The Survival Mom » Moms http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:58:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Camp MAMA — Summer Camp Ideas for Moms http://thesurvivalmom.com/camp-mama/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/camp-mama/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2015 07:40:59 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=7029 Summer vacation is starting! Summer camps can cost hundreds of dollars a week. As great as those experiences can be and as much as kids can learn, the cost adds up fast. After several summers of my kids complaining about having to get up for camp, mine are only signed up for a few day camps […]

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summer camp ideas for momsSummer vacation is starting! Summer camps can cost hundreds of dollars a week. As great as those experiences can be and as much as kids can learn, the cost adds up fast. After several summers of my kids complaining about having to get up for camp, mine are only signed up for a few day camps each.

That leaves a lot of time for them to drive me insane and get really bored. So, I put together this list of summer camp ideas for moms that you can schedule right at home.

My idea? Trading kids!

Really. For some afternoons throughout the summer, I’ll leave one boy playing with his friends at their house and have other kids come here for “camp” with my other son. Just make sure you’re doing even swaps. You don’t want another family to feel like you’re using them for free babysitting, and you don’t want to be the free babysitter.

Most parents I know have things stuck in a closet that would make great little themed “camps.” Whenever there is something appropriate (like building forts – a.k.a. shelters – in the woods), you can assemble a bigger group so all the kids can play together for “camp.”

Disaster Challenges

When I first wrote this, I referenced Claire Llewellyn’s three “Survival Challenge” books focused on outdoor survival skills – Survive in the Jungle, Survive at Sea, and Survive on a Desert Island. Sadly, these are almost impossible to find now, but there are tons of other great books to help with outdoor survival skills. Practicing outdoor survival skills can be a ton of fun for kids! They are outside, with friends, grubbing around. What’s not to love?

With a travel theme, a “Mexico” week could include making tortillas and an “Alien Invasion” theme could include an evasive NERF course for learning to evade a hail of bullets along with making alien green goop. (Note: There are a TON of different kind of NERF darts – check with your child to make sure you buy the correct ones.)

A “London” camp could include acting out a play like you’re at Globe’s Theater, building your own bomb shelter (fort!) like many WWII era books and movies include (The Lion, the Witch, and the  Wardrobe /The Chronicles of Narnia and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, for instance), or designing your own royal wedding and wardrobe.

Other Themes

Cooking could include outdoor cooking, no-cook cooking, baking, dehydrating (and rehydrating), and cake decorating. (My boys love baking because they can eat what they bake.) Spy Camp could include treasure hunts, pre-packaged murder mysteries like the dinner party kits, an evasive bike-riding course, and more NERF.

The “Whodunit? Lab” from Discovery Kids (crime lab experiments including fingerprinting) is great for science-oriented kids or kids who love solving mysteries. It is out of production, but I found it on eBay. There are tons of science and spa / soap making kits available.

Even more possibilities are working on Cub Scout belt loops, photography, crafts like weaving and spinning, wood working, art, and gardening. The choices are limited only by your imagination and the skills you know or are interested in learning.

Sharing Something YOU Love with Your Kids

Summer camps are great, and they definitely provide sanity breaks if you’re home full-time with your kids, but doing your own Camp Mama (or Papa or Grandparent) allows you to teach your kids specific skills, cater to their interests, and share something you love with your kids.

I’m a poor swimmer at my best, so sending the kids to swim camp instead of trying to teach them myself is a no-brainer, but the “whodunit? lab” looks wicked cool. We never have time to try it during the school year, so doing that as a camp is equally a no-brainer. And of course, they’ll need plenty of time to just kick back, relax, play some Minecraft (another camp possibility) with their friends, and enjoy their free time during summer vacation. With a little luck, so can Mama!

Edited from original version published June 30, 2011.

summer camp ideas for moms

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Happy, Healthy, & Prepared — A FREE Ebook For You! http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-book/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-mom-book/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:00:01 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=22091 The Survival Mom Radio Network produced over 700 shows during its very successful run. We aren’t producing new episodes now, but together, the hosts contributed to a handy ebook with tips for homesteading, survival, family life, and more. That book is completely FREE! Here’s the link for the Kindle version of Happy, Healthy & Prepared, and […]

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Happy Healthy and Prepared ebook  www.TheSurvivalMom.com

Click to download from Kindle.

The Survival Mom Radio Network produced over 700 shows during its very successful run. We aren’t producing new episodes now, but together, the hosts contributed to a handy ebook with tips for homesteading, survival, family life, and more.

That book is completely FREE!

Here’s the link for the Kindle version of Happy, Healthy & Preparedand you don’t need to have a Kindle in order to read it. Here are complete instructions for reading Kindle books from your computer!

 

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Wet Nursing: Time to review an old tradition? http://thesurvivalmom.com/wet-nursing-time-review-old-tradition/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/wet-nursing-time-review-old-tradition/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 08:00:41 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=21607 I have thought for some time about how formula fed babies will fare in a SHTF scenario. What if formula has already been looted from the store or destroyed by fire or a major natural disaster? In a time of chaos and collapse, infants are already vulnerable, and especially so without a reliable source of […]

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Wet nursing as an option in a time of chaos and collapse.  www.TheSurvivalMom.comI have thought for some time about how formula fed babies will fare in a SHTF scenario. What if formula has already been looted from the store or destroyed by fire or a major natural disaster? In a time of chaos and collapse, infants are already vulnerable, and especially so without a reliable source of nutrition.

