Mama Bear Mode


imageI’ve always been the type-A, extremely organized, prepared for everything type. Not doom-and-gloom by any means but, prepared. We live in a hurricane-prone area (read: batteries, candles and water fill an entire shelf of my linen closet), I’m addicted to extreme couponing and my dad had a gun in my hands shooting pop cans in the backyard by the time I was 7. See? Prepared.

Becoming a mom changes you. There was a time after I got pregnant that I had to stop watching the evening news. I just couldn’t take a new story every night of a home break in with children in the house or a pregnant mom being attacked.

I’m not a pessimist but I am most assuredly, a realist. We need to keep ourselves and our littles safe. Whether you’re a SAHM, single mom, military spouse..it doesn’t matter. There will come a time when you are alone. It could simply be while out running errands for a few hours or for months on end during a deployment. With the holidays rapidly approaching, many of us will be traveling, stopping at sketch rest stops, and leaving our homes unattended.

Whoever you are, whatever life you lead, it is always wise to take steps to protect yourself and the ones you love.

So how do we do that? How do we keep ourselves safe?

1. Protect Your Home

  • Home Security System– Not all of us can afford a hard core cops-show-up-when-the-cat-moves-at-night home security imagesystem. But what I can afford is a quality door and window alarm kit that will send out a piercing alarm if someone tries to open my doors or windows. This one will run you about $20 off of Amazon. It’s simple to install, battery operated, allows you to use a pin code to arm and is LOUD! If you live relatively close to your neighbors, they’re going to hear it and guaranteed it will really freak some thug out if they’re trying to get in.
  • Outdoor Lights– My neighbor told me about these awesome light bulbs for your outdoor lights. imageThey are solar-censored meaning they only come on when it’s dark and turn off when the sum comes up. If you’re traveling, these are perfection. You just screw it in to your fixture and leave the switch turned on, the bulb does the rest. About $7 on Amazon. You can’t beat that.
  • Indoor Lights– It probably wouldn’t be necessary unless you’re traveling but it’s not a bad idea to pick up a few lamp timers. You plug your lamp into the unit and plug the unit into the wall. Set the times you want the light to turn on and off. This way when you’re gone, your house isn’t pitch black at night but a light isn’t being left on 24/7 either. They sell them at any big box store (Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc.).

2. Protect Your Car– I think it’s safe to say that everyone knows the basics: ice scraper, gloves, Fix-a-Flat, extra phone battery. All of these are wise to keep in your car in case of an emergency. Let me tell you about one extra item you may want to look in to called the Road Trip Emergency Auto Tool.image I recently became OBSESSED with a company called Damsels in Defense. I’ll talk about them a little later but they make this great product in one compact unit that is the ultimate car emergency tool. It is a strike-free glass breaker (so you touch it to the glass, press the button, it shatters the window) in case you need to break your window. It has 3 different LED light settings

3. Protect Your Littles– And they are just that, little. The majority of us at BurritoBuzz have babes that are still too small to understand “stranger danger” and all the other things we teach our children to imagekeep them safe. For now, we can set the example of  behaving properly and safely in public for our LOs until they can better understand.

You can also check in with your local sheriff’s department and register your children in the Ident-A-Print program. Every sheriff’s office should have some form of missing child program that will allow you to register personal information your child so that in an emergency, the police can get identifying information out as fast as possible. They can even issue you a handy little card to give to the officers if, God forbid, you are ever in such a situation and can’t possibly think straight enough to tell them your missing child’s height. This will help.

4. Protect Yourself– Now, like I said, my Daddy had a firearm in my hands at a very young age so that I could learn how to safely and effectively handle a weapon. This option is not for everyone. Regardless, you should always have something on your person that can protect or draw attention to you should you be confronted.

Back to that company I’m obsessed with, Damsel’s in Defense. They make incredibly effective, reasonably priced, cute personal protective items for women. I carry their Pouch O’ Pepper Spray, a keychain that snaps shut to keep little fingers out but holds a powerful imagepepper spray with me at all times. I also love their Wristle. It’s a paracord bracelet that can unravel to be used for a number of situations as well as a high pitch whistle. It’s $10 and it’s cute. I swear I don’t work for these people but seriously, every product they sell is legit.

