How to Easily Fill Prescriptions for Your Sick Pet!

CB Disclosure White Background 600 px wide#WalgreensRX #shop #CollectiveBias

Hero Image #WalgreensRX #shop

When we take our dog for walks in the neighborhood, we always get the question “what kind of dog is that?”  She is the kind of dog that steals your covers at night, snores loud enough to wake the dead, and digs her little paws into your back all night long. She is the kind of dog that has barked at the mailman every day for nine years even though we assure her the man is simply dropping off the mail. She is the kind of dog that will steal your breakfast if you get up to refill your coffee, and takes a few sloppy licks from your kid’s ice cream cone when they turn their head. But more importantly, she is the kind of dog that is thrilled every time you walk through the door (even if you just step out to get the paper). She is the kind of dog that is more than just a dog, and when we have a sick pet, we’ll do anything to make her feel better because she is truly part of our family.

She also is the kind of dog that when we make Christmas cards, we do things like this:

suggie as rudolph #WalgreensRX #ShopWhile her full name is Sugar Ray, she is just Suggie to us. Even though she was our first “baby,” she has taken well to her role as big sister to our kids. When we brought our son home from the hospital almost five years ago, Suggie had the tiniest bit of gray on her muzzle.

Suggie and Aaron #WallgreensRX #shop

Now she’s showing her age and the stress of raising kids with a pure white beard. Don’t worry Suggie, I feel the same way, but hopefully I don’t have nearly as many grays as you! Don’t let her age fool you. She still finds her way onto my side of the bed, into my purse for a snack, and will wreck anything a little too fragile. Adorable, yes. Graceful, no

Suggie Collage #WalgreensRX #Shop

After a few years of  visiting the vet for normal check-ups, we found ourselves frequenting the veterinarians office because our girl started having seizures. I’ll be honest, I was scared. Really scared. Scared that my vivacious dog would never be the same.  Scared that I wouldn’t be able to care for her the way she needed.

Our vet assured us that with daily medication, she would continue being the nightly bed hog we’ve grown to love and adore.

However, this also meant Suggie would be on medication like Phenobarbital for the rest of her life. She may be a member of our family, but she isn’t covered under our family prescription plan. Luckily after chatting with the pharmacist at Walgreens, I learned a few things about medication for dogs.

Did you know some medicines can be made with beef or chicken flavor ? Really, it’s true! Better tasting medicine aside, even though it’s the same medicine, you can save money on most of pet prescription at Walgreens. The pharmacist said the markups are higher at the vet’s office and there’s usually a dispensing fee. Since Suggie is taking mediation every day and needs regular refills, we’re saving  money at Walgreens.

Walgreens collage #WalgreensRX #shop

Last week I had to pick up medicine for my daughter and grabbed Suggie’s refill while I was there. With the Family Prescription Management,  I can manage our entire family (including the four-legged one) online. Plus it cracks me up to see Suggie’s full name on her prescription bottles.

website #WalgreensRX #shop

Added bonus to make my life a whole lot easier: Refill Reminders so I’ll never have to remember to refill her pills again! The Walgreens website is really easy to use, and by signing up as a Balance Rewards Member, we are saving even more money. I even downloaded the Walgreens app so I can take care of everyone’s prescription right from my phone!

So nothing is slowing Suggie down, and really, we  wouldn’t want this crazy,old girl any other way. But she wants to know if you are going to finish that sandwich?

Look Mom! #WalgreensRX #shop

April Mommy TMI

When does dying Easter eggs and talking about spring clothes make you cry? When you are crazy…crazy like me. Honestly I just wanted to get this vlog together while my hair was somewhat presentable but my kids and my irrational inability to control my tears has led me to this months vlog. Sounds fun, right? Really it’s not that bad and you know that I’m only this crazy because I love my kids.

April TMI

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I’d love to hear your answers to these questions and if you want to link up a vlog, you can do it right here! 

The Happy’s Made Us Happy on a Rainy Day

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mom Select and Cepia; however, all opinions, thoughts, and ramblings  are 100% my own!

