Friday, February 27, 2015


Meditation is a wonderful tool to bring into your child's life. With their imaginations at their peak, calming and beautiful imagery can evoke peace and also drop pearls of wisdom into their precious minds. Through these types of meditations we can empower our children and work through issues that may be occurring in their waking life. 

This is also a beautiful way to bond with your child and please feel free to massage your children or add your own loving words. 

This meditation is apart of a series I am developing called YOGA FOR THE TRIBE. I want to bring yoga and meditation into families as a way of healing and bonding. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

The magical rockpool of your soul


Lie down on your back and stretch your arms and legs and then relax fully. Let your feet flop open like a big open book and rest your arms by your side with your palms facing up towards the sky. Begin to breathe big deep breaths in and out of your nose. Feel all the tension in your body start to disappear like magic as you do this. Your body now feels relaxed and heavy. You are safe and comfortable.

Imagine now sitting on a sandy beach as you watch the ocean. The orange sun is warming your back and a soft breeze tickles at your cheeks, keeping you cool. You watch the waves rising and crashing onto the shore and you breathe in and out deeply and slowly. You feel very relaxed and calm.

The water begins to lap up against your feet and you like the feeling of it so much that you decide to go for a swim in the nearby rock pool. As you walk over to it, soft white sand squeaks between your toes. 

You sit on the edge of the pool with your legs dangling in the water. You take another deep breath in and as you breathe out you slip your body into the crystal clear water. The water is cool and silky on your body. You feel so refreshed and peaceful. 

You look down at the water all around you and see that at the bottom of the rockpool are pink starfish, pearly white pipis and rainbow coloured fish. Can you see all the beautiful creatures? 

Then something else catches your eye, something sparkly. 

You reach down and pick it up. Its a precious gemstone and you move it around your fingers feeling its smoothness and admiring its unique shape and its color. What color is it? Imagine it to be your favourite color. You sit and rest in the rockpool with the water cleansing your body and holding the gemstone against your heart. It feels apart of you and something to be treasured and looked after. You breathe in and out of your nose with a slow steady rhythm. You feel deeply peaceful and happy.

Just like your special rockpool, you too hold many amazing gifts that are unique and precious to you. You are a very special part of this world with many wonderful talents to offer. When you express the beautiful being that is YOU then you allow others to shine too. 

Know that at any time you can visit your rockpool to discover and remember the gems that you hold inside of you. 

When you are ready, begin to wriggle your toes and fingers, then gently open your eyes and focus on your surroundings. Stretch your arms and legs. You feel relaxed, secure and happy.

Astrid xx


Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Mila and Louie watching the planes take off

"Your crazy!" "Why would you do that?!" and "Fuck that" are most of the reactions I get when I tell people I'm travelling by myself with two energetic toddlers on a long haul flight. However, I'm here to tell you that it's not only do-able but can be incredibly fun and enriching for you and your little jetsetters!

I have been flying solo with my both my children since they were three months old. I have a lot of family overseas so we did the NZ to Australia flight many times a year. We also flew often to many places around NZ to visit family and friends. By the time the big NZ to Los Angeles trip came looming upon me I felt confident and ready to make this entire journey with easy and infused with memorable moments and learning opportunities for the kids. All it takes is some planning, organising, awareness and a big helping of surrendering.

Lets start with age and expectations. I have a three year old and a 1 and a half year old. To expect them to act any differently or with less enthusiasm and excitement than they would with any other new experience is futile. In fact, you can expect them to be even more stimulated and ready than ever to explore the bright lights and hustle and bustle of an Airport. Over stimulation is the biggest hurdle to overcome when travelling and balancing moments of calm with running wild to see the planes take off is the key to keeping the stress at a minimum. Here are some things to ponder when planning your trip:

  • Be aware of where they are at age and developmentally wise. Do they need lots of running around time? Tactile stimulation? Is teething an issue? Do they have lots of questions that need answering? Are they just wanting to help mum or Dad with everything?
  • How can you create calm or "out breath" moments in between all of the excitement. This is so important so you don't get over stimulated and over tired children! I like to take moments to sit down with a snack and read them a story or taking a longer than usual toilet break away from  all the people is a good one too. I might change their clothes and wash their little hands and faces and even rub my favourite baby calm balm on their pressure points. 
  • Surrender to the fact that there will be meltdowns and tantrums. Toddlers and babies don't care that you may be in an enclosed space or surrounded by many weary travellers. They will still express their big emotions, but I have some tips for that too!

