Thursday, April 23, 2015


This giveaway is a partnership with Real Mom Reviews.

Many woman find that before having children they can run up and down the stairs, do yoga, bounce on a trampoline and more with out any problem. However there a few that experience bladder leakage and it's no fun at all.


Believe it or not bladder leakage is a common occurrence in approximately one third of the female population. However, just because it's common doesn't necessarily mean that it's natural occurrence. In fact bladder leakage is a huge warning sign that the pelvic floor muscles are too weak to prevent an accidental leak. If you leak when you laugh, cough, sneeze or exercise that is your body telling you that you need to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Kegels are the answer to this. However according to the National Institute of Health only 50% of women who actually do Kegels to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles do them correctly. Because of this Kegel exercises are largely ineffective. Building pelvic floor muscle requires resistance. Trying to squeeze muscles that are hard to isolate and identify is very frustrating and without resistance largely fails.

Thankfully there is Apex!

apex logo

Apex was designed by a medical company (InControl Medical) that specializes in incontinence to strengthen pelvic floor muscles naturally and quickly. It addresses pelvic floor muscles at the source, the pelvis. This transvaginal device gets to the muscles in the most direct manner. It inflates inside the vagina to place muscle stimulation contacts directly on your pelvic floor walls. The inflation feature provides active resistance to build real muscle and build it quickly!

All you have to do is use it for 10 minutes per day, 6 days per week in the privacy of your own home until your bladder leakage is gone. Just like any exercise, to keep the muscle toned after that, you must use it about once per week to stay strong and fit in your pelvic floor! Buy It: Thousands of women have already used Apex through their physicians office. However it is now cleared for sale over-the-counter directly to consumers. To learn more about the Apex device, please visit For the next 30 days we will be offering $35 discount plus free shipping (enter code SM0415 at checkout). Win It: One super lucky reader will win their own Apex device. Enter using the form below. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Smartphone Pocket #Giveaway #Win #GiftCard

Have you ever wished you had a place to stash your smartphone while grocery shopping, helping out at your kids school, walking the dog, working out or even just doing normal day to day activities? A simple way to keep your phone close to you and secure without keeping it in your hand all the time or having it buried at the bottom of your bag? Well there is a way - a new, easy to use smartphone accessory called the Smartphone Pocket!


The Smartphone Pocket is a cloth pocket designed to be ironed into active wear (yoga pants, track shorts, etc. that often have no pocket) that's large enough to hold a smartphone, credit card, money and more. Most people choose to iron it into the waistband of their pants or shorts but it could go anywhere--in a jacket, for example, or even a bag that's lacking interior pockets.


Installing and using the Smartphone Pocket is simple. The easy iron-on instructions are included in the package and available with step by step pictures on the website which makes installation a breeze. One of the most unique features of the Smartphone Pocket is a Velcro tab inside that allows you to set the height level of your phone. Want to listen to music or a podcast while you work out? Stick the tab together–the pocket will instantly become shallow enough to let your smartphone extend above your waistline. Want to tuck your smartphone completely inside the pocket? Just push your phone down through the Velcro–the tab will disengage and allow your phone to rest securely inside the Smartphone Pocket.


Buy It: Smartphone Pockets are available on Amazon in packs of 1, 2, and 3 for $7.95-$21.95! Win It: One super lucky reader will win a $50.00 Visa gift card and a two pack of SmartPhone Pockets. Fourteen runner ups will each win a two pack of SmartPhone Pockets a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received no compensation or product for this post. Rafflecopter is being run by Prize is being fulfilled by Please email RealMomReviews with any questions! Giveaway ends on 4/28 at 11:59PM EST.

HOME The books behind the movie #Smekday #Giveaway #Giftcard

I received the same giftpack in exchange for this post.

Did you know the adorable new film out in movie theaters, HOME, was inspired by books?

Photo Credit: DreamWorks Home (c) 2015 DreamWorks Animation L.L.C.

Well, it was. It all started with.... The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex.
The True Meaning of Smekday

It all starts with a school essay.

When twelve-year-old Gratuity (“Tip”) Tucci is assigned to write five pages on “The True Meaning of Smekday” for the National Time Capsule contest, she’s not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens—called Boov—abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it “Smekland” (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?

