Earnest Mom Squad Feature: Making Time for YOU

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Here is a feature from our Earnest Mom Squad member, Kate.  This one is all about you, yes, you mama – we see you, tired, working hard, hustling everyday.  This feature contains some great tips on how to make time for you, which will help you have a better time with your family.  x. em.

When you have kids, making time for yourself is hard…how do you think of yourself when you’re kids need you 24/7? I always remind myself that in order for my kids to have me 100% I need me.  Even if that time is only 10 minutes of showering ALONE, or a bubble bath while my husband takes our son.  Sometimes I put our little man to bed, and as exhausted as I am wanting to sleep, I light some candles and draw a nice warm bath with my favorite country music.  Of course right next to the tub I have the video monitor, because lets face it as much as we say we want to unwind and step away we think about them constantly, what are they doing, are they sleeping, are they hungry, are they crying for me.

Then there are the nights that ME time is holding my son while I put him to sleep and instead of putting him in his crib right away I hold on tight for as long as I can. These cuddles to bed won’t last long so I will enjoy them as long as I can as much as I can.  My heart melts when my son knows it’s bedtime and he rests his head on my chest on his own and puts his arms around me, he doesn’t know but those are the moments I live for. In those moments, I flash back to every second with him, from his first cry, to the first time he rolled to when he learned to talk and say “momma” and “dadda.”  A lot of the time, my ‘me time’ is mostly with my son.  I am the person I am for my son it only makes sense for me to make my me time us time for as long as I can until the day he thinks spending time with his mommy isn’t cool anymore.

 

An Earnest Postpartum Recovery Kit. 

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Have a friend or family member who is due to give birth and looking for something to get her that will help in those first few weeks of recovery?  Try a PP Recovery Kit. 

Here is a gift I recently put together for a new mama in my neighborhood. 


Some essentials for a new mom those first few days: DIY padsicles because swelling and soreness are REAL. Soothing breast pad application and an all natural (non lanolin) nipple cream, because nursing may not always be easy. Water and some snacks because I know that I have NEVER experienced thirst and hunger like breastfeeding thirst and hunger.  Then add any other mommy pampering you think a new mom may like. Pop then into a basket or gift bag (I used a $3 wire waste basket from Target) and there you go! A great, useful and thoughtful gift to help any new mom get through recovery after delivery.  

Any other items you may add to a Postpartum Kit? Please comment below and let us know!

x. earnest mom. 

Welcome to the Earnest Mom Squad Part Two

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Next, I would like you to all meet another member of the Earnest Mom Squad, Kahentiiosta. Please join me in giving her an earnest welcome

Hi, I am Kahentiiosta. I have three daughters, 9, 6, 6. The youngest ones are fraternal twins. I am married to Saveoun, we have been married for just over 10 years. We currently live in Southwest Ontario, Canada. 

I am a full-time university student in my 3rd year of school for my Bachelors of Social Work. Prior to attending school, I worked as a Early Childhood Educator. I spend most my time going between school, home and various volunteer jobs. I sit on the board of directors for an Aboriginal centre, parent volunteer for my daughter’s school, Indigenous Parent Committee participant amongst some other smaller places. My emphasis in school is Indigenous competency, early childhood education, and advocacy for children, and Adolescents.

I enjoy spending time with my family, going on weekend trips, rv’ing—when the weather is nice, swimming and enjoying outside activities. 

I breastfeed all my children and co-slept with them until they were old enough to sleep on their own. But whichever way people chose to feed and help their children sleep I am encouraging and will assist in finding solutions with issues.

Throughout the years and even now I am the go to person for advice on child rearing, as my children are significantly older than most of my friend’s children. I am always willing and eager to help with any issues and find a solution that works best for the family. Each family is different and as are all children, being aware of that is helpful in assisting with families.

We have had a very busy 4 years after my twins were born, but life is starting to slow down, when it comes to the busyness of dealing with a toddler, and newborns.

Each stage of life has changed our family and we’ve gone thru many transitions. Some we thought we would never get out of but in the end, we prevailed. I am grateful for a very supportive husband who encouraged me to continue school, even if it meant changing everyone’s lives. So far we have survived!