Maybe it’s time we rethink an old custom, wet nursing, or breast feeding another’s child.

Yep, I went there.

This age-old practice may be the best way for a new generation to survive in a worst case scenario.

In the “olden” days (until the late 1800’s), wealthy families often employed a wet nurse, or lactating mother, to nurse their children in place of themselves. In high society, they left the child raising to others. The child went from the wet nurse to the nanny, the tutor, and then on to boarding school.

Sometimes (many times), women of all social classes died during childbirth or shortly thereafter, leaving a hungry baby who needed to be fed. A lactating family member would step up and take the infant to her own breast. If family wasn’t an option, someone else would step in to be the wet nurse.

Wet Nursing in Modern Times

I saw a friend of mine do this about 20 years ago. I will call her “Jane”, as in Jane Doe. Needless to say, at that time I was shocked to see her nursing a child that wasn’t her own! Jane was on maternity leave and she was helping out a colleague who recently went back to work part time. The colleague’s baby was also being breastfed, but mom was detained at work, so Jane asked for permission to nurse her friend’s child, and permission was granted. The result was a happy, comforted baby and a happy mom.

Wow. That opened my eyes. It’s actually a good idea. If women chose to do this, their schedules could be more flexible. If you are a working mom, but don’t want a sitter to formula-feed your baby, you might try to find someone willing to be a wet nurse.

Benefits

You probably already know at least some of this, but here are a few benefits of breastfeeding/wet nursing over formula.

1. Your baby gets high quality human milk meant for a human baby.

2. It’s the perfect temperature, no risk of scalding with hot formula.

3. It hasn’t been “tainted” at a factory or on the store shelf, although you will need to be sure the wet nurse doesn’t eat or drink anything your baby can’t have. (Some babies get colicky if mom has too much dairy, etc.)

4. Shelf products are subject to “recall” if an ingredient was missing or the nutrient proportions were incorrect, among other things.

5. It’s easily digestible.

6. Moms can pump and save their own milk, so as not to lose their own supply.

Concerns with Wet Nursing

There are concerns I have with this as well. First and foremost, how well can you really know a person? Do you know their health history? Any recent blood tests?  Do they have any communicable diseases? How can you be sure YOUR child is adequately fed? There’s no empty formula cans to prove it. What about cleanliness? Is the wet nurse cleaning herself between feeding babies? If one child has a cold, the other may get it too. What kind of compensation are you willing to pay for this service?

But what if there wasn’t a choice? Perhaps a new mom has no choice but to return to work and pumping and storing milk at work isn’t practical. Or perhaps a mom is having difficulty producing enough milk to sustain her baby and now has to use formula. Then, the unthinkable happens: a major catastrophic event, the infant needs formula, and there is none to be had. Heaven forbid it requires a special-ordered one! If your baby relies on formula and you are unable to get more for any reason, you could be in real trouble.

Both nursing and non-nursing moms need to be prepared if this happens. Nursing moms need to be willing to help out others, and non-nursing moms need to be willing to accept that help – and both sides need to be gracious about it. It will undoubtedly be a difficult and potentially uncomfortable situation, at least initially, for everyone.

The Potential Wet Nurse’s Point of View

The following comment is from a woman who always felt she was “designed” (for lack of a better word) to be a wet nurse:

I know many women have difficulty producing enough milk, and I’m sure that’s always been the case, so I’m going to explain more from my side – having TONS of milk! If you never had enough milk, then the idea of women being wet nurses – producing enough milk to feed MORE than one child – could seem absurd to you.

When my son was in the NICU, he needed 20 ccs of milk each time he nursed. I was told to pump for 20 minutes each side, so I did, but I could easily have pumped for longer. After a few days, I realized the length of time was to help stimulate milk flow because most moms needed it. I certainly didn’t! I pumped 12 ounces every 2-3 hours (my son needed 20 ccs) and was never empty! At one point, I hand expressed the 20 ccs he needed into a bottle because it was faster and easier than going somewhere to pump. I ended up donating 150 ounces to a milk bank.

Feeding an extra infant (or two) would have been easy as can be, and (truthfully) a physical relief for me.

Skills and Assets

In survival groups, members are asked what skills they possess. I would ask what skills or services can they offer? A lactating mother is an asset. She can make the difference between life and death.

Children are a precious commodity. We need them to replenish our numbers, give us joy, and assist us in our latter years. If someone has a child that needs a wet nurse, that is a job only a lactating mother can do. Formula may not be available at any price. It’s also something a lactating mother can barter for money, supplies, or trade.

In our modern, high-tech society, the relative sterility of formula seems “safe” while the relative messiness of a wet nurse seems, well, messy and unsanitary. The benefits of breast milk/nursing over formula have been discussed a lot in recent years, but we haven’t quite reached the point that we have re-embraced wet nurses as a valid part of child-rearing.

