Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Surfs up :-)

Granny B has jumped on the renovating train and is currently having her old kitchen ripped out and replaced with a new one. So we have moved out into a serviced apartment for the week...which means no internet. So I'm making do with dropping into the library today while Little B is at kindy and having a surf LOL.

It's actually nice living in an apartment for a few days. It's nice and small, there's very little clutter, Little B and I are co-sleeping and we have been making great use of the kitchen. Little B loves the shower over the bath (which he has never seen before) and the last two mornings I have showered with a little boy singing at my feet.

The only big issue I have is the type of chemicals they have obviously used to clean. The place stinks!! That horrible over scented, over chemical smell. Plus I walked out this morning to find them pouring out, rubbing into and vaccuming some kind of deodoriser in the hallway carpets. Puke!! So Little B and I are spending as little time there during the day as we can, and instead are investigating all the local parks, going for big walks and just enjoying the sun when it eventually shows its face.

Friday, May 27, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama


 Fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Going retro LOL

After his last preschool bug, Little B has been decidedly off his food. Apparently air and pureed fruit icypoles are food groups of their own :-)

So today we decided to go retro and make.....pumpkin scones!!

I actually found these great to make. And not only did pumpkin go in but the night before I made a swede and brussel sprout puree with a touch of potato to make it white. So this was added with the pumpkin and Little B was none the wiser. And the end result? They taste great and Little B has been eating them for lunch with a bit of soup on the side or a touch of chicken (read: mainly just the scones *sigh*).

But I've decided that next time I'm going to use this scone dough to make scrolls. It's such a beautiful soft dough and since Little B cant eat cheesymite scrolls I thought I might experiment with some vegies, perhaps some chicken and wrap them up into scrolls.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Healthy Home, Healthy Family

I recently read Healthy Home, Healthy Family by Nicole Bijilsma as it gives some great tips on things to look for for when buying/renting a house. Admittedly I was focussed on mold but she also covers electromagnetic fields (EMF's), dust mites, mold, pesticides, building materials and so forth.

Now until I read this book, I didnt know too much about EMF's. I'd seen some interesting posts on Sarah Wilson's blog about her experience with EMF's and autoimmune disease. After reading the book  though, we did change a few things around in the house (namely moving Little B's bed as it was too close to the fridge) and I'm careful to keep the powerpoints of some items off at all times unless we are using them.

Last week, a Council of Europe committee called for a ban on wireless internet modems, mobile and cordless phones in schools due to the potential health risks to children. Interestingly, cordless phones are considered as dangerous as mobile phones to the brains of children. We originally abandoned cordless phones to save $$$ but seeing this, the good old analog phone is a bonus twice over. I also keep our modem off unless we are actually using the computer but it is in our main living area next to the lounge. After reading Healthy Home, Healthy Family, I now refuse to sit on the lounge unless the modem is off, but after reading the above article, I now refuse to have the modem on if Little B is playing in that room.

This might seem a little pedantic, but I figure in this day and age when kids are being diagnosed with multiple behavioural issues, it doesnt hurt to avoid the things that are proven to alter the brain. Especially when I have a child so young. These things didnt exist when I was young and nobody has lived an entire life time in the presence of all these new whizz bang technologies, so I figure better safe than sorry.

Anyways, this is a great book and well worth a read if you are interested in building biology. The bits on dust mites made great reading as well.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Patiently waiting

I've been patiently waiting for our apple trees to lose their leaves, as I'm mad keen to transplant them to a different part of the garden. Our neighbours trees have grown since we planted them and they just dont get enough sun.

Our pear trees have already lost their leaves, so how are the apple trees going...
Hmm I guess I'll just have to stretch my patience just that little bit longer LOL.

In the meantime we've been digging holes for new fruit trees. We hope to get our bare rooted trees fairly soon (I cant believe it's nearly June already!!) - a plum, an almond and hopefully another peach. I've also been organising some more half wine barrels as we want to get more blueberry plants.

The very back of Granny B's block is fairly bare (other than grass) and fairly redundant, so our hope is that this area will be filled with fruit trees and just maybe one day her much dreamed about chooks.

Friday, May 20, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I did it :-)

6 weeks, 4 assignments and 4 exams later....I've finally finished my night course with flying colours. 

