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The History of BMX

It’s not 100% clear just how far back the history of BMX goes. Most accounts will tell you that BMX and BMX racing first got its start in California sometime in the 1960s. At least one account traces the history of BMX back at least 10 years prior to that time when races involving young children on BMX-like bicycles were being held in the Netherlands. It was sometime in the 1950s apparently when those BMX races were held, although it’s unclear whether or not they were officially sanctioned by any sporting organization. The idea for BMX took hold in part due to the popularity of motorcycle racing in Europe at the time.


The Wonderful World of BMX Riders

Perhaps your goal is to be one of the top BMX riders in the country. That could mean an eventual trip to the Olympic Games. It could also mean some money if at some point you elect to turn pro. The immediate problem is, where to start? You’ll want to have the proper bike of course, and you’ll want to find a track nearby where you can start practicing.

Getting Started

If you’re new to BMX racing, it would make sense to talk to someone who has had some experience, preferably a great deal of it, to find out which BMX bike would be best for you. If you’re just getting started you don’t necessarily need to purchase a top-of-the-line model, but you do want one that’s at least rugged enough to get you through a fair number of competitions. Insofar as handling is concerned, most BMX bikes are easy to maneuver, but some are easier than others.

bmx riderSelecting a Bike

There are different styles of bikes for BMX riders, and of course there are many different brands. The days are long past when all of the bikes were Schwinn Sting-Rays, followed a few years later by Mongooses. Wheel base and wheel size are two important considerations, so you’ll want to look into which size might be best for you. Here again, you would do well to ask someone who knows what he or she is talking about.

While a 20″ wheel is more or less standard, there are also 24″, 26″, and 29″ BMX bikes. There are also bikes with 18″ wheels and bikes with 16″ wheels. Naturally, there are both boy’s and girl’s bikes, as well as bikes especially designed for dirt jumping and freestyle events. Some of the better known brands include Colony, Cult, FBM, Premium, and SE to name a few.

Finding a Track

Finding a track near you may to may not be difficult. Not finding one shouldn’t keep you from practicing however. BMX riders tend to be an innovative lot, especially when it comes to finding a challenging course to practice or race on, or making one. If you build your own course, keep safety in mind. You don’t want a course filled with challenges, or even one challenge, beyond your ability.

If you are fortunate to find a race track, take note of the hours. Many tracks are open from dawn to dusk. Others are open from a set time to another set time. A few are lighted. Operating hours often depend on the neighborhood and the noise tolerance of its residents. BMX bikes aren’t noisy, but the riders and especially the spectators can be.

You’ll also want to check to see which hours or days are available for practice and which are dedicated to racing. There may also be guidelines for beginners posted, which are well worth taking note of if you happen to be one. Here again, safety is always an issue as there is sometimes a fine line between bravado and stupidity. Speaking of stupidity, never race without a helmet, or practice without wearing one for that matter. You’re unlikely to be allowed to participate in any sanctioned race without a helmet, and most public skate or bike parks require wearing a helmet as well. When you purchase your first bike, make sure you have enough left over for a quality helmet.

BMX Racing is For Almost Everyone

One of the great thing about BMX racing, besides being fun and exciting, is that it can be a family event. Most of the participants tend to be in their teens, with many if not most of the pros being in their late teens and early twenties. Don’t be too surprised however to occasionally catch a glimpse of a senior citizen practicing or racing, or witness a BMX race dedicated to senior bikers. There are no doubt many senior citizens who, when seeing BMX racers in action, secretly wish they were out there. A few do more than simply wish; they get involved, although you usually won’t see seniors getting as much ‘air’ as is normally the case with the younger riders.

It’s Not Always Reaching the Goal That Counts Most

A worthwhile goal for anyone who truly wants to be involved in BMX racing is to work towards membership in the ‘20,000 Points Club.’ The only way to become a member is to compete in a great number of races and win more than a few of them. A victory in a district expert race is worth 100 points, so all you have to do is win 200 such races. The custom jacket you’ll receive once you become a member is nice, but the experience you gain when aiming for your objective can be priceless. Next step, the Olympics.

Even if you don’t ever become a member of that somewhat exclusive club, or don’t care whether you do or not, you’ll make many friends. You’ll also find that, as is the case in many sports, the participants, while mostly younger, come from all walks of life. Many will have other interests aside from BMX, and despite the negative publicity that sometimes accompanies an activity in which the participants seem to be having ‘too much fun,’ most if not all participants can legitimately claim to be achievers.

