Use Groupon’s coupons for great deals this Mother’s Day

Use Groupon’s coupons for great deals this Mother’s Day

We’re all familiar with all of the great deals you can find on Groupon. Looking for a discount on group pole dancing lessons? Groupon is your place. (I’ve done this BTW, so fun.) Need a hookup on an Escape Room in your city? Groupon will never let you down. It’s to the point when I get bored I will just scour Groupon for fun, inexpensive entertainment near me.

On top of awesome, local fun you can also shop your little heart out in Groupon’s own marketplace – where you will find everything from makeup to Playstations at deep discounts – and even awesome deals on travel! But Groupon doesn’t stop there because now they are the source for coupons and discount codes at some of your favorite sites to shop on the internet.

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Mother’s Day is coming!

In case you’ve been under a rock, Mother’s Day is just around the corner and Groupon has you covered. Whether it’s a gift for mom, or one for yourself because, let’s be honest here, only we know what we really want, amirite?, you will find something at any one of the stores Groupon had coupons for. In fact, I spy with my little eye a 25% off any sale item at Kate Spade – boom, done.

GrouponEnvelopeEverything you need and more

Use Groupon Coupons to brighten up someone’s Mother’s Day with a bouquet from 1800Flowers.com. Buy your aunt, who’s always been like a mother to you, a bottle of perfume from Nordstrom or NeimanMarcus. Or just get yourself those running shoes you’ve been eyeballing at FinishLine – all with coupons from Groupon.

Let’s not forget Father’s Day is just around the corner and Groupon has a coupon for that. From HomeDepot to Guitar Center, Groupon has a way to show your love and appreciation of all that moms and dads do every day.

Happy shopping! And Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome moms out there. We are tired, we’re probably hungry, and there’s a good chance we’ve been yelled at today by someone we need to remind to pee but we are awesome. And there’s not much a long shower, a glass of good cheap wine and an early bedtime for the littles can’t fix. 

Stylish holiday greetings with Minted

Stylish holiday greetings with Minted

Minted

I’ve always had a thing for Christmas cards. I start sometime in November and, as per Martha Stewart, they are in the mail no later than December 1st. Once I had kids, my obsession went into over time. Outfits, location, lighting, dog or no dog… It’s gotten insane. One of my favorite things about the holiday is also receiving everyone else’s cards. Every year I swoon over what my friends and family come up with– foil accents, double sided, thick card stock, collages, accordion fold!

This year I was invited to kick up my own holiday card game up a notch with Minted and I seriously cannot explain to you how excited I was. And as a person who has a very well known problem with making decisions, I knew I had to start my process as early as possible…and it STILL took me about 3 weeks to nail it down. Minted has such gorgeous and creative designs that can be customized in anyway possible so you’re guaranteed to make your card stand out in this years sea of joyous greetings.

 

Minted Collage

Once I got my photos narrowed down to two options, a feat in itself, I was on to the Minted website. By far the handiest feature on Minted was the ability to upload my photo and instantly see it in all the different varieties of cards. That saved me so much time that I no longer had from all the previous time I had wasted. From there I chose my card, fiddled with the fonts, colors and even the die-cut shape of my card. This year I also opted for Minted to do the labeling and addressing for me since every year I dread this process. Bonus, matching envelops and addressing is FREE. Yes, free.  So go ahead and give that hand a break this year.

Minted card come in hundreds of styles, 9 unique die-cut shapes, are made with the most luxurious high quality card stock and some styles even have gorgeous hand-pressed gold, silver or rose gold foil- all for starting at $0.60 per card.

It’s not too late! You still have time to get your own beautiful Minted holiday cards so head on over to Minted and get started now!

 

Back to school with Mabel’s Labels

Back to school with Mabel’s Labels

It’s that time again. You went out, spent a whole weekend (at least) and your hard earned money on a bunch of new crap for your little darlings. Wouldn’t it be nice if they got to actually keep that beautiful new crap? If all that expensive new crap made it from point A to point B then back again?

Or scenario B: Your awesome hard working teacher sent you a list of school supplies that’s as long as you wish your patience was…and it all needs to be labeled with your darling child’s name.

