The End of Summer 2012

You know how I love summer. You know how sad I probably was this Monday evening. School started back last week, but I could at least pretend a little longer. But, nope. As much as Memorial harrolds in my favorite season, Labor Day takes it away disguised as an overly pleasant, bittersweet, three-day weekend. Oh Labor Day, you sneaky little devil. It was a good summer, we spent all but the last 3 weeks living in a hotel and discovering that that wasn’t so bad. There were Mosquito battles, but no one had heat stroke, all in all a good summer. We had GirlChild’s Bday, played in the pool, had my Bday, played in the pool some more, rebuilt a house, had K-man’s bday (I promised to get of my ass & post about his Farm cake soon), we had BoyChild II’s bday party (I know, I am sooo far behind on the cakes/parties), we moved back into the house, went back to school shopping, had Gma’s (My mother & yes this is the adult Luau I am still promising to fill everyone in on as well) Bday, and then started 3rd grade/middle school/high school. Whew! we did have a busy summer! I thought I’d share one last just for summer recipe before I type up all those party posts. This one is a great way to encourage the hydration (and still yummy). So enjoy one last summer recipe for 2012!

Fizzy Fruit Tea

  • Brew 4 bags green tea in your coffee maker
  • Pour brewed green tea into gallon sized pitcher
  • Add 12 oz frozen juice concentrate (try cranberry/raspberry, orange, apple/cherry, or your house’s favorite)
  • Stir well
  • Add ice to mix
  • Once cooled pour into glasses 2/3 full
  • Top each glass with chilled ginger ale (or club soda, either works)
  • If you are being very fancy add fresh berries etc
  • Serve & enjoy!

Hope you all had a great summer! Keep an eye out for all the partying we did. Stay cool till the weather does my friends. 🙂

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Afternoon Pool Silliness; or “You grabbed my nipples!”

On Monday our pool here at the hotel opened for the summer. (And then closed yesterday, because it rained? I still don’t understand that, but whatever.)We had a blast, an all day at the pool sort of day. As RedBird and I were sitting beside the pool monitoring the cousins in the pool we kept laughing at the extreme silliness (or maybe our own immaturity) at what was happening in the pool, or better what was shouted/squealed across the pool. So here it is our play-by-play of silly things said at the pool:

*Side Note: Our cast of characters for the day are: RedBird, my SIL, mother to K-Man, and Aunt to my kids; K-man, my 3-year-old nephew; BoyChild I; BoyChild II; GirlChild; and me Mama. *

The Scene: Older 2 children are playing/teaching/generally harassing BoyChild II the classic Marco Polo, in a smallish hotel pool that only goes from 3ft to 4ft 6in in-depth, all of them can swim to varying degrees of proficiency.

GirlChild: Marco

BoyChild I & II: Polo

GirlChild: (moving towards BC II) Marco

BoyChild I & II: Polo

BoyChild I: This water is hard to get friction on!

(laughter)

GirlChild: What?

BoyChild I: I can’t run, no friction

GirlChild: That’s not what fri- never mind, tag you’re it!

BoyChild I: Hey! (irritated face) But I couldn’t get enough friction.

(argument ensues over the definition of the word friction) (back to our game…)

BoyChild II: Marco

BoyChild I, GirlChild & K-Man: Polo (one of these persons was not actually playing, he was standing on the steps laughing his fanny off about confusing the other kids)

BoyChild II: Marco

BoyChild I, GirlChild & K-man: Polo

BoyChild I & GirlChild: Hey! You can’t peak!

BoyChild II: I didn’t mean to!

Mama: Play by the rules, or no one will want to play with you.

Mama to RedBird: Every time they say polo, he opens his eyes because he’s startled, watch…

BoyChild II: Marco

BoyChild I, GirlChild & K-man: Polo (BC II jumps & opens eyes in shock, than quickly closes them)

(laughter from the sidelines)

RedBird to Mama: It’s like he can’t believe how close they are to him

K-man: Polo

BoyChild II: Marco

BoyChild I, GirlChild & K-man: Polo

(BC II grabs at/tags his brother blindly)

BoyChild I: Hey! You grabbed my nipple!

