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Tom’s of Maine Children’s Toothpaste Event

6 Jun

On Wednesday I was invited to an event in Manhattan to preview the newest addition to the toothpaste line at Tom’s of Maine.  I love going into NYC especially on a beautiful June day!

I found myself at Apple Seeds on 25th Street (where the event was being held) which is such a cute place for babies and little kids.  It made me reminiscent of when my big kids were babies.

The folks from Tom’s of Maine were so nice and first off I learned that they don’t just make toothpaste.  In addition to oral care products they make body care products (and toothbrushes).  This peaked my interest as I have almost tweens who are starting to ask about deodorant and managing their skin and what’s great about this company is that the products have no artificial colors, flavors, fragrances or preservatives.

But I’m digressing because they invited me really to talk about their newest product, The Tom’s of Maine Toddler Training Toothpaste.  Tom’s of Maine Toddler Training Toothpaste gently and effectively cleans tiny teeth and gums with ingredients derived solely from plants and minerals.  Safe if swallowed and fluoride-free, the formula also contains no gluten, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate and is not tested on animals nor has any animal ingredients.

Tom’s of Maine natural Toddler Training Toothpaste is available now at retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $3.99. The new introduction rounds out the Tom’s of Maine children’s natural oral care portfolio, which includes options that evolve with the needs of growing families such as Silly Strawberry toothpaste (ages 3-7 years), Juicy Mint anticavity rinse (ages 6 years and up) and the recently introduced  Wicked Cool! toothpaste (ages 8 years and up).

And this part is really cool…

The Tom’s of Maine Toddler Training Toothpaste tube is recyclable through the Tom’s of Maine TerraCycle collection Program, which gathers toothpaste tubes as well as a wide array of personal care product packaging and recycles them into useful products like picnic tables and park benches to prevent waste from reaching landfills. Tom’s of Maine gives 10% of profits back to helping communities across the country and supports access to oral care for children across the nation.

So based on what I learned about the all natural ingredients I was excited to have the kids try out the Silly Strawberry and Wicked Cool! toothpaste.  It’s such a challenge to get these guys to brush.  2 out of 3 hate mint (which the Tom’s guys tell me is very common) and we’ve already had to deal with cavities in the twins.


I’m not inflating things here when I say they all really love the taste and were excited to brush again this morning!  I’m happy about the product and so apparently are the kids!  Check out Tom’s of Maine Toddler Training Toothpaste and all of the oral care products.


samples provided

Cacophony of Coughs

17 Feb

On Friday my son was diagnosed with the flu after spending the entire night before coughing. All 5 of us were started on Tamiflu to prevent family wide infection. It was difficult to locate the medicine as many pharmacies around here are out of stock.

$300 later I had the 5 prescriptions and we began.

Two days later four of us are coughing, aching and headachy. The only person seemingly unaffected, thus far, is the family member who did not get a flu vaccine…my husband. For the record I’m a big advocate of vaccinations, but, WTF!?!

Ugh. I’m not quite sure how this Tamiflu is supposed to work. All I know is that this house is producing a wide and disgusting assortment of coughs that has kept me awake for the past few nights!


The source of infection and the face that has been within one inch of mine for the past 72 hours or so!

Have you had any experience with Tamiflu?

Dimple Dude

24 Jan

When you give birth to twins there are a million and one people in the room and the babies are whisked away to be examined before the mom can get her hands on them.  I still feel so grateful and blessed that my delivery was great, and that the twins were fine.

But when my son, twin A, came blasting out, the first thing my husband said was, “what’s wrong with his ear?!”


Here I am having just pushed out one baby, bracing to push out ANOTHER baby, and I’m now panicked about an ear.


An ear with a gorgeous, adorable dimple!


He actually has them in both ears…the right one looks like a slit and the left dimple looks like an earring hole.

I love them and kiss them on a regular basis.

My father mentioned something about ear creases indicating heart disease (thanks a lot dad!).  I found this info:

On One Hand: The Crease Connection

For reasons which are not fully understood, there does seem to be a connection between having a crease in the earlobe and the likelihood of having heart disease. One theory is that the crease is caused by a lack of elastin, which is also a contributor to hardening of the arteries.