The play space at LAX

So now your high expectations are out of the way its time to start preparing. When travelling on my own I take two carry on bags, an umbrella stroller and my Ergo carrier. Here's what goes into my carry on:

Bag 1: I brought a lightweight trundler bag that also has wheels and its so good for trawling around the airport. I would hook the handle over the stroller handle and it would just roll effortlessly next to me. Boom.
  • Three changes of clothes for each child
  • Six nappies and a packet of wipes
  • A change mat
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Calming balm for babies. Its infused with lavender and smells heavenly! 
  • Rescue remedy - my number 1 essential for calming for all of you in times of stress!
  • Arnica tablets. These are great for easing the effects of jet lag and also safe for children but talk with your homeopath first about the correct dosages for you and your family. You can also get something called No Jetlag from the pharmacy which is also a homeopathic supplement and works great too.
  • A little first aid kit which has Olbas oil (good for clearing stuffy noses but can also be mixed with some coconut oil and applied to the neck to help ward off airport bugs!), a thermometer, Tylenol/Pamol, a syringe for giving medicine, bonjela, band aids. 
  • A couple of toys. My daughter brought a few of her pony friends on this trip and Louie had his toy car. I also had beeswax modelling clay for them to play with and this is the best for those calming moments. It needs lots of warming up in the hands and focus on making something so really works to calm the senses. It doesn't go everywhere like playdough either! 
  • This is optional but I did bring my daughters Leap Pad to use when she wanted to run buck wild and I really needed her to stay put during lining up for customs and also when she wanted to stand up during landing!! I know some parents are really against media pacifying but I'm not a martyr and sometimes a screen distraction is in order. That's in my opinion anyway. 
  • Spare pants and socks for me. I also pack my deodorant, lip balm and mini moisturiser. 
Bag 2: This is the snack bag and its a kids backpack. I have tons of food intolerance's and I don't want my kids eating high sugar and high processed foods so I pack all of our own bites to eat. 
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Six of those vegetable and fruit squishy packs. 
  • Crackers and cheese
  • Homemade bliss balls as a treat
  • Small bag of cashews
  • Vegetable sticks and hummus
  • A couple of fruit leathers for treats. I buy the organic ones from Trader Joes. 
  • A water bottle. Keep all of super hydrated

Checking in, customs and what to do at the airport:

  • Grab a trolley, get kids into stroller and backpack and ASK FOR HELP! People are always willing to help. Ive never had anyone turn me down and airport staff are usually ready and willing to help a solo mama traveller and her babies with all the luggage and holding little excited hands.
  • Explain whats happening as you go through the processes of checking in and going through customs. Toddlers love to be involved! 
  • If you have to line up for a while in customs I find snacks and a little toy come in handy here. Most major airports have family lines so hopefully you can get pushed to the front in quick time.
  • We always head straight for the viewing platform to see the planes take off and for some running around time. I like to get out as much energy from the kids as possible so they will be sleepy for the plane ride. 
  • Find out if there's a play area at your departing airport. LAX has an awesome one by the way! Its on the second floor FYI. 
  • Just before we are about to board I will get the kids into their PJ's and start setting the bedtime vibe. 

Taking off and the big long flight:

  • Ask for a couple of extra pillows and blankets.
  • Before putting your carry on in the overhead lockers, stick nappies, wipes and anything else you want easy access to in the seat pockets in front of you.
  • Give your toddlers plenty of warning and explanation about having to wear a seatbelt. I give my kiddies their night time milk (if its a night flight) and a little snack if they want it to help keep them settled and seated. 
  • My three year old has been known to refuse being belted and this is when a book, a t.v show or her little leap pad comes in handy. 
  • If little ears get sore try getting them to breastfeed, bottle feed or suck on something. The olbas oil on a little tissue to inhale can come in handy too.
  • Once we are in the air I take a blanket and hang it across our aisle seat (always ask for an aisle seat!!) and the aisle seat in front to make a little tent so its darker and blocks out view of all the people so they settle easier and without distractions from the tea lady ;)
  • Hopefully your little ones sleep for a little while so you can take a breather, eat something and sip on a glass of vino.....and try to get sleep too if you can. I always take an eye mask, ear plugs and neck pillow to help me drift off. Some ankle, wrist and neck rotations followed by some yogic breathing are good for tension release.

Activities for on the plane:

  • Explore! Let them walk up and down the aisles, mingle with the crew and seek out other friends and their weary parents.
  • You can do a lot with a cup, some tape and a box of raisins. Seriously. This is the best tip I got from a friend. You can make little shakers, pouring out games, magic tricks. The possibilities are endless!
  • Beeswax modelling clay. This is a Waldorf sensory activity. Kids love warming it up in their hands and making little creations.
  • A sketch pad and colouring in pencils.
  • Stickers
  • Band aids for playing doctors and general stick on silliness
  • Books to read
  • Movies from the inflight entertainment
  • Leap pad or other children's gadget if things aren't going so well and you may take a leisurely jump out of the window if your kid doesn't stop kicking the other passengers seat or wailing that they want to get off the plane..... Like I said, don't be a martyr. Use the tech if you need to! Remember, if your flying solo you're already a lady boss so give up the guilt and chill those babies out.