I’m grateful for the opportunity that Earnest Mom has given me to share some insight into my life, and thoughts. I look forward to hearing from everyone.  

Welcome to the Earnest Mom Squad.  Part One. 

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Please join me in giving an earnest welcome to A, who is one of the newest members of the  Earnest Mom Squad. Here is a quick intro from this fabulous mama! 

My name is A, I am a 22 year old stay at home mom of an 8 month old little boy. I have been married to the love of my life, Tyler for 2 years. We live in a small home, in a tiny town of northern Pennsylvania; it’s simple living and we are loving everyday! 

My son Noah (aka Our Little Super Hero), was born with many health concerns and requires a little extra love and attention.  I am so blessed to have him.  He has spent extensive time in the NICU/hospital and I spend a lot of time attending therapies and doctors appointments with him. 

Other than being Noah’s momma and Tyler’s wife, I love worshiping the Lord with friends, sewing, the outdoors, tacos, and writing. I am a growing Christian who has just started her faith walk and strive to do and be the best I can. I consider myself to be somewhat of a crunchy momma; I cloth diaper, baby wear and believe that coconut oil and breast milk heal all. I currently struggle and battle with PPD and PPA. I am working on myself every day. I guess the important thing to take from my bio is, “Hi! I’m A, and I’m just an imperfect person doing my best everyday.”  I cannot wait to start writing and couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the Earnest Mom Squad ! 


Photographer credits: https://www.facebook.com/photosbysjz/

You Are Enough. Yes, YOU earnestly are enough. 

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This past summer these three words rang in my head as I read them on my little phone screen. You. Are. Enough. Before reading this post it never occurred to me that I was indeed, enough.  Usually late at night when I rock earnest babe back to sleep I scroll my Instagram and Pinterest accounts to keep me awake. This is the time when I realize that I need to be more, there are always tips and pins that tell me how to be more positive of a parent, more skinny, more happy, more successful, more pretty, more face contoured, more hard working, more, more, more!!  When everything I see is telling me I need to be more, it is REALLY hard to feel like I am enough. 

Then I turn this battle inward, I believe that once I get more I will be happy (SO NOT TRUE); but when it is in my face enough, I become so sure that once I have a thigh gap…I will be enough. Ugh. Seriously, I did not even know that was a thing until Pinterest told me how I could get more of it. 

Back to “You Are Enough,” I read this post on She Laughs Project’s Instagram account and I stopped in that moment, I read the words out loud to myself and I realized that I had never told myself I was enough. So to see it that once, I did not believe it.  With a whole world telling us how to constantly improve ourselves, the majority of the time outwardly it is hard to see that we are enough. Fast forward to months later, I am sitting in a MoPs meeting and a MoPs mama sharing her personal story asked us, “Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are to question God? He made you, exactly the way he wanted you. Who are you to question that?”  I swallowed back tears, who DID I think I was??! At 32 years old, I had no idea that I was made enough and in that very teary eyed, pride-swallowing moment I gave myself permission to accept that I was enough. My life changed. 

I was enough, and it was liberating. I believe that our minds are very powerful things and I made it my mission to repeat to myself to remind myself often that I was enough. I am beautiful enough. I am strong enough. I am mom enough. I am smart enough. I am pretty enough. I am enough and reader, so are you!! In seeing the beauty that I can see in myself and loving myself as I am, has opened me up to see the beauty and love in everyone else. It feels so free, so light and so kind – I look back and cannot believe at the ways in which I judged myself, the things I said to myself.  In place, I remind myself that I am my kind of pretty, my kind of strong and my kind of happy. All these which are evolving as I change as a person, but that is okay because people change. Now that I am here, loving me I refuse to turn back. 

I am so thankful for the She Laughs Project, and their three small words has changed me as a mom, a wife, a woman, a sister and a friend. I am enough and I want all of you to know that you are too!  I have stopped looking at “make yourself more” posting accounts to “love you as you” accounts on social media and it has helped me to keep my positivity. I needed to not only change how I was thinking about myself but also change how I allowed my outside world tell me who I was. 