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Well I’m about to save you a ton of time, energy and money: meet Mabel’s Labels.  These adorable labels are dishwasher and microwave safe, washable, and come in a large variety of sizes, colors, and packages to fit any picky child’s tastes and your budget. (PS, free shipping on all orders!)

We’ve been using these labels since Audrey was a baby and as soon as I knew what we would be naming Abbey I was online ordering hers. Shoes, back packs, diaper bags, sippy cups, bottles, toys, jackets…you name it, I have a label on it telling you who it belongs to. Mabel’s Labels also makes allergy safety bracelets and household labels so if you’re like me and you like to keep your stuff then get your self some super cute Mabel’s Labels.

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Disclaimer: I received an Ultimate back-to-school combo pack from Mabel’s Labels as part of my BTS Savvy Sassy Scout box but I’ve been a loyal Mabel’s Labels user for years. :)

It’s a…

It’s a…

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Yesterday afternoon I was off to yet another doctors appointment because that’s what you do when you’re old and you’re pregnant. Old pregnant ladies go to lots of doctors appointments. In fact, I’ve had 3 ultrasounds and I’m only 12 weeks (as of today). This is the most photographed fetus in town. The Kim Kardashian of fetuses, if you will.

However this was a special ultrasound in that it was my NT (Nuchal Translucency) which is the test for Downs. People have asked why I agreed to take the test when my doctor recommended it to me. Well, first off, we would never terminate. Ever. But my doctor had a great point when she said she doesn’t offer the test so that you have an out, but so that you are prepared in delivery. So that if there are any other issues you will already have doctors lined up to be in delivery, therapists, supportive friends and family. And I 100% agree with all of that. See, I am a planner. A scheduler. I don’t buy a vacuum without 3 weeks of intense research, I’m not about to bring another person into this world without having done everything I could to make sure they have the best possible care from minute one.

Well, one of the happy side effects of this test is that if the baby is cooperative and you have a very nice ultrasound tech there is a good chance you will get the gender of your baby which is the one thing most people can’t wait to get. And I  knew all this because, duh, Google. I was prepared. I took with me the sweetest little card and before I even sat down on the table I explained to the lady that I knew what was up and asked that if possible and if she didn’t mind would she write it down on the card so I could open it with my husband.

She explained to me that often they aren’t able to accurately get gender but she would try….and off we went.

Now in my heart I knew it was a boy. When pregnant with Audrey all I wanted was donuts, Lucky Charms and peanut better and jelly. With this kid I am all Mexican food and baked potatoes. I popped out right away, had hardly any morning sickness and pretty much no heartburn (yet). It HAS got to be a boy! I HAVE BEDDING PICKED OUT!

I know it. I feel it. MOTHER’S INTUITION!

At the end of our appointment she says “Got it.” Yay!

The husband and I race home to open it together….

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Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. Yup. It’s a girl.

Upon hearing the news I froze in stunned silence. Audrey, who has decided she doesn’t want a brother because she doesn’t like the boys at school, said “YES!” with a very dramatic fist pump. And my husband leaned up against a wall just long enough to build up enough energy to start pacing the kitchen.

It took us a minute to digest and that’s normal right? You convince yourself things are one way and then they are another. It’s shocking. Am I slightly disappointed? Yes, I will say that I have been a little bummed, I mean everything I had picked out was for a boy. I had my heart set on teeny tiny ties.

Last night I spent the majority of the night online making a Pinterest board full all new bedding and room ideas. Back to square one. Slowly I started to see my attitude change. I felt myself getting excited about ruffles and bows and hardly missing the adorable navy blue whales.

However, one thing will stay the same…

NO FLIPPIN’ PINK.

 

 

Yup, that just happened.

I was just looking over my sad, lonely little blog and noticing that the last time I posted was back in April. Hello? Is anyone still there? Diehards? My mom? There is a reason though. A reason why I haven’t shared all the wonderful moments from Audrey’s birthday in March where we took her to Disneyland for the first time and basically used her college fund to pay for Character Breakfast. And why there are no photos of her looking for Easter eggs with her cousins, and why you have yet to see, and hear, about her first day of pre-school.