Landing and reaching your destination:

  • Again, something to suck on to help with the change in pressure on their ears. 
  • Use your excited mum voice to make them look out the window and to watch the landing. Make up a story about seeing the "birdies" flying next to us, that sort of thing.
  • If all hell is breaking loose because everyone is tired and over it then a special pre prepared wrapped up present is a little trick I use to keep them seated and belted up. 
  • A snack or treat helps.
  • Watching a kids movie or show can also come in handy.
  • Again always ask for help with getting off the plane and getting bags off carousel. Don't exhaust yourself by trying to do it all on your own. No one expects that. 
  • And also again, ask about family lines for customs, have snacks or games for waiting in line and then run like the wind into the arms of the one who is picking you up!!! Or at least tip the cab driver really well so he will let you have a vodka and tonic on the ride home ;)
What it all comes down to, like any life experience is the attitude you present. If you can take it all in your stride and care a lot less about what everyone else thinks then your going to have a fun journey with your little ones. Please email me if you have any other questions or tips! I've done this solo travelling A LOT so I'm happy to help or take on advice.

Astrid xx


Milkies out of a cup - Bye bye boobies!

Today I decided to wean my youngest, Louie. After thinking long and hard about this descion and seeking advice, it suddenly feels right. But also a tiny bit sad too. We have been been bossom buddies for 21 months now. He has curled up in the crook of my arm and nestled into the soft warmth of my milky vessels and nursed contentley to sleep, in times of thirst, after scraped knees, in times of insecurity and for sheer comfort. I would relish in the quiet time of this nurturing practice and the pulse of feel good hormones that would flood my body each time. I feel very very blessed to have had a breastfeeding relationship as it's something I personally had always wanted when dreaming up my life as mother. 

Mamas boy for life

Like all things in life, change is inevitable and holding on tight with resistant white knuckles will only cause pain. My life changed when I got sick. Lack of sleep and breastfeeding a toddler while running after his older sibling is hard enough as it is without the added stress of a depleted body. And that is the crux of why I have decided to wean. I am depleted. With no reserves to cling onto when I'm unwell and the broken sleep night after night was not serving me, him or my family anymore. It is still hard though.. I feel that sense of loss and my little boy being one step closer to his independence. Snipping at those apron strings takes a great deal of strength and compassion for yourself. Motherhood requires a lot of sincere compassion as it's a constant rhythm of pulling in and letting go. Inhales and exhales. Breathing in your child's distinct sweet aroma that only a mother knows and breathing out as they run full force down the grassy hills. Breathing in kisses on rose bud lips and breathing out their first day of school. We pull them in, we let them go. It's as natural as the moon sweeping in and pushing out the tides. Surrender. 

One cute bottom doing some water play

Change. It's a good thing. And in the end we must question if we are truly holding onto something for the good of the child or for our own benefits or fears. I feared disconnection from my son as we moved away from our breastfeeding relationship but what I got was a happy little boy who has found great joy in his new found curiosity away from mamas milk. And we now have endless cuddles and new ways to show our love for each other. Our bond is stronger because I chose to look after me and to trust my body. I see that as a gift to my children, to show them respect for oneself and stepping out of my own selfish needs to nurture the entire family.

Astrid xx

Thursday, February 5, 2015


"Teach everyone around you how to care about you, by how you care for yourself" Elena Bower

My illness crept up on me slowly. It started with little twinges of pain in my belly, to feeling a little more tired than usual. Then the nausea started, the pain after eating and the blood in the bowel movements and then the black cloud of depression came looming over. One day, I woke up and just couldn't get out of bed. I was so sick and so fatigued I couldn't even walk. I would crawl my fragile 47kg body to the bathroom and that was about all the movement I could muster. My husband had to take three days off work to look after our children while I recovered my strength. I was so scared about what was happening to me and I remember ringing my parents in tears, fearful my body was completely failing me.

Eight months later and after many doctors appointments, tests and diet changes I was diagnosed with Chrons Disease. In a way I was relieved. At least now I knew what I was working with and could finally start my road to healing. A week after my diagnosis I flew to Los Angeles to start my new life with my husband and children. For the first month I was here I had very little symptoms and thought perhaps the change of environment was all I needed to kick this thing. Perhaps I wasn't so sick after all. We were in the sunshine, swimming in the sea and spending a lot of time in nature. Life felt good again! Unfortunately, some stress and poor eating led to a bad flare up and I was right back to square one again. I have now gotten to the point where I am unable to manage my life of being a functioning human being, a mother and happy participant of this world so I am having to make some radical changes.