I am enough, just as I am. And I am happy, truly happy , it only took 32 years to get here but I am happier knowing that I get to be a better example as a self confident joyful woman to my daughter.  I want to be the change, any earnest readers feel the change too??  Let’s climb together because victories are way better when celebrated with those that you helped lift along the way. 

In closing, I want to tell you so you know, you are enough. 

x. earnest mom. 

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, an earnest gem.

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Please note that earnest mom receives no compensation for this post, I just earnestly adore and cannot praise this FREE program enough!

 Dolly Parton created The Imagination Library in 1995 in her home county, in Tennessee. Her hope was to bring a love of reading to children in her community by delivering developmentally and age appropriate books to children. She wanted to be sure that no matter a family’s income, every child could have a library all their own. Fast forward to 2016, and over 1600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to over 750,000 children every month. 

We have been blessed that in 2010 when earnest boy was born our county in Michigan had an Imagination Library program where he built a library consisting of rich and classic books that were mailed to him every month from newborn until age 5. That is 60 books total, as a family just starting out we could not have hoped to create a collection of books like that for him. I was so grateful for such a wonderful program. When earnest baby was born, I assumed that since we had already had the Imagination Library in our home for one child, we would not be able to get it for her. Boy was I wrong, Dolly Parton wants every child to have their own library, no matter the number of children in your home!

Now living in Erie, PA we still receive a book a month for her, and she is always excited to get her very own book every month. We open it together, read it and then she gets to explore it. 

Here in Erie, The United Way of Erie County sponsors The Imagination Library and so long as you remain in Erie County your child will recieve a free book per month until they turn five.  The United Way of Erie County has gone one step further and created Reading Buddies. 

To maximize the impact of the Imagination Library, United Way of Erie County created Reading Buddies, a program that gives parents and other caring adults guidance and tips on early childhood reading. Developed by local reading specialists, Reading Buddies focuses on ways to increase the love of reading in young children.

The Reading Buddies program techniques are simple and proven! Parents and caring adults receive helpful tips and information on making the most of reading with their children. This leads to children being prepared for kindergarten and success in school! Children are welcome to attend Reading Buddies events, with activities provided in a separate, supervised area during the adult training. To attend an event near you, check out the Reading Buddies calendar! – United Way of Erie County Website

We have attended many Reading Buddy events here in Erie, we have met the cast of Erie Playhouse’s Rapunzel and Peter Pan plus enjoyed tips to encourage reading and literacy at home while the earnest kiddos got to play and do crafts. All free. Having benefited so much from the work that The United Way does here in Erie I hope to share this information so others can benefit too!

How so you sign up?! If you in Erie County PA, sign up here. Be sure to sign up for the United Way of Erie Newsletter and follow them on Facebook so you can be up to date on the fun events they have planned. For instance, today they have Reading Buddies planned (preregistration was required). 

Saturday, October 15 

Registration: 10:30am

Event: 11:00am – 12:30pm

Join United Way, the Erie Public Library and our friends at the Erie Playhouse for Reading Buddies with the Youtheatre cast of Arthur’s Halloween! Parents will learn helpful, everyday tips for reading with children. All families attending will receive lunch and free tickets to see a performance of the play at The Erie Playhouse! Families will be entered to win an interactive story buddy. 

Not in Erie, PA?! Thats okay, see if your county has their own Imagination Library Program here. The Imagination Library is currently available in Austrailia, Canada, United Kingdom and The United States. I earnestly recommend to take advantage of the this free program now. 

x. em. 

United Way of Erie County Website

United Way Of Erie Co Facebook Page

The Imagination Library Webstie

Mommying is Hard. Earnest Support, and it’s Free. 

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There are a ton of books, experts and advice out there. Support and help to get us through the crazy yet amazing journey called parenting. Well, as a mom of two strong willed, messy, smiley and sometimes sticky kiddos I am always looking advice. Especially when it comes to the hot topics like discipline, eating and education.

