Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Another update on our daughter

I thought it was time to give a little update on how we are doing with our little girl since I've been getting a lot of emails asking how she is doing since my last post (which you can read HERE in case you missed it).

First of all I have to say that I was once again so pleasantly surprised how much sweet support and outreach I received from all you amazing friends out there. I really had no idea how many similar stories were out there. It really meant a lot to me and my husband to hear from all of you who gave us hope that we are totally trying the right thing here with battling her Candida Overgrowth.

Let me begin where I left off in my last post where the pediatrician prescribed her the Nystatin to treat the yeast. Well, when I went in to see the pediatrician a couple days later to talk about the next step, she informed me that I was wasting my time and she didn't believe in any of it. She only prescribed me the Nystatin to make me happy is pretty much what she was saying amongst some other things.
She totally doesn't believe in her issues being related to the enteric nervous system (which is also known as the second brain or the gut brain connection). I told her that it's not too much to ask to get her intestinal tract finally where it should be after her lifelong struggle with severe constipation. I'm done with Miralax and other products like it. I left rather infuriated and my husband was really angry after I told her what she said.

Let me explain a little what I'm talking about. I know I mentioned that she had one sided issues that almost appeared like nerve damage which this year is the first it showed up in this form. She always had her sensory issues related to clothing everywhere before.

Well some more open minded doctors, scientists, psychologists and practitioners believe strongly that the nerves running from your gut through your spinal cord can effect the brain.
The Candida Yeast overgrowth that releases all kind of toxins in your body can affect those nerves and your entire system. There are so many articles and books to read and they aren't coming from uneducated morons either. For example this HERE is a great great article on how the gut is related to psychiatry. Anxiety, depression, behavior problems, anger, ADHD and autistic symptoms can all be related to your gut.

{image via NewScientist}

So when our daughter has had these problems her entire life and we are being sent to a psychiatrist, I'm asking our pediatrician why not try this first? Why is it so shunned by our standard physicians? Changing your child's diet is considered holistic medicine?

Is it the easy route? Nope, it definitely is not, it would be much easier to give her some pharmaceutical medications to decrease her symptoms and behavior.

I'm still taking her to a psychological evaluation because I was asked to do so by my pediatrician. I do want to cover all areas and I will of course see what they have to say but meds aren't an option just yet.

This is where I have to report that our daughter is in her  fourth week of a no sugar, no yeast, no gluten, no wheat diet - the Candida Diet. She it's about 80% vegetables (mostly cooked) and 20% protein. Thank fully she loves vegetables!
To be honest the first two weeks were hell. It can totally be compared to withdrawal symptoms. She was acting awful.
I'm so thankful to my husband and how much he has been researching and cooking and we are a complete team. You can also follow along this Pinterest board to see recipes we have tried or will try. Our daughter even made it through her birthday happy and without a cake.

Some of our favorites:
Creamy, Zuchini, Walnut and Thyme Soup {via Food To Glow}
Quinoa Meatloaf {via Candida Diet, we used chicken though}

How has this affected her so far? Well, it's still baby steps but we can see a difference. For the first time in her life she is able to go to the bathroom daily without being constipated. She isn't as angry and hasn't tried to physical hurt me anymore in her struggles and outbursts over clothing. She is a little happier, although still sad and struggling daily with her major anxiety. But we have made it to soccer and she is able to tolerate her uniform without completely losing it. The other day she even asked me to do her hair again. And by her own words she is telling me that she thinks she is feeling a little better and she hopes her "problems" will go away soon.
I don't think it will be the magic solution to all of it but I do believe we are on the right track. If this has affected her nerves, then I know it can take several months.
But this diet change is certainly not hurting her.

I have also found a more local doctor who deals with these types of approaches and trying to find the least invasive and least toxic methods first before starting standard medications. And I have heard from other families who were helped greatly by seeing this facility (click HERE). Unfortunately there is, once again, a long waiting list and we couldn't get an appointment until the end of January, which of course isn't what we wanted but we'll take it.

For now we are continuing what my practitioner friend in Germany is advising us to do which after finishing the Nystatin is to gently (child appropriate) clean her out and then rebuild her gut flora with the right and necessary bacterias and probiotics of which she was missing several. She is also seeing an Occupational Therapist again who is coming to our house.

So this is it for now about our daughter but to finish off this post I thought I'd keep it real with my own #iambraveandbeautiful selfie. Have you followed along online, on Instagram and twitter where women are taking off their makeup? And I know I'll be getting that phone call from my mom where she will be asking me "what the heck did you do that for?" comment. She never leaves the house without makeup ;)
Believe me it wasn't easy for me, by no means. I hate taking pictures of myself and that is with makeup on. It makes me cringe. But since I'm approaching 40 I thought it was the right time to do it now.

I loved Beckie's post yesterday (click HERE) and the video she shared where other bloggers are doing the same.