Even though we were stuck inside all day because of the rain, we actually had a blast playing with the kids’ newest pet. Well not really a pet, but a new pup named “Sport” who is a interactive dog that is part of The Happy’s. The same people that made ZhuZhu Pets have created a new line of interactive, motorized, plush pets. The kids and I (OK I made it but the kids helped) made a vlog while we played with The Happy’s. Check it out!

Here is a little more about these adorable toys

The Happy’s pets require 2AAA batteries and their toys require 3AAA batteries.

Check out The Happy’s site for more information on the pets and game your kids can play!

Laughing Gas in the Delivery Room?

Step back, everyone.

*blows dust off diploma*

A million years ago my parents paid big bucks for me to get a Journalism degree, and I put that degree to good use for about a year as a television reporter before I went back to school to be a teacher. Then I left that profession for the glamours life of a stay at home mom. Hmmmmm… I am beginning to see a pattern here. Anyway, this week I put that Journalism degree to good use when I wrote a story for Washington DC news station WTOP.

Laughing gas in the delivery room. Would you use it? Check it out and  click right here to read it. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for my story. Then come back and tell me if you what you think!

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Making Easter “Eggstra” Special with Hallmark Easter Cards & Simple Easter Crafts

CB Disclosure White Background 600 px wide#EasterValue #CollectiveBias

#EasterValue #CollectiveBias

Older brothers are the worst, and mine is no exception. As kids, he was always a Couch Commando stealing the remote control from me, always had that smelly boy scent that is a cross between wet dog and dirt, and even worse, as teens he never let me date his friends. See, he was the WORST. However, as time goes on, if you are really lucky,those awful big brothers slowly turn into your friend  and you realize he’s not so awful. And while he still controls the remote on holidays and finally has that stinky thing under control, the best part of having a brother is watching our kids become the best of friends. If you ask my kids who is their “bestest” friend in the whole wide world, they ALWAYS answer “our cousins!” Even though hundreds of miles separate them, it never dampens their bond. So that’s why holidays that we can’t be together are rough on all of us. To cheer myself and the kids up about not seeing their cousins/best friends on Easter, I suggested we send cards that tell them how much we miss and love them. Lucky for me, Hallmark Value cards are adorable and the right price. No need to break this Easter Bunny’s wallet!

Cousins #CollectiveBias #EasterValue

Since I knew that our Walmart has a huge selection of Hallmark cards, I unleashed the kids on the greeting card aisle and let them pick out a handful of Hallmark cards for their cousins. My apologizes to the good people at Walmart. I swear I tried to put the cards back in their rightful place.

Lyla Card #CollectiveBias #EasterValue

They took their selection process very seriously! Since the Hallmark Value Cards were only ¢97, I didn’t mind that they picked up a few extras for their grandparents and friends. Plus if you are a member of the Hallmark Rewards Program, for every card you purchase at Walmart, you earn rewards.  So go ahead, kiddos, grab a few more!#EasterValue #CollectiveBias

When we got home, they couldn’t wait to personalize each card.

#CollectiveBias #EasterValue

When the cards were done, it was time for a little show and share. Even though the cards would be delivered in a few days, the kids couldn’t wait to show off their handy work. The easiest way to keep in touch with their cousins is to Skype, and they always want to put on a show for their captive audience.  So before our Skype session started, we put together the easiest and cutest Easter craft.

Bunny Sock Puppet #EasterValue #CollectiveBias

sock bunny #CollectiveBias #EasterValue

They didn’t stop with a puppet show just for their cousins. They even performed for their biggest fans, their grandparents.

Sykping! #EasterValue ##CollectiveBias

The cards were supposed to be a surprise, but they couldn’t resist sharing what special surprise would be coming in the mail in a few days.

Even though the kids can’t spend Easter with their cousins, I know that little things like sending cards and performing puppet shows over Skype are great ways to help the kids stay connected until they are all together again.

Make sure you check out connectionsfromhalmark.com to sign up for Hallmark rewards, and to see great content from other bloggers. Be sure to join the #EasterValue conversation on Twitter!