A Trip to the Mall

Today I found myself at the mall with the kids for some much needed recreation time. The life of today has become very hectic that you sometimes feel that time flies very fast. You can’t really do anything about it as that’s just the way things are. You just got to do things which you know might help you to make life much more comfortable. So that’s why we’re out here today for some much needed fun and a little shopping on the side too.

Anyway I am feeling a little bit guilty for the kids too as I really haven’t spent that much quality time with them lately. They are really growing too fast and I am feeling that they might soon develop a mind of their own and things might change from the way they used to be. Heck, kisses and hugs from them are getting scarcer by the day.

I also had an errand to do there at the mall to buy what my wife told me was the best yoga DVD that she found in the internet. She’s been into it lately with the help of constant prodding from friends. I don’t really know if she really wants it or it’s just peer pressure or something. Better be on the safe side and do what I was told or risk her wrath.

Another thing to buy was the best travel tripod I can get my hands on, budget permitting, to somehow help me with my newly found hobby of taking pictures. Yep it’s only “taking pictures” as of the moment and still not photography per se as I still know nothing much about it.

A buddy of mine purchased a camera and he let me try it. I was hesitant touching it at first as I might break it or something, knowing how clumsy I was, but when I began to take pictures and stuff, I was hooked. That’s about a month ago and now I got my very own camera back at home and here I am searching for a tripod to go along with it.

I bought the two items first to get it over with. The tripod was very nice, it folds into a little neat pile that I think, fits into the camera bag I had, it was very affordable too. Buying the DVD stumped me a bit as there were many of them there and I really don’t know which of them to buy. Good thing the sales person there helped me on it and suggested one for beginners.

After I settled everything, I gave all my time to the kids. We went to all the shops they wanted to go to and we bought everything they say they needed. Of course I grumbled a bit but they always get the better of me and I always agree with them.

I missed these kinds of times with the children and I made a promise to myself to make it a habit starting today. More time with the family, less time with other stuff.

Memories at the Attic

I was cleaning the attic today and may I say it took me the whole day to do it. It was very hard going through things and I’m afraid I was still not finished with it yet, not even close. I thought it would be an easy task as our attic was not really a big one by any means, but still, I never did get anything done with it.

Well the problem stems from the fact that once I picked something up, sentimentality strikes me and there I am holding a thing, trying very hard to reminisce days of old. I told myself that I’ll be done with cleaning in a jiffy but apparently that was not to be.

We keep various stuffs in our attic for storage like Christmas decorations, old furniture, the children’s toys which they outgrew already, old clothes, shoes, memorabilia, pet cages, an aquarium, lamps, tools, everything.

There was that old walker that my children had used when they were young, the wooden rocking horse that got relegated to the attic after one of the children fell from it, the children’s versatile play yard which was touted as the best pack n play during those times, heck, I even remember getting lost just trying to assemble that thing.

Then there was the best lightweight luggage that my wife and I have ever owned. It’s a new tenant here in the attic as we just used it about a year ago during our vacation to Hawaii. Well you can say it was actually light and spacious enough that we never needed any other luggage after it. Of course the kids have their own bags too but that is another story.

Let’s say that the things I mentioned above cost me too much time already just identifying them, with “identifying” meaning reminiscing, and it already ate up a whole days’ worth of work, and I’m not even done with them yet. Thankfully I managed to have lunch, which is really a feat as I can’t seem to put things down.

And then there are also the old photo albums of me when I was a kid, the old photos of the children, photos of my wife and me after we got married, and photos of everything! Maybe it is safe to say that a whole week in the attic might be enough to go through everything, or maybe not.

I’m not complaining about it, not a bit. In fact I am enjoying myself doing it. I could go on and on just looking at the things which has become part of my life. It’s kind of like revisiting an old friend, no, much more than that. It’s really like being in that moment again and knowing now what that moment meant to your life, which was not apparent that time.

I hope my work at the attic never gets finished at all. Maybe I could even live there when I’m already old and weary, because there I could be young again.

Torn Labrum Hip Reminder

The pain from a torn labrum hip really does have their special place in hell. You wouldn’t believe it and I would not have too, if only I did not see it on one of my friends.

He’s a tough one that friend of mine. He who was somewhat a veteran of nasty crashes and spills on the bike, yet he was reduced to a puddle of tears the time he suffered it.

We were supposed to do jumps on the ramp that day but we didn’t make it unfortunately. I fetched him at his house because he said that he got a new bike assembled and is very excited to take it for a spin. Coming down a flight of stairs from his apartment, he somehow forgot that there were still two steps left, and thinking it was already the ground floor, he took his final step into space, and crashed down hard on the ground still clutching at his new bike.

