All posts by Lara

Finding the Best Prenatal Vitamin

New Chapter Organics Perfect PrenatalWhen I was newly pregnant with my twins, one of the first things I had to shop for was the best prenatal vitamin.  I read article after article, read reviews, asked other parents and researched the recommendation of my OB/GYN (who I later ditched because of their callous attitude).  I reached saturation point on info about iron levels, side effects (constipation, yippee! :D), folate vs. folic acid, fillers, synthetic vs. organic, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. LOL! 😀 vectorstock-215595-sleeping-emoticon-vector

Yep, there’s a bit more involved than just casually accepting whatever the doctor (who might be receiving incentives for certain recommendations) hands you, but the research you invest in something so vital to you and your baby’s health is time well spent.

Anyhoo, during my vitamin quest one day, another mama had posted an article mentioning that Gwyneth Paltrow was practically ecstatic about one particular brand of prenatal vitamin. In fact, she loved it so much that she was taking it even when she wasn’t pregnant. Huh?

Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in Iron Man
Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in Iron Man

I’m not one to rush out and buy a product based on a (probably compensated) celebrity say-so, but what caught my interest was that New Chapter Organics Perfect Prenatal Vitamins were organic. Not only that, many of the sources from which the vitamins in the tablet were derived, were from whole food sources and involved fermentation.  This was intriguing and I decided to look into this prenatal product.

After quite a lot of research, I’d decided that this was the one for me! Then breathed a HUGE sigh of relief that that topic of research was finally over with. 😀

I took the vitamins, I didn’t have any constipation problems, the babies turned out fine, case closed, right?

Uh-uh. Nope!

Because now it’s a very tough 9 years later (twins!) and I find that I still don’t feel I’m ‘back on my feet’, so to speak.  Guess what? Apparently “Post-Natal Depletion” is also a very real thing.

I’ve actually been hearing a lot from other mamas who likewise still feel like something the cat dragged in, even several years later, post-partum.  And speaking of post-partum – apparently post-partum depression can linger on for YEARS after giving birth! (And is exacerbated by post-natal depletion.) A lot of mamas also suffer from self-esteem issues when they don’t bounce back quickly after giving birth, or even after the kids are finally school-ready.

twintiredmommy

Well, when you’re consistently operating under a post-natal depletion deficit for years, you’re not going to be feeling the greatest.  Simply getting your regular pre-pregnancy intake levels of nutrients isn’t going to be enough. You also need to replenish the used-up stores of nutrients in your body that had been stockpiling for years before pregnancy occurred.  And if you’ve had more than one pregnancy, that deficit is going to get depleted even more with each subsequent pregnancy.

So even though I’m not planning on having any more children, I will be using New Chapter Organics Perfect Prenatal Vitamins to help me replenish myself. +++

How about you? Do you have a particular favorite prenatal vitamin? While you were researching pregnancy or baby-related topics did you come across any startling new info? Please comment below and share with us. Thank you! 😀

Happy Holidays everyone, and PLEASE – Mamas especially – take GOOD care of yourselves!  You deserve it!

**This post is a sponsored partnership with Nakturnal. The opinions expressed above and specific product recommendation are entirely my own.

+++ This post is opinion only and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult with a trusted medical professional to ascertain what levels of nutritional supplements would be most appropriate for your individual medical situation.

My Car Won’t Start! A Tale Of Mercury Retrograde! Dec 19, 2016 – Jan 8, 2017

mercI should know better. I should really, really, really know better, but somehow it totally slipped my mind, as retrograde planets do, that Mercury was in retrograde right about now.

Yesterday morning my car wouldn’t start. Not only wouldn’t it start, but it was making little hissy-fit clicks at me. It was a sullen car. This car was literally emoting sullenness at me.  So I do what I usually do when faced with vehicular trouble – I called my husband to come help me out. (Yeah, yeah, I know – liberated feminism and all that yadda yadda. I don’t care – when it comes to cars and insect removals – I call the person I know best who actually has experience with such things.)

So he pokes around, decides my car needs a jumpstart and handily provides it. Then tells me my jaunt to the grocery store might not be long enough to recharge the battery and I might get stranded there, and oh by the way, be home by noon, he’s got an appointment to get to. But, ya know, no pressure or anything. 😀

Luckily I make it there and back and even get to schlep it over to my mechanic. The mechanic tells me that merely driving the car around isn’t enough to charge it fully, I’ll either need to leave it with him overnight and for $20 he’ll charge it for me, or I can buy a charger of my own for around $50 at an auto supply store and have it on hand whenever I need it.

Hmm….

So I call my favorite auto supply store where they are very nice and don’t sneer at me for not being able to do car stuff or when I call car parts “thingy”.  A lovely young lady trudges out with me, into the winter cold and hooks up some gizmo to my battery. She says that the battery only has a half charge and I might need a new one.

car

A new battery? We’ve only had this one since 2010! Then she points to all the bubbling ooze and acid corrosion it has on it and around it and under it…well, you get the picture. It isn’t pretty. So I guess I kinda sorta maybe do need a new battery, how much are those?

OVER A HUNDRED DOLLARS??!! Holy Toledo, Batman!