A Little Blue Pixie Dust for the Pirate Fairy DVD Playdate

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser #ProtectPixieHollow #CollectiveBias.

PirateFairyheroImage #ProjectPixieHollow #Collective Bias

I’m a firm believer in “more is more.” Forget “less is more” when it comes to all of the good stuff like more kids giggling and playing, more blowing off steam with Mommy friends, more yummy snack, and always more snuggling during movie time. “More is more” can lead to lots of juice boxes being spilled on my couch, popcorn squished in my carpet, and the organized chaos that we call playdates, but it also leads to gems like this:

Movie Watchers #ProtectPixieHollow #CollectiveBias

When these playdates started, the oldest kids were just babies that fit into one small room, and they only needed a few toys with flashing lights to entertain them. A few years later, and a whole bunch of siblings later,  our  playdates grew into preschoolers, toddlers, and babies that easily overtake your house, voices that echo through your hallways, and kiddos that have interests as varied as their little faces. But when you catch them (well most of them) all lined up on the couch, munching on popcorn, watching a new movie, I just want to SQUEEZE them all! So it did take a little magic, maybe a little a little fairy magic, to get them all to stop in their tracks and watch a movie. It was Disney’s The Pirate Fairy DVD that was released on April 1 (no April Fools here!).

Want a sneak peek of Tinkerbell and her fairy friends?


Trailer – The Pirate Fairy on Disney Video

SinceI was hosting the next playdate, mykids and I be-bopped over to Walmart to pick up The Pirate Fairy DVD and supplies for the playdate that would make it a little magical but also make it really easy on me. As an added bonus, Walmart is the only place you can find the combo pack with the Blue Ray/DVD and a special extra DVD of The Pixie Hollow Bake Off that includes ten animated shorts with Tinkerbell and her friends. Since we love Tinkerbell in this house, we will take all the extras we can get!

Movie #ProjectPixieHollow #CollectiveBias

In the movie, Tinkerbell and the other fairies talk a lot about the magic behind blue pixie dust; it only seemed fitting that the  the popcorn and fruit tray I picked up at Walmart had the same magical blue pixie dust (also knows as blue sugar sprinkles). “Be careful, kids,” I told the movie watchers, “if you eat too much, you might fly away!”

Pixie Dust FoodWhat party would be complete without cupcakes? Now while I make fantastic cupcakes (OK, no…no I don’t), Walmart’s bakery section helped me out again, and I just popped in pirate decorations to personalize the sweet treats for a Pirate Fairy Party.  Since the bonus pack included the DVD Pixie Hollow Bake Off, I told the kids that Tinkerbell and baking fairy Gelata (voiced by Giada de Laurentiis)  were the ones behind their yummy cupcakes.

Pirate Fairy cupcake #ProjectPixieHollow #CollectiveBias

With so many kids at different ages and stages, I was a little nervous that  just one movie wouldn’t be a crowd pleaser, but it was clear that every superhero and princess loved watching Tinkerbell and her fairy friends use teamwork to save Pixie Hollow.

SuperHeros and Princesses #ProjectPixieHollow #CollectiveBiasOK, kids, the snacks are gone and the movie is over. Your moms have gathered up your socks and shoes. What was your favorite part of today? Being with friends, of course!

Friends! #ProtectPixieHollow #CollectiveBias

No Mother is Perfect, But Every Mother is Unique Mother’s Day Giveaway & An Interview with Menopausal Mother

