20 goals to inspire you to reach for a healthy and happy 2015

Hello friend!

So I’m guessing you rate HEALTH and HAPPINESS as priority #1 and #2 for yourself and your family?  But!… Do your values match your actions?

Here are 20 goals to inspire you to reach for a HEALTHY AND HAPPY 2015!

Remember, as a parent, you might need to work on your own health and happiness before you can possibly pass this onto your family…

Pick a goal, small or large and write it down.  Not only do your thoughts become your reality, but when you write them down, it is 10000x more likely to happen (well thereabouts!).

Here’s some ideas, but please consider what is important to YOU!

  1. I will make some food from scratch. Kale chips, coconut yoghurt, beetroot dip…
  2. I will be a ‘good enough’ parent who doesn’t stop to feel bad over what I haven’t managed to achieve and I will focus on MY skills, rather than someone else’s. No more PERFECTION!
  3. I will buy the ‘Dirty Dozen’ foods organically, to reduce my family’s toxic burden.
  4. I will take time out for myself. Exercise, meditation, socialising, reading, whatever makes my heart sing and my soul happy.
  5. I will give out love more freely. My children do not have to ‘behave’ to still be loved.  I will offer a hug, even when they have slipped up.
  6. I will BREATHE more often. I will not let frustration get me worked up nearly as often.  I will own my reactions to my children’s behaviour.
  7. I will increase the variety of foods I offer my children, by thinking outside the box.
  8. I will visit a health food store, even just to take in what there is to offer.
  9. I will try natural sunscreen, to avoid the chemical onslaught of the ‘toxic’ ones.
  10. I will buy some Epsom salts, for a relaxing, detoxing bath for the whole family (not all at once!).
  11. I will consider an elimination test if I suspect a food is not so good for myself or my little ones.
  12. I will practice mindfulness and show my children I do not need to make judgements, but can understand where people are coming from. Everyone is fighting their own battle…
  13. I will use my intuition, my ‘gut feeling’, to help navigate tricky parenting decisions.
  14. I will introduce probiotics to my family or look into eliminating candida and parasites.
  15. I will find gratitude every day. And model this to my family.  There will be less need for materialism.  More time for the ‘little things’.
  16. I will model naming my feelings in front of my children. And encourage them to do the same.
  17. I will make my first chicken broth..and then keep it coming, in the winter!
  18. I will build my family’s immunity through extra greens, broth, probiotics, alkalising foods such as lemon and reducing sugar.
  19. I will nurture my relationship with my partner…and take time out from the kids.
  20. I will keep following The Healthy Caterpillar for my ideas and inspiration on the above!

What will your goal be?  I’d looooove to know.  Maybe I could help you?  The more people I can inspire and help this year, the happier I will be too.  So help me to help you…

Leave a comment or send a message and I’ll aim to write some ideas to help you achieve your 2015 goals!

PS – I’ve been offline for a bit, changing I Raise My Kids over to The Healthy Caterpillar.  At this point, you can find me on Facebook at The Healthy Caterpillar.  I am still working towards a blog and website, whilst I study to become a family health coach.  Thanks for your patience 🙂 Heidi

Hello and welcome to I Raise My Kids!

Welcome new friends who have joined recently!  It is nice to have more and more people on my adventure with me. 
For those that don’t already know me…
My name is Heidi.  I’m a paediatric speech pathologist (who loves language and brain development as well as picky eaters).  I also have two delightful sons, aged 2 & 4.

This blog started mostly to inspire other parents to take a REAL interest in their child’s life and to give them ideas on how much they can choose to be a part of their child’s most important years.  Over on my blog, you’ll find categories such as, play, speech, language, social skills, mealtimes, behaviour management, pre-literacy skills, reviews, milestones and being a parent.

The serenity...

Due to my son’s food and chemical sensitivities (& thus discovering mine!!), I have been shown a life path that I did not plan for but am very passionate about.  I am currently studying to be a family health coach, to educate more parents to help their children achieve their potential through health and well being.
I have been connecting the dots and have had to question everything for myself as we did not get answers from the medical field.  It is now clearly obvious to my that our children’s development and thus future health is so closely linked with their diet and the environment around them.

By next year, I will be starting my new health coaching business and will launch I Raise My Kids under a new name.  I hope you will continue to let me inspire you to create more health in your family. 
Thanks for joining in!
Heidi

TIME = LOVE

Have you set a an ‘intention’ to spend time with your children today?

