marriage.  There’s no doubt that children change things.  How could they not?  You have a new little human being that you are responsible for.  You are recovering from the birth experience mentally and physically.  Between lack of sleep and adjusting to things like breast-feeding and maintaining tasks around the house, the whole marriage part might go by the wayside.  Truthfully we are guilty of just hanging out in survival mode.  After three kids and a crazy military career, survival mode can become the mode you live in all the time.  For me, depression was something I dealt with after my 1st and my 3rd child.  PPD can add a whole other element to the equation.  We aren’t alone though ladies!  Unfortunately “mommy wars” and “women wars” have ruined a lot of the built in support systems that would otherwise be in place.  Surround yourself with a wonderful support group and you’ll be well on your way to recovery both mentally and physically.  Before I give my tips there’s also a book and website that I came across with the title of or topic today.  Many of the articles I’ve read are witty and helpful.  So check out the site for yourself.

Five Tips for Babyproofing your Marriage
1. Get out!  Fresh air can do wonders!  Talking walks by yourself or with your mate can clear the air in your head.  I used to bundle up my littles, grab a coke and a popcorn at target (super cheap) and just walk around.  I know its so hard to not spend money when you are in target.  I know whenever I’m in there I’m like “ooooooo look, shiny….must have!”  Whenever I took the time to go out, either for a walk, or an actual outing I found myself refreshed and more focused when the hubby came home from work.
2. He knows what he’s doing.  Even if he doesn’t know what he’s doing let it go.  Whether it be the actual care of the baby (he doesn’t put the diaper on just perfectly, he holds the baby different than you do when feeding or burping) or the care of the house.  If the man offers to do the dishes but loads the dish washer differently, or maybe he cleans the bathroom and just uses Windex on everything…let it go.  If he wants to take the baby while you take a nap, do it and relax.  I’m guilty of it and many of my friends are as well.  Correcting him at every turn will only frustrate him and he’ll probably stop helping eventually.  I know I couldn’t do it without him and I make sure he knows that!
3. Find a Babysitter and go on a date!  This is one area I’ve never struggled with.  I actually had a harder time leaving my kids in the nursery at church for the first time then I did leaving them with a sitter.  We use Sittercity and we’ve never had a problem.  If you’re military (including Guard and Reserve) you are eligible for a free account.  You can run free basic background checks as well.  We have about four sitters that we have (day and night ones) and I’m super grateful.  Get involved with a moms group and get recommendations.  Alone time has always been a re-sparker in our marriage.  We recently just left our kids for one night with friends and had a local vacation.   I recommend as regular as you can get date nights (either out or in – rent a movie and make some popcorn), and trying to get away when you can.  We try to do it at least once a year even if it’s just for the night.
4. Non-couple time is just as important.  Letting your man have a poker night or your going out with your girlfriends is just as important before baby as it is after baby.  In fact I might argue that it is more important after baby.  Your life is changing for reals, and there’s no going back.  If you lose yourself then your marriage will surely suffer.  Before we moved across country Hubby was fairly regular about getting together with a couple of his guy friends.  I try to plan having girlfriends over if hubby is gone, or going out for a drink.  I’m currently planning a girls night for next month.  Maintaining who YOU are whether or not you have kids is so important.  This has always been a priority for both me and the hubby.  This will not only keep your marriage healthy now, but when the kids are grown and gone you will known who you are.
5. Talk about Sex.  After my first baby it was bad.  It was a difficult experience and I had to have a somewhat emergency episiotomy.  The recovery from it was much longer than the normal six weeks.  We didn’t really talk about things like we should have.  My husband was and is a saint, and I tell  him that all the time.  It was a rough time in our marriage, but we took measures to not repeat that with the next two.  Acknowledging that he has needs that might be different than yours is important.  We know that all a mommy really wants to do for the first little bit is snuggle that baby and sleep.  But maintaining an emotional and physical connection is vital to a marriage.  Don’t be afraid to talk about it, even before the baby.  Talk about your expectations, worries and fears.  You will find yourself closer than you ever thought.
Thanks for stopping by.  Make sure to check out the other blogs, as well as our host, that are linked up for this.  If you’re a new follower make sure to let me know.  Also if you have some time 50 of us Military Mom bloggers have been named Top 50 Military Mom blogs by Voice Boks.  Vote for Cammo Style Love or another one of your favorites.  No signing up for anything and it’s a one-time vote.  I know all of  us would appreciate your support.

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Preparing for a Little One : Favorite Stores and Shops

Welcome to another week of Preparing for a Little One, with Wifesessionals.  Fast becoming a fav over here.  Although I have three kids, I’ve found that this link-up has shown me that I’m not alone in how I’m raising my kids or the choices that I’ve made (especially with some of the heavier topics).  For most moms, I would think, that is a priceless gift.  You know what you’re doing is right and in reality you shouldn’t need affirmation of that fact.  However, as humans I think self-doubt is only natural.  One of the weeks I found three or four girls that I spoke to through comment and email responses and we shared that same sentiment.  They may not have realized that they gave me a little blessing that day, but they did.  So, even if you have kids and sort of have your bearings, stick around and read some posts.  You might find your own smile somewhere in there.

