The Ups and Downs of Trying To Conceive

Trying to conceive is really an amazing experience. Whether you’re like my sisters and just think about getting pregnant and end up pregnant or are like me and spend years trying to get pregnant, you’ll experience a full range of emotions from excitement and elation to fear and doubt. For some, trying to conceive is easy while for others, it’s one of the most stressful experiences they’ll ever go through. Trust me, I know.

I have been very open and honest about what I went through when we were trying to conceive. I shared our story about after years of trying we started to joke about how we just didn’t “do it” right. I was honest about being jealous of pregnant women that I would see out and about. I’ve shared our diagnosis with unexplained infertility and the fertility treatments that we finally ended up using after I tried all kinds of suggestions from family and friends about things that help you get pregnant, and the shame you feel when you are labeled with infertility.

And I finally got to share my most magical moment that I have ever experienced…finding out that after years and years of trying to conceive that we were FINALLY pregnant!

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Ethan, my miracle baby at 2 weeks old

One of the favorite things I’ve shared about that time in our lives is all of the crazy things we did to try to conceive, and we tried everything! It’s fun to be able to look back and think about how badly we wanted a baby and how willing we were to try anything and everything to get a baby of our own. Nowadays, women trying to conceive have so many over-the-counter products available that can help a couple get pregnant; products that we had to pay a lot of money to get from a fertility specialist. Products like Astroglide TTC Trying to Conceive.

Are you currently trying to conceive? Astroglide TTC is an over the counter product that supports fertility with all of the things needed to get pregnant.

What is it? Astroglide TTC™ supports fertility with adjusted pH levels, compatible osmolality and a consistency similar to your body’s cervical mucus. It also contains galactose, which is found naturally in semen, as well as fructose, the main source of energy for sperm.

What does that mean exactly? Well, when you’re trying to conceive, it’s vital to provide an environment where sperm has a chance of survival. If just one part of that environment is “off”, the chances of conceiving is lowered greatly. Sure there are other lubricants out there that you can use, but they may affect the necessary conditions and inhibit sperm motility.

Studies have shown thatAstroglide TTC™ is compatible with sperm, oocytes and embryos and allows sperm to move freely. It gives sperm a better chance of survival compared to other lubricants. It also provides comfort because it temporarily relieves vaginal dryness during sexual activity.  Basically, it helps make your body the perfect environment and makes it easier for couples who are trying to conceive.

Are you currently trying to conceive? Astroglide TTC is an over the counter product that supports fertility with all of the things needed to get pregnant.

Each package of Astroglide TTC™ contains 8 pre-filled disposable applicators that make them easy to use and less messy because you don’t have to fill them yourself. The applicators are used to coat the inside of the vagina which supplements natural fluids while enhancing comfort. Astroglide TTC™ has a retail price of $12.99, the best value compared to any competitor! Visit  Astroglide TTC™ to find out where to buy it.

For more information regardingAstroglide TTC™, fertility support, and where to buy please visit the TTC homepage. And if you are struggling to conceive, know you are not alone. So many of us have been there and there is a lot of support out there. Don’t hesistate to reach out for that support.

What tips can you share with those trying to conceive?

Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine.

5 Tips To Get A Whiter Smile (You’ll Look Radiant!)

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When do you remember smiling most radiantly?

Want to brighten up your smile? Here are 5 tips to get a whiter smile that you can start using today, and that won't cost you a fortune! You can do it!On your wedding day?

Want to brighten up your smile? Here are 5 tips to get a whiter smile that you can start using today, and that won't cost you a fortune! You can do it!Or maybe the day you became a mom for the first (or in this picture second and third!) time?

Want to brighten up your smile? Here are 5 tips to get a whiter smile that you can start using today, and that won't cost you a fortune! You can do it!Was it when your oldest child lost his first tooth?

Want to brighten up your smile? Here are 5 tips to get a whiter smile that you can start using today, and that won't cost you a fortune! You can do it!When your youngest went to their first day of kindergarten?

Or maybe…just maybe…you smile radiantly every day because you are so blessed. No matter what struggles and problems you have in your life, you can look at the big picture and know that you have everything.

