2016 Annual Strawberry Picking at Shlagel Farm

Strawberry Picking 2016-3In early May, the boys and I ventured up the road to Shlagel Farm on a muddy spring day for our annual strawberry picking. There is nothing quite like fresh berries picked off the farm.  The boys weren’t super excited about having to pick strawberries again, since they went last week with their dad.  Yet I made it a fun outing, as they stomped through the muddy fields and searched for ripe berries.  Since the DC area has had one hell of a rainy spring, this was the first dry weekend day, so I wanted to be sure we were able to do some picking.  I love carrying on this tradition year after year, even when the boys are less than thrilled.  These are the memories I want them to remember when they are grown and have children of their own.  
Strawberry Picking 2016-5Strawberry Picking 2016-4Strawberry Picking 2016-4Strawberry Picking 2016-6Strawberry Picking 2016-2Stavish boys

Do you have any family spring traditions?


Spring Sick

The Pfizer Pediatric Platform products, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

Welcome May!  The month where we celebrate motherhood, enjoy spring blooms, and spend time outside with friends and neighbors.  Unfortunately the first week of May was a huge let down in the Washington DC area.  It has been raining for days and days and I’m starting to wonder if the sun will ever show its face again.  Sadly along with the cold damp rain comes sickness.  Both Ryker and Noah have been battling never-ending colds, including coughing, runny noses, and grumpiness.  Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.30.46 PM

I am generally not one of those parents that cancels all plans when one of my children get the first sign of a sniffle.  Instead I research for trusted Pfizer Pediatric medications to treat the symptoms, so we can get on with our fun.  medication

Noah and Ryker are complete opposites when it comes to taking medicine.  Noah will swig down whatever I give him with no complaints.  On the other hand, I have to hold Ryker down and syringe small amounts of medication into his mouth.  Even then he manages to spit it back out at me.  I am sure to any outsider it would seem as if I was torturing the poor child.  Thankfully Ryker does not seem to mind the grape flavor of the Children’s Robitussin, which provides soothing action and cough control for up to 8 hours.  

The Infant and Children’s Advil has always been a go to in my mommy bag of medications, particularly to cut down fevers when all three boys battled endless ear infections, but that’s another story entirely!  I am hoping that these spring colds will clear up quickly and my little ones will be back to their rambunctious boys in no time.  Let’s also hope the sun will appear soon!   

If Sick just got real.™ for your family, be sure to head to your local Target to pick up  Children’s Advil®, Children’s Robitussin®, and/or Children’s Dimetapp® to fight all the nasty symptoms.  

Please comment below to win a bundle of Pfizer Pediatric Platform products to care for your little ones when they get sick.  Winner will be chosen randomly and notified by e-mail.  

An Alternative and Natural Method for TTC- The Stork OTC

“While I have received compensation for this post from Fertility Planit, all opinions are my own.”
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If you have been reading my blog for a lengthy amount of time, you know that I have struggled with women’s health issues since a teen. I also shared my struggles with trying to conceive due to infertility difficulties related to PCOS. Thankfully during my struggles with trying to conceive, I received excellent medical care through a military fertility clinic that was local to me. My fertility treatment course began and ended with a drug to assist with ovulation and tracking my cycles with ovulation prediction sticks and basal body temperature. Thankfully I conceived during my second round of Clomid. My Clomid baby just recently turned five-years-old!

Unfortunately not all fertility stories end with a happy ending. I know several friends struggling with heartbreak and anxiety of infertility. Fertility options can often lead to several thousands of dollars. The additional costs related to trying to start or grow a family can add unnecessary stress on a couple, which can in fact be detrimental to TTC (trying to conceive).
Stork OTCI recently learned about an over-the-counter conception aid, The Stork OTC. The Stork OTC is an at-home conception device that was designed to help make TTC easier. The Stork OTC is more cost effective, as well, as it retails for just $79.99. Although I have not personally used the Stork OTC, I mentioned the Stork OTC to several of my friends and a couple of them were successful in TTC using the product. They raved about find at their local Target and CVS. My closest friend told me that The Stork OTC was relatively easy to use, once she convinced her husband to give it a try.

The Stork OTC assists couples in conceiving through the use of cervical cap insemination. It is designed to be used as the next option for a couple who are having a difficult time conceiving, but are not ready to try more costly in-clinic methods. The Stork OTC contains two parts: the Conceptacle and the applicator. The Conceptacle, a latex-free condom-like sheath, is used to collect the sperm during intercourse or can be used with donor sperm. After intercourse, the cervical cap is placed on the Conceptacle. The cervical cap is then placed onto the applicator, which is used to guide the cervical cap through the vagina to the cervix. The cervical cap remains next to the cervix for 4-6 hours, optimizing the chance of conception. This video demonstrates how to use The Stork OTC.

The Stork OTC is most appropriate for couples we have received diagnoses of low sperm count, sperm immobility, or an unfavorable vaginal environment. It should only be used during the ovulatory phase of a women’s menstrual cycle. The Stork OTC should not be used by those whom it is medically unsafe to come pregnant or for those whom it is medically unsafe to have intercourse.

