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 fruit and veg444444

Sometimes I have a lot of food

On a very large plate.

Sometimes I cannot wait

To eat my fruit and veg.

I always know

It will help me grow,

Strengthen my bones

From tip to toe.

But sometimes I get fed up

With my fruit and veg.

I push my plate away

Then I hear my father say,

You won’t grow up

To reach the stars,

Or have the strength

Of three spacemen.”

I had to remind him then,

That I’m a teddy bear

That is no excuse,” he said,

You still have to eat

Your fruit and veg!”

Gillian Sims.

A poem from Manner Bear And Friends

Purchase this at amazon.com

SEND IN YOUR HEALTHY FOOD TIPS TO:

poetreecreations@yahoo.com

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Ten Worst Foods

1. Artery Crust

Judging by the label, Stouffer’s Satisfying Servings (16 oz) White Meat Chicken Pot Pie has “only” 590 calories, 13 grams of saturated fat, and 930 mg of sodium. But those numbers are for only half a pie. Eat the entire pie, as many people do, and you’re talking 1,180 calories, 26 grams of saturated fat (more than a day’s worth), and 1,860 mg of sodium (over a day’s worth).

2. Triple Bypass

Can’t decide what to pick from a restaurant menu? No worries. Now you can order not just one entrée, but two… or three… all at once.Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy – Homemade Lasagna, Lightly Breaded Chicken Parmigiana, and Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo – comes with 1,450 calories, 33 grams of saturated fat, and 3,830 milligrams of sodium. Add a breadstick (150 calories and 400 mg of sodium) and a plate of Garden-Fresh Salad with dressing (350 calories and 1,930 mg of sodium) and you’ll consume almost 2,000 calories (an entire day’s worth) and 6,160 mg

3. Salt’s On!

On average, a cup ofCampbell’s Condensed soup has 760 mg of sodium. That’s half a day’s worth … assuming you eat only one of the 2½ servings that the label says the can makes. Campbell’s Healthy Request and Select Harvest, Progresso Reduced Sodium, and Healthy Choice slash the sodium to the 400s. Look for lower sodium lines in the 100s to 300s by Amy’s, Imagine Foods, Pacific Natural Foods, and Tabatchnick.

4. Tortilla Terror

Interested in a Chipotle Chicken Burrito (tortilla, rice, pinto beans, cheese, chicken, sour cream, and salsa)? Think of its 970 calories, and 18 grams of saturated fat as three 6-inch Subway BLT Classic Subs! Skipping the cheese or sour cream cuts the saturated fat to 6 grams, but you still end up with 750 calories and more than a day’s worth of sodium. Yikes!

5. Factory Reject

People don’t expect light desserts at The Cheesecake Factory. But the Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake kicks things up a notch. If it weren’t served on its side, this one would stand over six inches tall. And upright or not, the slab of cake still weighs in at three-quarters of a pound. What do you get for all that heft? Just 1,760 calories and 2½ days’ worth of saturated fat (50 grams), mostly from chocolate, sugar, cream, white flour, and butter.

6. Burial Grands

No one thinks of cinnamon rolls as health food. But each Pillsbury Grands! Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll with Icing has 310 calories and 2 grams of saturated fat plus 2½ grams of trans fat (more than a day’s worth) and 5 teaspoons of sugar. Companies are dumping their partially hydrogenated oils left and right, yet Pillsbury still makes most of its rolls and biscuits with the stuff.

7. Transgression

“Excellent source of ALA Omega 3,” declares the Land O’Lakes Margarine box. Who knew that Land O’Lakes stick margarine was so heart healthy? It isn’t. Each tablespoon of the spread has 2½ grams of trans fat (more than an entire day’s limit) and 2 grams of saturated fat. And beware of other trans-filled sticks by Blue Bonnet, Parkay, Country Crock, and Fleischmann’s. At least those brands don’t imply that a bit of ALA outweighs the harm caused by the margarine’s trans and saturated fat. Shopping tip: Look for tub margarines – most have little or no trans fat.

8. Starbucks on Steroids

The Starbucks Venti (20 oz) White Chocolate Mocha with 2% milk and whipped cream is more than a mere cup of coffee. It’s worse than a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Few people have room in their diets for the 580 calories and 15 grams of saturated fat that this hefty beverage supplies. But you can lose 130 calories and almost two-thirds of the bad fat if you order it with nonfat milk and no whipped cream.

9. Extreme Ice Cream

An average halfcup serving ofHäagen-Dazs ice creamsqueezes half-a-day’s saturated fat and a third-of-a-day’s cholesterol into your artery walls and makes a nearly 300-calorie down-payment on your next set of fat cells – if you can stop at a petite half-cup!

10. Stone Cold

Cold Stone Creamery’s Oh Fudge! shake(chocolate ice cream, milk, and fudge syrup) starts at 1,250 calories for the “Like It” (16 oz) size. That’s more than a large (32 oz) McDonald’s McCafe Chocolate Triple Thick Shake. The “Love It” (20 oz) has 1,660 calories and the “Gotta Have It” (24 oz) reaches 1,920 calories (just about an entire day’s worth) and 69 grams of saturated fat (3½ days’ worth). That’s the saturated fat content of two 16 oz T-bone steaks plus a buttered baked potato, all blended into a handy 24 oz cup.

 

Ten Best Foods

1. Sweet Potatoes

A nutritional All-Star — one of the best vegetables you can eat. They’re loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Bake and then mix in some unsweetened applesauce or crushed pineapple for extra moisture and sweetness.

2. Mangoes

Just one cup of mango supplies 100% of a day’s vitamin C, one-third of a day’s vitamin A, a decent dose of blood-pressure-lowering potassium, and 3 grams of fiber. Bonus: mango is one of the fruits least likely to have pesticide residues.

3. Unsweetened Greek Yogurt

Non-fat, plain Greek yogurt has a pleasant tartness that’s a perfect foil for the natural sweetness of berries, bananas, or your favorite breakfast cereal. It’s strained, so even the fat-free versions are thick and creamy. And the lost liquid means that the yogurt that’s left has twice the protein of ordinary yogurt – about 17 grams in 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt.

4. Broccoli

It has lots of vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin K and folic acid. Steam it just enough so that it’s still firm and add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and a spritz of lemon juice.

5. Wild Salmon

The omega-3 fats in fatty fish like salmon can help reduce the risk of sudden-death heart attacks. And wild-caught salmon has less PCB contaminants than farmed salmon.

6. Crispbreads

Whole-grain rye crackers, like Wasa, Kavli, and Ryvita — usually called crispbreads — are loaded with fiber and often fat-free. Drizzle with a little honey and sprinkle with cinnamon to satisfy your sweet tooth.

7. Garbanzo Beans

All beans are good beans. They’re rich in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. But garbanzos stand out because they’re so versatile. Just drain, rinse, and toss a handful on your green salad; throw them into vegetable stews, curries, and soups; mix them with brown rice, whole wheat couscous, bulgur, or other whole grains.

8. Watermelon

Watermelon is a heavyweight in the nutrient department. A standard serving (about 2 cups) has one-third of a day’s vitamins A and C, a nice shot of potassium, and a healthy dose of lycopene for only 80 fat-free, salt-free calories. And when they’re in season, watermelons are often locally grown, which means they may have a smaller carbon footprint than some other fruits.

9. Butternut Squash

Steam a sliced squash or buy peeled, diced butternut squash at the supermarket that’s ready to go into the oven, a stir-fry, or a soup. It’s an easy way to get lots of vitamins A and C and fiber.

10. Leafy Greens

Don’t miss out on powerhouse greens like kale, collards, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens, and Swiss chard. These stand-out leafy greens are jam-packed with vitamins A, C, and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, lutein, and fiber. Serve with a splash of lemon juice or red wine vinegar.

