Archive | parenting

Dental pain ruining your weekend? Essentia Health to partner with area Dentists for pain relief

Essentia Health and Brainerd Lakes Area Dental Offices are Working together for solutions to emergency dental care.

The Emergency Department at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center can now offer patients with emergency dental problems more than antibiotics and pain medications. Patients can also get a referral to a local dentist to treat the underlying problem.

Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center

The Brainerd hospital is partnering with seven local dental offices and the United Way of Crow Wing and Southern Cass Counties in a project called “Help Crow Wing County Smile.”  The community collaboration is aimed at helping patients who lack the ability to pay for dental care or who rely on state or federal medical insurance to get connected to the place the patient can receive the care they need – a dentist office.

“Many people on Medical Assistance can’t get dental care so we become their only resource,” explains Terry Wurtzberger, director of St. Joseph’s Emergency Department. She estimates 25-35 patients visit the department each month due to dental emergencies. Another 10-20 patients go to Urgent Care in the Baxter Clinic.

Dr. Kevin Dens, a Baxter dentist, began researching the problem when he served on the hospital’s board and also on the board of the Minnesota Dental Association, where he now serves as president.

“The emergency department is not equipped to deal with dental problems,” Dr. Dens explains. “They can’t address the underlying problem. By the time people have pain, the decay is so deep into the teeth that it is a major problem.”

Dr. Dens helped recruit six other dental offices to treat patients who come to the Emergency Department and don’t have their own dentist. Those patients are referred to a participating dentist and make their own appointments.

Low reimbursement rates have prompted some dentists to quit accepting patients on government programs, which has reduced access to dental care. That has contributed to the number of people seeking emergency dental care at hospitals, Dr. Dens says.

To help launch the program, the Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Foundation contributed $15,000 to a pilot project in which the United Way partially reimburses the participating dentists for their services when they accept these patients. In addition to Dr. Dens and his son, Dr. Chris Dens, at Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, the participating dental offices are Dr. Paul Perpich, Lakes Country Dental, Design Dental, Edgewood Dental, Lakes Dental Care and Winegar Dental.

Patients that are referred for emergency dental care through “Help Crow Wing County Smile” are asked to given back to the community an hour of volunteer time in exchange for each $25 worth of dental care they receive. The United Way coordinates the giving back part of the program through their online volunteer hub, Get Connected?, at

“We want to offer the best solution for the patient, the hospital and the dentist,” says Dr. Dens. “We want to make a difference and help people cope with dental problems.”


“We’re trying to help people connect with the right care at the right time with a dentist,” says Jessica Martensen, the Essentia Health-Baxter Clinic manager who also worked on the project. “We’ve come together with dentists to see how we can help our community.”



Pretend Place Nurtures Young Imaginations sprouted when the founders, all friends who grew up loving pretend-play in their youth, realized how important this part of childhood really is.

They knew that many parents made dress-up and pretend-play a major part of their own kids’ upbringing and they wanted to spread the joy and fun it can bring to families everywhere. With all the tech toys around, the folks at My Pretend Play believe that children (and parents!) are missing out on the experiences that they know are so valuable from childhood. Together, they decided to bring forth a company that revives pretend play at its best.

My Pretend Play’s vision is to create a great destination with fun ideas for crafting and other engaging activities to support dress-up and pretend-play. At the same time, they know not everyone has time for crafting on a regular basis, so they also provide high quality and long-lasting product themed towards children’s pretend play adventures.

They created their on-line Playroom with the intent to provide great ideas for creating your own pretend-play gear.

Some of the exceptionally cool and imagination nurturing offerings include their brand new Melissa & Doug Doctor Pretend Play Costume which includes a DIY Eye Doctor craft & activity, the hardcover book, Doctor Nice, by Valeri Gorbachev and two human x-rays.


Another popular pick is for those families who has “wee folk” who love playing fairies.  Get your little nymph running around outside or around the house with their fairy wings flapping and their pretty fairy head wreaths on it’s easy for them to imagine searching the woods for their woodland friends. With the Fairy Prentend Play kid, your kids will have endless hours of fun while looking for the wisps and sprites while avoiding the trolls, goblins, and gnomes.


Another thing that I love is that their Playroom is full of crafts and activities to help facilitate an even deeper fun experience! There are TONS of options if your family wants only one awe-inspiring costume for your wee one, or would like to take advantage of the the subscription option that keeps your little adventurer imagining something new every month!

Remember, every pretend play package comes with at LEAST one Dress-up Costume, a craft and/or activity, and an inspirational book and any order over $59 includes Free Shipping. (Subscription boxes are always free shipping).

PLUS get 30% off your first kids Dress-up Pretend Play box – Try it risk free today!

Free Shipping

**I am a My Pretend Place affiliate which means, if you click through and buy, I get a teeny tiny commission at no extra cost to you 🙂


Toddler 411: Navigating the Slippery Slopes of Toddlerhood

Toddler 411

Toddler 411


When your beautiful little baby grows into a toddler, you realize pretty quickly that this new stage can be a bit of a challenge at times. Toddlerhood raises many questions to parents: From how to avoid picky eaters, how to toilet train my child, how to get toddlers to sleep through the night, toddler milestones, how to avoid temper tantrums or how to deal with them and how to deal with medical issues you might be faced with. But most of all, parents want to know that their toddler’s behavior is nothing other than normal.

