Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Could this be recovery...

Does anyone else have laundry mountains/volcanoes (that threaten to explode) instead of laundry piles?

this is my laundry mountain
This was my post on Face Book last night - it drew quite a few responses and I know that I am not alone!

Admittedly it's not quite as bad as it looks, because there are two duvets and a few sheets bulking it up... but there is more on the washing line! I've come to the conclusion there are at least three constants in life: taxes, toilet paper and laundry!

But the washing pile is somewhat metaphorical, and representative, of how life has been for us lately. It just feels as if things were getting bigger and bigger and bigger - growing almost out of control (not helped by erratic weather). BUT - when I took a deep breath and looked at things, and took some of the 'big things out' - it was manageable. More so when my two wee children pitched in and started to help. Miss K has even come up with her own solution: "I'll stop wearing clothes Mummy"!

And yes, things seem to be getting more manageable. Even though the lack of sleep is catching up with me tonight, even though there are million things I should be doing to prepare for Miss K's birthday party on Friday (she turns FIVE!), I am not stewing myself into a big ball of stress, and amazingly, we seem to be having a break through in Miss K's eczema, which I put down to several things:

1. Me - I am on annual leave from work (perfect timing). This has made coping with the long nights and demands of a needy sick child, who has missed more than five days of kindy over the last two weeks do-able I do have one other contract to complete, but that's ok. A more relaxed Mummy, means I am not reacting negatively to Miss K's scratching.

2. Healing. Last week we had a consult with a Natural/Spiritual healer, who as well as providing us with a lovely aloevera and emu oil cream, various natural remedies, and tapping into Miss K's energy, she has given me great support and a sense of being held. Since I've come across Rachel Tomkins "Jenna's Journey" she has amazingly stepped back and let us follow this advice, so not as to contradict it or to confuse us. I hope there are more healers like her in the world.

3. Discovering Rachel Tomkins 'Better Bods diet' through reading "Jenna's Journey". I spoke with Rachel yesterday and it was like talking to a food/allergy guru. All these lights keep going on in my head - it all made sense. I realised that when we found Miss K probably had a dairy intolerance, we took out dairy and replaced it with soy and rice milk - products that also contain a lot of what Rachel calls 'Goo'. Then we went wheat free - more introduction of foodstuffs that Miss K's system couldn't cope with. No more soy or rice milk. No more gluten/free flours etc.

Since Saturday I have been 'de-Gooing' our household, and increased some foods for Miss K that can help heal her little system. Tonight there has been no screaming in the bath. There has no prolonged itch fest before sleep. Her wee arms are dry, but they are clearing...

But de-Gooing isn't all that easy, especially when parcels from Japan arrive with sweet treats for her birthday. So, while I"m de-Gooing for the most part, we will de-Goo de-tox proper once the birthday weekend is over.

Add to all this mix is something Rachel said about Miss K: "she's a messenger" about our health and well being - this resonated profoundly with me. I am finding new ways of coping and thinking about life as we embark on this journey. I can proudly say, today I was a good mother. I mothered how I want to mother and I loved it.

In the interim you can see how Better Bods or as Rachel calls it FAITH  detox style (food as in the heavens) smoothie fares with my kids (raw milk (will be using coconut milk for Miss K in future), banana, frozen berries, raw cacao, raw honey and flax seed). Stay tuned for updates.

Happy days with berry smoothies

check out that smile and the berry smoothie, second helping next to him!

Miss K models her smoothie mustache. You can see the eczema on her neck a little.

Now... to finish folding that laundry.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lemons dished out, lemonade made!

It was 5am before Keilani made it to sleep. 5am! I don't think she slept before I found her scratching incessantly at 10pm, so we cuddled up and suffered through hours and hours of trying to drift in and out of sleep until I sort of exploded at 5am.

It seemed to be what was needed to 'clear the air'; within minutes, she was curled up fast asleep and slept until 11am. So no kindy for her again today.

Akira, bless his soul, woke up at 5:30am and no amount of convincing would get him back to sleep. He missed out going to his favourite play group.

