How to Ride a Horse

riding horseIt would make little sense to try and learn how to ride a horse through the use of the internet, a book, or some other form of media. Although, having a guide that can outline the details involved in learning is helpful, you will really only get the best handle on the subject by experiencing it on your own. This might require the expertise of a seasoned riding coach or someone else that you are acquainted with who knows the ropes of the process well.

Before riding, it would be helpful to have a bit of knowledge about horses yourself. There is really no harm in doing the homework, while getting to know the horses that you plan to ride. This includes grooming, care, tying the horse, and safety measures, and other precautions or detailing that goes into horseback riding. Many people try to run before they can walk, which may lead to mistakes along the way. Try being as well informed as you can, before jumping in head first.

Learning to saddle your horse is a great way to expand your knowledge on the subject of horseback riding. Although, it may not be required of you to learn how to saddle a horse if you are learning from someone who has already prepared it in advance, you might want to try and learn this important step on your own. This especially rings true if you plan on owning your own horse ranch in the future or at least working with these animals in close proximity.

There are two different types of saddles. The Western saddle is much more common in America, although there are those who prefer the English saddle. When learning to saddle up a horse, it’s important to learn how to do up the cinch on the Western saddle. Without it being properly secured, the saddle could move around and make for an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous ride.

You should also learn how to properly mount and sit on a horse. Despite popular belief, it is not safe to ride sideways on a horse unless you are a well trained professional in the art of horseback riding. In order to get on a horse safely, there are a few steps to take into account. Firstly, you will want to have someone else holding the horse’s reign, if it is your first time climbing onto it. This is so that it will stand quietly, while you mount. Make sure the stirrup is adjusted to the right height for your own height. If you have short legs, take it down a peg or two. You will want to be able to slip your foot into it comfortably and at a distance from the ground that you are not straining yourself to reach.

Small details, such as sitting correctly in the saddle by facing straight forward and at a balanced position, are important aspects to learning how to ride right. The most important part about learning how to ride is that you follow the right safety measures, while also maintaining a sense of comfort.

What Do Horses Eat?

horse posingA lot of people think that horses just need a field with some grass in it to be happy and thrive. This isn’t quite true. Horses like a big field with some grass in it to run around in and to enjoy a good grazing session in. That is very true. It is also true that horses will need more than just a field of grass to be well nourished.

Good grazing material, or forage, needs to grow on fertile ground with just the right amounts of nutrients for it to thrive. For a healthy, happy horse, the forage should be a mix of legumes like clover or alfalfa and grasses like timothy or Kentucky bluegrass. Of course, being in Texas, it’s Texas bluegrass down here. This natural blend provides the optimal mixture of nutrients and minerals. Most horses will also need a salt lick or mineral block to round out their daily munch.

Good hay will be just like what is found in a good pasture. It will be green and have young tender grasses and baby seed heads full of nutrients. It will be a concoction of plants to provide all the necessary nutrition. Straw is different from good hay. It will be tougher, older grasses and doesn’t provide much nutrition. Sometimes straw is fed just to provide fiber with grains. It is mostly just for bedding down my horses on the farm.

Grains are denser calories for horses. Oats are the most popular grain for horses. They are high in fiber and easy for a horse to digest. Corn is the second best grain to feed a horse. It provides up to two times as much energy to the horse as oats but is low in fiber. It is easy to overfeed corn and make a horse fat. Barley, wheat and beet pulp are other things that are sometimes fed to horses along with forages to round out a meal.

Mixes are popular on the farm. COB, or corn, oats and barley, is often fed to mothers and growing horses to keep them in condition. Sweet feed, in particular, is a favorite treat. This is a mix of grains and molasses that is like a healthy cookie for horses. Speaking of, my horses enjoy a treat from time to time. I like to give carrots and apples and other healthy snacks in moderation.

An adult horse can eat nearly 3% of her body weight daily in dry food each day. A foal eats even more, up to 4% of his weight a day. Food is not something my horses like to skimp on! The horses need to have at least 50% of that food from forages. They never get any less than 1% of their body weight in food from forages, no matter what. A hard working horse will also get grains or horse pellets to help them keep up their good condition. Growing horses and pregnant mares will need more calories and special attention to their nutrition, just like human children and mothers.