Perhaps this is because it is something that simply feels like a historic relic of an upper class that didn’t want to raise their own children, but I encourage you to keep an open mind about this. Weigh the pros and cons for yourself.

As for me, I think it’s an idea whose time has come…again. And this time, it’s not just for the rich, and it’s definitely not for those who want to outsource raising their child.

Resources mentioned in this article

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Bases Covered for Baby Preparedness http://thesurvivalmom.com/bases-covered-baby-preparedness/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/bases-covered-baby-preparedness/#respond Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:00:45 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=20930 If you are preparedness minded and a new parent, chances are you have already provided your infant with a 72 hour kit, including clothes and extra blankets. In fact, you have most likely stressed over preparing for your little bundle of joy. Here are a few other preps you may not have thought of yet for […]

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baby

If you are preparedness minded and a new parent, chances are you have already provided your infant with a 72 hour kit, including clothes and extra blankets. In fact, you have most likely stressed over preparing for your little bundle of joy. Here are a few other preps you may not have thought of yet for baby preparedness.

Medical Preparedness

Whether you are snowed in or in the middle of a hurricane evacuation, the last thing you want to do is worry about your baby’s health. The second to last thing you want to do is try to pick up things your child needs during such a time. That’s why medical preparedness is a must when you have a baby.

Immunization

I know, as I write this, the flu shot has only been 23% effective this year, but at the same time, measles has been spiraling out of a well known theme park. While there are some immunizations I would want more information on, there are others that, in my opinion, have proven they are worth getting.

This has become a highly controversial and emotional issue and each family will have to do their own research and make the decision to vaccinate or not.

If you do choose to vaccinate, keep track of which immunizations are given and when. Keep those records, or copies of them, for future reference.

Dosing Information For Infant Medication

You may be stocking up on over the counter medications. You even may have stocked up on infant medications. If you read the back of these bottles or boxes, you may discover that they don’t provide the proper dosage for your young child. For children under two, most OTC medicine simply instruct you to “consult in your pediatrician.” This advice also applies to herbal medicines and remedies.

If your child takes prescription medications (including occasional use items like epi pens and asthma inhalers), check with your insurance to see if they will cover a longer supply than your child normally takes. Some companies cover three months worth of medication at a time.

Analog Medical Equipment

Have at least one non-digital thermometer, in case you run out of batteries. You don’t even have to resort to storing a mercury thermometer anymore. Inexpensive non-mercury oral thermometers and single-use disposable thermometers are widely available.

One note about the single-use (tempa-dot) thermometers based on Amazon comments: Don’t order the single-use mail order when it is hot outside. If they are exposed to temps over 98 degrees in transit, they may essentially be already “used” before you even get them.

You may also want to get a pediatric size blood pressure cuff, a humidifier, and a nasal aspirator, if you don’t already have them. While the humidifier linked here will not create nearly as humid an environment as the regular electric humidifiers you can pick up almost anywhere, it should help keep a smaller area (like the baby’s room) from getting super dry.

Boiling water to create steam is a simple way to quickly create some humidity. Sitting in a bathroom with a steaming hot shower is a fairly standard recommendation when little ones need a very humid environment.

Over the counter medications

Babies need a few over the counter medications on hand that adults don’t. Make sure you have your cream of choice of diaper rash cream, or simply learn to make your own and keep the ingredients on hand. You may also need teething tablets (or, again, make your own) and a remedy for tummy gas, such as probiotics.

Baby Nutrition

Even if you are breastfeeding, you need a contingency plan for your child’s nutrition. You never know if you will be separated from your baby due to weather or travel delays for longer than your pumped supply lasts. You don’t know if your milk production will decrease at a very inconvenient time or if, at some point, you might need to take a medication that isn’t nursing friendly. You need to be prepared.

Baby Vitamins

If you are worried that you little one won’t get all the vitamins they need, you can always store an infant liquid vitamin for them.  Each dosage can be added to a bottle, mixed in with food to mask the taste (when they are a little bigger), or given by itself.

Baby Formula

The wonder of formula is that any caregiver that can make a bottle can feed your child. It’s important that any sitter and older children know where you keep your stash of formula, or stored breast milk, in case you are out when its mealtime. Remember to store extra water for formula reconstitution, not to mention mama’s extra need for hydration.

Baby Food Making Equipment

If your little one is old enough to eat pureed food, you may want to consider storing a manual food processor instead of baby food. You can grind oatmeal into a fine enough ingredient to use for a baby. You can also grind fruit and vegetables suitable for your new eater. And you can use the food processor to make salsa and other tasty treats for the bigger family members!

You could keep a case of commercial baby food in your storage, but if you find your baby food storage runs out sooner than you planned, a food processor and canister of oatmeal is a nice back up. Freeze dried vegetables and fruit are excellent as baby foods when rehydrated and processed until smooth.

Other Equipment

Now that you are prepared both medically and nutritionally for your child’s needs, there are a couple more items that you may be of use to you.

A Body Carrier

I have to be honest: I don’t like lugging around a baby car seat carrier when there isn’t an emergency. I don’t want to think how much less fun it would be in the middle of one!