 

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Having a baby can be exciting and challenging, as well as immensely stressful. Bringing a new life into the world involves huge changes that you won’t have a lot of control over. You’ll be getting used to:Your new role as a mum.A different financial situation.Physical changes to your body.Relationship changes with your partner and family.Lack of sleep.
This can take its toll on you. While you’re busy juggling everyone else’s needs, it can be very easy to forget about yourself. 

Being aware that you are stressed is one of the first steps towards dealing with it. Here are some ways to combat stress: 

Rest when you can 

Sleep deprivation will make your day harder to cope with, so try to catch up on sleep during your baby’s daytime naps. If you can’t nod off, why not make yourself a hot drink and curl up on the sofa. 

If you are breastfeeding, put your baby’s cot next to your bed, to make night feeds easier. Your partner could pass your baby to you for a feed, and burp and settle her afterwards. You could share night feeds with your partner if your baby will take a bottle of expressed breastmilk, or if you are formula feeding

Eat a healthy, balanced diet 

Eat regularly to keep your energy levels up. Slow-release carbohydrates, such as wholemeal bread, pasta and brown rice, will help to keep you going throughout the day. 

Instead of saturated fats in foods such as butter, ready-meals and hard cheese, choose unsaturated versions, such as olive oil and avocados. 

Eat foods rich in protein, such as lean meat and chicken, fish, eggs, beans and lentils. Try to aim for at least two portions of fish a week, including two portions of oily fish, such as salmon. 

Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables will keep your immune system working well, and help you to feel better. It will also help to prevent postnatal constipation

You could join a healthy eating club to get advice on making healthy food choices. Ask your midwife or health visitor for information about local groups. 

It can be hard to find the time to cook when you have a baby. Aim for meals that are nutritious, but easy to prepare, such as a jacket potato with beans, or pasta with a simple tomato sauce. Try not to snack on sweet things. A handful of nuts, hummus or a piece of fruit are better choices than chocolate, when you get the munchies. 

Relax 

Keep using techniques that you learned at antenatal classes or at yoga, to keep muscle tension under control. Or try a wellbeing podcast from the Mental Health Foundation

Exercise 

Exercise is good for your physical and mental wellbeing, and can give you more energy. It triggers the release of endorphins, your body’s feel-good chemicals. You can start some gentle tummy and pelvic floor exercises straight away, as well as short walks, as you recover. Over time, you can build up your regime, but wait until you have had your postnatal check before you start strenuous exercise

Find out if there are any postnatal exercise groups, aqua aerobics sessions or yoga classes in your area, but remember to tell the instructor that you have just had a baby. 

Try going for a brisk walk with your baby in a pram or sling. Or try a postnatal exercise DVD, so you can exercise at home. But make sure it’s endorsed by a professional association, such as the Guild of Pregnancy and Postnatal Exercise Instructors. 

Make time for yourself 

Ask a trusted friend or relative to sit with your baby, so you get some time off. Or you could swap babysitting duties with other mums for short spells. Remember, taking care of yourself is an essential part of taking care of your baby. 

Talk about it 

Sharing your worries with someone else is a great stress-buster. Unfortunately, communication is often the first thing to be neglected in a relationship, whether it’s with your partner, family or friends

Try to remember that the adjustments that you are making as a new parent will also be happening to your partner. Sharing your feelings can help to strengthen your partnership. At the end of each day, let go of the things that you didn’t manage to do, and remind each other of the things that you did achieve.

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Bonding1

Bonding–What it Means

Bonding–the term for the close emotional tie that develops between parents and baby at birth–was the buzzword of the 1980’s. Doctors Marshall H. Klaus and John H. Kennell explored the concept of bonding in their classic book Maternal-Infant Bonding. These researchers speculated that for humans, just as for other types of animals, there is a “sensitive period” at birth when mothers and newborns are uniquely programmed to be in contact with each other and do good things to each other. By comparing mother-infant pairs who bonded immediately after birth with those who didn’t, they concluded that the early-contact mother-infant pairs later developed a closer attachment.

Bonding is really a continuation of the relationship that began during pregnancy. The physical and chemical changes that were occurring in your body reminded you of the presence of this person. Birth cements this bond and gives it reality. Now you can see, feel, and talk to the little person whom you knew only as the “bulge” or from the movements and the heartbeat you heard through medical instruments. Bonding allows you to transfer your life-giving love for the infant inside to caregiving love on the outside. Inside, you gave your blood; outside, you give your milk, eyes, hands, and voice–your entire self.

Bonding brings mothers and newborns back together. Bonding studies provided the catalyst for family-oriented birthing policies in hospitals. It brought babies out of nurseries to room-in with their mothers. Bonding research reaffirmed the importance of the mother as the newborn’s primary caregiver.

Bonding is not a now-or-never phenomenon. Bonding during this biologically sensitive period gives the parent-infant relationship a head start. However, immediate bonding after birth is not like instant glue that cements a parent-child relationship forever. The overselling of bonding has caused needless guilt for mothers who, because of medical complication, were temporarily separated from their babies after birth. Epidemics of bonding blues have occurred in mothers who had cesarean births or who had premature babies in intensive care units.

What about the baby who for some reason, such as prematurity or cesarean birth, is temporarily separated form his mother after birth? Is the baby permanently affected by the loss of this early contact period? Catch-up bonding is certainly possible, especially in the resilient human species. The conception of bonding as an absolute critical period or a now-or-never relationship is not true. From birth through infancy and childhood there are many steps that lead to a strong mother-infant attachment. As soon as mothers and babies are reunited, creating a strong mother-infant connection by practicing the attachment style of parenting can compensate for the loss of this early opportunity. We have seen adopting parents who, upon first contact with their one-week-old newborn, express feeling as deep and caring as those of biological parents in the delivery room.

Father-Newborn Bonding

Most of the bonding research has focused on mother-infant bonding, with the father given only honorable mention. In recent years fathers, too, have been the subject of bonding research and have even merited a special term for the father-infant relationship at birth–“engrossment.” We used to talk about father involvement; now it’s father engrossment–meaning involvement to a higher degree. Engrossment is not only what the father does for the baby–holding and comforting– but also what the baby does for the father. Bonding with baby right after birth brings out sensitivity in dad.

Fathers are often portrayed as well meaning, but bumbling, when caring for newborns. Fathers are sometimes considered secondhand nurturers, nurturing the mother as she nurtures the baby. That’s only half the story. Fathers have their own unique way of relating to babies, and babies thrive on this difference.

In fact, studies on father bonding show that fathers who are given the opportunity and are encouraged to take an active part in caring for their newborns can become just as nurturing as mothers. A father’s nurturing responses may be less automatic and slower to unfold than a mother’s, but fathers are capable of a strong bonding attachment to their infants during the newborn period.

7 Tips For Better Bonding

1. Delay routine procedures. Oftentimes the attending nurse does routine procedures–giving the vitamin K shot and putting eye ointment in baby’s eyes–immediately after birth and then presents baby to mother for bonding. Ask the nurse to delay these procedures for an hour or so, allowing the family to enjoy this initial bonding period. The eye ointment temporarily blurs baby’s vision or causes her eyes to stay closed. She needs a clear first impression of you, and you need to see those eyes.

2. Stay connected. Ask your birth attendant and nurses to put baby on your abdomen and chest immediately after birth, or after cutting the cord and suctioning your baby, unless a medical complication requires temporary separation.

3. Let your baby breastfeed right after birth. Most babies are content simply to lick the nipple; others have a strong desire to suck at the breast immediately after birth. This nipple stimulation releases the hormone oxytocin, which increases the contractions of your uterus and lessens postpartum bleeding. Early sucking also stimulates the release of prolactin, the hormone that helps your mothering abilities click in right from the start.