 

Old Yeller

I have been feeling a little bit off these days and I really don’t know why. I am not sick or anything, heck I’m healthy as a horse, but I have got this rather nagging feeling that something is wrong somewhere. No I’m not into anything psychedelic or hallucinating and I’m neither paranoid nor a hypochondriac for that matter. The different feeling is just there in my head, playing games with me and successfully managing to bother me all the time.

You know how it is and you may have probably experienced these kinds of things at some point in your life. Don’t lie now. Well I guess it’s probably my turn now on the horse.

Speaking of horses, well I guess mine are already on to me somehow as they are kind of keeping away from me subtly. Again I’m not being paranoid and stuff, I’ve been around these horses for the longest time and I know when they do things out of the ordinary or if something is amiss with them.

I am feeling confused about something every now and then and without any reason at all. I sometimes stare at one thing and get lost in thought, like yesterday when I was making myself some coffee and was staring at the cup for the longest time thinking about why I was looking at it in the first place. Good thing the kettle whistled me back to my senses.

Maybe it is what they refer to as the midlife crisis that we all go through during middle age.

I have read about it yesterday and indeed I have several of the symptoms associated with it.

I kept remembering the times when I was still young, I kept recalling my old friends and all of the time we spent together, I want to change something in my life but don’t really know which one, I wanted a new hobby or something else to pass the time with but generally fail to see which suits me best, and I’m easily distracted, even by the smallest things.

Maybe that’s really it. Maybe I’m going through such a phase right now. I am in good health and not wanting of anything else in my life yet I am feeling this way. I am at the prescribed age for it and all things point to my being with it, so maybe it’s really it that I’m having.

What am I going to do with it now? Well I think I just did the first step in recognizing it, now curing it would be the logical next step. Or maybe I’ll just let it run its course and just enjoy the ride. That is if I can remember everything that will transpire at all. Maybe I’ll just be the crazy old loon and badger my way through it.

Maybe it’s really time to get to buy that best yoga DVD that I’ve been eyeing for a long time, you know, to relax the mind and body at the same time. Maybe that could help. Or probably that best pack n play play yard that I’ve been thinking of this whole afternoon. My sister keeps telling me to get that for my nephew.

Clean Water Therapy

I just found out about a pretty amazing thing last week and boy did it live up to its billing. I’m talking about water therapy, that’s what.

Well It happened when I was browsing the internet for something to cure my persistent headaches which has been bothering me on and off for the past two weeks or so. And after several rounds of over the counter headache relief, which did not work a single bit, I decided to search for something more drastic like alternative medicines or even mumbo jumbo stuff just so that I can get rid of this problem of mine.

Well I happen to chance upon an article by a Japanese guy who beamed about this rather strange technique of drinking water to cure diseases like diabetes, heart ailments, aches & pains of the body, and even several forms of cancer according to him. He said it was an ancient practice of his ancestors which predates modern forms of medicine and it as only that, plus diet modifications, which they go to when they were sick.

Well the therapy includes drinking of three glasses of water first thing when you wake up in the morning, even before brushing your teeth or freshening up for the day. Another glass of water before each and every meal, and finally a glass of water before you go to sleep.

He says that when we wake up, our body contains wastes from a full night of cleaning itself and nothing is yet circulating within us, as we haven’t yet taken anything in yet, so it was the perfect time to cleanse it with an influx of only clean water. The water flushes whatever it can and leaves us with a cleaner body afterwards.

I got to thinking that there is really no harm in trying it as it only involves water and nothing else, so I decided to give it a try immediately the following morning.

I woke up and headed straight to the kitchen. Got me my first glass of water and chugged it down fast, well maybe I was thirsty from a full night of sleeping. Then the second came and went down, the third was not as easy as I already had my fill but I managed to drink it nonetheless.

The day went by and I forgot all about it. I only realized that my head didn’t hurt the whole day when I was already going to sleep. Add to that, my joints seem to be working well this afternoon when I took a walk. Well, well, well, I think I found a gem of a cure here. Maybe I’ll do a little more in depth research about its merits before I fully dive into it.

