No Words – Only Love

When I look at this photo of my nephew, what do I feel? Hint: Look closely.

love

Honestly, I’m starting to question if May and June are really my favorite time of year. I always think they are, for obvious beauty/celebratory reasons, but then they hit and they hit HARD. May/June has been rather March/April like for the last two years. I’m talking weeks of rain. A dreadful extended winter. Our last two Mays have been miserable. Now things are gorgeous, but while the rain has calmed down and given to calm skies, don’t be fooled. It’s the most hectic time of year!

Like this week? Des turned FIVE! Five alive!

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love

I had a little trouble with it. (or a lot) I took the morning off from my normal duties and Cassidy took the kids to school. One of my school friends gave him flowers and chocolate to give to me. She gets it. The push/pull of celebrating their years and milestones, but wanting to hold them closer too. The end of the baby/toddler/preschooler era is a tough one for me. I’ve never had this feeling, because I’ve never had to have this feeling. I see littles and I want to cry. Luckily the cutie in the top photo is a little, and he’ll have a littler little sibling too. And I know the sex of the baby! I might even tell you here.

Now we have entered the funny zone – the Grief Corridor. It’s both old and raw. My Uncle Steve passed away a year ago on Des’ 4th birthday. That same week, my beloved Penny passed away. Do you remember her? I still think about her so much:

love

love

love

I just unearthed all those old photos of her from January, 2016.

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love

love

I’m writing this on Thursday, the 15th, which was my father’s birthday. My grandmother passed away three years ago today – on my father’s birthday. My father passed away on July 2nd, and my grandfather passed away on July 2nd five years ago. Seriously. Those were my mom’s parents – passing away on my father’s birthday and the same date he died. My sister wrote this on Facebook: “June 15….. my biological father’s bday, the first date with my husband (our first anniversary), and the day my nana passed at 100 years old…. that’s the thing about life… where there is up, there is down, but the up is so so so worth everything else. Happy 6/15, a day I honor my marriage, my father, and my nana… all living on through my love and my childrenšŸ’“” What else can you say? She’s the sister whose son is in the photo above, by the way! Cycle of life.

no words

This Grief Corridor doesn’t mean I’m not happy, or not finding minutes of calm, work and children willing. It just means bodily memory and a foggy head. A bit of a heat daze, and a deep appreciation for everything and everyone. We’re planning two birthday parties right now, and my birthday will follow. Next week is Des’ preschool graduation, as well as a visit from “baby” Parker. The chickens are finally in the coop and no one can get them in there. It’s a fortress. Not even this one can:

Then we have these photos I took of my nephew.

It doesn’t need words, does it? When I look at this photo, I feel hope. I feel confidence and stability and dwell on all that is RIGHT with the world. I feel like maybe I’m not done having kids, but if I am, the kids, nephews, and nieces I have remind me gently and not-so-gently that THIS is what we have. Sometimes, no words. Sometimes, only love. And that’s how I feel.

P.S. It’s a girl!

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “When I look at this photo, I feel..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

5 Ways to Support Fetal Brain Development

This review was made possible by iConnect and UpSpring. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% mine.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

Sometimes, you just know it’s time to make decisions about starting or expanding your family.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

It’s funny how much I’ve learned in the last four years, and in the last seven years, since I first found myself pregnant and pleasantly surprised. I was 27 and I didn’t know ANYTHING. Scarlet was a happy, early surprise, and I was so young and only a few months married. Des was planned, but it was a stressful time of moving and change and adjustments. I always have said that if I should be so lucky to have a third or even fourth pregnancy, I would do everything differently than I did before. The bottom line is – taking care of the baby and taking care of ME.

Or YOU, of course.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

Here are five ways to support fetal brain development:

1 – UpSpring Prenatal+. UpSpring is a mom-founded and mom-run company – with a mission to empower parents with confidence and to give them the freedom to enjoy motherhood even more. UpSpring does this by finding innovative solutions to the everyday health and wellness challenges and frustrations facing mothers of a baby or young child. Since 2005, UpSpring has made all-natural products based on true science that solves real problems.

“More fun, less worry.”

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

UpSpring Prenatal+ is a complete multivitamin that also includes omega-3 DHA and choline (in the form of Alpha GPC) – clinically shown to support fetal brain development. Also, Alpha GPC is a highly bioavailable form of choline, and it’s the only form that crosses the blood-brain barrier to nourish your baby’s growing brain. These three delicious mango-peach gummies, taken once a day, provide 100% of the daily value of 11 essential nutrients, and brain-building omega-3 and Alpha GPC. The gummies are easy on the stomach! There’s also one-a-day, easy-to-swallow softgels too! UpSpring Prenatal+ Gummy is all natural, low in sugar, and non-GMO.

Get your delicious daily dose of three great tasting gummies and one liquid softgel.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

2 – Get your Omega-3s! Omega-3/DHA is for motor skills development. Omega-3 fats, especially DHA, are concentrated in the brain, and the brain has the greatest need for omega-3 during the fetal growth period and up until age two! Pregnant women who take fish oil have higher levels of omega-3 in their breastmilk, and higher DHA levels in infants are associated with better hand-eye coordination.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

3 – Eat fruits and vegetables, and boost your protein intake. Fresh produce contains antioxidants, some of which can protect your baby’s brain tissue from damage. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly! And you need protein now more than ever. Check with your doctor for the recommended protein intake – mine jumped by 10 extra grams a day. I loved yogurt smoothies, bean soups, peanut butter on toast, and even lean beef.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

4 – You need iron too! Your iron needs to double during pregnancy since iron deficiency can affect your baby’s growth and brain. You will most likely be tested for iron levels. Eat iron-rich foods too.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

5 – Find your Folate. Luckily, it’s in UpSpring Prenatal+. It’s a natural form of vitamin B9, which is found in dark leafy greens and lentils, among other foods. Prenatal+ uses the natural form of B9 – folate – and pregnant women should get at least 800 mcg of folate per day, which is the amount delivered in their prenatal gummies.

Pregnant or trying to conceive? Here are 5 ways to support brain development and take care of both YOU & your baby as best you can! #spon #UpSpringBaby #TTC

And what else can I say? Read to your baby and get him/her used to your voice. Sing to your baby. Relax yourself. Be mindful of mercury; avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Above all, make excellent choices. Like UpSpring Prenatal+.

UpSpring Prenatal+ Gummy retails for $24.99 at Target – in the Women’s Health & Family Planning aisle. Prenatal+ is also available in an easy to swallow tablet with 18 mg of iron. Visit UpSpringBaby.com to find out more!

And ultimately, enjoy!