The Mommyhood Life – Travel, Crafts, Food, and Florida Family Fun

Marriage

7 Tips for Keep the Spark Alive, After Having Kids!

When your young and in love, passion comes easily.  Like most, I never thought it was something that I would need to work at one day.  That was until I had three kids, one crawling into bed with us each night, and twins learning to sleep through the night.  Combine sleepless nights with long days wearing old yoga pants with spit up stains on them, and the passion and romance had been replaced with bags under my eyes and a quick kiss as we ran in opposite directions.

I remember thinking this phase will pass and we will have that spark back without any hiccups.  However once we become mommies, all the phases of life seem busy. Now that the kids are in school and I am able to find a moment to shower and my yoga pants are no longer covered in baby vomit, it still takes work to keep the spark alive.  The kids are in school, yet we are running from one sport to another, homework takes times and our days are still packed.  However I have learned to make a conscious effort to stop and take time to work on my husband and I’s physical and mental connection beyond the kiss as we run out the door.  This is an important part of marriage and I want mine to last well after the kids have moved out and my days are quieter.
Here are 7 ways we keep the spark alive:
1.  Make sure to take at least one night a week to reconnect.  The kids have an 8 o’clock bedtime and on most nights my husband is at work and I’m cleaning and creating content here, however I make a conscious decision to let the dishes go and leave the toys on the floor when my husband is home for the night.  The mess can be cleaned in the morning, however my husband will be back at work.  This is our time to relax and just be together.
2.  We make date nights a priority.  Whether we are getting a babysitter and dressed up to head out for dinner, or grabbing take out and movies after the kids go to bed, doing something together is important.  The kids are finally at an age where getting a sitter isn’t as daunting but while the twins were younger we would have movie nights, game nights, or invite other couples to our house.  Just making memories as a couple helps keep the passion alive. 
3.  We take time for ourselves.  When the twins were tiny and I had 3 in diapers, this wasn’t as easy but even then something as simple as a 10 minute shower by myself would put me in a better head space so that romance could be on my mind.  Now that the kids are older I can see the difference taking an afternoon to myself can make on my mood which positively impacts my marriage.  
4.  Get out of the yoga pants, or at least put on a clean pair.  Its hard to feel sexy when your hair is in a messy bun and your clothes have unidentifiable baby fluids on them.  Take some extra time to get dressed and do your hair even if its just to sit and drink a glass of wine together.
5.  Turn off the technology.  Between social media, television shows and the internet, it is so easy to be next to your spouse yet feel miles away from each other.  Put all the gadgets away and talk, look at each other, spend time connecting.
6. Kiss!  On your way out the door, when you get home, before bed, when you wake up, KISS.  Kiss often and kiss well, pecks on the cheek like you kiss your grandmother goodbye don’t count.
7.  Get physical, touch each other often, and have sex.  Sex eases stress, counts as exercise, improves sleep and more.  So make sure your not neglecting the passion between the sheets.  Sometimes after a stressful day it can be hard to get in the mood when your head finally hits the pillow.  Sometimes we can get into a longer funk and we cant get in the mood no matter how our day goes.  Women’s sexual wellness is not addressed as often as it should be. As we all face times that we lack desire, time or effort to engage with our loved ones, we should not be embarrassed about our sexual drive (or lack thereof!).  Luckily Fiera® recognizes that women may need an extra touch, as we call it ‘before-play,’ to help get your mind and body in the mood.  
Fiera® is a new class of product that’s for “before-play,” using a unique combination of soft suction and stimulating vibration to bring back that feeling of wanting to have sex.
Learn more about Fiera® and women’s sexual wellness here!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

10 Tips to Improve Your Odds of Getting Pregnant! #AstroglideTTC

 Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine
If you read my post about overcoming infertility, you know my husband and I struggled to conceive our oldest son.  During that year of trying and then subsequently trying again with the twins, I read everything I could get my hands on about trying to conceive.  Here are the top 10 tips that I learned about and I believe really have some merit to them.

