Ariana's Battle With MRSA

In 2014, Ariana was unofficially diagnosed with MRSA. This is her story.

On November 26, the day before Thanksgiving,  Ariana gave us quite a scare, and managed to have her first visit to the ER, her 1st ambulance ride as well as her first trip to Rainbow Babies Childrens Hospital in Cleveland.

The story actually starts a week earlier when Ariana was having trouble sleeping. Normally, she'll call for me at night, and I'll cuddle with her to bed. But, all of the sudden, she wasn't just calling for me, she was crying. After the second day of her crying at night, I knew something was wrong. I scheduled a doctor's appointment. Our regular pediatrician had switched hospitals, so I stuck with the same hospital we had been going to. The new pediatrician gave Ariana a quick checkup, and told me she was fine, and most likely just had a cold. Well, later that day, I was brushing Ariana's hair, and she winced when I got to a certain spot on her head/neck. Upon moving her hair back, I discovered the real reason my baby has been crying at night. She had a decent-sized red lump on the side of her neck.

November 24, 10:07 AM

I scheduled another appointment with the same pediatrician, who felt bad for not noticing the lump at the initial visit. She was diagnosed with a lymph node infection, and given antibiotics to clear it up. I had scheduled a follow-up appointment for two days from then. If it wasn't responding to antiboitics, we would need to discuss Ariana having surgery to drain it. She also circled the lump , so we could see if it was improving.

November 24, 5:06 PM

November 25, 1:02 PM

The afternoon of November 25, our family headed to kickboxing class as usual. Ariana's follow-up appointment was scheduled for the next morning. While we were at class, it was apparent Ariana wasn't doing well. She appeared to be in pain and was also battling bouts of shivers. Ken stepped out of class to be with her as I attempted to work out, watching her every move out of the corner of my eye. As luck would have it, a few people in the medical profession were in the class, so we asked them what they thought. Ultimately, Ken and I both knew what we had to do. We had to take Ariana to the ER.

The ER doctor was afraid to do anything, because it was so close to her neck, and it was a small child. Also, at this time, we were still under the impression that this was lymph node infection. The doctor told us Ariana had to be admitted, and since the hospital she was at didn't admit children, this meant she's need to go to another hospital. She was given in IV, which was an incredibly painful and scary experience for her. I'm not sure I'll ever forget her cries when they put her IV in, and her struggling to pull it out of her arm.

After the IV was in, they started calling around to find a hospital who could take care of Ariana the next morning, Thanksgiving.  We chose to have her sent to Rainbow Babies in Cleveland. Soon after this decision was mode, Ken ended up taking Phoenix home around 10:30 PM (way past his bedtime).

It was a long, tired night in the ER.

November 25, 9:21 PM

Once Ken took Phoenix home, Ariana & I were just in the ER waiting for an ambulance to take us to Rainbow babies. I snuggled up right next to her on the ER bed, as she slept. 

November 25, 10:49 PM

November 25, 10:49 PM
On November 26 at 2:30 AM, the ambulance finally arrived to take Ariana & I to Rainbow Babies. Because it was a non-critical hospital transfer, they used their lights, but not the sirens. Ariana was a mix of slightly excited, tires, and scared.

November 26, 2:44 AM

November 26, 2:44 AM

The ambulance ride was nice. After 6 hours in the ER with Ariana, it was good to know that things were moving forward. We had a plan. 

Arriving at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital  was a great feeling. The staff was amazing. They said I was more than welcome to snuggle with ariana in her bed for the rest of the night until the team of doctors arrived in the morning to discuss Ariana's care. Her bump had gotten worse over the past few hours, but they actually thought it would burst on it's own, which would be ideal for her situation. This was also when her lump was confidently diagnosed as MRSA.

November 26, 9:17 AM
The plan was to give her a topical numbing cream for the pain. They would wait to see if it would open on it's own. If it didn't, they would take her to the sedation unit and drain it there. As of that morning, they didn't have any openings in the sedation unit that day, but if they had a cancellation, they were going to try and get her in.