I was in a funk.

Yes, again.

BUT, it get’s better.

Back in September of last year we were referred to a fertility clinic here in Arizona by my sweet doctor who had done all she can. This was our next step. I was nervous and I put it off as long as I could as I always said I wasn’t going to strap my family with a financial burden for something technically unnecessary and un-guaranteed. But here we were, creeping up on 37 and a half and not getting any younger. It was time to take the plunge.

In mid April I went in for an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) and I was scared to death. I, of course like any rational person with an internet connection, went online and searched for How painful is an HSG? Answer: very. Essentially what happens is you lie down on a very hard, very cold table, naked as the day you were born from the waist down, and try not to move…or breathe. This is very hard to do when someone is man-handling your sensitive bits with some sort of cold solution. You ever see people sand blasting a sidewalk? Now scale that down to very tiny and inside your vagina. It’s like THAT.

What they are looking for is a reason why you are not getting pregnant, they are looking for blockages of tissue. However, this treatment is not only diagnostic in terms of finding whats wrong but it’s also therapeutic in that if there is a blockage the act of looking for said blockage usually tends to knock it out. Like a BOGO sale. Buy one, get one.

If you are planning on doing this my advice to you is: one whole Xanax and 4 Advil. But that’s just me and I’m not a doctor. In fact, don’t listen to me at all.

Now I have heard story after story of people successfully getting pregnant after this procedure, as soon as days after. Becasue of this it was back on the clomid. The first month was unsuccessful and I know it was just the first month but I was back to being discouraged. Throughout all this I was also wondering how much more my marriage could take. Maybe this is something that most people don’t talk about when discussing infertility but its so painfully hard on your marriage. You’re not happy, you’re obsessed, you’re stressed, your partner feels this. I think in some ways my husband felt at fault and just as guilty as I did. Then there’s the on demand sex. Oh yes, you’re tired, you’re grumpy, you’re bloated from the clomid, let’s get naked. 

Uh, no. Let’s not.

Then you argue. Then you feel undesirable. Then you feel demanding and rigid and unreasonable.

Infertility is as awful place to be for everyone. This is supposed to be fun right? You start to feel…unwomanly. For lack of a better term, defective.

Month 2, post HSG, back on the clomid, calendar is marked with doctor appointments and little hearts where we should be doing it but this time they added shots. I went in for a sonogram to make sure the clomid was working and there was a big fat egg just waiting. The shots were to release the egg and then we wait…again.

On Father’s Day I took a pregnancy test…

Well, now that the cats out of the bag I can regale you with stories about morning sickness and panic attacks. All fun stuff so stay tuned…

It’s Take Your Kid To Work Day! A #TBT Story

It’s Take Your Kid To Work Day! A #TBT Story

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Photo credit: Huffington Post

When I was about 4 or 5 (the age my daughter is now) my dad took me to work with him for one day during my Christmas break from school. It’s something I will never forget because it forever changed how I perceived my dad, as a person.

At that age I remember thinking that my dad was the tallest, strongest and smartest person on the planet. Literally. Like literally there was nobody who surpassed his height, nobody who could lift as much as he could and nobody who could possibly know as much stuff as he knew. Superman.

I was also the little jerk on the playground who would share this information with the other kids in a “my Dad is better than your dad” kind of way. That same year I got in trouble for telling everyone there was no Santa Clause making a room full of five-year-olds cry. Telling people the hard truth seemed to be my thing from an early age.

Then, on that one day in December, I distinctly remember leaving my dad’s office. He put me in the car only he had forgotten something and had to run back inside leaving me to wait. (Back then it was okay to leave your small child in the car alone. Seat belts were also only a suggestion. I’m not sure how we all survived.) A few minutes later my dad returned, a smile on his face as he happily chatted away with a very nice co-worker of his who happened to be about fifteen (exaggerated) feet tall.

*Boom*

What the what? How can that BE?

The whole thing was all very movie-esque as you would expect. The ground was wet from the rain and the whole thing seemed to happen in slow motion. Seems I was a dramatic child from a very young age.