I’ll do myself some more favor and get myself the best reverse osmosis system in the market today as I really need to have “doubt free” clean water whenever I do the therapy, which I think will be fairly often from now on. One never really gets too sure about the purity of the water coming out the tap. It’s really better to be safe than sorry.

Things to consider when you are Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is very important to a new born. In fact, it is so complete and nourishing, that it is the only food that he needs during the first year of life. Besides being food, it also enables the baby to be strong against diseases, as breastfeeding imparts to the baby, antibodies and immunities to different forms of sickness, that no formula or vitamin supplement ever can. Breastfeeding is among one of the best gifts a mother could ever give to his child.

Breastfeeding is a two way alley, besides giving benefits to the baby, the mother’s welfare is also given a boost. As breastfeeding consumes more or less about 500 calories to produce, the mother’s weight naturally goes down, aiding in her return to pre-pregnancy form. It also minimizes her chances of suffering from post- partum stress disorders, which are common after child birth and also lowers her risk for several types of cancers, such as breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer. Economically, breastfeeding is a sure fire way to save on an infant’s food while giving him the best ever nourishment possible. Last but not the least; breastfeeding strengthens the love, and the bond, shared between a mother and her child.

Although breastfeeding is natural, mothers also must always take care on whatever she eats, as certain kinds of food tend to have residual effects and may unintentionally be passed off to the baby.

Several examples of foods to avoid while breastfeeding are as follows, alcoholic beverages are said to seep into breast milk and have various effects on the baby such as weakness, being always sleepy, and also of having irregular weight gain. Coffee, chocolate, and other food containing caffeine, on the other hand, makes the baby irritable, cranky, and also seems labored getting to sleep. Citrusy and spicy foods that a mother consumes tend to make the baby fussy and irritated, looking as if the baby himself ate it. Garlic may leave an aroma or a kind of taste to the nipple of the mother that discourages the baby from sucking at it. Other types of food like corn, peanut, eggs, soy, fish and dairy products are to also be carefully discerned as they may cause unintended allergies in the baby.

Breastfeeding is recommended for the baby’s first year, and is also strongly suggested to be continued up until the second year of life. If I were a mother, I’d continue it even after the third year to fully insure that my baby gets the best start in life. And If and when the time has come, for the baby to wean from breastfeeding, there are also several tips aimed at helping the mother to cope with the separation and how to stop breastfeeding.

The old belief, of putting cabbage or garlic on your breast has some amount of truth to it, but the general way of easing out of breastfeeding, is to simply stop offering it to your child. If your child no longer sucks at your breast, your body responds by producing less to no milk eventually. Sometimes you might feel pain from engorgement, as your breast no longer empty its contents, if that happens, and to relieve pressure, it is recommended that you manually pump a little bit of milk out from your breast, but not a lot as it may mimic again natural breastfeeding, which then tells your body to produce milk again. It takes about two weeks to a month to fully stop the production of breast milk.

Breastfeeding is both best for mommy and best for baby. Maybe best for daddy too while we’re at it, and anything else they say other than that must not be believed, because breastfeeding is pure and can be simply be defined as nothing else, but love.

Wish Granted

Guess what? I finally had my tattoo made. If you have read my previous post here, you would have known the very difficult time I had, deciding on whether to have it or not. And if you had the chance of reading it, you might have the question of what had transpired for me, to eventually get my tattoo and stuff. Well, it’s a long story albeit a happy one at that. It involves me, my mom, and an afternoon’s worth of bonding.

My mom visited me last week because she was in town for an assembly of sorts. Their church was celebrating its golden anniversary and had decided to go and hold their celebrations here in the city. Celebrations would take most of the week with various activities and outreach programs scheduled every day, with the grand assembly to be held in a large hotel downtown most likely on Friday. Although she is physically here, we might not get to meet at all, since she is one of the directors of their church and her duties are almost all encompassing. But she said that she would definitely be here with me on Friday night and would spend the weekends with me.

