Archives for March 2015

Stomach Flu: It’s Here

It's that time of the year...time for the stomach flu to start making its rounds. Here is information about symptoms, treatment, and how to avoid getting it.

On Friday, Lila stayed home from school because her belly hurt. I knew she wasn’t pretending because she missed the Easter Egg Hunt and a birthday party on Friday night. But other than complaining she didn’t feel good, she seemed to be fine. And she was fine all weekend. I prayed it wasn’t the stomach flu.

It's that time of the year...time for the stomach flu to start making its rounds. Here is information about symptoms, treatment, and how to avoid getting it.

Then last night around 8:30, Ethan uttered the dreaded words “My tummy hurts.” This after he ate half of a pizza, so I told him to try to go to the bathroom. Nope, that wasn’t it. So I told him to just lay down. I got the “puke bowl” out (does everybody have one of those?) and about 5 minutes later, he threw up. And from that point forward, it was about every half hour until 6 AM. I’m tired. He’s exhausted and afraid to eat anything.

It must be our annual visit from the stomach flu. Just in time for the week the kids are off for Spring Break.

A few years back, I wrote this post for another site, and thought it might be timely now to share it here.


What Is The Stomach Flu?

After a little research, I found that the stomach flu isn’t a flu at all, it’s a virus. It is either the rotavirus, which is common in the winter months, or the adenovirus and echovirus, both of which are more common in the spring and summer months.

What Are Stomach Flu Symptoms?

There isn’t a list of symptoms that needs to be checked off to confirm the stomach flu; your child may experience any or all of the following.

  • Stomach pains (now Lila’s complaining her tummy hurts again)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • A fever

While vomiting almost always comes with the stomach flu, it isn’t a guarantee that your child will continuously vomit. He may only vomit once and then experience ongoing nausea.

Your child may experience these symptoms for 24 hours or up to five days. And because the stomach flu is so contagious, chances are one or more additional family members may also get it.

Keeping Your Child Hydrated

The main concern with the stomach flu is that vomiting may lead to dehydration, especially in young children.

Make sure to keep your child eating ice chips or sipping on water, broth, watered down juice, or hydrating drinks full of electrolytes like Pedialyte.

You can read here about symptoms of dehydration to understand more about the symptoms and dangers of it.

Feeding Your Child

If your child is vomiting and in the middle of stomach flu torture¸ he won’t want to eat. But sooner or later, you’ll hear “I’m hungry.”

You will have to introduce easy-on-the-tummy foods. Try following the BRAT diet. The BRAT diet consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Plain salted crackers are okay as well.

Give your child just a little bit of any these items and see how he responds. If it comes back up quickly, it’s probably too soon for food. Try some broth instead.

How To Avoid Getting or Spreading The Stomach Flu

Unfortunately, the stomach flu is super contagious and spreads easily…even up to 24 hours after the symptoms have disappeared.

Consistent hand washing is a must, especially after using the bathroom and vomiting. To prevent the stomach flu, hand washing is still important and should be implemented before and after bathroom breaks, playing with toys, eating, and after coming home from being in public.

After having the stomach flu visit your home, you should wash all toys, especially if your kids share them.

Use cleaning wipes (like Lysol) to wipe down door handles, TV remotes, and electronics, and anything else your children touch regularly to prevent the virus from spreading and to kill the already existing virus.

What tips can you share for keeping your family healthy and stomach flu free?

Spring Cleaning: The Safe Disposal of Over the Counter Medications

It’s Spring Cleaning time! That means it’s time to do a deep cleaning of every single place in the house…and that includes your medicine cabinet. I’ve talked before about why safe medicine storage is so important, but what’s just as important is the safe disposal of over the counter medications (we sometimes refer to them as OTCs). It’s a good time of the year to ensure that you are doing both properly…for the safety of you, your children, your pets, and even guests in your home.

These tips will help you with a safe disposal of over the counter medications, as well as other medications.

The Safe Disposal of Over the Counter Medications

Do you know the process for the safe disposal of over the counter medications? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3! Also includes information about safe medicine storage.

  • Check your pantry, fridge, medicine cabinets (and anywhere else you may keep them) for expired medications – Time to purge! Get rid of any expired medicines whether OTC or prescribed.
  • As you are doing this, you may want to have a notepad handy – Note items that need to be replaced. There’s nothing worse than getting a migraine and realizing that your OTC migraine medication is gone.
  • Don’t just throw them away – While it’s completely safe to throw away OTCs in your regular household trash, there is a 3 step process involved (don’t worry…it’s super easy): 1. Take all OTC medications (liquid, capsules, tablets) out of their containers and pour them into a resealable bag. 2. Along with the OTCs, you’ll want to include an unpalatable substance (like kitty litter or coffee grounds) and mix it all together. 3. Zip up the bag and toss it in the trash!

Do you know the process for the safe disposal of over the counter medications? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3! Also includes information about safe medicine storage.

These tips are great if you aren’t sure how to dispose of them. If you are ever unsure about the safe disposal of medications, you can always ask your pharmacist.