If that guy is taller than my dad then maybe he is NOT the tallest man ever. And if he’s not the tallest than he may not be the strongest…and what about the smartest?!?!

My 4-ish years on the planet were a lie.

I laugh about it now and it’s a funny story to tell but I remember being so upset about it at the time.

Now although my dad is tall, strong and smart he is none of these to the extent that I would take on a kindergardener to prove my point but he’s those things enough and then some.

So on this Take Your Son or Daughter To Work Day I hope you get an opportunity to show your child what it is you do all day to make their life as great as it is while, hopefully, not irreparably scarring them for the rest of their lives. Otherwise known as Thursday in my house.

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Photo credit: Someecards.com

 

PS, I’m in totally catch-up mode with the blog right now. But trust me, you don’t want to miss what’s coming up about our first trip to Disneyland, Audrey’s birthday and that one time my husband found Audrey petting a dead mouse. Stay tuned…

 

 

Trying to make people: The OVACUE how-to!

Trying to make people: The OVACUE how-to!

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Almost two years ago we started on the journey towards having another child, and like most people, we thought it would be a snap. All we would need to do was to actively stop trying to not have a baby and we would be set. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am, here you go. But yet, two years later we are still baby free.

It seems, despite what every Trojan commercial and MTV says, it it quite difficult to get pregnant…well for me and my 37 year old ovaries it is. Seriously, I got nothing. My uterus is like a seashell but instead of hearing the ocean you put your ear up to my belly and hear crickets. But apparently there is a science to all this and it’s all about timing. Before I had no idea when I was supposed to ovulate, just that I did. Now, like every other woman in my situation, I could teach a class on the female reproductive system and cycle. Let me put it to you this way, if there were a Jeopardy catagory about cervical mucus, I would own that shit.

As you know (or if you haven’t been keeping up- are about to find out) we had a miscarriage back in August of 2012. After that terrible ordeal we enlisted the help of some awesome OB-GYNs to see if there was an issue and to pretty much do everything short of enlisting the aid of a proper fertility doctor (though not completely off the table yet). This past fall I had to stop. No more blood draws, no more clomid, no more almost weekly doctors appointments. It was time to try a more natural approach by way of learning my cycle and charting my days…and then I was introduced to OvaCue.

My OvaCue Betterhalfblogs

 This, my friends, is my OvaCue Fertility Monitor (snazzy pink polka-dotted carrying case not included). This little thing will change how you go through the process of trying to conceive. In short, OvaCue, through daily monitoring of the electrolyte levels in your saliva, will tell you the exact date of expected ovulation with a 98.3%  accuracy. AND if you are using the vaginal wand in addition to the oral monitor  you will get confirmation that you did ovulate. This is my favorite part, for some reason, it’s the same satisfaction that checking an item off your to-do list has…if you’re a wierdo awesome Type A like me.

So what does my typical day with OvaCue look like? Easy peasy. The only thing that ever is an issue is that I am in no way, not even a little bit, a morning person and you have to do the oral test before you brush your teeth or take your first sip of coffee. I have been known to forget to do it every now and then although I find that setting it next to my toothbrush helps to make sure I see it in the morning. And on setup day…well the brain isn’t always there. Setup day is what I call the day that I start using my monitor for the month, ideally this would be day 2 of your cycle but Ovacue says just by day 4 at the latest.

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This is my monitor when I set it up for the month just the other day. As you can see I am on a 30 day cycle and I started monitoring on day 3.

Ovacue Testing BetterHalfBlogs

And this sexy beast is me (sorry to disappoint all the eligible bachelors out there reading my parenting blog, but I’m taken). All you do to test it hit the “O” for oral (duh) and follow directions. It sits in your mouth for all of about 3-5 seconds and you’re done.

OvaCue Today BetterHalfBlogs

So here is my read out for day 3 of my cycle on February 10th…not fertile. And off I am to go about the rest of my day. It doesn’t get any easier than that. I do this every morning until I get ovulation confirmation. If you plan on doing vaginal monitoring (which I HIGHLY recommend) you start that on day 8 of your cycle. I do this when I go into my room, after coffee, while I’m changing into my clothes for the day or jumping in the shower. Just like the oral testing, you hit “V” for vaginal, follow directions and insert the wand for all of about 3-5 seconds and you’re done. Please forgive me if I don’t post photos of that…it’s not that kind of blog but you can see a photo of my wand in the first photo in this post.

