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Oral-B Teeth Tips for Tweens

Last week I brought you some information on adult oral health, with a giveaway. Now, I’m following up with some tips on oral health for our kids, with a giveaway for them too! You know I’m a big fan of my power toothbrush, but even Little Boo has been using the non-rechargeable brushes for a lot of years now.

File:Oral-B logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that kids can begin using an electric toothbrush as early as age three? (Of course you’ll be supervising them!) We found that there was an added “fun factor” to brushing with a power brush, particularly if you have a character brush for the young set, like Oral-B’s Tigger and Pooh or Disney Princess options. This definitely kept LB interested in brushing longer when he was wee! Two minutes is an awfully long time in a pre-schooler’s life, so anything to help keep them focused and not fussing is a bonus.

For the older set, the Oral-B Pro-Health for Me Vitality electric toothbrush is the perfect electric toothbrush for big kids and tweens. This electric toothbrush has a waterproof handle with fun designs and is compatible with multiple toothbrush heads – including an Ortho Brush Head refill designed to clean away gunk around braces.(Awesome! The Teen’s braces were a pain to clean around as I remember. Will have to make note of this for the future!) It also features a brushing timer that ensures their brushing lasts for the dentist-recommended two minutes. Little Boo (age 7) has been using this brush for the past few weeks with great results. The timing function is key to keep him brushing long enough. He has shown without doubt that his ability to estimate when 2 minutes is up is extremely lacking. This brush does that work for him. I love that it charges on the same base as my Oral-B Triumph Professional brush, so we can share the charger, saving space.

Kids under 8-9 should be supervised while brushing their teeth. If you can, take your child to the dentist every six months to monitor their development and the effectiveness of their oral care routine.

Remember to swap out all the toothbrushes in your house every three months to ensure the most effective clean. Many brushes have some kind of colour indicator that will help you see that the brush has hit the end of its life. Splayed, out of shape bristles are a clear indication it’s time to replace.


Don’t forget to teach your kids about flossing too! Flossing is important because proper flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from those spaces between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. So if all you do is brush, you’re missing an opportunity to promote not only healthy teeth, but also healthy gums. Research shows that regular flossing can reduce the risk of developing gum disease. Look for a floss, such as Glide, that slides easily in tight spaces and follow these simple steps:


I’ve admitted before to my poor nonexistent flossing habits, but I have been trying the Glide and it is really comfortable. It it more ribbon-like than string, and feels much gentler in my mouth than flosses I’ve used in the past. For kids, you can also try a floss pick. Little Boo finds these much easier to use than a length of floss, and he asks for them as needed.

Be sure to teach your kids about the importance of oral health early. Check out tips and articles on to help you learn about dental care from babies to kids, and adults too. Having trouble? Why not make a game of it and download the Yuck Mouth game for Android and Apple devices.



Crest and Oral-B Pro-Health FOR ME is the first complete line of oral care products designed just for tweens (kids 8-12) and created to protect the areas dentists check in kids: fights cavities, strengthens enamel, and freshens breath. The line also includes an anticavity toothpaste, tween-friendly manual toothbrushes, fluoride rinse in a fresh mint flavor, and easy-to-use minty floss picks.

A Giveaway

To help your kids keep their teeth clean and shiny, P&G is providing a Tween Teeth Bundle for one lucky Raising My Boys reader. The prize is valued at approximately $50 and includes: Oral-B CrossAction Pro-Health Toothbrush, Oral-B Pro-Health for Me Vitality electric toothbrush and Glide floss (x2).

Entries are via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EDT, April 23. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec. Best of luck!

Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own. By entering this contest you are accepting that, if you win, your contact information will be shared with a P&G PR agency for the purpose of mailing your prize. This giveaway may appear on multiple blogs as part of the #PGmom program, however, you can only win once per giveaway.

Cavalia’s Odysseo in Toronto

“You know what my favourite part was Mommy? ALL of it!!”

Inside Cavalia: The world's biggest equine touring show revealed ...