But I made the most of a morning at home, playing with my boy. I threw a meal in a slow cooker for a friend who is having more to deal with than me. I hung up laundry and I talked with friends. A friend dropped by for a cuppa... it was lovely.

Despite the grumps and grizzles of Miss K.

I cleaned the bathroom.

There were smiles from my friend when she collected her meal. My two children had been AMAZING angels in the supermarket when we went to collect some forgotten items.

I have only really yelled three times today.

No body bid on the haircut auction on Face Book for 100in100 Days and .. BUT I can auction it off on Trade Me (auction 401925294) (it's ready to go and I may get more bids!).

My host sister in Spain has just had a baby girl. I spoke with Rachel of Better Bods (Jenna's Journey) - INSPIRATIONAL. Our natural doctor called to provide support and advice. There are real caring souls out there who love and nurture me.

And despite a ridiculous amount of sleep, I am somehow managing to blog while my daughter is nestled in my lap, and I am ok.

They weren't really big lemons but the lemonade sure is tasty!

Get a haircut for...$????

Auctioning off a hair cut with the lovely Amber at Hair on Rosetta (Raumati) tonight at 8pm on Facebook on 100in100Days Challenge.

It's worth $51.50 - you could get it for a bargin, or you could be generous for the FromNZwithLove and Xmas for Christchurch projects.

Could be a lovely treat for your or a friend - and you'll be doing a good deed at the same time!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Blog for smiles, blog for help!

I usually blog when I am feeling upbeat and excited and full of smiles. That was last week. This week I feel like I'm scraping  the bottom of the barrel with too little sleep and worrying myself silly about Miss K.

We have been dairy free for about 7 to 8 weeks and wheat free for about 3 - 4. There has been some improvement in the folds of her elbows, but little else. She is still scratching herself silly at night, and I am dry-wrapping her to try and keep some of the moisture in.

Her back - this is 'good' compared to the rest of her!
I have recently taken her to both our GP (who is holistic in approach) and she has been given some sulphur tablets; we are also seeing another natural healer who provides us with wonderful support and natural remedies. There are days when I want to take the short road, apply the steroid creams and other ickies and move on, but I know that these 'fix the itch', they don't get to the root of the cause, and there can be long term side-effects.

The challenge is that her eczema, given it's winter, is quite hidden. At present it ain't on her face, hands or feet, but it's mad everywhere else!

Sleep is a forgotten luxury (isn't it for all parents lol!). I don't remember the last time I had an uninterrupted sleep. When I finally have Miss K back down (usually after a bath to cool her skin, more emollients and a good cuddle and rub to sleep), Master A wakes up. I remember when he was in-utero, he used to wake up at 2am and play the bongos for about an hour at least. That pattern continues even though he's 2 and a half. Some nights it's just a wake up, other nights, it's a cuddle and lie there chatting for 2 or 3 hours! Some mornings, 4am is the new 7am.

I am hanging in there. Mr T is in what he calls his 'full on phase' with four major works in progress. I am proud of the amazing events he gets to be involved with like WoW and Kowhiti. There are nights when I wish he wasn't in the arts and was home more as we maneuver this struggle, but he's amazing at what he does and he supports me the best he can.

I discovered a book called 'Jenna's Journey' that described a huge shift in the way Rachel (her mum) engaged with food and cured Jenna of her eczema and 24 allergies. The photos alone were enough to convince Mr T that this was something to try. So we are - I'll blog my progress as we go and you'll probably notice new meals coming out on my dinner@mikos blog!

In my quest to understand allergies and eczema I've learnt that it can take upto 72 hours for a food allergy/intolerance to become apparent and that it can take at least 5 or more weeks for the body to detox from that allergy/intolerance!

