Author Archive

Fed Up With Food Additives!

Written by admin on August 4th, 2011. Posted in Healthy Eating Ideas

Wow. I cannot recommend highly enough to take the time to read a few of these little stories from the Fed Up website and then explore their information. It’s amazing what we put in our mouths that are loaded with so many codes it could be a matrix we’re ingesting by day’s end. Some issues resolved in the testimonial feedback are: Rash, Eczema, night terrors, depression, anxiety, anger, Crohn’s…the list goes on.

I suddenly realised why our girls may have been be losing the plot the last few days. I initially thought, “Oh no, the Terrible Two’s they all talk about”. But today they’re a lot better. I remember the other night we had a new meatball dish from an ‘upmarket’ butcher on Ferry Road. I usually have the kids on a pretty natural food diet which keeps their moods up, a great attention span and they’re very articulate. But lately, nada!

I also felt ridiculously depressed with no self confidence and my patience had all but flown out the window. So much so I simply didn’t felt like, well, me. Just this short tempered monster who’d gained access to my body!

After reading on the Fed Up website (above) about these people and their reactions to food additives and the resulting diet changes I know that our family, like all others, suffer from the health effects of our foods riddled with flavour enhancers, additives, preservatives and colours. Each family, and each individual to varying degrees. Read the Fed Up article and see if you find any correlations with behavioural, mental or physical challenges in your family today.

Check the back of the packaging on your favourite food items – I dare you. Then start Googling alternative food ideas or additive free replacements. And if you feel so inclined spread the word to your friends and petition your supermarket for better products with less rubbish in them!

Get informed. Get healthy. Save your kids. Save your sanity.

Here’s a handy list of food additives and their safer alternatives.

Hooray Sue Dengate! She’s on the road. Visit Fed Up Roadshow Talks.

Healthy Eating = Happy Days.
25 Ridiculously Healthy Foods

TOMS Baby & Youth Clothes

Written by admin on July 30th, 2011. Posted in Baby Clothing

Blake Mycoskie is inspirational!

One for One

One for One Movement

“In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by TOMS customers.

Why Shoes?

Many children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or going to school, these children are at risk:

•A leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted diseases, which can penetrate the skin through bare feet. Wearing shoes can help prevent these diseases, and the long-term physical and cognitive harm they cause.

•Wearing shoes also prevents feet from getting cuts and sores. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected.

•Many times children can’t attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don’t have shoes, they don’t go to school. If they don’t receive an education, they don’t have the opportunity to realize their potential.”

Visit Tiny TOMS Clothing & Shoes

Should Overwhelmed Working Women ‘Take It Like A Mom’ Or Ask For Help?

Written by admin on June 18th, 2011. Posted in Fun Stuff, Rants

Karen Larson needed a break. An associate in the merchandising group at Macy’s in New York, her husband Scott had just been made law partner a month before their daughter Sophie’s second Christmas. His promotion meant longer work hours and less time with his family, leaving Karen with the care of the apartment, which was undergoing renovations, their daughter and holiday obligations. Oh—and her job.

Did we mention it was the holiday season?

Two weeks into the rush, Larson, was reaching her limits. Each morning when she woke with Sophie to get her dressed and off to daycare, Scott had already left for work. After hours on the floor of the busy department store, she rushed to pick up her daughter, feed and bathe her, deal with her growing temper, she says, and put her to bed—all before her husband returned from the office.

“I was running myself into the ground,” she says, “But what’s worse, the stress of juggling everything was killing my relationship. It all just felt so unfair.” Why should she be doing everything, she thought, and never get a break when Scott got away “Scott-free?”

By Christmas Eve, Karen had nothing left to give. Her husband was expected to be off in time to pick up Sophie so they could make the trip to Scott’s parents’. When Karen received a call at 4:45 pm that Sophie had not been picked up and was the last child at the day care center, she rushed out of the office, grabbed her daughter and took the next train to her own parent’s house. Leaving Scott both bewildered and behind for the holidays.

“In hindsight, of course, it was a dumb move,” says Larson, 30, still married to Scott and a still-working mother now of three. “And one that could’ve cost me my marriage. The truth was I just needed a break. I needed help and I wasn’t getting it. I should have just asked Scott. But instead, I ran.”

With women making up more than half the workforce and still spending an average of 12 more hours a week with their children than their partners, it’s no wonder that stress levels are rising. And in a recent partnered survey by ForbesWoman and parenting hub, an astounding majority of responding mothers can commiserate with Larson’s predicament: 94% of working moms say they need a “time out” from parenting. Stay-at-home moms told us they feel about the same: 97% want a time out, nearly 20% of them say “yes, all of the time!”

But is it possible that the combination of working, parenting, running a household and taking care of herself is simply too overwhelming for women? Or is the underlying truth that, like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, mothers have always had the power to get that “break” if they repeat the magic phrase: “There’s nothing like asking for help…there’s nothing like asking for help.”

