Life Lesson For Mommy #52:

Earthquake Ready

This is for my friends and family and anyone who experienced the Earthquake last night in BC. I have always been prepared for disasters that are relevant to my area and the ‘big one’ is what I prepared for.

The Canadian government (Harpers Gov’t) had basically said that you are on your own and they will be only focusing on the most devastated areas first, which is the Downtown Vancouver and Richmond areas. If you are outside of that area like in Burnaby, Surrey and further out, you will get help last and be the last to get proper supplies, so make sure you are ready.

I think when I first posted this list people probably thought ‘meh’ and didn’t think twice about it, but I think now that they have experienced what a small earthquake feels like, it is scary and very real. It probably reminded them that they are not ready and had this been the epic one that is scientifically being expected, it could have been bad.

So here is the comprehensive list, it has almost everything you can freaking imagine but tailor it to your family. Make your own list based off this list and then shop and order what you need. Remember the gov’t of Canada says 72 hours where as most earthquake sites and prepper sites say nope with the kind of damage that is being expected be prepared for 3 months. If you are in the Tsunami zone, make proper arrangements for that as well. Don’t be living in the delusion that you will have the normal necessasities- like toilets and running water, you might not have those if power stations and water reserves are damaged. You might be thinking it’s not going to be that bad – we ll scientists would argue with you saying no it’s over due like by 100 years, it’s going to be bad and very bad.

Also keep in mind, if you have children in school make sure to talk to their teachers about teaching kids about earthquake safety. And make a plan about how you are going to meet your kids, if you are going to get them etc Where to meet, how to meet, who is going to get who etc etc should be part of this earthquake preparedness.

If I have missed something please comment so that I can add it!
So here is the list:

Copy and paste this into a document, I’m sorry I haven’t paid proper attention in building this site (I got kids dammit) but I will try to make it updated so that you can just print it. But for now, copy paste, and be prepared.

Good Luck 😀

Earthquake and Tsunami List

For the house – BugOut Bag: (this is if you need to grab your bags and run! Some people in the Katrina floods had to flee their home on a moments notice, those who had these things could fend for themselves and not rely completely on aid. Standing in hours of line ups etc is not easy with kids. Consider making one.)

2 backpacks and one duffel bag (this covers a family of 4)

  1. 2 flannel blankets
  2. small pot
  3. small pan
  4. dried foods (granola bars, nuts mix)
  5. Medical kit (including adult thermometer, cotton balls, antibiotic pads, band-aids etc)
  6. matches or fire starters
  7. 3 large garbage bags (the black ones)
  8. advil & tylenol +(baby medicine)
  9. penicillin (if someone is injured this could safe your life)
  10. benedryl (baby)
  11. lotion (baby)
  12. emergency prescription glasses (if you wear them)
  13. Water purifier canteen or water tablets and water bottles
  14. 2shirts, 2sweaters,2 comfortable pants, 2runners,underwear, socks for each person (parents and kids)
  15. flash lights
  16. batteries
  17. diapers & wipes
  18. cooking set (it’s a small set that can be bought from any camping store)
  19. 2 manual can openers
  20. work gloves
  21. hammer & nails
  22. bungee cord
  23. 3 space blankets
  24. compass – no joke it’s recommended so do it
  25. 2 small mirrors
  26. Disinfecting wipes & GEL
  27. Potty/sanitation tablets/wipes – found in camping store
  28. small scissors
  29. tweezers & nail cutters – trust me you need this

This seems like a lot, but it’s mostly small items or foldable items and fits well between all 3 bags. Distribute to fit.

 

STABLE KIT (for the house, leave in shed easily accessible closet, this is the major portion of your kit and should last 3 months)

(Food & Shelter)