On the Other: No Link with Other Risk Factors

Other well-known risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and stroke were not found to be related to earlobe crease. It may be that earlobe creases and heart disease are simply both indicative of advancing age.

Bottom Line

A crease in the earlobe does not mean that you currently have or will develop heart problems, although it is an issue to consider. Raise your concerns with your primary care doctor or cardiologist, who will advise you if screening is indicated.
Read more: Is a dimpled ear lobe a sign of heart disease? | Answerbag

(Aren’t parents great at giving you a reason to worry where you previously had none?!)

Anyway, I just love them.  Where my husband asked what’s wrong with the ears I feel they are what’s right about them!  I think the little one agrees :) .

Are there any special parts of your child’s body that you adore?

Successfully Coping With an Egg Allergy

10 Jan

In the roughly 7 years since I became a mother I have been to the emergency room 7 times with the children coping with various afflictions, some minor and some major.  But my 7-year-old daughter, god bless her, is probably the one who has had to deal with the most, out of the three, pertaining to her health.

I told you about her febrile seizure.  She also received eye care at a very early age, and continues to,  for strabismus.  But the medical issue she deals with on a daily basis is her allergy to eggs.

When she was a toddler she vomited frequently.  Doctors surmised it was viral but my gut told me differently.  She also was often congested and developed eczema so at her 2-year-old physical I asked the pediatrician to run some allergy blood work.  I have terrible allergies and asthma for which I receive allergy shots so I thought her congestion was related to dust or other environmental allergens.

I was completely shocked when her blood work came back positive for an egg allergy (egg white to be specific) but at the same time it all clicked.  My twins ate waffles every day for breakfast.  I felt like the worst mother.

After shock I felt overwhelmed.  We had to eradicate eggs from her diet!  What would she eat!?

But when the dust settled, I realized there are many worse food allergies and I became thankful it was just eggs.  If you think about it, eggs are really only prevalent in breakfast and dessert foods.  Pasta and breads for the most part are egg free (except challah, egg bagels, egg noodles and some homemade fresh pastas).  Most boxed cookies are okay.  It’s the fancy bakery ones that contain eggs.

Here is an official listing of examples of egg products or foods that contain eggs:

Egg Products Egg-Containing Ingredients Egg-Containing Foods
EggsEgg whites

Egg yolks

Dried eggs or egg powder

Egg solids








EggnogBavarian creams

Breaded foods (some)


Candy (some)

Caesar salad dressing

Cookies (especially chocolate chip)

Creamed foods

Cream pies

Cream puffs




Egg rolls

Egg noodles


Hollandaise sauce

Ice cream



Meat or fish cooked in batter



Pretzels (some)


Simplesse (fat substitute)


Tartar sauce


Some wines

Anything fried or batter-fried

The allergist when my daughter was 2, told me she would likely outgrow the allergy by age 5.  Unfortunately she hasn’t.  So we just continue to eradicate eggs from her diet.  This is no longer really a challenge because she has a natural aversion to foods with eggs which fascinates me.  She is not interested in egg free waffles, egg free cakes, etc.

She has adjusted beautifully and doesn’t consider her allergy an impediment at all.  What I thought was going to be very challenging was not because my daughter is such a trooper.  I bought Ener-G egg replacer initially but later learned that I could substitute 1/4 cup of applesauce for each egg required while baking cakes, cookies and cupcakes.  (nothing, however, worked well replacing eggs in brownies so she doesn’t eat them.)  I used to carry around a handy egg allergy diet list like this in my wallet.

I keep a stash of egg free cupcakes in my freezer which my daughter used take to parties (um that is when her mother could remember!).  She also used to have a supply at school. She doesn’t care so much anymore.

I began writing this post in 2010 (!) to help support and educate others who may be as overwhelmed as I initially was…are you dealing with any food allergies in your home?

How I Spoke to My Children About the Sandy Hook Tragedy

16 Dec

sandy hook

Like so many, I’ve hard time processing the horrific events of this past Friday. 26 people gunned down, 20 of whom are children (around my children’s ages) is so hard to comprehend. One of the first questions I grappled with was how to communicate with my children.

