Your toilet paper panic-button

This post was sponsored by Amazon Dash

My house is in a constant state of toilet-paper crisis. 

I don't know what it is. It's a pretty important item . . . and yet it is the one thing I consistently forget when I go shopping. And with four kids we run out at an alarming rate. There are a few aspects of adulthood that elude me. Running out of gas is one, Running out of paper products is another.

It seems like we are also always out of paper towels. And I've been known to do many last-minute trips to the drugstore for tampons, which seems like something I could have mastered in my 42 years, but no.

Enter the Amazon Dash button. It's a button that interacts with your Amazon account and orders the things you need, when you need them. It is battery-powered and about the size of a pack of gum, so you can place it in a spot when you are usually reminded of what you need (for example, by the toilet for toilet paper). Press the button and the device uses Wi-Fi to instantly order items you have pre-selected from Amazon. 

You can place a Dash button on the trash can to order trashbags, in the laundry room for detergent, or in your medicine cabinet for any number of toiletries. You can program your buttons using the Amazon App and select the specific products that you want to order when you press the button. You can change your product selection to other available products at any time. The prices are the same price you'd pay ordering from Amazon the old-school way. Except you used a magical button! Orders always ship fast and free via Prime shipping.

The Dash buttons are growing in popularity. For example, a number of brands have more than half of their total Amazon orders coming via Dash Button devices . . . like Folgers, Gain, Glad, Peet’s Coffee, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers, Persil, and Ziploc.

But rather than taking my word, try it for yourself. I didn't totally "get it" until I got my own, and it's easier than ever to do because Dash is having a promotion for only $0.99 on several of their most popular buttons if you use the code DASHMOMS at checkout at this link.

You can get a button for toilet paper from Charmin or Angel Soft. If you need paper towels, try Bounty. Stay stocked with trash bags with a Glad button, and keep things clean with Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.

They also have a number of green products that you can have on hand at the push of a button: Mrs. Myers soap products (their basil scent is my favorite but you do you) along with Seventh Generation baby wipes, paper towels, and toilet paper.

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Friday Finds

1. Foiled Llama Stemless Wine Glass Set | Urban Outfitters 
2. Metal, Gold, & Leather Bar Cart | Target 
3. W&P Design Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker | Urban Outfitters 
4. Mid-Century Bar Cart | West Elm 
5. 6-piece duke bar tool set | CB2 
6. Wood and Gold Bar Cart - Threshold | Target 
7. Bormioli Rocco Premiere Bar Glassware (Set of 6) | West Elm 
8. Ceramic Stacking Cactus Shot Glasses with Salt Shaker | Zulily 
9. Set of 8 Marta Double Old-Fashioned Glasses | CB2

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Multi-tasking is a mother's work

This post was sponsored by Clorox

Parenting means multitasking. With four kids, this is true every single day. I'm often trying to do two things at once because I just don't have enough hours in the day. It's the end of the school year, too, which means there are even more activities than usual. Recorder concerts, awards breakfasts, marching band appearances, class parties, soccer tournaments . . . it feels like I often need to be in two places at once.

Case in point, this was my actual Sunday last week:

8:30 a.m.: Soccer call time for Kembe
9:15 a.m.: Band call time and parade line-up for Jafta, India, and Kembe
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.: Soccer game for Kembe
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Marching band in parade for Jafta, India, and Kembe
11:30 a.m.: Soccer call time for Karis
12:00 p.m. Soccer game for Karis
12:00 p.m. Basketball call time for Kembe and Jafta
1:00 p.m.: Basketball game for Kembe and Jafta
5:00 p.m.: Basketball game for Kembe and Jafta

Now, I agree this looks insane. We needed to be in two places at once for most of the day. And typically, I try really hard not to overschedule my kids. But an end-of-the-year soccer tournament, unfortunately, had a little overlap with the boys’ new summer basketball program, and an ill-timed parade, and here we found ourselves. With Mark's help and with a little ride-sharing, we ferried everyone around and only had to sacrifice Karis's soccer game (which she was lukewarm about.)

While this was a crazy example, I'm still usually doing some kind of hyphenated job when it comes to the kids. Here are a few examples of my multi-hyphenate mom roles:

Hair-twister/soccer-mom - During a soccer game last week, I sat on the sidelines and retwisted Jafta's hair because that was the only time I had to do it.

