Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm a Purex Insider!

A few weeks ago I found out I was accepted to be one of 200 Purex Insiders. I was far more excited than my husband thought this "honor" warranted. I didn't care. I was chosen! It didn't really matter that I had no idea what a Purex Insider really was.

It turns out as a Purex Insider I am one of the first consumers to try their new 3 in 1 Laundry Sheets and have been asked to tell them what I think about it. I'll also have a chance to share money saving coupons with friends.

Purex sent me samples of their new Purex Complete 3 in 1 Laundry Sheets as well as a coupon for a free box of the laundry sheets. I was impressed with the concept when I first saw the product. Everything you need in one laundry sheet. No more heavy bottles of laundry detergent! No more measuring. No more dripping detergent all over. No more spilling.

This is how Purex describes it:

Purex® Complete 3-in-1 laundry sheets are thin, lightweight and sturdy, and formulated with the perfect amount of detergent, softening and anti-static ingredients for a single load of wash. Simply toss a laundry sheet into your washing machine along with each load, and the blue detergent portion releases during the wash cycle. When the wash cycle is complete, simply transfer the laundry sheet to the dryer along with the wash load. The heat of the dryer activates the softening and anti-static ingredients, leaving laundry clean, soft and freshly scented. It’s that simple. The days of waiting for the rinse cycle are now over.

The big question though is does it work! And I hope you know by now on MNT that I'm going to tell you what I really think about something, even if I am getting it for free!

I took some pictures as I did one of the loads of laundry to show you some of the highlights. Because we all know laundry is EXCITING and pictures make it that much better!

Here I am dropping in the 3 in 1 laundry sheet. No measuring needed! I like that. Because now I can go tell Noah to wash his own dirty underpants. Heh.

And here it is in the water. Purex suggests you start the water, add the sheet, then put in your laundry. I'm all about following the rules!

And here is the washer full of clothes. A little interesting factoid about my washer. I bought it second hand from a friend about fifteen years ago. It was at least five years old then. It's still going strong! They sure don't make them like they used to!

Here's the sheet after it comes out of the washer and before it goes in the dryer. That greenish strip on the left is a heat activated dryer sheet. No need to add a separate dryer sheet with this.

Here it is actually in the dryer. I forgot to take a picture of the original load. Ooopss... This is its stunt double. See those green shorts? Noah's favorites. He likes to wear them with a purple t-shirt. *sigh*

Here is the sheet after it comes out of the dryer. Very much like the dryer sheets I use after they come out of the dryer.

Laundry done! Don't hold your breath waiting for the picture of it folded. Just saying.
And here is the used 3 in 1 laundry sheet in the trash! Like my pedicure? It needs a little touch up.

So? What did I really think? Well, the proof to me is really in how well it cleans the clothes. It HAS to be good with stains (I have two boys and a messy husband, remember).

Here are some before and after pictures:

Before on the left (or top depending on your browser). It's a little hard to see the dirt but it's there. Along with some light red spots. After is on the right. Most of the stains came out. I did pre-treat (I'm not stupid). And some of the stains were old stains. So overall I'm pleased with the results.

Again, before on the left and after on the right. This is definitely more dramatic. Again, I'm pleased. Again, I pre-treated.

Socks. My biggest laundry foe. My boys are beyond rough on their socks. I've replaced all of Noah's white sport socks twice since last summer. Now Kiel is starting to come home with uber-dirty socks. These cleaned up OK. Not great, but I have yet to find something that is when it comes to my boys and their socks.

This is Kiel's puppy. Noah "decorated" him with a red Sharpie a few months ago. He was a red-striped puppy. Just for kicks I threw him in the wash today. Look how he came out?!? It's amazing. There are only a few red marks left. Red Sharpie people!

So overall, I'm very happy with the new Purex 3 in 1 Laundry Sheets! I love that there is no measuring mess. The hardest part is making sure the sheet gets from the washer to the dryer. The scent is good too. There are three options and I've been using Spring Oasis, which I quite like.

I'm giving this product a solid A! Go on out and get yourself some! If I get any more coupons I'll let you know!

Reminder: You can vote for me every day for Best Local Blog in Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks Awards! It would be nice to at least stay in third place. It would be even better if I could get more than 10% of the vote! I'm not to proud to beg! Please, Vote here!

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's the little things

The other day Kiel was in the bathroom with me hanging out while I was getting ready for work. I look over at him and busted up laughing. He had a tampon (wrapped and unused people!) in his mouth like a big ol' stogie. I was all "doood, don't you think you're a little young?" He nodded and put it back in the drawer.

He is one funny little boy! And I am one very lucky mommy!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Night time conundrums

For everyone's safety, most importantly Noah's, he has always been locked in his room at night. Until last summer it was with a child safety knob on the inside of his door. Then he learned how to take it off and we had a few "incidents."