My causes linger in the back of my mind - I don't have the time or energy at the moment to chase up other bloggers, crafters and Facebook pages... but they are still ticking along. I have faith that what is needed will be provided. There's going to be two online auctions coming up on 100in100Days Challenge -one for a haircut at Hair on Rosetta in Raumati, and then there are two sets of tickets to the Cocktail Evening of the Premier of Kowhiti (valued at $100 per person each) - that should make you smile if you win! And if you feel so inclined, share the word, spread the love :-)

This post is a long one - but I'm smiling. I know others are having a harder time of it than me in some places...I feel better. Yup - blog to smile!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Seeking eczema answers

In my hunt to get to the bottom of Miss K's awful lumps, bumps and itchings, I came across a copy of 'Jenna's Journey: how I cured my baby's eczema'.  There is info on their approach on the Better Bods website, but I was wondering if anyone else had tried it.

Progress is very slow with Miss K's skin situation. I know that it will probably get worse before it gets better as all those toxins need to come out of her little system - but some sleep would be wonderful, and something to not only ease her discomfort, but my own, of seeing my baby so blistered and sore.

Thoughts appreciated :-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

And in the news...

Snow has made the news up and down the country - we've had a good dose of it on the usually sunny Kapiti Coast - and meanwhile I've made the news in my home town of Feilding, thanks to a lovely friend, Jacquelyn Collins. You can read more of her on her blogs

You can read the news article in the Feilding Herald right here! Hopefully this will keep the momentum going!

As for the snow, I'm blaming Miss K. Two days ago she came out all perturbed as a fairy had taken one of her crystals she left out for it, but there was nothing in return. She assumed that a wish had been left instead and went out in search of her 'rocket ship' that she's been 'building'. No rocket ship. "Perhaps that wasn't the wish you are getting" her wise mother counselled... "I wish I could see snow," she muttered a little while later.

And now look what's happened!

This was the light smattering at 8am - more was to come!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Felt and food

I've discovered felting! I started on a wee gnome yesterday and had to finish her while trying to watch 'Lewis' last night - my fingers bear the scars, but it is so addictive!

My my two poppets requested penguins, a 'rainbow fairy', a 'bumble bee fairy', a lady bird and a butterfly... a few sharp jabs to the fingers later and I've got a rather eclectic family happening.

I think I shall be making a few somethings to send to Japan and Christchurch. On that front, I 've had some lovely donations of wool, an offer of a beanie, there are some bears winging their way to me soon and my dear friend Jo is going to do an embroidery... the donations are steadily coming in.

I felt that things were getting a bit jumbled on Ms M's Bliss, this one shall stay focused on arts and crafts and lovely important causes. I've started a new food blog where you can find easy recipes and yummy treats:, so do pop over if you're so inclined - I'm expecting you!
recipe available at

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Three cheers for the little stuff

Hurray for the things in life that make the hard stuff easier.

Hurray for Zumba - I FINALLY got back to class after about a 3 month absence and feel like I've got my 'mojo back'. Zumba is better than a cup of coffee, a block of chocolate or St Johns Wort  - it's my tonic and it feels so good to get back to class. If you are ever in Kapiti and need a boost of energy check out ZumbaKapiti. Nat and her team are amazing - this is not an endorsement, this is me raving because I feel so good (and I must say it's been a long time!)

Hurray for friends who surprise you with a dinner - my friend Rose texted me this morning and said she'd like to make me dinner. Mr T has recently appeared in the local newspaper outlining the four major gigs he's invovled with and I'm sure my pals are taking pity on me in his absence! Rose made a fabulous gluten free, dariy free dinner: Dahl, rice and apple crumble - it was a real treat.

The 100in100days Challenge is ticking along - we have had 32 donations (ranging from offers of help to spread the word, to gorgeous dresses - yes, photos to come) and there are 51 days left.

Today life is feeling good, despite having to wet-wrap Miss K tonight as her skin has erupted in bumps again... do I abandon the d/f and g/f????? will hang on for one more week. There have been improvements, but is it worth it...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Swinging into the G and D free food

Firstly a big thank you to the aroha and support bloggers and facebookers have provided me over the past few weeks. It's been a tough ride, but people have offered to help with the Japan/Christchurch projects and I am so grateful. Still gathering goodies - please spread the word.