Susan Newman, Ph.D., and author of The Case for The Only Child admits it’s complicated. “Sixty percent of mothers are returning to work before their child’s first birthday,” she says. “And while both men and women are working nearly 11 more hours a week than they did in the 1970s, mothers are still spending about the same amount of time with their children as they did in the 1950s.” As the number of hours in a day hasn’t changed in recent years, it stands to reason, she says, that stress levels are skyrocketing. “They’re cutting back on their sleep, exercise, any form of relaxation or fun. Read a book? Forget about it.”

Carley Roney, editor-in-chief, says it’s not just a matter of taking on too much. From her perch as the editor of a leading parenting network and as a mom of three, she says that women have to ask for help with the countless balls she juggles each day—work, family, home. Instead, when it comes to asking for that much-needed break from parenting duties, many mothers are loathe to outsource even a single task.

“There is an underlying self-doubt and guilt in saying ‘I don’t want to do this’” she says of parenting. “It’s literally ingrained in most of us to want to be Super Moms, and that feeling is so often compounded in working moms, who feel the added guilt of being away from their children for a number of hours each day to begin with. When they have the chance to be a mommy, to give up any control can be quite painful.”

That guilt then, and the reluctance to relinquish any task of motherhood, might just be Public Enemy No.1. “It’s a martyr syndrome,” Roney contends. “You want to do everything, but you want to be recognized for it. You want to be offered the help, not to ask for it; and that’s where the resentment kicks in.” Seventy percent of working moms admitted resentment towards their partners for not being as helpful as they’d like with parenting duties.

Census data from 2010 shows that married households are officially in the minority. As my colleague Kiri Blakeley notes, married people have dropped below half of households, to 48%. Forty-one states showed a decline in the traditional household set-up: A married couple with children. These numbers imply that single parent households are on the rise and such nuclear families may be as nostalgic as Family Ties. But according to our survey, which queried 1,259 mothers who live with their partners (91% married, 9% in a relationship), even with the presumed luxury of having a partner in parenting, everything isn’t equal. And it certainly isn’t fair.

According to research by The Families and Work Institute, a nonprofit that studies the changing workforce, when both parents are working outside the home, women spend 28 hours per week with their children while men spend just sixteen. The same working women told ForbesWoman and TheBump that they also tend to the majority of the household work (shopping, cooking, cleaning), parenting work (discipline, feeding, bathing) and even parenting “play” than their partners each week. Oh, and 44% of them also provide more than 50% of the annual household income.

Like Karen Larson learned after the runaway Christmas of 2008, avoiding a breakdown means a willingness to communicate her limits with her husband and asking for help when she needs it. The couple now trades off Sunday mornings with the kids to give the other an official break, and she’s outsourced housekeeping and laundry to a weekly cleaning service. “I do occasionally feel guilty that I can’t be everything to everybody,” she says, but at least she’s spending holidays with her whole family.

“There’s ego in motherhood,” Roney concludes. “And an ego in being a wife. It’s the nature of being a mother—that you’ll just do it. That you’ll take it ‘like a mom.’” Communicating the need for help is a troubling but necessary first step, she says, to relieving stress, avoiding resentment and—ultimately—getting the time out every mother deserves. “At some point, you’ve got to say: I can do a lot of it, but I don’t want to do it all.”

Meghan Casserly
GIRL FRIDAY, 15 June 2011

Maths @ 22 months

Written by admin on June 17th, 2011. Posted in Fun Stuff

2nd May 2011

Kaia whipped out some maths this morning on Day 2 of video tutorials via YouTube. We asked what’s 1+1? She says 2! What’s 2+1? 3! and 3+1? 4! All of which sent us erupting into a roar of congratulations and air tosses! Her face lit up and she was absolutely beaming with pride and soaking up the praise as if it were oxygen. It’s so wonderful to see your children gaining confidence in new knowledge.

Here’s a link to the YouTube video that inspired her Addition for Kids.

Knock to the Head + Seizures = Trip to Hospital

Written by admin on June 10th, 2011. Posted in In the Hospital

How did it happen?

I turned my back for a second and our 2 year old twin girls started hugging and tackling each other as usual. The full weight and momentum of Kaia falling forwards on Leila who  landed flat on her back smacking the back of her skull on the carpeted floor (carpet over concrete).

I can’t even begin to tell you how terrifying it was. It’s so very scary watching your little baby slip away from normality in front of you and instant fear grips you whether she’s going to come out of it or not. Your brain just flies a million miles a second! Leila had toast in her mouth at the time and her jaw clenched up when she seizured. I managed to get it out but my heart almost burst trying to manage what was going on in front of our eyes. Her hands and arms stiffened, her jaw clenched and eyes rolled back in her head. I shouted to Gerard to call 000 immediately which took 10 minutes to arrive. Her seizure went on for about 20 seconds and then she was totally out of it unresponsive for 2-3 minutes. By the time ambulance arrived she was lucid and crying again. I couldn’t stand being so powerless.

I sent Poppy out to the front of the house to meet the ambulance so there was no delay in them finding our apartment. I asked Grandma to organise my shoes and nappy bag and Gerard organised Kaia while I held and reassured Leila. I gave everyone tasks to do while help came. Most importantly, someone had to go to the street to meet the ambulance.

