Monday, May 17, 2010

On holidays...

Some of the Yay for Homestead are off on holidays. Me and the kids are off to visit my parents in QLD, poor old Luke is staying to look after the fort and work. I don't think he has any interest in drinking coffee with my Mother and I for a couple of weeks anyway. Myself and the girls are off in the morning. My parents don't have a computer so I will be blogging from my phone...maybe.

Have a great fortnight everyone!

Sunday, May 16, 2010



We were at the zoo recently. In the reptile house.

Tannah loves reptiles. Tannah loves people who love reptiles ie Steve and Bindi Irwin. Tannah loves people who love reptiles who make shows about them. Tannah loves to watch said reptile focused shows. And borrow books.

We were walking around and Tannah looks at a snake and says "look a zebra cobra!" I come and look and read the sign. "It's a black lipped cobra-it's definitely a cobra though". Next window. "Mum look!! A corn snake! Just like Bindi has!" It's totally a corn snake. Next. "Wow! a boa constrictor!" Again, she's on the money. Luke and I are exchanging glances by this stage at how she is able to identify these snakes by how they look, she can't read and even if she could the signs are way out of her field of vision. "ooh look at her tail-it's a rattlesnake!" Of course she's right. She identified 7 snakes and 2 kinds of lizard, including a Burtons legless lizard. She was so excited that she knew the names of the different types and asked me to identify the ones she didn't know. She is not afraid to ask a million questions or to be wrong because it wasn't a test. She was happy to be corrected on minor details and wanted more more more information about the snakes, lizards and crocodiles.

I was a little bit blown away that she knew as much as she did. Although I guess I shouldn't be. This is her area of interest at the moment and she can't get enough information!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Radical Unschooling, consumerism, sustainability and toxic food.

I am absolutely an academic unschooler. But am I a Radical Unschooler? I guess kind of sort of (you can read the difference here) but I struggle with giving my children total autonomy in a few areas.

Food is a big one. My daughters have total control of how much and when they eat. They have "non breakfast" foods in the morning if the mood strikes them. I can fill their requests for sweet, hot, crunchy, salty food etc. But I will not regularly bring toxic food into my home. I am not comfortable with setting an example that eating a lot of there sort of pretend foods (I mean highly processed food that is void of nutrients)are an OK way to treat your body. When we are at someone else's house or at a party where that sort of food is available then I don't stand in the way of their choice. It's been hard to do that too. I used to and I still make alternate suggestions (especially to Willow who has trouble processing all that junk without tantrums). We also eat processed food here from time to time and there is choice in how much and when to eat it.I can't come at watching them poison their bodies daily with "food" that is designed to be addictive and that I personally think their bodies have no chance of natural self regulation. We also boycott Nestle. An explanation of The baby milk boycott is here but they also are still know users of palm oil in their products which is causing the destruction of orangutan habitat. We as a family are not going to support Nestle-we explain to the kids why we don't. Tannah recently saw a small piece of footage on the plight of the orangutan and was upset by it. This led to a discussion about palm oil.

I'm not OK with commercial television. My children have access to DVDs (I think the whole TV issue is another topic for another day). I don't think sexualized music videos (check out the latest Miley Cyrus or lady Gaga) or ads aimed at young children telling them they need this new thing or that beauty comes in one shape and look is appropriate. Watching "The Story Of Stuff" changed my life. I think keeping young children away from advertising until they are old enough to have the themes and tactics explained to them is helping them become conscious consumers. We are a family that tries to tread lightly on the earth. We try to buy as much as we can second hand or hand made and try to avoid toys and clothes made with toxic materials, often by children about the same ages the companies are selling to.

I don't feel I need to fit the RU label. I do feel disappointment when I read books or blogs by authors and families I admire when sustainability doesn't seem to factor into their RU lifestyle. I think it is more important than ever to be aware of things like food miles, hyper-consumerism, GE foods, insidious marketing to children, sexualizing children and factory farming. I think I can offer my children plenty of autonomy and self direction in their lives without compromising our beliefs, health or our way of life.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Things I know-the sick edition

I've been unwell-in a fevers and body aches, sore throat and feelings of delirium kind of way. If you follow me on Twitter (I'm yayforhome) you heard the moaning.

Here are some things I know about being sick

-Mamas don't get to call in sick. No matter how sick you are you cannot give the breastfeeding to someone else to do.
-having a "day off" washing the clothes just means there will be twice as much washing to do the next day.
-blaming the person who "shared" the illness with you can actually be helpful. Husband, I'm still mad at you.
-mixing the herbal poison with a touch of juice does nothing for it's taste. You would have to mix it into a kilo of liquorice to alter the flavour of that evil stuff at all.
-when you feel so awful that you might actually pass out from fever and pain and your child brings you a toy to make you feel better it will make you cry. Now get a mental pictue of a very sick woman wrapped in a blanket, sweating and looking like death crying so snot came out of her nose. Needless to say I frightened the kids.
-lifting the retirement age is not good for families. What good are grandparents if they will be working full time until the kids are old enough to look after themselves?
-there is a certain sick triumph in hacking up a wad of stuff from the back of your throat.
-DVD's and drive thru "food" are all the friend of the unwell parent.