So, at the point, it was just more waiting. But, the waiting here was okay. It was more than okay, it was great. She had her own room with a television, bathroom, and a staff member in charge of making sure she was happy. Between Doc McStuffins on television, puzzles, and coloring books, this girl was happy.

November 26, 10:21 AM

November 26, 10:53 AM

At 11:00, we were notified that there was a cancellation at the sedation unit, and we were being sent down. They wheeled Ariana down and around for a fun ride in a wheelchair big enough for the both of us. Ken was also making his way to the hospital, and would be there any minute. It really seemed as if everything was coming together.

When we got to the sedation unit, the nurse wanted to see the lump. To our surprise, we found out that it had opened on it's own... likely encourages by the numbing cream and bandaid that they had on it. You can see the goo all over her neck and hair.

November 26, 11:22 AM
I immediately went to wash my hands, knowing how easily this infection can spread when you've come into direct contact with it. When I returned, I was pleasantly-surprised to see Ken in the room. next, the doctor from the sedation unit came in to drain the infection. After a few minutes of working it all out, and A LOT of painful screaming on Ariana's part, it was over. She was traumatized. The was in pain. She was scared... but it was finally over. She was bandaged up and sent back to her hospital room. While there, Ariana was finally able to eat, which was great. She hadn't eaten anything in about 18 hours.

November 26, 12:05 PM

November 26, 12:05 PM

At around 2:00 PM, we were given some medicine to try and get Ariana to try. Apparently, the stuff tastes awful, and getting kids to drink it is a huge ordeal, often lasting an hours or so. As luck would have it, we gave Ariana the medicine, and she downed it on one gulp. needless to sa the nurse was very impressed! (I credit Ariana being used to horrible-tasting food at home with the way I cook! ;) At 2:30 PM, we were given the okay to leave. We were told she would be treated for MRSA, and that they were going to test the fluid/goo in a lab. 

From here, it was just a matter of giving her medicine, and watching to make sure the bump was going down. I called the hospital to confirm that she indeed did have MRSA, but it appears that it never got tested in a lab, so we'll never know fpr sure that it was MRSA, though it has responded well to MRSA-treatment.

November 27, 8:48 AM

November 29, 9:10 AM
December 5, 7:48 PM

Two weeks later, you could still feel a lump, so we went back to Ariana's original doctor, who said she was heling up great, and the lump I felt was scar tissue. 

It has now been 2 months since Ariana's MRSA infection, and it hasn't come back, nor has it spread to anyone else in our family. 

This was a tough post to write, as I've had to relive all of the pain that we had went through during this rough time. Looking back, I think somehow Ariana and I have become closer since her MRSA infection. She went from being an independent 3-year-old to a scared little baby who just needed her mama more than anything.

 Thanks for stopping by. I hope you've found this post informative & helpful. Feel free to leave a comment, as always, I read and respond to each and every one. 

Snowman Sabotage

For the record, I totally wanted to build a snowman with my kids outside today. But... when I started to get ready, I noticed the hubby took his snow boots to work today. Which is fine. But... that left me with no snow boots to wear. I had to choose between high-heeled boots and running shoes with vents to the outside air. I went with the running shoes. Needless to say, I knew my feet would be getting cold pretty quick. But, I really wanted to build a snowman, so I went for it. As soon as I got outside, I found the most beautiful fluffy snow... but it wouldn't pack. So, instead of building a snowman, I grabbed the camera, snapped a few shots of the little ones, and quickly went back inside.

Maybe tomorrow we'll build that snowman. At least today we were able to get a few cute pictures is. :)

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment. (And, if you're a blogger, feel free to include a link to your blog. I'm looking for some new blogs to check out.)

Tiny Dancer Ariana

Some days, there's nothing Ariana loves more than putting on one of her ballerina dresses and dancing away. She's never gone to the ballet or even seen one on television. Her entire vision of what ballet is comes from the books we read. Still, I'm quite impressed with her lovely dancing.:)

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment. (And, if you're a blogger, feel free to include a link to your blog. I'm looking for some new blogs to check out.)

