Tuesday, September 27, 2016

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Monday, September 26, 2016

What No One Told Me About Conceiving After Loss

When we found out we were pregnant in early June, we were ecstatic! If you've been following my story, you know we have been trying to have another child for over 3 years now. With losing Adora in July of 2017 and Theodore in November 2015 it has been extremely difficult for us. And finally we have our rainbow. But it isn't all unicorns and butterflies. Not at all.

See, from the experience I've seen from others, they get pregnant with their rainbow and seem to forget about their other babies. So naturally I thought getting pregnant and feeling the baby start moving and going to the appointments would be so exciting and ease the pain, if not eliminate it, from our loss. Boy was I wrong.

Here are 4 things no one told me could happen when conceiving after loss:

1. It is scary
Everytime I go to the bathroom I wipe and look. I am absolutely terrified of what might be on that tissue. It may sound gross, but if you've experienced loss, I bet you can relate. I half expect to see blood every. Single. Time. Even now at 21+ weeks I am still worried. You just never know.

2. It didn't take away the pain
I still mourn the deaths of our other two babies. I still think about them and wonder, why this one? What makes this baby more special than my other two? How is this fair? It may sound terrible. And I'm not sure if it is hormones or what, but I'm brutally honest here. I want to visit Theodore's grave still, he is still my baby too and deserved life. I read  Adora's memorial tattoo almost every day. She deserved life too. It just doesn't seem fair to me, and it really isn't. I really wonder what their lives would be like right now. A little 3 year old and a  3 month old baby. Beautiful babies. Not that this baby isn't special, he truly is a blessing. But it is still hard some days to think about all of it together.

3. It's hard for me to enjoy
I thought that pregnancy after loss would be so much fun and I'd be adorable and life would be so happy. Actually, I am finding it extremely hard to be thrilled. I feel like I shouldn't get too excited or think about it to much because if I do, we will lose the baby. I've had my hopes dashed two times too many and just being happy makes me scared. I know it's an issue I have been working on, being positive and all that. But in all honesty, it has been difficult. I keep saying things like, when I hear the heartbeat, when I see them for the first time, when I hit second trimester I will let myself get excited. Each of those milestones have passed and I have yet to be able to allow myself that joy. It goes back to being scared. I am still very scared!

4. The grief comes back
I was dealing pretty well I thought with Theodore's loss until recently. I find myself being completely sad for what seems no reason but when digging into my heart, it is because of losing Adora and Theodore and the trauma and sadness that have followed me since. I thought for sure a rainbow baby would take away the deep grief and sadness but it hasn't. It has actually resurfaced those feelings quite immensely.


I have been going to counseling for quite some time to deal with the depression I have had due to the losses and for my own well being. Don't think I am seeing these things and not trying to fix them. I just really wanted to shed some light on the things others may be able to relate to when conceiving after loss. It is scary. It will be exciting and this baby deserves so much in life and I absolutely cannot wait to meet him. God has blessed me with a rainbow that a lot of women don't get. I have a beautiful 5 year old boy who is ecstatic about being a big brother. I hope if you are dealing with these that you know you are not alone. The feelings are legit. It is normal to be apprehensive and scared. God bless you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Luv Michael ~ Locally Sourced Organic Granola That Gives Back


Do you enjoy granola? It is delicious sprinkled on yogurt for a great morning breakfast, as a snack to bring hiking, or something easy to grab and go with. I love the flavors granola has and the different varieties out there.

Recently I was lucky enough to try Luv Michael Originola Granola. What is unique about this brand, and personally my favorite thing about it, is that they train, educate and employ people with Autism! Check out their About Us page for more detailed info. I know you'll love what you see.


Your purchase enables Michael and thousands of other with Autism realize their true potential. (copied from Our Mission page)

The other thing that is terrific is the ingredients. They use 100% organic whole grain granola using the finest organic ingredients. This granola is gluten free, nut free and dairy free.

The flavor is delicious and light. It isn't doused in spices or flavors, giving the natural taste of granola and the organic dried cranberries and raisins inside. It is flavored with organic vanilla extract, organic cinnamon powder and organic ground nutmeg. The crunch is perfect too and it doesn't get soggy in my morning yogurt like some other brands I have tried. DELICIOUS!

I LOVE products that give back and the story. Luv Michael was inspired by Michael Kessaris. According to their Our Mission page, Michael had a passion for cooking but was having a hard time finding employment because of his autism. His parents, both physicians, helped create this business to employ Michael and other's like him. It is a family based business that is helping others at the same time. Giving jobs to those who need it while helping them lead happy and productive lives. 


Luv Michael’s mission is to “provide a meaningful culinary vocation for the Autistic population and to produce exceptional gluten-free and natural products.” (copied from Our Mission page)
Check out The Store to order your own. All proceeds go towards providing training and sustainable jobs for individuals on the Autism spectrum. Help spread the word by sharing this with your friends and family. More businesses like this need to pop up, and when they do we should be supporting them!


Link to site
Luv Michael

Be sure to follow Luv Michael on their social media sites

Facebook @LuvMichaelCo
Google+ @LuvMichaelCo
Twitter @LUVMichaelCo
Instagram @luvmichaelco

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Precious Knit Blankies from Leisure Arts




Remember the awesome Loom Knitting Kit I told you about in early July? Well here we are again, thanks to Leisure Arts, with another great product for those just learning to knit or other's who want some new patterns.