1: Know your cycle and monitor your ovulation days.  I assumed I was ovulating mid-cycle like most and after I bought a few ovulation kits and monitored my cycles, I learned my fertile days were different than I thought.
2:  Eat healthy, you want to prepare your body for pregnancy and getting in healthy nutrition will help everything run smoothly.  This includes your monthly cycles.
3: Start taking a prenatal vitamin with Folic Acid.  
4:  De-stress!  If your stressed out about getting pregnant, or just about everyday life your body is going to have a hard time doing what it’s supposed too.  Haven’t you heard the story “once I stopped trying it happened”?  It’s because the stress of worrying can screw up our bodies rhythm.
5: Get to a healthy weight.  I lost about 10 pounds right before I got pregnant with Anthony and was at an optimal weight when I conceived the twins.  If your under or over weight it can effect your ovulation.
6: Take a walk everyday.  Its great low impact exercise plus a nice walk can help you destress.
7. Take some me time.  Once you conceive, everything for will revolve around that little bundle of joy for the rest of you life.  So take some time now to enjoy you. 
8. Have sex at the right time.  When monitoring your ovulation, try to get a test that will alert you before you ovulate.  This way you can begin having sex on the days leading up to ovulation.  Sperm can live for 3 to 5 days but your egg is around for less than 24 hours.

9.  Lay down after sex.  I read this everywhere when I was trying to conceive.  My doctor told me it didn’t matter, however in theory it kind of makes sense, right?  I did it.
10.  Set the perfect stage for the sperm.  If your to dry down there its not good for the sperm.  However you need to be-careful which lubricant you choose.  Most lubricants can hinder the sperms movement or even kill it.  Astroglide TTC is the perfect choice, it is water based, sperm friendly and pH adjusted!
Trying to conceive can be the biggest emotional roller coaster you’ll ride on, so above all just try to relax.
To learn more about Astroglide TTC visit their website and check out all the amazing testimonials.

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

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Overcoming Infertility from a Pituitary Gland Tumor and No Ovulation ~ #AstroglideTTC

 Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine
If you’ve ever struggled with infertility you can relate to the emotional rollercoaster that comes month after month while your trying to conceive and it seems everyone around you is popping out babies left and right.
When my husband and I decided to start trying to build our family, we were a young newly married couple, and very naive about what it would take to get a bun in my oven.  I had never had a regular monthly cycle, infact my “monthly cycle” would sometimes happen in six month intervals.  Before we got baby fever, this was pretty convienent.  Getting my monthly visitor every six months, meant rarely having to worry about womanly issues while on vacations or at the beach.  However once I started thinking about my fertility health, my irregular cycles went from convenient to scary.

We tried month after month with no success.  I was in my early twenties, so my primary care doctor and my gynecologist both gave me the same advise “keep trying”.  After countless months of hoping I would ovulate, trying, praying, testing, and no happy stick, we finally got a referral to see a fertility specialist.
Going through the fertility clinic process was another emotional rollercoaster, all its own.  You sit in a waiting room hoping for answers yet scared about what those answers will be, dreading the tests yet wanting the tests to be done.  Infertility is a huge ball of ups and downs, full of endless prayers for the ultimate high, two lines on a stick.
After a couple months of testing.  Ultrasounds, blood tests, exc. I finally found out that I had a tumor in my pituitary gland.  As the doctor told me this I started to freak out a bit, I have an extensive family history of cancer.  However she quickly assured me that this was a farely common problem and that they are almost always benign and that most cases are treated with medication.  I left the fertility clinic that day, extatic.  I had been given a treatable reason for why I wasn’t conceiving and couldn’t wait to start the medication to level out my hormones.  Within a few months my hormone tests were coming back normal so we started Clomid, a fertility drug to help me ovulate. 
We did two rounds of Clomid unseccusfully, and then I cracked.  I couldn’t do it anymore, the hoping, the testing, the let down.  Finally after over a year and a half I gave up.  My husband and I decided to just take a break, I started focusing on other things.  I joined a gym and lost 15 pounds, started going out and experiencing new things because my brain wasn’t consumed with trying to get pregnant.  
Three months after this new found freedom.  Freedom from calanders, peeing on sticks, and disappointment.  I was cleaning the bathroom and found a left over pregnancy test.  As I cleaned, I realized I hadn’t gotten my period in over a month and my boobs were sore.  However I hadn’t been nauseous or tired so I assumed the tender breasts were just a sign of PMS.  As the afternoon went by the left over pregnancy test kept popping in my head, I hadn’t peed on a stick in months and before that it had become an addiction so having an extra test in the house made me feel the need to take it even though every ounce of me believed there was no way I was pregnant.
My need to pee on a stick finally won and I took the test laster that afternoon.  I remember that day so vividly now.  I remember taking the test and walking away, because I just knew it would be negative.  I promised myself I wouldn’t buy anymore tests, I wouldn’t put myself through this again.  Then I walked back into the bathroom, and I almost fainted, TWO PINK LINES!
I was extatic for a few minutes, then I didn’t believe it.  Surely I had left the stick sitting for too long.  I immediately went out and bought a basket full of tests, sure that money could have bought a carseat but I just couldn’t believe it was possible that I was really pregnant after so many ups and downs.
I went home and stuck stick after stick into a little pee cup.  Plus signs, 2 lines, and pregnant appeared on all my tests.
It was the beginning of this journey of Mommyhood, that has been the best chapter of my life.
I found out the next day, I was 6 weeks pregnant.  As soon as we calmed down and relaxed, everything worked the way it was supposed to.
4 years later when we decided to try again, I left it as “it will happen when it happens”.  I assumed it would take at least a few months and prayed it wouldn’t be a year like with Anthony.  It took one month and we got 2 babies!  I didn’t stress, I made sure my body was healthy, and let nature take it course.  One month later I got a positive test and had an ultrasound tech pointing out baby A and baby B. 
Now that my family is complete, I still have friends and family members who are struggling to get pregnant.  One tip I give them is  to switch out their normal lubricant for Astroglide TTC™.  It’s a water based sperm friendly personal lubricant, perfect for making the ideal environment for sperm to swim freely while trying to get pregnant.
Astroglide TTC™ is available at most major pharmacies for a retail price of $12.99.

