Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010

For next year instead of making resolutions I'm going to have some core values that I'm going to aim for.

BE CONSCIOUS- as a mother, as a consumer, when I'm eating

BE NURTURING- to myself, my kids, my relationships, the planet

BE TRUTHFUL- to myself and my ideals

BE JOYFUL- find joy in the everyday

BE GRATEFUL- for I truly live a blessed life

BE SUSTAINABLE- keep my footprint on the earth light

BE CONNECTED- to my kids, my husband, my family, my friends and to myself

LOVE- give it, take it, share it around


I found this post at Simple Mom "10 Questions to Encourage Engaged Parenting in 2010" Some questions worth asking for sure.

Whatever you are doing have a great new years eve and all the very best to you and your family for 2010. It's going to be a great year for me and I hope it is for you too.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We have chooks!

We are now the proud parents of 3 chickens :D They are all about 4 months old.

A silver silkie Tannah has named "White". Like "Pink" the singer apparently, but different.
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A two tone brown silkie (I'm sure chicken enthusiasts know the real names lol)Willow has named "Cheeky Chicken"
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And a white pekin bantam who we are yet to name. She is clearly the boss and a noisy, flighty girl. I like her, she has spunk.
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They are inside in a portable cage today to escape the heat and I am enjoying listening to all the clucking and book booking going on. I am looking forward to collecting tiny eggs....

Ooooh I got an award!!

My very first awwww by the lovely Rach
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The rules are to share 10 honest facts about myself then give the award to 7 other bloggers who inspire me

1-I am completely useless with money. If I have it, I spend it. Period.
2-when I was a vegetarian I often craved bbq chicken.
3-when I was giving birth to Tannah I was SURE she was coming out my bum.
4-after she was born it FELT like she HAD come out my bum. No one talks about how bloody sore your bum can be!
5-I think "Twilight" is one of the absolute worst books I've ever read.
6-I think my kids are super cute, probably cuter than your kids lol.
7-I have quite a few friends who have kids starting prep this year. Every time I hear talk or tweet or post about it I breathe a sigh of relief that it isn't us-even though I'm interested in their journey.
8-I have a pretty good and frequent sex life, especially considering that I have 3 young kids who co-sleep.
9-I cried watching a You Am I concert on TV about a year ago because I felt so sad for the death of the life I used to have before kids
10-I swear a fair bit. If you know me in person this will be no secret to you.


Now the passing on of the award...

Kate at Picklebums. Love her blog, love her family, love getting free rhubarb.

Sif at At The Bottom Of The Garden. Love a blog that is straight up and always a good read.

I'm really enjoying My House Smells Like Vanilla

Stacey at Two Little Lions. Great photos of her kids living the unschool life.

Natalie at Moeder Kip. Very talented Mama.

Ayla at Primal Home. I'm new to reading this blog and I'm really loving it.

Sazz at Ilithyia Inspired. A good birthy blog.

I'm going to give a special mention to Idzie at I'm unschooled. Yes I can write. She may not get the award cause she may not read my blog. But check hers out.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas morning-the photos :)

We had a lovely christmas. I won't go into a long story of our xmas day, but I will share some of the best photos of xmas morning.

Opening presents from Father Christmas
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Twirling ribbons!
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Harper with her rainstick (from Eco Toys)
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Presents from Ning and Par
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Willow with hers and Tannah's dolls from us (from Spiral Garden)

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The only picture of Luke and I-taken by me first thing in the morning

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And the big girls all dressed up and ready to go to xmas lunch (pants by Moeder Kip)Hair done at Tannah's request :)
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just in case you haven't read enough posts about Xmas preparation...

Here's mine!

Presents are bought and wrapped-hooray for me. Very pleased with both the amount spent and presents bought. There is enough xmas related shit glued to other shit in my house to make me feel that I have achieved some sort of craft for kids goal. There are 2 chickens (organic and free range thank you very much) begging for some thyme, sage (from my garden thank you very much),olive oil and a good roasting to take to xmas lunch. Weather has been forecast and outfits have been selected. As usual it's a big boo hiss to Melbourne and it's crapola weather. TWENTY degrees? Go fuck yourself, it's summer. Cards posted. Luke's birthday (xmas eve) present bought. Our tree is a big dead tree who is dropping needles all over the place. Who knew xmas could be about sweeping? Done supermarket but still need some premix cans for Luke from bottle shop. Need more rhubarb from the Picklefarm to make my rhubarb pie.
I am getting up early Thursday and doing a VIC market run. It's what I do on a Thursday and I'm too stubborn to change. That and we will need groceries. Planning to be home by 8am. Some baking to do and birthday celebrations for my lovely husband in store...

That is pretty much it!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Things I know

-some weeks just fly! Friday already??
-some days you just have to cancel plans and stay at home for some down time.
-feeling smug about having completed christmas shopping is hindering my wrapping and organizing efforts
-the pregnancy of a friend can be almost as exciting as being pregnant yourself-especially if your own baby making days are over
-teaching your kids to refer to loud cars as "bogans" might not be funny to everyone
-that you have become a true gardener when you venture out into the rain to retie your tomato plant to it's stake in the pouring rain
-my 2 and a half year old can still look like a baby when she is breastfeeding
-double organic cream on pikelets with jam=YUM
-my next Things I know will be in christmas morning aftermath...get ready christmas celebrating peeps!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My wonderful kids

I love them so much-you know kids like my kids. They look like this

It's always them who are naked, covered in paint &/or glue. It's my kids who are the ones at the supermarket in their fairy skirt/pajamas/odd shoes. It would be my child to be the one to tell the woman at Coles that "Harper came out of Mummy's BAGINA".
It's me scrubbing sour awful milk out of a wooden tea set after pretend got boring. It's my daughter who is the one peeing standing up next to the boys. When it rains there are a pile of clothes and shoes at my place drying out from puddle jumping. It's my kids who don't say sorry unless they actually feel sorry and do it unprompted. They are the ones with the brown bread sandwiches. The kids who dance and sing unashamedly. My kids are not afraid to say when they are happy, pissed off, scared or upset. It's them who strikes up conversations with strangers. They won't let me touch their hair or they do it themselves. They attend playgroup wearing gumboots, a hat and a nappy.