The are bulky, heavy and their handle are only ideal for twisting my wrists into unnatural shapes. A baby carrier – a wrap, or a more “modern” style – works much better for me. I can carry my child hands free! I don’t need to worry about where to place the car seat or keeping a hold of my older child, and it is so much lighter and easier to clean than the car seat carrier.

Baby Diapers

Disposable diapers take up a great deal of storage space. Instead, you could invest in cloth diapers and a hand cranked washing machine or Scrubba. Keep a bucket around to soak soiled diapers. When you wash them, pour the soaking water in the toilet.

Cloth diapers are also good for new parents with tight budgets. You may decide to use disposable diapers instead – no judgment here! But I find it comforting to know that if our budget just can’t support disposables one month, or we can’t get out to buy more for some reason, we still have our child covered…literally.

Finally….

Keep copies of all your immunization, allergy, and prescription records (in short, your basic medical file) together, in one easily accessible spot. In an emergency/disaster, you don’t want to find yourselves or your baby getting extra shots because you don’t have proof you are up to date and you have ended up in an emergency shelter that requires it. You also don’t want to end up either in trouble for having prescription medication someone doesn’t believe you need (or believes that you stole from someone else) or being unable to get something you do need because you don’t have proof you need it.

If your baby (or any other family member) has any truly serious health problems, make sure you have all the medical files – including films, labs, etc. – to ensure docs who have never seen you and who can’t access your regular files can help you. Keeping digital files on a thumb drive isn’t a bad idea, especially if you have a lot of files.

Resources mentioned in this article:

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Be a Lean, Mean Survival Mom Machine http://thesurvivalmom.com/be-a-lean-mean-survival-machine/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/be-a-lean-mean-survival-machine/#comments Wed, 28 Jan 2015 08:00:44 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=1857 Picture this.  You’re with your kids or grand-kids in a COSTCO or Wal-Mart, when you hear gunshots and screams coming from across the store.  From the terrifying sounds you know you only have a few seconds to get to safety, and an EXIT door is about thirty yards away. Do you have the physical conditioning, […]

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Do you need a list of reasons to become fit and in better shape? How about survival fitness? | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comPicture this.  You’re with your kids or grand-kids in a COSTCO or Wal-Mart, when you hear gunshots and screams coming from across the store.  From the terrifying sounds you know you only have a few seconds to get to safety, and an EXIT door is about thirty yards away.

Do you have the physical conditioning, stamina, otherwise known as survival fitness, to grab the kids, pick them up if necessary, and run fast enough to escape with your lives?  Or, would those extra pounds and flabby muscles slow you down to make a quick escape impossible? Are you a lean, mean Survival Mom machine?

I’m the first to admit that a quick sprint across the store would be pretty difficult for me.  I could do it, but it sure wouldn’t be impressive in terms of speed or style.  I’ve missed way too many work-outs at the gym and have enjoyed far too many meals at the drive-through lately.  I’m typical of millions of Americans, yet as someone who has preparedness as a top goal, I know that someday my survival may depend on being physically fit.

The necessity of getting shape and building up my physical strength has been a big pill for me to swallow.  I can’t tell you how much I hate exercising and every minute on the treadmill is torment.  Even so, I’ve been working on improving my physical fitness.  I’m not a runner, far from it, but I’ve been making a point of walking or bicyling as many days of the week as I can and doing a series of strength-building calisthenics (floor exercises).

Simple lean, mean Survival Mom machine tips!

When I feel like turning on the TV or plopping down with the latest Daniel Silva book, here’s what I tell myself.

  • Upper body strength will help improve my target shooting.
  • I’m setting a good example for the kids.  They love physical activity, and I want them to keep that attitude.
  • Stronger leg muscles are more attractive and much better for running from a dangerous situation.  And also for kicking bad guys in the groin.
  • As I build up my cardio-vascular system, my overall health improves, hopefully keeping me healthy for many, many years to come.  Who knows what our health care system will look like in a few years, and I’d just as soon stay healthy and limit my dependence on the medical system.
  • I am so vain it’s embarrassing.  Heck, I just want to look cuter in my jeans!

How about you?  Could you depend on your fitness level to run fast and far if your life, and the lives of your children, depended on it?  Building up our bodies to be as strong as possible and losing some of the pounds that slow us down is a survival and preparedness must.  No, it’s not an easy step, and there are hundreds of excuses to procrastinate, most of them printed on restaurant menus!  However, there’s a very powerful reason for Survival Moms to start today:  our children.


Someday your survival may depend on being physically fit.
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If you’re already in shape, let us know how you do it.  If you’re on the journey toward physical fitness and being a lean, mean survival machine, hey, we’re on it together!  I’d love to hear about  your plans for becoming the leanest and strongest Survival Mom you possibly can be!

Join the Facebook group, Skinny Survival Moms here!

Listen to this Related Podcast

The Survival Mom interviews David Zulberg, author of The 5 Skinny Habits.

This post was updated from the original posting on November 6, 2009.

