Monthly Archives: April 2014

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.