I always knew that I wanted to work locally when Little B went to school next year, and quite by accident found a job recently 5 minutes from home. It was really too good an opportunity to miss. Only catch, I needed to do an industry course to update my skills. My new boss is a fab lady and will let me work Little B's preschool hours this year and then school hours next year.

The other bonuses are the office is 5 minutes from either of the primary schools I will send Little B to, and the office closes on days of Total Fire Ban (which is a huge bonus when you live in a high bushfire risk area!!).

But I'm mainly proud that I managed 8 hours a week at school, at night (I'm normally so tired at night), finished all my assignments on time and passed my exams and didnt really let the ball drop at home until last week. And last week was a week of sick children, sick mamas and sick papas, and a sick cat - so things were bound to fall over LOL.

Garlicky Lentil Soup

For Maxabella :-)

5 cups water / stock
250g red lentils
Garlic **
1 swede
2 stalks celery diced
1 carrot diced
6 x brussel sprouts
¾ cup green beans, diced
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste

** The amount of garlic you add depends on your personal taste. We add 2 cloves of garlic crushed because Little B doesn’t like too much garlic. You may want to add more or less depending on how garlicky you like things – Mr B would add 4 if Little B wasn’t eating LOL **

Throw everything in a pot. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 40 minutes. Let soup cool then puree in a blender. Service with crusty rolls for dipping…yumm

The swede and garlic add a beautiful sweetness to this soup, and the rest of the vegies are packed full of nutrients. Cheap, tasty and relatively quick makes this soup a winner at our house.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

this saturday i'm grateful for gumboots

 Pic courtesy of www.whisty.wordpress.com

This has been a weird Saturday full of blue skies, rain clouds, rain and who knows what else...but today I'm grateful for:

* gumboots - we've had bucket loads of rain overnight and our world is full of big smoodgie puddles

* washing powder - said puddles proved too tempting and Little B thought a full frontal body slide in a muddy puddle was in order

* good pelvic floor muscles - I nearly wet my pants laughing when I caught sight of a mud monster at the back door...whoops sorry my muddy son. I wish I'd had my camera handy.

Check out Maxabella loves for more grateful ladies...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

House hunting...

Well house hunting has not turned out how I thought it would go – but then again does life?? :-) In answer to some of your questions, I’ve decided home is where my lovely boys are and we can live a sustainable life wherever we end up settling. It’s not about size, space or location so much as what we want to do and how we want to live our lives.

Unfortunately we were outbid on the lovely cottage we found and so far everything else has ended up having structural issues or been far too moldy.  But I think property ebbs and floes…before we sold our house I saw plenty we could buy. Of course, now we can, there’s not too much around LOL.

So for now I’m content dreaming – looking at back issues of Country Living, being inspired by fabrics and colours and seasons as I picture how our new house will look, feeling the crafty urge to create new things to add to our current transitional living spaces as well as make a new home.

As this sticker says - enjoy the journey. I was in such a rush to buy our next house that I've just stressed my poor little brain out. So for now I'm making time for peace, laughter and joy in the process, however long it might take.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Perils of Soy

I’ll be the first to say that we are not avid fans of soy. Primarily because Little B is allergic to soy and subsequently so am I. But as our journey of soy allergy has grown, my knowledge and shock at the perils of soy have grown. Both of us bleed internally from soy which is shocking in itself but I find it more shocking about where you find soy in food.

Have you every stopped to think what soy is in? The most obvious things probably come to mind – soy milk, tofu, soy products like yoghurt and ice cream. Soy is actually an insidious product…soy is quite literally in everything. Soy is in just about all breads, most processed foods, in nearly all chocolates, it can be in cow milk yoghurt, it can be in oils, its in pasta sauce, it contaminates most nut mixes (biodynamic or mainstream). But here’s where it gets tricky – soy is in all mainstream meats (its used heavily in grain feeds), it’s used in many organic meats (namely chicken, and pork).  But I was shocked to hear from two different dietitians recently that there are no longer any soy free chickens in Australia.