My amazing, wonderful, beautiful free range kids.
It's an honor to be part of the journey.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The story of stuff



OK so I am one of the last people to see this. If you have not seen this and you buy stuff ever it's worth a watch. It does go for 20 minutes though-you have been warned!

It did my head in.

I try to be careful with my consumption-mostly. But I still buy a whole heap of stuff I don't need. I talked about (I didn't really try, I'll admit) a consumption challenge last year. Buy less stuff, buy second hand, really think about whether the item is needed. But I didn't really try. I thought I did enough. I recycle, I buy (mostly) fair trade, I try to eat organic. It is not even close to enough. The society we live in screams BUY BUY BUY-you NEED that insert new product here. My kids do not live in a vacuum, I can see the want want & chuck chuck mentality already. It scares me. I feel like I really need to have a big think about how I buy and how I model buying to our kids.


Maybe need to rethink the consumption challenge....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

20 random facts about me

-My favorite kind of food is Thai-mmm satay anyone?
-I went to the Big Day Out 10 years in a row (well it wasn't on one of those years so 10 years in a row that it was on)
-I don't wear pants to bed. Undies but never pants. Can't do it, no matter how cold it is.
-I have read "The Stand" By Stephen King probably more than 30 times
-I was Jan in my high school production of Grease
-my jobs have included Maccas chick, hairdressers apprentice, pharmacy assistant, naturopath assistant and veterinary nurse.
-I'm a really good swimmer
-I don't have my tonsils or my wisdom teeth
-my first car was a Datsun 120Y. It was duckshit green.
-I have a serious cougar crush on Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in the harry Potter series)
-I was so obsessed with Nirvana that my friends feared for my mental health when Kurt Cobain killed himself.
-I have 6 tattoos
-I have camped out for concert tickets twice (Pearl Jam, Vs tour & Live, Secret Samadhi tour)
-I used to have nightmares about E.T the extra terrestrial as a kid
-Pulp Fiction is my favorite movie. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind comes a close second
-I caught the bouquet at my friends wedding. I met my now husband a month later. The two people who caught the bouquet and garter at our wedding were the next two weddings that Luke and I went to. Even though they were both single at the time of our wedding.
-I love reality Television! As trashy as it is lol
-If was was a boy my name would have been Toby
-I am phobic of spiders. Really phobic.
-I used to smoke about 10-20 cigarettes a day. Seems eeewwww now.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Things I know

-the only good fly is a dead one
-babies are way easier to take places when their sole love is breastmilk. Food gets messy, and must be packed in your bag
-the closest I get to a gig these days is The Wiggles. I'm OK with that.
-if you let the kids decorate the xmas tree you need to let go of any preconceived ideas of what it should look like
-there is such an immense satisfaction in cooking a whole meal from scratch and sharing it
-wooden tea sets are lovely, and will smell like milk forever from being filled with it by your 2 year old
-having paypal makes online shopping waaaay too easy
-a baby learning about gravity by dropping whatever she is holding on the floor a million times is necessary-and annoying
-when your 4 year old shows you a drawing ALWAYS ask her to tell you about it. NEVER guess. Unless you like upsetting and annoying your kids.
-hug your kids. They are ace and think the world of you-yes you!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Life B.C

Yes Before Children.
I looked at my toilet the other day, if you have one or more little kids using it it probably looks like mine. Pee on the seat (and the floor, always on the floor), random bits of toilet paper around, a step on the floor as well as a couple of toys. Now I tidy up in there a couple of times a day-remove toys, wipe seat (and floor!)and flush-but it always looks like that-unless you go in right after I tidy.

I used to be totally grossed out by that! Yukky pee everywhere and having to navigate some sort of seat &/or step for a little one. Now? Meh. Whatever. Glad it's not me who has to tidy it and usually stoked for some sort of step for my own kid to use.

And I used to be on time-always. And organized.

And have a point to my story

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

9 months

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Harper is almost 9 months old. She will have spent more time earthside than inside! And it is that magic age of awareness and mobility for most babies. They start to realize that they are a separate entity from their Mama-not just one joined being. It must be scary to realize that you are separate, it's sad that most modern Mamas don't realize that until that age their baby wants them around all the time because it feels like a part of them is missing. And after they are scared because they have no concept of how long it might be before you come back. If you come back.

Harper appears to be gifted in this department lol. She has started wailing every time I put her down, which is usually to help one of her sisters with something that is tricky with a babe in arms. So not very convenient or easy for me at the moment-that's why I'm blogging this. To remind myself that she isn't being overly clingy or trying to annoy me on purpose. She is genuinely going though pretty big changes for a little person.

Also it will pass. And for me this will be the last baby-so the last in arms phase is coming to a close. Soon I will have a mobile baby who will be checking out more and more of the world and just coming back to me to check in (and feed!)from time to time. Soon my sling will be less for emotional and physical nurturing and more as a mode of transport for tired legs. I am writing this post to remind myself to enjoy my baby while she is still happy to spend all day in arms. Before long she will be wriggly and less fun to carry in a sling. And before I know it she will be a toddler and my much loved (and very well worn) sling will give way to the stroller and the ergo. Not the same as having my hip baby (in my Hip Bubby lol).

What will I do with myself when I don't have either a baby or a huge pregnant belly on my front??

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My name is Shae, I am a consumer.

I'm finding it easy to embrace the whole "lower my carbon footprint and be a good role model for the kids" thing but I still suck in one area. I'm a consumer. I LOVE to buy things and spend money. I like new stuff, pretty stuff and useful and useless stuff. I'm always want want want and have an "I want" list a mile long at all times.

I am trying to be more aware of my spending habits, buy only what we need and look for second hand first. But I find it really hard!

I have just started hitting the op shops regularly to buy clothes for Tannah-which will then be passed down to the other two-as well as filling any clothes gaps for them. I even got some extra cutlery we needed from there!
If I need some new stuff I write a list and hit the shopping centre ONCE. Saves me finding more bits and pieces to buy.
Some non essentials I've bought off eBay. I figure if it's second hand and reasonably priced then it's not that big of a deal.

But here are 2 things that are annoying me no end.
One is the towel situation. We have about 10 towels of all different colours and stages of life. There are about half that could probably maybe do with replacing-but they all do the job. What i want to do so badly is buy 10 towels, 4 hand towels and 2 bath mats-all brand spanking new and all the same colour! But it would cost a bomb and we don't need them but matching towels.....