We have a thousand possible activities so I’m going to set the intention to at least play lotto and read some new library books.
I’d love to know what everyone else is getting up to today?….

How can our family’s health story help your family?

A little update on the ‘saving my family’s health’ tale with some ways to spot whether you or your children are also as sensitive. The end is getting happier for us 😀

Today I am thankful to have my son’s brain working so much better than it ever has.  Many of you have seen how I have been on a journey with Master4, initially to eradicate his ECZEMA without the nasty creams, then to reduce his ‘brain inflammation’ (aka ADHD), then to improve his nutritional health and get rid of the DARK CIRCLES under his eyes and consequently, we got rid of his SLEEP APNOEA, improved his SLEEP out of sight, stopped the BEDWETTING and improved his IMMUNITY.  It sounds quite extreme but we have had to remove gluten, dairy, soy, yeast, corn, sugar, some grains (such as white and brown rice), some fruits/veges (such as kiwi fruit and capsicum) and of course all food additives.  We have also removed chemicals by way of many non-organic foods, soaps, sunscreen and regular toothpaste.

Yes Master4 is very sensitive!  Master2 and I are also as sensitive.  But instead this has made our family take on more of a NUTRITARIAN diet.  Making everything we put in our mouths be filled with nutrients instead of foods that do nothing for our health (many of those above) and it is still very much a work in progress!  And through thinking outside the box, I do manage to fill their lunchboxes each day 🙂 although I have spilt tears at making lunches some days!

After studying him closely, I’ve realised just one mouthful of gluten will inflame Master4’s brain for four weeks.  Four weeks of STRESS for the whole family.

Master4 flies off the handle at what feels like every minute of his day.  His brain can’t process language as well so you can’t talk him through his experiences.  He has little empathy for others which makes interactions with his brother harder.  He has no ability to direct himself to play nor much motivation.  He is more aggressive and shows less eye contact. He has about a 2second window to give an instruction or explain something.  I am forever saying ‘look at me, look at me, listen, LISTEN!’ His world is one big ‘gluten hangover’ (and what appears as Asperger’s Syndrome) and so we hold our breath and wait it out….

Last week, Master4 came out of yet another gluten hangover (from sampling a child’s Tiny Teddy at kindy). Can you hear our HALLELUJAH’s??!  He is now much more easy going, is smiling, plays imaginatively for hours, shares and thinks (a little bit!) about his brother, comes up with brilliant ideas, draws amazingly and can actually listen and be reasoned with.

This is the reason I have realised my life’s goal is to ‘save’ more families from scenarios like this and to improve children’s potential through health and well being.  All with diet and environment, not medications or putting up with it.  Right now, spare minutes are filled with me studying and organizing business logistics.

I hope everyone will benefit from some of the information I will soon have to share, after all who doesn’t count their family’s health as their #1 priority?  It is not easy but once you have seen the difference, you will never go back.

I am looking to start my health coaching business next year, but in the meantime, if you’d like any advice, please let me know.  Or if you know anyone that may need some direction, point them in my direction 🙂 Heidi

How to help your children draw their way through an ‘experience’

How do you get your children to express themselves in a difficult situation, when language doesn’t necessarily flow that easily?  Drawing is the perfect answer!  Every child can pick up a pencil and when an adult is sensitive to what they are drawing, or telling you about at the end, it can be a very therapeutic tool.

Here is how our ‘experience’ of a missing pet unfolded. 

Day 1 – Through a chain of events, Master 2 opened the cage door, outside, of our beloved cockatiel of eight years.  Before we knew it, he was gone.  Thinking we had slim chances of finding Trevor, we did a small search around our block and went to put up some LOST signs.

I went to bed feeling dreadful for our poor pet, out with the wild birds and a 3degree night.

 

 

 

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Day 2 – I felt like I had to do one last call out, so I got up early and whistled my way around the block.  Just as I was about to head home, I heard him!  I went to find him in a tree and called my husband to come and help.  The boys waited in the car while my husband got up a ladder and we put a rake out for Trevor to climb onto (he had no idea how to fly downwards to us).  Well our poor bird got a fright from the rake and flew off – over the road and into a bush somewhere.

I spent the next half day whistling my way around a much wider radius of our house and ended up back at home feeling frustrated and tired and worried, again, for our bird.  The boys were now trying to make sense of it all and wondering why Mummy was so sad.  They were sure Trevor would be back. 