Removing Facebook Negativity & Drama

Back in the day, I thought I knew everything. I used my Facebook feed to try to convert everyone I knew to my "right" way of thinking that I discovered and was so eager to share. Ultimately, focusing on how many bad thing there were out there started to consume my life. I knew the Facebook negativity that was cluttering my news feed had to stop, so I took a drastic measure. I quit Facebook. I learned a lot in the 7 months I was away from Facebook, but most importantly, to let go of the drama. To let go of pushing my causes on everybody.

Timber Hawkeye of Buddhist Boot Camp nailed it when he said,

"Your job isn't to go around trying to save people, or to drag them kicking and screaming with high hopes that in the end they will thank you... all you can do is live a healthy life yourself, trusting that those with eyes to see will pay attention and then save themselves. Your life is your message, so LIVE your message. Actions are way louder than words."

I didn't realize it at the time, but when I re-joined Facebook, this was my mantra. Yet, somehow over the past 1 year and 9 months, this vision has become cloudy. I've started falling into the trap of caring about nothingness. So today, that will end. This year, I've challenged myself to live in the present, As part of living in the present, I will no longer be following people and groups whose posts are negative, complaints, or judging others. I understand that everybody may have moments like these, but when these moments become all you seem to share, I will opt out of listening.

Here are a few quotes that I have found inspirational when deciding to remove negativity and drama from my Facebook feed.

Thank you so much for stopping by! How do you deal with Facebook negativity? Feel free to leave a comment. :)

Phoenix's First Day Of Kindergarten

Phoenix's 1st Day Of Kindergarten
It's finally here, the day Phoenix has been looking forward to for weeks. After half a year of homeschooled kindergarten, it's time for his first day of public school kindergarten. Supplies are ready. Backpack is by the front door. And... Wednesday night, we find out that the city has closed school due to the extremely cold weather. They were closed the second day too. So, what was supposed to be his first day of kindergarten became his first (and second) snow days instead! Though he was a bit sad, we certainly made the most of it. This will also make his new kindergarten start day a Monday, which seems like a perfect day to start.

Phoenix's 1st Actual Day Of Kindergarten
Phoenix's first day of Kindergarten went great. He was a little worried that he would miss me earlier in the day, and we had a sad/sweet moment together full of hugs, tears, and you'll-love-it-there promises. I could see that my little boy was scared that morning, so I assured him everything would be okay. Fast forward to a few hours later, he was so excited that he forgot to give me a hug and a kiss goodbye!  

Being away from Phoenix was certainly different. Our house was unusually quiet with just Ariana and myself. I was able to get started cooking on a fancy dinner and spend some girl time with Ariana as well.

When I picked up Phoenix from class, it was clear that he had an amazing time. I think he got more accomplished in 1 day than we did in an entire week, lol. They listened to stories, did a beginning sounds worksheet, did a dressing for winter craft, counted to 100 by 1s and 10s, went to the library, played a game on an iPad, and I'm sure even more I'll hear about as the day goes by!   

I am so glad we decided to give kindergarten a try this year. Kindergarten is a fun life experience that I'm glad he will not be missing out on. It feels good as a parent to allow him to have more independence and to develop his own little life, for a few hours a day. He's always been super-social, so I think the more people he is around, the better! I also feel good knowing that he'll be keeping up with other kids his age academically. When we homeschooled, it was more just go-with-the-flow. The structure of school seems like it will be a good thing for him to have. In fact, he just yelled from his bedroom that he's playing school right now. :)  

How We Ended Up Going From Homeschool To Public School Kindergarten
First day of kindergarten photos shouldn't be posted in January, and certainly shouldn't include snow. But, that's what happens when you start following your own advice. In the wise words of They Might Be Giants in Put It To The Test...