She says she’ll try to charge the battery first, about 30 minutes – FREE!!!! YAY!!! If it still won’t hold a charge, she really, really thinks it’d be a good idea to get a new one. Or, ya know, be constantly in need of a jumpstart, especially since cold weather makes tetchy batteries even more cranky.

Ooookaaayyyy…..

So, 30 minutes later and the verdict is not good.  The battery won’t hold a charge. The battery to replace it is $120.

Sigh…I hand over my credit card.  The store manager is nice enough to do an online quickie price comparison and finds it cheaper at another chain and gives me a discount to compensate, even throws in some anti-corrosive thingy, too! 😀  Total including tax is about $116. 😀

Finally, when I get home, I remember – oh yeah….Mercury Retrograde!  In addition to mechanical things going gaflooey, contracts getting sticky and communication breakdowns, this one seems to be packing an additional wallop of ‘out with the old, in with the new’ in the overall planetary vibe department.

You can read all about that here:

Mercury Retrograde In Capricorn And Sagittarius: Dec 19th, 2016 – Jan 8th, 2017

Tis Time, Tis Time For Xmas Cards! A Holiday Card Giveaway!

wreath-i-made

One of my favorite winter holiday traditions is the giving (and hopefully receiving) of xmas cards.  Whether your holiday greetings are for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Festivus, Solstice, or the upcoming New Year, there most likely is a card for that.

Increasingly though, eco-conscious folks are swapping out their paper (aka dead tree) cards for spiffy new online versions!

I’ve been asked to host a giveaway for a very forward-thinking stationary website that in addition to its traditional paper offerings, also has some absolutely lovely online greeting cards as well! Paperlesspost .com!

Just a few quick minutes of clicking and I was ready to go with this whimsical online card for 8 coins per recipient (I added some fancy backdrops, fancy virtual envelope options and a reply card that are not shown here) 😀

bear

They also have online versions of photo cards as well!

To make the giving of holiday cards even more exciting, I’m hosting a sponsored** giveaway for a prize of 1000 coins from Paperless Post! ($90 USD ARV)

Method of entry is a piece of cake: Simply write a comment below with your favorite holiday story! Touching, hilarious, shocking – let’s hear it! 😀

My own favorite story is the tale of the Great Rice Pudding Massacre!😀

Way back over a decade ago, I lived in Japan and decided to host a potluck holiday party for my ESL students. My husband had just finished his third go-round of wiping and mopping our dining room floor when disaster struck!  I had just taken a rather large tray of rice pudding out of our mini-oven (Japan usually doesn’t have either baking ovens or rice pudding!) and set it on top of the oven to cool while I finished stirring a pot on the range. While my back was turned, the ENTIRE TRAY of rice pudding slipped off and fell – SPLAT!!! – face down on the floor!  We madly scooped it back into the tray, sprinkled it with more cinnamon and re-wiped the floor just before our first guest rang the doorbell! I was mildly concerned that someone would find something weird in it, but that was very unlikely considering how thoroughly my husband had cleaned the floor beforehand. 😀

**RULES:  Just one entry per person, and a winner will be chosen randomly from all who comment.  Entry period ends 11/28/16 at 11:59pm and a winner will be chosen on 11/29/16. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hrs to respond before a backup winner will be chosen. This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of 1000 coins for Paperless Post ($90USD ARV).  Open to US residents, age 18+.

family

Have You Done Your Research? Car seats! A Giveaway!

car toys - can't leave home without 'em!
car toys – can’t leave home without ’em!

If you’ve ever had to transport a baby or small child from Point A to Point B in a motor vehicle, they you are no doubt well-acquainted with the reams of research needed to pinpoint the safest car seat for your chosen price-point range.

Whether you decide on a well-known brand like Graco car seats, or any of the other manufacturers out there, you’ve probably spent hours scouring Consumer Reports, government safety regulation websites, or parent review sites or possibly even social media parenting groups focused on the subject.

car seat
OMG – it’s got cup-holders!

To make the chore a bit more exciting, I’ve been asked to host a sponsored** giveaway for a $50 USD gift certificate!

Method of entry is a piece of cake: Simply write a comment below with your favorite funny or disastrous child + car story! (If your child hasn’t been born yet, or you really don’t have any stories then simply let me know if you’ve ever seen a movie at a drive-in theater and what decade that was! – I saw my first drive-in movie in the 70’s 😀 )

Whether it’s a mention of how your children were talented in arching or bowing their backs to inhuman angles and then locking their body in that position so you absolutely could not buckle them in, or the relentless ear-splitting shrieks for repeated renditions of ‘Old MacDonald Has A Farm’ while you were trying to drive, or the revolting diaper fail that called for a haz-mat team to disinfect your car, we want to hear it! 😀

**RULES:  Just one entry per person, and a winner will be chosen randomly from all who comment.  Entry period ends 11/25/16 at 11:59pm and a winner will be chosen on 11/26/16. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hrs to respond before a backup winner will be chosen. This giveaway is a partnership with Nakturnal, with a prize of a $50 gift certificate.  Open to US residents, age 18+.

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