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18 Ways to Complicate Your Life http://thesurvivalmom.com/18-ways-to-complicate-your-life/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/18-ways-to-complicate-your-life/#comments Fri, 02 Jan 2015 09:07:00 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=6869 In honor of Patrice Lewis’s book, The Simplicity Primer,  I offer an alternative: my “primer” to over-complicating your life.  I have tried all these strategies and can vouch for their success. 1.    Insist on a, “nice big spread” of food for every get-together.  Be sure to drag out every recipe you’ve ever wanted to try, […]

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18 Ways to Complicate Your Life, Funny, via The Survival Mom

In honor of Patrice Lewis’s book, The Simplicity Primer,  I offer an alternative: my “primer” to over-complicating your life.  I have tried all these strategies and can vouch for their success.

1.    Insist on a, “nice big spread” of food for every get-together.  Be sure to drag out every recipe you’ve ever wanted to try, especially those with ingredients only available at a gourmet store some 23 miles away.

2.    Wait until the night before a trip to pack.  This is even more effective if you also wait to do ten loads of laundry in order for everyone to have clean underwear for the trip.  In a pinch, make a quick trip to a 24-hour Walmart to buy new underwear.

3.    Always say, “Yes!”  After all, you would never want to disappoint someone in need of an emergency baby-sitter, a homemade dessert, or a substitute Sunday School teacher.

4.    Set impossibly high goals, and when they aren’t achieved, just set the same goals all over again!  Lose 15 pounds in two weeks?  Sure!  Why not!

5.    When dishes come out of the dishwasher not-so-clean, put them right back in instead of washing them by hand.  Food baked on during the drying cycle will become doubly baked-on the second time around, which is exactly why you pop them right back in for a third run.  Third time’s the charm!

6.    Always have at least half a dozen projects in motion.  A knitting project, photo organizing, receipt filing, and multiple partially read books just add to the excitement.  The more, the merrier!

7.    Yell.  It’s common knowledge that kids obey instantly when mom yells at them from the other end of the house.

8.    Play before work.  Be sure to pass this philosophy on to your kids.

9.   Ignore “Last Notice” bills from the water company.  When the City finally comes to turn off the water, the family gets a fun, impromptu mini-vacation at the nearest hotel.  If you can find everyone’s swimsuits, you can enjoy the pool!

10.   Decide at the last minute, say 6 p.m. or so, what to make for dinner. This almost always necessitates a hurried trip to the grocery store to pick up a few ingredients not in your pantry.  Trust me.  It’s a great way to make sure the family is good and hungry when dinner is finally served!

11.   Ignore little symptoms.  Wait until they get really, really serious before making that appointment with the doctor or dentist.

12.   Spend some $350 on a set of 11 different skin care products that are guaranteed to produce youthful results but must be used in a certain order, on certain days of the week.  Add the two serums for overall body use, along with a battery powered scrub brush, you’ll experience the full meaning of, “high maintenance woman.”

13.   Check out the maximum number of books the library allows.  Sit back and enjoy watching the kids take the books on car rides, to doctor appointments, and to Grandma’s for overnight visits.  Tracking down each book is a great way for the family to bond at 5 p.m the day they’re all due!

14.   Own one pair of scissors.

15.   Rigidly adhere to expectations and schedules.  Refuse to accept any deviation, and when something goes wrong, pitch a fit.

16.  Magazines!  Subscribe to several, and have more than one location for them as they stack up.  Remember, the “secret to life”, just might be in one of these issues, and you’d hate to miss it.  Have your (only) pair of scissors handy when you do get time to leaf through them, and clip several articles and coupons from each one.  This will result in the need for a complicated filing system.  It’s a win-win all the way around.

17.  Develop a make-up routine so you’ll always look your best.  It should include a foundation for your foundation, the actual foundation, a foundation for your eye-shadow, and the eye-shadow itself.  A single eye-shadow color isn’t enough.  Your routine should have a color for the inner lid, a different color for the outer lid, a lighter shade for under the brow, and a deeper shade for the crease.  Your eyes will need a liner, a mascara ‘base’, and then the mascara, but be sure to use an eyelash curler first.  Don’t forget the lip foundation, the lipstick, and then the gloss.  Before rushing out the door, pat a bit of powder on the shiny, and now-sweaty, parts of your face for a beautiful matte finish.

18.   Store toilet paper at the other end of the house, and then yell when you’re stuck in the bathroom and need a new roll.  (See #7.)

 

P.S.  It was scary how easy it was to write this list!

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My Opinion: Why I Feel Survival Moms Should Carry http://thesurvivalmom.com/opinion-feel-survival-moms-carry/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/opinion-feel-survival-moms-carry/#comments Sun, 28 Dec 2014 17:17:03 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19559 I feel very strongly that women should not only carry a firearm, but be very knowledgeable on the gun they carry, know gun safety and know how to very accurately use their gun. Women and children are vulnerable and I feel today, more than ever that women should be knowledgeable on the varying ways they […]

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Why Every Woman Should Carry

I feel very strongly that women should not only carry a firearm, but be very knowledgeable on the gun they carry, know gun safety and know how to very accurately use their gun.

Women and children are vulnerable and I feel today, more than ever that women should be knowledgeable on the varying ways they can protect themselves and their families from two and even four legged predators.   Not to mention, it is our RIGHT!