(giggles ensue from where the “adults” are sitting)

Mama: (trying to go for a serious voice & completely missing) Don’t grab you brother’s nipples.

(game falls apart shortly after that)

GirlChild: I’m getting out, you guys are ridiculous. (something she has been accusing BC I of since she was about 2-years-old) Mom, can I go back to the room?

Mama: Yes, hang up your swimsuit & towel.

Boy Child II: Look at meeee! (jumps in pool)

BoyChild I: Something sharp I stepped on.

Mama: You ok Yoda?

(giggles)

K-man: polo

BoyChild I: I don’t think I’m bleeding…

Mama: Yup, you’re fine.

RedBird: She going to go talk to her bf on the phone?

Mama: Probably, she’s still 14 and all.

K-man: Polo

RedBird: True, I remember that…

K-man: Polo

Mama: Think he’ll be yelling that all day?

RedBird: It’s better than the swearing…

Mama: True, true

BoyChild II: Who wants to see my ball?! (standing on side of pool)

(raucous laughter from boys)

Mama: What?

K-man: Polo

BoyChild II: My BALL! WHO WANTS TO SEE MY BALL?

Mama: Do you mean cannon ball?

(giggles from the “adult” section)

BoyChild II: That’s what I said. LOOK EVERYBODY! LOOK AT MY BALL!

(jumps into pool)

K-man: Polo

(the afternoon proceeds in this manner, with ice cream & re-sun screening breaks until supper)

One last random thing shouted throughout the afternoon in public:

My trunks are farting! Look see the bubbles?! (yay boys)

What ridiculous/embarrassing things have you or your kids shouted out in public recently?

Hydration Information Part 2: (the how)

As promised earlier, this is the how of hydration, it was all too much for one post. (I’m really trying to cut back on epic informative posts…) Since we all know about water (or think we do) we will start there.  So heard the whole 8 glasses a day thing? Yeah right, since I can’t actually work in the potty I can’t do it. But Wait! It’s not 8 glasses of water! It’s fluid. Yeah, you know, the liquid in almost everything you consume during the day, that’s what keeps you hydrated, under normal circumstances. I found this really cool water needs calculator. I tried it and these are my results:

My regular day answer:

73 ounces of water today, or 2.2 liters.

If you eat a healthy diet, about 20 percent of your water may come from the foods you eat.

If you divide it up, I need about 7 glasses of water (or fluids) per day. Guess what? Coffee counts! (Score) Now, not as good as say water, or milk, or juice, but it totally counts! That’s right, it’s not a type-o, milk is a great rehydrater!

*Keep in mind that we are talking kids and adults here, for babies it depends on age and what your doctor says*

Those folks at the Mayo clinic have this to say regarding milk:

Milk offers both carbohydrate (lactose) and protein (whey and casein). When compared to sports drinks, low-fat milk, plain or chocolate, was equivalent or better for fueling, repairing and building muscle. The results were especially impressive when milk was used as a recovery or post-exercise beverage.

Brace yourself, I have to say it… Yup Milk totally does a body good! Ok, I’ll move on now. They also have recommendation for a homemade sports drink here.

Fact:

Water is an obvious source for your daily fluid needs. Other good beverages include milk, herbal teas, low-sodium broth, 100-percent fruit and vegetable juices. Soft drinks will also count toward your daily total of fluid, just remember that sugar sweetened soft drinks and fruit juices add extra calories to you daily diet that you don’t need.