I am on the mend :) Expect less whining in the next post.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Apple cupcakes and thanks

It's been a while since I've blogged some home-cooking so here is my (yes MY-I've tweaked this from a few others until I think it's perfect!)recepie for Apple cupcakes-

But first I'd like to say a big hello and thanks to everyone who is reading and commenting on my blog at the moment. It's nice to know that there are a bunch of people I have never met who take the time to read my ramblings and especially to comment and give me some love. I was Jan in my year 12 production of Grease, I enjoyed my taste of the limelight and it's probably fair to say I like the sound of my own voice-a blog with people who read it feeds that part of me nicely :)I am actually very crap at comment conversations and commenting on other people's blogs-but I'm working on it!

Back to the food!

I am a "real foodie" (omnivore minus the processed crap) and these cupcakes are a yummo standby for the kids. Can substitute fancy flour and sugar for regular white stuff if you like. Makes 24 cupcakes.

3 cups of spelt flour (white or wholemeal)
2 tsp baking powder
3 free range organic eggs
1 1/3 cup yoghurt-we use the B-d farms Paris creek honey yoghurt

3/4 cup rapadura sugar
3 grated apples-sweet ones work better like Gala or Pink Lady
190g butter
2 tsp pure vanilla

Preheat oven to 180degrees and line your muffin trays with patty cases. Cream the butter and sugar together and then add vanilla, then one egg at a time. You can sift your flour if you feel fancy but I never do. Add the baking powder to the flour and then mix it in alternating with the yoghurt. Add the grated apple and gently fold it in.

Fill patty cases 3/4 full-I ALWAYS overfill and end up with mess and huge cupcakes. I should take my own advice. Cook for about 20 minutes depending on your oven, when i skewer comes out clean they are done, but try not to over cook so they stay nice and moist. Cool them on a rack and you're done! Enjoy!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just me

I had a moment when I was at homeschool camp that I thought would never come. I was meeting lots of new and amazing parents for the first time and I felt comfortable with who I am and how I parent.
It's been a long time coming. I feel like I've been a teenager for a long time in the style department-trying on different looks and ways of adorning my body. I have been at war with my fat for what seems like forever and now we have had a truce. I like who I am and don't feel like I need to impress anyone or hide parts of myself.

I know in the hippie lala circles I get funny looks for Harper having a dummy. That's OK because I feel OK with her having one. I know to some of my friends talk of body hair and patriarchy is cliche and worthy of eye rolling. That's OK because I am comfortable with my own beliefs on those sort of subjects. I know in some circles there is fear for my children missing out by being unschooled. That's OK because I know they won't and that your hearts are in the right place. I can eat meat in front of the vegans and refuse chocolate when I don't feel like it. I can have strong opinions about things without alienating myself.

I am related to and friends with a pretty broad spectrum of people with a very broad spectrum of beliefs. I won't pretend that this is all sunshine and rainbows, I find being the odd one out frustrating at times and it does cause friction when strong opinions clash. But I don't feel that I need to be more hippie/mainstream/passionate or not to fit in. I don't feel that I need to hide the fact that I nightweaned my kids or ate some of Harper's placenta anymore just because I didn't want to be different. I am different. Isn't everyone? I sometimes feel that I'm way not mainstream but maybe too practical to be a hard core hippie too. But I don't really need to be "one size fits all".

I think I'm a pretty good Mother. Of course I am not perfect-who is? But on the whole I am happy with how Luke and I are raising our children. I know that my faults and strengths are my own and that our family is as unique as myself. I read this blog post today and just loved it. Being unique and not feeling bad about it is something I feel pretty much at peace with. I'm just me-no apologies or compromise.

It feels pretty awesome.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My first blog post

I was looking at a few other bloggers who got tagged with the Meme about what their first post said. Kate tagged whoever had not been tagged yet so I am tagging myself to share my awesomeness lol.....

So Hi! I'm back.....Where am I at?

I'm 14 weeks pregnant with number 3 and I'm so glad that the 1st trimester is over. Can I just say yawn and blerg? This baby will arrive late March/early April. I'd like the 28th of March please baby-that works in nicely with Easter so Luke can have maximum time off work with minimum loss of cash :-) Having bubs at home again. Of course, homebirth rocks. Tannah thinks the baby is a boy and she wants to call him Flora hmmmm. Have decided recently that we're not going to find out the sex-sorry for all those interested, you'll have to wait! I just want that lovely surprise on the day and I just don't really want another scan. Have seen baby and convinced I'm actually pregnant so I'm good lol.
Tannah is growing up. She does ballet and just loves it. It's laid back so I'm happy but she gets to wear a ballet dress so she's happy-there is a concert in November which should be interesting. She is currently rocking out to Justine Clarke using her toy broom as a guitar. She is a love.
Willow is a pocket rocket. She's little for her age and never stops! She was well and truly walking by 11 months and now she climbs and runs and pushes etc. Taking her to the park is a test of nerves. Looks like she is going to have red hair-fiery little Leo girl. She's a lot of fun!
Luke is much happier back in Melbourne. He has an interview for his old leading hand position next week so hopefully.....

