Friday, March 29, 2013

Joy Pockets

My pockets of joy from the week...

Printing possible covers for The Rainbow Way
Daffodils and an afternoon snow flurry - the wonder of March.
Adventures with our kiddies - visiting their grandparents in different countries.
Anticipating foil wrapped easter eggs nestled in the garden.
The Rainbow Way out for testimonials with heroines... and some very positive first comments.
 A blog post that went nuclear - it got nealy 3000 page views in 4 days, and has helped over 30 families that I know of!
Three generations making art together.
Receiving my book contribution from Pam England of Birthing from Within.
The Taste of Cherry Blossom (the title of  a piece of my food writing which has been accepted for the next BlogHer book, Roots, which is all about food and our connections to it.)
Reading great books - Many Lives, Many Masters and Daring Greatly
Pork pie with cheese and pickle.

Please do share yours below.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I don't know what's wrong with my child... (and an almost magic bullet)

If you're a parent, I need you to read this post.

And then I need you to share it with every parent you know.

Not because it's particularly well written, or because I'm trying to build my blog readership. And not because I'm being paid - I'm not.

But because the information below changed my life. And those of lots of other parents and children who were suffering, really suffering, and didn't know what was wrong.

And it's something so simple. Not mumbo jumbo or new-fangled. But a simple, age-old child-health issue that is not well-publicised. And it needs to be, because according to medical research it affects 70% of children in the UK.

If you have kids between 2-7 and they are:
  • out-of-character
  • agitated 
  • uncomfortable in their skins
  • tantrumming a lot
  • nightwaking, agitated at night - twitching, crying out in sleep
  • really angry
  • tummy aches, constipation
  • itching their bum and/ or vulva 
  • craving sugar... 
Then I really recommend you read on. And if it doesn't apply to you now, file it in your brain for future reference. (And what I'm writing about isn't exclusive to this age range at all, it can affect the whole family - it just seems to be the most common age and the most severe symptoms.)

Our story...

We couldn't cope. Really couldn't cope.

Our child was tantruming multiple times a day. She was, and I do not use this term lightly, like a child possessed. She was deeply uncomfortable in her skin. She was on sugar benders, endlessly needing more food, never satisfied. Nightwaking. Furious on waking, going straight into a tantrum. Grinding her teeth. Sometimes constipated. Often had a sore vulva. It was leading to school refusal, deep family turmoil and exhaustion. We didn't know what was wrong, or what we could do. Month after month. The doctor couldn't help nor could books, school, friends, family or Dr Google. And then our second daughter started to echo this behaviour. It was our lowest point in family life - we couldn't cope, couldn't cure, didn't know where to start.

I sound like I might be hamming it up. I'm not. I called the Samaritans. It was THAT serious.

And then, one day, when I was melting down on a private Facebook group, another mother made a suggestion that changed our lives.

Have you considered worms? she suggested, tactfully.

No, not earthworms, but tiny worms, threadworms, pin worms, that live in the guts, and come out and lay their eggs at night.

I know, it ain't pleasant, and I'm sorry if I've just put you off your breakfast.

Sure I knew about worms - I had looked out for them, considered them as a possibility. I had checked her poos, and she didn't seem to itch her bum: my girls had none of the well-known signs. So I had discounted them.

But this mama said, and I say too, that all the symptoms that I listed at the top of the post, are the other, real symptoms which are less well publicised, that we parents aren't aware of. But they are on the homeopathic list of symptoms for worms. And on the piece of paper that comes with the medication for them. And what is more, your kiddies might not have all the symptoms, just one, or a couple . And a lot of them are common behaviours for kiddies that age anyway. And if the infestation has been going on for a while, you might just think that your child is just a very challenging child, or going through the terrible twos, or have a food intolerance, or is quite disturbed...


First we tried the homeopathic treatment on the recommendation of a trained homeopath mama on the same Facebook page: Cina. We could only get 6C in our local area and it didn't work. Apparently you need 30C or 200C. (Again I ain't a homeopath, get further advice).

So then we tried the over the counter cure - (in Ireland it is available without prescription, it is my understanding that a prescription is needed in the UK and US). Vermox. It is a one tablet treatment. A pack of 6 tablets costs €3.50, and the whole family needs to be treated at the same time, the same as with nits and other infectious parasites. It is not an expensive or lengthy treatment. And the tablets are chewable or can be swallowed in one. We all found them easy to take.

Within three days we had our girls back again. They were sleeping, not sugar craving, infintely calmer. We went from 2-3 tantrums a day, to 1 in  a whole 3 weeks. We went from school refusing to happily skipping off to school with a smile on her face. The anger was gone. The tooth grinding was much less. The sore yoni, the wriggling, the constipation. Gone, gone, gone.

I don't mean to be evangelical, but that is the truth. For the first time in months, perhaps a year, parenting our children was a pleasure, they were happy, relaxed.

And all because of one tiny tablet.

And they are not without mild side effects. We all had tummy aches for a few days. But even us adults felt better, and again we had had no itchy bum symptoms either.

And then, three weeks later, to the day, the symptoms started to come on again. At exactly the time a second follow up dose is required. Then we knew we were not living in cloud cuckoo land, that it definitely was not a placebo. Another dose, and three days later calm was restored. Our first dose was 2nd of February. That was the day our lives changed. And since then we have had 2 tantrums!

Now I know many of you natural mamas don't like medication. That's fine, find your own paths. There are natural remedies, like garlic on the butt hole, and hideous herbal concoctions. But even the writers of books on herbal remedies admit how hard it is to treat naturally, and how easy it is with one, possibly two hits of Vermox.