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To give you an idea what an entire month looks like here is October in my monitor. It’s a little tough to see the difference in color but there is a slight difference between September 30th and October 1st, this tells me my chances of getting pregnant if I have intercourse on that day is slightly higher. Then come October 5th, you can clearly see it’s a darker blue which means it’s go time baby. The darkest blue on October 8th is my highest day and then October 9th turns pink which tells me that I did ovulate. After my pink day I stop testing till the next cycle.

There you have it! Like I said, easy peasy.

And if I can take a moment to talk to all the ladies out there who are where I am right now, and if you’re finally at the bottom of this long ass post I’m assuming you are. This isn’t the miracle that’s going to guarantee you a baby, it’s not how it works. What it is is another option in a world where there seems to not be enough options. I did the pee sticks, and while it was nice to get my ovulation narrowed down to a week, this blows that out of the water. Who wants to pee on a stick everyday? And I’m sorry, but lets be honest here, I am a busy, often exhausted woman so telling me around when I should be “doing it” with my husband is not good enough. I want to know exactly when I should be having sex, the. exact. day. I don’t have time or energy for anything else.

If you are interested in getting more information please check out OvaCue’s website for any information you may need and to see the range of other things that come in handy when you’re #TTC including basal thermometers and pee sticks along with a wide array of vitamin supplements and prenatals for both men and women to help with your getting knocked-up needs. (I was sent the prenatals and vitamins but I am super sensitive to any sort of medication so I can’t talk about those with any sort of intelligence. Sorry.) AND!! If you enter the coupon code BETTERHALFMOMMY you will get 10% off your order!

Disclosure and message: I was sent the monitor and supplements for the purpose of doing this review back in the fall. (Yes, I realize it’s now February and I’m barely getting to the actual review but I am nothing if not prompt.)  In the past 3 years I have worked with plenty of companies both in and out of the blogging world and I have to say that Fairhaven Health is, and has been, the best company I have ever been connected to. This type of thing is not like a vacuum or baby walker that you can say “this works” or “this doesn’t”, there are emotions and heart attached to the overall purpose of this product. So, I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Fairhaven Health, especially Sarah (my contact person) for being so understanding, supportive and patient. In a world full of corporations where the customer is just a number or a nuisance, who doesn’t want to support a company with excellent customer service and care?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three years ago I hit publish for the first time…

Three years ago today on December 12th 2010 I hit “publish” for the very first time. It’s weird to think that, much less say it out loud.

Three years ago I just wanted to have a conversation with someone who’s butt I didn’t have to wipe in the next hour. It never occurred to me that some of those familiar names on my screen would become great personal friends and professional advocates IRL.

Three years ago I was excited to have a place to share my own hard discovered parental lifehacks. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this personal internet space of mine would lead me to wonderful places like SheKnows.com, the front page of AOL and now a pretty cushy spot at WhatToExpect.com.

I used this blog as a way to sort through my pain after my miscarriage and it continues to be a place of refuge for me as we deal with continued failed attempts at getting pregnant.

Three years ago today I discovered I had a voice I never knew was there. And while I tease that the only people that actually read my posts are my mother-in-law, my mom and I, I know this is far from the truth (my mom never actually reads my blog).

So thank you to everyone out there who have so graciously given me a minute or two or your busy day. To all who have taken the time to comment a bit of encouragement or commiseration. To all who have been so kind as to never point out the fact that I have no idea what the difference between “:” and “;” is.

To all of you I say Thank You.

Cheers.

 

 

 

Trying to make people: Part Ugh

(Ed. note: I’m venting here. Just roll with it.)

I started writing this post about two months ago. It was dark and ugly and, well, I should have just posted it because sometimes that’s the truth behind the feelings you get when you try (and fail) at getting pregnant. Part of me really did want to hit publish but after rereading it all seemed so jumbled, like the ramblings of the lady that hangs outside 7-11 or a toddler after a donut.