Eczema update... since that last posting in July there have been lots of changes in our house to address Miss K's eczema. These include:
  • Allergy-free mattress and pillow protectors
  • De-cluttering the bedroom (as much as possible, Miss K was definitely a squirrel in a previous life, but we've taken out books, toys and dust collectors)
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Probiotics
  • Dairy free
  • Wheat free
  • Oat baths alternated with simple water baths
  • Wet wrapping (tubifasts) - we did this until last week and have finally been able to put them away
  • Use of just two skin products - the prescribed emulsifying ointment (at least 2 -3 times a day) and Mebo (for itches)
  • Allergy prick test at Hutt hospital - 19 pricks and nothing tested suggested an allergy. We were reminded that this doesn't account for 'intolerances' or other triggers (not tested).
RESULTS - yes, finally! While there is still the dry patches and a few bumps in the creases of her arms and backs of her legs, the body-wide assault of itchy, bumpy red skin has really diminished. There is no need for antihistamine/sedatives at night, we are now usually down to one night waking, and I am getting a whole heap of much needed sleep. I don't know what has helped - it may be one thing, it might be a combination. We'll try reintroducing wheat and dairy products (slowly) in a few weeks.

The change in diet has not been without its challenges, but I'm embracing this new adventure in cooking. Some things have turned out well, others well... there's crafting catastrophes and baking botch ups!

So for fellow dairy-free and gluten-free (d/f and g/f) I'll start posting my success stories. I know how sometimes inspiration is needed for cooking (especially for wee ones and growing families). Old hands at d/f&g/f know that it can be yummy - newbies, like me might need encouragement; tonight I bring you:

Avocado & salmon spaghetti - 2 adults, 2 children

This dish is super easy and can be whipped up and on the table in about 20 minutes! I would have added a photo but it was eaten too fast!
  1. In a bowl mash one ripe avocado with approx half a punnet of soy cream cheese (you can add more for bigger quantities).  Squeeze in a small quantity of lemon juice and put to one side.
  2. Cook your pasta (g/f or normal - I use ordinary spaghetti for everyone except Miss K who has gluten free - yes too pots of spaghetti, but it's ok and more cost effective)
  3. When there is about 4 minutes to go on cooking your pasta, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan
  4. Toss in the avocado/cream cheese mix and stir till just heated
  5. Break up a fillet of hot or cold smoked salmon and add to sauce.
  6. Drain pasta and place on plate
  7. Put salmon/avocado sauce on top of each pile of pasta (will be quite thick)
  8. Garnish with lemon rind and/or sun dried tomatoes.
You can also do this dish with bacon instead of salmon - At step one heat about 4 rashers of streaky bacon in the frying pan until crispy, drain on a paper towel and put aside. At step 3, reheat the bacon bits and then add the sauce. Adding slivered almonds or pine nuts also gives this a nice texture.

I'll be adding a scrumy brownie recipe and my g/f muesli in a few days! Let me know your thoughts.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Gaps and festivals

The gaps seems to be more prominent than the entries at the moment - plenty of excuses (including Mr T's kidney stones, chicken pox and the ongoing challenges of little sleep due to the itches of eczema...I'll update that soon...) but just wanted to blog that I am still here, there is still momentum in the projects and I still hope you're reading!

In relation to Sendai, our wonderful kindergarten teacher put in motion a celebration of the Tanabata Festival yesterday. The story behind it relates to two star crossed lovers, separated by the gods, but allowed to meet once a year, during which time wishes are granted.

This is one of the festivals that Sendai is most famous for and despite the quake and tsunami, it has celebrated it this year. There are some great videos on youtube showing the festival.

 There has been an online call for people world wide to share their wishes as part of the celebrations, so if you have a spare moment, do add yours!

I made some little origami decorations for our bamboo wishing tree (these are small, simplistic versions of the BIG ones) - maybe I'll get around to doing a tutorial on them. The little boxes are so delicate, I thought that they could also be stylised for xmas or other celebrations - let me know if it's worth doing a tutorial... the washi egg one is still on my to-do list!
Origami tanabata decorations

Our kindy wishing tree
Wishing you all aroha, tranquility and inspiration... hoping to load some 'succesful' dairy free and gluten free eats soon...