For me, it wasn’t a choice of whether or not to tell them.

They are bright and inquisitive 7, 7 and 5 year olds who are very tuned into the world. Children are a lot more aware than we perceive them to be. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep them from hearing about the horror so I wanted it to come from me. Experts will say to start this conversation by finding out what the kids have heard. It was too early for mine to have heard. Here’s how it went for us.

I decided to talk to them while we were in the car en route to an activity. Car rides are an excellent time to speak with kids. There are fewer distractions and sharper attentions.

I used simple language without too many details. Along the lines of…”a very bad person did something terrible…”

I told them the truth without over sharing. They had a lot of questions…some I answered and others I didn’t.

I reinforced that they are safe and that this kind of thing doesn’t happen very often. I didn’t tell them this wouldn’t ever happen. I told them I felt confident in their schools keeping them safe. They shared that they participate in “lockdown drills” and that was good reinforcement of some of the safety measures in places in their lives.

I encouraged them to tell me if they have questions or feelings about the information I presented, whether in the moment or anytime. You’ll read a lot about kids feeling stressed and scared. Some kids may be more vulnerable, others might just seem to move on. Remember most kids are self-centered. Whatever the feelings are that are presented to you the parent, it is important to acknowledge them and reassure your child.

On Saturday my kids saw me watching the news about it. I let them watch for a minute then decided to turn it off as the news about this is very overwhelming. My daughter said she heard some info on her radio that morning so I was glad that we had already spoken about it.

You may have seen this wisdom being passed around from an icon in my childhood, Mr. Rogers. I think it’s great advice:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

It’s also important to empower your kids to feel useful during trying times. In our case, my daughter came up with a brilliant idea on her own. She wants to write a letter to the students at Sandy Hook (912 Dickinson Dr., Sandy Hook, CT 06482). I’m very proud of her. :)

Did you speak to your children, and if so, how did it go?

Croup Scoop

9 Dec

My little peanut, age 5, has croup.  If you are a parent chances are you’ve dealt with or face a future experience with a croupy kid.  Here are some facts:

  • The swelling of the tissue around the layers of the voice box or windpipe is called croup. The croup results in a tight and barking cough. As the child’s windpipe is narrow, it affects the breathing of the child.
  • Though older children and teenagers also suffer from it, the croup usually attacks infants or children under the age of five.
  • This condition is common in winter when viral infections are widespread because the most cases of croup are caused by the same viruses that are responsible for the colds and flu.
  • This condition becomes worse during the night-time. In a typical case the cough of croup lasts for 3 to 5 nights and advances each night thereafter until the cough is vanished.
  • The croup cough can be treated at home when it is in initial stage or is in mild condition. For treatment at home cold, moist air through a humidifier is often used. The other method is to keep the affected child in a steamy bathroom.
  • The doctor’s services should be used when the croup cough becomes more severe. A  short course of oral corticosteroids with humidified air will be useful in  relieving the swelling responsible for the symptoms of croup and for easing the  cough. This will help in lesson the cough resulting in a sound sleep of the child.

Article Source:

My little one was up all night Friday evening coughing, gasping for breath and complaining of throat pain (which is due to the swelling).  Every time she climbed into my bed it sounded like Darth Vader was in my room.  Poor thing almost ended up in the emergency room Saturday morning, but thanks to her attentive and fabulous pediatrician, she avoided the hospital and is on the road to recovery.


Now she’s acting a little more kooky than usual which I think is a result of the steroids she has in her system.
It is horrifying watching a child struggle to get a breath.  Keep in mind cold outside air or a steamy bathroom can help.  We have a nebulizer which is ideal.
Have you ever been up all night with a croupy kid?

Happy Valentine’s Day (from Hell)

14 Feb

You may have noticed my absence of blog posts, or maybe not.

I’ve been wanting to write.

However, I have been drowning (in no particular order) in a sea of mucous, vomit, phlegm, ear aches, pneumonias, coughs, snotty noses, fevers, nausea, tummy aches, headaches, antibiotics, tissues, Vicks, Tylenol and all around pain and misery from just about every person (myself included) in this family.