My mom did eventually come and we spent the weekends together, just the two of us. How I missed my mom so much, that there never was a time that I didn’t have a hold of her during her visit, be it her hand, a hug and even her bag, which she said was an extension of her, didn’t escape my eager grasps. We went to the spa, the mall, and even did groceries together. I felt like a little girl once again, and the time spent with her was great, even if it was just for a little while.

It was at the mall when she tugged on my arm to show me something. She pointed to two women waiting on line at Starbucks, and I was puzzled with what did she meant with it. After some explaining, I saw that what my mom was pointing at, were actually the tattoos the women were wearing. Is my mom teasing me, I thought to myself. The answer came when we got to sit down and eat, after a grueling session of shopping. Didn’t you always want one of those things, my mom blurted out pointing to the tattoos of the girls next to our table?

To make the long story short, I did get my tattoo, and was so very happy that my mom even accompanied me to get it done, right there and then after we finished eating. I got the image of the Virgin Mary on my side now, coupled with a verse from the bible, the date it was made, and of course, me and my mom’s name.

Now mom’s already gone home and I’m here tending to my tattoo as it is very sore, and am also experiencing some tattoo scabbing particularly on the letters of the tattoo. I also got some form of skin tear from it as I unintentionally scratched at it while asleep last night. But I know it will eventually heal in time, maybe I was just too excited from the fact that I finally got one. And who knows, now that I finally got around having my first one, maybe a second tattoo would be nice too, wouldn’t you think?

One Summer Wasted

bromaI got some company over at the ranch, mainly old friends from the neighborhood. Some of them, who worked overseas, recently came back and are on an extended vacation. It started when two of them met at the mall, and got to talking about old times. One thing led to another, and now here they were, horsing around in my backyard, no pun intended.

We were “the boys” back then, that’s what neighborhood mothers used called us, and was usually done in an angry and irritated tone. We did mischievous things all the time, especially during the summer break when all of us had tons of spare time to waste. Activities like exchanging mailbox contents, chasing the neighbor’s cat, skinny dipping in the river were part of our daily routine.

But we never bullied anyone, as we made an agreement that it would be off limits to harm other people. We were boorish but we were good, if you know what I mean. We made the tree house in our ranch as the main base of operations, and in there, we hatched our plans for the summer like when we will be holding our weekly water balloon fight or how many cats we will be making crazy for the day, and so on. It is also there, where we hold camping and sleepovers provided that each of our parents permitted us to. It was the best days of our young lives back then.

We did also run into problems, as we are always won’t to do. Like the time I inadvertently fell off our tree house as I tried to pull a wedgie on one of my buddies. It was not that high, maybe five feet max I would say, but their ashen and shocked faces made it scarier than it was. They all descended from our base and surrounded me, babbling about what they need to do, who to call and even if I was eventually going to die or something.

I did land awkwardly, hitting my left hip on a tree root, but the pain was bearable so I did not cry, and I also don’t want them to rib me later about it. But I also can’t stand on my own, as doing so sent sharp, stabbing pains on the side I landed on. My mom was eventually called, and I was sent to the hospital.

The doctor said that the pain I was feeling was actually hip flexor pain and prescribed pain medicine for it. I was happy that it was only that and nothing much worse. I was beginning say sorry to mom and also asking permission for a sleepover with the guys tomorrow, but I was abruptly stopped by the doctor. He said that due to my fall, I have strained my hips so much, that I was almost suffering from a torn labrum hip. I was to refrain from any physical activities for a month, and wear a SERF strap around my waist to my legs, to help strengthen my hip muscles. He also added that I must go through rehabilitation sessions in the hospital during the same time to further heal my injuries. That was it; summer with the boys was over for me.

Anyway, that was back then. All is well now and here we are, old but still bouncing off the walls. The tree house is long gone, but we’ll make do even without it. Trust us, were “the boys” after all.

Baby Hiccups Averted

I just got home from my friend’s house. I visited him because his wife has just recently given birth to their first son, a lively eight pounder, who looks exactly just like him. I used to always kid my friend about his curly hair and about how hard it was to comb it that if a cockroach entered it, will have a hard time in getting out again. His newborn son also has rich curly hair, but unlike his father, it kind of looked good on him. He also got his father’s blue eyes and slender nose, traits that will serve him well, once he grows up. We had a fun afternoon, all four of us, as there is never a dull moment when me and my friend are around each other. Believe me.

