Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sleepless in So. Cal.


With a week of sickness behind us, sleep looked to be on the horizon. That was until the mercury rose to nearly 110 degrees yesterday. Who can get comfortable in that heat? Not me. And as fate would have it, once I did achieve slumber, not Harvey either. So my mug doth overfloweth with coffee this morning.

I can confidently say that I just plain don't need as much sleep as I used to. Adaptation. I cringe at the complaints of former me. "I only got seven hours of sleep last night".....seven IN A ROW !! I'd be Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance-ing all day if I got seven hours straight one night.

Since becoming a mother also meant becoming an attachment parent (for me) I am continuing to follow the boys' cues. Jack moved into his own bed naturally and is sleeping wonderfully with an occasional visit (and half a night's stay) to our bed. For a kid who has anxiety I am very pleased with this. No wetting the bed, no crying in the night, happy to curl into blankets and nod off to never-never land. Bedtime is a bit of a circus at times but it's mostly because of the juggling.

I have goals in mind with Harvey and we're gradually reaching them. He's slowly accepting my touch and whisper as a soother between nursing and he mumbles words of gratitude and affection in this incoherent state. I'm tired, yes, but not exhausted. And there is no thing more delicious than witnessing, hearing, and feeling your little ones drift toward restoration securely sheltered in your loving embrace. I imagine it's pretty sweet for them too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

BEST DAY EVER!

I got four hours of sleep last night and still this is the best day ever.

I have a fevering puking four year old laying next to me and still this is the best day ever.

You see, over the years we've been able to easily "allergy test" Jack by applying a little dairy to his skin, hives appearing shortly after. I have just had this gut feeling for the past few weeks that Jack is healing in a tremendous way. Well, being that he has been lethargic on the couch all afternoon I capitalized on his immobility and applied some yogurt to his boiling bod. I sat, stroking his forehead, watching the minutes pass, and feeling oddly confident that he would have no reaction.

Guess what. HE HAD NO REACTION !!!

Many of you have witnessed him getting a hive from a kiss from someone or a dog who licked him or a finger that touched him. This for us IS HUGELY indicative of healing.

This doesn't mean he's no longer allergic but it sure means he is less allergic and I am elated. We haven't tried with egg yet, don't want to burst my bubble. Maybe once the stomach flu has made it's rounds.

Best. Day. Ever.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tip o' the mornin'

Step 1:

Send significant other to Starbucks for a venti caramel macchiato (or sin of your choice), extra hot. He'll do this because while you both stayed up late he spent a majority of the night in lumberjack land (sawing logs) while you played musical beds with the babes.

Step 2:

Enjoy said beverage and relax a bit (cuz it's the last relaxing you'll do for the day).

Step 3:

Proceed to sort/clean/organize toys, books, and art supplies. Clean kitchen, entertain children, and yammer like a giddy little school girl all the while.

Whew! There's a reason that crack is heavily addictive. Tomorrow it's back to tea FOR ME.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back and forth, back and forth...


Nope, not the motion of me rocking in the corner.

It's more the extremes of the pendulum in my head, in our lives. So quickly my tune changes from Bob Marley's Three Little Birds to a Portishead track. I question whether or not I'm addressing enough, where this next year will take us, what Jack's future health will entail. He can barely have an off afternoon without my mind tripping out on what could be bothering him - diet? mercury? tired? some kind of crazy stealth seizure activity? I wish I were exaggerating. Joyful moments fill the spaces, we celebrate gains and count our many blessings. I see massive potential, I envision allergy tests coming back negative, I drift to sleep easily.

While vacillating between whimsical and worry-wart, there are constants. I'm confident every day that Jack's leaky gut is healing and that homeopathy has offered us a path that no other could. My emotional swings reflect our very nature - fear, anxiety, hope, love. The middle ground, the resting point of the whirlwind, is where I find solace and perspective. All is well. A mother's love and concern for her child is the driving force to do what it takes to make a difference in their life. In small ways and in large I see why we're on this journey and that we are headed in the right direction.