4. Room in with your baby. Of course, bonding does not end at the delivery bed–it is just the beginning! Making visual, tactile, olfactory, auditory, and sucking connection with your baby right after birth may make you feel that you don’t want to release this little person that you’ve labored so hard to bring into the world, into the nursery–and you don’t have to. Your wombmate can now become your roommate. We advise healthy mothers and healthy babies to remain together throughout their hospital stay.

Who cares for your baby after delivery depends upon your health, your baby’s health, and your feelings. Some babies make a stable transition from the womb to the outside world without any complications; others need a few hours in the nursery for extra warmth, oxygen, suctioning, and other special attention until their vital systems stabilize.

Feelings after birth are as individual as feelings after lovemaking. Many mothers show the immediate glow of motherhood and the “birth high” excitement of a race finished and won. It’s love at first sight, and they can’t wait to get their hands on their baby and begin mothering within a millisecond after birth.

Others are relieved that the mammoth task of birth is over and that baby is normal. Now they are more interested in sleeping and recovering than bonding and mothering. As one mother said following a lengthy and arduous labor, “Let me sleep for a few hours, take a shower, comb my hair, and then I’ll start mothering.” If these are your feelings, enjoy your rest–you’ve earned it. There is no need to succumb to pressure bonding when neither your body nor mind is willing or able. In this case, father can bond with baby while mother rests. The important thing is somebody is bonding during this sensitive period of one to two hours of quiet alertness after birth. One of the saddest sights we see is a newly-born, one-hour-old baby parked all alone in the nursery, busily bonding (with wide-open, hungry eyes) with plastic sides of her bassinet. Give your baby a significant presence–mother, father, or even grandma in a pinch.

5. Touch your baby. Besides enjoying the stimulation your baby receives from the skin-to-skin contact of tummy-to-tummy and cheek-to-breast, gently stroke your baby, caressing his whole body. We have noticed that mothers and fathers often caress their babies differently. A new mother usually strokes her baby’s entire body with a gentle caress of her fingertips; the father, however, often places an entire hand on his baby’s head, as if symbolizing his commitment to protect the life he has fathered. Besides being enjoyable, stroking the skin is medically beneficial to the newborn. The skin, the largest organ in the human body, is very rich with nerve endings. At the time when baby is making the transition to air breathing, and the initial breathing patterns are very irregular, stroking stimulates the newborn to breathe more rhythmically–the therapeutic value of a parent’s touch.

6. Gaze at your newborn. Your newborn can see you best with an eye-to-eye distance of eight to ten inches (twenty to twenty-five centimeters)–amazingly, about the usual nipple-to-eye distance during breastfeeding. Place your baby in the face-to-face position, adjusting your head and your baby’s head in the same position so that your eyes meet. Enjoy this visual connection during the brief period of quiet alertness after birth, before baby falls into a deep sleep. Staring into your baby’s eyes may trigger a rush of beautiful mothering feelings.

7. Talk to your newborn. During the first hours and days after birth, a natural baby-talk dialogue will develop between mother and infant. Voice-analysis studies have shown a unique rhythm and comforting cadence to mother’s voice.

Rooming-In vs. Nursery Care

Rooming-in. This is the option we encourage most mothers and babies to enjoy. Full rooming-in allows you to exercise your mothering instincts when the hormones in your body are programmed for it. In our experience, and that of others who study newborns, mothers and babies who fully room-in enjoy the following benefits:

  • Rooming-in babies seem more content because they interact with only one primary caregiver–mother.
  • Full rooming-in changes the caregiving mindset of the attending personnel. They focus their attention and care on the mother, who is then more comfortable and able to focus on her baby.
  • Rooming-in newborns cry less and more readily organize their sleep-wake cycles. Babies in a large nursery are sometimes soothed by tape recordings of a human heartbeat or music. Rather than being soothed electronically, the baby who is rooming-in with mother is soothed by real and familiar sounds.
  • Mother has fewer breastfeeding problems. Her milk appears sooner, and baby seems more satisfied.
  • Rooming-in babies get less jaundiced, probably because they get more milk.
  • A rooming-in mother usually gets more rest. She experiences less separation anxiety, not wasting energy worrying about her newborn in the nursery, and in the first few days newborns sleep most of the time anyway. It’s a myth that mothers of nursery-reared babies get more rest.
  • Rooming-in mothers, in our experience, have a lower incidence of postpartum depression.

Rooming-in is especially helpful for women who have difficulty jumping right into mothering. One day while making rounds I visited Jan, a new mother, only to find her sad. “What’s wrong?” I inquired. She confided, “All those gushy feelings I’m supposed to have about my baby–well, I don’t. I’m nervous, tense, and don’t know what to do.” I encouraged Jan, “Love at first sight doesn’t happen to every couple, in courting or in parenting. For some mother-infant pairs it is a slow and gradual process. Don’t worry–your baby will help you, but you have to set the conditions that allow the mother-infant care system to click in.” I went on to explain what these conditions were.

All babies are born with a group of special qualities called attachment-promoting behaviors–features and behaviors designed to alert the caregiver to the baby’s presence and draw the caregiver, magnet-like, toward the baby. These features are the roundness of baby’s eyes, cheeks, and body; the softness of the skin; the relative bigness of baby’s eyes; the penetrating gaze; the incredible newborn scent; and, perhaps, most important of all, baby’s early language–the cries and precrying noises.

Here’s how the early mother-infant communication system works. The opening sounds of the baby’s cry activate a mother’s emotions. This is physical as well as psychological. Upon hearing her baby cry, a mother experiences an increased blood flow to her breasts, accompanied by the biological urge to pick up and nurse her baby. This is one of the strongest examples of how the biological signals of the baby trigger a biological response in the mother. There is no other signal in the world that sets off such intense responses in a mother as her baby’s cry. At no other time in the child’s life will language so forcefully stimulate the mother to act.

Picture what happens when babies and mothers room-in together. Baby begins to cry. Mother, because she is there and physically attuned to baby, immediately picks up and feeds her infant. Baby stops crying. When baby again awakens, squirms, grimaces, and then cries, mother responds in the same manner. The next time mother notices her baby’s precrying cues. When baby awakens, squirms, and grimaces, mother picks up and feeds baby before he has to cry. She has learned to read her baby’s signals and to respond appropriately. After rehearsing this dialogue many times during the hospital stay, mother and baby are working as a team. Baby learns to cue better; mother learns to respond better. As the attachment-promoting cries elicit a hormonal response in the mother, her milk-ejection reflex functions smoothly, and mother and infant are in biological harmony.

Now contrast this rooming-in scene with that of an infant cared for in the hospital nursery. Picture this newborn infant lying in a plastic box. He awakens, hungry, and cries along with twenty other hungry babies in plastic boxes who have by now all managed to awaken one another. A kind and caring nurse hears the cries and responds as soon as time permits, but she has no biological attachment to this baby, no inner programming tuned to that particular newborn, nor do her hormones change when the baby cries. The crying, hungry baby is taken to her mother in due time. The problem is that the baby’s cry has two phases: The early sounds of the cry have an attachment-promoting quality, whereas the later sounds of the unattended cry are more disturbing to listen to and may actually promote avoidance.

The mother who has missed the opening scene in this biological drama because she was not present when her baby started to cry is nonetheless expected to give a nurturing response to her baby some minutes later. By the time the nursery-reared baby is presented to the mother, the infant has either given up crying and gone back to sleep (withdrawal from pain) or greets the mother with even more intense and upsetting wails. The mother, who possesses a biological attachment to the baby, nevertheless hears only the cries that are more likely to elicit agitated concern rather than tenderness. Even though she has a comforting breast to offer the baby, she may be so tied up in knots that her milk won’t eject, and the baby cries even harder.

As she grows to doubt her ability to comfort her baby, the infant may wind up spending more time in the nursery, where, she feels, the “experts” can better care for him. This separation leads to more missed cues and breaks in the attachment between mother and baby, and they go home from the hospital without knowing each other.

