Listerine Oral Care Challenge

February 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Product Reviews

We all know that the dental chair isn’t always that much fun, so I like to spend as little time there as possible.  I am petrified of the dentist, in fact I even took an 18 year hiatus from the dental chair as a result of a negative experience.  After I worked up the nerve to go, I had to spend the better half of last year getting a few cavities filled and even the dreaded root canal and was also informed that I have periodontal disease.   Since then, I have vowed to make sure I don’t transfer my fears to my boys, about getting regular dental check ups and attempt to make sure they have a really good oral care regimen.

It sounded easy enough to me, but I have two five year olds that often resist getting their teeth brushed.  It started off innocent enough, then it was a scene akin to bull wrestling.  They decided that the toothbrush made them cough, the toothpaste (kids toothpaste) was too spicy, or the they just plain didn’t like it.  I quickly realized that I would have to get creative about getting them happy about brushing regularly.

Then, the perfect opportunity came about.  The Motherhood has teamed up with LISTERINE® and REACH® for an exciting new project called– the LISTERINE® and REACH® Healthy Habits for a Lifetime Oral Care Challenge designed to  encourage families to adopt a healthy oral care regimen that will help lead to a healthier lifestyle.  They invited me and my family to take the challenge by taking a few extra minutes a day for a complete oral care routine including brushing, flossing and rinsing.  To complete the challenge, me and my family must do these steps twice daily for three weeks.

I know now, however, that I am not alone.   Did you know, that nearly 75 percent of American adults suffer from various forms of periodontal (gum) disease* and don’t know it.  Despite the fact that I was brushing my teeth, I would  have never even known that I had periodontal disease.   Also after attending a webinar, I discovered that brushing your teeth alone misses the germs in 75 percent of your mouth!  I rarely even used mouthwashes, because I figured brushing would take care of it.

So I am on a new mission, to get our mouths in the best possible shape, by taking the Listerine Health Care Challenge and hopefully maintain a routine we all can live with, far beyond the three weeks and make it a lifetime habit with me and my kids.  We will be brushing flossing and rinsing, and making it a fun and healthy experience.  For the kids, we are keeping track on our Oral Care Challenge chart, and at the end they will be rewarded for keeping up the good work!  I am really excited to be a part of the Listerine Oral Care Challenge, and be able to keep my families teeth and mouths healthy and make it something we all enjoy doing.

I also would like to invite you to take the challenge with me!  You can visit to access  tips from leading dental experts and great values and prices on oral care products.



**I received products and compensation from Johnson & Johnson and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the Oral Care Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.**

Parenting Is

January 10, 2012 by  
Filed under General

Growing up, I spent a lot a time around kids, and always took on the mothering role.  I was the one in the neighborhood who offered to watch your kids for free, just so I could tote them around everywhere.

As I got a little older, and eventually got married, having a family was one of the things that I knew was important to me.  When you don’t have kids you make observations about other people’s children, you think about how you might handle the situations that arrive.  And many of us, tout how we would never do that if it was our child.

Becoming a parent though, is a reality check.  You cross over to that other side, where you seemingly lose all of those past “if that was my kid” I would…. And suddenly you step into reality mode, where everything is new, and a huge learning process.  You start getting all sorts of advice on how other people did this or that with their kids and how it all should go, right down to the kid’s first tooth.  Pediatricians have advice, neighbors have advice, and you can find yourself getting lost in all these ideals of how it should go, making developmental comparisons, and worrying about some of the silliest things.

I quickly changed how I felt about a screaming kid in the grocery store, or a kid that decides to act up in the middle of dinner, because after becoming a parent you can relate.  Kids can just start misbehaving out of the blue and I sympathized rather than judged.

Soon, as a mother, I began to realize that this isn’t how parenting should be, well at least for my own children.  I realized something very important that parenting should be intuitive based on you relationship with your child.  There should be no rules, no guidelines, no standards.  I have found my struggles with potty training, sleeping etc to be less when I just do what feels right for my kids and for myself.  When I talk to family, they asks questions like “shouldn’t they being doing this?”  My reply is simply, I dunno, but it is ok, because they will eventually.

