Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer Treats: Watermelon

Summer is full of great, cool treats.  As our family moves more toward a healthy, real food lifestyle, the subject of summer treats is a tough one.  How do you treat yourself, but still stay healthy?

One of my favorite healthy summer treats has always been the fresh, chilled watermelon.  Yes, nothing brings back childhood memories more than that refreshing, sweet, taste.  We had one last weekend, in fact.  And as I sat there, introducing my youngest son to this tasty treat for the first time, I wondered about the health benefits of the watermelon.  Research to the rescue!

Did you know that watermelons can help regulate the body's pH factor?  They also help reduce high blood pressure and can help reduce heart disease.  They are also very high in water content, nearly 92% of their weight is water, so for those of us who don't love to drink water, eating some watermelon is a good way to hydrate.  They are high in vitamins A and C as well.  And if calorie counting is your game, no worries here!  Watermelons are very low calorie, making them a great snack when you have a craving for something sweet but don't have a lot of calories left for the day!

While clearly very good for you, do practice moderation with watermelon, as with anything else.

Some fun facts that I didn't know about watermelon:
- Dogs CAN eat watermelon, though you would not want to give them the seeds
- While humans can eat the seeds, most don't because they can cause digestion issues
- Watermelons are considered both a fruit and a vegetable.  Fruits are grown from seeds, have sweet flavors, and are refreshing.  Vegetables are harvested and cleared from a field.  Watermelons share all of these qualities, and are considered a member of the same family as cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins.  Thus, they are considered a fruit AND a vegetable.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

"Driving Grandpa" is a delight

Every once in awhile, a story will come along that warms your heart, makes you laugh, and really touches you because the characters are so REAL.  Driving Grandpa is one of those books.  It is a simple story of a man who takes on the job of driving his Grandpa around after he is no longer able to drive himself.  One would assume Grandpa is the one getting the benefits from this arrangement, but the narrator (and the readers) are the ones who truly benefit from Grandpa's entertaining stories and perspective.  Grandpa is a WWII Vet who has lots of stories to share.  And while his grandson takes him along while he drives for work, Grandpa shares those stories and so much more. 

I can't help thinking about my own grandfathers, both of whom passed away before I was an adult.  I wonder what their stories would be like if they were alive today, and I find myself envying the narrator for the time he has with his grandfather, knowing how quickly that time passes.

This book is family-friendly and a lot of fun!

Potty Training = Nightmare

Have you ever taken on a huge project, done the research, did all the tasks assigned to you, spent hours working through every step - only to have the project returned to you as if you had never even started, when you thought you were finished?

That's what potty training has been like for us.  Over and over and over.  I read the three day potty training method.  I bought charts and stickers.  I bought potty treats and an Elmo book about going to the potty.  I read books to him every night about going to the potty, encouraged him, and even established a "potty cheer" for when he would successfully go potty.  We were even able to take him out INTO THE WORLD without a diaper a few times. 

We were set.  Successful.  And nothing could stop us now. 

Until... regression.  I hate regression.  It's a cruel trick - a joke of Mother Nature.  It happens with every big, exciting child milestone.  Sleep, eating, potty training, even talking sometimes.  (we went through a period of time when Nathan started talking like a baby because of the baby, which is totally normal, but pretty irritating when your toddler usually talks in complete paragraphs!) 

But the potty training regression is pretty much the worst.  He's going on the floor again.  On the walls.  On the doors.  Everywhere but the potty. 

Any tips and tricks would be appreciated.  This mommy is at the end of her rope!