  1. Non perishable foods- canned meat, canned goods, boxed foods
  2. Rice and flour in small air tight containers
  3. Water bottles (not expired) and water purifiers
  4. Filtering system for water or water bottles (Camping stores have tablets)
  5. Generator (optional)
  6. propane tank & small BBQ set (should be full for emergency)
  7. inflatable boat
  8. 2 sleeping bags
  9. batteries
  10. small pot
  11. small pan
  12. prescription medicine
  13. vegetable or canola oil (for cooking and fire) do not stock olive oil and sensitive oils.
  14. ER prescription glasses
  15. advil & tylenol (kids too)
  16. penicillin
  17. benedryl (kids baby)
  18. 1 life vests (+child)
  19. Toilet paper double wrap with plastic wrap
  20. squirtable bottle for cleaning after washroom
  21. woodplanks- scrapes in shed
  22. 5 garbage bags
  23. 2 small shovel (flat head and pointed)
  24. 2 big knives
  25. baseball bat
  26. matches and fire starters
  27. 2 thin but warm blankets
  28. hot water bottle
  29. diapers & wipes
  30. baby rash gel
  31. baby lotion & your lotion
  32. Vaseline & cotton balls (fire starters)
  33. Aloe gel or Polysporin
  34. candles & candle holders
  35. camping tent (4 people)
  36. portable stove top with small propane
  37. 2 manual can openers
  38. rubbing alcohol
  39. 2 vodka and red wine bottles
  40. work gloves
  41. hammer and nails
  42. crowbar
  43. tweezers & nail cutter
  44. compass
  45. bungee rope
  46. Potty/Sanitation tablets/bags/ wipes- if the toilets don’t run you have to make sure you are still hygienic to avoid bacterial infections and poisonous situation.
  47. ax
  48. filled cherry gas can (use and refill every 3 months)

 

(medical aid portion for stable kit)

  1. non latex gloves
  2. sterile gauges and bandages
  3. antibiotic wipes and antibacterial
  4. burn ointment
  5. medical tape (adhesive bandages)
  6. thermometer
  7. scissors
  8. tweezers
  9. diarrhea medication
  10. Tums & anti acid
  11. coco water tetra packs
  12. female pads (large and small sizes)
  13. soap in a bottle and shampoo
  14. 3 large towels
  15. insect spray
  16. insect repellent candles
  17. cotton buds
  18. copes of birth certificates, citizen ship cards, SIN #, carecard #’s
  19. Take out $1000 cash small denominations
  20. record of bank acct #’s, local fire stations/ help stations#’s, stock holdings, savings acct, deposit box list

 

Bug out kit For Car, prepare as if you will have to travel in car

  1. 2 blankets
  2. flashlights
  3. water bottles or water treatment tablets
  4. canned food or dried food
  5. 2 manual can openers
  6. diapers & wipes
  7. 1 sleeping bag or large blanket, Emergency silver blanket
  8. matches/ fire starters
  9. small pan with lid
  10. advil & tylenol (kids too)
  11. your lotion, baby lotion
  12. vaseline & cotton balls
  13. sweater,pants, socks, shoes, underwear, baby clothes (1 set each member)
  14. batteries
  15. small cherry can gas (empty for easy filling)
  16. paper and pens
  17. toilet paper
  18. puffs tissue
  19. compass
  20. rope
  21. 1 car charger
  22. crowbar
  23. whistle
  24. antibacterial wipes
  25. rubbing alcohol & bandaids
  26. Compact First aid kit

Things to keep in mind.
Bundle your clothes in plastic bags or large zip lock bags to keep them dry and safe.

Try to store all your medical stuff together wherever possible, but if it doesn’t fit all in your bug out bags, spread them out but keep a laminated or ‘taped’ list in a pocket of the bag so you know where things are.

Make a Safety check list for yourself, so you know the ‘unsafe’ areas of your home and ‘safe’ area’s of your home. Like large windows and places where things are packed high, you do not want to be near these areas or clear them out of the path to your exist.

I didn’t include cell phones and chargers in this list because you’re going to lose power on these pretty quickly. But make sure you have extra cell phone batteries and chargers in your car and bug out bag. Should you need to go to a shelter you at least have the option of charging your phone or swapping batteries to use for emergencies.

If your house is is considered safe- if it hasn’t been destroyed or in danger of fire or walls or ceiling fallings; use your ‘Stable home’ kit after you use the supplies at home. If you are in a part of the house that is safe and can’t use the unsafe portions, then use your stable home kit- for when you can’t access heat, cook food, or use the tap water or toilets.

You bug out bag should be taken with you if you are going to use your car even if you already have a bug out car kit. The more supplies you have the longer you can manage on your own without help from crowded and dangerous shelters. Be sure to always park in a large open field area to cook outdoors or use the washroom.