That afternoon, with my husband gone for the next few days, the boys and I walked to two parks, putting up more signs and whistling more.  In a last ditch effort, I drove us back to the bush where we saw him head and whistled out the car window.  I just had to find him.  He called out!!!  So again, the boys waited in the car while I searched for Trevor, whistling from somewhere in a big clump of gum trees, over a swamp…..  

The next while included:

  • Trevor flying at me and missing me and ending up high in a gumtree
  • Myna birds attacking him
  • Me attempting to throw 2metre branches at them
  • Me wondering how Trevor would manage to just drop from the tree, back to me
  • Trevor flying off to another tree with birds chasing him
  • Me chasing Trevor, the boys watching on in the car

Well, Trevor did think about flying down to me again but just couldn’t do it.  So I jumped in the car with the boys and raced back to our house to get his cage, in a hope he might come down to his seed and water.  All the while, I was explaining to the boys about the excitement, yes, of finding him but the nervous times ahead of trying to catch him and about the fact it was nearly dark.

We left Trevor in the branch that night with his cage under the tree.  The boys and I discussed the myna birds and why they were attacking Trevor.  We made a plan to go on an early morning adventure the next day to catch him.  I was at this point forcing myself to use positive thinking AND talking in front of the boys about it.  I also had to be organised and clear with ideas of how to catch him AND entertain the boys for who knows how long the next morning.  

Day 3 – With my stomach feeling a bit sick and my heart in my mouth, we got back to the tree and Trevor was quiet but still there.  Unfortunately, he was no closer to coming down and was not wanting to give himself away to the myna birds, who happened to have a nest a few branches over.  I spoke with a groundsman (of the retirement village we were in) who agreed I should come back at a slightly more decent hour and use the neighbour’s hose to get Trevor down. 

We drove home and waited the nervous wait.  It was here, we had the time to start drawing.  Of course there were many parts of the story we could have drawn about, but it was nice to see what the boys chose and what they talked about.  It allowed for us all to have a ‘free range’ discussion about any thoughts that were on the top of their head.  And let me see what they were making of it all.  

Master 4's myna bird - the 'naughty bird' (with an unwelcome scribble on top from Master 2)

Master 4’s myna bird – the ‘naughty bird’
(with an unwelcome scribble on top from Master 2)

I started drawing my own experience, and soon Master 4 was adding to it. 

Mummy at the bottom waving her big stick.  The boys in the car yelling 'mummy'!...

Mummy at the bottom waving her big stick. The boys in the car yelling ‘mummy’!…

Well we went back again.  The boys geared up for more waiting while Mummy raced out and found the groundsman.  He sprayed the hose, which only attracted attention to Trevor, he tried his leaf blower, which did nothing, then he got out his extendable saw.  He moved the branch and Trevor flew off again.  My heart was back in my mouth racing after him and seeing the main road.  It was two crows that gave Trevor away and there he was, at my height.  I grabbed him, full of relief and ecstatic.  

We brought Trevor home and cut him some new branches and let him rest.  He was fairly battered. 

Got him!

Got him!

That night, unfortunately, Trevor took a turn for the worse, and died.  Whilst it was very sad, it was good to know that he was at home with us and this made the boys realise how much they loved him. 

Day 4 – I broke the news to the boys.  Master 4 understood that death means that Trevor’s body has died but his spirit lives on, the one that is braver and stronger and full of love, for having gone through all of this.  Master 2 worked out Trevor was ‘sleeping’ 😀

We drew some more. 

Master 4's account of events from the capture to Trevor's death.

Master 4’s account of events from the capture to Trevor’s death.

Master 4 was now just talking as he drew.  It was good to see what he had understood from it all.  He was unsure how to draw hearing about Trevor’s death.  I explained not necessarily drawing a picture, but maybe using the different coloured pencils to show his feelings with his hand movements or by the colours he chose.  I modelled for him. 

Drawing the moment Master 4 heard of Trevor's death

Drawing the moment Master 4 heard of Trevor’s death

Master 2 joined in drawing a rainbow to bring us some happiness, like the rainbow we had seen on day 3.

Master 2 joined in drawing a rainbow to bring us some happiness, like the rainbow we had seen on day 3.

The hope from day 3...