Not so with the rooming-in baby. He awakens in his mother’s room, his pre-cry signals are promptly attended to, and he is put to the breast either before he needs to cry or at least before the initial attachment-promoting cry develops into a disturbing cry. Thus, both mother and baby profit from rooming-in. Infants cry less, mothers exhibit more mature coping skills toward their baby’s crying, and the infant-distress syndrome (fussiness, colic, incessant crying) is less common than with nursery-reared babies. We had a saying in the newborn unit: “Nursery-reared babies cry harder; rooming-in babies cry better.” A better term for “rooming-in” may be “fitting in.” By spending time together and rehearsing the cue-response dialogue, baby and mother learn to fit together well–and bring out the best in each other.

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DRINKING

When it comes to the risks of children drinking alcohol, they can be both short or long-term. Knowing these risks makes it all the more important to talk to your children about alcohol before it’s too late.

Children can make more responsible decisions about drinking if they have the facts to base them on and feel confident to say “no” if they want to. While the immediate effects of alcohol on children may be no more than being sick or having a hangover, alcohol can leave children emotionally, physically and sexually vulnerable. So the most important thing is to talk to your child earlyand often about the different risks associated with drinking alcohol. 

Long-term risks

Liver damage

You might think that only lifelong alcoholics get liver disease, but regularly drinking too much can increase a young person’s chances of damaging their liver. And as there aren’t many warning signs of liver damage, a problem might only be discovered when it’s very serious.

Brain development

The areas of the brain responsible for behaviour, emotions, reasoning and judgement are still developing throughout childhood and into the teenage years. Drinking during this time can have a long-term impact on memory, reactions and attention span. This could affect your child’s performance at school and stop them reaching their full potential. 

Drinking later in life

If children binge drink, they are more likely to be binge drinkers as adults. Drinking frequently at a young age is also linked to an increased risk of developing alcohol dependence in young adulthood. Regularly drinking in later life can lead to cancer, stroke, heart disease and infertility.

Short-term risks

Vulnerability

The hormonal changes children go through at puberty make them more likely to take risks. Alcohol can further impair children’s judgement, leaving them vulnerable. If they have been drinking they might unintentionally put themselves in risky situations like getting involved in a fight or walking home alone. Over a third (34%) of 16 and 17 year olds have walked home alone at night when drunk.

Unprotected sex

Alcohol affects children’s rational decision-making skills. When children drink they feel more confident and have lower inhibitions. This can mean they make decisions which are out of character such as having unprotected sex.

Alcohol poisoning

Alcohol can be poisonous to anyone that drinks too much in a short space of time but children are especially vulnerable because of their smaller size. Serious health effects of alcohol on children can be seen when their blood alcohol levels get too high. This can cause their brain to stop controlling their body’s vital functions and in the worst case scenario they could stop breathing, fall into a coma or choke on their own vomit.

Appearance

Alcohol has almost as many calories as pure fat so drinking can cause weight gain. It is also a diuretic so it dehydrates the body and can make skin look pale and grey. Drinking affects normal sleep patterns too, leading to restless nights and tiredness.

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Summer is here and as the temperature rises it brings it with some fun, more time spent outdoors, time off work and six weeks of glorious school holidays for many.

Dogs, like people can suffer in the hot weather; following a few simple rules can help keep your dog a lot happier as the temperatures soar.

Understanding how your dog cools down and planning ahead can help stop dangerous situations from escalating and avoid potential disasters.

Every year dogs tragically die in hot vehicles or end up in the vets with sunburn or heatstroke. Enjoy the hot weather and have a great time but please don’t let your dog down this summer.

How Dogs Regulate Their Body Temperature:

Dogs are endothermic; regardless of changes in environmental temperatures, they need to maintain and regulate their own body temperature within a set and safe range. The average healthy dog’s body temperature is 101.5 ºF / 38.6 ºC.

When your dog’s body temperature increases, heat is lost from increased blood flowing at the skin surface. As a dog breathes in, air travels through the nasal passage and is cooled before it reaches the lungs (less so in short nosed dogs).

As the environment becomes warmer and/or more humid a dog will regulate body temperate and cool down using the respiratory system – mainly by panting, unlike us humans who sweat when we’re hot, dogs do not use sweating through their skin as their cooling mechanism.

A Panting Dog Is A Hot Dog: When your dog becomes hot the brain will send signals to different parts of the dog’s body. Your dog’s heart and lungs will work harder as your dog breathes in and out quicker and pants to reduce body temperature via the process of evaporation.

As a dog is panting, the mouth is open and the tongue is hanging out – breathing air in through the nose and out through the mouth, air passes over the tongue, saliva and moisture on the tongue evaporates, the blood in the tongue is cooled and circulated around the body.

Owners of Brachycephalic Dogs:

Short nosed/push in face/flat face/snub nose dogs are technically known as ‘Brachycephalic’ dogs and include breeds such as the British Bulldog, Boxer, French Bulldog, Pekingese, Pug as well as crossbreeds. These dogs need special care in hot weather as they can overheat quickly and this can be fatal.

Brachycephalic dogs have short noses so air being breathed in doesn’t cool so well before it reaches the lungs. They also rely on panting but have to work a lot harder at it as they are not, by design, very efficient. Less air is passing in due to shorter muzzle length and out due to the flat shape of their heads and these types of dogs can quickly become over heated and in trouble.

When a brachycephalic dog is too hot and panting, a foamy phlegm can be produced in the throat making it harder to breath, airways can become inflamed and swollen leading to further difficulties breathing and distress.

If you are the owner of a brachycephalic dog you will need to be extra careful in hot and humid weather and work to help prevent your dog from overheating.

Dogs DIE In Hot Vehicles:

Cars and other vehicles quickly become ovens in warm weather and kill dogs, end of story.

Some people leave their dog in a car whilst they just ‘pop into a shop’ or think it’s alright as it’s cloudy out – this is a big mistake to make and one which could result in the death of your dog.

Leaving water down in a vehicle or the window open is not going to stop your dog from overheating as dogs regulate their body temperature in a different way to us.

Many dogs still tragically suffer heatstroke or DIE in hot cars every year.

Please never leave a dog in a vehicle on a warm day

or risk killing your dog in a most horrendous way.

Travelling:

If you’re going to be making a road journey, first of all – do you really need to take your dog along?

If so, do you have a good working air conditioning system inside your vehicle? If not, or if your air con broke down, how are you going to keep your dog cool during the journey?

If it’s possible, travelling during the cooler parts of the day is sensible and a lot safer. Much better to travel early morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler. It’s horrible to be stuck in a traffic jam with a dog on a hot day, e.g. a motorway hold up could last for several hours, so if you’re caught in it, with no air con, how are you going to stop your dog from over heating? Much better to plan ahead and avoid these stressful situations in the first place.

If you have air con – cool the vehicle down before you get in it. Always take plenty of water and a bowl, take frequent breaks and park in the shade, during the breaks leave open windows and doors to help reduce the humidity inside the vehicle and keep your dog out of the sun.

Think ahead and organise some appropriate shade for the windows to help screen out some of the sunlight during the journey – a dog sat in the back of a car with the full sun coming in through the windows can quickly overheat whilst you are driving, this can be a very dangerous position for a dog to be in.

Be careful that your dog can’t jump out of an open vehicle window and don’t let him stick his head out as you’re driving – this is very dangerous, for example a small stone could take his eye out, the side mirror of a passing car could hit his head.

Plan ahead to where you are going with your dog – for example if you have planned a family day out during the summer, is your dog allowed access to where you are going? If you are going out, will there be enough shade and water for your dog at all times when you get there?

Shade & Ventilation:

We all spend more time in our gardens and outside during the summer months and it’s easy for your dog to overheat in no time at all. Your dog will need plenty of shade if outside on a warm day.

Remember that the sun moves round throughout the day, so an area can be shaded and then exposed, check out that your dog has constant access to a well shaded area at all times of the day. Shaded areas also need to be well ventilated – with a good circulation of fresh air.