  • Like the morning of my 40th birthday when we woke up to realize that Noah had gotten out of his room during the night and covered Kiel's room with baby lotion and baby bath. Fortunately Kiel was still sleeping in our room at the time.
  • Or the morning we woke up to find Noah downstairs at 4am'ish and honey all over the kitchen and dining room floor and the piano.
  • Or the middle of the night when we heard him downstairs and he had every ice cream cone in the freezer unwrapped and laid out on the kitchen floor ready to eat.This one was actually cute, and not messy. But still, he was so wired I swear his feet were not touching the floor.
So, we turned the handle around on his bedroom door so the lock was on the hall side and kept him in his room that way.

Of course locking him in his room is a bit of a problem as we are trying to figure out if he wets the bed at night or just pees in his night time pull up when he wakes up in the morning because it's convenient for him. Since he can't get out on his own he hasn't learned to get up and pee as soon as he's woken up.

If we wake him up during the night to pee we risk him not going back to sleep. As it is he wakes up during the night on his own occasionally and doesn't go back to sleep. It's not unusual to hear him up at 3:30am or 4am playing and jumping around. If we let him out of the room its like releasing a whirling dervish or a wild animal. No one in the house will be able to sleep. We have a conundrum because his behavior is almost manic but its too early to give him his ADHD medications.

In the last couple weeks he's woken up early (around six or so) and asked to get out of his room so we've tried it a few times. He's actually handled himself fairly well, even getting himself cereal or making himself oatmeal. Of course he isn't downstairs by himself for that long, since Kiel is usually up soon after, which means we are too.

So the other night we decided we'd give him a shot at leaving his door unlocked and let him get up in the morning on his own.

Oh yeah, you know what's coming don't you.

I woke up at 4am to pee and guess who was already downstairs. He was being quiet, so I just went back to bed. At 4:30am Rich woke up and realized Noah was downstairs and went down to get him. That got Noah all riled up and there was lots of yelling and goofiness. Eventually he got him in his own room and I think he slept some more.

So, clearly, Noah isn't ready to have the freedom of an unlocked door.

I hate locking him in like this, but I'm afraid if we don't he won't be able to control himself. Best case he doesn't get enough sleep, and neither do we, worst case he does something dangerous or decides to go outside and play.

Reminder: You can vote for me every day for Best Local Blog in Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks Awards! It would be nice to at least stay in third place. It would be even better if I could get more than 10% of the vote! I'm not to proud to beg! Please, Vote here!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Welcome to my Bitch-O-Blog

Yesterday I spent close to an hour steam cleaning oatmeal and other dried on food out of all the nooks and crannies of the kitchen table. It's amazing how much crud my boys can get in there. The oatmeal though was clearly the worst.

So what do I walk down to this morning? Bits of oatmeal drying on the kitchen table.

I'm probably more irritated than is warranted, but come on! How disrespectful is that? Would it have killed Rich to clean the table or have Noah clean the table?

Granted I pretty much suck at keeping a clean house, but where is the motivation to try when I do clean and no one cares?

And to top off my irritation today my mother in law keeps calling. Rich called her to say we were coming over to see her today and she said that her other son was coming to take her to their house. Apparently she thought we would be there too. So now she is upset that we aren't, and keeps calling and crying about it. She keeps telling me that family should be together on holidays and this is very upsetting for her that her family is separated. I have no idea why she has it in her head that we should be there. We weren't invited and honestly, I'm glad we weren't. Hell, I don't even know that there is anything to invite us over for.

And then she asked me if I had words with my sister in law. At first I thought she was asking if Linda had invited us over, and I said no, Linda never said anything about us coming over. No, she said, that's not what I mean. Did you have words with Linda. Hell, I hardly ever even talk with Linda. No Bea, I didn't have words with Linda.

I try to be patient with her and her Alzheimer's, but when she gets things like this stuck in her head and calls over and over again crying it just sucks for every one involved.

I'm also irritated because Rich and his brother don't communicate, and this could have been a non-issue if they had talked or emailed earlier this week so we knew who was seeing her when. If we knew they were seeing her today we would have made sure we spent time with her yesterday since Rich is working tomorrow.

And the last straw? We are out of Diet Coke. The end.

Reminder: You can vote for me every day for Best Local Blog in Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks Awards! It would be nice to at least stay in third place. It would be even better if I could get more than 10% of the vote! I'm not to proud to beg! Please, Vote here!


Mr. Poopy Pants is running out of tighty whities

We have two issues going on with Noah right now that we don't quite know what to do about.