There was only a very minor event that happened during my visit there, I wouldn’t really call it a scare, but whenever a newborn baby is involved, things eventually get blown out of proportion and people tend to get panicky about it. In the middle of feeding from his mom’s breast, the baby suddenly had a bout of hiccups. It was very unusual as there was a popping sound that also accompanied each hiccup. Naturally, his parents began to worry and got exasperated as they can really do nothing about it. Being new to having a child, they still do not have the skills when things like this happen, so basically, their first reaction will always be of fear. You should have seen the look of worry in their eyes.

Baby hiccups are very common especially to nursing ones, and even while still in the womb, babies are known to have it. Newborn hiccups are caused by either their stomach getting full or the oft chance that the baby swallows air. The baby’s body is not fully developed yet so they get the hiccups more frequently than us adult. Their stomach gets full easily when feeding, due to its relatively small size, thereby increasing their risk of getting hiccups. Bottle fed babies on the other hand are more prone to hiccups as they usually gulp in air during their feeding from a bottle.

Sometimes getting hiccups are even welcomed by other parents, as they believe that it is a sign that their babies are already full and well fed, while others, especially new parents, tend to think of it as something serious. Hiccups, scientifically speaking, occur when the diaphragm is irritated or stimulated, causing its muscle to contract sporadically, producing the telltale hiccup sound. Hiccups, when infrequent and not chronic, are usually not serious, only irritating.

Having had their moment, I started to explain to them about hiccups, and what to do when their baby gets one. I suggested that they put the baby on his back and to gently pat him at the middle of his shoulder blades. They eventually followed my instructions and the hiccups immediately stopped, only to be replaced by a loud burp, which sent us all laughing. Another emergency situation stopped on its tracks.

The First Time I knew I was going to be a Dad

I still remember the time when we had our first child, although it was long ago, it is still fresh in my mind due to the events that happened that day.

One particularly balmy summer’s day, my wife came to me and asked; guess how many weeks am I? Busy with yard work, I replied to her, how many weeks you are what? Sensing danger, I tried to approach her, but was met with a furious frown and a flying magazine instead. She turned her back against me and bounded towards the door, so fast, you could have sworn she had seen a ghost or something. Typical of us, male species, to be oblivious to something, even if it is already in front of us, just waiting to be acknowledged.

I eventually caught up with her, and thankfully, also calmed her down. I asked her about why she was suddenly so mad at me, and what was it all about? Amid teary eyes, she explained to me that yesterday, she has twice tested herself with a PT kit, and both times, the result came out positive. She was still talking, when I felt my heart jump, and a huge smile came to my face. I hugged her as I came into realization, she was pregnant, and I am going to be a dad!

Her original question wasn’t lost on us, as she still insisted to know, how far into pregnancy she was already. I just told her, that we would come visit her doctor first thing tomorrow, and that there, all her questions will be answered accordingly. She concurred, and we spent the rest of the afternoon just holding each other.

Back then, there was no way we could have known how many weeks she had been pregnant, or if she really were pregnant, for that matter, if we hadn’t been counting it ourselves in the first place. All we had were our doctors, to consult and trust, and whatever they will say about it, will stand and we take it as truth. The doctors themselves aren’t in any much better shape, as they just interpret their findings, based on their studies and experiences, and make educated guesses.

Today is much more different. With many advances in the field of science, and particularly in medicine, one can now exactly tell how much pregnant they are or when they got such. One just has to input the date of their last menstrual cycle and their average cycle length, and then will know, with great probability, the start of their pregnancy, and even how far into it they are already in, there is an implantation calculator that can be found here. Other information available can be acquired just by using the data of your menstrual cycle and when it has stopped, like when is the most opportune time to make a baby, or if you have one coming, exactly predict when it is coming out. Those formulas aren’t even a secret as you can readily find a number of them in the internet.

But those things are just static. What ultimately matters is that you have been gifted with a child. And I can still feel the joy of such news, as if it was only yesterday.