In any case, Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo.; a futile journey south to find Gratuity’s mother at the Happy Mouse Kingdom; a cross-country road trip in a hovercar called Slushious; and an outrageous plan to save the Earth from yet another alien invasion.

Fully illustrated with “photos,” drawings, newspaper clippings, and comics sequences, this is a hilarious, perceptive, genre-bending novel from best-selling author Adam Rex.

Smek For President
In this much anticipated sequel to The True Meaning of Smekday, Tip and J.Lo are back for another hilarious intergalactic adventure. And this time (and last time, and maybe next time), they want to make things right with the Boov.

After Tip and J.Lo banished the Gorg from Earth in a scheme involving the cloning of many, many cats, the pair is notorious—but not for their heroics. Instead, human Dan Landry has taken credit for conquering the Gorg, and the Boov blame J.Lo for ruining their colonization of the planet. Determined to clear his name, J.Lo and Tip pack into Slushious, a Chevy that J.Lo has engineered into a fairly operational spaceship, and head to New Boovworld, the aliens’ new home on one of Saturn’s moons.

But their welcome isn’t quite as warm as Tip and J.Lo would have liked. J.Lo is dubbed Public Enemy Number One, and Captain Smek knows that capturing the alien is the only way he’ll stand a chance in the Boovs’ first-ever presidential election.

With the help of a friendly flying billboard named Bill, a journey through various garbage chutes, a bit of time travel, and a slew of hilarious Boovish accents, Tip and J.Lo must fight to set the record straight—and return home in once piece. 

Adam Rex
Adam Rex is the New York Times best-selling author and illustrator of Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich.  His other books include Pssst!MoondayThe True Meaning of SmekdayFat Vampire, and Cold Cereal. He also illustrated the Brixton Brothers series, Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem, and Chloe and the Lion, all by Mac Barnett and Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman. He lives in Tucson, Arizona. Visit him at or follow him on Twitter @MrAdamRex.


Learn more about True Meaning of Smekday
Learn more about Smek for President
Follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter
Follow Adam Rex on Twitter
One (1) winner receives:
·         copies of True Meaning of Smekday and Smek for President
·         $25 Visa gift card to see HOME in theaters!
Prizing & samples courtesy of Disney Hyperion
Giveaway open to US addresses only

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Answers. #RatBiteFever Part 6.

Yep, there's more to the story! Check out these posts if you haven't yet:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5

So, it is now Wednesday. Nearly two weeks since Orrin first started having problems. We are at Helen DeVos children's hospital, admitted, and looking for answers.


More doctors started to come in. First some residents, as DeVos is a teaching hospital, then Dr. Kassenich.  She came in and told us that Orrin has arthritis, but there are two forms of arthritis: primary arthritis and secondary arthritis. Secondary arthritis is caused by something else. She said they would figure out what was wrong and we WOULD have answers. So we talked.

I told Dr. Kassenich everything I could think of... about the strep throat that went through our house a couple months ago, the new Baltic Amber teething necklace we had gotten the day before this started, the rat bite. We talked about his arm and leg, and how there was no known trauma to either.

When I told her about the rat bite she said, "that is probably THE most important thing you've said".  I knew then that she thought it was rat bite fever. She said there would be more blood tests done, and that she would consult with an infectious disease (ID) doctor and that ID would be in to look at Orrin.

Blood was taken, and IV was started (which was horrible... Orrin has horrible veins and it was just such a bad experience).  That first night was a night of waiting. No real answers...

Orrin was started on penicillin as a precaution.

Rat Bite Fever, if left untreated, ends in death in 10-25% of the cases, and can result in problems with the heart, and linings of the spine and brain (as well as a bunch of other complications), so it was better to get this simple treatment started rather than delay. ID wouldn't be able to see us until the next day, and they would be the ones who determined if it was, in fact, rat bite fever.

The night was horrible. Very little sleep for anyone in the room. Orrin was cranky, and his IV kept having issues.

A little bit of precious sleep.... pure exhaustion!

The next morning, Thursday, Orrin's IV came out by accident. He got a new IV, this time in his foot... and no less trouble than the first. Orrin wasn't eating or drinking, he was quickly becoming dehydrated. We needed the IV for the antibiotics and his hydration.