The first one I mentioned in my last post. Noah has encopresis (meaning sometimes he leaks poop) and we've been seeing a pediatric GI doc for a couple years. For the most part I think we have it under control. But, we still have periods of time where there is poop in his underwear on a daily basis.

We've done everything we can to try and make it easier on his bowels. He is on a high fiber diet, he takes Miralax every day, and he has to sit on the toilet every morning and night. Sometimes he has no problems, poops on his own, and has clean underwear for days and weeks at a time. And then there are the days and weeks where his underwear is streaked or worse (and boy do I hate the "worse." Sometimes I just throw his underwear out without even trying to clean it. The boys poop stinks. And I mean STINKS. Baby poop I have no problem with, but big boy poop makes me gag.).

I know that potty training in itself can be a control thing with kids. Its really one of the few things they have total control over, besides perhaps eating. I'm just not sure if whats going on with Noah, or at least part of whats going on, is a control thing or if its all physical.

According to the article I linked to above we are doing everything they suggest, except the "poop chart." And the not getting frustrated bit.

Our second issue has to do with the lock on Noah's bedroom door and his night time awakenings. I'll tackle that with my next post I think.

Reminder: You can vote for me every day for Best Local Blog in Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks Awards! It would be nice to at least stay in third place. It would be even better if I could get more than 10% of the vote! I'm not to proud to beg! Please, Vote here!


Saturday, May 23, 2009

mutterings and tidbits

Tidbits: Took Ambien to the vet this morning and they took 350 mL's of fluid out of her abdomen. A surprisingly easy procedure. The vet let me go back with her and assist, which I think kept Ambien calm. They did a quick ultrasound on her abdomen and there is a large mass on her spleen that was not there a week ago. What ever has taken over her is growing fast.

She is still happy though and following me around the house. She wants to be cuddled now more than ever. She doesn't have the strength to jump up on the couch or bed herself anymore, but she will meow at me until I lift her up. Right now she is laying on the arm of the couch with her right front paw on my knee, and purring. I think she feels better without all that fluid in her abdomen. She's not eating at all anymore though, so I know we are just on a slow march to the end.

Thank you to everyone here and on Twitter for all the support and love you have given me and Ambien!


Muttering: I just put my hand in the couch and found a wad of bubble gum. Son readily confessed that it was his from last night and he was trying to hide it from Daddy. Am using all the patience I have to control myself. Not worth yelling about MNT, you yell enough as it is.


Tidbit: So I mentioned in an email to my ex boyfriend that I had a blog and I was up for a local award, and that I occasionally wrote about vibrators. He must have googled me and found my blog. Hi Fred! Guess if you didn't know I was a bit crazy before you do now!


Muttering: Why does Noah make a big mess and then assume I'm going to help him clean it up? How do I get him to understand if he throws a deck of cards all over the floor he's quite capable of picking them all up too? Six year olds can be such butt heads! But, truly six is so much better than four.


Muttering: The odor that comes from my son's butt is unbelievably obnoxious. Stop farting when you sit next to me! And this damn encopresis is going to be the end of me. If I have to clean poop out of his underwear any more, well, I'm really not sure what I'm going to do. I truly don't understand if he can control it or not. Which makes it hard to know whether or not to punish him.


Muttering: Does he ever stop talking? I swear I hear him talking in his sleep!

Reminder: It is not OK to use duct tape on your child.


Reminder: You can vote for me every day for Best Local Blog in Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks Awards! It would be nice to at least stay in third place. It would be even better if I could get more than 10% of the vote! I'm not to proud to beg! Please, Vote here!


Monday, May 18, 2009

Kitty Hospice

We found out Thursday that our cat Ambien has cancer. I noticed a little over a week ago that she has lost a lot of weight. I had noticed over the last month or so that she seemed to be sleeping more than usual and that she wasn't sleeping with me at night as often as she had been. She goes in cycles with that though, and tends to not sleep with me as it gets warmer out, so it didn't raise a huge red flag for me.

Then one day I picked her up, which I don't usually do because she doesn't like it, and I realized that she felt like fur and air, and not much more. And I cried. Because I knew right then something was wrong.

The vet did blood work and sent me home with some cans of food to try and orders to spoil her rotten and do what ever I could to get her to eat. The next day she called and said her blood work was all normal, which was odd, considering how much weight she had lost. So we decided to give her a few days to see if I could get her to eat. I did that, and she really wasn't eating, so I took her in for an ultrasound Thursday to see if there was something going on in her abdomen.