There are days when my kids are so delicious, so funny, and so charming, I just was to squeeze them and kiss their sweet faces; however, there are days (a lot of days) when they are seconds from being put out on the curb with a sign that reads “free to good home.”  So that is why I am loving the new community for the perfectly imperfect mother! A place where you can let your guard down and talk about the meltdowns, struggles, and less rosy aspects of being a mom. The Mother of all Meltdowns  isn’t just a hilarious book (it is and you should grab it on Amazon), but now it’s a community of moms…real moms.
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11th 2014 And we want moms everywhere to accept the meltdowns, stop chasing perfection, and embrace their uniquity. You won’t find this word listed in Webster’s, but you will find it within every mother on the planet. Enter between April 1, 2014 to May 11, 2014 to win one of three fabulous prize packages including a three night stay for two at a destination spa!
Enter to Win! (3)
Click Here To Enter!! Good Luck! 
One of the best parts of reading The Mother of All Meltdowns was getting to read an essay from one of my favorite bloggers. I’m telling you, friends I’m crazy over Marcia from Menopausal Mother! Not only is she smart, witty, and a total knock-out, but you never know what you are going to get from her posts. You’ll laugh, cry, and then she’ll make you laugh again. I got the chance to interview her and I know you will love her too!
marciapropic
What is the craziest thing you remember your mother saying to you?  
M.M.–Whenever we misbehaved, our mother always threatened us with, “Heads Are Going To Roll!” Looking back, this was a pretty graphic (and gruesome!) description for punishment. But that hasn’t stopped me from using this threat on my own kids.

What is one of your favorite things you’ve ever written?
M.M.–Although I mostly stick with humor, my favorite post is a tribute I wrote to my sister, who passed away four years ago–click here for that post
 If you are looking for humor, I think my absolute favorite is one that I wrote when I first started blogging. This one is about the colonoscopy I shared with my husband—yes, you heard that right.–click here for that post
Lastly, I just want to add that I write for In The Powder Room, and my favorite post for them is one about my obsession with critters–click here for that post

When did you first start thinking about your mother as an individual person and not just “mom” ?
M.M.–The day I came home from the hospital with my first newborn. He had an explosive Pampers bomb, and as my mother calmly helped to clean up the mess, I was in awe of her superhero powers when tackling diaper destruction. Ever since that day, she became my mentor, hero and a best friend. 

What do you wish most for your children?
M.M.–Happiness….love….success…and an abundance of Nutella.
 
 What’s the key to surviving motherhood?  
M.M.–Sleep. Just kidding—most moms don’t even know what that is. I’d say humor, patience, coffee…..and a lot of wine.
See, I told you she is fabulous! So check out her blog, check out MOAM, and enter to win the giveaway!
HOST MOAM blog tour & giveaway button

Fashion Face Off in the Preschool Parking lot: Who Wore It Best?

I imagine if you are a big, fancy star headed off to a red carpet event in your designer duds, one of the worst things that can happen to you is someone shows up with the same outfit! Gasp!

It’s probably even worse if that someone is a person you would NEVER, EVER run up to and sequel “Twinzies!”  Like if Gwyneth Paltrow found herself in the same dress as someone like Kim Kardashian. Can you imagine the serious “conscious uncoupling”  Gwyennie would have?

picture from Usweeklymagazine.com

picture from Usweeklymagazine.com

But Gwyneth, I know exactly how you must worry you won’t win the “Who Wore It Better”, but my fashion faux paus didn’t happen on the red carpet. Nope, mine happened somewhere a lot less chic but  probably has the same amount of tantrums.

Because spring brings lots and lots of rain showers, I often find myself looking like a drowned rat after a morning of school pickups and drop offs. So during my last trip to Target, I decided “Amanda, no more of this nonsense. Get yourself a hooded raincoat.”  And really, who am I to pass up a chance to do a little Target shopping?

But after searching the women’s section high and low, it was clear  the only raincoat Target thinks women need is some fashionable wrap coat without a hood. Hey, Target, now is not the time to get all fashion forward  and trendy on me. I even searched the men’s section–no luck. It wasn’t until I happened upon the little boys section that I found a raincoat that actually had a hood.

“Hmmmm, the colors are cute, blue and black, with a fun orange lining. Uh-huh, the price is right, under 20 bucks. Hey look at that, the large fits and is cute. OK, I toss it in the cart with the 45 other things I didn’t plan on purchasing today.”

jacket

I was really loving my new raincoat and wore it proudly. When I ran into my favorite gal pal at preschool drop-off I was thrilled when she chimed “I love that coat!”