The hope from day 3…

After doing so many drawings in a few days, the boys are back into their habit of drawing their thoughts and ideas out.  Every time they do regular drawing, they always get so much out of it.  Ideas flow out, drawing skills improve daily and creativity in both drawing and story telling is inspiring! 

In my health coach course, we have learnt about the power of expressing oneself on paper and after the last few days, I aim to sit with the boys and draw more too.  

How much do you draw?  Have you ever encouraged your children to draw their way out of a tough situation?  Will you encourage them to sit down and do drawing more regularly?

I hope to get time soon to post about our ‘Daily draw’, where the boys drew every day for a month.  

Well, that’s it for my Trevor story.  I hope I have shown my boys that persistence and a positive attitude can really bring about miracles.  We should probably never have found Trevor…twice! 

A cup full of love…for me

 

Last week the parenting gods battered me (I’m sure I’m not the only one!)… But how do you take care of yourself, like ‘they’ tell you to, when you just don’t have the time?
On this day I didn’t even have the time to get to yoga, so I found a quicker way to give myself love.

I came across this tahini/date/pear smoothie (thanks Janella Purcell).
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Whilst I don’t feel the need for ’emotional eating’, I figured this would be a nutritious and filling snack AND would give me an opportunity to be mindful, taking the time to make myself something I wouldn’t normally, along with the cinnamon sprinkle on top!  I didn’t even multitask.

By slowing down to make this smoothie, knowing it wouldn’t take THAT long out of my day, I’ve given myself a little bit back.  Cinnamon and a warm drink didn’t go astray either.

I’d love to know the small things you do for yourself as a parent, even when you don’t have the time!


Tuesday 27th May 2014. How I spent the day..

 

The serenity...

The serenity…

Recently, I was inspired to write down how I filled one day, when I read a similar post from Shannon at A Game of Diapers.

And so, because I have this blog available to me, I’m going to record one of my days, at home with the boys, more for my own interest in looking back in years to come and remember ‘the good ol’ days'(??)!  But I’m interested to see similar posts from others too.

So here it begins

6.30am  Alarm goes off.  Give boys a cuddle.  Fill out journal with intentions for the day.  Make our eggs breakfast.  Wash dishes.  Intermittent entertainment with boys.  Put a load of washing on.  Prepare snacks and lunches for later.  Intermittent entertainment with boys.  Put bird outside.  Gather eggs from chickens & feed them.  Break up fights with boys.  Hang out washing.  Bring load of washing in.  Break up another fight between boys.

8.30am  Prepare shopping list.  Get us all dressed and teeth brushed with much negotiation.  Pack swimming bag.  Clear up toys along the way.  Pack car with bikes/helmets, picnic gear, swimming bag etc.  Liaise with boys dancing to The Wiggles music.

9.00am  Drive to swimming lessons.  Toilet trip and more negotiating to be ready on time.

9.30am  Master 4 starts swimming.

9.45am  Master 2 starts swimming.

10.30am  Morning tea at swimming lesson whilst Master 4 helps to re-write sign on whiteboard that he erased earlier.

11am  Quick trip to supermarket.

11.30am  Lunch at bird park.

no pictures of the chores!

no pictures of the chores!

11.45am  Bike ride at park.

12.30pm  Home.  Master 2 into bed.  Unload picnic gear.  Toy picked up from Ebay sale.  Load of washing on.  Wash dishes.  Pre-prepare some of dinner.  Roast veges for lunches later in week.  Washing out.  Other washing in.  Start to pack and think about lunchboxes for daycare for rest of week.  Prepare some snacks for my lunches for rest of week at work.  Make daycare-friendly pesto.  Intermittent attendance to Master 4, chatting, providing him bags he needs for his play and calendar to talk about our next holiday so he can tell his pretend friends.  Eat some more food.

1.30pm  Make birthday card for Grandma with Master 4.  Sort washing.  Read book with Master 4.

2.15pm  Washing in.  Take rubbish and compost scraps out.  Mini-tidy of toys.

2.30pm  Master 2 awake.  Encourage to take nappy off/go to toilet/get dressed before visitors (he did).  Encourage Master 4 to tidy his room a tiny bit (he didn’t).  Prepare more dinner.  Wash dishes.  Liaise with boys about going outside/watching them being careful with chickens.  Get one daycare bag prepared with spare clothes.

3pm  Visitors arrive.  Talk/play with them.  Boys have afternoon tea.