Yesterday was Jack's official first day of preschool (last month was their summer session - a relaxed version of the program) and Jack didn't cry but was quite shy when we arrived. When I picked him up he was ALL SMILES and chattered away about painting a t-shirt and having so much fun. His teacher said "he had a great day, he does really great with structured activities, and I got lots of smiles out of him". I told her I had hesitated to do the summer program because he craves structure so much but that I was glad we did it because it gave him a chance to get comfortable. I really really like this teacher, she is going above and beyond with our boy. Last night he told Justin about circle time and sang a cute little song that required taking a bow and a "nice to meet you". Adorable.

Earlier we had this little convo:

Jack: I had a sandwich, and watermelon, and a juice box wif lunch!
Me: Yeah, I packed those in your monkey lunch bag for you.
Jack: No...Mrs. M made it for me.
Me: Oh, wasn't that nice of her! (let's keep the love flowing shall we?!)

Yesterday morning when he saw me packing up his packpack he was like "Um, it's too cold for preschool, we need to go to the store, we can't go, you can't go." Today he noticed me packing up and said "Can we go to preschool?!!" and when we arrived he ran outside to play with the other children. And this after a rocky morning of him waking on the wrong side of the bed. I won't go into my overanalyzation of why that might be. Back and forth, baby, baaack and forth!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Kicking off our 3-day weekend!

Took the boys to the farmers market this morning where we scored a bunch of organic cabbage, tasted fruit, and grooved to some local musicians. Came home and strained our kefir, started a new batch, and then went to town on that cabbage and filled the crock to the brim....well almost, you have to leave some room for it to do it's thang. It's hot in So. Cal so we're hiding indoors right now but plan on spending most of the weekend out. Just need to get one kiddo to sleep, clean one very messed up kitchen, and wait on one hubby to get home from a morning of work!

Harvey tries the kefir...

He likes it!

Brother smothers...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

KEFIR


Just started my first batch of Water Kefir (thanks Jill) !! I purchased the water grains from www.kefirlady.com and they came with a detailed but simple set of instructions. Seriously friends, a monkey could make it! It's made at room temp with water, sugar, calcium, and the grains (and coconut water or dried fruit optionally). Every few days you strain the grains, drink/refridgerate the kefir, and add the grains to a new batch. The grains multiply so you can eat them for extra probiotic benefits, start more batches, or give them away! Lurve...

What is Water Kefir?

Kefir grains are cultures of various strains of healthy bacteria and yeasts which are held together in a polysaccharide matrix created by the bacteria. The symbiotic relationship of the microbes produces a stable growing culture. The microbes feed on sugar and produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide, yielding a fermented carbonated beverage. The alcohol content in kefir varies with the fermentation time, and is usually less than 1% .

While some people have successfully converted milk kefir grains to culture in sugar water, water kefir grains are different from milk kefir grains. Milk grains are white and look like cottage cheese or cauliflower florets. They are squishy, kind of slimy, and rubbery in texture. Water kefir grains are translucent white and break easily under light pressure. They more closely resemble irregular crystals. To the tongue, water kefir grains have a very mild taste and remind me of eating hominy. Milk kefir is quite chewy and tough. Both kinds of grains are safe to eat or put into smoothies.

Water kefir grains are sometimes called tibicos, tibi, or Japanese water crystals. Kefir grain cultures may vary in numbers and types of microbes. Typically Water Kefir grains have a mixture of healthy (friendly) strains such as : Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus , Lactobacillus alactosus, Lactobacillus casei casei, Lactobacillus pseudoplantarum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Streptococcus lactis, Streptococcus cremeris, Leuconostoc mesenteroide, Saccharomyces florentinus, Saccharomyces pretoriensis, Kloeckera apiculata, Candida lambica, Candida valida and possibly others. Lactobacillus brevis has been identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide matrix that forms the grains.

There is considered to be a probiotic benefit from the many varied microbes. Water kefir provides this benefit without the use of dairy products. It can be a healthy and valuable substitute for sugar soda products. Sugar is added to the kefir recipes because that is what the kefir eats; however, there is far less sugar in the finished kefir beverage.