The doctor said that my friend managed to have a tear on his labrum, a cartilage on the hip joint which main function was to keep the head of the femur in place inside the hip socket, a result that was acquired after performing an impingement test on the hips of my friend.

And although my friend didn’t manage to complete the test performed on him, probably because of the pain in the area that he was experiencing, several x-rays and MRA’s (magnetic resonance arthrography), did cement the doctor’s diagnosis.

He was to have arthroscopic surgery on it to remove the torn labrum and other debris in his hip joint but the doctors thought against it after knowing about my friend’s lifestyle.

Because of the activities that my friend tends to do frequently, operating on his labrum might worsen his condition in the long term they said, as it may lead to more degenerative conditions and probably also of a higher amount of friction in the joint, if they eventually remove the labrum from its place.

They instead opted to the more conservative mode of treatment which was physical therapy. They said it would take him much longer to heal, but his range of motion as well as the strength of the muscles and tendons in the area will be much more solid and beneficial to him in the long run.

He was also to use a SERF (Stability through External Rotation of the Femur) strap on his legs and waist every day to help in his recovery. It is made up of stretchable bands of fabrics, which is usually placed from the hips and winding down to his knees, in-order to keep his range of motion in check and also to make sure that they are within natural limits.

That was a few months ago. Today my friend is generally fine, with only a few clicking noises coming from his hips and the random hip flexor pain that comes and goes, to somewhat remind him of his fateful day. And if there’s any valuable lesson that he learned from that event, it would be of being extra careful using the stairs from now on. An elementary mistake on his part it seems. Glad he recognized it even if it’s already too late. Good job.

Who Let the Dogs Out? Without a Leash That Is

I don’t know about you, but I’m really getting tired of pet-owners leaving their dogs without their leashes, especially when they are outside in public areas. Don’t they know that they not only put the safety of their pets in peril, but also of the inherent danger they eventually bring to other people?

I think there is a law with regards to it and the owners might get fined or reprimanded or something. Aren’t they afraid of that? Maybe the punishments are too lenient that they continue on with their bad habits with regards to their pets and such.

It’s been too many times already that I come too close to these loose dogs that I’m beginning to think that I’m some sort of dog magnet or something. It’s not that I’m afraid of them but rather quite the opposite, I’m afraid that I’ll run over them one of these days and probably kill them or scar them for life, to which I really do not want to be a party of.

One time I almost ran over a very small dog, a quite cute one at that, if not for my quick thinking and fast reflexes. I was nonchalantly riding my bike to the park when this white dog, which I later learned was a Teacup Pomeranian, darted from out of nowhere and was headed directly to me, and my bike.

What kind of alerted me was this hysterically screaming woman, who was probably the dog’s owner, pointing at something in front of me. I immediately looked ahead and saw something that resembles a big fluffy squirrel, but white, has head hair like a lions and tiny beady eyes, the kind you see on children’s toys.

I immediately applied the brakes on my bike and it was close. Both I and the lady managed a sigh of relief and all I got for the episode were several dog licks on both of my shoes. Maybe the dog thought I was a bone or something.

Another incident that I remember that involved me and unleashed dogs was the time I met an overly loyal and protective pitbull. On hindsight, it was really a Boxer Pitbull mix according to its owner, so that really makes it a doubly protective kind of dog, the likes you wouldn’t want to mess with.

It stood at more than two feet and probably weighed around 60 – 70 pounds by the looks of it. With its broad head and flappy looking ears, short body hair that somehow kind of sticks close to the body, it is a relatively large kind of dog.

I was monkeying around with its owner, who was also a friend, never realizing that the dog was with him the whole time, albeit not really there beside him but roaming around the fields. Our horsing around managed to get the dog’s attention and the last thing I saw was a large chunk of a dog rushing towards me.

There was time to get up a tree, which was really besides us, and fortunately for me, there were several branches around which aided my ascent. A short blow on a whistle made the dog stop on its tracks and generally just kind of sat there quietly on its owner’s side. A look from me generated a low growl so I was not going anywhere just yet.

I did not go down that tree for a while, not until they left and all. It was somewhat better up there.

Searching a Friend for our Friend

Seeing how Missy is the only dog in the household makes me feel a little bit sad for her kind of. Although we really do care for her deeply and treat her like a regular part of our family, there is always that void in her that we cannot ever hope to fill. If only I know how to speak like a dog and communicate with her, then everything would be just fine and all, but I don’t. So we have made up our minds and decided to get a companion for Missy and hopefully it will cheer her up even a little.

I sometimes wonder what Missy does during the day when we are not at home. Does she watch television or listen to the radio during her idle times? Maybe she have some sort of hobby that we don’t know about or she is just there, in no particular place, spending all her time just waiting for us to eventually come home. So it really got me thinking of how particularly hard her life was and if there was a way to possibly help her. We thought of giving her a dog companion.

