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

Making new friends in the garden

Nappies and sheets (and a soft toy) drying in the sunshine

Playing games

Finding a sunny spot to eat

Enjoying a new toy that was found second hand and cheap at a market stall

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.
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