If there's a question bothering your brain
That you think you know how to explain
You need a test
Yeah, think up a test

If it's possible to prove it wrong
You're going to want to know before too long
You'll need a test

If somebody says they figured it out
And they're leaving any room for doubt
Come up with a test
Yeah, you need a test

Are you sure that that thing is true?
Or did someone just tell it to you?
Come up with a test

Test it out
Find a way to show what would happen
If you were incorrect
(Test it out)
A fact is just a fantasy
Unless it can be checked
Make a test
Test it out

If you want to know if it's the truth
Then, my friend, you are going to need proof
Come up with a test
Yeah, you need a test

Don't believe it 'cause they say it's so
If it's not true, you have a right to know
Put it to the test (put it to the test)
Yeah, test it out (put it to the test)
Yeah, put it to the test (put it to the test)
Put it to the test (put it to the test)

I've always encouraged Phoenix to figure out things on his own. If he think something is true, but doesn't know, he should test it out. And, at the same time, I've always just assumed homeschooling was the better option for him. Certainly an unfair assumption to make about something he's never done.

So, over this winter break, I've decided to follow my own advice and allow Phoenix to "test out" public school. The main reason I wanted to enroll Phoenix in school was so he could make more friends. He's very social, and despite being in a few local homeschooler groups, he never ended up developing a peer group. Homeschoolers his age in our area looking to meet up were few and far between. Often activities were 30-45 min away, which is just not practical in terms of having friends on a regular basis.

I had a few long talks over winter break with my husband, and though he liked homeschool, he was also willing to give public school a try. So, I put in a call to the school to register my son. He was registered immediately, and within a day was given the STAR Early Literacy test. Naturally, I was a bit worried as to how well he would perform since most of our homeschool has been very unstructured... what many would call unschooling.*

My jaw hit the floor when I got the test results and found out that despite having no formal kindergarten education, Phoenix tested in the 800s on the STAR Early Literacy test, which means he's reading what they expect a 2nd grader to be reading in January.  

*Yes, unschooling worked well for Phoenix, but it doesn't work this well for everyone.  Like everything, I suggest testing it out to see what works best for you.  

So... here Phoenix is, spending the first half of kindergarten being homeschooled and second half in public school. It certainly not a change I had ever anticipated, but I'm glad it's happening. More than anything, I'm hoping Phoenix will be able to make some great friends. As far as school goes, perhaps he will thrive even more learning through formal instruction in a classroom-based environment. Perhaps he won't. There's only one way to find out, and that's to test it out. 

Thank you so much for stopping by! What do you think about homeschooling for half a year & doing public school for half a year to compare the two? Feel free to leave a comment. :)

My One Word For 2015

Inspired by Daenel of Living Outside The Stacks, I've decided to participate in the One Word Challenge. The one word challenge is simple: lose the long the list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick one word that represents what you most hope to do in the year ahead.

My word for 2015 is present. Because I want people to send me presents this year. ;) Actually, it's because I want to focus more on what I'm doing in the present, and enjoying the present more fully. All we have is the present, so I'm hoping to use mine more wisely. When I'm with my kids, really BE with them. Spend less time online and on social media and more time being social in real life. Eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm satisfied. Meditate. Just be.

I just purchased Living the Wisdom of the Tao: The Complete Tao Te Ching and Affirmations by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, and I'm hoping this will help me with my mission to be more present as well. I've read the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu before, and can't say how amazing this book is. It's something you can read in 2 hour, and it will change your life. Below are a few resources for anyone looking to live more in the present or simply improve the quality of your life.

Do you have a word to inspire you in 2015? Feel free to leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one.

The New Year, Book Clubs & The Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge

A Social Media Sabbatical 
Happy New Year! Normally, this is where I would write about all of my plans for 2015. But, to be honest, my life seems to be in a good place right now, and I have yet to find a goal I want to achieve, aside from the usual weight loss goal. ;)

I have been spending less time blogging lately, which feels good. In fact, in the month of December, I've published the fewest number of posts ever on It Keeps Getting Better, and I'm actually okay with that. I have just been more focused on living life instead of documenting it.