The second is this-what is wrong with this picture?
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Our toaster died a couple of months ago and we replaced it with a new one (we use a toaster enough to justify a brand newie lol)but the kettle.... It is still working fine, just fine. The problem is that it didn't magically change to match the new toaster! The consumer in me says go forth right now and buy a matching kettle and the frugal eco-living Mama I am striving for says I have to wait until it dies too then replace.

Patience is a virtue so I'm told...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Things I know

-taking 3 small kids big places isn't always as hard as you think it will be.
-rabbits can poo! A lot!
-putting the xmas tree up ensures I will hear the line "is Father Christmas coming TONIGHT?" a lot
-I always add my dishwasher, washing machine and vacuum cleaner to my grateful list
-a two year old can exert a crazy amount of force when you are trying to fold her into a carseat
-when my last baby reaches milestones it makes me a little sad
-making a meal that we all actually sit and eat and enjoy at the same time is lovely from time to time
-don't take kids through the carwash unless you a SURE they are not scared of it
-my 4 year old can be incredibly frustrating and amazingly beautiful at the same time
-if I drink a frozen coke every time I deliver one I'll be the one with the big belly!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cloth nappies

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I have a system that works! It's taken me over 4 years and lots of buying and trying to be happy.
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Tannah got to test drive pretty much everything lol. She started in old school terry squares and PUL covers. Then I went to playgroup-nappy nerds, the lot of them and I was introduced to modern cloth nappies. Fitteds and pockets and all-in-ones OH MY! And the colours! The fabrics! The lust to have all different kinds! There were hand knitted pants that doubled as nappy covers-who knew!
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But when Willow came along I went to All in ones.

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So easy to use! I'd had my fun with all the other variations (and spent a bomb on some one of a kinds-oops!)as soon as Willow was past the tiny stage when fitteds are fantastic I bought a complete stash from Bubblebubs and I must say they have been my faves-they are still my main stash-we have only had to replace a few and get more cause we have 2 in cloth!

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It is only recently that we have been using cloth at night. I love Bumgenius! with extra boosters for night.

Gotta love the cloth bubble butt :-)
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Using cloth is no big issue. I keep the wee ones in a nappy bucket with a lid but no water and the poo ones just go into a bit of water. Every 2nd day I do a wash. Easy. And it's fun! So many different types and some are soooo pretty! Check out these I want some of these pretty badly lol. Willow is even giving training pants a go.

A good place to check out is here at the Nappy Network-lots of good info about reusable nappies and links.

Don't write cloth off as too hard or messy. It can be heaps of fun and is really hardly a bother at all.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day before shopping day pasta

Very exact lol

Look in your fridge and see what veggies you have left-
A leek maybe? Sad couple of dryish mushrooms? Random carrots?
Chop or grate all of these up.
Back to fridge. Look for anything that might make a sauce.
Think half a jar of pasta sauce, spoonful of leftover sour cream (smell it first!),crushed garlic. Stock? Tiny scraping of tomato paste that should have been put into last meal? Gather and put on bench.
Search pantry for whatever type of canned legume you have too many of.
Round up all the half and quarter packets of odd pasta.
If you have sad scraps of frozen peas and corn get that out too.

Put water on to boil.
Heat oil and sautee all the random veggies, add garlic (assuming it's not the week you buy garlic), dump all the odds and ends of sauce type stuff in. Add canned and frozen bits.
Cook pasta-take note that some will be overcooked and some almost raw if you put huge and tiny pasta in together.
Taste sauce. Go to herb garden and try and salvage with strong tasting herbs. Thyme or basil work well.
Pray there is cheese left to sprinkle over the top.
Get sauce tasting delicious by adding bits of condiments-think tamari, tahini, braggs-even milk will work in a pinch.

Serve up highly nutritious (it has a million ingredients)and surprisingly tasty meal.
Watch kids cry that dinner is "yuuuckkkieeeeee"and beg for cheese toastie-which would be OK except you have sprinkled the cheese on the top of the pasta and there is no bread left.
Find crackers for kids. Eat meal and realize that you will never be able to recreate it which sucks because it really is yummy!

Write shopping list.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I want you to know..

That I had good intentions.

I put my family to bed-yes Luke too-and got on here with the intention of blogging. Maybe some holiday pics (that holiday was a fecking month ago Shae)or about our new trampoline, or some unschooling revelation stuff.
I thought I'd just read some other blogs for inspiration. Then I read a forum or two. Then I googled about menstrual cups, then I did the facebook thang....Baby woke, gave her a boob back to sleep. Back to forum, another blog, search forum about menstrual cups then ooh book depository.

Now I'm tired and my eyes hurt and it's late! And I want about 40 books and a menstrual cup!

But I had good intentions to blog..really

Friday, November 27, 2009

Things I know

I am aware it's been some time...

-nothing scares the shit out of kids like a huge clap of thunder when they have their little noses pressed against the window
-sunshine = heaps of rain = happy garden and excited gardener
-sometimes you get what you want for what you want to pay for it on eBay! Helloooo tramampoline!
-the amount of puke coming out of a baby looks waaaaay bigger than the amount that went in
-a lot of stuff I previously thought was a big deal mess wise is really just me being anal. The kids playing in the "crafting box" by themselves for a couple of hours was cleaned up in minutes
-my big 2 would be happy to exist on crackers and apples forever
-zen bedtime works!
-I love it when Luke works day shift.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

You are so brave!

If you have had a baby at home you may have heard this one-more than once.
I get why, our culture has such a fear of birth and we are constantly told all the gloom and doom stories that it makes homebirth sound so risky.
We are convinced that we cannot possibly know our own bodies or when we are even in labor thank you very much without the opinion of someone who apparently knows more. I get so frustrated that intervention is so fucking routine that to birth without one seems so "brave" and scary. It pegs us as crazy, risk taking women who care more about the experience than that of the safety of our unborn baby. Puh-leese.
I'm ALL for women making their own INFORMED choice-women who do that don't usually question you at all. What I am sick of is someone starting a conversation with me in Coles about my tee shirt (peace, love, homebirth) and telling me that they could never have a homebirth because they had a 9 pound baby who had to be yanked out with forceps and thank god she already had the epidural in because she tore from arsehole to breakfast. We are even making women scared of 9 pound babies now-anything over 8 is fuge (no typo fucking+huge=fuge) and lucky to be alive apparently.