As mothers, we are given the task of protecting the most beautiful gifts on this planet. Unfortunately, it can be a nasty world out there. And that puts us into Mama Bear Mode. Take daily, proactive steps to secure yourself and your family. Make sure this holiday season is only filled with memories of family and love.

-Chelsea

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A Teal Pumpkin for My Porch

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I keep seeing all of these random Facebook posts telling me I need a teal pumpkin this year so I finally got curious enough to do some research. Turns out, the motivation behind the Teal Pumpkin Project is pretty awesome and will help many of our BurritoBuzz families with LOs that struggle with food allergies.

imageWe have been so fortunate to have only experienced mild food sensitivies with our LO thus far. So naturally the fear that my child will be receiving treats during Halloween that could trigger an allergy simply hadn’t crossed my mind. But I’ve come to find that so many of our friends and family have had to experience the heartbreaking moment of taking your child’s Halloween bag and removing half of the treats that could be potentially harmful to them.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is on a mission to get as many homes as possible to offer non-food treats this Halloween. Leaving a teal colored pumpkin on your porch lets other parents know, hey we’ve got treats here that won’t harm your kid. It’s quickly becoming a symbol of relief for parents that live with the constant fear of “what if she accidentally eats something with nuts (or gluten, or dairy….)?!”

So what is a safe treat? The Teal Pumpkin Project recommends staying away from candy or food completely and offering a fun alternative (like our kids need one more piece of candy this holiday anyways) Here are some ideas that would be super easy to find:

  • Crayons
  • Notepads
  • Pencils
  • Toothbrushes
  • Stickers
  • Bracelets
  • Fake tattoos
  • Bouncy balls
  • Silly putty
  • Bubbles

Any of these would be inexpensive to pick up in bulk and a great alternative that kids would still be excited to get while out trick-or-treating.

I love any initiative that keeps kids safe and lessens the sugar-high insanity that becomes my early November. You’ll be seeing a teal pumpkin on my porch this Halloween!

-Chelsea

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Keep Calm And Carry Epinephrine!

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The only words I need to see are “wheat flour” and “may contain peanuts” and the product gets put right back….depending on the child I’m buying for.

You might read labels to check how many calories you’re eating. I read labels so I don’t kill my children. I’m sure caloric intake would be far less frowned upon.
K has a severe peanut allergy. It’s manageable because it is often very clear what has peanuts and what doesn’t. I never leave the house without her epi-pen and she too knows to read labels.
C’s allergies started out in infancy when he had an adverse reaction to dairy…the red dye 40, gluten, tomato and corn allergies didn’t hesitate to follow… I knew nothing about food allergies and was so upset that my little baby would never be able to eat some of the best foods around!  I began making a lot of his food and purchasing anything that had the words “gluten free” and “dairy free” plastered on the front of the package. Of all of his allergies, his gluten intolerance was by far the worst. The littlest trace of gluten would disrupt his digestive system in such devastating ways. He would get so sick he would become dehydrated and refuse to eat or drink anything. He cried in pain. I could tell in my LO’s eyes that he didn’t care about the food, he wanted the pain to go away. When he started to get a little older, and we frequented restaurants more and more I began to wonder what people with a gluten allergy eat at restaurants! Everything seemed to have some sort of sauce, bread, seasoning or dressing on it and even the simple request of “on the side” became a daunting task because it was often messed up. It was frustrating.
So I compiled a list of resturants who off Gluten Free menus.  You will have to ask for it (if they don’t have it already listed) and you will get weird looks but it works. You and your LO can go out to eat like a normal family and eat (semi) normal food.
Here’s the list:
Applebee’s
Chilis
Red Robin
Claim Jumpers
Ruby Tuesday
Olive Garden
Baja Fresh
Moe’s Southwest Grill
Chipotle
Bonefish Grill
Red Lobster
Outback Steakhouse
Longhorn Steakhouse
Mellow Mushroom
P.F. Changs
Wendy’s
Arby’s
McDonald’s
KFC
Panera Bread
Subway
Denny’s
Starbucks
Coldstone Creamery
Dunkin Donuts
I hope this helps!
-Kirstyn

The Snuza!