Ladies, if you are unfamiliar with a firearm, you can get assistance with AGirlAndAGun website.  I highly recommend them and know that you will be well taken care of.  I had the privilege to interview Julianna Crowder who established A Girl and A Gun.  They are spread out all over the United States and I am sure there will be a chapter near you.

As a woman that regularly carries a firearm, I’d like to also recommend the FlashBang holsters because they are designed for women by women and therefore they are light in weight and are available in varying styles to accommodate your attire and carrying preferences.  I also had the privilege to interview Lisa Looper owner of FlashBang Holsters.   I had a hard time finding a comfortable holster and one that did not leave my hips sore after a long trek until I found the FlashBang holsters.

Another for-women-only holster that has been reviewed on this blog is the Can Can Concealment Holster.

Once I became a mother, my whole world changed.  It was no longer just about me, it was about how I could protect my children no matter what the circumstance.   The only thing more important than my family is God and their livelihood is always my first concern.  Being sure that I am capable of protecting them became of utmost importance to me.

Ladies, I’d like to leave you with one last thought regarding firearms.  We were out adventuring one day and we left in a rush.  I forgot my pistol and my husband said to me “GREAT, so who is going to have my back?“.  That is all I needed to hear and I have never gone anywhere else without it.  It is just as much a part of my attire as are my shoes.

Original image care of:  MontanaHomesteader.com

 

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Wilderness Survival Series: Practicing Survival Skills As A Family http://thesurvivalmom.com/wilderness-survival-series-practicing-survival-skills-family-everydaycarry/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/wilderness-survival-series-practicing-survival-skills-family-everydaycarry/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 08:00:28 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=19555 We are surrounded by wilderness here on our Idaho homestead.  We spend as much of our free time as possible outside and adventuring. What do our adventures consist of? We live a very traditional life out here so a lot of our time in the wild actually has a purpose. We may be scouting for a good […]

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Wilderness Survival Skills are important for everyone, not just survivalists and mountain men! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comWe are surrounded by wilderness here on our Idaho homestead.  We spend as much of our free time as possible outside and adventuring.

What do our adventures consist of?

We live a very traditional life out here so a lot of our time in the wild actually has a purpose. We may be scouting for a good hunting spot, harvesting our meat or firewood for the year, taking a 20 mile hike for some casual exercise, or even panning for some gold (really!). We really put our wilderness survival skills to the test!

Any time we leave our property, whether on foot or in a vehicle, you can be sure that we have our gear and are prepared for anything. Not only do we have our gear, but we always have additional clothing and we each have a firearm.

We live in a very vast location and you never know what may be around the next corner, when your truck may break down miles and miles from home, when the weather may turn, or when even an unexpected injury will happen.

Our predators are typically the 4 legged kind, but you never know when you may run into the 2 legged kind as well. Our safety is a top priority and I feel that survival moms should know how to protect themselves and their children. I feel very strongly that women should not only carry a firearm, but be very knowledgeable on the gun they carry, know gun safety and know how to very accurately use their gun. This is a subject you will find in one of my upcoming posts, but I thought I would give you a little food for thought for those of you that do not carry.

Before I met my husband (aka Mountain Man), I was already busy running wild in the mountains and enjoying the outdoors. I grew up on a farm and my Dad wanted boys and ended up with two girls! As a result, my sister and I were the epitome of tomboys. I knew the outdoors and I LOVED it! I am thankful for the chivalrous nature of my Mountain Man, BUT when it comes to being in the outdoors, he knows I can hold my own and he expects me to know how to handle and take care of myself.

After having children, it only seemed natural to teach my children what I knew. Many are not used to the outdoors the way my Mountain Man and I are, which is why I want to take you through the steps for getting and keeping your family educated, trained and ready. Embracing things as a family is a great opportunity to grow as a family and also empower and nurture your children. When they see Mom and Dad do it, the kids are more likely to jump in and be enthusiastic.

Why YOU Need Outdoor Skills, too

Ladies, if you have a very chivalrous man and maybe even a proud man that wants to show you he is fully capable of taking care of yourself and your family, that is a very genuine man. However, he is not doing you any favors if he does it all for you. If you, yourself, are not interested in learning and allow your husband to do everything while you are camping or in the outdoors, you are not doing yourself any favors either.  Let me explain…

Let’s say that your husband falls and breaks his ankle during your next excursion.  What will you do?

Let’s say you are all out camping, and one of your children wonders off and gets lost.  You split up in an effort to find your child. It is getting dark and you have been unsuccessful in finding them.  Does your child know enough to survive, lost, for a night without you?

This is critical!!!  This is why, even though our family is very well versed in survival, we still go out as a family and practice our skills every chance we get. The old adage “Practice Makes Perfect” is just as important as “Knowledge Is Power”!

The entire family should know what gear to carry, what to carry on their person, how to light a fire, how to build a shelter, how to get safe drinking water and how to sustain themselves in any situation. You never know what may happen when you are out on even a simple hike.

Every day, I wear a paracord survival bracelet that my son made me. I have 9′ of paracord at my disposal ALL the time. I carry a lighter in my pocket, a pocket knife on my jeans, and my Keltek .380 P-3AT is holstered on my belt. My son is equipped with the same things and then some. Having those simple things on our person can save our lives. (This is referred to as your EDC, or Every Day Carry.)

