Friday, March 30, 2012

RSV Protection... What can you do?

I remember my first encounter with RSV (respiratory syncytial virus).... I also remember how terrible it was. We had two children then, one was 18 months old, the other was 3 months old. They had terrible coughs and wheezing. I took them to the doctor, and we were told they had RSV. We then had to give them nebulizer treatments every four hours around the clock... and pray that everything wouldn't worsen.

Overall, we were lucky. Both of the children were born at full term (which greatly reduces risks), and the illness didn't turn into pneumonia or make them be hospitalized. Not all children are that lucky.

RSV is common. Most children get it at least once before the age of two. RSV is spread like the common cold. 

You can do a few things to help prevent your baby from getting RSV. RSV can live on surfaces for about 7 hours. Washing your hands frequently, and before touching your baby, washing bedding often, keeping the baby away from smoke (including not letting anyone smoke in your home) and keeping your baby away from crowds and other sick children will all help reduce the chance of your child getting RSV.

A few tips to remember when a loved one has a new baby:
·         Call before you visit. New parents need time to set up a routine and bond. By giving them time to do so before you visit, you are respecting the new family.
·         Postpone a visit if you feel that you may be getting sick, have recently been ill or exposed to illness.
·         Remember that parents know best. If you feel they are being overprotective or overly cautious, just consider that only they know what’s best for the health of their new son or daughter.
·         Offer to do something to ease their responsibilities as they spend time as a family, such as laundry, cooking or dishes. Sleep-deprived moms and dads will appreciate your help!

If you do schedule a visit with a new baby:
·         Wash your hands frequently—upon entering the home and especially prior to holding the baby. Parents, and the new baby, will appreciate it.
·         Leave toddlers at home, especially during the winter months. Young children, especially if they attend day care or preschool, often carry germs and viruses, like RSV, that are easily spread.

A few facts about RSV that all parents, caregivers and loved ones should know:
·         Almost every baby will contract RSV by age 2, but only 1/3 of moms say they’ve heard of the virus.
·         Serious RSV infection is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.
·         RSV occurs in epidemics each fall through spring. The CDC has defined “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
·         There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take preventive steps to help protect their child (e.g., wash hands, toys, bedding frequently; avoid crowds and cigarette smoke).
·         Certain babies are at an increased risk of developing serious RSV infection, so it’s important to speak with a pediatrician to determine if a baby may be at high risk for RSV, and discuss preventive measures. 
  • Symptoms of serious RSV infection include: persistent coughing or wheezing; rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths; blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails; high fever; extreme fatigue; and difficulty feeding. Parents should contact a medical professional immediately upon signs of these symptoms.

To learn more about RSV, visit  

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Curious George Dance Contest!

I don't know about you and your children, but Curious George is a pretty big hit in our home. Our children have grown up reading the books and watching the movies. One of my boys used to watch Curious George every single day... he never got tired of it! 

Do you have a huge fan of Curious George in your home, too?  How about a dancing kid? 

Well, Curious George is celebrating the arts with his first ever Dance Contest!

Video your child dancing to the Curious George theme song and submit it for a chance to win some great prizes! They might even win a visit from George himself!  A panel of judges will review the video submissions and pick 10 finalists. Enthusiasm, creativity and originality are key! Contest ends April 2nd. so be sure to hurry and get those adorable moves captured! 

CG (R) & (C) 2012 Universal Studios and/or HMH. All Rights Reserved. FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your camera, cellphone, video recorder or webcam and get that kiddo dancing! Dancing is a fantastic way to get your child up and active and having fun with Curious George. Who can beat a great time like that? 

I can't wait to see all the adorable videos that everyone sends in... dancing kids are the best!

Do you have any special Curious George stories or a child that loves to dance? I'd love to hear about it so leave me a comment below!

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and WGBH. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Boon Glo Review and... GIVEAWAY!

As you may know, we really like Boon here and I have blogged about a couple of their products (Squirt, and Animal Bag) before. Today I bring you the review of one of the most anticipated products in our home, the Glo.  I've been wanting to review the Glo since before it was available for purchase, the fist time I saw it online it was instant awe.

The Glo is a color changing nightlight, with balls that glow in the dark when removed from the base. Now don't worry, these balls aren't electronic- and they don't need batteries! 

I was a little mislead when I looked at Boon's pictures on their site. If you go take a look, you can see that in the gallery the pictures make the balls look like they glow whatever color the base is set to. That isn't the case. They glow a glow-in-the-dark green... like this:

Not that this made the kids like them any less!

The balls are a very lightweight plastic, they reminded me a lot of ping pong balls. Not heavy, or worries about kids tossing them around and getting hurt. Since the balls are charged by the base, the glow does fade after about 30 minutes or so unless they are returned for another charge. 

The actual base is so much fun! There is a slide button on the base that allows you to change the colors, or have the colors change on their own. I personally love watching the colors change from one to the other, so I like the multi-color option the best. The kids enjoy them all, and for a while we were doing a different color each night. 