Last month, I started a social media sabbatical... challenging myself to one month without posting on Instagram and my Facebook blog page. So far, it has been amazing, and I have a feeling I'll be incorporating more social media sabbaticals in 2015. This year, I'm hoping on continuing to spend less time sharing online, and more doing stuff in real life.

The Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge
One of the things I'm looking forward to is reading a bit more. Last year, I read 19/20 books in my Goodreads Challenge.

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Lisa has read 1 book toward her goal of 20 books.

This year, I've pledged to read 10 books for the Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge. I chose fewer books this year so I can focus on a slower, relaxed reading pace as opposed to quick reading, just to get a book done.

Book Clubs 
I've also joined two book clubs this year. The first hosted by Daenel of Living Outside The Stacks and has been dubbed TeamLOTSReads where we are reading War Brides by Helen Bryan.

The second is... pardon the title...Vaginal Fantasy Book Club. It was started by geek goddess Felicia Day and a few of her friends to read and discuss fantasy/romance books with a strong female lead character. Certainly not my go-to genre, but it seems like a fun group, and I'm excited to be a part of it. Plus, who wouldn't want to be in a book club with a name like that, am I right? Lol. ;)

The lovely Felicia Day shows off some bookmarks.

I'm definitely looking forward to using these two book clubs to branch out and read books I wouldn't ordinarily read.

Check out the books I'm reading, have read, and want to read on Goodreads

Thanks for stopping by! Have you ever been in a book club before? Feel free to leave a comment.  

And Now, They Call Him Dr. Pepper

Sometimes I forget that things that seem like common knowledge to me aren't necessarily common knowledge to a 6-year-old. Take the conversation we had this morning, for example.

Phoenix: Who's Dr. Pepper? I hear dad and other people talking about him a lot.
Me: Oh, it's not an actual doctor. It's a type of pop, like Pepsi, except it's called Dr. Pepper.
Phoenix: Oh. Does it taste like pepper?
Me: Um, some people might think so.

He proceeds to preform "surgery" opening up his breakfast banana as Dr. Pepper.

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment. (And, if you're a blogger, feel free to include a link to your blog. I'm looking for some new blogs to check out.)

From Homeschool To Public School Kindergarten?

Questioning My Views On Homeschooling
I've wanted to homeschool my kids since Phoenix was 3. This year, kindergarten, is what many would consider our first year of official homeschooling, though we do less of what I consider "school" and more having fun learning together.

Yesterday, something unexpected hit me. Phoenix was acting up and misbehaving all day. Nothing too major, but it just didn't feel right. I mentioned to Ken that maybe we should get him involved in some sort of sports. You know, something to get him around other kids his age. Gosh, I thought, if only there was a place nearby that Phoenix could go to just be around kids his age more often. And there already is. School.

Part of me wondered, would going to public school make this better? Does he need time away from Ariana? Does he need time away from me? Would he like more independence? Would he thrive learning among his peers? I thought about it all  night, and talked it over with Ken. Then, the next morning I asked Phoenix.

Me: Would you be interested in going to kindergarten?
Phoenix: Would it be boring?
Me: The truth is, I don't know. And there's only one way to find out.
Phoenix: Test it out!
Me: Yup!

I would love to believe that homeschooling is best for my kids. But, the  honest truth is I don't know if homeschooling is better if we don't have anything to compare it to.

Of course, I still want to homeschool him, but even more than that, I want him to have a fun, amazing childhood.

Phoenix is a social butterfly, and the thought of him having to sit quietly in a chair all day listening to a teacher talk seemed like an awful idea. But... he's never done that before. It's unfair to assume Phoenix would not like school without giving it a try. He might like it. He might not. But, it's not right to assume either one until I try.

Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Yes, and there's the old stereotype that "homeschoolers aren't socialized".  In public, I've found homeschoolers to be vocal that their homeschoolers get plenty of socialization. But, I've also talked with homeschoolers concerned that their children don't quite have that peer group they would like them to have. I supposed that the whole "unsocialized homeschoolers" thing varies from family to family.

