Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Brainstorming for the Summer and Bloggers for Birth Kits UPDATED

Oh things have been so busy!  I am so glad to finally have an empty day on my calendar today.  Which of course isn’t really empty – I am using today to catch up on blogging and planning meals and de-cluttering.  Lucky for me, I was spoiled for Mother’s Day.  I actually had 2 nights out at Vino e Formaggio last week – one night with friends from our MOMS Club of Front Royal and another night out with my darling sister, Suzie Robb, of Twitter and BBB fame.  And my Mom got me the Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook so I can refresh our meals and get ready for summer vacation.

We recently had Zac’s IEP which went very well.  I am excited for him to start kindergarten in the SCCIP program and I am putting off any anxieties until school starts.  No use worrying about them now!  He has been playing on Zac Browser so much lately that he has started repeating French, Italian and Spanish words around the house.  I am having a hard time thinking of anything cuter!

We just had our Board Elections yesterday for MOMS Club of Front Royal and I am President for another year.  Most of the board stayed on and we have one new Board Member who I absolutely adore and I am excited for a new year with some amazing ladies.  We already have a really big, exciting service project – Clean Birth Kits which I learned of through Rants from Mommyland and Bloggers for Birth Kits.  A few of our MOMS will be meeting in the next week to start brainstorming fundraising and donations.

Photo Credit Adriel Booker, The Mommyland Memos

Here is a list of the items needed for the Clean Birth Kits:

1. Soap (for the birth attendant to wash her hands). Use a hotel-size soap or cut a regular bar of soap into 1/8-sized pieces. (Microwave the bar of soap for 30 seconds to soften it for cutting).
2. One pair of plastic gloves (for the birth attendant to wear).
3. Five squares of gauze (to wipe the mom’s perineum and baby’s eyes). Gauze pieces should be about  3×3 inches.  These need to be sterile and kept away from the soap. 
4. One blade (to cut the cord). You can buy individually wrapped sterile blades at the pharmacist or buy utility blades (much cheaper) at the hardware store. We teach the women to boil the blades for sterilization, so utility blades work just fine.
5. Three pieces of strong string (2 for tying the cord, 1 for “just in case”). String should be about 10 inches long.
6. One plastic sheet (for a clean birthing surface). Sheet should be approximately 1×1 yard and can be purchased at your hardware or paint store.
7. One sandwich-size ziplock bag (to pack the contents).

Thanks to Adriel Booker of The Mommyhood Memos for all this amazing information and receiving the birth kits.  

Local Giving:

I am ready to brainstorm for this Summer of Giving which is approaching quickly!  I obviously want to continue helping out C-CAP as they give back so much to our community.  We have tons of clothes ready to donate and I plan on another food drive.

Liam and I will be working at the 4H Vegetable Garden next week and I am really excited.  Mostly because my plants have come back this year so I feel a little more comfortable and don't think I can destroy their earth and any chance of things growing.

I will be contacting the hospital to see what kinds of things we can donate to patients (books, magazines, homemade cards or sun-catchers).  I also wanted to get in touch with some of the retirement homes.  Kyle's school collected donations for seniors and we donated some new blankets.  Their wish lists included other items such as toiletries and large print books.

I was excited to join the Front Royal Women's Resource Center and someday I will make a meeting.  They are so amazing and I was disappointed to miss out on their Annual Dare to Dream Breakfast this year.  They awarded over $8500.00 in grants!   I look forward to contributing to this group as much as possible. 

Save a Life: 

I almost forgot that I was on the Bone Marrow donor registry until I received a letter from them asking about further tissue typing.  I called to authorize the tissue typing and was actually a little disappointed that they did not have a potential match!  Bone marrow donation tends to have a lot of people worried about donations (ever see Dr. House take a bone marrow sample without anesthetizing?).  But in reality - the donor is in a hospital and under general anesthesia and most report lower back soreness after donation.  Another, more common method of donation is called peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation.  This is done at a blood center or hospital and is also outpatient.  These donors receive injections for 5 days to increase blood forming cells.  The blood is taken from one arm, passed through a machine to separate our the blood forming cells, and then returned to the patient through their other arm.  All in all - a little discomfort to save a life.  According to Be The Match, about 70% of patients in need of a bone marrow transplant will not have a match in their families.  The Be the Match registry could be the patients only hope.  BeTheMatch.org has lots of information on how to get on the registry, donate, or spread the word. 

Another way to easily help save a life is to donate blood.   Our area regularly has blood drives through the Red Cross and I try to arrange child care so I can donate.  I don't eat animal products so I try to pay attention to my iron intake during the 24 hours before donating, but as long as I remember to eat my levels are usually fine.  I am O- so my blood type is universal.  Its amazing to know that something so simple can help 3 lives!  Check out redcross.org for blood drives near you. 

Touch a Life:

The World Needs More Love Letters is one of the cutest ideas ever.  I love the idea of leaving a random note somewhere for someone to find and help brighten your day.  (Kind of like our Rock project last summer).  You can also nominate someone to receive a batch of love letters and sign up to be a letter writer where you will get an assignment sent to you to help touch a life.  I have received assignments for a Mother whose son was in the Middle East and a nomination from a girl whose stepmom was in the hospital with cancer, after having cancer several others times.  I have a hard time writing these notes - but I hope to find one that flows easily onto paper so I can help.

Milkshake is a great site that finds products and events that give back globally.  It was through Milkshake that I learned of The World Needs More Love Letters and Pure Vida (adorable bracelets) and a number of other causes.  If you are like me and want your shopping to do a little more, definitely subscribe to this site as well as Milkshake Kids.

Liberia Orphan Education Project is an amazing program, run locally, that helps provide education support and development to teachers and school supplies and books to orphans and vulnerable children in Liberia, West Africa.  It is a strict not-for-profit and has no overhead cost.  To learn more about this incredible organization, and how you can help, check out their website here.  

I am hoping to include more organizations that I adore - but my cluttered brain only let 3 squeak out.  Do you have any organizations you would like to share - globally or locally?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Puppies need home! UPDATED

A friend of mine has recently under gone a tragedy in her family and she has asked for help in placing the 2 new puppies they have.  They are 20 weeks old, rottweiler/pit bull mixes, and have been raised around and are good with children and other animals.  They are currently located in Linden, Virginia and placement is needed.  If you are interested in fostering or adopting - please contact me at katie.carr.29@gmail.com, on twitter @KatieCarr29, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/katiecarr29.

Thank you!  Please share with anyone you think might be interested.

Thanks for all your help in spreading the word.  The puppies have found a wonderful new home together!