It would not be just any random dog or something as we must find out what kind of dog will complement her. It must also be as little as her and has a temperament that will make them go well along together. My wife likes poodles but I thought that poodles were too high-strung for our comfort, so we settled to choose among the different kinds of poodle mixes. They are still poodles but maybe their high-strung ways will become watered down if they get bred to other types of dogs, or so we hope. We eventually decided on getting a Bichon Poodle.

Bichon Poodles are typically small dogs that weight around eight to twelve pounds when fully grown and they have soft wavy coats that do not shed, thanks to the poodle side of the breed. Flappy ears and pointed muzzles are their general distinction and their coat colors are usually white and the shades related to it. They are intelligent kinds of dogs that respond well to training and in fact they are the favorite breed of dog among those people who usually enter dog competitions. They react particularly well with other dogs, almost always adaptable to other pets and also children in general. So you can definitely see that this breed of dog is the one we are looking for.

We just need to iron out several loose ends before we finally get this other dog. Should we get him as a baby or should we settle for an already grown one? Is the space of our home ideal for the two of them? And also from where can we get a hold of him? Hopefully there are respectable breeders around our general vicinity as I don’t want to go too far just to get it.

But everything ultimately depends on Missy and if she will like her new companion. I’m just hoping that what we will be introducing to her would eventually become her friend and not an enemy, as that would be counter-productive of what we aim to do in the first place, which is to make Missy a little happier. I don’t really know how this will end up, but I know that it is worth a try.

The Most Pleasant Surprise Ever

At this current age of mine, after all the things I have been through and had encountered, and after all the pain I suffered and the thrills I have experienced, I never thought I would still be surprised at anything anymore. It turns out I was very wrong in my assumption of that.

It was a Sunday morning when I was preparing to go out for the day, for a scheduled all day romp with some of my very closest friends. We planned for this day way in advance so that all of us will come, and all of us were looking forward to it, as we are going to try out the newly opened jump park that was built near the mall. It’s been a while since the last time we got together, as all of us have gotten very busy, either with work or with family and everyone is really excited to go.

I was finally about to go out with my bike when my wife told be something peculiar. She told me to be very careful biking and to return home early with some milk, as they would be missing me if I would be gone for a long time. It was curious of her to say something like that, but I really had to go as I am already late, so I kissed her and left.

I had that scene on my mind all the way to the rink, as if I’m missing something important and stuff. I kept recalling her saying that they would be missing me, but she is all alone in the house save for Missy, our pet Husky Pomeranian, so what really gives? But I eventually forgot about it when I saw my friends, and everything went rock and roll after that.

We made fools of ourselves the whole day and it was a blast. Doing tricks with our bikes like we were kids jumping around the half pike and time really seemed to fly that day, as everyone was enjoying themselves to the point of exhaustion. I even almost forgot the milk that my wife told me to buy earlier, good thing the grocery was just a little bike ride away. I came home to an already set dinner table with my beautiful wife smiling at me.

Already puzzled with the recent events, I was about to ask my wife about it, when she stopped me mid-sentence and told me to get some water. I went to the ref and opened it, only to find nothing inside except this little white elongated plastic thing. Upon careful inspection I saw that it was a pregnancy test kit and it has two solid red lines on it. I felt dizzy with my knees buckling a little.

So how’s that for pregnancy announcement ideas, my wife asked, but her voice and what she said didn’t really register in me as I was still in shock. So that’s why she said “they” earlier. And that must also be the reason she didn’t go postal on me this month the way she always does when she has her periods. It really is true that a woman’s period while pregnant stops the moment pregnancy is real.

I never did recover from my surprise that night as my wife said that I smiled all throughout the night. I also can’t explain the sensation that was permeating all over my body, making it numb with joy. All I know is that I am the happiest person in the universe right then and there, and no one can top that as I am at last, finally, becoming a father.

This Happens When You Eat Too Much

I am feeling particularly very happy these days and I think I can do anything in this world. I am invincible, like some kind of superhero, with powers beyond anyone’s imagination. I think if I ever did compete again in the X-Games right now, I probably would take home all the available awards and all the prizes too. That’s how happy I am, and you are probably very curious about it and may want to know why I am feeling this way. It’s because of the fact that I am about to become a father soon!

But I do have a small problem today and it is acting sort of like the kryptonite to my Superman or the Joker to my Batman, and it’s kind of a long story but it all started with food, lots and lots of it. You see we were celebrating my pregnant wife’s 7th month of carrying our little baby in her belly, and we thought of celebrating it by eating out to seven food places. Not particularly restaurants or anything, but seven places were food is served or dispensed.