Concert-watcher/writer - A second-grade recorder concert coinciding with deadlines means I did a little writing on my phone while watching.

Play-date-host/podcaster - Why yes, this week I did record a full episode with Paul  about four extra kids at my house.

Book-reader/basketball-watcher - What do you do when you want to support your older kids at their basketball game, but your youngest is tired of sitting on sidelines in the gym? You read books to her while you watch.

Taxi-driver/study partner - When practicing math facts is a thing that eludes your evening plans, you do them in the car on the way home.

Slime-maker/chef - It's not unusual for me to be helping with some manner of crafting in the middle of dinner prep. This week it just happens to be slime.

Somersault-watcher/conference-caller - Thank goodness for the mute button. Because I have participated in many a conference call at the park while an aspiring gymnast keeps yelling “MOMMY WATCH ME!”

Motherhood is a multifaceted role. I try to multi-task with my cleaning products as well. Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes are a great fit in my mess-fighting arsenal. They help kill germs and bacteria, and remove kitchen grease and countless other nasties you find lurking in your home. The Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes with Micro-Scrubbers do all that, plus they are textured to scour away stubborn messes other wipes leave behind, so you can tackle even the most unexpected mess.

Like homemade slime on your sideline blanket.

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Wednesday's Child: Evan

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday's Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.

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When fulfilling our kids' dreams goes too far . . .

This post is in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures.

We've all been there - your kid shows a passion for something, and you go to great lengths to make their dreams come true. Whether it's overpaying for a space-themed summer camp or lining them up for drum lessons with the local rock-star teacher, we've all gone to extremes to try to be the hero for our kids.

There is a new movie with Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler (HELLO two of my favorites) that explores this very theme . . . the lengths we will go to in order to make our kids' dreams come true. In The House, two parents set on sending their daughter to the college of her dreams, only to discover it is way beyond what they can afford. They set about to raise the money in some unorthodox ways, and hilarity ensues. I can't wait to see it. The movie opens June 30 nationwide.

I usually tend towards the "good-enough mom" role. I'm fine being a bit of a slacker. I don't need my kids to be stars, and I don't feel the need to buy them the latest and greatest stuff. They still lament that their iphones are ancient and our Wii is first generation. But my weakness is when my kids show an interest in theater. I'm sure this is in large part due to the fact that it's also a passion of mine, so I get all sentimental and excited that they share it, too.

I saw Hamilton in New York when it opened, with the original cast. As I was watching, I started thinking about how much I wanted my kids to see it. My daughter Karis was 6 at the time . . . a bit too young. But we started listening to the soundtrack and immediately, she was hooked. She started begging to see the show. She memorized the soundtrack. She poured over the photo book. She was obsessed.

Soon after, the whole world became obsessed, and tickets were sold out as soon as they went on sale. So last summer, when several months of seats were released on Ticketmaster, I decided to go for it. I got tickets for her 8th birthday in April - almost a year after I bought them. I got a ticket for her sister, too. I held the secret for months. I told them on Christmas morning. And I booked flights to New York . . . totally knowing that this was overboard, but also thinking that this would be a dream-come-true.

We flew in the night before the show. Our plan was delayed, which landed us in New York in the wee hours of the morning. We made our way to our hotel but got very little sleep that night. And I started to panic that they would be too tired for a play that starts at 8pm and ends at 11. What if they fell asleep during this show I'd invested so much time and money into seeing? With these fears in mind, I made both girls take a nap before the show. They fell right to sleep, so they clearly needed it. Except . . .

When I woke Karis up from her nap, she was drunk-tired and crabby. She wanted to stay asleep and wanted nothing to do with Hamilton. She was confused and deliriously tired and OUT OF HER MIND. I had a daughter kicking and screaming about doing the very thing we flew to New York to do. And I realized . . . I'd gone too far. I flew too close to the sun. This experience was too much for an 8-year-old. 

She was angry and wanting to go back to bed the entire way to the theater. Forunately, just as the play was starting, the grogginess wore off and she was back to her usual self. She enjoyed the play, and didn't fall asleep. Crisis averted. But still. If she hadn't pulled it together, we would not have been able to see the show at all, after all that planning.

Hopefully I've learned my lesson, and I won't feel the need to engage in illegal activities to get my kids into the college of their choice, or any other such nonsense.

Have you ever gone to extremes to fulfill your child's dream, and had it backfire?

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