Some dogs will lie out in the sun, if your dog is a sunbather, you will need to prevent this as dogs quickly overheat and can also be burnt by the sun.

Dogs are far better suited to staying indoors when it’s very hot out, in a ventilated cool area.

Drawn blinds/curtains etc can help keep a room cooler by blocking out the powerful sun’s rays.

An electric fan safely positioned can also help circulate air around; place a bowl of cold water with some ice cubes in it below the fan, this will circulate cooler air around the room.

Lying on a tiled or lino floor covering can also be cooler for your dog.

Conservatories or rooms with a lot of glass can heat up very quickly as the sun moves around during the day, so keep this in mind.

If you are leaving windows/doors open to allow air to circulate more freely do consider that it is safe to do so, for example, that your dog cannot escape through a door, jump or fall out of an open window.

Water – the Life Saver:

Dogs need a constant supply of fresh, cool (not baked in the sun hot) drinking water.

Bowls can get knocked over or played with and spilt. Before you know it your dog is dehydrating and in distress, so make sure there is plenty of water down at all times, both indoors and outside. Don’t force your dog to drink; it will drink when it wants to.

Paddling/shallow pools can help a dog to cool down and many dogs enjoy access to one. Don’t leave a dog with access to a pool unsupervised and make sure the dog can get out of the pool easily.

Rivers, canals and ponds etc can be very attractive to some, but not all, dogs who love to swim, they can also cause drowning and disease so do be careful and supervise your dog at all times when out.

Exercising – Mad dogs and Englishmen – Go out in the midday sun:

Many dogs will still run and play in the sun if allowed to – many just don’t know when to stop, but that’s your job. A dog can suffer from heatstroke due to physical activity on a warm, hot or humid day-this doesn’t always have to be in the mid summer season.

Puppies get can get very excited and play regardless of the heat, some dogs, say a Staffordshire Bull Terrier having a great time with a ball, will keep enthusiastically playing until they become exhausted. As a dog owner it is up to you to supervise and limit physical activity in hot and humid conditions – your dog will thank you for it.

It makes sense to avoid the hottest parts of the day (10am-4pm) and exercise your dog early mornings and later in the evenings when it’s naturally cooler. Dogs don’t need to go walks in the midday sun, this really is madness and every year leaves a lot of dogs gasping to breathe and in some cases down at the vets.

Many people want to get and about during the summer, enjoying long walks, cycling, jogging, time off work, it’s nice for us, but often you will see someone walking down the road in the heat of the day with a dog alongside panting away and struggling to keep up. You see, we might find it enjoyable (some of us) but your dog really shouldn’t be out as Noel Coward said; “Mad dogs and Englishmen…”. This is very true and experienced dog owners know to protect their dogs during the hottest parts of the day.

If you do need to take your dog out during the warmer parts of the day, for example you have no garden and your dog must get out to toilet, try to walk in shaded areas avoiding open spaces and hot pavements as much as possible and take water with you.

Coat types and condition:

Black dogs will absorb more heat from the sun. Long haired dogs and dogs with double coats need to be kept well groomed to maintain the coat free of tangles and remove any dead undercoat; this helps the air to circulate which allows the skin to breathe and helps your dog keep cooler.

Some owners like to shave their heavy coated dog’s abdomen and groin as this helps air to flow and disperses heat, dogs enjoy stretching out flat on a cool surface too. 

Long coated dogs, e.g. Shih Tzu’s can be trimmed back to help make them more comfortable-speak to a professional groomer about this.

Dogs don’t need to have their hair completely shaved off during the warmer weather as this will expose the skin underneath to the sun and some coat covering helps to provide protection.

The area around your dog’s bottom needs to be kept especially clean during the summer as flies can be attracted here if faeces has been lodged in the coat.

Older Dogs & Overweight Dogs:

Older dogs and dogs which are overweight need extra care in the hot weather as they can overheat a lot quicker and may be less tolerant to the heat and less able to regulate their body temperature.

Be extra vigilant and provide a shady, quiet resting space which is well ventilated with access to fresh cool water.

Dogs with weakened heart and lung function will also need extra help to stay cool in hot weather. If you’re at all concerned have a chat with your vet.

Muzzled Dogs:

Some dogs wear a muzzle when they go out as their owner has decided this is a responsible option for different reasons. Some dogs have to wear a muzzle at all times in a public place due the requirements of a control order or due to legislation.

It may be the case that you as the person responsible for a dog, cannot remove a muzzle to enable a dog to drink or pant easier without committing a criminal offence, if this is the situation, you will need to take extra precautions particularly in hot weather to safeguard the welfare of your dog.

Dogs registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs also have to be muzzled and leashed when travelling inside a vehicle. It can quickly become hot and humid inside a vehicle on a warm day, owners will need to take precautions and be extra careful when transporting a registered dog, as legally they are not allowed to remove the muzzle whilst the vehicle is itself in a public place (eg, on the road).

A muzzle which is of a design (e.g. basket type) that does not prevent your dog from opening its mouth to pant and drink is going to be very important. If a dog is unable to open its mouth to drink water and pant it cannot cool itself down – on a warm day, this could quickly lead to a distressed dog, heatstroke and a veterinary emergency.

Advice on safely muzzling your dog here.

Tarmac & Pavements:

Tarmac surfaces and pavements get hot! We don’t notice with our footwear on, but our dogs do and paws can get burnt.

Walking surfaces can also take a while to cool back down again so bear that in mind if you are taking your dog out in the evening.

Sunburn & Dehydration:

Like us, dogs can also suffer from sunburn. White dogs are particularly prone to sunburn due to a lack of pigmentation in their skin. For example white American Bulldogs and Bull Terriers.

The tips of the ears, bridge of the nose, round the eyes and abdomen are areas which can become burnt easily due to the thin skin and not much hair covering in these sensitive areas.

High factor waterproof sunscreen or complete sunblock can be applied, this will provide protection for vulnerable areas, but prevention is a must and keeping in the shade is a priority.

Use a cream which is fragrance free and suitable for a child as your dog may lick the cream off – especially when applied to his nose. If you’re using a spray be careful around the eyes – spray it onto your fingers first and wipe it on gently. You can now buy sunblock cream especially produced for dogs and pets.

Like us, dog can also become dehydrated due to a lack of fluid intake and loss of saliva when panting. Making sure your dog has constant access to plenty of fresh water will help prevent dehydration.

Signs of dehydration in a dog include a dry mouth, gums and nose, reduced skin elasticity, reduced capillary refill and sunken eyes.

If you suspect your dog is dehydrated offer your dog water in small amounts to prevent vomiting and seek veterinary advice immediately. Your vet will be able to advise further as sometimes dogs become dehydrated due to other causes and a severely dehydrated dog will need hydration therapy which will include not only fluids but electrolytes.

Dehydration can come on quickly and cause damage to internal organs so always seek veterinary advice.

Overheating & Heatstroke:

Dogs can quickly become too hot and reach a point of where their body temperature is too high and they are unable to cool themselves down and keep their body temperature within a SAFE margin.

Heatstroke can be caused by overexposure to sunlight (sunstroke) and hot and humid environments.

Your dog will need appropriate first aid to bring the body temperature down and immediate veterinary attention.

Heatstroke is a medical emergency, it can be fatal and it can also cause damage to internal organs.

Signs of Heatstroke in a dog include:

A raised body temperature, heavy and rapid panting, laboured breathing, weakness, wide eyes, red tongue, rapid pulse, disorientation, exhaustion, diarrhoea, vomiting and distress. A dog can also collapse and go into a coma.

A dog with a body temperature between 104 ºF to 106 ºF is suffering from moderate heatstroke; first aid and veterinary advice is needed straight away.

If the dog’s body temperature is 106 ºF or over the dog is said to have severe heatstroke; first aid and immediate veterinary attention is critical.