The familyfitness site adds:

You’ve probably heard the oft-repeated advice that you should drink 8 cups of water every day. Does the same rule apply to children? Yes and no. According to the Institute of Medicine (a division of the National Academy of Sciences, charged with advising the nation on health topics), most adults get all the liquids they need every day just by eating and drinking normally—with meals, and when they are thirsty. Any beverages, including caffeinated ones, count toward the daily fluid intake your body needs (which is closer to 10 cups than 8, by the way). Food, especially fruits and vegetables, contains water too.

Kids under 8 years old need a little less fluid than adults, but the advice is the same—they should drink healthy beverages with meals, plus sip water any time they are thirsty. Of course, if they are playing or exercising vigorously, or if it’s very hot outside, they’ll need more liquids to make up for what their bodies are losing to perspiration.

There we go with those electrolytes again, that the more than fluids that we need when we are in the hot, humid summer sun. This was a great chart (yay chart) for what foods have electrolytes in them naturally (aka the best way to get anything).

So if water is best, why not just guzzle the stuff, right? I like water, my kids like water, it is the best tasting thing in the world at times. Well there are a few things to keep in mind:

There are some times when drinking too much water can be a problem:

    1. If  you have any kidney or adrenal problems, or your doctor has you taking diuretics, you need to consult with your doctor about how much water to drink each day
    2. Don’t drink all the water you need per day all at once. Divide the amount you need and drink several glasses of water throughout the day. This is especially important if you engage in lots of heavy exercise.
    3. Infants should be given only formula or breast milk unless your pediatrician tells you otherwise.
    4. Too much water, without also replacing your electrolytes, (balance people) will not keep you from being dehydrated, or save you from symptoms such as      headaches, nausea, dizziness, and exhaustion.

Aargh! Something else to keep up with! No, calm down, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Now for some ideas! (yay solutions)

    1. Water with a snack (try bananas, think potassium) is perfect for the afternoon in the park.
    2. Milk, nice cold milk, has electrolytes in it already!
    3. Flavored water. (try glass of water & 1 squirt of lemon juice-like RealLemon,you’ve seen it)
    4. Any snack that combines salt, fluid, sugar and protein is pretty much golden. (think apples and peanut butter)

Now we all know there are other solutions, the first one that comes to mind for most people is Sports Drinks. Keep this from familyfitness in mind:

Sports drinks: Generally, avoid these since they add calories and sugar, but few nutrients, to your child’s diet. But if he’s exercising vigorously and prefers sports drinks to water, let him drink up—it’s more important that he stays hydrated. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 4 to 6 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes for a 90-pound child while he’s exercising. The AAP also suggests weighing your child before and after he exercises so you can see how much fluid he lost—then you’ll know how much he needs to replace during future workouts.

Now, that’s vigorous exercise. That is not regular play in the backyard. (Even down here on the 98 degree 98% humidity day) For those days, the best thing you can do is provide fun, in their face hydration. Wait, what? I heard you, I have a giant spouted cooler that comes out in about May and lives on the kitchen counter (where any child over the age of one can get to-I know I’m a brave lady) until about September. In their face, means they don’t get so distracted they are dropping like flies out there. I keep it full (and clean) of liquid that won’t spoil before my kids drink it (about 3 to 4 days). Do you have any idea what I’m talking about? Who remembers this guy?

Now before someone takes away my Mom card, I don’t follow the package directions, I use waaay more water and 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup per packet for an entire 2 gallon container. (If they’ve never had Kool-aid made “the right way” they don’t know wahahaha-sorry, evil mommy got out for a sec…) I have caught these kids sitting in the floor with mouths open while another sibling flips the spout. (It’s all about team work) Sometimes I get all fancy and make Country Time in it (my personal fav-if you add actual lemon juice to it it’ll taste less like candy and more like the real thing, but will still keep on that counter).  Why the hell do I need to keep it on my counter? #1 there isn’t room in my fridge for a one gallon container, much less this behemoth; #2 on the counter they can drink all day long, without the refrigerator constantly being open (a habit I discourage) #3 It’s a novel, fun, summer-only thing for my kids, getting out that damn container is the equivalent of kick starting summer as far as they are concerned.