As for our family? Yes, we get out of the house roughly 4 days a week to play with other kids. We have park days, acting classes, library strorytime, playtime with other kids, etc. Phoenix has made plenty of "single serving friends" - the friends you meet once, but aren't likely to see again. But, does he have 5-days-a-week interaction with the same core group of kids? No. Would Phoenix benefit from the chance to form friendships like these that he could easily make at school? I'm pretty sure he would.

Our Plan
We are planning on enrolling him in kindergarten when classes resume in in the beginning of the new year. We're also working on selling our house, which will be on the market for the next 3 months. We'll decide when the time comes weather or not we'll stay in the same school district or move. Right now, we're just planning on doing what's best to get Phoenix around a few more steady group of kids his age. Though Ken is concerned about having him make new friends and possibly leaving them, I also pointed out that he currently doesn't have daily interaction with kids his age outside of the dojang, so what's really worse? Making friends to possibly leave, or not having those friends at all?  

Switching from homeschooling to public school kindergarten in the middle of the year is certainly not a decision we've made lightly. It is both thrilling and nerve-racking all at the same time. But, I can say that I'm certainly looking forward to this new and exciting adventure!

What aspects of school have been a challenge for your family? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :)

JustGoGirl Customer Testemonials AND Free Samples!

A few months ago, I told you how much I love JustGoGirl pads for athletic leaks. Well, I still do, and I'm not alone. Just listen to what some of their customers say about JustGoGirl.

"Love these pads! Having a slight leaking issue when I run due to age and having babies, and these do the trick. I love that they are tapered so you really can't see them there." -Gina

"I LOVE these pads!! Not only are they discreet, but they amazingly hold as much as the bulky pads I was trying to wear when I worked out. Never again will I go back to those. These pads leave you confident in deadlift PRs as well as double unders, or whatever "leaky" situation you may have. The delivery was super fast and easy, and the packaging is discreet. LOVE!" -Lauren

"Ran my first half with a little help from Just Go Girl! Mom of two and a diabetic, I am an avid supporter of this product. I may not need it every time but it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it! Train hard!" -Melissa

"I am such a fan! Anyone that knows me knows that I am not shy about sharing my athletic leak challenge. I only wish this product was out when I was playing soccer with my husband. I used to bring a change of clothes for post game chatter so that I could feel comfortable after an hour game. After becoming a crossfitter I would opt out of Double Under days because I did not want to deal with this issue, which held me back from mastering this movement. Recently I tried the JustGoGirl athletic pad and have been amazed. I won't go to the gym without it. Thank you for creating this amazing product! Thank you for helping me be comfortable during my work outs. I PR my double unders quite often now!!" - Denise

"I've taught Insanity since last April & I've never truly "enjoyed" teaching until I was introduced to JustGoGirl. I can't believe how much more at ease I am teaching and jumping. I'm actually getting the full effect of the workout with my mind more focused on the actual workout and not tensing and tightening with every jump. It's awesome!!" -Katie

"I recently ran an 8k an and had stress incontinence almost the entire race. Needless to say I was caught off guard and was determined to never have that happen again. I had used a regular sanitary pad once or twice before but it was for very minimal leaks. I decided to get some of these pads after researching this embarrassing issue. I don't have stress incontinence every time I run but its nice to know I don't have to worry about it if I do. Unlike sanitary pads, these are very comfortable to wear and the bulk of the coverage is up front where its needed. No slipping around and undetectable."

"I ordered a sample of your product after seeing it in women's running. I wanted something that would hold up to my long runs and this did the trick. I was a little skeptical when I received it and saw the size. I thought it might be a little uncomfortable, but I didn't notice any bulk and it lasted through a 4 hour/20 mile training run! I will be ordering more!"
Thanks, Judi

"These things are great - no more playing soccer or running while worrying that I might have pee running down my leg! Stay where you put them, absorb like crazy. Much better than panty liners!" 

