Guest Feature: What’s Best for Your Health??

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Thank you to Daniel Sherwin from dadsolo.com for sharing this article with us: Tips for Taking a Stand Regarding What’s Best for Your Health. Excellent advice and food for thought!

The state of our health can easily be neglected. However, when we feel terrible, it’s then that we decide to be more proactive about what is conducive to our health and what isn’t. In other words, we learn to take notes regarding our health because we know ourselves and our family better than anyone else. So if that’s you, and you’ve been letting everyone around you decide what’s best for you or your kids, here are some helpful tips from earnest mom on how to voice your opinion more.

What are your options?

Taking care of your health better means being aware of the various options available to you when choosing a health insurance scheme. There are quite a few options out there, so you might want to consider doing a fair bit of research into what a Health maintenance organization is (or HMO), what an Exclusive provider organization (or EPO) is, and what your options are regarding point-of-service (or POS) plans. As you can see, knowing what these are and what this entails can be quite the process to go through, let alone understand. However, research like this can end up saving you in the long run – and not just from a money perspective.

Develop a relationship with your doctor

Trust can only be built where there is open communication and honesty between two parties. The same could be said of the relationship between you and your medical health practitioner, meaning you can’t learn to trust and accept when there hasn’t been an ongoing rapport between you and them. 

Ask for a copy of your medical records

Did you know that you are well within your right to ask for a copy of your medical records? Just having your own medical records on hand to refer back to could be what you need to request a second opinion if your gut doesn’t feel right. 

Speaking of gut feel…

Suppose that you feel that your first diagnosis wasn’t entirely accurate for some or other reason, then it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a second opinion from another physician to confirm your suspicions or allay your fears. For example, you could consult with an online doctor if you want to consult with someone urgently. Furthermore, you will have access to various treatment options if you see one that you think could be beneficial for you or your child’s condition. Also, if your child needs their medication quickly, your online doctor can complete a prescription quickly for you and have this sent to your local pharmacy, where you can conveniently collect this along with your child’s medication.

Step up.

Sometimes, we just need to step up to the plate when it comes to our health and our families’ health by being more intentionalabout it. This may mean making the most of every opportunity to exercise, such as taking the stairs and not the lift, and getting off the train or bus a stop or two earlier so you can walk the rest of the way to work, for example, or by making jogging a daily exercise that is mandatory for you and the kids so that you can bond and get fit together.

At the end of the day, it is up to us as moms to take a stand for our families’ as well as our own health by making smarter choices. This can only assist us in being better parents, knowing we have done all we can to secure the well-being of our loved ones.

Earnest Mom x Sage Spoonfuls

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Guys!! I am so excited about this, earnest mom is OFFICIALLY a Sage Spoonfuls Brand Ambassador.

Okay, so what does that mean?? It means over the next few months I will get the privilege to share with you some of their brand new products plus awesome discounts!! Woo hoo.

I began using Sage Spoonfuls back in 2015 when I starting making baby food for earnest babe. (Check out my article here, An Earnest Attempt At Homemade Baby Food.)

In our earnest home, we used Sage Spoonfuls’ Baby Food Making System for making baby food, but once we were passed the baby food stage this system has been helpful for much more. The immersion blender has been used for shakes, soups and applesauce. The mini food processor has made pesto, freezer jams, breadcrumbs, cookie crumbs and chopping veggies. The glass jars (freezer safe) have served as Oriole jelly feeders, storage for home-made jam, tartar sauce and applesauce; stashing snacks in the diaper bag and even reusable wipes. This whole system grows well beyond the infant feeding years, definitely an investment. (Want more ideas? Check out Sage Spoonfuls).

Now that earnest boy 2.0 is 5 months, I am getting ready to start making baby food all over again. Sage Spoonfuls has a wonderful cookbook that gives delicious, fresh and healthy (and safe) recipes tailored to each specific baby food age/stages. I am excited to do it all over again, and with my mom brain forgetting all I did 3 years ago – this cookbook helps a lot.