And life is busy for me. With playgroup, the BaBs (bellies and babies) group, ABA,spending time with friends and trying to suss out the local homeschooling group I definately use my calendar!
Posted by shae at 2:08 PM

Mainly did this to point out that the date I wanted Harper to be born on was the 28th of march. THAT'S THE SAY SHE WAS BORN ON!! See-awesome :)

Happy Mothers Day!


This is me somewhere toward the last 3 months of my pregnancy with Tannah.

I had no idea what an amazing journey being a parent would be. It has been magical, hard, intense, joyous, exhausting, inspiring, fun, scary and blissful and so on and so on. I have learned more about myself as a person by being a parent to someone else. It has been by far the hardest and, at the same time, the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I still can't believe that I can have so much love & concern for 3 other people. I am still amazed at how much I want to be a great person for them. I am a changed person for having children. I am much truer to myself and less likely to compromise beliefs based on what other people think of me. I also function pretty well on much less sleep than I was used to and know lots more Wiggles lyrics.

So a happy Mother's Day to all of the Mama's reading this. Know that we are doing the most important work there is.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

International Midwives day!

(Sally with Harper and I)

Today is a day to celebrate Midwives. Those who are truly "with-women". I have been blessed to know a lot of Midwives in the circles that I travel in. I have had Midwives look after me through 2 pregnancies. They have listened to my fears and hopes while pregnant, given me support (and massage!) and been in the background holding the space while I have birthed.They have scooped poo out of the birth pool. They have looked out for my well-being and health as well as for my baby. A good Midwife does all these things and a million more that I don't have room to list.

Sending blessings and love to all the good Midwives out there today. Especially to Julie, Lianne, Kate and my very favorite Sally. Thanks for being a part of my birthing journeys and a part of our lives.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Now that I have given myself the right to complain I need to unload some issues I'm having.

The last couple of days have been really challenging for me. I usually find having 3 young children is not all that stressful and I enjoy the day to day of motherhood. Yesterday it seemed my coping skills went AWOL. I was not enjoying their company, I was feeling incredibly stretched and all the mess was making me twitchy. It felt like their requests for my help were relentless, the fighting didn't stop and I was completely ignored every time I said something. Not to mention the youngest swinging between clinging and whinging. I just wanted to run and hide.

I did a pretty terrible job on the parenting front yesterday. I was snappy, rude, I yelled, I shamed, I did not listen to the kids at all. I felt like I had nothing left in my reserves and resorted to being the kind of parent I am usually making stinkeye at. Of course the kids responded in kind by ignoring me more, clinging more and yelling right back at me.

I'm hopeful that today will be better. I'm going to ignore the mess until Luke gets home and I might go for a walk with just my ipod.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Shitty shitty bang bang-my story

I was linked to this last night and it really cracked me up. Everyone who is a parent has a poo story right? Poo-splosions, Poo-fountains, shit up the back, nappy epic fails and so on.

Here is my story....

My friend came from interstate to visit when Tannah was 5 weeks old. Her son (who is a year older than Tans) has Cerebral Palsy and he aspirated some food while they were visiting which necessitated a trip to hospital. They had to stay in for a few days and I was going in to spend some time with them in the hospital.

Again-Tans was FIVE weeks old. My firstborn. I was still pretty stressed out by trips out. Breastfeeding was still hard and stressful and I was still packing nappy bag we could live out of for a week which I dragged around with me. The Children's Hospital is a half an hour drive from us-the longest drive I'd done alone so far. But I love my friend and her son and I wanted to visit. So off we went.

The drive was a success! Parking-success! (NB-I'm especially crap at parking). I got my nappy bag (read suitcase filled with everything) out and went to get Tannah out of her carseat. I picked her up and thought. "That's odd, why is there shit on my hand?" I turned her around and looked at her back.

You know what I saw right? SHIT EVERYWHERE.

Tannah was a breastfed baby. If you breastfed your baby, even for a few weeks you know what that shit looks like-and how it explodes. She was one of the babies who only crapped about once a week (normal) and it was always change of clothes time. But this was the blue ribbon, best in show, supersized biggest poo-splosion I'd ever seen come out of my daughters body. It was as big as her. And it was in her hair. The 5 strands of fluff she had on her bald little baby head was covered in shit. She must have crapped while I was driving and it just worked it's way ALL OVER HER during the trip. The carseat? Fucked.

I start to panic-Tannah and being nude are not yet friends. Bathtimes were infrequent due to screaming. I take her to the WORST baby room I've ever been in. A stainless steel (cold) slab with a stinky bin in the corner. I feel grateful that I bought both disposable wipes and nappies. I strip Tans off and start to wipe all the shit from all over her body and her hair. There was screaming-lots of screaming. I was sweating and near tears. It took me TWENTY minutes and an entire container of wipes to clean her. I looked at her clothes and I threw them in the bin after her nappy.

I went up to visit and my friend looked at me and said "are you OK? you're really late and you look terrible". I told her my tale of horror and she laughed. her son was her THIRD child and she was in the "shit all over my baby in public" club already.

"Welcome to motherhood" she said. I collapsed into a chair.
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