From now until December 31st, JustGoGirl will be offering 10-pack samples for FREE! (You only need to pay shipping, usually around $2.32. If you struggle with athletic leaks, I highly recommend these... having JustGoGirl pads changes everything!

If you have running incontinence, postpartum exercise incontinence, you're not alone!

So... what about you? Have you ever had a workout leak? Leave a comment below... and remember, you're not the only one! It happens to A LOT of us, including me! :)

We're Gonna Need To Plunge That #IC #TweetFromTheSeat #sponsored

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Charmin. I received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

A few years ago, our road had a new sewer system put in. As luck would have it, our toilet stopped flushing properly as soon as the "new and improved" waste removal system was installed. Our toilet is now beyond finicky... and is unleashing it's wrath on everyone. Ken uses the restroom sit-down style?  We're gonna need to plunge that. Lisa didn't flush the toilet at night so the noise didn't wake up the kids?  We're gonna need to plunge that. Phoenix drops off The Log Family at the waterpark?  We're gonna need to plunge that. Ariana went pee? We're gonna need to plunge that.

Well, it turns out that the folks at Charmin must have heard about our ordeal, because they have toilet paper for families just like ours... ya know, good people living around bad plumbing. With Charmin Ultra Soft and Ultra Strong our family can use up to 4X less toilet tissue. For me? Six squares. That's it. Cutting down to six squares has worked miracles in keeping our toilet flushing the way it should. Not only that, but it seems to last forever now. Before, our one-bathroom family would replace the toilet paper roll about once a day. Now, we're getting at least 3-4 days out of one roll. Just six squares ya'll. Six squares.

I'm not the only one loving this new toilet paper either. Consumers who buy Charmin ensure their plumbing will stay clog-free, even during the busiest of times, such as the holiday season.

Charmin and Roto-Rooter, America’s largest provider of plumbing & drain services, have teamed up again this year to remind consumers of the clog-free and septic-safe guarantee that only comes with Charmin. Roto-Rooter plumbers recommend Charmin more than any other brand. Not only does Charmin have Roto-Rooter’s stamp of approval to be clogfree and septic-safe, but it is also used by plumbers more than any other brand.

To stay up-to-date on all of the latest and greatest from Charmin, visit the Charmin Website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

The holiday season is full of great parties with our friends and family. What are some of your favorite holiday traditions/memories?

No More Monsters At Night With "A Light In The Night"!

No more worries, no more fear—bedtime’s best friend is here! Developed by a mother for her own child, A Light in the Night™ is the friend every child needs when bedtime comes and the room grows dark. On the outside, it’s a soft, reassuring creature with fuzzy hands for holding, a body for squeezing, and a gentle face large enough to hide behind. In its tummy is a soft green light that keeps scary things away and allows the child to take an active role in managing and overcoming his or her fear of things that go bump in the night.

Each purchase includes a super-soft plush stuffed animal with a light-up tummy and a fully-illustrated board book.
Available in bubble gum pink, ice blue, and mint green.

PLUS: For every "A Light in the Night" you buy this holiday season, one will be sent to you
and one will be donated in your name to the American Red Cross and given to a child who's fighting a battle.



Order yours today at to brighten the holiday of someone you love as well as a child who's battling a fight.

$10 Coupon Code For

This post contains affiliate links.

I'm always looking for the best places to get the greatest deals on educational materials for my kids. One site that I love is, a daily deal site for educators and parents! Join today HERE and you'll receive $10 (no minimum purchase) to spend on the site however you want!

Here are a few of the things that you can get you can get FOR FREE today with your $10 off at

Join today HERE to you'll receive $10 to spend on the site however you want! 

There are A LOT of curriculum, toys and activities at, so be sure to check out all that they offer. And, if you don't see one you love, don't worry! Your $10 coupon code is good for 6 months, so you'll have plenty of time to find one you love. :)

What activity do you like the most? Leave a comment below. As always, I read and respond to each and every one. :)