Things to Know about Bichon Poodles

My mom has a dog, and she’s practically carrying it around wherever she goes. He’s been with us for four years now and my mom loves him very much. It’s a small dog with white curly coat; I think he’s not much taller than a foot and he is very sociable and cheerful around children. His name is Fritz and, according to his papers, he is a Bichon poodle.

Bichon poodles are one type of, among the many, poodle mixes. A cross between a Bichon Frise, a dog breed which originates from France, and a poodle, they are bred to hopefully obtain in a dog, specific good qualities from each of the dog’s breed. Cross breeding the Bichon for its calmness and also the great degree of affection to its owner, and the poodle for their activeness and their desire to perform; produces a dog which is responsive, affectionate and carrying boundless amounts of energy, not to mention also being very, very adorable.

Bichon Poodle Characteristics

Bichon poodles are a small breed of dog. Their height is typically around 9-5 inches tall, and weighs around 7-15 pounds. Life expectancy is about 11 years with maximum litter size of 4 when birthing. Their coat is soft and curly and is usually white in color. Bichon poodles are liked by people who are prone to allergies because of their hypo-allergenic fur which also does not shed easily. Other physical traits are its floppy ears and a slightly pointed muzzle.

Disposition and Temperament

Bichon poodles are generally energetic and are a great companion for children, also mothers in my case, and can easily get along with other dogs and cats for that matter. They are very affectionate towards their owners and are always ready to please, while very suspicious of strangers and uncommon sounds at the same time. They tend to be too attached to their owners that separation from them, even for a short time, gives the dog anxiety, and they do really look sad in such cases, based on my experiences with Fritz.

Care and General Well Being

Bichon poodles are great swimmers, and needs to be played with and exercised every day. Their hair needs to be trimmed every four months and brushed every day to prevent their curly locks from knotting. And owing to each dog’s ancestry, typical diseases that this breed of dog possesses, are skin allergies, epilepsy, and are also susceptible to eye, heart and knee problems. It is recommended that their ears be cleaned weekly as they are also prone to ear infections. Although several weaknesses can be attributed to this particular kind of breed, like most any other dog breeds, proper intervention is needed. With proper nutrition and exercise, this dog is hardier than any dog their size.

I most certainly recommend this dog for anyone searching for a pet. Trust me, for I have been around Fritz for a long time and know almost all of his uncanny quirks. Or maybe, you can always ask my mother about it. I kind of know what she will eventually tell you.

My Experience with Tooth Pain

I take my oral hygiene very seriously. I regularly brush my teeth after every meal, and also floss in between them afterwards. Whenever I am out of the house and eating out, as is always the case, I make it a point to at least gargle tap water after eating to remove any bits of food or anything that might be stuck between my teeth. I never sleep at night without first brushing my teeth, and it is also the first thing I do when I wake up. So dedicated am I to brushing, that it almost borders on being obsessive compulsive.

This habit of mine started years ago. I did not have any care of my teeth back then. Yes, I brushed when I had the time, and flossing was just a foreign thought. I just thought that my teeth were hard enough, being made with enamel, the hardest thing on our body, and could withstand any form of tooth decay. I also thought that one brushing a day, or even every other day, was enough to ward off a visit to the dentist. Boy was I wrong.

I only started minding them when they began to hurt, and hurt much they did. One particular tooth at the back of my mouth was the culprit. It had a dark spot that I had just noticed when I inspected my mouth in the mirror. Come to think of it, I never really brushed thoroughly there at the back, just concentrating on keeping only my front teeth as white as possible. The pain began as a kind of throbbing presence then eventually escalating into a full blown, mind numbing and excruciating pain only a couple of hours later. The pain was so strong that I was drooling a bit, and it looks funny now, but I kind of lost my mind then that I was thinking of pulling the tooth out myself. I would have given anything for instant tooth pain relief.

A visit to the dentist did not help quickly either. The swelling from the infection must subside first before the tooth can be extracted, he said. He only gave me prescription antibiotics and also pain reliever to help ease the discomfort. I was also advised to put ice near the affected area to numb out any tooth or gum pain if ever the drugs failed to work.