No matter what the occasion, big or small, we can all use some tips on how to get a whiter smile, and I’ve got lots of them!

Disclosure: I received compensation to write this post on behalf of Arm & Hammer™. All opinions are expressed are my own.Tracking Pixel

5 Tips To Get A Whiter Smile

    • Brush and floss. Every day. Floss at least once a day. And don’t just surface floss, make sure you are flossing all the way down to your gums. I use a water flosser, but picks, or plain old floss do the job. After flossing, brush twice a day for two minutes at a time using the Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant complete set of 3 products. The Rinse contains no alcohol or peroxide so it’s super gentle. The Rejuvenating Toothpaste has a crisp, mint flavor. The Spinbrushes have heads that rotate and really blast away plaque. And all 3 products help clean, repair, and strengthen tooth enamel which leads to a fantastic looking smile.
    • Chew sugarless gum. Chewing gum helps your mouth produce saliva and natural antimicrobial that helps prevent decay. So chew away!
    • Snack on fruits and veggies. Really crunchy fruits and veggies act as a toothbrush. They scrub your teeth clean while you eat. So it’s a win for your radiant smile and for your waistline!
    • Swish after drinking wine. If you’ve read Mommy of a Monster for any length of time, you know that I have a love for wine. Sadly, wine is known to stain teeth. Yep, even white wine. So if you are going to drink it, swish and swallow some water when you are done. Wine contains acids that can go right through tooth enamel. Swishing with water will at least help minimize residue, staining, and even possibly tooth decay.
    • When all else fails, talk to your dentist. I learned from my dentist that some people have naturally yellower teeth than others. Talk to your dentist to see if he/she has any tips for getting those pearly whites even whiter. There are lots of things you can find in your local grocery store – like whitening toothpaste, mouthwash, whitening strips/pens – that may just do the trick.

Want to brighten up your smile? Here are 5 tips to get a whiter smile that you can start using today, and that won't cost you a fortune! You can do it!

What is the only toothpaste and mouthwash that I use? Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant. We have been loyal Arm & Hammer toothpaste users for years. I trust it because it WORKS. It leaves your breath smelling fresh and your teeth feeling smooth and clean, not to mention shiny white! I am often asked what I use to get my teeth so white. I always answer Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant.

And though I’ve been a loyal customer forever, I recently discovered a new reason to love Arm & Hammer. Arm & Hammer has partnered with City of Hope Cancer Treatment Center to launch a social media initiative encouraging women to share their radiant moments. Arm & Hammer will donate $1 to City of Hope each and every time you share a radiant moment, and include the hashtag: #TrulyRadiantFinish. Share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Ask your friends to share and retweet, or to post their own radiant moment. It’s the easiest donation you’ll ever make, for an extremely good cause.

Now it’s your turn to share! Head over to my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and tag me with your truly radiant moments! Or share a tip that helped you get a whiter smile.

Want to brighten up your smile? Here are 5 tips to get a whiter smile that you can start using today, and that won't cost you a fortune! You can do it!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Arm & Hammer™.

Spring Allergies: The Bane of My (And Now Mia’s) Existence

Oh Spring has sprung! The birds that live above our front door had babies, who have since “flown the coop” so to speak. The hummingbird in our lemon tree just welcomed two little ones yesterday. The plumeria flowers are blooming, as are my orchids that haven’t bloomed in almost two years. There are baby bunnies on the hill behind our house. The peach and plum trees are both blooming, and there are flowers everywhere! And weeds. And dust…lots of dust in the house because all of our windows and doors are open to let the warmth in. The dust is from the wind. And with all of that comes my spring allergies, which are out of control this year. And unfortunately, Mia is experiencing the same nightmare.

I’ve been taking an allergy pill and using the neti pot every day for years. But for poor Mia, this suffering is all new. Did you know that allergies are the third most common chronic disease among children 18 and under? Clearly Mia is not alone, and we are a nation of allergy sufferers! But the problem with allergies in children is that it’s often difficult to tell whether your child has a cold or allergies because the symptoms are so similar. I thought that Mia had what was a never-ending cold, so I took her to see the doctor.