An Infectious Disease resident came in and talked to us. Heard the whole story, checked out the finger which had been bit, and looked Orrin over. He said he would consult with the ID doctor and get back to us. A little later ID came in and said, yes, they do believe that he has Rat Bite Fever (Streptobacillus moniliformis)

Rat Bite Fever comes from a type of staph bacteria that is in nearly all mouths of rats. It can also be carried by other rodents. This dangerous possibility was never mentioned by the pet store where we purchased the rat. We had no idea that "Rat bite fever" even existed before this situation. The rat just seemed like a cute and easy pet.

With about 200 documented cases of rat bite fever in the US since 1839, it is a relatively rare and unknown illness, but one that anyone who owns a rat should know about. Rats do not die from this bacteria, they are only carriers. A person does NOT need to be bit to get ill from this bacteria. Something as simple as holding the animal can lead to infection. Scratches and bites make it easier to transmit, but they are not the only way of transmission. Please, be cautious.

We still have no idea why the rat died, the only reason I can see is divine intervention to help us remember that Orrin was bit.

The bacteria that causes rat bite fever is difficult to grow for a blood test, it takes specific conditions which are hard to create in a lab. We are still awaiting final test results, but they may take up to three weeks.

About 24 hours after starting the penicillin we did notice that Orrin was improving. He was able to stand. By Friday morning he was able to walk. The usual treatment for rat bite fever is 5-7 days of IV penicillin, and then oral antibiotics for an additional 14 days. Due to the multiple issues with Orrin's IVs and his difficult veins, the doctors decided that he would be switched to oral antibiotics as of Friday. We were released Friday afternoon, and so far Orrin seems to be pretty happy.

Orrin has been walking around, playing, and eating plenty of Easter candy today!

We will continue to watch for fever and joint pain to be sure he doesn't relapse, and we will be following up with his doctors to make sure that he doesn't have any complications in his joints, heart, brain, or lungs.

We were told that with treatment of antibiotics, the mortality rate of Rat Bite Fever is extremely low and Orrin seems to be doing great so far. It's been a crazy couple of weeks...

Have you owned a pet rat? Would you own a pet rat now?

It's Getting Worse. #RatBiteFever Part 5

A continuation of... Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Okay.. so this is Tuesday. About 10 days after the first incident that started with Orrin not using his arm. His leg had seemed better the last couple days... but he still had a fever- despite Motrin around the clock (every 6 hours). We were supposed to have a follow up appointment with the orthopedic specialist affiliated with DeVos, but there was no referral so we couldn't get an appointment. We had been calling all Monday trying to figure out how to get this follow up scheduled, and now it seemed even more important.

While Orrin had been acting fairly normal the last two days, this morning he started walking with a limp again. He was very uncomfortable. I called his pediatrician's office to ask for something stronger. Maybe he could get another shot of toradol? It seemed to help him so much before.

Orrin's doctor had gone out of state for Spring break, so we talked with the doctor that was filling in. There was a lot to catch up on. She had to make many, many calls. After several rounds of calling to get more information, and her calling DeVos, she called me back around 4:30 that afternoon. She said that we were never supposed to be discharged from DeVos- we were supposed to be admitted.

She immediately ordered more blood tests, and we went to Munson hospital to get them done... she said the results would be back that evening. Depending on the results, we may need to see a specialist at Munson, but she was hoping the blood tests showed that there was improvement. They didn't.

Around 10pm that night we were called and told we needed to leave early on Wednesday and drive to the orthopedic specialist down at DeVos. Orrin's blood tests still showed high levels of inflammation and showed he had low hemoglobin. Something was going on.

The next morning Orrin's leg was very swollen, very painful, and he wasn't walking at all. We were on the road. We didn't even have an appointment yet, but Dr. Statler said she'd get it taken care of and give us a call in the morning while we were driving down. She did, and we were able to have Orrin be seen at 11:30 that morning. Dr. Cassidy, the orthopedic specialist, had more x-rays done of Orrin's arm and leg. He said there was no sign of bone-regrowth... which means that Orrin's arm was not broken. It hadn't been broken. But, there was something wrong and we needed to figure out what it was.

The orthopedic team had consulted with the oncology department, and had gotten confirmation that this was NOT cancer. We were relieved that we were at least not facing that epic battle. But what was wrong?!

Dr. Cassidy said we needed to figure it out... and so he arranged for a team of doctors, called the hospitalists, at DeVos, to figure it out. Orrin would be admitted, and we would have answers soon.

Part 6: Answers.
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