Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood...

We celebrated our daughters second birthday during the weekend.  One of her favourite books is the “Gruffalo” so we celebrated to this theme.  
KB wears her home made ears and tail - she was of course the mouse!  Her cousin proudly wore his home made Gruffalo costume. My sister is very clever!!

KB’s most favourite sweets are marshmallows, so requested a chocolate and marshmallow birthday cake.  This became a chocolate swiss roll filled with home made marshmallow, covered in chocolate and decorated as a log from the deep, dark wood.  I managed to craft a wee (well actually he is quite tubby) fondant mouse - eating the nut.

We also had scrambled snake (scrambled egg with sushi roll), owl icecream, roasted fox (chicken) sandwiches and Gruffalo crumble.  
The crumble was a home made apple crumble with boysenberries for his purple prickles, green grapes for his poisonous wart, his orange eyes were apricots and his black tongue was licorice erupting from the crumble.  It was delicious!!

The table setting was the woodland scene complete with edible toadstools and leaves.

I now get to look forward to my nephews birthday and working with my sister on creating something fun for him!!!

Happy Birthday my Little Mouse x

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Trilly for Trelise

Meet Trilly.  This wonderful little tweet heart is my first ever hand made softie.

The hand drawn pattern for Trilly was inspired by the wonderful fabric I have for my daughters quilt (yet to be constructed).  I am so very proud of her as I managed to use the applique stitches on my adopted sewing machine (a very flash Janome - with a touch screen) and my first attempt at applique.

Trilly was a hand made gift for Trelise who recently turned one!  Trilly winged her way to New Plymouth with me on my first girls weekend away since KB was born.  I have so much to post about that weekend!

Janome locked up on me when I attempted to created Trilly's sibling as she was in desperate need of a service.  Months later all serviced and eager to go I have Janome back and can crack on with the next "hundred" or so sewing projects on my mind!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ears, Nose, Throat : Natural Remedies & Adjustments

Wednesday's morning awakening by my little treasure...

"Mama, need to see Christie",  
 "Why darling?"
"For a just ment"
"on my ears".

We have visited our family chiropractor "Zest" for almost two years since KB was a month old.  She is so very aware of when her body is misaligned and needs adjusting - it amazes me!

KB has had a runny nose and a slight cough.  Clearly it had progressed and she knew she needed an adjustment.  However, I did not listen as well as I could have.  Consequently we had a restless evening with my little girl coughing through the night wincing with discomfort.  A visit to the Dr suggested she may have an infection and sore throat, so prescribed antibiotics.  Lesson learnt - listen to your daughter who listens to her body!  Off to see Christie we go.

KB's little spine was adjusted to optimise her immunity and boost her energy to help her body fight its way to wellness.  She loves her adjustments.  Christie gave us some natural remedies to accompany her adjustment.

Apple Cider Vinegar as a Tonic
1 tsp morning and night to relieve a sore throat and break up phlegm deep in the chest.

Verdict so far - a good nights sleep for KB.  Any coughing is loosening up the phlegm and when she does cough it is not followed with crying or wincing.   With her taste for mediteranean food, KB does not mind her apple cider shot, however I could see that some toddlers would be adverse to this tonic.  Further research on this tonic suggests that adding the apple cider to 1/4 cup of water is best.

Olive Oil Ear Drops
A drop of olive oil in each ear in the evening to loosen up any wax and help the body lubricate that which needs to function well.

Verdict so far - KB is not paying as much attention to her ears.  We still need to observe this really.

Vitamin C in her water bottle
During winter KB has her special vitamin C tea with her breakfast.  Putting it in her water bottle is a great idea too for sipping on throughout the day.  This will boost her immune system giving her body some strength to fight any bugs.

Aunty Lyn's Syrup for Coughs, Sore throats and Sniffles
This is the tried and true soothing combination of lemon and honey in a lovely syrup.  As a syrup it clings to the throat with its soothing properties.

1 part honey
1 part glycerine
2 parts lemon

Other little ways I have been trying to help KB cope with the sniffles and coughs

Lavender drops on a tissue in her pillow slip - for a relaxing sleep.
Eucalyptus drops on a tissue in her pillow slip - for easier breathing when her nose is blocked.

Daily probiotics - especially important if we do decide to take the anti biotics.  I have noticed in the past that anti biotics can have a harsh effect on her stomach.  When she has been on a probiotic the anti biotics have less of an impact on her tummy.