This is not to say that my parenting is lax, my children are asked to listen, to be respectful and I attempt to challenge their little brains as best as I can.  I tell them to brush their teeth, and I expect them to pick up toys (this doesnt always happen), and there are time outs.

When it came to potty training though, I became stressed out trying to potty train twins, to make them go potty like I wanted them to and feeling the inevitable pressure that by the time they were 3 if they were still wetting their pants, that I was a miserable failure and doing something wrong with my kids.  When will I move them to their own bed?  Are they doing this or that?  My mind became preoccupied with all of this stuff, and now realize, very useless stuff.

I realized that these were my kids and whatever our routine, whenever they potty trained, was ok with me.  And after I stopped obsessing about it, it happened on its own.  Both boys potty trained right around the age of four, they are five now and still wear pull ups to bed and yes they have accidents, am I worried, absolutely not.  Does it make me a lazy parent, I don’t believe it does.  My children are happy healthy and that is what matters.

We are all in such a rush for them to grow up and do things on some developmental chart that we lose track of that connection with our child.  I am also not saying to ignore something if you feel there is a problem with your child, but for little things about where they sleep, or if they are potty trained by some set time frame, you should just let your child tell you.  Less stress equals happier parents and children.

I Love You

June 6, 2011 by  
Filed under General

When I am having a really bad day, my boys always manage to change that for me in the little things that they do.  One of my sons never lets me leave to the store without running up to the car window and giving me a hug and a kiss.  Or, if im in the house, he will stop what he is doing and run to say goodbye.

The other day I was leaving for the grocery store and one of them comes running to the garage door, and shouts with a big huge smile.  “Bye Mommy!!!!   I love you to the moon and back!”

I yelled back  “I love you to the moon and back and to the moon and back again!”

This is what makes being a mom so worth all frustrations, being tired, and makes all the bad days disappear. It’s amazing what a simple “I love you” can do.

Never forget to tell your children how much you love them.

At The Playground

April 14, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Yesterday, was a beautiful day, so we took the boys to get dinner and we brought it to the park for a little picnic of sorts. My husband and I were sitting on a bench talking about various things. We have been trying to teach the boys that it isn’t nice to interrupt mommy and daddy when we are trying to talk. So far it only works about none of the time, but they are only 4, so I figure this may get better.

So one of my boys comes up to us on the playground and we are talking.

We say to him “just a minute mommy and daddy are talking.”

Lil Man: “I don’t want you to talk, you need to be bugged right now.”

All we could do was laugh. How do you not laugh at that? LOL Apparently it is his rightful duty to “bug us.”

When One Is Ready For Kindergarten

February 28, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Having twins and being new parents has been an interesting ride thus far.  Both of our boys have two completely different personalities, they play differently with the same toys, and they both learn at a relatively different rate.   The only thing that they are the same for, is their clothes and shoe size.

Both me and my husband have sort of reached a dilemma, and one we have ultimately made a decision on for the time being.  One of our boys is clearly ready for kindergarten, and we can see that he gets bored easily with a lot of things that his brother is still interested in or hasn’t mastered yet.  Our one lil monkey learns at lightening speed (like his dad in a lot of ways), he masters things and moves on relatively quickly, our other monkey just isn’t quite there yet but is right on task for a four year old, but he really has to focus on things (there is nothing wrong with this and that’s how I was as a kid).

Both of them turn 5, like 2 months before the school year starts, so they would be considered a very early 5 and being boys, really lack a lot of maturity as far as sitting still, and really being in a structured environment, I think.  They are both relatively good mannered, but I see some indicators that they just aren’t ready.  It was a hard decision to make, because I know that one of them is ready and the other isn’t, and you cannot just hold one back and send the other when you have twins.  Both my husband and I, have slowly begun to devote individual time to both of them, and that has been helping.