I hate when people say “oh, you’re a first time parent. You won’t stress as much with the second.” 1. That implies you know I’m having a second, which is silly considering you don’t know my mindset on having a second or my reproductive ability to necessarily have a second. 2. You assume that I wouldn’t care about a second as much as I cared about my first. I totally get that adding more children means adding more chaos, but I want a happy, healthy child no matter the circumstances. *Steps off soap box.*

So, as a parent, I wanted to take every precaution possible. We all are told about SIDS and “back to sleep” to keep babies on their backs when sleeping/napping during the day. It’s absolutely terrifying. We do everything in our control to keep our babies safe… and you’re telling me my baby could just STOP BREATHING for not good reason in the middle of the night?! AH! So, I did some research and found that there are several things to help us parents sleep without worry. There are hospital grade baby monitors, but they are expensive and usually require a medical condition to obtain. I had heard of an AngelCare monitor– essentially a pad that lays under you LO as they sleep to monitor breathing. The reviews are mixed, at best, with customers saying that the monitor pad doesn’t cover enough surface area.

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So, I continued on with my search and finally stumbled upon the Snuza. A tiny device that clips onto your LOs diaper, under their clothing. It has a soft silicon end that rests against the baby’s belly and monitors each breath. The light on the Snuza flashes each time your LO takes a breath, pretty cool. There are two versions: The Snuza Go! and the Snuza Hero. The difference? Once the Snuza detects no breathing motions for 15 seconds the Hero will vibrate to alert baby before sounding the alarm. The Go sounds the alarm immediately after 15 seconds. The Hero comes in slightly more expensive at $119 vs. the $86 Snuza Go (via Amazon http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=snuza).

My mom purchased the Go! for us as a Christmas gift. It was possibly one of the best gifts we received. $86 for some peace of mind? Yes 100 times over. Our LO came home and immediately began wearing his Snuza at night and during naps. The biggest risk of SIDS is within the first 30 days, and then the first 6 weeks (the SIDS risk reduces greatly after 6 months.)

-Our LO never coslept. Was never sleeping with blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, crib bumpers, or loose clothing. Always laid on his back to sleep.(All of which our pediatrician advises against. I am not a doctor, and as such… I go with my pediatrician’s advice on most things.)

-Always slept in something sleep approved (crib, pack n play, or the Rock n’ Play.)

Our guy had reflux pretty horribly. We were constantly fearful of him choking, and with good reason. It happened twice, and they were the scariest nights of our lives. Before we started inclining our guy to help with the reflux, he laid flat on his back and choked twice. We got to him in time, and while scary, he was okay each time. We were so steadfast in making sure he wore his Snuza every night, and we are so thankful for the extra security it provided us.

We used our Snuza until Lucas was about 4 months old, at which point he was rolling all over and the Snuza came loose too often. Thankfully, by this point he was outgrowing his reflux and could lift his head with no issue. We were comfortable and confident at that point in packing up the Snuza.

A few times, we did get a false alarm. Talk about hopping out of your bed quickly… nothing compounds chaos like a beeping alarm and a screaming baby. We quickly got this figured out, and realized that making his diaper tighter kept the Snuza in place successfully throughout the night.

Snuza batteries are pricey, but you can get them on Ebay instead of ordering them through Snuza. I’ve seen many reviews saying they have a short battery life, but we didn’t have to change ours even once. We ensured to turn it off after each use.

The company does offer an extended warranty free to anyone that reviews their product. Pretty cool.

The Snuza comes highly recommended from this household.

First time parent or not, some peace of mind is definitely worth $86 in my opinion.

-Katie