It’s a been a very rough few weeks and I am hoping and praying that we are all on the mend (and that I don’t have to fear vomit every time I hear a cough in the night).

So now it’s Valentine’s day.  The kids diligently worked on all 66 cards between them and we have all our red outfits laid out.  Although I usually think V day is a drag, I’m hoping this one, somehow, makes everything in this house sweeter!

And speaking of sweet!!!

Have a good one :)

Pneumonia Twins

6 Feb

The kids are fever free and running and fighting but I kept them home from school today to rest.

We’ve also had the further complication of my daughter having an allergic reaction to amoxicillin. (it never ends!)

They still both have horrible coughs.  Nothing seems to work on them.  I’ve elevated their beds and slather them with Vicks at bedtime.  Anyone have other suggestions for helping a cough?

Pnuemonia x2

4 Feb

My son has been hacking up a lung and completely unresponsive to any cold meds.  Last night he developed a fever along with the hacking.  I told my husband I thought he has pneumonia.  He gave me the “you’re crazy” look.

I stole away for an hour to kickbox and it was amazing, just what I needed.  When I returned home I learned that my husband had given my son ibuprofen instead of acetaminophen for the fever.  I had just given the ibuprofen before I left so now I’m freaking that he has pneumonia and he has been overdosed on meds!  I ended up elevating his bed and he finally fell asleep.  And then, I took  a bath and some meds and got a little sleep.

Today took the fevery, coughing, sore throat, headachey and drippy nosed twins (yes his sister was coughing too but without fever) to the doctor.

They BOTH have PNEUMONIA!  Holy crap!  And the little one is getting over a bad cold.

So, today is a day of PJs and comfy stuff.  I’m making chicken soup from scratch.  We’re all okay being home bound and thankfully the kids are all comfortable at the moment!

Pneumonia is a first for us…have your children ever had it?

I Worked Out Today

6 Dec

Well maybe that title doesn’t seem like big news, but for me it’s huge.

First of all, I’m not what you’d call athletic.  I do love yoga but I am otherwise pretty inactive.  I’d rather read and lounge then hike and run.  I fall down all the time, like over nothing.  In fact I recently fell down walking in my front door.  I was laying there like the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” lady.

So this is why I’m over the moon when I see any of my children demonstrating anything close to athletic ability.  It’s also why I don’t have a regular workout regimen.  There have been times in my life I’ve joined gyms, but pregnancies and taking care of babies backburnered my attendance.

Now you know my kids are taking Kung Fu.  They take it at a kickboxing place and their memberships constitute a family membership  i.e there is no added expense for me to take as many kickboxing classes as I want.  But until this year I wasn’t able to get away without the little one.  And then September hit and I procrastinated.

Here’s the thing about me.  I take a while to start things.  But once I do, I give it 100%.  That’s why I have a hard time starting new things.  My personality doesn’t allow me to quit easily.

I’ve been feeling exceptionally sluggish and blah lately.  So yesterday I decided I would go today to the 10 a.m. kickboxing class.  I was terrified!  All I’ve seen walking into these classes (which sometimes happen after the kid classes) is solid tough looking 20 year olds.

Oh that’s the other thing.  I long to be  Milla Jovovich from Resident Evil.

I want to be strong and kick assish instead of the weak tired mush I usually feel like.  I thought kickboxing would be perfect to target my goals….getting in shape and becoming fierce.

Though I was nervous and feeling dumb entering the class, I had made the decision, so there would be no turning back. Well.

I did it!  I finished my first cardio kickboxing class and I feel great!  It’s amazing how much I accomplished today.  I truly had so much more energy.  And here’s the plan.  I am committed to attending two classes every week and I’m putting it out there! I think that is doable and hopefully at some point I will do more…

I’ve chosen time I am kid free so there can’t be many excuses.   And speaking of the kids, I am role modeling for them how important it is to exercise and take care of yourself.  I have to say I’m feeling pretty delighted that I did it though I am quite sure I will be aching tomorrow!

What do you like to do to stay in shape?


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