This week’s topic is a little more fun and light – Favorite shops and stores.  Who doesn’t love shopping?  And furthermore, who doesn’t love shopping for a baby!?  I’m a succor for it in fact, especially all the little girl stuff.  Make it in pink and I’m sure to swoon.  I’ve got a couple favorite, some big and some small.  Wherever you are google a local boutique.  While they might be more expensive you might find some really cool unique things, plus you’re supporting small business.  One of my favorite dresses I got for my daughter one Christmas was one I found at a little boutique shop.

1. Target!

seriously, who doesn’t love target.  They basically have everything, and as far as big store stuff they are going to be cheaper then Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby.  The truth of the matter is I love going there because I can look for other things besides baby stuff.  But you really can’t beat their clothing (aside from Wal-Mart). I just don’t spend a lot (nor would I recommend spending a lot) on baby clothes.  They barely use them, so if you can get hand me downs they will probably look almost brand new.  But at $3 a piece at wal-mart, their Circo Brand for clothing is awesome!

2. Little Sapling Toys

I love Little Sapling teethers.  I bought this one for my niece.  My nephew has an anchor and my youngest had one in the shape of California (since that’s where we are from).  They are amazing and the kids love them, plus they are a keepsake.  It’s such a great company, hand-made, small-business.  It’s American made and they plant a tree for every toy sold.  They have all sorts of toys and accessories.  These also make great gifts and I absolutely love everything about the product and the company.

3. Once Upon a Child

Reuse Recycle and Reduce!!!!  I have found some great stuff at Once Upon a Child.  Some of the things still had tags on them even.  I’ve gotten toys, a stroller and my very favorite Janie and Jack outfit for my daughter.  I’m all about budgeting where I can and I really think every day kids clothes is the way to go.  Consignment sales are also an option, but those aren’t held all the time.  Most of the clothes, especially for the little ones are barely used and I’ve never had an issue with anything I’ve purchased there.  Most of the shops even have a little place where the kids can play that’s gated off so you can shop and just keep an eye on them (or have your seven year old do it, LOL).  I’ve never sold anything at one before but I’m sure the experience is equally as great.  Usually the stores have a frequent buyer card, so for every ten dollars you spend you get a stamp and then you get 20% off your purchase after you fill it up.  Usually twice a year they have a clearance, fill-a-bag sale, so watch for that and get on a mailing list.

4. Cloth Diaper Shops

For my cloth diaper needs I have bought used and from friends, but some of the shops I love and have worked with personally are:

Kebbie’s Diaper Bag – wahm run and Fern is great.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her in person and trying some of her products (check out the cloth diaper tab up top). They are really starting to pick up and grow and carry more products so don’t count them out because they are smaller.  They carry some of my very favorite products like Scarlet’s Naturals, Bummis, EcoPosh, Planet Wise and others!!

Kelly’s Closet – larger business with a wide variety of cloth diaper, and cloth diaper related accessories and items.  Plus more!!

Diaper Safari – where I order my liners

Abby’s Lane – this used to be where I would go into a brick and morter store and get to touch and feel all the dipes!  Oh how I miss them.  but they are still around online and they are awesome!!

**make sure to check out my reviews in the Cloth Diaper tab up top and I’m always around to answers questions about cloth diapering

5. Inspired By Finn

Being who I am (LOL), I was a skeptic when it came to Amber necklaces.  It honestly sounded like a mind game, like a placebo affect.  But I decided to try it out and was pleasantly surprised at the effect I know it had.  It actually worked.  Now you have to be careful because they are so many knock-offs and fakes out there.  I’ve only worked with three retailers on these – Kebbie’s Diaper bag (which i mentioned before), one of my amazing sponsors The Cloth Nook, and Inspired by Finn.  I wanted to share Inspired by Finn with you because of their grab bag options and their customer service.

The grab bags at Inspired by Finn, are sort of like the slightly off sheets you get at like TJ Maxx.  The beads aren’t all perfectly matched in color or size.  To me, I could care less.  I’d rather save money but still know I’m getting a good product.  You’re going to probably pay about $19.00+ on them depending on where you buy it from.  You can get a grab bag item (where you don’t get to choose) from IBF for about 14.95.  I had an issue with the first necklace they sent me, the closure cracked, which can happen.  They sent me another one right away, no biggie.

When buying amber, please go with a reputable shop and ask questions if you need to!!

6. Evie Doo’s Boutique

This is a WAHM shop, where you can get just about anything!  What I love the most about the shop is the embroidery!  She’s even embroidered towels, like for a wedding gift?  How amazing is that and a unique option.

 Look at this! Month onesie set!!!

thanks for stopping by!  Have you ever shopped at one of these shops before?  What’s your favorite shop or store?

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