I believe each and every parent needs love, support and guidance for parenting especially since most of it is ‘learn as you go.’  Since having both my little ones, I feel like God has given me the most profound job I could ever have – raising two tiny humans into *hopefully* kind, empathetic, honest, caring adults who also have the freedom to be who they want to be. At times I find myself stumped, and they are only 6 and 2. Knowing this is only the beginning, I search for parenting information and articles that I can sift through to make into my own parenting style that will be successful for this earnest little family.

In the past, I have attended and traveled to MommyCons, Gearapaloozas and local parenting events here in Erie that have all been at cost; as I was simply seeking advice, support and connecting to other fellow mommas.  I will tell you, these events are worth MORE than their weight in gold and I would recommend any parent that can attend, go; however, that is not always an option. Well this weekend I stumbled on a gem!! A FREE, seriously, a free mom conference.

The is conference called The Mom Conference and it is online from October 11-13, 2016. They will send you your special link every morning to watch the seminars for that day, at your own pace. The only catch, the link and seminars will expire after 24 hours.  I found this conference through Positive Parenting Solutions Facebook page, where I have often found very helpful FREE webinars.  I am hopeful that this conference will be just as helpful and informative.

According to The Mom Conference website,

The Mom Conference is three days full of fabulous online interviews with TWENTY of your favorite speakers, authors and bloggers.

Motherhood is hard. But motherhood is also beautiful. This conference is about helping you maximize the beautiful stuff while minimizing the hard stuff.

The Mom Conference will give you inspiration alongside powerful, concrete ideas to help you be the mom you really want to be.

Please know, this blog post is in no way sponsored, I earnestly am excited to try this free resource and hoping to get as many moms out there the opportunity as well. If you are interested, use this link MOM CONFERENCE REGISTRATION to register.

x. em

Local Spotlight: ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum.

Earnest mom looks at a local children’s museum, ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum.

Having relocated to Erie last year, I was eager to connect with some local moms and find some great places for the earnest family to go for fun.  While out and about at the library, a local mom had asked if I had heard of the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum, so I decided to check it out.  I am earnestly glad I did!

The ExpERIEnce Museum truly is an experience for children of all ages.  My two earnest littles could spend hours there, daily if I let them.  The museum houses four main areas through out, the lower level being The Ronald McDonald House Creativity Floor which features several arts related educational classes, programming and activities, and exhibits such as the Tiny Tot Spot (for those 2 and under), The Open Studio Center, Multi-touch Art Table and much more.  The main level has two main exhibits, one being the Discovery Corner/Outdoor Classroom (one of my favorite spaces) highlighting natural play/exploration spots, an outdoor library and more.  The next exhibit on the main level is the Explore Floor, which has the mega and super popular water table (it is huge and earnest boy is there from the minute we arrive until we leave), the Bedrock Cave, Imagination Playground and many additional activities.  The upper level is the Imagination Floor, this floor features the adorably pint sized Wegmans Kids Market to “shop,” The Magic of Magnets, Old Town, a suspended train that zooms around the room above all the playing kids and many more places to discover.

The museum staff also works very hard to have weekly classes to encourage education and art exploration through out the year. In the summer time they have wonderful Discovery Day Camps, two of which we had earnest boy enrolled in last year and will be enrolling again this year.  He absolutely loved his camp and a shout out to Miss Tami (who was as sweet and fun as could be), he walked away from camp with a tie-dye tee that he still wears, a painting the he made, ‘Pollock Style,’ a camp shirt that changes colors in the sunlight plus many happy memories of fun, art and learning with his peers.  The museum is still enrolling now for summer camps, and it is not too late to get your kids an unforgettable summer experience plus support our local children’s museum.  They feature week long camps and single day camps to fit every schedule and budget.  More information on their camps can be found on here: ExpERIEnce Discovery Day Camps, or call 814-453-3743 to register today!