If this product were available when I was TTC, I would have tried it before resorting to other fertility options. It’s great to see that there are more options available to couples who desire to have a baby of their own. Please visit The Stork OTC for more information about this fertility assistance option.

If you have infertility problems, how long have you been TTC and what methods have you tried? Would you consider using the Stork OTC?

Sharing a Sweet Future in Bolivia

As a small business owner, corporate social responsibility is something I have given a lot of thought to. From choosing printing labs that use green packaging, to donating proceeds from my breastfeeding in public mini sessions to a local breastfeeding non-profit group, my efforts may be small, but they are important to my overarching business philosophy.

From small businesses to larger ones, corporate social responsibility is vital to a successful company. I have previously blogged about the Truvia brand’s partnership with the World Food Programme called Sharing a Sweet Future. This three year effort to help reduce childhood hunger in Bolivia began in 2012. Why Bolivia? Nearly 40 percent of the Bolivian population is unable to afford adequate food to support a healthy life. Additionally, 65 percent of all rural households are unable to afford the minimum recommended caloric intake. With these statistics, it’s no surprise that the majority of Bolivia’s children consistently fall under the minimum daily caloric intake and are suffering from nutritional deficiencies. Truvia_Infographic
As the leading stevia brand, Truvia is committed to sourcing responsibly and stewarding natural resources. Since the Sharing a Sweet Future program began, the company has helped to improve the lives and communities of the people of Bolivia. This has been accomplished through enhancing access to nutrition with micronutrient packets and decreasing health risks for families by establishing safer cooking conditions by providing clean stoves. As a result, the Sharing a Sweet Future partnership has improved school meals for over 67,000 Bolivian schoolchildren, installed 258 energy efficient stoves, and supplied 130 metric tons of fortified vegetable cooking oil to cook 2 school meals per day.Image 3
Many people don’t realize this, but Bolivians use truly primitive cooking techniques with unsafe stoves, causing food borne pathogens, harmful smoke exposure, and burns to the adults and children in the communities. The Sharing a Sweet Future effort has provided more energy efficient stoves that allow Bolivians to make their foods using less fuel, generating less harmful smoke and minimizing environmental destruction. The program has also provided vegetable oil fortified with the highest level of Vitamin A nutrients and micronutrient powders in school meal baskets, to help children combat nutritional deficiencies. Image 1 (1)

Perhaps the best way to truly understand just how much the Sharing a Sweet Future initiative has helped is to read about and watch the impact it has had on the Bolivian community.

“Truvia’s support came at a time when we didn’t have any resources, and were almost going to close this type of program.”
-Sergio Torres, head of Bolivia operations for the WFP

“As a parent I am very satisfied that the children have a daily breakfast and lunch at the school. The products provided by WFP and the Municipality allow them to have a diversified diet.”
– Adolfo Brito, Father

The program has had a positive impact on faculty, students and parents. Ramiero Alvino, Field monitor explains, “Nicolas Flores attends the 5th grade in the Huapi School in the Municipality of Poroma. Among other things, he says that he and his sister and brother are continuing their studies thanks to the school feeding program, as only his mother is supporting them.”

Rene Flores, the principal of the Pisili School of the Education Nucleus of San José del Paredón in the Municipality of Tarabuco, shared how the program’s efforts to build new energy-efficient stoves have eliminated the smoke, so the mothers do not complain anymore about their children being exposed to harmful fumes. He also noted that the new stoves have reduced the quantity of firewood needed for cooking the school meals.

The Sharing a Sweet Future initiative may be coming to a close, but the impact it has made on the people of Bolivia will not be forgotten.I challenge you to reach out to your favorite local businesses to see how they are supporting important causes. Visit the Truvia sustainability page to learn more about the brand’s efforts: www.SharingaSweetFuture.com

This post is sponsored by Truvia® Natural Sweetener. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Noah’s 5th Birthday Letter

Dear Noah, 

With every birthday that passes, I can not believe you are another year older.  Five is such a big kid age!!!  It seems as if you have been waiting for five for longer than I can remember- the year you finally get to leave daycare and start school.  But lets not rush that, okay?  We still have an entire summer to enjoy before you are off to school.  Noah is 5-5

I have loved watching you grow and learn this year.  You have fallen into the steps of big brother to Ryker very nicely.  He loves playing with you and even though you probably wouldn’t admit it, you enjoy him too.  Even though you drive Xander crazy at times, you love playing with him too.  Just last weekend the two of you constructed an awesome bed fort, which he played in for hours. Stavish boys

You have started to write your name and have mad coloring skills.  This year you started to take an interest in video games, as well.  Your passion for them just amazes me.  You are also interested in zombies and ghoulish science projects.  You are my little thinker, take it apart and put it back together.Noah is 5-4This year when I asked you if you wanted to play tee ball or soccer you  replied without hesitation, “Neither.  I don’t want to get sweaty.”.  Well played my dear son.  So instead of playing teeball you happily sit on the sidelines, driving me crazy or playing with your kindle. Noah is 5Noah is 5-3 Noah, your imagination, smile, and free spirit is contagious.  I am looking forward to watching you grow and explore in the next year.   Noah is 5-6

Happy fifth birthday my little redhead.  Mama loves you so very much!