Heatstroke and sunstroke can damage internal organs and be fatal.

You need to act quickly and seek veterinary help as this is an emergency for your dog.

How to cool a dog down – First Aid:

The average temperature for a healthy dog is 101.5 ºF or 38.6 ºC.

A healthy dog’s temperature can vary from 100.5 °F to 102.5 °F (38 °C – 39.2 °C).

If a dog has/is overheating and it is unable to bring down its own temperature through panting it is going to need your help. A dog’s body temperature must be cooled down safely.

  • Move the dog into the shade if out in the sun, move into a well ventilated (fresh air flow) area where it is cool.
  • Offer cool water but don’t force the dog to drink
  • Soak the dog in cool water. Freezing water will cause blood vessels to constrict so use cool water not freezing cold water and wet down your dog’s body all over making sure the water isn’t just running off the coat but is soaking right through to the skin. Turning a hose on a dog may frighten him, so try to quickly soak him instead.
  • Standing a dog in a paddling pool or shallow bath of cool water will cool him down, wet him all over, soaking the back of his neck will help cool down the blood going to his brain, but if he can’t stand let him lie and soak him through whilst he lays down.
  • If you are out and limited on water, soak cold water on your dog’s belly, in his groin and round his neck, this will help cool the hot blood running through larger blood vessels. Get him out the sun and in the shade. Offer water to drink.
  • Short muzzled dogs may have a build up of foamy type phlegm in their throat-a short squirt of Jiff Lemon to the back of the throat mayl help cut through this, not nice, but if the dog can’t breathe this is an emergency.
  • If possible point an electric fan his way to aid cooling.
  • Stay calm and talk to your dog.
  • If you have access to the phone ring through to the vet immediately and seek advice on what to do next or send an adult for help.
  • Keep the dog soaked in cool water, in the shade with plenty of fresh air and check his rectal temperature every ten minutes if you can, write it down with the time taken and tell your vet.
  • Remember not to over cool your dog, you’re trying to bring his rectal temperature back down-stop cooling at 103°F (39.4°C) Check the temperature – you don’t want his body temperature dropping too low-hypothermia.
  • When travelling to the vets with a overheated dog, soak towels in cold water and lay or sit your dog on a cold towel. Cool the vehicle down first before you get in it. Allow plenty of air to circulate inside the vehicle on the way to the vets – this aids evaporation. Take cold water with you for your dog to drink.
  • If you have managed to cool down your dog, still contact your veterinary clinic for advice.

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Top 10: Tips on coping with your newbornRex Features

I feel uncomfortable when assigned the tag of “expert” because I’ve had five children. After all, I’m not an expert on all babies and I wasn’t even an expert on my newborns.

However, that said, I do sometimes look at new mothers these days and think “oh, if only I could tell you this or that”. But I don’t want to get a reputation as an interfering old know-all in my real life.

Here, I have no such qualms so I have written out my top ten tips on coping, whether it’s your first or fourth. I shall, however, try to stop short of saying “in my day……”. 
1. Ignorance can sometimes be bliss: I’m not talking about not knowing the signs ofmeningitis or preeclampsia, of course. But I had no idea that having a c-section was supposed to make breastfeeding harder, for example. It wasn’t a walk in the park at first but I didn’t know any different and stuck at it. And, if you haven’t had your baby yet, don’t talk to women about their birth experiences.
2. Have a babymoon: Admittedly this was a new concept to me but one I wholeheartedly embraced with babies four and five. It’s hard to do but really important. You chill out in your PJs, preferably in bed at home, with your little one (and partner too, although he is on kitchen duty) for at least a week. And if you have other children they can join you, but once you’re dressed you’re back to full-on doing-it-all mode. If there’s one thing you do from this list, let it be this one. 

3. Embrace imperfection: The laundry piling up, the dust settling, being in your nightclothes still at 4pm — all of that doesn’t matter. Things will get done. Just not right now and not as quickly as you’re used to. Exhale, let it go and snuggle with your baby. That’s all that matters.

4. Accept help: I know, this can also be tricky. People say “if you need any help let me know” which is a cop out because then you have to take the initiative. But take it you shall. Tell them you’d like nothing better if they could bake you one of their chocolate cakes/take your toddler out/cuddle the baby while you take a bath. They’ll be flattered to be asked and if they’re not, perhaps it might teach them not to make empty offers.

5. Forget putting your baby in proper clothes: I did this for the first few months (but maybe that’s because I’m lazy). Those teeny pairs of jeans look so cute but avoid at all costs. Babies need changing with alarming regularity and really, you don’t need to give yourself more work. Plus, I never thought proper clothes looked all that soft for little ones. Babies in white babygros with a knitted cardigan, on the other hand, look lovely.

6. Go to National Childbirth Trust antenatal classes: NCT classes are not populated by placenta eating, natural birthing hippies, at least not round my way. Mothers who join them seem to form such tight knit groups that trying to infiltrate is harder than joining the Freemasons. You will meet other mothers everywhere but having friends with babies very close in age, at least at first, is priceless. Avoid competitive mums though.

7. Dismiss 99% of all advice: Apart from this list, obviously. It is all very well people telling you to “leave the baby to cry” but it’s not them standing there with leaky breasts and tears streaming down their face. Do it your way (which could also mean leaving the baby to cry). You’re not a perfect mum (who is?) but you’re the perfect mum for your baby. Repeat it under your breath as a mantra.

8. Don’t get your baby weighed too often: I made this mistake at first. You feel so good when baby puts on nearly a pound (a pound!) in a week, especially if it’s thanks to your boobs. But a paediatrician advised me that monthly visits to the baby clinic are enough because you get too much “noise” on the chart otherwise (they will put on more weight some weeks than others, it’s the overall pattern that counts apparently). Obviously go if you have a question or concern but you know if your baby is thriving.

9. Breastfeed: Controversial, I realise, but I can’t ignore it. It was probably one of the best things I have ever done. It wasn’t easy. My nipples felt like they were trapped in a red hot vice for what felt like hours at first. Apart from all the well documented benefits, it means you have to slow down to baby’s pace. Don’t be afraid to use all the advice there is. With my fifth baby I had to enlist a breast feeding counsellor’s help. If you don’t want to do it, or can’t do it, that’s fine too. Your baby will still thrive.

10. Enjoy it: It’s corny but oh so true that this time really does go by so quickly. I don’t want any more children, but if I could have a superpower I’d choose to travel back in time to when mine were babies. I would worry less, choose who I spent my precious time with more wisely but I really wouldn’t change much. I snuggled lots and the housework built up but I enjoyed them so much.

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Help Your Child Change a Poor Sleep Pattern

If you have a child who consistently goes to bed late and wakes up tired and unrefreshed, there are some things that you can try to help them change their sleep pattern. It won’t necessarily be easy, as a child who has become habituated to sleeping late can be very resistant to an earlier sleep pattern but it is about habit-changing and persistence and perseverance can help both of you to establish a new routine.

Steps

  1. 1

    Stick to a consistent routine. It is tempting to let children stay up later on the weekend but this is where children learn how enjoyable it is to stay up later and it gives them the desire to do so on other nights. When a routine exists that requires your child to be in bed early every night of the week, this provides a sense of consistency that children can easily adapt to. This means keeping a consistent bedtime and waking time.

  2. 2

    Ensure that your child has a comfortable sleep environment. The room should be at a good sleep temperature of around 16ºC (60ºF). If it is not possible to keep the room warm enough, add blankets and a child-safe hot water bottle to warm the bed. Avoid using electric blankets as these are not considered to be safe options for children.[1] If the room is too warm, strip the bed down to a sheet only, leave a glass of water at the bedside table and open the window if possible. It is also important that the room is quiet. This means no noise from TV, talking or other hubbub.