That is my story on why I love Sage Spoonfuls SO much; go ahead, get your own Sage Spoonfuls and start your love story!! Want a discount while you shop?! Use SAGE25REBECCA at www.sagespoonfuls.com for your 25% discount today.

x. earnest mom

PS: Stay tuned for some new products from Sage Spoonfuls!

From then to now…

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*Trigger warning, discusses threatened miscarriage, subchorionic hematoma and bicornuate uterus*


One year ago, we were sitting in a triage room at 3:30 am.  “Threatened miscarriage.”  That was all I heard before I felt cold, afraid and empty.  That feeling could not be shaken over the longest three days I have ever experienced.  We had to wait, the ENTIRE weekend to see if that baby’s heartbeat was increasing or decreasing.  I was made to stay in bed or on the couch, not get too stressed or excited, nor could I lift anything.  Prayer.  Prayer got me through those three days, helped me to smile with my children, helped me to breathe in moments when I thought my breath would be lost all together.  It helped me when the tears would flow without my knowledge until they were cold on my cheek.  Helped me find a way through it all.

We got to the doctor and after another round of blood work and sonograms, I was diagnosed with a subchorionic hematoma (a bleed on the uterine wall) and  bicornuate uterus (a birth defect that I have had all along).  Due to the size and location of the bleed, I was placed on restricted activity and every trip to the bathroom from there on out was stressful.  Would I lose the baby or would we be okay?  I was so worried, until I was educated more on my uterus shape.

As it turns out, a bicornuate uterus (which means my uterus is heart-shaped, or has two horns/cavities) is associated with increased adverse reproductive outcomes, such as recurrent pregnancy loss and pre-term deliveries.  I have had this condition from birth and never knew until my third pregnancy.  I never knew because, with a condition that should have proved pregnancy a difficult task or even a risky one; it had never caused a problem.  Once I realized that, I knew that this current pregnancy was not in my control.  It was in God’s hands, just like my previous two and as He tells us we should, I casted my cares (well worries) upon Him.  Comfort, safety and hope; those were what I found after that first week passed and I gave it all up to Him.

Here we are, a year later with a BEAUTIFUL baby boy.  Born full term, we went into labor naturally, delivered him naturally (unplanned as my epidural was turned off when my blood pressure dropped dangerously low), he is happy, healthy and thriving.  Our earnest boy 2.0 has filled our hearts, we are now a party of five and wholly complete.  For that fact, the tears of joy flow and I know they are there, my breath is full of humbling relief and my smiles are not struggling to be there.  I am in awe.

x.  em.

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

Earnest Mom Local Spotlight: The Family Shop

The Family Shop is a new and exciting parenting retail store opening here in Erie, PA.  Created by Jeff and Kristyn Chiaramonte, their mission is to provide the best quality family care products and services at fair pricing to support families of all income levels. Every customer matters to them. Such a perfect name for their shop as they truly are family focused and family supportive, a community effort that is rarely felt in any big box store today.  They are trying to help the community not only by providing great products to families but also by supporting local “mommy makers/artisans” which will have Erie made products featured on their Vendor Wall.

The Family Shop will provide great new natural products focused on helping families. They will be offering  a variety of baby carriers/wraps, nursing/maternity apparel, cloth diapers, bamboo feeding tools, educational toys, teething products and more. The shop has a Mommy Corner, designed with nursing moms in mind, it is a quiet corner where mammas can nurse if baby gets hungry during shopping or change their bums without being distracted from the business of the hustle and bustle.  There is also an adorable kids spot that is a space designed specifically for little ones to play, with a huge open window  where kids remain in sight from across the store; moms and dads can shop while their little one plays, and can keep a good eye on them at the same time.