Well let me say (and I normally do)that I think that choosing the hospital ride is brave-extraordinarily brave. I get why people do, and more power to you if you go in there with guns blazing and get the birth you want, but don't pull the brave shit on me anymore. My chance of having major surgery(cesarean) is much less, as is my chance of an instrument delivery (had one of those the first time IN HOSPITAL and would like to never go through that again thanks)not to mention how important bonding and breastfeeding are (again-better rates at home!). Sorry if this sounds a little aggressive. I do wear the shirt to spark interest and conversation but getting told about how dangerous homebirth would be for a 9 pound baby just makes me want to pull my hair out.

Have we come this far from what normal birth looks like?
Sadly I think the answer is sometimes , yes.


Watch this space for posts about "I could never homeschool, I don't like spending that much time with my kids" and "If your child is not vaccinated my kid will catch diseases from yours" and other favorites.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

silly season

Christmas. I'm a fan. I love choosing gifts for my children and other kids we love who we buy for. I love xmas lights and decorations. I love that you catch up with friends over the season. I love that Luke gets time off and the weather is warm (well, mostly in Melbourne). It is no secret that I love to eat delicious food as well. And I love Santa.
If you are not part of the "hippy-la-la" parenting set it may surprise you to know that Santa is unpopular for a variety of reasons. The fact that xmas is now a commercial buying fest-less about family and Jesus and more about presents. The fact that all things traditional xmas are actually geared for the northern hemisphere-we should be celebrating summer solstice. People forcing screaming babies into the arms of dressed up shopping center employees for the sake of a picture. People not being comfortable with the "lie" of the whole Santa thing. There question is not "what are you doing for Christmas?" but frequently "why are you doing Christmas at all?"

I understand all these reasons and I totally respect and admire families for choosing what they are comfortable with-even if it flies in the face of the mainstream-I imagine it must be pretty suckful to have to explain yourself a million times and get looks like you are the worst parent in the world because you choose not to shower you child with gifts they don't need on a day that personally means nothing to you.

But I'm still a fan.

Admittedly my kids only get a couple of presents each from us and sitting on santa's knee is optional (but definitely suggested). We are choosing a gum tree branch over a snowy pine as a tree and there is much summer themed craft to be done. The naughty and nice rubbish and threats of no presents never get a run here. But I remember that incredible anticipation and excitement leading up to xmas, I remember all the magic about Father Christmas as a young child. I remember huge family gatherings, trips interstate and my Mum's roast lunch with great affection. My family is not religious but xmas has always been a time of family and love and sharing meals and time together-and a little about getting and giving some ace gifts.

So this year as the silly season looms just around the corner I ask you to embrace it. Whether that means enjoying your summer and ignoring people who disagree with your choice not to celebrate or whether it means you go the whole hog without constantly complaining about it-nothing is worse than standing in line at the post office next to someone posting gifts complaining about it, if you hate it you can actually choose to opt out! Try for a bit of charity-even a tiny bit. Buy charity xmas cards, chuck $10 in a salvo's jar or give up some time. If you buy gifts remember that less can be more-think more about what someone will like rather than having to spend big bucks. And think about where the gifts come from-look for fair trade and recycled presents. But most importantly spend time and connect with people you love and who love you. Catch up, make a phone call or use Skype or something.

So I'm wishing you a merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy Hanukkah, summer solstice blessings or just a big ol' HI! thanks for reading my blog.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pondering the future

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Sometimes I look at my girls and wonder what the future holds for them. Who are they going to be when they grow up, what will they do and will they be happy. I think I can glimpse into the women they will grow into at at times but I wonder how much that will change as experience and life mold them into their adult selves. I cannot protect them from all the shitty parts of life and some of those will change who they are and how they see the world. I hope to show them how magic life can truly be, how to nurture themselves and others, how to do things simply for the joy of doing them-not because of fear or to receive praise, how to stay true to themselves, to be kind and compassionate and the list goes on and on of things I want my girls to know. I feel that sometimes I question so much of the mainstream because I want my kids to lead a life less ordinary and be extraordinary women. I look at our society with all its violence, illness and sadness and want so much more for my kids-but I know that they will encounter a lot of life's unpleasantness too. Which is all part of it. I can't possibly know what is going to happen to any of us, good or bad, but I look at my 3 beautiful children as they are now and wonder how much of the personality that i know and love about them will hang around and be a part of them when they are my age.

Friday, November 20, 2009

5 year anniversary-the pictures

This time 5 years ago I was at my wedding reception having a blast. I could gush about my husband-I'm sure you have all heard me do it-but instead I thought I'd blog some pictures of us over the years. Some of the major moments in our lives are here but I must endeavor to have a shot taken of us now-there are no recent ones!

These first two were taken in the first year I lived in Melbourne

How cute are we lol
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First Big Day Out together-very momentous occasion!
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Our housewarming of the house we had for a while-I love my hair in this I might add..
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Our engagement party
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The wedding! I'm 17 weeks pregnant here :-)
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The day after Tannah was born
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In labor with Willow-I love this pic of us, apologies if it's a bit TMI for some
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And all of us together after Harper was born-I know you've all seen this but I just adore this photo
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So there you have it.A few snapshots of us over the almost 9 years together and 5 years of marriage. It sure has been busy and a little crazy at times but we are and ace couple and have weathered all the storms with relative ease.

And I just love him to bits.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A quick catch up

Lovely Kate at Picklebums linked to me so I figure I should put something here. But I'm going to do a quick catch up in point form. I've seen this type of post around the place so here goes.

DOING:
-getting ready for our garage sale this Saturday, that means cleaning out and sorting like a mad woman.
-planting all our seedlings and bucketing water from around the place to keep them wet.
-moving the two big girls into their own room! A momentous occasion! There has been little resistance too I might add, they are both pretty jazzed about having a space that is theirs. They are going off to sleep no issue and sleeping until about 4am without a peep. Then we play musical beds so everyone has a parent in bed with them. I'm not worried about how long the transition will take-it'll come when everyone is ready.
-christmas! Shopping is done except for the snapfish calendars that I need to order and the card writing that needs to happen.
-enjoying my husband. He's just making me laugh lots at the moment.
-marveling at my kids. They are growing so fast and I love watching them learn new things.