So, now I have been looking for ways to kind of bring them to the same page, to where the one doesn’t get bored and still gains information that peaks his curiosity and eagerness to learn and at the same time brings my other lil guy to where he needs to be in the areas he is struggling with.  I never realized how hard having twins would be and all the things you have to really think about and adjust for one kid over the other.  I never like to compare them, and I encourage them both the same, and I definitely would never want one to feel inferior in any way to the other.  I hear about siblings and rivalry and competition and I am praying for very little of that.

It is hard, because the only thing I want for them is to be happy and succeed in the things that they do.  I think that is what all parents wish for.

Mommy Needs A Time Out Too

February 16, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Thanks to Crystal Light for sponsoring this post. To learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors, visit

I spend about ninety five percent of my day tending to the needs of two four year olds.  My day is filled with mommy, I want juice, mommy, can you help me, mommy will you play with me, mommy can we go outside and breaking up all those wonderful arguments that siblings have throughout the day.  When you are the chief cook and bottle washer, there isn’t much time left for yourself, and moms in general often find it hard to take a time out for themselves.

I have found that being a parent is one of the hardest jobs out there.  You instantly have to become very unselfish and your primary focus is directed at the little people in your life.  I absolutely have no regrets and being a mother is one of the most rewarding things in the world and I certainly wouldn’t change it.  But, over the past two years, I had been feeling more stressed out, and I realized that I had to change something.  I think as mothers  we are constantly overseeing the house, the kids, work, and get so caught up that we neglect ourselves.  I slowly began to realize that I was missing the quiet times where I would just sit and think, read a book, or just hop in the bath without having people who wanted to follow and jump in with me.  Most of the time it didn’t bother me, but then you start to feel like you can’t think properly, and then you start to throw tantrums right along with your kids.  You get lost in dealing with nothing but children all day long and you forget that you are an adult and adults need adult time away from that constant atmosphere.

With kiddos running around, I had to start finding creative ways to take  time outs for myself and ways to make my day easier.  I had to learn that was ok to tell my husband when he got home that I needed a break.  I think as a mom you feel guilty for wanting that.

My favorite time out: Is the bathtub.  When my husband gets home and after all the dinner is done, he takes the boys and gets rowdy with with them so they can expend all that glorious boy energy, while I escape to a hot bath.  It is imperative that you close the door and lock it.  I shut our bedroom door and lock it and run the bath.  I grab my speakers with my itouch and bring up pandora radio, and I select relaxation music and sink down into the suds.  I can still hear the boys playing but eventually the music just drowns it out.  I have found that this just takes my mind off of all the to dos  so I can relax.  It may be only twenty or thirty minutes but it works and I come out refreshed.

Throughout my day: One of my favorites that actually involves the kids, is to just go in the bedroom and plop as we call it.  It gives me a little break from the constant flurry and we sit there and talk or read a book.  The boys love it and I can sometimes just close my eyes for 5 or ten minutes.

Other ways throughout my day, I take naps when the boys do, I have a set time during my day where the boys know that its quiet play and they have to go find something to do minus mommy for at least thirty minutes.  At first this didn’t work, but now they enjoy that time (kids need breaks from parents too!).

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you do, just as long as you do something for yourself.  It makes you a better parent in the long run because we all need that time where the only focus is yourself.  You have to give yourself permission and realize it’s more selfish to not do those little things for yourself.

Remember, visit to learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors. I was selected and paid for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


I Don’t Love You Anymore

January 14, 2011 by  
Filed under General

Since we have crossed over into the fours, it seems that the boys are getting more and more independent and a little more sassy.   If there is something that they don’t like in terms of me telling them what needs to be done, or something they can’t do or have, they have come up with their own reply, and their defense  LOL.

When they are mad at me, their reply is “Mommy I don’t love you annnnyyyyy more!”  I either reply with that’s ok, I love you still, or “Maybe you want a new mommy?”   Their immediate reply is usually, I love you mommy!

I can remember awhile back when we were at the zoo and one of them was mad because I said no to something they wanted, and he said “I hate you!”  I thought to myself, “and so it begins.”  Was I like this as a four year old (probably!), and I am not even to their teenage years.  Being new to this parenting thing, I am almost certain that this is a phase.  And who ever coined it the terrible twos, needs to re-evaluate and take a look at the terrible fours, because I think I might go out of my mind!