We started out with the vending machine right outside the mall and from there we bought two Hershey Bars, and ate them right then and there, offering no kind of resistance to us who were hungry at that time as preparation to the “7 on 7th” celebration that we had planned for the day. Upon entering the mall, we head straight to the Sushi House for the second place in our list. We purposely included it in our list because of sushi’s lightness to the stomach as we are also priming ourselves for the food yet to come, always keeping in mind to eat sparingly as we still have a long way to go.

Our third stop was for two servings of ice-cream in a large cone. We both ordered Chocolate as it was our favorite flavor and it too was gone in a little amount of time. Our fourth was in Allan’s Fireside Grill and there my wife ordered a Rib Eye steak and me a large Porterhouse, as it was already close to lunch time and we thought of having our first complete meal of the day. We had a hearty meal that time and I am already feeling a little bit full in the belly, necessitating my loosening of my belt a little. My wife had to go to the bathroom as her stomach is feeling a little grumbly she said.

Our fifth stop was in the cinema for popcorns and watching a movie. I had to eat all the popcorns as my wife said she doesn’t want any and had to go to the bathroom a couple of times. And although the movie was really good, she said she is not feeling particularly well at the moment and she asked if we could just head back home. I agreed with her as I too, feel my stomach hurt a little from having had too much to eat.

Back home, my wife continued to feel the urge to go to the bathroom frequently. I’m watching her condition very carefully so as to prevent any untoward incident that may result from this diarrhea during pregnancy. I really think it is diarrhea, as she is complaining about watery stools and such. I just gave her enough liquids commensurate with the amount of liquids that she is losing now, to avoid the risk of her being dehydrated.

As for me, here I am with my tummy hurting very much that it feels close to exploding. It is only now that I have eaten that much and I very well think that I’m not going to repeat this thing again. If you look at me now, you can see I’m like little child, suffering from toddler constipation from eating too much, who is very close to tears and who is also near to calling out to mommy. Yep, superheroes got mommies too. And they always call out to them in times of trouble, especially stomach troubles.

For Everything, Preparation is Key

My wife had been pretty busy these couple of weeks preparing for the imminent birth of our child. We already finished the nursery where the baby will sleep in making sure everything in there is according to what we had planned. From the color of the room to the particular brand and make of the crib, we even placed all the baby stuff in there especially the rotating installations that keeps the baby both busy and stimulated. We also had installed the cameras and lighting fixtures that are needed in the room. We made sure everything was already prepared and the only thing that was missing now from the room was the baby.

My wife also prepared well for her upcoming delivery, always reading about the different breathing techniques that may help her lessen the pain of delivery, and also of the signs of labor that she must be aware of, so that we may be warned if the baby is really coming or just a false alarm or something. She even prepared a bag full of her things, which we are supposed to bring to the hospital with her, the time she is about to deliver our baby.

She also has read about breastfeeding and the benefits it brings to both the mother and the baby, on how to properly do it and also on how to stop breastfeeding eventually when the time comes. Several dos and don’ts regarding the general aspects of it were also discussed in the book. One interesting item in it that I found very intriguing was on the particular kinds of foods to avoid while breastfeeding section of the book.  It was my first time to know, that there were actually foods that doesn’t bode well when eaten, especially during breastfeeding.

I was surprised about the list of foods I saw in the book. Alcohol being bad for breastfeeding I can understand, but food items such as coffee, garlic, cinnamon, sea foods, pepper and other spicy foods got me a little confused. I also saw my wife cringe upon reading the list as several of the items listed there were in fact favorites of her.

The book said that these particular foods have different effects on the baby. Minute amounts of these food items are passed directly to the baby via the milk coming from the mother, therefore utmost care should always observed, as the baby’s bodily systems are still under-developed and will have a hard time processing and expelling them from their system. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks make the baby irritable and hard put to get decent sleep. Alcohol develops drowsiness in the baby and also contributes to the baby’s bodily weakness and relative weight gain among other things. Garlic on the other hand, although a great source of vitamins and minerals, leaves a bitter aftertaste in the breasts, which the baby might find irritating enough, that the baby may well stop from breastfeeding eventually.

I admit that there are still lots in this world that I don’t know about. It’s good of my wife to learn these kinds of things as they may prove very valuable in time. The habit of reading things that you don’t understand is very admirable in a person and I’m lucky my wife is one of them. And I’m pretty sure that my kids will eventually benefit from it too someday.