DREAMING:
-of organizing group things. I want to start a womens circle and an unschooling group. Making plans...
-I have hit a weight that is not comfortable on my frame. Need to do something about it and nurture my body more.
-parties and birthdays and all that jazz over the xmas break.
-bloging my holiday pics! If I can find the USB for my camera....
-

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm still here

Hi y'all.
I haven't forgotten my blog. I have, however, been super busy and on holidays to QLD. Since I've been back I've had about 15 topics I would like to blog about! So I need a little quit time (HA!) to get my head around what I'm going to blog and when and to get some pics up from our trip.

This weekend maybe....I'm hopeful:-)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Things I know

This week I only know one thing

-When Luke is at work a lot and doing shift I have no time to blog!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

testing testing...


yay! if you can see this I can blog pics from my phone :)

Posted by ShoZu

Monday, October 12, 2009

Travel with kids

My family live interstate and I have done a lot of traveling back and forth by plane since Tannah was born. Here are some tips
-Prepare! Write a list at least a week before of weird items you are likely to forget(like a nightlight etc)and keep adding to it as you think of it.
-check clothes at least 2 weeks before. My folks live in QLD which is much warmer much earlier than here in VIC so I need to check if Tannah has enough summer gear that fits. The other 2 usually have more than enough hand-me-downs lol.
-if you (like me) order any consumables (like deodorant, shampoo etc) do that at least a week before to ensure they arrive in time.
-Make a surprise busy box for the kids of non-messy craft to play with on the plane. We love self-inking stamps, crayons and stickers. I always buy a new exercise book for the occasion.
-a couple of small plastic animals pack well and can be good for a bit of pretend play
-Don't buy sugary treats if your kids are not used to them! I have learned the hard way that giving in to make the trip "special" just made my kids hyped up! Instead go for things like plain chips which are just as exciting and minus the sugar and preservatives.
-don't ever take library books or toy library toys- you are bound to be worried about their whereabouts the whole time.
-borrow some DVD's from a friend that are new to your kids if you have a portable DVD player
-let your kids pack a few familiar and favorite toys and/or books. If they are too big check them in your luggage and hope for the best.
-pack some food and water. Homemade or bought-just make sure they are delicious. Pack some for you too!
-if you are going anytime near xmas take the gifts! Save yourself the postage :-)
-make sure your memory stick is empty in your camera, you have batteries and your phone is charged. (take phone charger! Write it on your list)
-If you are leaving really early in the morning dress your kids in what they will wear on the plane and just roll them out of bed and into a clean nappy. Leave time if you are breastfeeding for a feed.
-The night before do a final list of all the things you use right up to leaving to make sure they get packed-double and triple check you have your bank cards, ID, medicare card and phone. Everything else can be sorted out later but they are essential. Sometimes it's a good idea to carry a photocopy of the birth certificate of kids under 2 to prove age for free airline seat.
-Whatever time you think you need before you have to leave for the airport-add half an hour. If you are parking in the long term car park, leave an hour. Make sure you are in the terminal waiting in line AT LEAST 1 and a half hours before your flight leaves. Trust me on this.
-let your kids run and scream and carry on as much as they like in the terminal. Ignore the looks of anxiety form passengers wondering if you are sitting next to them. You and your kids need some space before being crammed into a tiny space.
-get excited. Travel with kids and holidays with family are fun and make some awesome memories

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Real food

My food journey has been a long one.
For a very long time I have questioned what food I put in my mouth and the ethics and health-giving properties involved. I was a vegetarian before Tannah was born but still ate a lot of junk and drank a heap of alcohol. When she started eating I realized that I was eating a heap of the food that I wasn't comfortable for her to eat so I started eating better. I went totally vegan for 6 months when Willow was a baby but came back to being an omnivore when I fell pregnant with Harper. Being pregnant always leads me back to me an omnivore-usually from hunger and seediness lol.
In the 6 months since Harper has been born I have been a little bit of everything. I have been struggling with all the conflicting theories behind food and what is, in fact, healthy. Vegan? vegetarian? Omnivore? What am I comfortable with?
I'm sure all my backwards and forwards over what I do and don't eat confuses the hell out of people-and I'm sure has some rolling their eyes.
Here are some issues for me.
Being vegan is the most ethical option, but there is a lot of weird processed fake food and soy, unless you go raw which I'm not interested in. Being vegetarian is easy, but I have issues with how dairy and eggs are farmed. I also think drinking buckets of calf milk is strange. I also have been struggling with keeping everyone in my family happy-as they enjoy meat. Being an omnivore is by far the easiest and most popular option-but I struggle with the idea of factory farming.
There are so many theories out there on what is the best way to feed your family-so I started thinking about what is wrong-in my mind-with our modern western diet. The diet which is killing off a generation before it's time.
It's all too processed, to easy, too full of refined and modified everything. It's too cruel and too unnatural to the old methods of farming. I started to think about what people used to eat before the convenience and fakeness of modern food happened. They ate old fashioned, home-cooked and simple food. Food made from scratch with real ingredients like butter-not margarine. There was no modified corn starch, soy, preservatives and colours type ingredients in everything that was bought. There was no low-fat, sugar-free craze. It seems to me (and I'm not alone) that the more we fuck with food to make it "healthier", the sicker (and fatter) everyone seems to be getting.
So what of ethics? Can you be an ethical omnivore? Can you consume meat, milk and eggs and have a clear conscience? I think you can come close. Obviously the least cruel option is veganism-I won't debate that-but I certainly think you can make better choices. You can be an omnivore who refuses to eat factory farmed meat, dairy and eggs. Sure it's more expensive for the organic, free range option but not only do I know that it's from animals who are allowed to participate in natural behavior, I also know that it is food that hasn't been filled with chemicals I don't need. You can buy raw milk! Even milk as we know it (even the organic kind) has been super processed and is not milk as we used to know it. It's sold as bath milk because of our paranoia with germs etc- read more here
So I guess I'm committed to "real food". Unprocessed, home made food from fresh and as local as possible ingredients. It just makes sense to me. It's not a diet-just old fashioned eating.
Of course I am not perfect and live in a society where junk food is part of our culture, so I am not swearing off processed or factory farmed food for life. I am just making a conscious effort to try and eat well-to eat real.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday simple pleasures

Growing your own vegetables
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Making new friends in the garden
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Nappies and sheets (and a soft toy) drying in the sunshine
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Playing games
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Finding a sunny spot to eat
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Enjoying a new toy that was found second hand and cheap at a market stall
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Hope your Sunday was full of simple pleasures too

Garden plans

Here are the plans for our little back yard-I'm so excited! We have had some great input form a few friends who know different garden bits and pieces which has been so helpful.