And there is. They found several masses on her liver, and another further back in her abdomen. She has some fluid in her belly as well. Its not clear what the masses are, but the most likely scenario by far is cancer (probably mets from another site). We could have the mass aspirated and biopsied, but it won't change the course of treatment, because we won't subject her to chemotherapy. I just can't justify making her life miserable for a treatment that probably won't prolong her life for long, because the chance that it is a treatable cancer is pretty slim. There is more involved in the decision, but ultimately it doesn't look good. Having a husband whose specialty is oncology has certainly made understanding all of this easier, and it allows us to view it a little more clinically I guess.

The vet gave her a corticosteroid shot on Friday and subcutaneous fluids and we were told to bring her back on Saturday for more fluids if she responded positively. Well, she has perked up quite a bit and has been more social this weekend than she has been for a few weeks. She still isn't eating much though. The vet thinks she may have a partial obstruction somewhere which is making her nauseous, thus her lack of interest in food.

Last week I went to the store and bought twenty cans of cat food. I basically have every brand and flavor the store had. None of them has really excited her. Some she hasn't even tasted. Some are so smelly I can't imagine she would even want to. She doesn't seem to be much of a seafood lover (like her mommy). The most excitement she has shown is over some of the chunky ones with gravy, although all she did was lick the gravy. She doesn't seem to be a fan of the flaky ones. Can I just say that the flavors of some of these sound better than what I eat most days. Fancy stuff! Stell and Rhone are eating like kings, let me tell you. Ambien however, rarely more than a few bites of any of them.

Since the fluids are making a difference the vet tech showed me how to give them to her. Tonight Rich and I gave her 150 mL's of lactated ringers in the skin under her neck. She's a good girl and made it easy on us.

If we can't get her to eat though, she isn't going to be long for this world. The vet said that with fluids she'll make it a few weeks, but gradually she'll just become less and less "alive." I can't think about that too deeply or I break down. Just typing this I'm tearing up. As soon as I stop thinking clinically I lose it.

She's my little girl. Has been since I brought her home 14 years ago. This really sucks, and I'm not sure how I'm going to get through it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New Giveaway up on the MNT Review Blog

Tilty Cup review and giveaway on my review blog. Check it out!


The Miracle of Coffee Filters

I've been pretty lame on here lately. I have all the same excuses....tired, sick, nothing exciting going, blah blah blah.

So for right now, I'm going to share with you something that was emailed to me recently. It may be a sign of how exciting my life is that I was all "wow, this is so cool" when I read it.


Coffee filters ...who knew!

And you can buy 1,000 at the Dollar Tree for almost nothing.

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China ... Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent The soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them. Soaks out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."


P.S. You may have noticed a new button on my right sidebar. If not, LOOK, there's a new button on my right sidebar! I'm up for a Nickelodeon Parent's Choice Award for best local blog in Philadelphia. If you click it, then click on the button for my blog, then click on vote you'd just make my day. I've been consistently at 10% of the vote since it opened. Wouldn't it be awesome if I got up to like 15%? You can vote every day too! Please! Vote every day!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Win two free boxes of Florastor Kids on my review blog!

I'm giving away two free boxes of Florastor Kids (a probiotic often used to treat diarrhea) on my review blog!

Right now there are only three entries, so your chances of winning are pretty darn good!


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Caught with our pants down and ass in the air

I pride myself on being pretty honest on my blog. Some might say too the point of TMI. But how can I not share the stuff that makes me laugh? And this morning, I was in hysterics.

You know, with two kids, one of who still sleeps in our room, the opportunity for Rich and I to "get busy" doesn't happen as often as he'd we'd like.

Last night, Rich and I went out to dinner for my birthday. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed great food, even better wine, and each others company. And then we came home and were too stuffed and too tired to enjoy each others company in the nekkid way we had planned.

So this morning Rich settled Noah in front of the TV watching a movie with Kiel, with strict instructions to stay there because he was going to be upstairs with Mommy, and Mommy and Daddy would be deciding how much candy he could have today while they were up there.

So Rich met me upstairs and we got our Sunday morning quickie on. There we are, Rich on top, nekkid butt towards the door (which of course he locked! Come on peoples, we aren't that bad of parents). When all of a sudden we hear "DAD, What are you Doing?" with more confusion in Noah's voice than I've ever heard before. It appears the door was locked, yet it hadn't quite latched itself fully into the door frame.

My quick response? "Exercise, we're exercising Noah."

Rich's quick response? "Yoga, Mommy and Daddy are doing yoga."

Noah? "That's not yoga Daddy."

And that's all he said. Rich was up by then and I was covered up (and laughing hysterically in my pillow) and Noah just wanted to know why we were taking so long to decide about his candy.

Hopefully we didn't scar him for life. He doesn't have a clue about sex yet. I wonder what he'll remember when he finally understands just what we were doing when he saw Daddy doing push-ups on Mommy.

So how about you guys? What are your "caught by your kids" stories? Or even worse, when you caught your own parents!