We are at a phase in their development where they want to do everything include make the rules, so every day seems to be a power struggle.  By the time my husband gets home, I have to run and hide LOL.  This is four. So much fun.

I’m A Little Grayer

December 2, 2010 by  
Filed under General

Sometimes being a parent is tough, but it’s even more difficult when your babies are sick.  Both of my kids have been sick, in fact, our entire family has been sick with something for about two weeks now.

I have never had a personal experience with asthma, but my husband has had it his entire life.  One of my lil ones only gets flare ups whenever he has a respiratory infection.  It isn’t all of the time, but these flare ups happen once or twice a year.  Earlier this week, he started to cough and in less than 12 hours, he was having a very hard time breathing.  I whipped out the nebulizer, and was prepared to ride it out with round the clock breathing treatments and an initial dose of steroids until I could get to the Dr.   If you are a mom, you know that when lil ones are sick, you rarely sleep.  When my lil one starts in with breathing issues, I am afraid to even close my eyes.

This time he decided to scare us even more, when after three breathing treatments at the Dr’s office we were told to head to the hospital.  When we arrived, they gave him several more treatments and a steroid dose that you would give a moose!  I was beginning to worry because after that he had minimal change.  When the Dr came in he said they were going to continue to give treatments until he responded.  If you know anything about albuterol, it makes them shaky, hyper and your heart races.  I’m thinking whoaaaaaaa they are going to put my kid in cardiac arrest!

It is always hard because you are worried sick, yet you don’t want your kids to pick up on it.  Thankfully, we finally got to all go home and my bubs is improving and breathing much easier.  But, I however, am a few hairs grayer and have politely requested that he stop scaring his mommy that way.

Loves Of My Life

June 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, General

As a Mom it is so hard not be in love with these two faces!  They are the ones I wake up to and end my day with.  I simply cannot imagine my days without them there to smother me with kisses, to ask me a million questions, or even to make me feel like I’m losing my  mind.  I cannot believe they will be four in just one short month.

For me it feels like I will blink and they will be leaving the house.  I never realized having kids would be so hard.  I never knew that even the thought of sending them to school would well up feelings of a mini major depression.

I am learning how difficult it is to be a Mom and a parent.  You have to learn how to let your children grow and learn, you have to let go at various milestones in their life, and learn how to cope with your own mixed feelings without letting them know.  Being a mother is magical and emotional all at once.  I’m just wondering if i’ll survive!

3 Years Old And Worse Than The Terrible Twos

August 23, 2009 by  
Filed under General

I have not one, but two, three year olds at home. and I must say that lately I am pulling my hair out.  They are at a stage where they are being very defiant and testing their limits with mommy and daddy.  I am sure it is all just a phase but, I am going  a little nuts.

One of my sons is in to yelling and screaming NO at me, and it usually goes from a frank matter of fact “no” to a shrill screaming no.  Then when I threaten to spank his tush, or ask him if he wants a spank he says yes, then I have to catch him first.  If you can picture me chasing a three year old around the couch, I can imagine it’s quite humorous to see.  We have tried time out, but this becomes play time for him.  It is all wearing me out, because I am one of those people that doesn’t just give up on parenting my kid and say oh well, I tried.  I am a firm believer in teaching my children how to behave, how to have manners and be respectful.

I have such a hard time with this because there are two 3 year olds in the house, and they get on each others nerves.  I am an only child and never experienced any sort of sibling rivalry, so I am breaking up fights over toys daily and when you do that it leads to the offender flailing himself around like fish out of water, and screaming uncontrollably.  It isn’t any wonder why when my husband gets home, I run and hide.  The part that is most amazing is, that when you separate them, they act like angels.  They are totally different kids.  My guess is, that they don’t have to contend for my attention.  Despite me pulling my hair out, everyone compliments me on how well behaved my boys are, so I guess they are just testing us.

I will always be persistent because I know that as they get older, the direction they get now will be a foundation for them, but until then, if you see a woman running crazed down the street, it was me.

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