We are going to make the best of the small space we have by planting lots of veggies around the border along our raised retaining wall, and also in a raised garden bed we'll put in the middle and 2 wine barrels. There will be a sandpit, a grass patch and a fair bit of tan bark.
We already have a little wooden cubby house and we are going to ditch all the plastic toys for a couple of wooden logs.
We are aiming for shade so we will plant a creeping, flowering vine (probably wisteria) in trellis boxes this year and by next year we will have an open pergola up so it can grow all over that, bringing shade and bees and making it feel much more green out there.
Did I mention we are getting chickens! So there will be a house for them but they will get a fair bit of free range time to eat the weeds and bugs down the side of the house. Not forgetting a spot for our lovely bunnies.

It's all pretty exciting

Friday, October 2, 2009

Things I know

-all of a sudden all 3 of my kids seem a whole lot older
-baby led weaning may be good for your baby but the old style of spoon feeding mush is much cleaner!
-I cannot get clothes dry this time of year without the dryer. I know people do it-give me some tips!
-I am obsessed with looking at chicken coops on eBay
-the triumph of making a tiny batch of yoghurt from fermenting kefir grains lasted longer than the actual eating of the yoghurt
-watching my very cautious 4 year old tackle a big slide (and succeed!) with no prompting makes me realize she'll deal with everything in her own time.
-having another child thrown into the mix for a couple of hours can actually make life easier.
-I know that every moment with my kids should not be taken for granted. Some families don't have the luxury of unlimited time together

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thinking out loud about my first birth

I was reading the latest issue of The Mother magazine and a line in one of the articles struck me. She was talking about the birth of her first child and I came across this line.

"I know why I was so afraid. I knew that a part of me would die when she was born"

I found this an incredibly powerful and true statement that moved me to have a good hard think. A part of you really does die when you meet your firstborn. Life as you know it is forever changed and you will never be the same. In our western culture we mostly resist this change, trying to make our baby become a part of our old life. By doing this we can really miss out on an opportunity to grow. The article goes on to say-

"what I didn't know was that it was OK to grieve and that every ending would also be a beginning"

We are not encouraged to mourn that loss of self, to turn inward as a new season begins in our lives-but at the same time we are also not always encouraged to go with the flow and let your life be turned upside down for the new person in your life.

I can really relate to that terror of being a new Mama. On Tannah's second night earthside I sent Luke home from the hospital to get some sleep (I know lol) and the drugs that had made my poor baby so sleepy wore off. She was in pain from the injury she sustained from the ventouse and her mother had no clue what she was doing. She started to scream and scream and scream. I remember like it was yesterday-the feeling of utter panic and fear. What had I done? What was I doing? I knew in that moment that life as I knew it would never be the same again and I was afraid. I rang Luke after about 4 hours, in tears and told him to come help me. But it took me that long to ask. I couldn't see the new beginning right in front of me. All I could think about was how I would never get any sleep and how my baby must hate me because I couldn't fix her pain and how I felt so damn alone in a stupid hospital and how I wanted things to go back to before. I was holding on tight to my old self.

I wish I could have had a magic slide show then of all the incredible moments I have had with my firstborn, I could have smelled what her hair smells like now, heard her singing to her Ponies, seen her smile, heard the music that is her laugh and felt her arms around my neck. I wish that I could have known that being a parent would change me for the better in ways I could have never imagined and how my children would be my greatest teachers. I wish I could have know then that all the horror stories were wrong and that I would enjoy being a Mama so much.

I get a bit of "wow! you do all that with 3 kids" from a few friends with one child and I can't explain how it just gets easier (mostly lol)- the jump from no children to one child was (for me) the hardest of them all because I had to let go of my old life and trust that it would all be OK. I do grieve for my old life sometimes, I cried all the way through a Triple J You Am I concert on TV once because I wanted so badly to go, but most of the time I'm growing as a person, and my kids are too. The beginnings are so worth the endings.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lazy post

I am feelin' lazy-and I enjoyed this so I am cut and pasting it for your enjoyment.

The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish List

by Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007

1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.
3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.
4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.
6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.
7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.
8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.
10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.
12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.
14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.
15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.
16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.
17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.
18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.
20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.
22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.
23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.
24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.
25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Movie night

We hired a DVD on Saturday night for all the family to watch-something we have only done maybe twice before. Tannah is quite sensitive when it comes to content in film. She is scared easily and Willow gets bored and I find it hard to find a movie that I think is (a) appropriate and (b) that we will enjoy. Not to mention the fact that there are a million more fun things to do that gather around the box...Anyhoo,we hired Bolt


We all really enjoyed it-Tannah even did well with a bit of a scary scene. I was, however, amazed at how much the girls understand as far as emotional content.
Willow cried every time Bolt and Mittens got separated because she was worried about "catty", she got upset when she thought either Bolt or Mittens had been hurt. Tannah was mildly worried about that but she blew me away by getting really upset in the scene where Bolt (wrongly) thought his person had replaced him with another dog. She TOTALLY understood the rejection and hurt they were trying to convey and her heart broke for Bolt. She started to cry-so I joined in. She took a lot of reassuring and when all was right in the world at the end (c'mon, it's Disney...course it was lol) she was visibly relieved.