“Targeé” I responded in my best French accent, “Got it in the little boys section. Can you stand it?”

With an extra bounce in my step, I put my hood up and sauntered out the door to my car. But right there in the parking lot is where I saw my coat rounding the corner and walking straight towards me. It wasn’t another mom wearing my favorite new coat. It wasn’t even another Dad. No friends, it was a little boy. A little boy that’s in my son’s class.

Blue and black raincoat with a fun orange lining. One large and one small staring each other down.

He broke first, “Hey Aaron’s Mommy, your coat looks like mine.”

“Yes…yes it does…”

I squinted and waited for the flashing light of the paparazzi’s camera. Oh wait, no one’s taking our picture and I’m pretty sure in this “Who Wore It Better” showdown, the vote always goes to the kid, right?

I should have been embarrassed or said something witty in response to the four year old mocking the fact we were coat doppelgangers, but then I realized by the end of the day one of us will probably have macaroni and cheese spilled down the front of that coat, a few Mickey Mouse stickers stuck right above our butt, and traces of today’s art project on the elbow, and that would probably be me.

Whatever kid, you enjoy your coat and I’ll enjoy mine. At least I know your mom has good taste.

 

 

 

Making Easter Special and a Hershey’s Easter Candy Giveaway!

~This post has been sponsored by Global Influence, but all opinions are my own~

Maybe it’s because we’ve been buried with snow all winter long, but I have never been so excited for spring in my life. I love every part of spring: the unpredictable weather, the sometimes muddy playgrounds, and  flowers and trees whose pollen makes my nose itchy. Yes, friends I really do love it all (maybe not the muddy dog and kid feet). So maybe that’s why I really love Easter.

easter giveaway

When Hubby and I unleashed our kids on a dozen hard boiled eggs and several cups of bright dye, I started thinking about Easter traditions from my childhood. The big Easter dinner, racing through my grandparent’s yard searching for hidden eggs, elaborate baskets hidden from the Bunny, and black eggs.

The black eggs were my grandfather’s specialty and as a kid, I thought, much like my feelings about my Pappy, that his black eggs were the bee’s knees. After we dyed what seemed to be a million eggs, he grabbed the last egg, mixed all of the colors, and let the egg sit and sit until it became the perfect shade of black. That black egg looked silly among all of those bright pink, blue, and yellow eggs, but truth be told, it was always my favorite.

pap

Traditions, big and small, make the holidays so precious even when things change. Now my parents are the ones hosting the big Easter egg hunt and family dinner. My mom bakes special bunny treats with my kids and we’ve added a few traditions of our own, like burying jelly beans outside the night before Easter and finding out they had grown into lollipops over night. And of course, no round of egg coloring is complete without the trophy black egg.

Easter collage

While I love the idea of baking with my kids, the truth is, I must have been waiting in the sarcasm line when they were passing out baking skills. So when we “bake” in this house, it’s only easy, kid friendly (OK, it’s really Amanda friendly), and something we can do quickly because we are on to the next activity pretty quickly. So these Easter Cookie Pops were perfect and yummy!

Easter Cookie Pops

  • Buttery Crackers
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter
  • Hershey’s semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Lollipop Sticks
  • Wax Paper
  • Colorful sprinkles and icing

 

  1. Spread the Reese’s Peanut Butter between crackers and insert the lollipop stick.
  2. Place the cookies in the freezer for a few minutes. This way the you  the peanut butter hardens and your stick won’t fall out while dipping or eating
  3. Melt the Hershey;s semi sweet chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler
  4. Dip the cookies into the chocolate and cover all sides
  5. Lay the cookies on wax paper and allow time for the chocolate to set.
  6. Decorate with fun sprinkles or icing, eat, and enjoy!

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Hop on over (did you see what I did there?) and check out Celebrate With Hershey’s  for a ton of adorable basket idea, recipes, crafts, and other ways to make your family’s Easter memorable. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to sample some of Hershey’s yummy candy. Trust me, Hershey’s was kind enough to give me a huge sample of their Easter candy (that I enjoyed from the comfort of my bedroom closet) and it was SO GOOD! Now you need your own Easter Prize Pack. So enter now!