This from the boy who said he didn’t want to go. But really, acrobatics and horses, plus amazing music, lighting and a flooded stage? I was pretty sure we’d have a hit on our hands.



I’ve been loosely thinking of Cavalia’s Odysseo as kind of like Cirque du Soleil, but with horses. Little did I realise that the creative genius behind this show is Normand Latourelle, one of the founders of Cirque, so it makes complete sense. The exquisite choreography, incredible feats of strength and athleticism, breathtaking sets, and glorious music all come together to create a truly awe-inspiring show.

The set is composed of a beautifully constructed curtains and backdrops with projected scenery moving along the back wall. At one point, the stage lifts up at the back and the players ride their horses into sight, seemingly out of nowhere from over the ridge. It truly looks like the riders are approaching from a far distance on their long journey. For the final scenes, the stage is flooded with water. Aerial acrobatics and trick riding abound. Stunning.

From the website:

“This new production is a celebration of the beauty and harmony of the meeting of two worlds: those of horse and human. As friends, partners and inseparable performers, they will lead you on a journey to another world – a world of dreams.”

The humans and horses did truly work as partners, their movements flowing naturally from one another. My entire family loved this show, from 6 year-old to “not telling.” Even the Teen was impressed and we all were completely drawn in.

The show runs in Toronto through June 3, with matinees each Saturday and Sunday. Tickets start at $49.50 for adults and $29.50 for kids. The show is located in the Portlands, in a White Big Top (entrance at 429 Lakeshore Blvd East). Check the website for directions.

My family and I thank the Cavalia Digital team for kindly inviting us to experience Odysseo for ourselves this past weekend. It was a great experience!

Minecraft Story Mode from Telltale Games #HGG2015 {giveaway}

Who doesn’t love Minecraft? Well, other than those of us older folks who just don’t seem to get it and can’t handle the graphics. The whole game hurts my eyes. But Boo, his friends, and pretty much every kid I know just love it. Well, the original game from Mojang has now been taken in a new direction by Telltale Games, in collaboration with Mojang and members of the Minecraft community.

Minecraft - Apps on Google Play

Sometime in October, Boo came to me all excited and told me he absolutely had to have “Minecraft Story Mode.” He had some money to spend, so I brought him to the game store and he went up to ask about it. Apparently we were 2 days early for its release. He was so bummed. The next day, coincidentally, I got an email asking if we’d like to review the game. Heck yeah! Mom of the Year, right here ??


Minecraft Story Mode is actually a series of five episodes that are being released sequentially. The style is true to Minecraft – blocks and pixels – but it is much easier for my old eyes and it looks great. But this version of the game is driven by a narrative, and a quest to save the world.

In Minecraft: Story Mode, playing as either a male or female hero named ‘Jesse,’ you’ll embark on a perilous adventure across the Overworld, through the Nether, to the End, and beyond. You and your friends revere the legendary Order of the Stone: Warrior, Redstone Engineer, Griefer, and Architect; slayers of the Ender Dragon. While at EnderCon in hopes of meeting Gabriel the Warrior, Jesse’s friends discover that something is wrong… something dreadful. Terror is unleashed, and you must set out on a quest to find The Order of the Stone if you are to save your world from oblivion.


The first choice you make in the game is whether you wish to play as a male or a female, with the gender-neutral name Jesse. From there on you will make a number of choices that will direct the action and determine what happens next. Boo ripped into this as soon as it arrived and played straight through episode 1. Happily Episode 2 had already been released, so he got that for the next day. His only complaint? He wished Episode 2 were longer, because he played through it so quickly. He has since gone back and begun the play through again, making different choices to see how things change.

This is a fun take on Minecraft, adding a narrative dimension while staying true to the core features of the Minecraft universe. Pick up the disc for a great gift for any young gamer on your list, or any Minecraft fan.