It was both lovely and heartbreaking to watch my growing-up-fast girls experience those tough emotions through film. There was also a lot of laughter I might add, and Harper slept through most of it. A nice night in.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Things I know

-if you put it out there you will get what you need
-Harper being able to move around is exciting and terrifying at the same time
-2 bored children + yogurt + no parental supervision = mess
-the more free time I give the kids the more fun things they find to do
-you can't always be the nice one
-our rabbits are on a mission to eat the lettuce we are growing
-I can sweep the floor a million times a day and it is still usually filthy by bedtime
-spring is so much more appreciated after living in a climate where the winter is so cold
-I feel blessed to have an amazing group of diverse and inspiring friends
-when you homeschool you dread the school holidays-everything is much more busy that we're used to!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blogs!

Oh dear.
I have just discovered the world of blogs.

Obviously I know about blogs lol but have just started looking through other peoples blog rolls, which leads to more links which leads to more links and so on....I could sit all day on my laptop and peruse the bazillion awesome blogs out there.
The children are unimpressed. The husband is unimpressed.But me...well I am hooked!

I've added quite a few blogs to check out on my own blogroll (Mainly because I finally learned how) so check them out...and see where the links take you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I don't get it

It is widely known that junk food, processed food, white flours and sugars, colours and preservatives and all the weird genetically modified or hydrolyzed foods are bad for you right? I mean there is a lot of evidence that it is bad for your health to consume these things. There is plenty of well regarded data that says in no uncertain terms that putting this crap in your body leads to disease and should not be eaten.

You've all heard this stuff right? I'm not the only person on the planet who is aware of these facts?

Why is it then, I wonder, that when I say my kids cannot eat this type of food I am often treated as someone who is depriving my kids? I would think that avoiding this type of "food" would be a good thing and being very interested in the health of my children would be encouraged. The eye rolls and looks of pity at my poor deprived kids(note sarcasm) confuse me.

The message seems to be that because something tastes nice-even if it is toxic crap- I should feed it to my kids. Not "treating" them with sugary crap is mean. It is also weird that they enjoy healthy, real food. And it is definitely not acceptable to deny them something just because someone else is eating it.

I do feed my kids this type of crap food from time to time. I do it because it is everywhere and because they like it (of course). I'm not implying that I am a saint Mama who children have never had a Mcburger in their mouth. What I am questioning is the culture behind it.

All this type of "food" has become so much a part of our culture and what we eat that NOT eating it often has become the sometimes part of our diet. Look at the groceries we buy. Even a lot of products that claim to be healthy are modified, filled with artificial colours and flavors and very highly processed. Trying to avoid highly processed food all the time is pretty impossible unless you make and take your own food all the time, who has the time for that?

I was at the petrol station last night and while waiting to pay I looked at all the sugar laden crap they had all over the counter. Chocolate, lollies, energy shots, bright orange chips, chewing gum. It was all there in it's bright and exciting packages, in it's sugar free low carb fat free two for one deal glory. And it made me sad.

No one bats an eyelid at kid walking around with a lollipop in their mouth but when my kids bring out their lunch box with their biscuits made from real flour and raw sugar (which taste awesome by the way!) we often get looks (depending on where we are). If I say yes to a happy meal I'm normal, if I say no to my kids eating that sort of rubbish I'm mean or paranoid. And I find it hard to say no, I really don't like to be difficult in that way.

The thing that shits me the most is probably the perception that my kids are missing out. Missing out on what? I get that junk food has become a part of our culture. Does that not disturb anyone else? That one of the ways of looking after the health of my children can be seen as an inconvenience by some. That I should not be so worried about what goes into their mouth. That I should ignore that our culture which supports all this consumption of fake food is in an epidemic of obesity, diabetes and cancer (to name a few)-is that a coincidence? I don't think it is-and I'm not alone.

It's the same with breastfeeding. See a 2 week old baby having artificial milk in a bottle and (most) people don't even give it a second thought. In fact some people want to have a turn! But see a toddler over one year old having a breastfeed and you are more than likely to "offend" someone. Even though it is widely known fact that it is normal and healthy-in fact optimal- for that child to be doing that. I just don't understand.

Sorry if I'm sounding a little ticked off but sometimes I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall.

Now off to bake some snacks!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why can't I?

I'll admit I can talk myself out of things by wishing for different circumstances.
If I was 10kg lighter, if we had more money, if we lived in QLD, if we lived in VIC, if we lived in a community etc etc.
One of my big "if only's" at the moment is about the backyard. If it was only bigger, if we had grass/sand/pavers/tan bark, if we had it landscaped and so on. My dream is of lots of lush grassy yard with a big veggie patch, chickens and a sandpit, cubby house and swinging tyre for the kids-and a house cow. It ain't gonna fit in our teeny tiny backyard.

I was lamenting to Kate about how I wanted a little farm type set up like hers. I love watching all the kids run around in all that space & come in all muddy and worn out. I'm not sure Kate is as jazzed about the mud. I am always grateful for the shared eggs and veggies. Kate points out that I have quite a bit of raised garden bed space and ample room for a couple of chooks.

I start thinking about it. I get excited. I don't have to live on acres to be a little more self sufficient and give my children an idea of how fruit and vegetables grow. We can totally have a couple of chooks. My visions of the girls picking some veggies straight from the plant for dinner and collecting eggs can still be a reality. They just don't have to go very far to do it.

So I can drop the wishing for different things and make the absolute best with our lovely house.

But I am going to have to let go of the house cow idea....maybe herd share??

Monday, September 21, 2009

I could never do that....

The way you parent must be so HARD. Really? I think it's mostly pretty easy.
I don't have to get out of bed at night because my kids are already there. That means more time spent sleeping! I never have to worry about how long I'm going to be out with a baby. I have all the milk I need right here in my breasts-heated, packaged and ready to go. I don't run on schedules for sleep so it's much less stressful worrying about who "must" sleep and when. The kids eat as much as they want, when they want. No worry about how many mouthfuls more at dinner or if they are not interested at breakfast. I will admit that the content of what they eat DOES stress me out when we are out and about. So much horrible toxic food out there. There is no kinder run, no issues with what school to go to or having to be somewhere by 9am 5 days a week. I have very few hard and fast rules which makes for less arguing over them (though the girls find plenty to argue with between themselves).
Most of all I'm hardly hung up(trying for not at all) on feeling judged by others on the behavior of my children and the way I parent. Taking those expectations of my children and off myself makes life that much easier. Then we are all free to be more authentic in our relationships and who we are.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Things I know