*Now here’s a little disclaimer: I do NOT care if you don’t follow my “beverage rules”, please do not misunderstand what I’m about to say, I said it before, in my house I make my rules, you get to for your house & God Bless, cause I only want to be in charge of this zoo, Thankyouverymuch! 😉 *

These kids don’t drink soda (including the 14-year-old) other than the occasional sip of Gingerale when someone has been vomiting for awhile. They don’t drink “juice beverages”, only 100% here, and not tons of that. They do not drink any caffeinated beverages (unless there is extreme cold and I’m serving hot cocoa)at all. We drink water, herbal teas, milk, and occasional 100% juice year round. Which is why the Kool-aid/Country Time container is so popular around here. It does have rules, there is no meal-appropriate beverage in there, but the kids seem to accept that, and they know if you guzzle that all day Mom will cut you off and you will have to wait till your siblings (with tortuous slowness) finish the container and Mom washes and then refills before you are off of water only.

Other cool ways to incorporate hydration into your summer:

    1. Get cool bottles (your kids can pick them out, I promise, if you are reading this you aren’t cool enough to do it, it’s totally ok, me neither) to put water,  juice, whatever the hell in.
    2. Freeze juice boxes/pouches before you leave. Shlushies!!
    3. Make “popsicles” from juice
    4. Splash any fruit juice into your regular bottle for a special treat.
    5. Frozen bananas,  get crazy & dip them in chocolate…
    6. Frozen watermelon.
    7. Make Yogurt  Smoothies to go!

What other ideas do you have? What is your summer hydration plan like? Let me know. Stay Safe & have fun! 🙂

Hydration Information Part 1: (Hydrate what/when/why?)

Your bag is ready, you’ve got your sunscreen in the cooler to help it keep longer, you have your bug spray in there too, now what to bring to drink? We all know keeping hydrated is important, water can do that, but what else is there that a parent should know before you head out into that summer sun? It seems like first we should establish what is hydrated vs dehydrated, other than the obvious (hydrated good, have enough fluid; dehydrated bad, not enough fluid)? Well the easiest way to tell if you (or your kid) is hydrated? Thirst. If you are thirsty you are at best mildly dehydrated. (I’ll wait while you go get a glass of water) Electrolyte imbalance is what triggers that thirst feeling. (we will come back to those mysterious sounding minerals in a minute) Children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults. Why? Those lovely folks over at WebMD say it better than I could:

Children love to play outside, especially when the weather’s warm. Parents, however, should know that active children do not adjust to hot temperatures (greater than 95°F) as well as adults. Their body surface, as a proportion of their overall weight, is much greater than an adult’s. So they produce more heat during physical activity and they sweat less than adults. This reduces their ability to get rid of body heat and could lead to dehydration.

And? What happens if you get dehydrated, I mean we all know it’s bad and long-term, it will kill you, but reality speak says there has to be something between “Mommy, I’m thirsty.” and dead, right? Well, these are your early signs and symptoms of dehydration in children (from our friends at the University of Maryland:

Lack of Tears

  • Children who are dehydrated may cry without tears. The body does not have the fluids necessary to produce tears in children lacking in fluids. This sign helps parents to identify the problem in babies and children too young to articulate how they feel.

Lack of Urination

  • Children and adults have a lower urine output when dehydrated. Babies and toddlers in diapers may have six diapers or fewer in the early stages of dehydration, according to the Mayo Clinic. A child that does not wet a diaper for six to eight hours may be experiencing severe dehydration. Older children not in diapers experience fewer trips to the bathroom for urination.

Fatigue

  • Early signs of dehydration include fatigue and listlessness in children. Children who are dehydrating may be irritable, confused and dizzy as well. Children, who are severely dehydrated may be extremely sleepy, fussy and confused. The dehydration may cause babies and children to experience head pain. The muscles may feel weak during dehydration, which may explain fatigue and sluggishness.