This spring. our family practiced the whole 9 yards, including staying out for the night. Here is a little video of our excursion. As part of this new series here on The Survival Mom blog, I will walk you through what we carry in our packs, the varying ways we start fires, build shelters, hunt for food, etc.

This is just one part of a series of posts where I will provide how-to information and videos that you can watch with your children or as a family. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you and hope to encourage you to embrace these tasks as a family.

 

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Fast, Free Survival Mom Maintenance http://thesurvivalmom.com/fast-free-survival-mom-maintenance/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/fast-free-survival-mom-maintenance/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 06:00:47 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=18145  Pin this —> Taking care of the mom who takes care of everyone else! The most important thing you can do for your children? Take care of their mother! You’ve heard that if the momma isn’t happy, nobody’s happy.  You need to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually to be at the top […]

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mom maintenance

 Pin this —> Taking care of the mom who takes care of everyone else!

The most important thing you can do for your children? Take care of their mother!

You’ve heard that if the momma isn’t happy, nobody’s happy.  You need to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually to be at the top of your game so you can be the mom your kids deserve every day—including in times of crisis.

But with both time and money in short supply, what’s a survival mom to do? It’s surprising what fast, free actions can help you be better prepared.

Take care of your body

Eat in the morning

If you’re still having aspirin and coffee for breakfast, you need to rethink your routine! You’d never send your kids to face a full day on an empty stomach. You shouldn’t, either. Even if you mix up a quick protein shake the night before and down it in the car, you’re less likely to experience low blood sugar and that irritable, panicky, I’m-late-again tantrum. (‘Cause that’s not just me, right?) You’ve prepared for having to make it home without your car, deal with ugly weather conditions, and countless other unpredictable emergencies. Will you really be able to do it on an empty stomach?

Drink water

Years ago I read a book called You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty.  It makes for pretty dry reading, no pun intended, but you can glean much from just the summary.  While recent research indicates that forcing gallons of water down your gullet isn’t necessarily beneficial, Mother Nature never intended you to drink a 2-liter of soda a day, either.

Staying hydrated boosts your energy and helps fill your tummy, too. If you’re one of the handful of women who doesn’t have to diligently watch her waistline, well, I’ll keep my snarky comments to myself. But for the rest of us, water may be our diet’s best friend.

Stretch 

You know you’re supposed to exercise at least 3 times a week; it’s not news.  But I promised free and QUICK strategies, so try this one! Find 30 seconds in your day—especially when you feel a bit sluggish—to stretch your back, arms, and legs. Touch your toes. Take a deep breath. You’ll feel energized instantly.

Floss 

Statistically, most of us don’t floss our teeth regularly. Your oral health provides a window to your overall health, according to the Mayo Clinic.  You probably have imagined a scenario where dental care could be unavailable or unaffordable.  A 2-minute date each day with some dollar-store floss seems like a pretty cheap insurance policy.

Stop smoking, already!

This is beyond free, because you’re actually saving money. And your health, and your kids’ health. If it hits the fan, you’ll have to go cold turkey, anyway, so you might as well get ahead of the game and put that money to better use now.

I know, I know, it’s easy for me to say because I’ve never been addicted. So I’ll tell you what I tell my kids: If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way.  If not, you’ll find an excuse. Breathing is kind of essential to survival—more than any food stores or silver stash. Give your lungs the priority they deserve.

Get some sleep!

Seriously—your mind and body need rest.  Limit your late nights to just a couple a week.  The laundry will still be there in the morning, I promise. But if you drive to school groggy, snap at your kids unnecessarily, or slog through your day doing everything at half speed, you’d be better off getting that extra hour of zzz’s.

Keep your mind sharp

Read!

Download a free kindle app. Then, download some free kindle books. Even without a kindle, you can find enough to keep your brain engaged. Read short articles while you’re at the doctor’s office. Read The Survival Mom on your lunch break. Read to your kids before bed! Keep that tradition going even when your kids can read on their own. Current research indicates that it’s even good for teenagers! Read a book together (or at least talk about it when you’re both done).

Journal

Neurosurgeon Dr. Paul Nussbaum has laid out a prescription for keeping the brain so healthy that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease can be delayed until death—even when physiological changes consistent with the disease are already present. His recommendations include reading and writing just a little bit every day. Don’t bog yourself down wallowing in only survivalist reading. A cheesy romance novel can be good for the brain and spirit, too.  Still no time? Read on your treadmill. Surely multitasking can help you justify 30 minutes to yourself. (I like to read the kindle and walk the track while the kids play at the playground.)

Nurture your spirit

Develop an attitude of gratitude

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your lists of things to do/buy/learn before everything hits the fan, make a mental list of all the things you have to celebrate. It’s impossible to wallow in the doom and gloom of internet news when you ‘re picturing the faces of your smiling kiddos or grandkids! Even in the midst of divorce, illness, financial difficulty, or multiple loads of unfolded laundry, you have lots to be thankful for. If you’re not dealing with any of those issues, you know where to start your list.