If someone is injured even if it’s a small wound you should still seek medical help at a Emergency station or the hospital. Most cities are equipped and have plans in order to turn schools and stadiums into medical stations and shelters. Please make sure to keep a copy of this list in your bug out bag.

You should also print and put into your bug out bags a copy of basic medical issues and how to treat them. Small burns, small wounds, cuts, bleeding and if you can take a course on emergency medical aid. It can save your life or someone else’s.

If you have small children, please have a talk about what an earthquake is, how we plan and deal with one and arm them with knowledge of where things are and where they are supposed to go. Telling them where they are and how and when you will get to them or who will get to them will help ease their tensions and fear during an earthquake.

Destress! The last thing you want to do is make this an epic nightmare for yourself. Yes it is a serious thing and we do need to prepare properly- this isn’t a joke, we have seen thousands of people suffer greatly during natural disasters and earthquakes are one of the most severe forms. So do treat it seriously. But don’t kill yourself over it. The better you plan and prepare, the more relaxed and at ease you will be.

Life Lessons For Mommy #51:

My Mental Fat

Baby Fat After Baby

I lost weight believe it or not during both my pregnancies and not just a little. Almost 30lbs each pregnancy because of the strict gestational diabetes diet. Both my babies came out perfect, and I was slimmer and looked better then when I wasn’t pregnant. It was great- I felt great. But soon I started to pack back on the weight. With both my babies I always picked sleep over anything else. Do I get up to wash dishes or sleep- let’s sleep. Do I fold laundry or sleep- let’s sleep. Do I shower or sleep- let’s sleep. I zzzz ‘d whenever I could, my son is still so demanding (and he’s almost 16 months now). My milk supply not too great and him being colic and rejecting the bottle- it was becoming a little hell for me in the beginning. So I did what I always do under stress and anxiety- I ate.
Sometimes I over ate good stuff like polishing off 5 carrots and 2 apples. And sometimes I ate bad stuff, like stuffing a piece of apple pie into my face and then washing that down with some cookies and the biggest most epic mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows…don’t you judge me dammit.

I did it because I found no comfort in anything else. Everything I love and found peace in was stripped away from me because my time was being consumed day and night by a baby boy that just didn’t know what restraint was, a toddler that needed me suddenly all the time; and pain from a car accident that came back with horrible vengeance after the pregnancy relaxing hormones left my body.

My momma blog took a back seat for 6 months of no updates. My toddler who was craving more attention from me meant I had to cut my nap time and me time out completely. I also had to invest in so much time managing my neck and face pain and trying to stop headaches. I stopped making time to watch comedy which used to be my anxiety killer. I stopped drawing, I stopped writing, I stopped playing the piano, going out, making real meals, I replaced that all with just eating. It was the only thing that I could do while doing something else and it made me feel better. I knew my blood pressure from preeclampsia was bad and for the 3 months after my son was born I struggled to keep calm, to not eat badly and all that went down the drain when I could no longer support a ‘healthy lifestyle’ with everything else going on. Time was not on my side and as a side effect, food filled me. The baby fat wasn’t just on my baby. I was jiggling from all sides but not giggling hilariously about it.

Keeping it Together

When I weighed myself finally after my son turned a year, I realized I had packed back on 17lbs. That’s right, you read that right, I gained back 17lbs in a year, a freaking year. I felt like total garbage, but still couldn’t do anything about. It was easy for people to say things like ‘it was get better’, or ‘don’t worry just schedule better’, or ‘just manage your meals better’, ‘make time for yourself’’, ‘don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry’. It felt like no one understood what was happening to me.
What was the tipper in all this was the pain in my neck, shoulders and face. After my car accident 3 years ago, I got ‘bells palsy’ related to stress of the accident. The left side of my face literally stopped working, and had to take steroids and antivirals to get it working again. It was a nightmare and I still have pain to this day when I get tired or stressed. I honestly feel that had that accident never happened, I would be more with it. But it did happen, and now it was becoming mentally and physically insane. But this is what I have to deal with and somehow I have to keep it together.

