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! 🙂

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18 Awesome Things About being a Single Mom

I have always tried, when things look down, to subscribe to the Tinker Bell philosophy. You didn’t know she had a mantra?! Duh, “Think happy thoughts.” Obviously this doesn’t  work every time, but it’ll get you through a bad day. I understand she’s a cartoon character, but I totally wanna be Tinker Bell when I grow up (yes I am aware of the irony there, “and we’re walking…”). She’s tiny, like me, cares passionately about her loved ones (I have a list of people I’d drink poison for), and doesn’t take but so much shit from people. My kinda girl… 🙂 So I have a running list I’d like to share with you all about being a single mom. Now, I feel like I can speak with great authority on this subject, not only because I am a single mom, but because I have also been a married mom, a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, a teen mom, and a cohabitating but not married mom. (don’t feel bad I’ve always been a bit of an overachiever lol) So this is a list (in no particular order) of reasons why, for ME and MY kids (emphasis is on purpose),being a single working mom is the greatest.

  1. I decide what we have for supper. No one (who gets a vote) tells me “that’s not healthy enough” or, “what do you mean you’re too tired? What did you do today?” or my favorite “no, I’m just not in the mood for that”.  Side note, I also get to decide when! 🙂
  2. I choose haircuts & if I want my little boy to have longish hair, no one tells me no. Or if I want bangs, I’m not disappointing anyone.
  3. I do not have to shave in the winter, unless I want to.
  4. No one has more authority than I do in my house.
  5. I don’t have to share the remote after 9pm… EVER
  6. My parenting philosophy is LAW, no one to compromise with.
  7. My house is as clean/dirty as I damn well want it to be.
  8. If I want to blow money on something, I don’t have to discuss it with anyone.
  9. I can leave clean laundry in a basket unfolded for weeks!
  10. Merchants have to talk to me, not “don’t you want me to just explain it to your husband, dear?”
  11. My bank account is the exact balance I left it at, always.
  12. If I decide we should not get dressed all weekend and watch movies and eat pizza in the living room cause it’s raining, no one judges me.
  13. There is no “I’m telling Dad”.
  14. If I get the opportunity to move for a promotion there is no one else’s career to consider.
  15. I don’t have to be nice to/pretend to like anyone’s lame, annoying friends. (Only my lame, annoying friends show up at my door. Love you guys, lol!)
  16. My stuff is always where I left it and organised the way I want it to be.
  17. I can decorate however the hell I want to. (there is a pink wall coming, I’ll tell you about that later lol)
  18. I get to be proud of what I am doing with no qualifiers, it’s just me, and I AM doing it, thank you.

Single moms, got anything to add that’s awesome about being the Lady of the house? (if you are in charge you get capital letters 🙂 )

An Update from the Table…

So if you happened to notice, I have taken a two-week hiatus from blogging, I have had a lot going on, working two jobs, raising three kids, the normal stuff plus several wrenches thrown in my program. GirlChild turned 14 (I still will get those pics and recipes I promised up) although it rained/lightninged/etc so we had to have our Luau inside, with multiple 14 year olds, in a hotel room. That same day my BIL graduated college (way to go dude!). We had inspectors in and out and in and out and in and out (you can see where this is going) the whole two weeks, still waiting on final “permission” to start actually repairing our house. Mother’s Day was this past weekend, I’m sure you noticed. Then there was the event that happened that overshadowed what was already a packed couple of weeks and rendered me emotionally useless. My Grandmother died. She would have turned 86 yesterday, she was my father’s mother and one of my (if not my) favorite people growing up. She had Alzheimer’s so I keep telling myself I actually lost her somewhere about 6 or 7 years ago and should have been ready for her physical passing. Apparently I wasn’t. My normally very logical mind is still having a hard time getting my soft squishy heart on board with that idea. I can say she had a beautiful funeral, well attended, she looked beautiful and truly peaceful for the first time in a long time. She would have liked what was done in her honor. She would have loved the boys in their suits and the girls in their nicest black and navy dresses, we all managed to look like ladies and gentlemen in the 93 degree heat, that would have meant a lot to her, she would have been proud. After I get exactly what I want to say together I will post a page dedicated to her. But for now, I’ll take comfort in my belief that we get all knowledge when we leave here, that which was lost and that which we never had, so I believe she was looking down on all of us that day, and smiling, so proud of her family and felt very loved. I leave you with this to think on while I get all the posts I have been working on, but couldn’t finish, ready, then I’ll be post blasting for the next couple of days. I know it was just mother’s day so we all made an effort to let the awesome women in our lives know how much we love them, but it’s worth it to today call, email, write, visit those family members you don’t see everyday tell them you love them.

Noah, Gilgamesh, and Mama

Wish we had had one of these...So I have to start with a brief apology to everyone who had gotten in the habit of checking in here on a daily basis. Sorry all things have been a bit busy this last week and a half, but are starting to calm down now.

Now, you are probably wondering what’s up with the title? What could you possibly have to do with those two men? Oh, I will tell you a tale, my friends, a tale of family, animals (well, one animal) and a great flood…

Monday started off with us checking out of the hotel, gassing up and hitting the road towards home. Two hours later we start talking about how tired we all are, how much fun we had, and how much each of us just wanted to vegg in his or her own way once we got home. I remind everyone as we pulled up to the house to grab things from the car as they get out so that we will have fewer trips (you know the whole let’s get it done, guys so we can all relax mom speech). We come to the back door and I unlock it and step inside. It is hot! I remember thinking, wow It’s so much cooler outside than in here, that’s weird, as I walked towards the stairs to up stairs to unload things.