Dry Mouth

  • The early signs of  dehydration cause the mucous membranes to become dry. This causes the mouth to become dry and sticky. Children who feel dehydrated experience thirst as well.

They go on to talk about these very scary Extreme Dehydration Symptoms:

When dehydration advances to an extreme phase, the symptoms include a loss of elasticity in the skin. The skin remains in a pinched position when pulled or pinched. Children in severe dehydration may experience a rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure and–in extreme cases–loss of consciousness. Parents may notice the soft spot on the baby’s head appears shrunken in extreme cases of dehydration.  Severe dehydration is an emergency and requires immediate medical attention.

*A side note here: Severe dehydration also will look like a kid has black eyes (without the swelling associated normally with black eyes).* 

And on to happier less scary things! I found a chart! (You know how I ADORE a good chart) This one is actually a pee color chart! (which would be the 2nd easiest way to tell if your kid needs more fluids, the darker the pee, the more dehydrated)

Now, as promised, we will go onto electrolytes, we hear about them all the time (usually in Sports Drinks ads), but what are they other than the things we lose (other than water) when we sweat? From the very informed folks at emedicinehealth I found the best (but still simple) answer I could:

Electrolytes are the smallest of chemicals that are important for the cells in the body to function and allow the body to work. Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and others are critical in allowing cells to generate energy, maintain the stability of their walls, and to function in general. They generate electricity, contract muscles, move water and fluids within the body, and participate in myriad other activities.

So, basically, in order to stay hydrated to have to consume both fluid and electrolytes, just like everything else in your body, you need this balance. So that was the what/when/why of hydration, stay tuned for the how…

And as always, Stay safe in the summer sun! 🙂

Got any other hydration what/when/why facts to share? Please, it takes a Village and all, we welcome both your knowledge and input!

Easiest Strawberry Pie Ever

This recipe is my Mom’s, she’s been making it as long as I can remember. She swears up and down that it’s actually the way they made Strawberry Pie at Shoney’s when she worked there (in the 70s). I am pretty sure this is not some crazy trade secret and I think Shoney’s went out of business about a decade ago, anybody remember them/know if they are still an operating company? (maybe I’ll Google it later…) The last one I ever saw went out of business when GirlChild was a toddler (I don’t have memories in years, only in my children’s stages of development)This recipe is ONLY good with fresh Strawberries, which means it only gets made in the summer around here. I like to make it for Memorial Day because it’s super easy and quick which means less kitchen time and more fun in the sun.

You will need:

1 bag strawberry glaze (yes this has all kinds of bad for you stuff in it-get over it-it’s desert not supper & you are probably serving it with cheeseburgers & hot dogs Ms Judgey-Pants)<-I’ve decided her name should be hyphenated due to her pretentiousness.

1 already made shortbread pie crust

Fresh Strawberries, washed, sliced (about 2 lbs of berries, you will have leftovers, just eat those)

Cool Whip (NOT Reddi Whip-won’t work the same)

 

Assemble:

Layer strawberry slices into pie crust.

Add glaze, fold into berries with spatula (careful, you want berries coated but still in layers, and you don’t want to scratch the pie crust)

Add layer of cool whip about 1 inch deep across entire pie.

Cover with clear plastic lid pie crust came with and refrigerate until time to serve or at least 30 mins.

 

How easy was that?! Impress people at your bar-b-que with this yummy simple pie, but still enjoy your holiday weekend! Stay tuned for more cook-out dishes that are great for this weekend…

 

*Note: this pie will turn watery on a very hot day & will spoil on a countertop after 24 hours. So, it’s not a make ahead pie, it’s a make earlier in the day pie and then store in your fridge or cooler.*

 

*Additional note: this pie is so quick to make that I made it and the Simplest Pasta Salad Ever in 32 minutes (I was curious so I timed it) this morning!*