To begin with I am in the early stages of working with an incredible holistic health coach called Jenna Jones. She is supporting me with my wish to treat this disease without medication and head on with a healing diet, yoga, meditation and other holistic remedies. My next step is moving back home to Australia to live with my parents for a month. This is so I can have around the clock support as I get the treatment I need and to have lots of care for my children while this happens. I'm going to miss my husband so much but he fully supports this time away and knows how beneficial this time of rest will be.

So what is Chrons??

Chrons disease is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. It is associated with inflammation of the lining of the GI tract and this is what can lead to flare ups.


  • Fatigue
  • Frequent diarehhea 
  • Blood and mucus in bowel movements
  • Chronic bloating and gas
  • Constipation
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Nausea
  • Rapid weight loss 

  • Immune system problems
  • Genetics
  • Environmental factors
This is what I'm doing now to heal:

I am recording what I eat and how I react to certain foods everyday. I have cut out all nightshades, gluten and wheat, dairy, red meat and caffeine from my diet. I have started a very blood cleansing yoga practice in the mornings and a restorative yoga practice in the evenings. As I write this I am suffering from a flare up so a chicken broth is simmering away on the stove, ready to eat and hopefully soothe my very upset tum. I am also trying to be very kind to my body and to tell it good things like "Hey, those are some good functioning legs you've got going on there. Keep up the good work legs!"

And so my journey begins. I know I have a long road ahead of me but I want to share it with you and reach out to others who may be suffering. I will be trying some pretty quirky alternative ways to deal with Mr Chrons... Sweat Lodges and Reiki are on the agenda!! I hope my story and my stories of recovery to come inspire you to take control of your health issues, deal with emotional traumas and live with a little more bounce your step. 

I would like to leave you with my one of my favorite mantras that will hopefully lead us to work in harmony together while we share and help eachother...

Om Saha Na Vavatu
Saha Nau Bhunaktu
Saha Viryam Karavavahai
Tejasvinavadhitamastu Ma Vidvisavahai
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

May God protect us both together
May God nourish us together
May we gain energy to know the truth
May our study together be filled with light
May we not oppose eachother
Om peace peace peace

Astrid xx

Monday, February 2, 2015


It's 3am as I pace my long dark hallway. A little babe is tucked against my torso. Knees pulled up, arms curled tightly against his chest and pressing on my heart, his little head is cradled in the space between my shoulder and neck. His sweet milky breath is warm against my skin. Its not the first time we have walked down this hall with its creaky floorboards beneath us and walls alongside us that sigh with sleepiness and restless bones. We have been pacing for much of the night. The gentle vibration of my steps and my heartbeat against his body have become the only source to his slumber. In the depths of our exhausted minds and among desperate shushhhhs I begin to imagine my little baby, my son, as a grown man. 

I begin to wonder what he will look like and who will comfort him in his times of need. 

I pull him a little closer into me

I wonder if there will be times in his life when he will need someone in the night to kiss his face, hold his body and tell him everything is going to be OK. 

I breathe in his baby smell and keep pacing.

I wonder if he will ever feel loneliness and pace his own hallway one day. Searching for an answer or a guidance beyond this physical realm.

I kiss his little head a hundred times. Then a hundred more for the times I cant be there.

I wonder if he will ever lie awake at night battling his swirling thoughts and feel helpless. Silently crying out for help. For some comfort.

I rub his little back and sing a soothing lullaby that I hope echos in his mind forever.

I drift to a memory of seeing a homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk. His face was pressed against the hard cold concrete and his body was supported by a paper thin blanket. His dark lashes twitched with dreaming. And, I wondered if his mother once held him warm and close. Whispering promises and murmurs of love. Where is she now? Or perhaps he has always slept alone, exposed and abandoned. 

I tuck my sons feet into my dressing gown so he feels no cold. So his body is enveloped by me.

I wonder if he will know that I am always there for him and even as a tall, strong, grown man I will hold him, pace with him and speak kindness and hope into his soul.

For once I am not resentful towards this tiny nocturnal creature and his relentless night waking. In this moment I feel I could spend eternity holding his body and comforting him as we pace hallways engulfed in a quiet darkness. I tell him that as long as I am his mother he will never be alone. He will always have comfort in the dark times. I tell him that I love him, I love him, I love him. I tell him that in his darkness he will meet me. A young mother, tired but full of love, holding his weight with a strength that surpasses any emotional hurt or life's hard knocks. We will pace these long sometimes endless hallways together my son. Sleep now, you're safe and I'm here, always. 

Mama xx