 A little more about worms:

The eggs are tiny, pretty much invisible to the naked eye, the females (thin white threads about 5-10 mm long) crawl out of the guts where they live to lay them round the anus at night, their life cycle is about 3 weeks.

You don't catch them from family pets, but from fruit and veggies, and from other people - think about little kiddies itching their bottoms and then, at some point putting their fingers in your mouth or theirs, or on something that goes into your mouth, that's why they're so easy to catch, and spread so quickly amongst little kids. Their eggs can even be transported as dust. See more here...

Along with treatment, you need to make sure bedding is washed regularly, and handwashing is prioritised.

In the past families used to worm their kiddies a couple of times a year, just like they do with their family pets. But now we are not told about it.

On a mission...

So I'm making it my mission to change that. We have told the school. I am going to write something for school. And am going to approach our health authorities. All it would take is an information leaflet given to every parent at the two-year-old check up. Just a mention to parents at well-child check ups. Because it's 70% of kids we're talking about. And it's something which doctors aren't talking about (I took both my girls for check ups with all of these "other" symptoms mentioned and neither doctor picked up on it as a possibility.) It's only a little thing, but it has such an enormous effect on children's, and family's lives.

I am writing this post, because everyone who knows me says I must. Because of how much it has changed our lives. And how it could change yours.

Please note I am NOT since last time you read this suddenly a medical doctor - so do your own research, ask a professional, talk to your doctor, your pharmacist, be a grown up! But I just really wanted you to know.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Joy Pockets

It's Friday, it's Joy Pockets - haven't done them for ages! Apologies for it being so quiet round here on the writing front, I have been up to my eyes editing The Rainbow Way. It's nearly, nearly done, my part of it, any way, before I send it to the publishers at the end of April. I'm hoping to get it out for testimonials before I go away next week - eek! It's going out to a LOT of my heroines. Fingers crossed for me!

Freshly baked ginger cake for breakfast (get my recipe here!)
 Looking forward to our all-girl adventure on an airplane - Meli's first time - we're off to see Granny!!
Spring flowers
Easter holidays
A warm house on a stormy day
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter (anyone here read it?)
That my daughter wants to be an artist when she grows up
Nearly finished the biggest writing project I've ever done

What are your gratitudes this week?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bringing Spring In

We have been bringing spring in - in our craft, the flowers on our nature table...
Spring, welcome to the Pink House! We've been waiting for you!
Come on in (she threaded the big string of rainbow beads all by herself this morning!)

We're getting excited about our annual cherry blossom picnic - the buds are swelling - when will it be?
(Art by Lucy Pearce - for sale!)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Through the ice window

It has been bitterly cold outside here, spring may have sprung, and the flowers are up, but yesterday the polar wind was howling right down from the north, and so we snuggled up warm in front of the fire with a movie, and watched the snowflakes swirling in the late afternoon light.

It was too cold to spend much time outside. But in five minutes.... and a little waiting time... we made magic!!  It's been ages since we've made and shared some ephemeral art on Dreaming Aloud - I LOVE doing it - read more about it here!

An ice window! Which is now swinging on our washing line, glimmering icily in the bright morning sun.

And you can make one too if the cold winds are blowing round your way... It's a great nature activity to get everyone, big and small outside and active for a short time before running in to warm up with hot chocolate and marshmallows...

The next chilly day, gather some spring flowers and leaves from your garden, sprinkle them into a bowl of water, and leave overnight to freeze. Simple as that.

Then.. in the morning, magic will have happened! Lift your ice window out of the bowl and hang it on the line!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Dear Book Baby

Moon Time is one!

As my first book baby celebrates her first baby she is really standing on her own feet and I am one very proud mama.

She has sold over 500 copies, putting her in the top 1% of self-published books. Sales are rising month on month, and are now at 2 copies a day! Women in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, America, Canada, Brazil, Alaska, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France, England, Ireland and South Africa have my book on their shelves, in their bags and beside their beds, with pages turned down, ready to come back to another month. I know because they tell me. They email me every week to tell me how my words have changed their lives.

“Life changing” is a term that comes up a lot in those emails. It is not a term I take lightly. To have made an impact on another woman’s life, one whom I have never met, to have helped shift her self-concept, alleviate her physical suffering with my words, brings tears of gratitude to my eyes every time.That women who don’t even know me take the time to write emails and cards of thanks, sharing their life stories and intimate details touches me profoundly.

My book has been to four festivals and conferences in two countries – in Cork and Dublin in Ireland, and London and Devon in the UK. And every time the response is the same. Women pick her up, cradle her in their hands, and begin to tell me, a complete stranger about their cycles, their body wisdom, their hurt, their pregnancies, and pain, their births and bleeding. This little book is a wonderful ice-breaker to get us women straight into deep personal dialogue.

My little book has been the seed that has started two red tents that I know of and a couple of women’s groups. It has given many women the courage and desire to come off the Pill and have IUDs removed. It has given women the tools to shift their cycles so that they ovulate on the full moon and bleed with the dark. I know all this because they have told me. See what some women have said about it here. 

And then women come back to buy moon dial mandalas, and a copy for their sister or best friend, and woman by woman Moon Time is shared. I am very grateful to have been called to be her mama, constantly aware of how much I do not know – but delighted to be part of her magic.

Thank you to every one of you who have bought a copy, told a friend about it and cheered me on.


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