Well here it goes. This is me and how I look when I roll out of bed in the morning. No makeup, no photoshop and frizzy hair:


This was inspired by Colbie Caillat's song "Try"


And in case the video doesn't work for you 
(you might have to head on over to youtube to make it work by clicking HERE), 
here are the beautiful lyrics:

Put your make up on
Get your nails done 
Curl your hair 
Run the extra mile 
Keep it simple 
So they like you, do they like you 
Get your sexy on 
Don't be shy girl 
Take it off 
This is what you want to belong 
So they like you, do you like you 
You don’t have to try so hard 
You don’t have to give it all away 
You just have to get up, get up, get up 
You don’t have change a single thing 
You don’t have to try, try, try, try 
 Get your shopping on at the mall 
Max your credit card 
You don’t have to choose 
Buy it all So they like you 
Do they like you 
Wait a sec 
You watch should you care what they think of you 
When you’re all alone 
By yourself, do you like you 
Do you like you 
You don’t have to try so hard 
You don’t have to give it all away 
You just have to get up, get up, get up 
You don’t have change a single thing 
You don’t have to try, try, try, try 
Take your make up off Let your hair down 
Take a breath 
Look into the mirror at yourself 
Don’t you like you? 
Cause I like you!

I will be moving this little blog to very soon so be sure to update all your bookmarks.

Talk to you soon my friends.



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Monday, September 29, 2014

Painted leopard pumpkin

Painted leopard pumpkin inspired by my new favorite shoe that is actually what the headline should read :) and it also probably shouldn't be an entire post because it was so easy and fast.

In our tiny house I don't have room for a collection of large pumpkins and it honestly always irks me to buy them and then have to see them rot and then throw them out.
So I usually go for small pumpkins.

And since I have a new favorite pair of leopard wedges that I can't stop wearing, I thought that the simple leopard pattern would be perfect for a tiny pumpkin. It's a simple leopard pattern, meaning it's only a plain beige background (no variations) and the simple dark brown spots.

I started out with painting the little pumpkin a beige-brown with acrylic craft paint:

After it dried I just used a small hard bristle brush to paint in the uneven spots. It's uneven, not perfect and I like it that way. It was a fast and easy little project that added a little touch of fall to our tiny little kitchen.

You could even just use a black sharpie for it too.

See the fur isn't even and perfect either. 

The shoes are really pretty too, right? Oh and you can buy them right HERE
if you would like to have your own pair

I love the little fella!

And that's it for today.


*(disclaimer: an affiliate link was used int this post)

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Living Pretty With Your Pets: Dans le Lakehouse

Did you guys enjoy this weeks "Blogger Stylin Home Tours"? There is more to see today. Click HERE for my tour and the entire list of all the blogs involved.

for today there is:

And now it is time for Friday's pet post. Today I have the talented and sweet Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse over for a visit. I adore her home and lot that her home sits on. I mean who wouldn't want to live lake front. I sure would! And wait until you meet her adorable and fluffy companion.

Hi!  I'm Tanya, from Dans le Lakehouse, where I blog about transforming the lakeside bungalow I share with my Handy Hubby and our Komondor, Szuka (pronounced Sooka).  I'm so excited that Julia invited me to partake in Living Pretty with Your Pets because I love this series and eagerly await for each new pet tale (pet tail?).

Everyone has such touching stories for adopting their four-legged family members but it's my intense fear of the woods that had me Googling "large dog breeds".  When Hubby and I decided to move from our city townhouse to a rural home on Lake Superior, I was adamant that I needed a dog who could protect me from the black bears, wolves, and zombies lurking in the woods behind our house.  It was just a coincidence that as a child I had longed for a Komondor.  I grew up speaking Hungarian, and so I dreamed of teaching my Hungarian dog Hungarian commands.  When I suggested a Komondor, Hubby - knowing my childhood dream - just gave me the side eye.  While researching dog breeds though, we both realized that the Komondor was actually a perfect fit for us: a low energy, but powerful and large dog that is deeply protective.  Komondors have been bred for thousands of years to guard livestock, so they make excellent guard dogs (but are best suited to rural areas, thanks to their neighbour-annoying deep and loud bark).  We planned to adopt an adult male Komondor, build a fence around the entire yard (plus build an outdoor, heated dog house), and have him patrol the property like a proper working dog.  Hubby had grown up with outdoor, working dogs so it seemed like a perfectly reasonable plan and made me feel safer about our impending move. 

The breed isn't common in North America so finding a breeder, let alone a rescue Kom, was more difficult than we anticipated.  After a few dead ends and missed opportunities, we ended up connecting with a couple of Komondor enthusiasts who had a small farm and a few Koms of their own.  One of their gals had just had a litter, but there was only one female left.  Something tugged at my heart and it just felt like the right decision.  The couple who bred her had identified her disposition as better suited to a family - as opposed to the typical independent, livestock guarding Komondor (which was good, because Hubby vetoed my idea to get a flock of sheep and a goat).  It was a nutty time: we hadn't yet sold our townhouse, we were toggling between two homes 1500km apart (one of which we were renovating), plus we were getting more and more broke by the second, and I was about to defend my PhD dissertation.  Despite this, we dropped everything and drove 16 hours without stopping to pick her up.  I sold a bunch of furniture to pay for her first shots.