4.30pm  Continue with dinner preparation. Clean up outside.  Feed chickens again (preparation for busy rest of week at work).  Boys watch Play School on TV.  Clean up kitchen.

5pm  Boys eat dinner.  Boil eggs.  Peel some for breakfast tomorrow.  Prepare more lunchboxes.  Pack away roasted veges and other leftover snacks.  Wash dishes.  Pack away boiled eggs.

6pm  Master 2 wants bath.  Master 4 has shower with me.  Prepare other daycare bag. Pack away washing.  Much negotiating to get them dressed and teeth brushed.  Read books.

7.15pm  Boys into bed.  Pack away more toys.

7.30pm  Eat dinner.  Read emails, Facebook.

8pm  Call husband who is away.

8.30pm  Blog post.

9pm  Study.

10pm  Meditation.

10.10pm  Bed.

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Keep your mind on Old MacDonald!

Can you do this mindfulness activity?
The next time you sing a song or read a book to your little ones, STAY PRESENT!  That means no thinking about the chores you still need to do, that item you need to put on the shopping list or how tired you are.  Your aim is to stay in the moment and enjoy the few minutes with your child.  And take notice if they react differently to you giving them 100% attention!

I know my singing voice is definitely ‘better’ and I enjoy the book more too 🙂 Heidi

What type of parent do you want to be?

Have you ever sat down and thought about what parent you’d like to be?  Maybe not the parent you are now, but the one you’d be in the ideal world.  It is useful to write it all down and compare with where you are at right now.  It’s never too late to CHANGE!


To get you started, what would you like your children to describe you as…?

Mindful children – the answer to the future

Imagine having a child that is learning to be more mindful of others, at one with their natural environment and able to calm and regulate their emotions?  This is just some of the benefits of teaching your child about mindfulness.  If you’re not sure what mindfulness is about, you can get a quick induction by reading my previous post ‘Are you a mindful parent?’.  Now we can apply this to children.

Children are more in touch with their senses than us adults are.  They use these to learn from their world whilst us grown ups are busy thinking, thinking, thinking, but not necessarily feeling.  Without realising, our children might be a step further along their mindfulness practice than we are.  They just need us to guide them.  And this is why it is important to have a think about how mindful you are and start to become a role model of this.

The following list of activities is just a small start to get you thinking about the types of situations that are ideal for encouraging mindfulness with your children.

  • Eat outside.  This can be any meal or snack of the day.  Breakfast outside? Why not.  After school snack outside? Why not.  Eating itself is a great mindfulness activity.  Talk about the foods you are eating, the colours, the textures, the smell and even the sounds while you are crunching capsicum or snapping beans.  By eating outside, you can help your children to take in the sights, sounds and smells around them.

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  • Have a sing-a-long or blow some bubbles.  Singing and bubble blowing (letting the kids blow, that is!) involves using diaphragmatic breathing.  This encourages relaxation straight away, not to mention focussing on an engaging task.
  • Practice kids yoga.  The ultimate in breathing, body awareness, relaxation and enjoying the outdoors!  ‘Let the children show you how yoga is done’ gives you a run-down of how to get started.

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  • Get the kids washing each other’s hair!  Receiving a massage from a sibling is a great mindful activity.  Using a shampoo with essential oils also makes this an enticing olfactory exercise too.
  • Read books that focus on the child or their body.  ‘From Head to Toe’ by Eric Carle encourages your child to do animal actions.  ‘I Grow in Grandad’s Garden’ by Brian Andrew is a wonderful aide to help your child talk about their worries, feelings, dreams and gratitude.
  • Take the time to appreciate life and each other.  This could be as simple as encouraging the kids to thank the earth and farmers for the veggies they are eating, imagining how empty life would be without each other and appreciating the small actions of love they have received that day (for example, another child sharing with them, a sibling singing them a song or a hug from Daddy).
  • Study nature together.  Whether it’s talking about the weather, noticing the shapes of leaves or checking out the stars, this helps your child to look past their worries and to use their senses.
I wonder what the clouds are telling us today..

I wonder what the clouds are telling us today..

As you can see, these ideas are mostly activities that involve being outdoors (and taking conscious note of it), using the senses (and taking conscious note of it) or requiring children to move their bodies (and taking conscious note of it!).  This all helps your child to achieve more mindfulness.  And hopefully inspires you too!

What ideas can you come up with?

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