The Cost of an Afternoon of Fun

I seem to be somehow feeling my age getting the best of me these days. My mustache which once was standing straight on end back when I was young, now hangs limp on the sides of my face, which also kind of reminds me to buy some industrial grade mousse for it when I go out later. Another thing is my bike riding skills which somehow got rusty and stuff, which also makes me think of why really as I have been riding almost daily with it, so how come that happened?


I was at the skate park this afternoon with several of my friends just chilling around. We were to try the newly renovated wood ramps with a couple of old tricks and also to try out new ones that we saw during the recent X-games competition. We only watch them on the television as time constraints really prohibit us from watching it live. Besides we’re in Canada so going to one really will be really hard, if not costly.

All of us got our bike jumps in, just like old times. Tabletop jumps, getting some serious air under us and grinding the ramps really awakens already sleeping blood. Muscle memory served us well as the tricks we used to perform back in the days are easily repeated now with only cursory practice needed for it. I even did a couple of backflips like old times and it was an exhilarating thing, imagine going upside down while moving forward at fast speeds, and managing to land upright and untangled is kind of hilarious.

The only blemish on an otherwise perfect day was a fall I experienced doing something so simple, that I almost feel ashamed that it happened in the first place. I just jumped on the ramp and when I tried to land, I somehow squeezed the breaks too tightly and I flew off, leaving my clueless bike behind. I did a full face-plant on the ramp and if you were watching me then, you would laugh too, probably along with my jackass friends.

The macho in me dragged my body to the standing position as if nothing really happened, but in reality, my face hurts like hell and I am feeling something moving inside my mouth, probably a tooth or two by the looks of it. I also felt a little gum pain starting, probably from the mouthpiece being pressed too hard against it or maybe from the trauma of my tooth removed from its anchors or something. I expectorated the blood and other debris from my mouth when nobody was looking and I told them that I’d call it a day.

I bought a couple of Tylenol for tooth pain relief and also some ice packs to lessen the swelling on my cheeks  during my ride back home, and carefully applied them quickly before my wife came home, as I would never really hear the end of it if she sees me like this. Knowing her, she probably was worse than my friends when it comes to bullying me and stuff.

If I can only find a valid reason for this, then my wife would probably feel bad for me and maybe, just maybe she’ll commiserate. I just hope she doesn’t see through me and laugh. I just hate it when she tells me that I am already too old for these things.

A Most Fun Visitor

My little niece is currently staying with us for a couple of days because her parents are on a working cruise of some kind. I don’t know how these cruises work or of why they did not bring her with them, all I know is that we are very glad that she is here now and will be spending a great amount of time with us in the near future.

You see my niece Anna is my favorite niece, probably because she is the only niece I got and the remaining kids are all nephews. But kidding aside, we surely welcome any kind of company as it is very boring living in a large house with only a few people in it. No there aren’t really any ghosts in our house and we do love the solitude and peace that it brings, but the company of another human being, especially relatives, brings out a different kind of happiness that only living people can be capable of giving.

On her first day with us, she was very quiet and was contented to just keep to herself. She did speak when she was spoken to but that is the extent of her talking ways. I almost made myself a fool trying many different ways just to make her smile, or illicit any kind of reaction that was hopefully different from her stoically blank stare that she was currently exhibiting. Maybe she was just missing her parents or something and this was her reaction to it, but I thought that the earlier I get her to respond to me, the better she will cope from her parents leaving her for a period of time.

She did sleep in our bed beside my wife as she was afraid of the thunder that is caused by the storm that we experienced the whole of yesterday, with me getting myself comfortable in the sofa which also was an adventure for me, in a kind of back stiffening way.

In the morning, after a long distance call from her parents, her mood thankfully lightened up a bit over breakfast and she also flashed for us a sweet little smile. She probably had seen me sleeping with my Winnie the Pooh blanket and my Mickey Mouse slippers still on and also probably saw me falling from the sofa, thanks to my ever loving wife yelling loudly in my ear.

But the breakout we have been waiting for occurred in the afternoon after I printed for her several coloring pages for her to color, or make into an airplane for that matter, as we all know of how much kids of her age loves coloring things. I thought of printing several of Disney’s Frozen Coloring Pages as her mother said that she particularly adores that movie, and also a couple of My Little Pony Coloring Pages, just because little girls love ponies and all the things associated with them. It worked like a charm, and yes, some of the coloring pages did turn out as airplanes, but all was better after it.

Now on her fourth day with us, she’s already very active around the house and most important of all, she’s acting like the kid that she, in reality, is. She and Missy have gotten along just fine. She even asked me if it were possible for me to teach her how to ride a bike and stuff. Now that’s what I’m talking about. I’m already looking forward to what the next couple of days will bring to us, hopefully more fun.