I learned one very important thing that day. A mother’s first instinct is to cuddle your child, reassure and check if she’s ok. As hard as this is, if it’s a really hard knock, don’t let them sit up. I think that’s why her brain shorted out and had to reset itself and had a little seizure. If we’d kept her laying on the floor she may not have. I didn’t really see the whole accident, but I’d seen it happen similarly before. This time I just saw her eyes fly wide open with shock laying on the floor, so I wasn’t fully aware how hard she’d hit. She was conscious when I cuddled her (still sitting on the floor) but then 5 seconds later her cry changed and then she was unconscious having the seizure. Mum and Dad saw the knock and said it was bad.

As crappy as I feel, I want to share this with you. It’s a natural mother response but I won’t be doing it next time. I’ll keep her horizontal and reassure her until I know she’s okay to get up on her own, especially if I haven’t witnessed the event and can assess it clearly. I’ve done the cuddle response many times in the past (only for worthy bumps) but this one had consequences. Would she still have seizured if I hadn’t sat her upright? Who knows. There is a technical term for post-impact seizures ie. not immediately unconscious upon impact. It doesn’t make me feel any better, however it is what it is.

The hospital conducted a low dose scan of her brain to ensure there was no bleeding or any underlying condition that caused her seizure. Full does brain scans give high dose radiation and are not recommended for children. We were given the analogy that a low dose scan was equivalent radiation to a long haul flight from Australia to Europe. We’re hit with radiation all the time from the sun and being higher in the atmosphere (in a plane) exposes us to more. We decided that was an acceptable exposure given the peace of mind we received from the scan results. Given I had only just last month read a story of a family having a lovely holiday when their 13 year old daughter while asleep fell from the top bunk in the middle of the night. Being in a small beachside town there was no CT facilities at the hospital and they refused after initial assessment to transport her to one that had (and refused admission to hospital for observation because it wasn’t the hospital’s policy to admit ‘children’ for observation). The girl had a splitting headache and felt sick. Back at their hotel her father sat up with her monitoring her condition when 3 hours later she vomited and seizured and her parents rushed her back to hospital. After being ‘under observation’ at this hospital who still had no intention of airlifting her out, she finally lost consciousness and slipped into a coma. Finally she was rushed to a bigger hospital and a scan revealed she had a fractured skull and a brain injury. She died 2 days later without ever waking up again. The lawsuit is ongoing, but parents have lost her forever.

If you ever encounter this awful situation of a serious head injury with your child (or a child in your company) I hope my sharing this with you helps in some way to weigh up all opinions and be at ease with whatever decisions you make.

Here’s some information to print for your fridge in case you ever cross paths with this kind of event (knock wood you never do) Kids Health Info for Parents – Head Injury.

Stay safe. From One very shaken mummy,

The Power of Vulnerability

Written by admin on June 9th, 2011. Posted in Fave Quotes Brene Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.

This is an absolutely beautiful, honest, moving and amazing opportunity to self-analyse and recognise any life-dulling feelings of ‘unworthiness’. Don’t be bothered by the fact it’s 20 minutes. Trust me, 1 minute in you won’t even notice the next 19. They’re just moments in time, but you’ll experience a raw, honest, heartfelt lady who thought she had life worked out and ‘under control’ until she delved into “Vulnerability”. What happened next….


target=”_blank”>The Power of Vulnerability

If We Hope to Survive

Written by admin on June 5th, 2011. Posted in Fave Quotes

The components of the natural world are myriad but they constitute a single living system. There is no escape from our interdependence with nature; we are woven into the closest relationship with the Earth, the sea, the air, the seasons, the animals and all the fruits of the Earth. What affects one affects all – we are part of a greater whole – the body of the planet. We must respect, preserve, and love its manifold expression if we hope to survive.

Bernard Campbell, Human Ecology
printed in David Suzuki’s “The Sacred Balance”

The Interconnectedness of All Life

Written by admin on June 5th, 2011. Posted in Fave Quotes

The forest is one big thing – it has people, animals and plants. There is no point in saving the animals if the forest is burned down. There is no point in saving the forest if the animals and people are driven away. Those trying to save the animals cannot win if the people trying to save the forest lose.

Bepkororoti, quoted in “Amazonian Oxfam’s Work in the Amazon Basin”

The Story of STUFF

Written by admin on June 3rd, 2011. Posted in Healthy Home, Rants

This is a FANTASTIC and necessary eye opener that all should enjoy watching. The consumerism conveyor-belt that we have been duped by governments and corporation into believing will deliver everlasting happiness is the fuel that drives the worldwide economy that is obliterating our planet.


If we stand up from the fog and realise the food we are eating along with the pointless goods we are ‘consuming’  hoping to fill our lives with will never satisfy our needs: either emotional, physical or spiritual, we will reclaim the ultimate freedom. The freedom we were born with and is our birthright. Balance and harmony within our world, our ecosystems and our fellow creatures of this planet.