Minecraft Story Mode is available for digital download on PC (Steam, Telltale Store), Playstation Network, XBox Games Store, App Store, Google Play, etc. It is also available on disc for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3. The disc will contain Episode 1 and provide a code to access upcoming episodes as they are released. The game is rated ‘E10+’ (Everyone 10+) for Fantasy Violence and Mild Language by the ESRB.

A Giveaway

Telltale Games has provided me with a download code to offer one of my readers. This code is for Steam, an online game platform that you install on your computer. The code will allow you to download Minecraft Story Mode, including all upcoming episodes as they are released. Entries are via the widget below and will be accepted until 11:59pm EST, December 20. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. Best of luck!

Walmart Canada Lends Moms a Helping Hand #PGMom

When I was pregnant with Little Boo, I did a lot of reading. A lot. I read pregnancy and baby books given to me by friends, and ones I came across at Chapters that looked good, pamphlets from my doctor’s office, everything. (My favourite pregnancy book, by the way, which I’ve recommended to many friends since, was Ann Douglas’s The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. She writes with honesty, clarity, and the wisdom of many, many real mom interviewees – accessible and sensible.)

My baby “bump” at 33 weeks

So many of the books I read recommended developing a birth plan, a description of how I wanted my labour and delivery to proceed. This is a great idea, as the process of developing your plan will involve a lot of learning about how this whole pregnancy thing ends up, and the options available to you. And, if you have a plan, you won’t be left scrambling at the 11th hour when the delivery team start asking you questions. But whatever you do, don’t get too attached to every specific of your birth plan. Labour and delivery can throw a lot of surprises at you and flexibility may be required.

About Us

My birth plan was pretty simple. I knew I wanted a hospital birth with an OB/GYN. I was absolutely having an epidural. And I wanted to nurse as soon as possible. I also held out hope I’d get one of the birthing suites with a bathtub and planned to labour in there as long as possible. I couldn’t wait to hold my baby and bond with him and have my husband take an excessive number of pictures of us together.

As it turned out, I got the epidural, hospital birth and OB/GYN. But that was about it. My water broke early; I didn’t go into labour; they had to induce; baby was in distress; and we were rushed into the OR for and urgent C-Section. I physically couldn’t hold my baby, and couldn’t try to nurse until about 4 hours later. Meanwhile, he’d been fed with formula from a cup because his blood sugar was dangerously low. And my precious little 5 pound boy was whisked away to the NICU for what turned out to be 15 days.

Needless to say, this was not an ideal birth experience, and I don’t have any of those special mommy and baby pictures from the moments right after he arrived. But, at the end of the day, none of that really matters. What does matter is that we did bring our baby into the world, he got the care he needed, and he’s now a healthy and active 7 year-old. My birth plan went out the window, but at least having worked on it I knew a whole lot more about what to expect and what the various outcomes might be. And I was ready to answer tough questions at the hospital about how to proceed.

I skipped out on taking a prenatal class, mostly because of timing issues with a busy work schedule, but lots of parents-to-be find these classes really helpful in addition to whatever reading they may do. In August, Walmart Canada and P&G began sponsoring a series of prenatal programs in hospitals and community centres across the country, providing soon-to-be parents in those programs with special gift packs. The reusable Walmart shopping bags include a package of Pampers Swaddlers, the number one choice of Canadian parents for newborns*, a sample of Pampers wipes and an educational pamphlet. This program will reach 55,000 new moms from coast to coast, providing helpful tips on everything from how to secure a car seat to birth plans. Again, knowledge is power, and I think it’s so important to gather up all the information you can to prepare you for all the decisions you’ll have to make, not just about labour and delivery, but about being a parent in general.

A Giveaway

One of my lucky readers will win a prenatal pack (approx. $65 value) courtesy of Pampers and Walmart Canada, including a $50 Walmart gift card, Pampers Swaddlers Newborn, sample of Pampers wipes, educational pamphlet courtesy of Pampers & Walmart Canada, and a reusable shopping bag. Entries are via the Rafflecopter widget below and will be accepted until 12:00 midnight EDT, October 27. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. Best of luck!