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We Lost Her Lovie. It’s Time To Panic

Only a parent can understand the sheer panic and distress when a beloved “lovie” has gone missing. Whether it’s a thread worn blanket, a cyclopsed bear, or a filthy dirty rag doll, that “lovie” often means sleep or no sleep, cry uncontrollably or peace and quiet, a glass of wine for Mommy at night or drinking straight out of the bottle when the kids aren’t looking.  As a parent, part of our duty is going on frequent expeditions for that special friend. So when we lost my daughter’s significant other, I went all Code Red, Code Red this is not a drill. Repeat this is not a Drill.

lovie

“Baby” was dubbed with her unoriginal forename long before my girl could even scream at the top of her lungs “Where’s MY BABY?” Since she was a tiny peanut, she could only sleep if Baby was by her side, well to be more specific, Baby had to be across her face. When I would hear my infant fuss or cry in her crib, I would roll over to my snoring husband, shake him a few times, then jab him really hard in the ribs (you know, just to make sure he was up) and say “Go put Baby on her face.”  Within seconds of Baby being applied to her face, silence.  That silence was only broken by the other cry that meant “Where’s the boob at, Lady?”

Here she is

Even now when I  peak in at my slumbering gal, this is how we find her

Shhhhh

 There is a strict policy for all guests: if you are in her bed, you must have  a Baby on your face too.

Baby goes on your face

Baby must can also be worn in times of stress, anxiety, fear, anger, or just hanging out.

Baby collage

Learning from other mothers, I knew it was imperative to have backup Babies, but no matter how hard I tried, Baby 2 and Baby 3 never made the cut. Their fresh faces and pink dresses were turned away for the muted attire and reeking Baby she has grown to love.

Our nighttime ritual always includes bath, books, and a Baby search party. Usually my girl has no idea where she’s left her beloved and my patience runs thin as we all search for her. “Baby needs to stay in your bed,” I tell her “No more searching for Baby every night.” She nods and I nod, but we both know that tomorrow it will be more of the same.

So last week when Baby went missing, I assumed it was the usual game, but this time Baby was nowhere to be found. After tearing thorough every possible hiding space, we had to abandon our search for the night.  I assured her that Baby 3 would suffice. With a little sob, she agreed and went to bed with Baby 3 on her face. Surely Baby would turn up tomorrow, but after four days and no Baby, I started to think she was a goner. Could I file a missing persons report for Baby? If the officer was a parent surely he would understand.

Slowly she was adjusting to Baby 3, but  I was the one longing for the original Baby. Even though that toy smelled like old milk and dirt and I was afraid to wash her for fear of decapitation from lack of stuffing, it was my baby’s lovie and the one thing she cherished the most in this world. I envisioned someday sneaking Baby into her pillowcase when went to a sleepover with friends or Baby finding her way into dorm room when she heads off to college. I was CRUSHED but my daughter was dealing.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to find Baby. The day she disappeared, we had a marathon day of errands so I called every place Baby had been. I grilled each person that answered the phone about Baby’s whereabouts. Nothing.  In an act of desperation I searched the house high and low one more time. Nothing. Just before I gave up I remembered yelling at the kids for making their own bobsled team out of the old crib mattress and bed in the spare bedroom. I swung the door open and started searching the room. And there, wedged between the wall and the bed was Baby. Her half-smirk beckoning me to save her. I hugged that dirty little doll, tried not to vomit from her smell, and raced up the stairs to return her to her sleeping owner. I tucked Baby under my daughter’s arm and breathed a sigh of relief. Mommy:finder of all that once was lost.

The next morning my little girl came downstairs shaking Baby “Mommy! It’s Baby! She’s back!”

“I told you Mommy would find her! Oh God get her out of my face. I might puke, and this time I’m serious. If you lose her again, Mommy is not going to find her.”

 I will ALWAYS find Baby for you, but for real, get her out of my face. She stinks.