  • Throw them away in a SAFE place – I know I’m not the only mom who’s found her kid and pets digging through a trash can. While it’s gross, it does happen. So make sure when you are throwing away medications that you put them in a sealed trash can (you know, the one you keep outside) that your kids and pets can’t into. Remember, it only takes a few minutes and you’ll not only be practicing safe disposal of OTC medications, but also ensuring the safety of your family and loved ones.

What other tips for safe disposal of over the medications would you include in my list?

Do you know the process for the safe disposal of over the counter medications? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3! Also includes information about safe medicine storage.

I can’t believe that I’ve been partnering with OTCsafety for almost a year now! I’m honored to be an Ambassador for them, and I’ve come to know them as a great resource on health information for parents. They’ve recently given their website, KnowYourOTCs, a new look and I definitely encourage you to check them out because they have a TON of information that all parents need to know. And while you are at it, like them on Facebook and Twitter too! 

Disclaimer: I’m being compensated as an KnowYourOTCs Ambassador, though all thoughts, opinions, and suggestions expressed here are my own. Keep up-to-date on OTCSafety information by visiting the KnowYourOTCs and by following them on Pinterest.

Looking For A Facial Cleansing Brush? Soniclear Does That (And More)

There are only five products that I’ve gotten to review here on my blog that I now cannot live without: Living Proof hair products (2014), my WaterPik Water Flosser (early 2014), my Saltwater Canvas beach bags (2011), Boogie Wipes (2010) , and now my Soniclear Facial Cleansing Brush.

If you are looking for the perfect facial cleansing brush, look no further than Soniclear. Not only can it be used on all skin types, it comes with a larger brush that can be used on your body as well!

Have you heard of the Soniclear facial cleansing brush? In one word, it is simply AMAZING. It was created by Michael Todd USA (formerly known as Michael Todd True Organics), a rapidly growing organic skincare company in the US. There are so many reasons why I love this facial cleansing brush, and I’m listing them here.


If you are looking for the perfect facial cleansing brush, look no further than Soniclear. Not only can it be used on all skin types, it comes with a larger brush that can be used on your body as well!

But before I start ranting and raving about why you need to go buy a Soniclear facial cleansing brush RIGHT THIS SECOND, let me show it to you…

If you are looking for the perfect facial cleansing brush, look no further than Soniclear. Not only can it be used on all skin types, it comes with a larger brush that can be used on your body as well!

Cool right? Soniclear, is the first ever sonic skin cleansing brush with built in antimicrobial protection against stain and odor causing bacteria. Sonic cleansing can create a breeding ground for microbial contamination when skin cells, makeup and moisture residue combine with bacteria that cling to the brush bristles between cleansings. Cleaner skin begins with a cleaner brush.

Why You NEED The Soniclear Facial Cleansing Brush

Now for all the reasons I love this facial cleansing brush…

1. This from the website: “SONICLEAR removes makeup 6x better and cleanses 2x better than with hands alone. Within just minutes of use per day, your skin is healthier, clearer and brighter looking with smoother texture and refined pores.”

And I am here to tell you that this is 100% true in my case. I’m 41 now, and my skin hasn’t looked this good since I was a teenager. It feels soft and very smooth, and other people are noticing too. I’m not kidding or exaggerating. I wish I would’ve taken before pictures so that I could show you after pictures!

2. It does double duty: It comes with 2 Brush Heads (these should be replaced every 6 months), one designed for facial cleansing and a second extra-large brush head for body cleansing. It’s like getting 2 products for the price of one!

I am extremely prone to ingrown hairs around my bikini area…the body cleansing brush has all but eliminated that problem.

3. It’s cordless and fully waterproof, so you can use it in the shower or at the sink. I use my own cleaners but you could buy the Michael Todd true organic cleansers they recommend. Side Note: I can’t wait to try the Eye Eraser!

4. My skin has never looked better. Wait…I think I already said that, but it’s worth another mention! It can even be used on extremely sensitive skin because it has a variety of speeds that make it perfect for any and all skin types to use. It has 6 speed options and a self timer that tells you when your 60 seconds of scrubbing is up.

And I’m not the only one who loves the Soniclear facial cleansing brush…

If you are looking for the perfect facial cleansing brush, look no further than Soniclear. Not only can it be used on all skin types, it comes with a larger brush that can be used on your body as well!

I couldn’t be happier with or recommend this facial cleansing brush more. Seriously, I LOVE this product! I look forward to using it every day. The only drawback that is worth mentioning (and this is with any facial cleansing brush) is that it doesn’t remove your eye makeup. (Obviously) you don’t want this running over your delicate eye skin. In the shower I usually use my favorite makeup remover to take off my eye makeup before using the Soniclear. Easy peasy!

If you are looking for the perfect facial cleansing brush, look no further than Soniclear. Not only can it be used on all skin types, it comes with a larger brush that can be used on your body as well!

Now I know that you want one, right! Use either of these links to take 20% off of your entire Michael Todd USA purchase!

That’s 20% off a Soniclear facial cleansing brush! It’s worth every penny!