* Based on the sales of the Swaddlers New Baby specialized hospital diaper.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own. By entering this contest you are accepting that, if you win, your contact information will be shared with a P&G PR and shipping agency for the purpose of mailing your prize. Please allow 4-6 weeks from the contest closure date to receive your prize. This giveaway may appear on other blogs as part of the #PGmom program. However, to be fair, you can only win once per giveaway. If your name is chosen more than once, another winner will be selected. All winners must be from within Canada excluding Quebec.

What You Should Not Put In The Microwave

The microwave saves us from many situations when we don’t know what to cook fast or when we come tired at home after a long day at work. The food at the microwave oven is fast and helps us to win precious time with the ones we love. However, don’t confuse the microwave oven with the stove, as you can’t prepare everything at the microwave.

No matter how much you love some foods and technology, don’t cook everything with the microwave. Here are some things that you can never cook with the microwave.

Eggs in shell put in the oven is a guaranteed disaster, as it will explode before being cooked and you will need a long time to clean it: walls, the door and the rotating support.

Chicken liver can be a disastrous failure if you try the microwave. At high temperatures, the chicken liver becomes sticky and might also explode. Instead of cooked liver, you will have to clean the oven and it is not a pleasant thing to do.

Don’t think about melting butter or fats inside the microwave. The melted solution will get out of the recipient and it might even leak out of the oven. Moreover, it is believed that melted butter in the microwave can also be toxic.

Popcorn is one of the most popular things to do with the microwave, but you will need to take some cautions also. Make sure to find the right temperature: if it is too big, the corn might burn and you will not be able to eat it. If the temperature or power is too low, you will have a lot of uncooked corn in the bag and you might even break your teeth.

Don’t try to warm liquids in porcelain vases with golden ornaments. If you try to heat your coffee into such a cup, you will assist to a real spectacle of fire and artifices in the oven, or even break it completely! It seems like you can put a metallic pan inside without worries, but any gold or silver part of a cup will create those sparkles.

Real disasters with the microwave

Some other foods could transform your microwave cooking experience in a disaster.

  1. Don’t heat food in plastic recipients – unless the recipient has the label ‘microwave safe’. These recipients are resistant at high temperatures, and it does not contain harmful substances that would be released through melting. However, the majority of plastic recipients would melt and mix with the food, making it toxic and unhealthy. If you are not sure about the recipient, move the food into a safer one made of glass or ceramic. Melted plastic cannot be removed from the oven, and you will eventually have to replace it.
  2. Don’t heat baby milk bottles in the oven. Such recipients might remain cold on the outside, while the inside is really hot. Always test the temperature of the milk on your skin before giving the milk to your child.

This is called unequal heating and it is a common problem with all the microwave ovens.

Christmas Cards (or, “My Damn Carpal Tunnel”)

Do you send Christmas cards each year? I do. I may be a little crazy by some standards, but I love giving and receiving actual cards. And I love the little notes and school pictures and family letters that often come with them. Even in this age of Facebook, there are family and friends from whom I just don’t hear enough, and I treasure this annual chance to catch up on each others’ lives.


Mom always sent cards. I remember her painstakingly writing out the addresses and little notes. And I remember that postage for Christmas cards was 15cents, while regular letters were 17 or 20 or something. A discount on Christmas postage! That was truly a different time.

Poinsettia flower Christmas cards - Woodland Trust Shop | Woodland ...


To make my cards a little easier, I typed in a set of “Christmas labels” a few years back. I can update the file each year if people move, or as I add new recipients. But all of the needed addresses are in one place and ready to go with a click of the print button and a couple sheets of Avery labels.


I also have a special storage box where I keep leftover cards, stamps, and pretty stickers. This way I don’t “misplace” them in the chaos that is my home.


Christmas stamps are a must. The envelopes don’t look right without them. I got burned about 4 years ago, when I waited til the first week of December to get stamps, and then had to go to 4 or 5 postal outlets before I could find festive ones. Now I stock up as soon as the stamps are released, then pop them in my storage box. (Thank heavens for permanent rate stamps!)