I am so grateful for being encouraged to see winter sniffles and slight fevers as opportunities for KBs immunity to strengthen and using natural alternatives to support rather than suppress the bodies processes.

I would love to hear any of your natural remedies or even if you have had success with any of the above.
Have a cosy weekend x

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Celebrating Matariki - A Te Reo Story Table

"Ko wai to ingoa?"  
"What is your name?"

"Ko Rochelle toku ingoa"
"My name is Rochelle"

My beautiful and linguistic sister - Bella, is a teacher of Te Reo Maori and Kapa Haka at a Rudolph Steiner School.  She is full of courage and passion.  Passion for learning te reo - while our family are of Maori descent we did not speak Maori, yet she is driven to learn and share the reo.  Courage to take her passion for learning into a role where she is not a fluent speaker but a wonderful connector and learner herself.  Courage to step into a different school environment one which at times is in contrast to what she has trained for.

Steiner share stories to learn with and from.  So Bella wrote the story of Matai the Moa, an orphan in search of friendship.  The story is sprinkled with te reo with a focus on asking another's name and giving your name in response.

I loved her story so much that I set about illustrating it with Steiner style crafts, with knitting and felt.

Matai lives alone in a tomo (cave).

He ventures outside (ki waho) into the forest one morning.  Matai comes across a small bird, with a long beak snuffling among the leaves under a ponga tree.
"Ko wai to ingoa" asks Matai,
"Ko Kiwi toku ingoa" replies the bird before retreating into his burrow to sleep.

Matai Moa reaches a glade filled with beautiful music.  He peers into a Kowhai tree to see a bird singing happily.

"Ko wai to ingoa?"
The bird replies "Ko Tui toku ingoa",
"Kia Ora Tui, ko Matai Moa toku ingoa, could you teach me to sing as beautifully as you do?"
Tui says she will, but not until she has finished her morning song.

Matai Moa makes his way onward meeting many more native birds.... and the story continues to a very fulfilling conclusion.  The above is an abridged version of her writing, but hopefully will give you some idea of it.

Story telling without expectation is a powerful learning tool and story tables allow our little ones to revisit and retell the story they have heard when they choose.

I love this story too as it relates to the elements of Matariki including the whenua (land), Papatuanuku's gifts, connections with others and knowing who we are and how we relate to others. Ka pai mahi!

While K and I have enjoyed the story at home, she likes to recreate her own version with the props and characters we will also share it at Playcentre as a point from which our session children and parents can learn some reo.  I am very nervous about leading this!

However, if Bella can be so courageous I am sure I can be too!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Celebrating Matariki - Colourful Lanterns

Matariki is almost here!  Winter is officially too.  This mornings walk on the beach in the fine, crisp weather was refreshing and rejuvenating, evoking much reflection and gratitude for where we live, how we live and what we love.  And so is the meaning of Matariki - what an awesome time of year!

"During Matariki, we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua (land) on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth, Papatūānuku.
Throughout Matariki, we learn about those who came before us. Our history, our family, our bones.
Matariki signals growth. It's a time of change. It's a time to prepare, and a time of action. During Matariki, we acknowledge what we have and what we have to give.
Matariki celebrates the diversity of life. It's a celebration of culture, language, spirit and people.
Matariki is our Aotearoa Pacific New Year."  (an explanation from The Maori Language Commission)

It really excites me that we in Aotearoa have an opportunity to reflect at this time of year on our past and future.  Almost six months from our summer New Year celebrations we get a chance to ignite or reignite our aspirations.

Matariki describes the dawning of the cluster of stars also known as Pleiades - the seven sisters.  From the Maori perspective they are a whanau of seven - Mother and six daughters.

This Mummy and her one daughter have been making lanterns as one way of celebrating Matariki.

The lanterns are glass jars, covered in torn tissue paper of various colours and lit by a tea light candle.  Beautiful and simple.  A great result can be achieved by someone as little as K or as old as her Mumma!!

Our lanterns light our dinner table and perch upon our night blue voile.  I have just started making my own voile, inspired again by the Steiner.  K just loves her colourful voile - to dance with, to dress up in, as blankets for her babies, to make huts.......and more!

This weekend will mark the beginning of Matariki celebrations with a new moon.  Why not make some lanterns to light your way while you star gaze or make a star shaped kite to fly or take a walk in our beautiful country and reflect on where we have come from and what our future might hold - our iti whanau will be x
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