I guess I needed more time to get my head together.

Around that time I had six friends- SIX!- give birth over a 2 week period. No lie. SIX! How does that even happen? Then 2 weeks after that 3 more announced they were pregnant on facebook. That night I told the handsome other half that these 3 friends of mine were expecting and his response was “I’m sorry honey” and suddenly I was that girl. 

I decided I needed a time out. A cease fire on my emotional well being. I took the month off. Like I took off everything having to do with babies (for the most part considering I still kept Audrey alive and never used the old headache trick). I packed away my OvaCue Fertility Monitor, no testing, no temps, no cervical mucus monitoring (eww), no calendars, no little hearts drawn around the expected date of ovulation on said calendar, no subsequent waiting and thinking every ache could be implantation pain… None. Of. It.

I feel like I’ve been pretty careful not to come off as a giant ungrateful “B”, and unless you follow me on Facebook, you would hardly even know all this is going on, but in my head, ugh, it’s not pretty sometimes and I am definitely not proud. It’s really hard sometimes to not feel alone, regardless of super supportive family members and a husband willing to do whatever you need him to. It’s hard not to feel like you’re the only barren womb on the block with all the bellies and babies everywhere you go. What I wouldn’t give to be exhausted with vomit on my shirt.

Recently I came across a post by Amy from Carriage Before Marriage on Huffington Post where she so accurately describes the everyday aches and pains of Secondary Infertility. The wanting to give your child the best gift in the world; a sibling- and failing. The baby shit all over your house that is crowding up your precious storage space and yet you refuse to give it up. (Seriously, don’t touch my crib.) And the guilt over being so sad regardless of the precious little person you already have. It was the most spot on piece I have ever read regarding this crapity situation and I highly recommend you reading it because I don’t do it justice and it’s better written than the nonsense you’re reading now.

I know this feeling is just a phase because this is not like me. I am the one that annoys the crap out of my husband because of my ‘it could be worse!’ attitude, just ask him. I know it’s just the holidays and the fact that I’ve researched a million adorable ways to announce you’re expecting at Christmas (Christmas card! How freaking cute is that?). And I know that God has a plan for me and my family. Everything in His time and all that.

My head knows all of this, just please explain it to my heart.

(PS, I am back on the fertility monitoring phase so stay tuned for the next edition of Trying To Make People where I show step-by-step how to use this handy little device.

 

Who?

Who?

What is it with husbands (and men in general) not being physically able to capture and comprehend to what we say? I mean, I thought for awhile it was just my husband or that what I was saying wasn’t as interesting as whatever was going on inside his pretty little head but apparently it’s become an epidemic among male spouses that needs to be addressed.

Better Half Blogs Marriage

It came to my attention recently in a Geico commercial that was all too familiar to me. You know the one. Two owls are having a conversation. The lady owl says something to the man owl about her friend from work and all he says is “Who?”. She reminds him of her friend whom she has apparenrly mentioned a million times before (as per usual) and he responds once again with “Who?”. At that point she looks like she a third “who” away from punting him out of her tree.

I feel you, kindred owl spirit.

I don’t even get it though. I hear everything. I hear crap I wish I hadn’t heard. Not only that, I remember even more. I can also make dinner, discipline the child, feed the dogs and still recall everything about the conversation had while doing all of this about the topic I could have really cared less about.

It’s called LOVE people. Love and apparently a uterus because I have yet to meet a man, or a woman with a man, who can replicate this incredible feat. Just reading that makes me feel the need to wear a cape on a daily basis.

I have learned to adjust to this shortcoming in my life mate. If he has anything in his hand from his iPhone to an actual apple, I just don’t do it. If he has just walked in the door, I bide my time. If he is watching TV, especially any sport having to do with any of the three major balls (ie. foot, base, or soccer), it’s a no-go on the hi-yo.

Timing is everything people.

But it’s good to know that I’m not alone. Just being aware that I am part of a larger more ignored community makes me feel somehow less stabby.

And I would tell my husband about my new found understanding but chances are he wouldn’t hear me anyway.