Non Traditional Pets

I remember my dad bringing home a hedgehog way back when I was only a little boy. It was the first time I saw that kind of a creature and I was frightened by it initially, probably because it was curled up into a prickly ball when it was first shown to me and I was thinking of how painful it would be if I did manage to get poked by it and stuff. But when dad played with it and called its name, it unfurled itself showing a relatively soft underside and a cute little adorable face that seemed to be so innocent and tame, that you would think it is not capable of doing anyone harm.

After several days of me being around him, always making sure I keep a careful eye on him lest he charges for me or something else more horrible, I eventually warmed up to him. Of course dad was there when I bravely ventured near the hedgehog that was eating at the time. He made funny snorting kind of noises while eating and upon seeing that he was busy, I took the chance and touched his quills. It was not as hard and sharp as I imagined it to be, it felt more like plastic and it didn’t hurt one bit, even if I intentionally poked one against my finger.

Dad then explained to me everything he knew about hedgehogs. He said it was a night animal who likes to sleep during the day. It rolls into a ball when it feels threatened and it eats close to everything, from insects such as flies and ants to all kinds of plants and several kinds of animals that are smaller than they are. Dad also said that their spikes are not like the porcupine ones because they do not have barbs or hooks at their ends, and are also not sharp.

We kept the hedgehog in a makeshift produce box that we bought in the market as there was really no hedgehog cages available back then. Dad just made a sort of cave for him using an upturned basket and also sprinkled sawdust on its base to mimic the hedgehog’s natural habitat. We just fed it cooked vegetables and cat food as it seems to have a liking for it and we sometimes let it go out of his cage to wander around our yard, much to the delight of our pet dog who always chases it around.

I forgot what eventually happened to that hedgehog, what I remember is mom and dad talking about releasing it into the wild and stuff, maybe they did do it. I believe it is also illegal to have hedgehogs as pets in our area as even breeders need a state license in-order for them to handle hedgehogs.

I did not remember anything particular with regards to it being a pet, as it generally just keeps to himself in his cave. The only thing that reminds you that he is there are his otherworldly grunts and squeals, which really seems to be not coming from him according to my dad. The novelty of it was fun while it lasted, but sadly it did not last very long.

Doing Exercise and Eating Healthy instead of Dieting

My wife finally had it with her dieting. After a few weeks of trying to get into the hang of things with regards to dieting, she is calling it quits. She said that it is very hard controlling what you eat, when there are too many good food around you, and especially when your husband always keep on tempting you with them all the time. So I guess I’ve won.

You see my wife thought that she has gained too much weight from her recent pregnancy and that she got really fat from it, so she decided to go into a diet of some kind to help her regain her old form back. I told her that she looks just fine and sexy anyway, and whatever excess weight that she gained will probably be gone naturally in a couple of months without any help because that is just the way with pregnancy.

It’s not that I don’t support her with all her plans and stuff, but when I saw that dieting is getting the best of her, it is only natural for me to tell her that it is really not a good thing for her to continue on her current course. Initially I was all for it and was supportive of her goals, heck I even did research on it and even bought her low carb vegetables that she could use in her dieting and also low carb fruits that she could munch on whenever she is feeling particularly hungry, instead of the usual chocolate bar that is always present with her. But when I saw that she often complains of being hungry and famished, became moody and grumpy all the time, and also seem to lack energy doing even the simplest of things, I decided that this thing had to stop as it is slowly destroying her, most likely without her even knowing it.

I kept telling her that doing exercise is really better in the long run and is far easier to do than dieting. And that if she really wanted to remove those unwanted pounds, then she should drop the sodas and the chocolate bars that is always present with her all day every day. Eating healthy, I told her, is much different and far easier than dieting per se because with dieting, you are just depraving yourself of food that is otherwise good to eat, while with healthy eating, you can eat anything you want really, but always in moderation and always with the health of the entire body in mind.

I told her that I will help with her exercise and perhaps join her also, as I too seem to really be in need of it. I also told her that no matter what shape or form she had already become, I still love her with all my heart, and will continue to love her for the rest of my life. I guess she really couldn’t say no to that and indeed she acceded. Everything is okay now.

Causes of Fluid in Lungs and Possible Treatments

breathingPulmonary edema is a condition in which excess fluids fill the lungs making it difficult to breathe and, draining the body of sufficient oxygen. This usually results from fluids draining from the blood vessels that network between the lungs and heart. It can also result from an allergic reaction in which the body produces histamine which triggers excess mucus production in the lungs. Although believed to primarily affect senior citizens, it is now common to find young people diagnosed with fluid in lungs.