And of course there is our family letter. Yes it’s a form letter. But it’s an efficient and functional way to share our year with everyone. I still sign each card with a short personal note as well. I hope people like the update. I know I love getting these form letters from others!


Tonight I sit next to my stack of 40+ cards, stamped, addressed, sealed and ready to go. My wrist is hurting from the writing, and my mouth tastes like envelope glue, but I’m happy. I have two or three left to write. But I finally ran out of cards. My stash is empty, so I’ll hit the stores tomorrow and stock up again.

Health Information Goes Digital #digitalhealth

We were sitting at
the dinner table on a Friday evening. (It’s always on a Friday evening, isn’t
it?) Boo suddenly started scratching all over his torso. “What’s
wrong?” I ask. “I’m just really itchy, Mommy,” as he pulls up
his shirt and reveals a crazy red, raised rash. Holy cow! No fever, so I
suspected it was a generic viral rash, but sent a pic to my friend the
paediatric nurse, just in case. She agreed with me, but recommended getting it
checked out the next day anyway. And when a nurse tells you to see the doctor,
you go!



A great thing about
our family doctor is she’s part of a family health group with after-hours
clinics, so we always have someone we can see. The doctor that day confirmed
viral rash and suggested oatmeal baths and a pain medication. But the best part
(aside from knowing there was nothing serious going on) was that he was able to
type in all his notes on the visit and send them electronically to our own
doctor. Boom! Just like that she had them and could attach them to Boo’s
electronic file at her office. I was comforted knowing she had all the
information in an easily accessible way, making follow up and ongoing
monitoring that much easier.

WHO guideline recommendations on digital health


Being a techie gal
myself I appreciate the focus her office has on digital records and
communications. I can check out her current schedule on the office’s website,
send her an email, or book an appointment online. I even get appointment
reminders by email. And if I’m visiting her but have a question about Boo’s
health, or when he’s due for a vaccination or whatever, she just pulls up his
record on her computer and searches the answer. No need to have someone go
looking for a paper file that she then has to sort through to find what she
needs. It is so quick and convenient.


Across the country
more and more health care professionals are turning to electronic records and
secure digital sharing of patient data. Canada Health Infoway has launched a
public education campaign, BetterHealth Together,
designed to introduce us to this growing trend in health care. As digital
storage and access to health records expands, there may be some concerns about
security and personal privacy, and this campaign hopes to familiarise the
public with the safeguards in place and to educate on the benefits of digital
health records.



Does your doctor
receive lab results electronically? Mine does, and it means a quick, efficient
and secure delivery of my information, resulting in quick answers for me and
speedy treatment if necessary. Her office also provides printed lab
requisitions and prescriptions – so much easier and more complete than the old
hand-written notes. Plus, since the sheets print from the system, you are
assured that your file contains the exact same data.


If you are booking
medical appointments online, using a mobile app to log information on your and
your family’s health conditions, or if your doctor maintains electronic instead
of paper patient records, you are a part of the digital health movement. Do you
have a personal story on how these technologies are playing a role in your
health care? Canada Health Infoway encourages you to join them on Facebook and share your story, while
learning more about digital health in Canada. You can also find them on Twitter
at @Infoway.




Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Canada Health Infoway, however
the images and opinions are my own. For more information please visit

Mother’s Day Gifts From

Mother’s Day is coming up soon, and you may still be looking for ideas of what to get for the woman who gave you everything. How about a collection of memories?

Mother's Day 2020 Wishes: How to greet 'Happy Mother's Day' in ...

Blurb Designer Instant book templates allow you to easily make a professional quality photo book filled with memories for mom. Scan and upload pictures from your childhood, or hers. Or send Grandma a photo book filled with beautiful images of her grandkids.


Instant Books are easy to create, take about an hour, and start at just $12.99. This is definitely a present she will leave on the coffee table for everyone to see each and every day! Start creating your Blurb Designer Instant Book today and save 20% with promo code LOVEYOUMOM, valid through 5/10/13!