Just some of the colors that the Glo has.
The best thing about this product is that it is a soothing nightlight that I feel safe about. I've heard a lot of horror stories about plug in mini-nightlights causing fires, since this is a different kind of nightlight it is much safer. We seriously never used nightlights because of the risk of fire. Now I can give my children some peace from their fears of the dark, and myself some peace from my fear of my house going up in flames. 

We really enjoy the kids going to sleep easier since they have soft light to ease their fears.

I was provided with the Boon Glo for review purposes. I received no monetary compensation and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro Review

This post brought to you by Scotts®. All opinions are 100% mine.

I'm not a huge gardener, but I like to have a flower bed and a couple indoor plants in and around my home. Soil is always one the most import things when you plan to plant something. We have some seriously dry days in my area, and I have to admit I have forgotten to water my indoor plants at times. Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro™ holds 50% more water than regular potting soil!

EnG Product Shot.png

Well, there is also something else a little different about Expand 'n Gro. The planting mix comes dryer than you'd expect (which makes it much lighter to carry)! You mix the planting mix with an even amount of water and it absorbs the water and fluffs up! It grows up to 3x the original amount!

Of course, I took a few pictures of myself trying Expand 'n Gro.

I have a lavender plant that wasn't looking the best after this winter. It definitely needed to be re-potted.
So, I got my supplies and decided to get this poor plant a more happy home.

I filled the new pot about half full of Expand 'n Gro.

I added water and got dirty!  Actually, it really wasn't all that dirty, lol. Since this isn't soil (it's actually mostly natural coconut coir) it didn't really get me that dirty. It was easy to mix, and when the soil was all moist and heavy I figured it was "done".

It grew about 50% for me, maybe a little more.  Then I added the lavender plant.

And voila! A happier plant! I am excited to see this plant flourish! Expand 'n Gro feeds a plant for up to six months, although the package does suggest using a Miracle Gro plant food after 30 days.

I really can't wait to see what this planting mix does for my little lavender plant. I would definitely recommend this mix for those who don't have a lot of storage space for their gardening supplies since you can buy one bag and essentially get 3 bags of planting mix!

Leave a comment telling me what you think is the best thing about this planiting mix and you could be chosen to receive a sample of Expand 'n Gro Planting Mix to tryout yourself!
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MAM Personalized Pacifiers!


I've seen some cute pacifiers out I am sure you have as well. Ever thought, hey, I have the PERFECT saying for a pacifier? Well, now one of the biggest brands in pacifiers is offering personalized pacifiers! MAM allows you to choose what to put on your baby's pacifier. What a great gift idea, too!

Ordering the pacifiers was simple, you choose the size, shape, color (blue, pink, or green), font (Tahoma, or Helvetica), and of course what you want it to say. 

We chose green and 0-6 month size, so our newest addition can use these. I had a hard time picking what to put on the pacifier since I didn't know if the baby was a boy or girl. I finally chose "So Cute!" as the saying, I think that will fit any baby perfectly!

I ordered the pacifiers on February 16th, they shipped on the 20th and I received them by USPS on February 27th.  I wouldn't say it was fast, but it was reasonable. Just a good thing to note if you are thinking of these as a gift.

If you aren't familiar with the MAM pacifiers then you can check out MAM's website here.

The quality is what I would expect from MAM, and I am sure our newest bundle will enjoy these!

I was provided with the MAM personalized pacifiers free of charge, and I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry Toothpaste

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tom's of Maine for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

My kids aren't a huge fan of brushing their teeth. They never remember and must be reminded. I honestly think at least the 7 and 8 year olds should be able to brush their teeth without reminders. We try to make brushing fun, letting the kids pick out their toothbrushes (currently ones with flashing light timers) and getting kid friendly toothpaste.

Well, when I was offered the chance to try Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry Toothpaste I thought it would be a great way to encourage my children to brush their teeth.
anniekabourek |
Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry toothpaste is the first and only natural kid's toothpaste to earn the American Dental Association's seal of acceptance for cavity prevention. There are no artificial dyes or sweetners in the toothpaste, and it is flavored using strawberry extracts and other natural flavors.

Here is my silly boy trying out Tom's of Main Silly Strawberry toothpaste:

He said it tasted like strawberries, and he liked it.

Now, I do want to mention that this toothpaste DOES have flouride in it, so keep it out of the reach of children. Our 2 year old got a hold of the tube of Tom's of Main Silly Strawberry toothpaste and ate over half the tube... we did as directed on the tube and called Poison Control. He was fine and there were no ill effects, but since this toothpaste tastes so good, please be extra cautious with your own children.

We have always been pretty conscious of what goes into our children's mouths, so we will continue to look for the most healthy choice for our children.

On Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 7:30pm EST, you can participate in a live online reading of  It’s A Big World, Little Pig, and Q&A with Kristi Yamaguchi. The Silly Strawberry Story Hour will be held on the Tom's of Maine Facebook Page. If you participate you have a chance at getting a free sample and a copy of Kristi's new book (subject to availability)! You can sign up for a free sample here.

You can always keep up with Tom's of Maine on Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to check them out!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This Momma has the flu.


Yep... it's been fun, NOT! This is the first time I've had the flu when pregnant and it has been torture!

I even got this year's flu shot!

I started having symptoms Sunday night, I just didn't feel very well. Monday morning I went to work, and ended up having an ambulance called to check on me because I felt like I was going to pass out, and I was having trouble catching my breath. My heart was racing, my pulse rate was over 140bpm. I was warm to the touch and somewhat sweaty, but I was so cold. 

I headed to the hospital, and my blood pressure was dropping when I stood. The doctor told me it was due to the additional strain of the illness while pregnant. Oh joy. 

So, here it is Wednesday, and I still feel like poo. I have asthma, and the flu has really caused issues with that. I feel like I can't get my breath and I'm using my rescue inhaler much more often than I should be. 

I've also missed the whole week of work so far, which makes me sad. But, like my boss says, I need to get better. 

The hardest part of this all, is I have no energy...and that includes no energy to be a mom. Just bathing the kids wears me out. Hopefully it will be gone soon...

Have you had the flu when pregnant? Know of any good ways to beat the discomfort of the flu?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March came in like a LION!

I live in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan. I love it here! There are very few natural disasters we have to worry about. Basically we deal with tornadoes, and winter storms.Tornadoes are very rare in my area, and winter storms usually aren't too bad after you get used to them.

However, on March 2nd it was quite the storm!

The rain started around 4pm, and turned into wet heavy snow shortly after. I could see the water drops on the apple tree outside my window and I knew it wasn't going to be good if it froze.

Around 9pm our power went out....and stayed out. My husband was sick with the flu and was in bed, and so were the kids. I was up, too nervous to really sleep. I don't know why, but I get all these apocalyptic thoughts running through my head when the power goes out.

Well, there was some shouting in the street... I figured it was just some neighbors talking to one another about the power. Then I heard what sounded like a gun shot. My heart started beating faster, and I got a little scared to be honest. Suddenly I hear two men outside my house, they were just across from my driveway, then another sound like a gunshot. I watched the men walk away- but I had NO clue what was going on. I stepped out on my porch, and while I stood there I could hear what sounded like a shooting range. Surely there wasn't a bunch of people with guns, so what the heck was the noise?

I walked to my backyard, and there I discovered what had been scaring me so much.

See that poor pine tree? Yep, all it's branches had been coming down! The gunshot sounds were branches falling off the trees! And this tree wasn't the only one that had troubles...there were many, many more.

When I was in my backyard I noticed that there was a strange orange glow coming from a couple blocks down. It looked like flames, but I figured it was plow truck strobe lights since I didn't smell any smoke. After a while I found out it WAS indeed a fire. A line had gone down and started a fire, as well as a transformer catching. 

On Saturday, March 3, we were still without power. Around 1:30am the power came back on...for 8 minutes, then was out again after a few zapping sounds. The snow was piling up higher and higher...and getting heavier and heavier.

I had to be up in the morning to deliver mail, so I tried to get some sleep. When morning came, I got up...and dug out my car.

It didn't seem too bad, but the heavy wet snow had fallen off of the vehicle and onto the ground. When I walked to the backyard to check on the tree the snow was up to my knees! I was able to see the ground the day before! My estimate is that we got 18 inches overnight. 

Well, I went to work, only to be sent home for the time being- the truck hadn't been there and would be a couple hours late. My house was without power, but the post office a couple blocks away had theirs, thankfully. 

At this point I had no idea what the extent of the damage was, but I knew that the plows hadn't gotten much of the roads, and they were going to have to work hard.

Our truck came in at 10:30, so I went back into work. We knew it was going to be a challenging day, but it was darn near impossible. No mail was able to be delivered, where the plows HAD been, it wasn't possible to access the mailbox, and where the plows hadn't been- you just couldn't go. There were so many trees down and power lines was honestly creepy. 

When I got back home, my family and I snuggled down and tried to see what we could do to keep warm. No power means no heat for us since our furnace needs the fan to get the heat into the home. We also had no hot water...but we were lucky enough to have a gas stove and we could light the stovetop with a lighter. We boiled water and it really helped the house stay warmer! 

The next morning we were still without electricity. We decided to get out of the house a little bit since the roads were pretty much plowed. It was amazing to see the damage... so many power lines down, and trees! There are a lot of trees that will have a difficult time surviving now. There were trees down on cars and houses. 

Flattened Lilac bush. :(

A group of pine trees that look like a tornado went through them, but it was just snow!
Thankfully, 46 hours after we lost power it was restored. But a lot of northern Michigan was still without power even this morning! Stores were sold out of generators, heaters, gasoline, batteries, was a rough few days for our area!

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