We used to think that Little B was allergic to eggs until we found out that if a chicken eats soy grain then its in their eggs. There are no retail soy free eggs in Australia (so unless you have your own chickens and feed them soy free grain, eggs are out). All farmed fish in Australia is fed soy meal (think salmon). Many canned fish contains soy contamination. Soy is also in many pelletized fertilisers which you then put onto your vegie garden or to feed your fruit trees.

It was originally invented for cardboard, but soy is now a filler that manufacturers fling into just about everything these days. Because it is cheap!!  Not nutritious, not beneficial….they key word here is because it is cheap!

Hmm with so much hidden soy in food how much is too much?? Nobody knows – the typical catch cry is but Asian cultures have eaten soy forever….but most studies have said that Asians traditionally consume about 1 serve of soy per day, but even if that was 3 times a day, what do people in Western cultures actually consume - directly and indirectly?? Lets say you drink 2 glasses of soy milk per day, but then you have some eggs on toast for breakfast, followed by a chicken sandwich for lunch and some chocolate or a yoghurt and maybe a lamb stew or a pasta for dinner – how many serves of soy is it now??

What about the effects of soy long term?? I was interested to find out that soy is a goitrogen which means it affects your thyroid . I have met 6 women in the past 9 months who all have thyroid problems that their doctors attribute to their intake of soy milk. Their thyroid problems have improved greatly from the removal of soy products from their diet.

Further reading and you see that soy is an endocrine disrupter much like BPA.  There is now rising infertility in the world as well as early puberty for females. Is this a case of too much soy, too much oestrogen, too early in life? Dr Mercola believes that children are at increased risk for prostate and breast cancer, early puberty, endometriosis and infertility, irregular and painful menstrual periods if they are given soy formula or soy milk.

Others like Retha Newbold, a developmental biologist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences believe feeding a child soy is never a good thing. Obviously it’s never been a good thing is this household but maybe its not a good thing in most households??

Hmmm I’m not one to judge but the more I find out about soy (especially my newest knowledge about soy in meat) has opened my eyes amazingly. I’m lucky that I then found a two small farmers who raise their lambs and beef biodynamically – they eat grass and only grass (with a few bits of seaweed thrown in). But how long before we are manufactured out of the food chain? How long before everything contains soy?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

this saturday i'm grateful for hot soup

It's been a long week, and I'm so happy its finally the weekend. So today I'm grateful for:

* hot soup - it's been a cold day and Little B has the latest kindy cold, so garlicky lentil soup with fresh rolls winds hands down :-)

* recycled magazines - dropped in to give me something to read as I nurse monkey boy with his fever

* crafty goodness from the library - our lovely librarian gave us some Mothers Day crafty goodies yesterday which has cheered up Little B up in his good moments. Nothing like colouring in paper flowers to make a bouquet for Granny B.

Drop in to Maxabella loves for more grateful goodies...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oscar's Lunchbox

I came across the most fabulous book yesterday. Oscar's Lunchbox by Pam Houssenloge is a book written especially for children who have food allergies or intolerances (by a mum who has a child with food allergies and intolerances). Most books you find are targeted at kids with nut allergies and / or anaphylaxis, which doesn’t apply in our situation (not that you’d want a picture book about GI bleeding LOL). So it’s great to find a kids book that talks about different food intolerances specifically in easy fun terms (Little B is intolerant to salicylates which means most fruit and vegies).

Reading books to Little B is always hit when either he or we want him to understand something. I used On Your Potty, Little Rabbit by Kathleen Amant to help with toilet training and believe it’s one of the key things that worked for us. I also used Kathleen Amant's book about brushing teeth when Little B didnt like brushing his teeth. Repetition reading helps normalize things.

Little B is at the age where he really notices food differences and he feels left out or different because of his multiple food allergies and his food intolerances. So this book couldn’t come at  a more opportune time plus it talks a lot about treating your body like a race car and putting the right fuel in!! It really couldn't be more appealing for a 4 year old boy :-)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gumboots in January??

You know I always think there's something wrong when you cant find gumboots in May. I'm told we missed 'the season' to buy gumboots....errmmm isnt the season for gumboots winter?? I know - I'm a crazy woman.

But we did have success for rubber gumboots finally. Last year, Target had lots of rubber gumboots as did Cotton On Kids. This year I found some PVC free gumboots online. 

And a day wouldnt be complete without a good kick in the leaves and a few games of soccer :-)