Anyone Want to Come Visit?

Anyone want to come visit? We have lots of wide open space in the beautiful Texas hill country.  We have plenty of room (and plenty of air conditioning).  Think:  sunny days, warm nights, lots of fun restaurants and things to do. Oh, yeah, and a few other small things: (I know I’ve posted some of these photos before but I thought it’d be fun to put them all next to each other.  You know, just so you can get the full effect.)...

Healthy Jello– REALLY

(Reposting this from last year with photos) My kids love Jello. I hate it. Okay, who am I kidding? I love the stuff… it’s all jiggly and wiggly and delicious. But I hate the fact that its completely PACKED full of sugar and artificial color and artificial sweeteners and all sorts of stuff with absolutely zero nutritive value. So I never make it for my kids… But, since my kids were begging, I decided to create healthy Jello salad… and after a few trials and errors, we had success! So, here it is… my completely artificial-coloring-free, sugar-free, artificial-sweetener-free, all-natural Jello salad recipe Watermelon Gelatine Salad * 1 personal-sized seedless watermelon, cut into chunks * 1 1/2 cups juice (100% juice white grape, apple, cranberry or grape) * 2 packages Knox gelatine * 1 1/2 cups fresh fruit, cut into chunks (I used peaches, plums, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries) 1. Fill your blender with watermelon chunks (about 4 cups, loosely packed). Blend 1 minute until you have a thick liquid. 2.  Strain juice into a small saucepan (you’ll have about 2 cups of juice). (Throw away the pulp) 3. Sprinkle gelatine on watermelon juice. Let sit for 5 minutes. 4.  Heat watermelon mixture over medium heat for about 5 minutes until gelatine is dissolved. 5. Stir in juice.  Pour half of the mixture into a small 9X9 glass pan and put in the fridge for 90 mins. Leave remaining mixture on the counter at room temp. 6. Take out of fridge, sprinkle with fresh fruit, then cover with the remaining watermelon mixture. 7.  Put it back in fridge and let...

Guest Post: What is ORT?

ORT stands for oral rehydration therapy. It’s something you can do at home to help prevent the dehydration that can be associated with vomiting and diarrhea. Generally, what happens in the gastrointestional (GI) tract when it’s infected (either by a virus or bacteria) is that is get’s irritable. One strategy to help keep fluids down is to give very small amounts of fluid frequently. The stomach is more often able to handle these small amounts of fluid rather than just letting the child drink what they want. They’ll keep more down and you’ll be able to know exactly what they’ve taken in. Pedialyte or equivalent is generally recommended for kids 2 and under. Sports drink preparations for kids 3 and up. Sometimes, kids aren’t very fond of the commercially prepared flavors. One nursing trick for you to try at home is to get unflavored Pedialyte or an equivalent knock-off brand. Get a sugar-flavored drink mix and put just enough crystals in the fluid to give it a decent taste. It doesn’t take too much and mix only a small volume—a couple of ounces at a time. Then, if your child doesn’t like it, you haven’t wasted much of the Pedialyte which tends to be more expensive and you can try another flavor with the less expensive drink mix. Once mixed, give small amounts every five minutes. For babies under 3 months—give 3ml. For 3mo-3yr—give 5ml. For 3+yrs—give 5-10ml to start. Once your child has tolerated this for 30-45 minutes, you can try to double the dose of the fluid. What if they vomit? Give it 15 minutes and start...

15 Easy Things to Do With Your Kids… Today

Summer is (finally) here.  And I am so, so (did I mention SO) excited to not be driving back and forth between every corner of Austin with the baby in the carseat.  We can finally stay home.  Of course, that leaves the question:  What do we DO at home?  Here are 15 easy kid-friendly and mom-friendly activities that you can do…with things you have on hand at home today. 1. Do chain drawings.  Draw a tiny picture in the corner of a page, then pass the page to another child and have them add something to the picture.  Keep going until the pages are filled. 2.  Make homemade lemonade.  Experiment and create new flavors:  Strawberry lemonade, nectarine lemonade, basil lemonade. 3.  See how quickly your kids can get completely soaked by standing in the sprinkler.  Time them. 4.  Make cloud dough– Mix 1 cup flour with a few tablespoons of baby oil until it’s soft in texture.  Give them measuring spoons and cups to play with it. 5.  Go bug hunting. 6.  Go online and plan your dream vacations.  (So what if it costs $10,000 a night to stay at the Princess resort your daughter wants to visit…she can dream, right?) 7.  Bake cookies. 8.  Look through cookbooks and plan your next feast. 9. Make Letter Pictures. Draw your kid’s names in bubble letters and have them draw pictures of things that start with those letters. So, if your kid’s name starts with a J, he can draw jelly beans, a jar or a jump rope. 10.  Build a playdough cafe. 11.  Have a picnic.  And yes, PB &...

Guest Post: Humor Me

by Jordyn Redwood Don’t we need humor in life to make it through? Life is hard. I have two very serious jobs. I’m a real life pediatric ER RN and a suspense novelist. Those can be heavy days but they can also be fun days—by using a little humor to get through. Marriage is no different, right? Humor is necessary. What are some of the funniest things that have happened between you and your spouse? To take a break from discussing serious subjects: like death, trauma, and writing suspense—I thought I’d take a humor break and share some funny highlights from my married life. Do you find that opposites attract? That’s the truth with my husband and I. He’s the quiet introvert. I’m the more outspoken extrovert. He gets queasy at the site of blood. Obviously, I do not. What we have seems to work—as we’ve been married almost fifteen years. During our dating years, we were set to see a movie. I drove to his place and let myself in—and then sat there fuming when he was nowhere to be found. This was before the age of everyone having a cell phone. Finally, his phone rings. I answer. He’s on the line. “Where are you?” He asks. “Where are you?” I ask right back. He says, “I’m at your place!”—“Well, I’m where you should be.” Other funny moments? Let’s see—teaching kindergarten Sunday school with his ex-girlfriend. Well, we can laugh about that now. My husband likes to trim his own hair. One day, he mistakenly forgot to put the spacer on the clippers and took a swipe. Without...
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