Disclaimer: I received a free Soniclear facial cleansing brush  from Michael Todd USA for my review. All opinions expressed are my own. I recommend this product and love this product. Seriously, go get one now!


5 Going On 15: Disciplining A Child Who Has ATTITUDE

I won’t name any names, but one of my five year old girls has the attitude of a PMSing teenager. Full on smart mouth, eye rolling, arms crossed, giving me the are-you-a-complete-idiot look, drama queen attitude. I am dreading the teenage years if this is what I have to look forward to. Seriously, I need to call my mom and apologize if I was half as bad as this one is. So as I always do, I reached out to my favorite Facebook group to bitch about the attitude issues and plead for help. Turns out I’m not the only one with a five year old who has major attitude. It seems that this is a pretty typical issue, which of course made me feel better. I figure if we are all going through it, chances are that there are many of you dealing with it too! I wanted to share the advice and suggestions I got for disciplining a child who has attitude from women who have either been-there-done-that or who are dealing with it now.

Do you have a 5 year old who acts like a teenager? These tips from real moms for disciplining a child who has attitude will definitely help!

Tips For Disciplining A Child Who Has Attitude

My friend Kate says: Shut that down immediately with consequences. It will only get worse. Now that my kids are 8-9 I make them stop whatever they’re doing and look me in the eye. Then I ask, “do you realize how rude that was? Would you talk to [best friend of the moment]’s mom that way? Do you think it’s appropriate to talk to ME that way?” And these are rhetorical questions. Not sure how I’ll handle it when they’re Tweens (because I have no illusions that they won’t continue to throw the sass here and there)… But for now, consequences (which were all they would really “get” when they were 5) and calling them out for bad behavior seems to work.

My friend Val says: Ooooh. See I think this is fun. It’s like Survivor. Time to change up the strategy. Mom’s in charge and here comes the proof. Strategy time. A) identify the behavior you want to stop B) identify something your child values C) in a calm discussion, announce that If A happens, she will lose B. D) wait for it to happen and when she does it… “a www man…this is so sad. So sad. You are going to lose B. Maybe next time we won’t have that problem.” 

My friend Jennifer (in response to Val) says: I totally did that with (her daughter’s name) once. And I put the thing on the mantle so she had to walk by it and see it all the time until I decided to give it back. It was pretty awesome. The only thing Dr. Phil ever said that made since “deal in their currency.” Whatever she likes/dislikes, use that. With my daughter we mostly just had to send her to her room. She HATES to be alone/isolated. When she would start I would say, “do you want to go to your room?” and she would stop.

My friend Katie says: The idea of “their currency” is one teachers use too.

My friend Laura says: I took away (her son’s name) Nintendo DS after a few warnings. He was running around and hiding in a Walmart on me. After a while, we talked about it. “But mom. My DS is very important to me. ” I totally rocked my answer. I said: “I know it is. And that’s why it was a good thing for me to take away when you weren’t being good. Because you’re very important to me. And I need you to be safe when we’re shopping. So now you understand how important these rules are. “

And when we are all at our wits end, we always ask ourselves WWDGD? What would Dr. G do. I call her the Child Whisperer. She’s given me  advice that I’ve shared here on talking to kids about sex and how to stop yelling at your kids. She even wrote a book about child behavior and how to handle discipline, which clearly I need to read again. Side Note: This is a fantastic book and you can use it as a guide whenever you need help with discipline. I highly recommend it!


She always has the best advice. So here’s her advice on disciplining a child who has attitude: She doesn’t get to disrespect you. Ever. You know why? Because you don’t want her to ever put up with being treated that way by someone she loves. So your modeling of how a woman deserves to be treated starts now. If she can’t treat you respectfully, then she loses TV time (because of the influence), friend time because she can’t treat others that way (and when she says I wouldn’t treat *them* that way then reflect back to her the implication that her mother is somehow of less value than a friend?!?!?), loses sibling time because you can’t trust her to treat family respectfully… you get the idea.

There was also discussion of how successful the Love and Logic approach is for discipline. I’ll definitely be checking it out!

So last night I sat down with all of the kids and laid down the ground rules and that if A happens, they will lose B (each kid has a different B). I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

I’d love to hear all of your tips and advice on disciplining a child who has attitude! It really takes a village to raise kids, doesn’t it? For more tips on parenting, check out my Parenting and Family board on Pinterest.

5 Years Of Blogging. WOW!

I feel like I haven’t blogged in forever!

It’s been two weeks since my last post, and it’s because of work and sick kids and sick me and soccer practices and games and…life in general. And during these last two weeks, I missed a huge milestone.

Milestones come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The day you meet the love of your life, the day you find out you are pregnant. Your 10th wedding anniversary. The day your youngest child graduates from high school.

And the day your blog turns five.

Yep, on March 16th, Mommy of a Monster and Twins celebrated its 5 year blogiversary, and I completely and entirely missed it. How could I miss such a big event? I can’t believe that it’s been five years since I wrote my first word for the world to read.

So today I’m saying Happy Blogiversary to me!


Maybe when Mommy of a Monster turns 10 we’ll celebrate!