Four days in the frying pan and now I am jumping right at the fire. The fifth day, I was to have my tooth pulled out, but I had a problem. I was afraid of needles, particularly dentist needles, the ones that are mounted on metal syringes, never fails to freak me out. But I really needed to have my tooth extracted; either that or a root canal which involved more needles, and is therefore out of the question. So I had to choose between the devil and deep blue sea.

I chose to not remember what happened that day. But I promised myself to do everything I can, to not experience it again. That brings us back to the present, and why I am like this today. You may say that I was being silly about all of it, but you never really know it if you have never experienced the pain. Just take my word for it and take very good care of your teeth.

How to Properly Treat and Identify Toddler Constipation and Diarrhea

Having children is both a very happy and rewarding experience. The joy they bring to us is immeasurable and is compared to none. We deem ourselves lucky, just to be in their company, and also blessed that they have been entrusted to us. That is why we worry a great deal when something bad happens to them, particularly toddlers, who are just learning how to walk, and can’t fully express themselves. We are at a loss on what is wrong with them, and sometimes panic, that it may turn worse. This is the dilemma facing parents of little children around the world.

Two of the most common sickness among young children is constipation and diarrhea. Owing to their still immature digestive system, they easily fall prey to various bacterial infections from the food they eat. So it is imperative of us to know how to immediately identify such sickness and also to quickly treat them.

Toddler constipation is caused by not eating enough fiber, not drinking a lot of water and may also be caused by them ignoring or delaying their urge to poop. A constipated toddler produces small, clumpy and hard stools, and will exhibit difficulty in passing them. The facial expression of a child suffering from constipation says it all, distorted face, substantial grunting and heavy breathing always accompany the difficult task of pushing out the stool. If left untreated, a constipated child’s anus may crack or tear, and may even bleed from the effect of the pressure exerted on them.

The treatment of constipation in toddlers is the direct opposite of its cause. It is advised for the child to increase the amount of fiber from the food that he eats and also to increase his consumption of liquids. It is also necessary to limit his ingestion of foods that are high in sugar and fats, as it may act as binding agents within the poop, and make it stick together more often. Increase in the exercise and physical activity of the child is also warranted, and if all of these methods fail, a stool softener from a pediatrician is recommended.

Diarrhea in toddlers on the other hand is more serious in nature. It is mainly caused by your child’s ingesting of food that contains bacteria or virus that causes diarrhea; it may also be from your child eating something that irritated his stomach and digestive system.

Typical diarrhea symptoms are the frequent passing of watery and loose stools, about four to seven times in a day. Vomiting and blood in the stools may also happen, which, take note, warrants an immediate trip to the doctor. The main crux of the danger in diarrhea is the dehydration that comes with it. A toddler with diarrhea quickly loses the fluids and electrolytes in his body through his constant pooping, and if not addressed in a timely manner, his situation and health will deteriorate speedily.

Treating diarrhea primarily consists of, rehydrating the child’s body, to ensure that no dehydration will occur. Skipping of solid food for a day is ruled, and the consumption of bland foods like bananas, rice and bread is recommended instead. Consuming large amount of liquid at a time is frowned upon, as it may worsen the state of the stomach, which is already under duress. Easing into normal diet is carefully done to prevent recurrence.

I feel for those little kids that suffer from these sicknesses, as I myself, already an adult, have a hard time when under such ailments. Total attention and care must always be given to them as they are yet unable to fend for themselves. They totally need us during this difficult phase, and are wholly dependent of us for their lives. We must not fail them.

My History with Asthma

I have been coughing up a storm all of last week, I don’t know if it’s because of the heat or having my sweat dry on its own on my back, but it is very troublesome to say the least. I also had the feeling of having fluid in lungs, but try as I may to expectorate it, nothing came out. I think it’s not because of colds or any other kind of virus, as I have been only with myself the past week, working around the ranch. Having no one around eliminates the risk of somebody, having to pass the virus on to me, and besides, I never had the flu for ages. But I had a nagging feeling, that asthma or some variation of it is causing all of this mayhem.