Precious Knit Blankies for Baby is that product and boy is it a fun book! The skill level ranks from Beginner to Easy-Plus so they all are doable for the beginner! I had never tried creating a blanket before, only hats from my the Loom Knitting Kit. I was very excited to try my hand at some sweet little blankets for our bundle of joy due in February. Jean Adel from jeanadel.com and the Managing Editor for Lion Brand Yarn Company created this as her second book and she did a wonderful job.



In Precious Knit Blankies for Baby there are 16 blanket designs to choose from. I started with the Ribbed Blankie on page 40. The design is rated Easy, which I would agree it is! With the General Instructions on page 67 and Knitting Basics on page 73, I was able to start my blankie! Once I got the two stitches down, it was just a matter of time, lots of time and will take me more time to finish. With home buying and the end of summer activities, I haven't had time to finish the beauty, but I will and when I do, you will get to see the fluffy blankie!


I am very excited to finish this one and start another. I have my eye on the Pom-Pom Carriage Throw pictured below next. Doesn't it look just so cozy!!! 


My favorite thing about this book is that it is easy for the beginning knitter to learn these techniques with the included instructions. I was a little intimidated at first, but with some trial and error was able to get the techniques down to a doable level. I'm sure I will run into times where I miss a stitch and have to go back, but that is a given! Can't be perfect all the time. Precious Knit Blankies for Baby really does make creating precious gifts for your own children or for other's extremely easy and fulfilling. For me, looking at something I made is much better than buying something and right now I have the ability to do so! Thank you Leisure Arts for producing such a great book!

*I received this book free for testing and review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own. 


BODYARMOR Super Drink


If you have a kid in sports, are a runner yourself or work out in any way, some sort of electrolyte drink is probably in your fridge or cooler. Rehydrating is EXTREMELY important after a workout or being out in the field or track for any amount of time in the sun or heat. My husband told me about BODYARMOR one day in the grocery store as he was training for a half marathon at the time and he knows I enjoy healthier electrolyte options as a runner myself.

So I gave BODYARMOR a try for myself, and was VERY happy that I did. I took the time to compare labels on both bottles of BODYARMOR as well as Gatorade, which is one of the most popular athletic drinks. Here is what I found:

Gatorade Ingredients for Frost Glacier Freeze Flavor:

Water
Sugar
Dextrose
Citric Acid
Salt
Sodium Citrate
Monopotassium Phosphate
Modified Food Starch
Natural Flavor
glycerol ester of rosin
blue 1

Note that it has artificial color (blue 1) and modified food starch, which can be difficult for those with gluten and wheat sensitivities to digest. The sugar content in this particular bottle is 21g and the bottle itself was 28 fluid ounces.

Now onto BODYARMOR
Photo courtesy of BodyArmour.com

And here are my own pictures of the ingredients from the Orange Mango




The plus of coconut water being one of the most prominent ingredients is that it is packed with electrolytes itself as well as potassium - more than a banana even! Every race I have ever participated in there are banana's at the finish line. I'm starting to think they should also offer coconut water for the athletes, or in fact why not give us BODYARMOR! Not only that, this is packed with helpful vitamins for a faster recovery. They contain 200% of the Required Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamins B2, B5, B6, B9 and B12 and 100% of the RDI of Vitamins A, C and E.

My son tried the grape one first and actually loved it. I really am a fan of the fact that there are no artificial flavors or colors in these too. Those are a huge problem with a lot of the sports drinks out there on the shelf. This is also Gluten Free for those who are wondering.

Note that there is 18g of sugar per serving (2 per bottle), but keep in mind that coconut sugar has naturally occurring sugar of about 14 grams per 11oz. This is an unprocessed sugar that our bodies more easily absorb than most and the pure cane sugar is also less processed than the conventional sugars in most drinks.  



There are 8 delicious flavors to choose from:


I received them all aside from the Strawberry Banana and the Blackout Berry, which is there newest addition. Click the links above to find the flavors and the nutritional facts for each individual bottle to decide for yourself if this is a great choice for your family. I know my family has found a new favorite!

Some can get away with just drinking water to replenish fluids and electrolytes but I personally cannot. I have actually become dehydrated and had to go to the hospital twice while just drinking water and being out in the hot sun doing strenuous exercise. I have extremely fair skin and get depleted very quickly. I find that having choices like BODYARMOR or drinking plain coconut water are my best bet for staying hydrated and healthy.

And I am not only one who loves this stuff! TOP Professional Athletes including Kobe Bryant, Mike Trout and James Harden are major investors in BODYARMOR.

I found BODYARMOR  easily in our local Cub stores with the other drinks and soda's. In fact before this, that is where my husband kept pointing them out to me!

Find a store near you:



Follow them on 

And check out who else is talking about BODYARMOR at the BODYARMOR Buzz

Click here for a coupon toward your purchase


Note: If link says it does not work, try again later. They probably ran out for the time being! :)

*I received these 6 BODYARMOR drinks complimentary for review purposes. Any statements made and opinions are 100% my own and in no way affected by the fact that I received this item at no cost.

Era Organics Giveaway

era

Sponsored by Era Organics


One winner will receive these four products; ARV $85

My review HERE


Hosted by MomJunky


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