The Family Shop will have their grand opening starting Tuesday April 26, 2016 10 am lasting all week, they will give away free reusable “The Family Shop” totes on each in store purchase, while supplies last.  The shop’s regular hours of operation will be Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10 am – 6 pm.  During the grand opening there will be large stamp pads available in an array of colors so the customers can use their hand prints to decorate the lower half of the store’s walls.  I earnestly love this idea and cannot wait until my littles are old enough to return and can pick out their own hands on the shop walls.  As the days lead up to the grand opening, stay tuned on Facebook where the shop has been featuring some fun reveals and keeping us updated with any news.

I am earnestly excited for this store to open, as an Erie resident and mama of two I can see the potential and need for this shop to be a great community support.  Kristyn and Jeff hope to start hosting learning programs from the shop to allow moms and dads a safe place to spend time, grow and learn, and allow children to socialize as well.  The shop is quaint, inviting and welcoming to all customers.  Whether you are curious about baby wearing, cloth diapers, looking to simply connect, or thinking about going bit greener in your home, this is the shop you want to stop by!

Contact The Family Shop at Yorktown Plaza
2501 W. 12th Street
Erie, PA 16505
814-616-6801
or Connect on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Eriefamilyshop
and Twitter:
@familyshoperie

Hope to see you at the Grand Opening!
x. em.

But I Don’t Like It! Earnest Mom Chats about Picky Eating.

If you don’t have one…you’re bound to one day encounter the ‘picky eater’ and when you do, your parental patience will be put to the test. As a recovered picky eater, I earnestly look for new ways to prevent or tackle this issue. I was recently a part of a Twitter Party discussion, hosted by Happy Family Brands and featuring the expertise of Dietician and food lover, Amy Marlow. Here are some tips that were featured during this chat, which have helped in the earnest household and I hope can help in yours.  Just remember that according to Ms. Marlow, picky eating is 50% biology and 50% experience.

1. Infancy is prime time for introducing a food, just be sure to never pressure baby to eat and look for signs of solid food readiness (such as showing interest in table food or mommy’s food, baby is willing to chew and baby no longer pushes food out of their mouth). Remember this is the best time to offer a variety of colors, flavors and textures!

2.  Don’t give up.  Most of us give up offering a refused food after three or four times and we decide that they do not like the food.  Food refusal can depend on many factors, temperature, mood of child and even the time of day.  Be sure to offer foods ten to fifteen times before deciding your child does not like it.  Just keep trying!

3.  Have children (toddler and older) assist in grocery shopping such as choosing fruits and vegetables, that way when they are home they will be more prone to eating the foods they have chosen.  If this method is successful maybe do a challenge of one new fruit or vegetable that the family tries together each week.  That way your child will be exposed to more flavors and textures (healthy ones if they are fruits or veggies), and mom and dad will be trying them too so it’s a communal effort from the whole family.

4.  If your child is showing tendencies toward being a picky eater, do not offer high sugar, high calorie and low nutrient options.  If you are going to offer alternatives stick to healthy ones.  It will be better and healthier for both parents and child in the long run.

5.  Have a rule at the dinner table, often times “I don’t like it” is heard before a child even tries their meal.  Make a rule that everyone must try one bite of everything on their plate before they decide they do not like it.  As hard as it may be, be patient during this process and support your child if they are at least trying the foods you are offering.

6.  Never do any of these:

  • Use foods as a reward, using sweets or other unhealthy treats as a reward for finishing dinner or eating something they do not care for can actually undermine the healthy examples that you are working so hard to have for your child.
  • Label your child a picky eater.  One hundred percent of the time, children who are told they are picky, will be picky.
  • Never hide vegetables in your food.  I mean, go ahead and disguise them or make them taste better, but never intentionally “trick” your child into eating something.  Even though they do not know that a food may be present in their food, be honest with your child, tell them what they are eating.  This approach allows children to recognize and appreciate the many forms and flavors that foods can bring to a variety of dishes.  On a whole, earnest mom would insist that we do not lie to our children.