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

5 Ways to Save Money this Summer and How We’re Celebrating Father’s Day with the Lowest Priced Unlimited Plans!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #Save4Summer #CollectiveBias
Father’s Day is this weekend, Summer vacation starts next week, and there are countless things the kids want to do this summer.  Like most families, summer is an expensive time for our household.  The kids are home and eating our cabinets bare, plus day trips and vacations can add up quickly.
 
I like to start preparing for summer break a few months ahead of time by trying to lower our bills with great deals like Walmart’s low priced unlimited talk, text and data cell plans, and eating outside while creating a restaurant feel. 

 
Here are my 5 Summer Money Saving Tips:
1.  Buy in bulk before the kids get out of school.  I hate grocery shopping with the kids!  I always end up spending double what I intended on spending and leave the grocery store with a carriage full of junk food when I have the kids with me.  So I like to do a huge grocery shopping right before school breaks.
The kids are out of school for 2 months, so I like to get a large supply of juice boxes, freeze pops, fruit snacks, and other foods that wont go bad in a two month time frame.  This way I only need to do small and quick grocery shopping trips each week, that I can do easily without the kids.  I keep the stock pile of food in the basement and bring up a weeks supply at a time, so that the kids don’t eat it all in the first week.
 
2.  Make a list of fun and free things to do over the summer.  Day trips can add up quickly, so I like to make a list of places we can visit for little to know cash.  In my area there are several local playgrounds, water spray parks, pools, and beaches that we can spend the day at without spending a dime.  There are also some great monuments, beaches that have weekly fireworks, and some museums that have free admittance on certain days, and all I would need to pay for is parking to take the kids.  These are great boredom busters that can keep the cash in my wallet.
 
3.  We also pack our lunches and snacks whenever possible.  A day at the beach can go from free to $50 quick if I have to buy 5 lunches and bottled water all day.  So I like to pack the cooler each day with the snacks I had stocked up on ahead of time.  I  also have the back of the mini-van well stocked and it stays like that all summer.  I keep an extra bathing suit, towel, and life jacket for each of the kids in the van.  We also have some pool toys and sand toys in there, this way we don’t need to buy anything at those fun beach side stores if we decide to take a sporadic swim. 
 
4.  Slim down the bills.  We spend less on electricity by spending time outside and keeping the air conditioner off.  Cooking outside is a big one, this way the house doesn’t get extra hot from the oven going.
You can have the cable turned off during the summer months while most shows are off for the season and most nights are spent outside anyways.  Then once the fall comes back, negotiate with the cable company to only restart up without a contract.  We do this each year and it easily saves us $150+ a year.
  We also saved on our cell phone bill by switching to Walmart’s Family Mobile.  The phones are priced great, Alcatel Pop Astro is only $64.88 and is a great smartphone. 
Plus a plan with unlimited talk, text and data which includes  1G of 4G LTE data is just $29.88 a month for the first phone line with no contract, credit check or overage charges.  That’s more than a 50% savings on what we were playing for our phone plans before switching!  That’s a great chunk of change back in my wallet for some summer fun!
 
Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/8e03 or your local Walmart for current pricing.
5.  Stay home while enjoying holidays.  Father’s Day is this weekend and instead of spending a ton of money on going out to eat, we will be cooking out by my parents pool and relaxing.  We can eat great, within our grocery budget and it’s a lot less stressful than taking 3 kids to a restaurant. 
 
So what are the kids getting Dad for Father’s day?  One of his presents is of course the Alcatel Pop Astro Cell Phone.  The phone is sleek and has all the bells and whistles he likes in a phone including a great camera, touch screen, and best of all it’s budget friendly! (Luckily he rarely reads this so he wont know)


DIY Fathers Day Gifts on a Budget

DIY Fathers Day Gifts on a Budget
 

Arе уоu lооking fоr some idеаѕ fоr Fаthеrѕ Dау gifts to make? Our fаthеrѕ undоubtеdlу are some оf thе mоѕt imроrtаnt реорlе in оur lives, аnd hе dеѕеrvеѕ a ѕресiаl gift on Fаthеrѕ Dау.

Every уеаr уоu аlwауѕ buy a gift for him аnd yes, hе really appreciates it. But thiѕ year whу nоt give him ѕоmеthing ѕресiаl thаt you mаdе уоurѕеlf. Crеаting an extra special gift juѕt for him iѕ nоt аѕ difficult as уоu may think. Hе would bе thrillеd tо get a hаndmаdе рrеѕеnt thаt уоu рut thought and love into сrеаting.
To get started уоu nееd tо dесidе оn what Fаthеrѕ day giftѕ to mаkе or even соnѕidеr. Thе bеѕt wау tо mаkе thiѕ dесiѕiоn iѕ to сhооѕе whiсh tуре of itеmѕ you аrе аblе to mаkе. Putting уоur ѕеwing ѕkillѕ tо wоrk will be a grеаt money ѕаvеr.
Unique Homemade Fathers Day Giftѕ
One саn сhооѕе from mаnу tуреѕ оf Fathers day giftѕ tо make uѕing уоur sewing skills, such аѕ a ѕhаving роuсh. Where he саn keep hiѕ ѕhаving kit оr even аn еlесtriс ѕhаvеr, mауbе a quilt thаt hе can uѕе on hiѕ bеd оr ѕоmе соvеrеd coat hаngеrѕ that hеlрѕ in keeping thе ѕuit and coats сlеаn аnd сrеаѕе free whilе traveling.
You саn start your shaving pouch by buуing a hаlf mеtеr рiесе of рrintеd cloth, a рiесе of thin fоаm аnd a ziрреr thаt will bе used for ореning аnd closing the pouch. Thе nеxt ѕtер involved iѕ cutting thе сlоth in a rectangular shape dереnding uроn thе size уоu want. If уоur fаthеr uѕеѕ an еlесtriс ѕhаvеr you dо not need a very large pouch. Nаturаllу if your fаthеr ѕhаvеѕ uѕing ѕhаving gеl оr fоаm аlоng with a rаzоr thеn уоu would rеԛuirе a lаrgеr роuсh.
Cut оut fоur рiесеѕ оf thе cloth and two pieces оf fоаm in a rectangular shape ассоrding tо mеаѕurеmеntѕ. Take twо рiесеѕ of thеѕе сut рiесеѕ оf сlоth on either ѕidе оf thе fоаm аnd sew it in a quilted style. Repeat the ѕаmе рrосеdurе with thе other рiесеѕ оf fоаm and сlоth. Thеn ѕtitсh thе twо ԛuiltеd рiесеѕ and attach thе zipper on оnе side.
If уоu hаvе chosen a printed fаbriс уоu dо nоt nееd аnу kind of раtсhwоrk to make it mоrе appealing. But in саѕе оnе chooses a рlаin fаbriс, thеn you соuld sew hiѕ initiаlѕ оn the pouch tо givе it a mоrе ѕорhiѕtiсаtеd реrѕоnаlizеd lооk.
Whеn уоur father rесеivеѕ thiѕ gift оn hiѕ special dау hе will be thrilled you gаvе thiѕ special thоught аnd love. Sо inѕtеаd of thinking аbоut buying him a store bought gift соnѕidеr, Iѕ there some fathers dау gifts tо mаkе? and ѕhоw him you care еnоugh tо put ѕоmе effort intо it.


 
 


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