I have to take a brief pause here to describe the layout of our house (it’ll be important soon I promise). Our house is one of those 2 story deals built into the side of a rolling hill. If you come in the front door you come in what appears to be the first floor of a ranch house, you are actually entering the second floor. From the back door you enter the first floor of the house which is half buried into a hill. Needless to say this downstairs is very well insulated. So upstairs in our multifamily home is the kitchen, a living room, a hall, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Downstairs is a large family/game room, an office, bathroom, laundry room and another bedroom. Got it? Now back to the noticeably hotter than outside downstairs…

I get to the door to the stairs and see white mist-like substance coming from under the door. I turn and yell, “Get out! I think there’s a fire! Go straight back to the car! I am going to see if I can get Charlie out.” You remember Charlie, right? He was my nemesis in Caring for the Elderly… Dogs That is. Well if everyone is out-of-town he gets shut in the kitchen (to reduce the mess) before anyone gets all fired up, we all left at staggered times and he was alone for about 24 hours with plenty of both water (spoiler alert-lol) and food. So I touch the door with the back of my hand (I totally remember Stop Drop and Roll week in Kindergarten) and it’s not really warmer than the air in the den so I open the door and look up the stairs.

Water is streaming over the rail at the floor to the kitchen, down the wall, onto the stairs! I look to the top of the stairs and realize I can’t see the wall at the top of the stairs because of the steam! I look lower to the floor at the top of the stairs, and there he is the infamous Charlie, laying in about 2 inch deep water, his pitiful head against the wall propped out of the water. (I tell you I have never felt sorrier for any animal in my entire life than I did for Charlie, who I have never felt the slightest bit of sorry for until that afternoon) I run up the stairs and grab him, lift and run him downstairs where he can get out the still open back door. I run back upstairs and through the very foggy kitchen. I realize about halfway across the kitchen that this ankle-deep water is hot (I had a blister or two that I noticed later) and go to the sink and shut off the hot water valve on the pipe under the sink. I slosh to the windows and start opening all the windows on my way to the front door which I also leave open on my way to tell the kids it’s not a fire, it’s a flood.

The steam upstairs was so thick I couldn’t see across the kitchen, so we all sat outside and waited a minute. I made calls to let people know what I found (I left messages as no one was answering) and then go back in the house to asses the damages. The steam had cleared a little so I (mostly out of morbid curiosity ) checked the thermostat, 92 degrees inside by the way. I continue to open other windows in rooms as I walk around. I go back through the kitchen and down the stairs, mentally making a list as I go. Things like, squish, carpet wet, that door is swollen shut, hm, that one is swollen open, squish, wow this water is hot, the ceiling is dripping from every where, the smoke detector is black, probably blown a fuse, better not turn on any lights, it’s raining in this room too, and so on, throughout the house.

I went back outside and around the house to answer the phone and give descriptions to people who were then on their way home. I sit in the driveway with the kids for a minute waiting for more steam to escape before I hop up and say, “Right, so we should start cleaning up” I cannot even describe to you the faces I got when I said that in my perky I want you to think I want to do this horrible thing so that you will want to do it as well voice. (It just occurred to me- I should rename that voice my Tom Sawyer voice, hmm note to self) So in my Tom Sawyer voice I led the troops back in through the front door to start gathering all the beach towels in the house & bring them to the kitchen with the little we are a family and families pull in together and help out however they can whenever they can speech I usually give to the chores dissenters when they voice their displeasure with dishes and toilet cleaning.

We got the towels assembled and set up our own little assembly line. I and GirlChild mopped up water with towels, BoyChild II gathered full of water towels and brought them to BoyChild I who rang them out in the kitchen sink and then passed them back to his brother who brought them to whichever of us in the floor had a full towel to take back to the sink. We worked like that steady for about an hour and do you know, not only was the kitchen floor dry, but other than the initial protests there were no other complaints?! (a very proud moment for me of my kids) We all clean ourselves up and find dry spots to crash while we wait for the others (who can call the insurance company) to get home.

I spent the next several days working my fanny off (as did those kids-sniff-what troopers) cleaning, moving, and attempting to salvage the contents of our house. So no, I wasn’t blogging (or even going to my day job for 3 days) but we all worked hard fighting a flood, banding together as a family, and rescuing an animal along the way. Yup that’s my flood story. Oh, and the kid’s Spring Break. How did you spend your Spring Break?

 

I have been asked to add a status of house clarification, so people don’t worry. There are at this moment no stairs or floors, few walls and no downstairs ceiling. All of these things had to be gutted. The insurance company has been very helpful and the deconstruction crew has been awesome as well (if all ends well I will post company contact info in the comments here for anyone who wants to know). We are all in 2 adjacent hotel suites, so not homeless. There are dehumidifiers in our house still so reconstruction is nowhere near about to start. Charlie is fine BTW- that old dude is gonna outlast all of us I think. I think that about covers it for now, I will do better at keeping everyone updated with the situation as it progresses.