I had asthma when I was young. I do not know how I got it, maybe it was inborn or I had it inherited from my parents. I didn’t think much about it maybe because of my age, a young boy does not have anything on his mind besides toys and playing. I only remembered having to stop playing because I cannot breathe anymore, and I also remembered drinking plenty of orange juice and eating heaps of yogurt, which eventually also became favorite foods of mine.

My mother always loved to cook; she would always cook for us when she had time and her favorite dishes were the hot and spicy ones. For fishes, salmon was always a staple and never would she cook anything, without onions being placed on it. As a little child, I was always curious and I keep asking her why she cooks that way, and the answer always was, because it is good for you.

I have never paid any attention to it and I almost forgot I once had asthma, but yesterday, during my research in the internet about my coughing, I came across an article about home remedies for asthma.

I read about Capsaicin acting as an anti-inflammatory agent when consumed in food, and about how doses of vitamin C can reduce the wheezing in coughs. It was also stated that regularly having fish and seafood in your diet, prevents the risk of having severe asthma attacks by 50 percent. And also in the article are foods that are generally good against asthma like yogurt, because of its rich vitamin B12 content, coffee and other caffeinated beverages for its bronchi-dilating properties and also of papayas and other fruits that has high anti-oxidizing properties.

I was taken aback from everything that I have read, and somewhat came into realization. Did my mother know about these things back then? I also do not recall taking any kind of pill when I had attacks those times. So there must really be truth about alternative and homegrown medicine. And also, did my mother do most, if not all, of her cooking just for me?

Maybe it’s really my childhood asthma that is starting to show its ugly head up again. I won’t really know exactly until I had a visit with my doctor.

But if it really is asthma, I won’t let it win. Because I will not allow my mother’s sacrifices, for me, to just go to naught.

Several Reasons why you should own a Bull Boxer

With the plethora of dog breeds available today, one can easily get lost in finding the right dog to have as pet. Although several characteristic traits are needed for one dog to be called suitable, it all boils down to the person searching; what are his needs, what environment will the dog be in, does he have experience handling dogs and also what is the owners way of life.

Me, I found the right dog that suits my needs. Boogey, a Boxer Pitbull mix breed, has been with me for five years. I can’t say enough about the benefits of having a dog like Boogey (even though he’s had his fair share of problems); let’s just say that he is the perfect dog for me. I will list down at least three, among the many, good points that Boogey has. Who knows, maybe he’s also the right kind of dog for you.

Longevity

A fine specimen for a dog, the boxer pit bull mix breed has a life expectancy of 13 – 15 years, longer with proper nutrition and maintenance. And being a mixed breed, they also become hardier and more resilient to sickness which their original predecessors are prone to. Although sometimes they suffer from dog ear infection if their health is not well maintained or are always under stress. Their longer lifespan is a boon for pet lovers as it means that they can enjoy their company for a long, long time.

Appearance

The Bull Boxer weighs normally around 20–40 kilos and stands about 25-36 inches tall. Physical characteristics such as a broad head and deep set eyes are typical to their breed. They also have short, straight hair which is usually of the color brown. But what sets them apart from other dog breeds are their intimidating presence. Honestly, if you are walking down the street and you meet this kind of dog, chances are you are going change your direction, and avoid any close encounters with him. For me, he is a good deterrent around the ranch, not just with people but with any other animals.

Temperament

Bull Boxers are friskily playful, high spirited and full of energy. Like their parent breeds, they are intelligent dogs and are also quick learners. They are very loyal to their masters, and if they are trained to be social at an early age, can be rather gentle around other animals and even children in general. And also owing to the Boxer blood that runs through them, they are often act clownish to a fault and can also be stern enough to be tasked as the protector of the whole family.

The supposed reputation of these types of dogs, as being very wild and violent, for me, is unfounded. Dogs become violent because of neglect and abuse. They are not born violent; it is their rearing, surroundings, and the situation they are in, that makes them as such. For that matter, even a simple and cute poodle can tear your arm out if it is trained that way, right? So take very good care of your dogs, whatever breed they are, show them love and treat them well, for it is only fair, because they give their all for you, even without you asking for it.