The expERIEnce Children’s Museum hosts nearly a dozen special events throughout the year, many of which this earnest family has enjoyed thoroughly. Including their signature Breakfast with Santa program, Noon Year’s Eve, Bunny Days, Fancy Tea Party, Jedi Academy, Super Science Day, Future Me- kid’s career fair and more. Upcoming events include a Teacher Workshop on Friday July 8 in their outdoor classroom, Discovery Corner. This workshop is open to educators throughout the country looking to learn more about engaging kids in nature and making art with nature. The workshop does qualify for Act 48 and PQUAS credits. Pre-registration is required and can be found at natureexplore.org.  The museum also hosts an annual ADULTS-only fundraiser on Saturday August 6 called the Street Soiree. Tickets are $50 for members and $65 for nonmembers and can be purchased at eriechildrensmuseum.org The event features live music, delicious local food, drinks of cheer and fun- all to support the children’s museum. We will offer free admission August 18, 19 and 20 to celebrate ERIE during the city’s annual community celebration.


The ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum is truly a gem to the Erie community and a treasure for our children to explore, create, learn and grow.  The vision of ExpERIEnce Museum, according Ainslie Brosig, ED, is that it would be “a place where ALL kids and their families can engage in learning through play. We help to ensure that every child has a chance to play, thrive in school and succeed in life.”  I believe that they have succeeded in this vision and will only continue to be an asset and positive influence on our little Erie community. Please check them out today!

NOTE: earnest mom has not received payment nor promotional items by posting this article. I earnestly love the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum and hope many more of you can get out there to enjoy it too!

x. earnest mom.

 

It’s That Time of Year! Host a Healthy Baby Home Party for Your and Your Friends!

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As you may recall, I hosted a Healthy Baby Home Party last year via Facebook.  We had a great attendance and a TON of prizes.  Want to host your own?! Here is what it is all about!

What is a Healthy Baby Home Party?

Seventh Generation’s home parties are powered by people like you who are focused on creating a healthy environment for the next generation. Developed with input from non-profit partner, Healthy Child Healthy World, they are a great way to get together with friends, share helpful information, and make an impact!

Healthy Baby Home Party kits are provided to all selected hosts and are filled with educational info about our environment, helpful tips, a fun game, and samples and coupons from Seventh Generation and other favorite family-friendly brands like bobble, American Meadows and Zarbee’s Naturals

What is the Application Process?

  • Sign up atgenerationgood.net to join the Generation Good community, or log in if already a member.
  • Accept the Healthy Baby Home Party Application offer on your Generation Good dashboard and complete the application.
  • Applicants will be notified by mid-June if they have been selected to host a party, via an email to the email address assigned to their Generation Good member profile.
  • All selected applicants will then need to confirm their participation by accepting the Healthy Baby Home Party Mission in Generation Good and confirming their shipping address.
  • Hosting spots are open to US residents only at this time. Canadian parties are planned for later in 2016!
  • Full terms and conditions are available within Generation Good in the “Healthy Baby Home Party Application” offer.

So why not apply?  It is a lot of fun plus you will be helping to get the word out about toxins in our everyday lives that we can minimize for a healthier home for you, and a healthier home for baby!

x. earnest mom

La Petite Crème. An Earnest Review.

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La Petite Crème is a diaper changing “game changer” for me.  As a mom who mainly cloth diapers, using cloth wipes was a very easy transition.  What was not so easy for me was finding a solution (other than plain water) to wipe my earnest babe’s derriere when needed.  Most of the solutions that I had concocted my self or purchased from other mama-makers often seemed to not last long enough.  They tended to develop an “old” smell after a few days.  I was so happy to have stumbled across La Petite Crème which helped to solve this problem for me.

This French inspired, chemical free diapering lotion truly is easy to use, easy to transport and easy recommend to any mama out there, cloth or disposable diapers do not matter because this product can be used with dry cloth or disposable wipes – your choice!

img_1073How does it work? Squeeze a small amount of La Petite Crème on to a cloth or disposable cotton pad or whatever wipe works for you, and simply use to wipe clean the diaper area.  No rinsing required!  It is that easy, not rinsing allows a clear protective film to remain on baby’s sensitive skin.  This diapering lotion is cloth diaper safe, fragrance fee and hypoallergenic while naturally cleansing and disinfecting.  Since it is chemical free, it only has six ingredients – water, olive oil, vegetable glycerin, beeswax, vitamin E and limestone. Best of all, I can pronounce all of them.

Learn more about La Petite Crème here.  You should definitely give this mama-maker a try, moms supporting moms.

x. em.