Causes of pulmonary edema

My interest in this condition sparked after I had to cancel a trip that took me biking in the mountains. I suddenly couldn’t breathe well on the first day and had this painful cough that was accompanied by clear mucus. After diagnosis, my doctor prescribed diuretics which were meant to clear fluids which had accumulated in my lungs. It was a scary encounter and I decided to find out some of the causes of this condition and possible treatments.

Like I mentioned, I was to cycle in high altitudes when pulmonary edema suddenly caught up with me. High altitude sickness is one of the conditions known to prompt this condition. High altitudes have a low oxygen supply and this can result in the heart working harder to supply oxygen to all organs. This can result in the leakage of fluids from blood vessels in the lungs to create more space for oxygen supply.

Another known cause for the development of fluid in the lungs is Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). The condition occurs when the lungs suddenly fill with inflammatory white blood cells and fluid. ARDS is caused by a variety of conditions including direct trauma to the lungs and pneumonia.

Reaction to various drugs including illegal and prescription drugs can also cause pulmonary edema. Such drugs increase toxin levels in the lungs which in turn results in the production of histamine.

Cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure, heart attack and narrowed or leaking blood vessels can also cause pulmonary edema. These conditions exert pressure on the heart to pump more blood to the lungs for oxygenation. To create more space for oxygen, fluids will leak into the lungs making it more difficult to breathe and get more oxygen into the lungs.

Treatment methods

Pulmonary edema can be treated using prescription drugs such as diuretics. These drugs drain the excess fluids from the lungs allowing the patient to breathe more easily.

In severe cases, a tube is inserted in the throat and the excess fluid drawn out of the lungs. This procedure is known as aspiration.

If the condition is linked to heart problems, treatment of the heart condition is recommended. This reverses the pulmonary edema.

In cases where the condition is induced by the production of histamine in the lungs, antihistamines can be prescribed. These counter the action of histamine in the lungs reducing the amount of fluid produced. In less severe cases, the patients can also take foods containing natural antihistamine such as fruits and vegetables.

Types of Pimples under the Skin and Treatment Types

I remember the ridicule I had to endure during my teen and young adult years because of the papules that dotted my face. The chest was worse and I couldn’t walk shirtless on the beach. I tried numerous gels and creams but as soon as one gel seemed to start working, the papules reappeared with even more viciousness. I thought that I was alone but soon discovered that there are other patients suffering from different types of pimples under the skin. Some even more painful and conspicuous than my papules.

Types of acne under the skin

Whiteheads are a common type of acne and usually inconspicuous. They are characterized by a small bump with a white center and hence their name. They form as a result of the skin secreting excess sebum which clogs hair follicles. Besides sebum, the clogged pore also contains bacteria. Whiteheads are usually painless.

Papules like the one I suffered from are inflamed pimples that are visible to the naked eye. Inflammation usually causes itching and, these pimples won’t usually have any sebum or pus in them.

A larger type of pimple found under the skin is the pustule. These are larger than the papules and are characterized by a large bump with a yellowish center. The yellow coloration is the result of accumulation of pus under the skins surface. These are quite painful.

Nodules are a type of acne that forms deep within the skins surface. They are characterized by inflammation and accumulation of pus on the skins surface. They are also larger than the aforementioned types of pimples that form under the skins surface.

Cysts are an advanced form of nodules and are quite painful. These form as a result of nodular acne going untreated. This results in the accumulated pus seeping deeper into the skin causing further inflammation.

Treating pimples found under the skin

acne treatmentThere are a couple of treatment methods available for acne under the skin. The treatment method is usually determined by the type of pimple and, the primary cause. Some of the treatment methods available include the following.

Antibiotics are a common treatment for pimples found under the skin. Such antibiotics contain compounds that combat acne causing bacteria and also help the skin regulate sebum production. Some antibiotics target the oil gland shrinking it such that the acne spots disappear.

Vitamin A supplements commonly referred to as retinoids are another common acne treatment. They are also recommended for the prevention of acne. Vitamin A works on the oil glands by shrinking it. This results in reduced production of sebum.

In severe cases such as nodules, the doctor might opt to draw out the infected fluids from under the skin using a syringe. This not only prevents further inflammation and swelling, it helps get rid of the acne.

Besides conventional treatment methods, my research led me to alternative medicine as a way of treating pimples. These include home based remedies such as vinegar, garlic, citric acid and honey. I cannot vouch for any of these remedies as I haven’t tried any out. If you want to use a home based remedy, it’s advisable to learn more about its safety and possible side effects from a qualified professional.