Sunday, November 14, 2010

Better, Naturally...

I reckon any book with a glowing endorsement from Hugh Jackman on the cover is off to a cracking start.

A few months ago I was sent such a book: ‘Naturally Better’ by Kristen Morrison. Kristen is a mum of three, creative type, successful fashion designer and naturopathic powerhouse. The book came to be after her third child, a sunny-faced boy named Gryffin, was born with the extra chromosome causing Down syndrome. 

Not the type to take this diagnosis lying down, Kristen decided to attempt ‘genetic change’ on behalf of her son – and the results were remarkable.

How on earth did a mum of three find the time to research, document, and write 350-odd pages while maintaining Gryff’s treatment program and looking after the family? When we are up against the wall and asked to fight on behalf our children, we do it without thinking.

So, back to ‘making genetic change’ – as said by an Occupational Therapist friend of the author’s, when she heard what they had been up to. It’s brave, to challenge a diagnosed condition and refuse to accept the developmental milestones given to her by paediatricians, nurses and organisations. 

Throughout the book we see, via the Therapy diary and pages of colour photographs, the intense therapies - from cocktails of vitamins and baby yoga to Osteopathy and Naturopathy - that have been of huge benefit to the author’s gorgeous son.

I’ve no doubt this is a hugely popular read for any parents of young children with Down syndrome, Autism, ADHD or Cerebral palsy – people looking for a better way to treat their child’s condition and, I might say, fight the diagnosis. But also for new mums and dads everywhere, there were gems of information that informs us on how we can best be parents to our bright kids.

What I loved about this book was Kristen’s passion for her family, the enthusiasm with which she threw herself into the research and Gryff’s program, and her encyclopaedic knowledge as a result of their experience. I would definitely read another book, written as a way of opening more minds (like mine) to the reasoning behind, ways of and benefits to living better, naturally.

In the time it has taken me to read and review this book, Kristen has also established the ‘Grow Foundation, for Naturally Better Kids’ to raise funds for kids with neurological challenges. 

When it was launched on 13 November, Kristen said:

“In the year since my book was published, the numbers of parents who have come to me with success stories from having done similar work with their own children is wonderful. 

"It takes considerable parent effort to achieve these incredible results, and because these
are at-home therapy programs run by parents for their own kids, the families often fall between chairs when it comes to funding.”

If you’d like to know more about the Grow Foundation or buy a copy of 'Naturally Better', head to their Facebook page or check out their website at

Oh, and... you can find me on Twitter or 'Facebook.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

When you're Not. Feeling. The. Love.

Some days. Some... days... it's all you can do not to burst into floods of tears at the supermarket checkout.

Ever been there?

You've got an attack of dropsy, you feel inexplicably on edge, the family is sick, the dog's ignoring you, you haven't slept in days, weeks or months, you're in a strangely foul mood and your hormones are playing up, your jeans have shrunk, there's too much work and not enough time, you've OD'd on coffee and chocolate, and even managed to have an argument with a loved one...

In short, you're totally-otally-wotally... Not. Feeling. The. Love.

And sometimes, that feeling can last for days or, if you're lucky, more than a week.

How do you get through it?

I don't have a magic answer, but after a few weeks of illness with a small baby to care for, a husband I love to adore who was also unwell, and a social media consultancy to run, it's been difficult to regain balance.

However, talking it through with my amazing, strong and gutsy galpals it's clear that I'm not the only one going through moments of virtual insanity amid a blur of beautiful baby babble.

Thank f*** it's not just me!

In the spirit of sharing recent crazy times for a giggle, here's me putting it out there for any other chicks not feeling it.

Situation One.The baby won't sleep. Do you:

a/ Close the baby's door and turn up the television?
b/ Put out the washing?
c/ Attempt controlled crying for an hour, rocking in his room, then uncontrolled crying, before caving in and getting him up?
d/ All of the above, then pour yourself a gin and tonic and consider the relative success of your latest adventure?

Situation Two. It's dinnertime. Do you:

a/ Put the finishing touches on the gravy for the lamb roast, whip up a cheese sauce, and light the candles?

b/ Put away the chocolate biscuits, feeling rather full.

c/ Wonder if baby thinks all food comes from a  jar or a sachet?

d/ Reach for the takeaway menu and vow to cook a truckload of vegies tomorrow night?

Situation Three. It's morning. Do you:

a/ Enjoy a yoga session with your personal trainer, thankful for the nine hours sleep you got last night?
b/ Wonder what day it is?
c/ Try to locate your other half across the bed, and spy him hanging off the side, one arm lying in a fresh patch of baby wee, with said baby jumping on the pillow?
d/ Reach for your iPhone to check Facebook, Twitter, and eBay, before hearing the sound of a hungry child, and realising it's yours?

Situation Four. You're not feeling yourself. Do you:

a/ Open a packet of Tim Tams and have yourself a hearty breakfast?
b/ Call a girlfriend and get out for a walk, enjoy a laugh stroke cry and a coffee?
c/ Surprise your other half with a date, with champagne, dinner, enjoying a nice view (and one topic of conversation...)?
d/ Take a women's multivitamin with your shiraz and hope that tonight will be the night when the baby starts to sleep through?

Have you been feeling recently - on top of the world or a bit under the weather? How did you get through it?

PS. A special word for the love of my life, Gorgeous, who senses when something's wrong, and knows just how to bring my bubble back. Thanks mister. X

Oh, and you  can find me on Twitter.