The breeder had guessed her weight to be 19 pounds, so we were shocked when she hurtled her 36 pound self toward us.  She was HUGE already.  But she was sweet - so sweet.  From day one she was really gentle, even with my little cousins who poked and prodded her. 

Although Szuka keeps a watchful eye on our property as we hoped - and can scare the pants off uninvited guests - with the people she knows, she is a total love sponge.  We've been diligent about socializing her.  She's never spent an evening outside in her life.  The dog house never happened.  Instead, she's become an indulged indoor dog (although we do spend a lot of our days outside together).

Even though she's sweet, Szuka isn't always the cuddliest because with her wooly coat she's often too hot.  When she is in the mood we're all over her, even if she's a little smelly.

(For size comparison, here she was around 4-5 months old):

The one guaranteed way to receive a little affection from her is to enjoy a tasty snack.  Then we see this:

Or if we try to leave.  Then all of a sudden she loves us a ton.

Even though she's less of a working dog than we intended, she does an excellent job at guarding our home and property.  A leaf can't fall to the ground without us knowing about it.  When she's not staring out the window suspiciously, she follows me around the house just checking in.

Today Szuka weighs 93 pounds, but we're hoping she breaks a 100.  She hasn't disappointed in height, though.  Standing up, she's almost as tall as my 5"9 self.  She has to actually bend her head down slightly to nab something from the dining room table (bad girl!). 

Before Szuka, blog readers used to ask for my tips on cleaning because even in candid photos our place was usually pretty tidy.  I'm so happy I didn't hand out any advice because I'd have to sheepishly retract it and admit that it was easy to keep the place clean because we didn't have kids or pets!  Now I've given up the battle because each time she comes in, Szuka drags in fresh detritus.  She gets grass stains (from taking a tumble chasing geese away from our property)...

Occasionally she feels the urge to dig (she likes it best if the earth is damp and muddy), and then tracks that in...

She also loves living on Lake Superior as much as we do, so she smells kind of swampy all summer long and the leaves and gunk from the yard stick to her damp fur really well...

Unfortunately, she hates a bath but at least she gets in voluntarily.  I can't imagine having to lift her!  But once she's in the tub she's the saaaaaaadest dog in the world. 

After a particularly poofy visit to a groomer, we decided to save some cash (plus spare her some trauma) and give her at-home haircuts, because bathing her and cutting her nails were going so well. 

There's a bit of a learning curve, but we'll get the hang of it soon, I'm sure of it.  It sure beats maintaining her natural coat: corded locks that would need a ton of shaping and maintenance to keep them tidy.

In some ways, she's helping me embrace winter (a season I detest), because at least she stays pretty clean romping in the snow.

Did I mention she really loves the snow?  She's a perfect dog for where we live, where winter seems to stretch on forever.

Even though she drags in dirt, debris, leaves, and the occasional stick, it's been easy to stay stylish even with her around.  Although she'll suffer from a momentary lapse of judgement, she's pretty good about not munching on our stuff, which is a relief because a dog her size could do serious damage!  We keep her entertained with lots of toys, which I store in a heavy ceramic planter that's easy for her to access (you can spot it in the photos below).  She has, on occasion, even put a toy back.  She's so well behaved for the most part, and she only knows Hungarian commands - my childhood dream realized.

The plain dog stuff I found at our local pet store was really cramping my style, though, so we DIY'd her a mid-century inspired food bowl stand:

My Mom and I also made her a quilt (to match the laundry room drapes, naturally) for the laundry room/mud room where she sleeps and eats.

Because she rides to town with us almost every time we leave the lakehouse, we made her a padded platform to make the back of the truck comfier for her.

Does this sound like the hard life of a working dog?  Nope!  In the unlikely event of a bear or zombie attack, I'm going to have to fend them off myself, because I just love this little (big!) girl so much.

P.S.  Fortunately, our wildlife sightings have been pretty tame!  A little black bear did stalk our apple tree and a fox let himself in, but other than that Szuka's days are pretty quiet, except for chasing the pesky geese away, plus the terrible threat known as the neighbour cutting his lawn.  Happily, no zombie sightings (but I know they're out there)...

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To read more animal posts you can click HERE.

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Don't fear my friends, the fox does not have rabies and sure is adorable.

Tanya's lake house is amazing, isn't it? I love the scenery and I adore her green and turquoise tones inside. Szuka is so cute and fluffy and sure lives a happy life which I always love to see. Click HERE to visit them.

I'm actually thinking about posting only two times per week until my daughter is better again. It is so time consuming and I feel like I need to focus most of my energy on her right now. Let see how it goes.

Have a great weekend friends.


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