But I wasn’t keeping it together. I was just eating and eating. Filling my stomach to the point where I felt like throwing up sometimes. I would get nauseous and feel bad about myself and get more stressed out about my blood pressure after I ate chips….I knew it was bad but I just couldn’t stop myself. My brain knew and understood what was happening but it just didn’t give a crap about the information and I kept on eating.

I felt like crap after every ‘food session’ I had. And it brought my self esteem down, it took a toll on me mentally in ways I think people chalk off as post partum when it wasn’t. It was anxiety eating, it was maybe a little depression but it wasn’t all because of my baby. It was everything. I told myself I feel like crap because I look like crap and therefore I am crap- I mean come on look at my thighs and this stomach- argh… Every Time I saw my cheeks getting bigger in the mirror I felt like eating to make myself feel better. It was a nasty disgusting sad cycle. And I knew nothing was ‘together’ about me at all.

Focusing On My Mentality Not My Body

I was doing a lot of things wrong, but the main thing I was doing wrong was focusing on my body and feeling only how my body looked. I realized that I’m not even addressing my mental health, I’m not focusing on how I feel and tackling that.
Yes I don’t have time, yes I’m totally bombarded with physical pain, baby, toddler, home, work, life in general but why was I only feeling the worst about my looks. With all that other stuff happening right in front, why was I only focusing on my body weight which was in the background. This isn’t right. What the hell was wrong with me, thinking that being slim was being the ideal me. I did feel good when I had lost those 30lbs, I felt great, but I only felt like that because I looked slim and pretty, my health was still high blood pressure from preeclampsia. Looking good meant so much to me that when I started to gain weight I felt like crap even though my health was getting better. Why am I doing that to myself?  Why couldn’t I just look in mirror and be like I’m fine the way I am, I’m going through some things and I will continue to do my best but how big I am isn’t going to be the reason I feel good or bad about myself. I’m finding food as my comfort and that should be what I tackle, not how much I weigh.
I need to tackle my mental fat rather than my physical fat because let’s face it no matter how skinny you are doesn’t mean you feel better at all. But if your mind is healthy, you will feel amazing no matter what size you are.

Teaching Myself Self Control

The house always needs cleaning, the kids are always messy, I’m in constant anxiety of my pain and the car, but the messiest thing in my life was me. My mind was in shambles. That was the first thing I was going to tackle.
First step is to learn self control all over again. Yes self control is something you have to teach yourself and practice. For someone like me, it’s very hard and every day is a mind battle ground. Mindfulness and being in the now has always been hard for me because as an anxious person I am always thinking about what will happen and the ‘what if’s’ so much that I can’t just enjoy now. I need to fix that. I need to get my eating under control and I’m not going to do something rash like “no carbs, no sugar, no flavour or happiness diet”. I was just going to do the only thing that made some sense right this moment and that is LIMIT. I would eat, but I’m not going to eat out of control. If I’m going to eat a piece of apple pie, it’s going to be a small piece and no cookies and other yummies after. If I’m going to just breastfeed all day and night I’m going to watch something or do something at the same time so I’m not sitting and thinking about eating. I am going to re-teach myself that food is for living, not for stuffing because I’m anxious. It’s going to be hard, I’m going to have days where I totally loose but I’m going to try and try my damn hardest. Because I do love myself, and I do want to be healthy and beautiful but not just in terms of physical, but also mentally.
I was fat shaming myself in the most horrible way, in one end I was eating out of control and then feeling like crap for doing it and then feeling worse when I saw the results of my out of control eating. It was a horrible fat shaming cycle that needed to end.
I no longer look in the mirror and feel bad about my body fat, I embrace it. This is me too. The results of putting my kids before me, putting my husband, his business, the house and everything else before me. I shouldn’t feel bad about this result, it’s a freaking badge of honor. And I’m going to try to get more badges of honor, the next one will be conquering my anxiety and control my eating so that I feel more in control.
If I don’t lose weight from just this, that’s okay because the fat that accumulated in my brain from all this self hate has to be the first thing to go. And I will brain fat shame myself to being mentally healthy, and hopefully as a result I will love myself more and teach my kids that being mentally healthy plays a big role in how physically healthy you are. And no matter what size you are, you have to love yourself because loving you is the start to being you. if you can’t love yourself because you think you’re fat, then you’ll lose to fat shaming yourself and trust me; it’s not pretty.