Blurb Yearbooks – New Discount Code

My big 25% off code for Blurb Books expired yesterday, but you can still get 15% off all books until April 30 with the code APRIL15. Plus, there’s a special new discount code available to celebrate the launch of the Blurb Yearbooks.

Our Family Photo Yearbooks: Blurb Book Review » Everyday Little ...

Remember all of those special moments of the last year? (Your child graduating and moving onto a new school, your kids first soccer season or school field trip!) Now, you can remember them forever by creating a Blurb School Book! The best part about Blurb School Books is they are easy to create and a great fundraising tool for your school or class (there are discounts for bulk orders). Or, get together with other parents and create a wonderfully meaningful teacher’s gift for the end of the year.

Use the code MYSCHOOLBOOK to receive your 15% discount* on Blurb School and Yearbooks until 5/31/2013.

*Offer valid through May 31st, 11.59pm Local time. A 15% discount is applied towards product totals for books made by you. Maximum discount avail is USD $200, CAD/AUD $250 or EUR 160. This offer is not valid for GBP purchases. This offer is good for one time use only and may not be combined with any other offers, discounts, volume discounts, gift cards or used for adjustments on previous orders.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Blurb Books affiliate program through

Don’t Forget To Look After You!!

The Heart and Stroke Foundation tells us that the following are all warning signs of a heart attack:
• Chest discomfort (uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness)
• Discomfort in other areas of the upper body (neck, jaw, shoulder, arms, back)
• Shortness of breath
• Sweating
• Nausea
• Light-headedness”
Do you want to guess how many of these I experienced at work yesterday afternoon? Every. Single. One. Seriously. I was terrified.

Look After You (Look After You, #1) by Elena Matthews

And at the same time, part of my head was telling me, “Don’t be so silly! You are in an extremely low risk category (non-smoking, great cholesterol & blood pressure, no family history). You’re too busy to go to the hospital. What a waste of precious time. And who will pick up Little Boo from daycare?” Do any of these excuses sound familiar to you? Mom can’t go down. Period.

On the other hand, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has different advice. If you experience these symptoms? Call 9-1-1. Stop what you are doing, take an aspirin if you have the chest pain, and lie down. I was miserable, in pain, numb, short of breath, dizzy, scared.

So what did I eventually do, once the chest pain really kicked in? I walked two blocks to my preferred hospital. (I did at least take my assistant with me in case I collapsed on the sidewalk. I’m not a complete fool.) After a brief 90 minute wait (triage nurse clearly wasn’t worried by what she saw), I saw a doctor, had an ECG, and was assured that what I was really experiencing was just the worst anxiety attack I had ever encountered. The doctor took a quick history, including a run-down on the hellish week I’ve just come through, patted my hand and gave me a script for something to take when necessary. He also told me to go home and rest, take a couple of days off work. I am following those orders.
And I still made it to daycare in time to get Little Boo.

The bottom line, I decided to go with better safe than sorry. I have experienced panic attacks before, but this was unlike any other. What if I were wrong and this were a heart attack? Who would look after my family if something happened to me? So I called on my dear friends to arrange help with Little Boo. I called on my assistant (and friend) to help me to the hospital. And I called on the medical professionals to check me out and fix me if need be. I realised while in the Emergency waiting room, if any of my friends, family, or staff had reported these symptoms to me, I would have been the first to haul their butt in to a doctor.

The doctor I saw was wonderful. And he was very clear with me – I did the right thing by coming in. I want to share this story with you, my readers, to encourage you to listen to your bodies. If something doesn’t seem right, if something is scaring you, it is worth getting checked out. See your family doctor, or a walk-in, or go to emerg if necessary. Keep yourself well! Your friends and family are counting on it.

Please note: this post is in no way sponsored by or authorised by the Heart & Stroke Foundation. The opinions here are my own. The symptoms and actions listed above are from the Heart & Stroke website, as noted.