  3. 3

    Keep distractions out of your child’s bedroom. Remove anything that might distract a child such as computers, TV, video games etc. The family room is the place for these highly distracting devices. For teens, this will be more difficult, but you can institute a check at a certain hour to make sure they are not sneaking in extra time. The problem lies in the fact that using computers, playing video games or watching TV winds up our mind and it takes considerable time to unwind after using these devices. A good rule of thumb is to require reading, card playing, writing or drawing on paper etc. type activities to replace electronic activities one hour before bedtime. This becomes “down-time”. To make it fair, this should apply to everyone in the family, regardless of age, to help all get a good night’s sleep!

  4. 4

    Don’t let your child consume products that might keep them lively past bedtime. Ban consumption of soft drinks, coffee, tea, chocolate etc. that contain caffeine several hours before bedtime. Make it a rule that come 6pm, all drinks must be caffeine free. This will be harder on teen children than on younger ones.

  5. 5

    Avoid using bed as a source of punishment for time-outs. Children will associate being sent to bed with bad experiences and this can hamper their desire to go to bed and sleep.

  6. 6

    Get out and exercise. A bike ride or a ball bounce after dinner can do wonders for improving sleep patterns. However, care must be taken not to encourage exercise too close to bedtime or hearts will be racing and sleep will be long in coming.

  7. 7

    Change the whole family’s sleep patterns. If getting up early is an issue for everyone, perhaps it is time the whole family went to bed early. It can be a fun but instructive game for mom and dad to go to bed earlier than their child once in a while. Tell your child you are going to bed and that they had better hurry up and beat you. Turn out all the lights in the rest of the house except for where teeth are being cleaned and the bedrooms. The message soon becomes clear and everyone gets a good night’s sleep! This can be a great way to kickstart a new sleeping routine for the entire household and the kids feel involved as a part of the general shift, rather than being the sole focus.

  8. 8

    Be persistent. Your child will likely argue and whine. Be ready for that and have ears of steel. Repeat the mantra that “your bedtime is now, the TV time is over” or “Goodnight, sleep tight”. Using a mantra every night can help your child settle down, as long as you use it to signal that there’s no discussion to be had.[2] As much as the wheedling gets to you, as a parent, it is your responsibility to stand up to your child’s limit-testing and draw the boundaries clearly.

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growing up



My Rememberer

My forgetter’s getting better
But my rememberer is broke
To you that may seem funny
But, to me, that is no joke.

For when I’m ‘here’ I’m wondering
If I really should be ‘there’
And, when I try to think it through,
I haven’t got a prayer!

Often times I walk into a room,
Say “what am I here for?”
I wrack my brain, but all in vain
A zero, is my score.

At times I put something away
Where it is safe, but, Gee!
The person it is safest from
Is, generally, me!

When shopping I may see someone,
Say “Hi” and have a chat,
Then, when the person walks away
I ask myself, “who was that?”

Yes, my forgetter’s getting better
While my rememberer is broke,
And it’s driving me plumb crazy
And that isn’t any joke.

P.S. Send this to everyone you know . . . because I don’t remember who sent it to me!


Just a Wonder

A row of bottles on my shelf
Caused me to analyze myself.
One yellow pill I have to pop
Goes to my heart so it won’t stop.
A little white one that I take
Goes to my hands so they won’t shake.
The blue ones that I use a lot
Tell me I’m happy when I’m not.
The purple pill goes to my brain
And tells me that I have no pain.
The capsules tell me not to wheeze
Or cough or choke or even sneeze.
The red ones, smallest of them all
Go to my blood so I won’t fall.
The orange ones, very big and bright
Prevent my leg cramps in the night.
Such an array of brilliant pills
Helping to cure all kinds of ills.
But what I’d really like to know . . .
Is what tells each one where to go!


Prayer for Senility:

God grant me the senility
to forget the people I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.


Don’t Worry

At age 20 we worry about what others think of us;
At age 40 we don’t care what they think of us;
At age 60 we realize that they haven’t been thinking of us at all.


I’m Fine, How are You?

There’s nothing the matter with me,
I’m just as healthy as can be,
I have arthritis in both knees,
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak, my blood is thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

All my teeth have had to come out,
And my diet I hate to think about.
I’m overweight and I can’t get thin,
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

Arch supports I need for my feet.
Or I wouldn’t be able to go out in the street.
Sleep is denied me night after night,
But every morning I find I’m all right.
My memory’s failing, my head’s in a spin.
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

The moral of this as the tale unfolds,
Is that for you and me, who are growing old.
It is better to say “I’m fine” with a grin,
Than to let people know the shape we are in.

I’m fine, how are you ?


Radio 2

(© Dean Farnell)

I’m getting old I’m in despair
I’ve found my first grey pubic hair
I’m fast asleep by half past 10
I’m never gonna see my teens again.

It won’t be long until I’m gone
When father time will have won
My pipe and slippers wait for me
It’s, bingo, crib and cups of tea.

I’m wearing beige, and a cardigan
The musics hell on radio one
I just think about vapour rubs
Saga magazines, and bowling clubs.

I want to live till I’m 99
Where’s it gone, this life of mine
How can it be, that at 43
I think of retirement beside the sea.

The downward spiral has begun
The musics hell on radio one
The only thing, that’s left to do
Is to tune my dial to radio two.


My Get Up and Go Has Got Up and Went

How do I know that my youth is all spent?
Well, my get up and go has got up and went,
But in spite of it all I am able to grin.
When I think of the places my get up has been.

Old age is golden, So I’ve heard said
But sometimes I wonder, as I get into bed.
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup
And my eyes on the table until I wake up.

Ere sleep dims my eyes I say to myself
“Is there anything else I can put on the shelf?”
And I’m happy to say as I close the door
“My friends are the same, perhaps even more.”

When I was a young thing my slippers were red,
I could kick my heels as high as my head.
Then when I was older, my slippers were blue,
But still I could walk the whole day through.

Now I’m still older, my slippers are black.
I walk to the store and puff my way back.
The reason I know my youth is all spent,
My get up and go has got up and went.

But really, I don’t mind when I think with a grin,
Of all the grand places my get up has been.
Since I have retired from life’s competition
I busy myself with complete repetition.

I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the ‘obits’,
If my name is missing I know I’m not dead
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.


Reality Check

(Elizabeth Van Loan)

I feel young and full of pep,
Rushing hither and yon.
Enjoying every passing day
Seldom woebegone.
Until the daily news proclaims:
“Elderly Woman Hit by Car.”
And I am halted in my tracks,
My pleasant world ajar.
Forced to face reality–
That ‘elderly’ woman is
younger than me!


A Little Mixed Up

Just a line to say to say I’m living,
that I’m not among the dead
Though I’m getting more forgetful,
and mixed up in my head;

I’ve got used to my arthritis,
To my dentures I’m resigned.
I can manage my bifocals,
But, Oh God, I miss my mind.

For sometimes I don’t remember,
At the bottom of the stairs
If I was going up for something,
or if I just came down from there.

And before the fridge so often,
my poor mind is filled with doubt–
Have I put the food away . . .
Or come to take some out?

There are times when it is dark
And my nightcap’s on my head
I don’t know if I’m retiring,
or just getting out of bed;

So if it’s my turn to write you,
There’s no need in getting sore,
I may think that I have written
And I don’t want to be a bore.

Please remember that I love you,
And I wish that you were here;
But now it’s nearly mail time,
So I must say goodbye, my dear.

Now here I stand beside the mailbox,
With my face so very red,
Instead of mailing you my letter,
I have opened it instead!