Toddler 411 gives hands-on advice and tips on parenting questions. In an easy-to-read book it talks about toddler discipline, challenges: from traveling with toddlers to biting, hitting, temper tantrums. You can read up on odd but normal toddler behavior, which can include imaginary friends or eating strange food. It gives advice on pacifiers and thumb sucking or things like food throwing. The Milestone section of the book goes through the developmental, social and emotional growth stages and problems by age. The checklist is great for parents to give them a better understanding of their toddler and where they are at.

There are tips on how to balance work and family, day care, how to prepare your child for preschool, appropriate toys and books, proper nutrition, toilet training, and medical issues, childhood diseases and a detailed section on vaccinations. If you are a proud parent of a beautiful and busy toddler, Toddler 411 will answer lots of your questions you might have when raising a toddler, but it also provides you with tips and tricks on keeping your toddler happy and yourself sane.

This is, in my opinion, a very useful and must-have book for any new parent reaching the toddler stage.

*Some of these links are affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may get a very small commission.

Want to be”DONE” with diapers?


Potty Train in a Weekend

This ebook is a personal account of exactly what a mom (of four!) did that worked for her, her family and her friends. I just want to share it with you in hopes that you get the same outcome!

Potty Train in a Weekend is the only guide that you will ever need to potty train your child. Whatever method you choose, this eBook has more than 70 pages packed full of information that will be helpful to you and your child! Author Becky Mansfield even asked other Moms for their advice and input and she researched where they were having difficulties in potty-training and addressed those issues. Take the first step and ditch those diapers!

Relief from Night Terrors: Lully Sleep Guardian

The other day, we were all sitting around our living room reminiscing with the kids about their baby/toddler years. As you can imagine there was lots of giggling and razzing going on, but one thing hubs and I agreed that we were GLAD we were past was the time when our oldest, Jake, suffered from night terrors as a toddler.

Needless to say, those months were long and frustrating for us as parents. His night terrors were a weekly occurrence and we felt powerless to help our little guy navigate this difficult time. Luckily he outgrew it after about a year (it was a long year!).

What are Night Terrors?

Night terrors are a condition where a child is suddenly roused from deep sleep and appears to be extremely scared or upset.

  • During these episodes Children often scream and are very frightened and confused. The child may not be able to respond to being talked to, comforted, or awakened.
  • The episodes can last anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour and can occur nightly, though most children won’t remember what happened once morning hits.

night terrors


 According to the National Sleep Foundation, 36 million children experience sleep disorders on a weekly basis.

  • Night terrors occur in children between the ages of 18 months to 12 years of age. They are different from nightmares in that the episodes can’t be stopped and happen within 3 ­ 4 hours of falling asleep.
  • More than four million U.S. children suffer from night terrors at any given time.
  • In the United States, 1 out of 5 children will suffer from night terrors at some point in their lives.
  • It is estimated that nearly 25% of children age 2-12 will experience night terrors.
  • Studies show that when just one child in a family suffers night terrors, the entire family is affected due to sleep disruption, cumulative sleep deprivation, and related anxiety.

 Recently, I just so happened to stumble across this awesome product and my first thought was, “I wish this was available twelve years ago!” Lully Sleep Guardian has a mission help children and families sleep better.

The Lully Sleep Guardian is the first scientifically proven, non-medication night terrors solution that will help your child sleep peacefully throughout the night. Developed by a physician and father, along with a medical device expert, the Lully Sleep Guardian brings clinically validated scheduled awakening principle at your finger tips.


  • Proven to reduce night terrors by 80%
  • Control from your phone without disrupting your child’s sleep
  • Personalized algorithm based on your child’s sleep patterns
  • Automatic reminders to track your child’s progress at night and every morning
  • Access to-night terror experts 24/7 to answer any questions by email

What is Lully?

  • Lully is a San Francisco-based smart sleep device company that creates innovative sleep devices and smart apps to help children and their families sleep better.
  • Founded in 2014 by Stanford Biodesign fellows Dr. Andy Rink, MD and Varun Boriah, Lully offers the world’s only scientifically proven solution to ending night terrors in children.
  • Rink has a personal family history of night terrors, and it was the experience of watching his young nephew suffer from a night terror that led to the founding of Lully.

 How does the Lully Sleep Guardian work?

  • The Lully Sleep Guardian is the first and only product proven to combat night terrors.
  • The Lully Sleep Guardian and Sleep Guardian Plus is the size of a hockey puck and is placed under a child’s mattress. With input from a parent’s smartphone each night, Lully’s enhanced smart algorithm learns your child’s sleep patterns and predicts when they are about to enter a zone of “unhealthy deep sleep” that can lead to night terrors.
  • Each night, before the night terrors occur, the Lully system sends a brief vibration from under the mattress to gently bring the child out of their unhealthy deep sleep so that their night terror is prevented, but sleep remains undisturbed.

 Clinical Testing

  • A six month Stanford University clinical sleep study found that the Lully Sleep Guardian prevented 9 out of 10 night terrors in children ages 2 to 9, and reduced night terrors in children overall by nearly 80%.
  • Through extensive research and over 10,000 nights of testing with families across the US, the Lully Sleep Guardian has been proven to stop night terrors after only four weeks of use.
  • The majority of parents started seeing immediate results within the first week.

 Seriously, only parents of children with nigh terrors will understand the value and important of having the Lully Sleep Guardian at their disposal. To learn more, go here to get the scoop and get back on the road to a better night's sleep for everyone.

**I am an affiliate for Lully which means, if you click through and buy, I get a teeny tiny commission at no extra cost to you 🙂


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