Did you know that allergies are the third most common chronic disease among children 18 and under? To learn if your child suffers from spring allergies or a cold, read on.
The doctor took one look at her, and immediately knew that she suffered from allergies. The telltale sign? There’s a little white line that goes horizontally across the tip of her nose from her constantly wiping at her runny nose. The doctor said that most kids with allergies have it. I had it as a kid too!

Is It A Cold Or Spring Allergies?

Did you know that allergies are the third most common chronic disease among children 18 and under? To learn if your child suffers from spring allergies or a cold, read on.

So now, like me, Mia is taking allergy medicine daily for her spring allergies (I hope it’s just spring allergies and not year round allergies like I have). But she’s not taking the same kind of medicine for her spring allergies that I am! She’s taking a medicine that was recommended by her doctor as safe to give to a child her age (she’s 5).

Did you know that there’s a common ingredient in allergy medicines called diphenhydramine that is NOT safe to give to children under the age of 6? It’s extremely important that you always read the drug facts label and really understand the ingredients of common over the counter medications to determine they are safe for your child. When in doubt, ask the pharmacist for assistance or call your child’s doctor. Better safe than sorry!

And while many of us joke about giving kids allergy medicine to make them sleepy, because sick kids are grouchy kids, remember that it is NEVER okay to give kids any medicines to make them sleepy. It’s not safe and it’s not okay.

Did you know that allergies are the third most common chronic disease among children 18 and under? To learn if your child suffers from spring allergies or a cold, read on.

For more information about spring allergies…and allergies and sinus issues in general, visit Know Your OTCs.

I can’t believe that I’ve been partnering with Know Your OTCs for an entire year now! I’m honored that I was able to be an Ambassador for them, and I’m sad that my time with them is up. I’ve learned so much, and I hope the information I’ve shared has been helpful to you as well. Know Your OTCs is a great resource on health information for parents. If you haven’t yet, make sure to visit their website, KnowYourOTCs. I encourage you to check them out because they have a TON of information that all parents need to know. And while you are at it, like them on Facebook and Twitter too!

Disclaimer: I’m being compensated as an KnowYourOTCs Ambassador, though all thoughts, opinions, and suggestions expressed here are my own. Keep up-to-date on over the counter safety information by visiting the KnowYourOTCs and by following them on Pinterest.

Infertility Awareness: The Stork OTC ::GIVEAWAY::

I’ve written about our struggles with unexplained infertility several times. It’s very difficult thing to experience, and can be mentally and physically exhausting. It’s also extremely expensive to start fertility testing, diagnosis, and treatments. Enter The Stork OTC.

Whether you are just starting on your journey to parenthood and want to speed up the process or have been trying for longer, The Stork OTC can help optimize your chances of conceiving.

What Is The Stork OTC?

The Stork OTC is a home-use device that helps  you conceive. Whether you are just starting on your journey to parenthood and want to speed up the process or have been trying for longer, The Stork OTC can help optimize your chances of conceiving. What is it exactly? It’s like an at home fertility treatment! This is a brand new treatment that is FDA-cleared for home-use without a prescription. Basically, it’s cervical cap insemination: it allows you to put the sperm at the opening of the cervix, optimizing your chances of conception.

The Stork OTC is the only conception assistance device cleared by the FDA for over-the-counter sales to consumers, without a prescription. This could allow millions of people who can’t afford fertility treatments the opportunity to conceive! Think about all the people it can help: it can be used if you are diagnosed with infertility, have tried months without success, simply want to get pregnant quickly, or for couples who want to conceive without intercourse (LGBT, disabilities, single women).

FDA-cleared applications for The Stork OTC include common fertility difficulties attributed to both men and women, including: low sperm count, motility issues, unfavorable vaginal environment (pH imbalance), and unexplained infertility, which is what we were diagnosed with.

I really wish this was around when we were trying to conceive, especially because when I got pregnant with the girls, we used the insemination process. The Stork OTC is a gift to couples who are trying to have a baby, no matter what stage of the process they are in. I’ve already shared this product with two friends that I think it could help! If you want to learn more about The Stork OTC, including product demo videos and information and where to buy it, visit www.storkotc.com.