Like I said, as a recovered picky child and I would earnestly urge parents to not give up! There are still some foods that I am just not a fan of (corn or peas on their own, oh and Jello) but I once read that our taste buds actually change all of the time.  So I am always willing to try, and we do the same with earnest boy (he has inherited my texture dislikes like Jello) and we get him to try foods he does not like about every month or so.  Slowly but surely his palette is growing quite rapidly.  So all you earnest moms and dads out there, be patient, set the example and help your children enjoy food!  Below I have also attached a great nutrition guide link from Happy Family Brands to help!

x.

earnest mom

Happy Family Nutrition Guides

Host Your Own Healthy Baby Home Party. Earnest Mom Invites You to Apply!

If We Can Get Monsters Out of Closets, Bring Toys Back to Life, and Heal Scrapes with a Kiss, We Can Get Toxins Out of Our Kids.

Many of you have recently attended a great party (hosted by yours truly) with a GREAT conversation, Healthy babies and Healthy homes!  Our peer connections, support and advice during that party for me was priceless.  Well, I have GREAT news!  Seventh Generation is currently taking applications for YOU to host your own Healthy Baby Home Party in your community.  This is your opportunity, if you are selected, to be that friend that earnest mom is to you.  Let’s make that change!

HBHP_5

Earnest Mom Goes to Gearapalooza. It. Was. AWESOME!

If there are any earnest followers that are expecting, planning or recently had a baby (or know anyone that fit these three), you NEED to know about Gearapalooza!

 Photo Courtesy of Bumb Club and Beyond

I recently had the opportunity to attend a Gearapalooza in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I cannot believe that I have not heard of Gearapalooza until this past year!  Gearapalooza is brought to us by the Bump Club and Beyond and features the amazing and talented, Jamie Grayson aka The BabyGuy NYC and of recent fame #babyguybox which is promising to be HUGE! (**UPDATE** it was huge, sold out in like 3 minutes and I heard it almost broke the interweb). Gearapalooza (click on link to see future locations) tours Canada and the United States featuring the newest and best of the baby gear world, and promises to be the ultimate baby registry and baby gear event – a promise in my mind they absolutely surpassed.

When we arrived (I scored a VIP ticket for me and a General Admission for a Bestie) we were welcomed warmly with our raffle ticket and event information, following that was a lot of delicious food!  After enjoying some yummy eats the real event began.  On our raffle tickets the name of every vendor was listed – for every vendor we visited we received a star and once our ticket was filled we got to hand it in for an awesome raffle.  The prizes, oh my – from Dr. Smith’s bum cream to a Naturapedic organic mattress to an Orbit travelling system.  The prizes given away that day must have retailed over $4,000!  I digress because the real feature of that day (not to down play the vendors AT ALL because, the giveaways were so awesome) was the one, the only BabyGuy, Jamie Grayson.  If you care at all about the products being used for your precious little bean you WILL follow him on ALL social media ASAP! He is the one you want to hear from when it comes to any baby gear – I think he has magical “BabyGear” powers that connect him to all things baby gear because he is literally the baby gear king!  He is funny, smart, clever and a joy to interact with, his knowledge cannot be surpassed.  The presentation was about one hour long but myself (being a mother of two) had my eyes opened to safety, new products and proper usage of items I own, in ways I did not know existed.


Another bonus to this day was of course the SWAG BAG! I am a sucker for free stuff (well free with a purchased ticket), these bags from Gearapalooza by The Bump Club and Beyond did not dissapoint.  Mine is pictured here (the VIP bag, which also included a BECO Soleil not pictured as it was being mailed after the event).


Seriously though, look at all those goodies!  I was also lucky enough to win a Dr. Smith Diaper Cream Prize pack that included the brand new Diaper Rash Spray!  What a blast and I earnestly encourage all my earnest followers out there, if you have a Gearapalooza coming up near you…GO! It is SO worth it.  I am so glad I attended and earnestly hope that I will have another chance in the future.  I.  Love.  Gearapalooza!

x.

earnest mom