-Google is my friend and can fix many problems
-my kids are true Victorians, a little bit of sunshine and they are running around in the nude in the backyard because they are "hot"
-menu plans work.And they make me feel very organized which is a bonus.
-wheat + Willow = EPIC FAIL. I need to stop feeling jaded at the fact that I have to limit what she eats and remember the tantrums and twitching after she eats it.
-2 children playing very very quietly is always worth a quick investigation.
-trust your kids with what they can cope with, they may just surprise you.
-having a sand table means having sand in the house
-being woken in the morning with little arms around my neck and little whispers of "you are my sister and I love you" by my 2 year old makes all the hours I've spent awake so totally worth it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Things I know-the I forgot to do it on Friday and now it's Sunday edition

-Harper sleeps better when Luke is home and/or I have nothing to do.
-Tannah and Willow can fight about anything. I'm sure this is not the 1st time I've posted that.
-watching my kids eat what I have put down in front of them for dinner and ask for seconds fills me with happiness. I need to be less emotionally invested.
-I am old. I don't get WTF the "band" Short Stack and their hair is all about
-new baby teeth are puppy sharp-yeowch!
-my lunch today was falafel, hommus and tabouli that I made-from scratch! I need to get a life cause I almost took a photo of my kitchen skillz.
-when you have kids and you are sitting next to a screaming child on a plane you are not annoyed-just super grateful that the screaming child is not yours.
-the joy of knowing that your baby is going to be the last is knowing that it's only a matter of time now before I can sleep next to my husband for a whole night again. Perhaps with benefits ;-)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A blusterous, gusterous day.

What do you do when the sun is shining but it's blowing a gale?? Head off to the park for some kite flying fun!

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Dad shows how it's done

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Bit of help

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Tannah at the helm

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Willow having a go

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a fun day was had by all

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My parenting journey

I was having a chat with some women the other day about why I parent the way I do and what inspired me. Truth is I was quite a mainstream parent until, can you believe it, I went to sleep school.

When I was pregnant with Tannah I had all the routine tests and scans, knew her sex and did all the expected shopping and nesting. We had a cot AND a bassinet, a pram and the only baby carrier I had was a borrowed old school type one. I was a very good girl and did as the hospital asked of me and we had a very traumatic birth. I came home and did what you are supposed to which is cope. Jump back into life. Pretend that all was fine and that the gaping wound on my baby's head from the ventouse was "standard" with instrument deliveries. I expected sleep-for her and me. I expected that she wouldn't feed so much and that I would be back working part time asap.

I was misled.

Tannah was just as angry as me about her birth and she screamed and screamed and screamed for the first...say 12 months. She didn't sleep. She liked to be rocked and rocked and rocked-and carried! All the time! Who knew. She fed A LOT and sucked all the skin off my poor nipples. By the time she was 6 weeks old I was stumbling around with a still sore perenium, excruciatingly painful nipples and I was on the verge of tears a lot. This was not what I signed up for.

But I started to feel a shift.

When she was nuzzled at my breast she calmed, when she fell asleep in bed and I crashed before I had time to put her back in the bassinet she slept better and holding her in the crappy baby carrier was not only helpful-it was lovely. It was becoming clear that following the path of least resistance was keeping us both happy. By listening to Tannah and me and trying to meet our needs and not worrying about how long she slept, how often she fed or where I was supposed to be we were finding our groove.

I finally got into a breastfeeding clinic (at 7 weeks! I wonder now how I hung in there that long!)and the support and advice I got there was so reassuring. But then I went to the health nurse for a visit and my world came crashing down.

I was told that I was feeding her too much, she was not sleeping enough and under NO circumstances should we be bed sharing. My concerns at her excessive screaming after her 6 week vax were not listened to. I felt like the worst Mum in the world-I was doing a bad job. I was not "coping". I was sent to sleep school to learn how to be a good Mama. I felt like such a fool going with my instinct and against the books.

At sleep school I was shown how to ignore my baby, how to "be strong" while she screamed for me. That my distress at her cries was normal and I'd learn to get over it. I took their advice and my new knowledge home-but every time I cried when she did it felt so wrong. After a couple of days I started to question if this was how I wanted to raise my daughter.

I wanted to find an alternative. I was at the shops and what should I see but a copy of Byron Child magazine (now kindred )I read it from cover to cover. Attachment Parenting! There was a name for the instinctive style of parenting I had been enjoying. I put Tannah in my bed and we never looked back-she is still sharing the family bed!

Through this amazing publication I found aba and a contact for a local attachment parenting playgroup. I bought a sling and an Ergo. I bought a few books. Through this magazine I even saw an ad for the Sustainable Living Festival where I saw some incredible speakers who inspired my path to have a homebirth and address the trauma I had been repressing since Tannah's birth.

It is through the amazing people I have met on my journey as a parent, through questioning the advice that the mainstream spoon feeds us, through reading some great books (anything by Robin Grille- it'll change your life!)through forums (see my places I love on the right hand side of my blog) but mostly through listening to my kids and my instincts that I parent the way I do. Some would totally disagree with my choices and some do a waaay better job than me. But I think I do pretty well :-)

It's an ongoing journey and I learn new things everyday, mostly from my kids.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Because I am lazy...

If anyone wants to see any footage of the homebirth rally, read any links or read a story of another Mama's experience of the day read www.ilithyiainspired.com
The lovely Sazz has put it all on her blog for your reading pleasure :-)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Mother of all Rallies

I'm back!
I went to this rally- http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/09/07/2678679.htm

It was amazing to see so many out in the awful awful weather for the cause.

It was a LONG day. I only took Harper which made my life pretty easy but because of all the rain I couldn't sit on the ground to feed to there was a lot of standing breastfeeding acrobatics going on. Thank goddess for my ergo and sling lol. The day was definitely sponsored by baby carriers, I think the ergo won hands down in numbers. There were some awesome banners and T-shirt slogans everywhere. Some that made me laugh and lots that made me think-and a few that made me sad. I ran into lots of people I knew from far and wide but took very few pics as I was busy chatting.

Here is one of me a couple of local friends
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my view of parliament house
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When I got home I was cold, wet and exhausted, but so glad I went!

This slogan sums it up...
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