Rinovum® Women’s Health and The Stork OTC are proud to partner with RESOLVE and to support National Infertility Awareness Week (April 19 – 25, 2015). RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and men living with infertility. I’ve written a special post every year for the last three years about our journey with infertility. I’m glad that The Stork OTC is available now, and am proud to be able to help spread the word about it. I know it will help many.

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WIN THE STORK OTC!

Are you currently trying to conceive? Would you like to try The Stork OTC? I’m giving one away! Simply leave a comment and one winner will be randomly chosen on Friday, April 17th.

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by The Stork OTC and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

Stomach Flu: It’s Here

It's that time of the year...time for the stomach flu to start making its rounds. Here is information about symptoms, treatment, and how to avoid getting it.

On Friday, Lila stayed home from school because her belly hurt. I knew she wasn’t pretending because she missed the Easter Egg Hunt and a birthday party on Friday night. But other than complaining she didn’t feel good, she seemed to be fine. And she was fine all weekend. I prayed it wasn’t the stomach flu.

It's that time of the year...time for the stomach flu to start making its rounds. Here is information about symptoms, treatment, and how to avoid getting it.

Then last night around 8:30, Ethan uttered the dreaded words “My tummy hurts.” This after he ate half of a pizza, so I told him to try to go to the bathroom. Nope, that wasn’t it. So I told him to just lay down. I got the “puke bowl” out (does everybody have one of those?) and about 5 minutes later, he threw up. And from that point forward, it was about every half hour until 6 AM. I’m tired. He’s exhausted and afraid to eat anything.

It must be our annual visit from the stomach flu. Just in time for the week the kids are off for Spring Break.

A few years back, I wrote this post for another site, and thought it might be timely now to share it here.

The Hell We Call THE STOMACH FLU

What Is The Stomach Flu?

After a little research, I found that the stomach flu isn’t a flu at all, it’s a virus. It is either the rotavirus, which is common in the winter months, or the adenovirus and echovirus, both of which are more common in the spring and summer months.

What Are Stomach Flu Symptoms?

There isn’t a list of symptoms that needs to be checked off to confirm the stomach flu; your child may experience any or all of the following.

  • Stomach pains (now Lila’s complaining her tummy hurts again)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • A fever

While vomiting almost always comes with the stomach flu, it isn’t a guarantee that your child will continuously vomit. He may only vomit once and then experience ongoing nausea.

Your child may experience these symptoms for 24 hours or up to five days. And because the stomach flu is so contagious, chances are one or more additional family members may also get it.

Keeping Your Child Hydrated

The main concern with the stomach flu is that vomiting may lead to dehydration, especially in young children.

Make sure to keep your child eating ice chips or sipping on water, broth, watered down juice, or hydrating drinks full of electrolytes like Pedialyte.

You can read here about symptoms of dehydration to understand more about the symptoms and dangers of it.

Feeding Your Child

If your child is vomiting and in the middle of stomach flu torture¸ he won’t want to eat. But sooner or later, you’ll hear “I’m hungry.”

You will have to introduce easy-on-the-tummy foods. Try following the BRAT diet. The BRAT diet consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Plain salted crackers are okay as well.

Give your child just a little bit of any these items and see how he responds. If it comes back up quickly, it’s probably too soon for food. Try some broth instead.

How To Avoid Getting or Spreading The Stomach Flu

Unfortunately, the stomach flu is super contagious and spreads easily…even up to 24 hours after the symptoms have disappeared.

Consistent hand washing is a must, especially after using the bathroom and vomiting. To prevent the stomach flu, hand washing is still important and should be implemented before and after bathroom breaks, playing with toys, eating, and after coming home from being in public.

After having the stomach flu visit your home, you should wash all toys, especially if your kids share them.

Use cleaning wipes (like Lysol) to wipe down door handles, TV remotes, and electronics, and anything else your children touch regularly to prevent the virus from spreading and to kill the already existing virus.

What tips can you share for keeping your family healthy and stomach flu free?