ABC’s of Aging

A is for arthritis,
B is for bad back,
C is for the chest pains. Corned Beef? Cardiac?
D is for dental decay and decline,
E is for eyesight–can’t read that top line.
F is for fissures and fluid retention
G is for gas (which I’d rather not mention–
and not to forget other gastrointestinal glitches)
H is high blood pressure
I is for itches, and lots of incisions
J is for joints, that now fail to flex
L is for libido–what happened to sex?
Wait! I forgot about K!
K is for my knees that crack all the time
(But forgive me, I get a few lapses in my
Memory from time to time)
N is for nerve (pinched) and neck (stiff) and neurosis
O is for osteo-for all the bones that crack
P is for prescriptions, that cost a small fortune
Q is for queasiness. Fatal or just the flu?
Give me another pill and I’ll be good as new!
R is for reflux–one meal turns into two
S is for sleepless nights,
counting fears on how to pay my medical bills!
T is for tinnitus–I hear bells in my ears
and the word ‘terminal’ also rings too near
U is for urinary and the difficulties that flow (or not)
V is for vertigo, as life spins by
W is worry, for pains yet unfound
X is for X ray–and what one might find
Y is for year (another one, I’m still alive).
Z is for zest
For surviving the symptoms my body’s deployed,
And keeping twenty-six doctors gainfully employed.

Copyright information: If something is incorrectly credited, please contact me. If something infringes on your copyright, notify me and I will remove it. Things on this site are for personal use with proper credit – not for profit making ventures. The compilation is mine but individual poems are copyright to their author.

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  • The Dog Ate My Homework

    dog eats homework

     

    The dog ate my homework
    just like it was kibble.
    He started up slow
    with a cute little nibble
    and then scarfed it down
    with a burp and a snort.
    How was he to know
    that my special report
    was due here this morning
    precisely at 8:00.
    So now it is eaten.
    I’m sorry it’s late.
    But what can you do
    when your dog needs a snack
    and your stapled report
    comes under attack?
    I told him to stop
    but he just wouldn’t mind.
    When my dog is hungry,
    he’s not very kind.
    I’ll bring it tomorrow,
    and you’ll see it then.
    So long as my dog
    isn’t hungry again.

    by Denise Rodgers

     

    Copyright© Denise Rodgers 

    All Rights Reserved

    Art by Julie Martin

    The second funny school poem in this set tells the same story… from the dog’s point of view!

     

    Yes, I Ate His Homework

    dog ate homework

     

    Yes, I ate his homework.
    You think I’m a liar!
    So kind of you, teacher,
    to go and inquire.
    It’s just that when hungry,
    despite what you think,
    there’s nothing more tasty
    than paper and ink,
    unless it’s some slippers
    or brand-new soft shoes,
    or maybe a sheet
    of some basted raw chews.
    I ate all the homework
    and part of the couch.
    There’s so much to eat
    and I’m hardly a slouch.
    So that is my story.
    I’ll swear that it’s true.
    Excuse me for now,
    I have text books to chew.

    by Denise Rodgers

     

    Copyright© Denise Rodgers 

    All Rights Reserved

    Art by Julie Martin

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Kid-Friendly_Summer-Fun_Heather_44235

50 Healthiest Snacks

Snacks can be a dieter’s best friend, if you choose the right ones. The list below offers 50 between-meal bites that will help you stay slim and satisfied. Those marked with an * contain a protein, fiber, calcium or antioxidants to keep your body at its best. The rest will help fend off a craving without a lot of added fat, sugar or calories. No matter what you choose, you’ll lose (weight, that is)

 

Sate a salt craving

  • 23 almonds (162 calories)*
    This is our top savory super snack because it offers fiber, heart-healthy fats and vitamin E, which may help your body bounce back post-workout. The nuts also pack alpha-linolenic acid, which revs your body’s fat-burning ability.
  • 5 olives (any kind) (45 calories)
  • 1 small Martin’s pretzel (50 calories)
  • 2 oz Applegate Honey and Maple Turkey Breast wrapped around 2 bread-and-butter pickles (80 calories)*
  • 1/4 cup hummus, 3 carrot sticks (80 calories)*
  • 1 Wasa Multigrain Crispbread topped with 1 tbsp avocado and 1 tbsp hummus (80 calories)*
  • 6 steamed medium asparagus spears topped with 1 tablespoon toasted almond slivers (80 calories)*
  • 1/3 cup 1/2-inch-thick potato slices tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of finely chopped rosemary, baked at 450 for 30 minutes (80 calories)*
  • 1/4 cup black beans combined with 1 tbsp salsa, 1 tbsp cottage cheese and 1/2 tbsp guacamole; savor with 4 celery stalks (80 calories)*
  • 1/4 cup 1/4-inch-thick cucumber slices, tossed with 3 oz nonfat plain yogurt, 2 tsp chopped cashews, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp finely chopped fresh dill (80 calories)*
  • 1/2 slice whole-wheat toast brushed with 1/2 tsp olive oil, topped with 1 tbsp Greek yogurt and a mixture of 3 tbsp diced tomatoes with a pinch of chopped garlic and basil (80 calories)*
  • 1 Laughing Cow Light Swiss Original wedge, 3 pieces Kavli Crispy Thin (85 calories)*
  • One 1-oz package tuna jerky (90 calories)*
  • 1 oz buffalo mozzarella, 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (94 calories)*
  • 1 bag Baked! Cheetos 100 Calorie Mini Bites (100 calories)
  • 15 Eden’s Nori Maki Crackers rice crackers (110 calories)
  • 1 cup unshelled edamame (120 calories)*
  • 25 Eden’s Vegetable Chips (140 calories)
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Chili con Queso, 18 baked tortilla chips (140 calories)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds in shell (143 calories)*
  • 2 pieces (30 grams) prosciutto, 4 dried figs (154 calories)*
  • 9 cashews (180 calories)*
  • 1 Subway Turkey Breast Wrap (190 calories)*

Satisfy a sweet tooth

  • 8 oz plain yogurt (110 calories, 0 g fat)*
    This get-skinny staple is the ultimate sweet snack. The mix of carbs and protein in lowfat yogurt keep blood sugar level, stave off hunger and helps your body store less fat. Add fresh berries for flavor and a punch of antioxidants.
  • 1 Fla-Vor-Ice Lite Sugar-Free (5 calories)
  • 10 frozen grapes (20 calories)*
  • 1 package Original Apple Nature Valley Fruit Crisps (50 calories)
  • 10 strawberries rolled in confectioners’ sugar (71 calories)*
  • 1 packet O’Coco’s Mocha cookies (90 calories)
  • 1 Strawberry Froz Fruit bar (90 calories)*
  • 1 Jelly Belly 100-calorie pack (100 calories)
  • One 100-calorie pack Trader Joe’s Chocolate Graham Toucan Cookies (100 calories)
  • One 100-calorie Balance Bar (100 calories)*
  • 2 Raspberry Newtons (100 calories)*
  • 1 Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino bar (120 calories)
  • 1 package Back to Nature Honey Graham Sticks (120 calories)
  • 1/2 banana rolled in 1 tbsp frozen semisweet chocolate chips (123 calories)*
  • 2 tbsp Better ‘n Peanut Butter, 4 stalks celery (124 calories)*
  • 1 bag Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop Butter Mini Bags topped with a spritz of butter spray and 1 tsp sugar (126 calories)*
  • 1 candy apple with coconut shavings (130 calories)*
  • 1/2 cup sliced pears with marshmallow cream topping (139 calories)*
  • 24 Annie’s Chocolate Chip Bunny Graham cookies (140 calories)
  • Half of a 1.08-oz container of M&M’s Minis mixed with 1/3 cup lowfat granola (145 calories)
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa Pebbles with 1/2 cup skim milk (157 calories)*
  • 1 cup apple slices dipped in 2 tbsp caramel topping (160 calories)*
  • 4 Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies (160 calories)
  • 1 McDonald’s Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait (160 calories)*
  • 1 vanilla-almond shake: Blend 1/2 cup skim milk with 1/2 cup frozen yogurt and 1 drop almond extract (165 calories)*
  • 3/4 cup warm apple sauce (165 calories)*
  • 1 cup lowfat chocolate milk*
 

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