Pray or meditate daily

Even if you’re not religious per se, Dr. Nussbaum says daily time in quiet contemplation (maybe making that gratitude list?) has powerful effects on the brain and body. I know it’s tough to find quiet time.  Might I suggest the minutes between “snooze” hits on your morning alarm? Works for me.  I find I can be very contemplative on Monday mornings.

Ask for help

It’s not against the rules.  It doesn’t make you a bad mom. It just means you’re human, and you’ve accepted it. That can be really powerful! Showing your kids how to take care of simple chores, meal prep, and organization can be empowering for them and liberating for you. And if we’re being honest, go ahead and admit that you don’t ask your husband for help because you hate admitting you need it, not because he won’t do it. Mine started snapping beans with the ballgame on and worked his way up to slap-chopping vegetables with the kids (it’s hilarious to see them all lined up and pounding their way toward homemade salsa!). Now he’s an expert tomato skinner, pear peeler, and taste-tester. Plus we get to spend time together instead of me busy in the kitchen while he does…well, whatever he does out in the workshop.  I have found he’ll help with pretty much anything if I ask. But expecting him to notice a sticky hand print and attack it without prompting is unrealistic. I don’t get too worked up about it—especially now that I feel like I’m not doing it all on my own. (Again, that’s not just me, right?) Asking for help will also allow you to make time to exercise, read, and get enough sleep.  I bet your husband will agree that you deserve those things! Give yourself permission.

You’re too important to your family to neglect yourself. They need your “A” game every day. And because you never know when emergencies—major or minor—could require peak physical, mental, and emotional performance, taking care of the mom who takes care of everyone else may be the most important preparation you’ll ever make.

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A Breast Lump Led Me to Homemade Deodorant http://thesurvivalmom.com/breast-lump-led-homemade-deodorant/ http://thesurvivalmom.com/breast-lump-led-homemade-deodorant/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 06:00:02 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=17874 Timing is everything, and I found this particular lump in my armpit the same month a friend died of breast cancer. So, I visited my doctor. One of the questions my doctor had asked was if I changed to a new deodorant, and I had recently started using the Famous Brand SUPER STRONG deodorant. It […]

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homemade deodorantTiming is everything, and I found this particular lump in my armpit the same month a friend died of breast cancer. So, I visited my doctor.

One of the questions my doctor had asked was if I changed to a new deodorant, and I had recently started using the Famous Brand SUPER STRONG deodorant. It worked really well, but…. Not worth the risk if it was giving me who-knows-what in my armpits.

Naturally, I had a mammogram and an ultrasound to check. The result: benign / nothing. Now, I don’t know about you, but those are two different results. Nothing means nothing, as in, not a thing. Benign means nothing to worry about, as in, something is there, but don’t worry. But I digress. (In case you are wondering, I ultimately had it removed and it was breast tissue in the “wrong place”, truly nothing to worry about.)

I changed to Amazon-bought natural deodorants. We finally found one with colloidial silver in it that works well, but I still wasn’t 100% sold. This is something I will use daily, potentially for decades. I don’t want to turn blue!

My Lucky Discovery

I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for “spa products” on sale, especially a nice sugar or salt scrub. I often even use them before they dry out completely. At some point in the summer when my pits were particularly stinky, I decided to try a sugar scrub on them. Miraculous! So much less stinky!

When I ran out of my purchased sugar and salt scrubs, I decided to try making them with my son, who loves mucking about mixing things together. While we were at it, I figured we might as well try homemade deodorant. I used the emptied containers from my store-bought spa products, and also an empty vaseline container for some leftovers.

Both were as easy as can be to make! I needed coconut oil (solid at room temp), which I found at a local grocery store. The deodorant also calls for Arrowroot Powder, which we had on hand courtesy of a recent attempt to eat healthier.

After I started using these, I stopped having problems with stinky pits, even on super-hot days when sweat was pouring off me. Woo hoo! It’s really a blessing for the whole family.

There were a few days when I wasn’t as hot that I did notice a bit of stinkyness at the end of the day. I realized that on those days, I hadn’t used the sugar scrub at the end of my shower.

So, from my experiences, I recommend using a sugar or salt scrub on your pits in the shower, then using homemade deodorant. Both are so simple to make that  I do it with my 8 yr old for fun. He gets to choose the essential oils and put them in, with supervision. We have fun together.

I was able to buy all the ingredients from my local health-conscious grocery store, no special orders required.

Deodorant:

This recipe originally came from the website Passionate Homemaking.

Mix dry ingredients. Add coconut oil gradually until it is smooth and well blended. The texture should be similar to commercial deodorant, soft enough to go on easily but firm enough to hold its shape.

You can put it into an empty deodorant container (an old one will do) or any other sealable container.

I recommend making sure the container has a good seal because this does have a low melting point. Left in a tent at Scout camp, it liquified when the temp was “only” in the low 90s. If it hadn’t had a good seal, that would have been quite the mess to clean up.

Vanilla / Brown Sugar Scrub:

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Mix the sugars together until there are no lumps. Add sunflower oil and vanilla. (Sunflower oil does not carry the strong scent that Olive Oil does.) Store in a sealed glass container until ready to use.

Salt scrubs will work as well, they just might sting if you nick yourself while shaving.

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