Friday, February 27, 2009

Global economic crisis....

Luke works for a global company. So they have shed jobs and cut shifts and Luke has lost all his overtime. That was a bit annoying because we counted on the OT as part of our weekly income. But we readjusted and decided it would be OK and we would have just-and I mean just-enough to live on.
So now he has been told that he will either be offered redundancy or made to work day shift in April as afternoon shift will be axed.
Of course we hope that he will be moved to day shift-but it is less money AGAIN and if he can't car pool some days I will have to rely on buses and walking to get to all the stuff that we do (with a new baby). Things like Babs will have to go altogether cause it will just be too far.

I hate that we don't know now how life is going to go. I hate that we are going to have to struggle AGAIN. I get that a lot of people have it much tougher but we can't seen to cut a break.

Just feeling really upset and annoyed and not something I needed this close to the end of my pregnancy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

So the nesting begings....

I have waited for ages to have that feeling of the "baby will be here soon-must get organized". I have been in some kind of weird denial about how long I actually have before this baby is in my arms. But good ol' hormones have taken over and I'm pleased to say I'm getting a little organized and also a little excited about meeting our baby.
This weekend I decided I must wash everything that the baby could possibly need in the first 6 months. As well as stuff I need for the actual birth. Actually starting the "nesting" has caused a snowball effect and now I am feeling antsy about how dirty our windows are, not to mention all the cobwebs that have gathered outside. I can't possibly give birth in a house with dirty windows-what will the baby think?? lol. And skirting boards-they are dusty, and so on and so on.
Am writing lists like a mad woman. There are a few things I would like to get for the birth as well as some bits and pieces for the kids and new baby. There are a heap of birthdays (including Tannah's) around the time bubs will come to meet us. I want that sorted for presents too cause I want no pressure to shop or anything. Have list of presents. Just need money lol.

Late pregnancy has kicked n with a vengance too. I can't get comfortable in bed, my heartburn has become reflux (that is sooo awful) and the baby can actually make me jump when it moves! Not to mention the constant peeing and inablity to eat anything that is bigger than a apple without feeling stuffed full. And let's not speak of braxton hicks!
These are all good signs however that I am getting ready to have a baby. That "over it" feeling can help trigger labour and make you want to meet your baby-rather than just be pregnant for ever!

So if the length of time I was pregnant before going into labour with the girls is any indication (I went "early" both times) I only have a few weeks to go......Time to get cleaning :-)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ethics and food.

It's a minefield!

I am a vegetarian-I have been on and off for years. I have even done a stint as a vegan. I try really hard to avoid dairy at the moment too. Not only is it weird and a little gross in my opinion to drink cow milk (why not dog or horse milk?) but dairy makes Willow crazy and I try to keep it out of my breastmilk! I am super egg fussy. I eat them but 95% of the time they are uber expensive organic free range or freebies form the Picklefarm :-)
The factory farming of meat is cruel-organic or free range is less cruel but still crap for the environment. Same goes for milk. Don't start me on caged eggs.
So you would think if you went vegan then you would be doing your bit for cruelty to animals AND the environment-making you a pretty ethical eater right? WRONG.
Being vegan DOES take the cruelty to animals factor out of the equation. Then you have to contend with genetically modified ingredients, organic versus non organic, food miles,fair trade, packaging and even what bloody corporation owns the product you have bought because they might be horrible (like Nestle). It's hard. And annoying!
It's annoying that I even care! It's hard enough that I'm on the lookout for animal ingredients, wheat, preservatives and colours.....then I find myself looking for GMO and where the thing is made etc etc.

It also makes shopping expensive!!! A lot of the "better" brands are more expensive cause they use better ingredients-even the local ones.

I guess it's just got me a bit overwhelmed at the moment. Of course we don't eat that well all the time! Hell I had half a block of chocolate last night-with dairy and cocoa from child slaves! I didn't sit around and let the guilt eat me up (no pun intended lol) but I just wish is was easier.....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Simple pleasures

Today we had a lazy morning. Luke helped heaps with the kids and I read my book. When Willow had her nap Luke did a couple of errands down the street and I had a little nap on the couch. We had tinned soup and toast for lunch. The kids kept wanting to take us all back to bed for "big cuddles" so we did.Our "big bed" had all of us and a herd of My Little Ponies having cuddles and playing games and laughing.

Just lazing about like it was Sunday morning and we had no plans.

Is there a simpler more delightful pleasure than lazy, love love time with your family?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hard Yards

Part of my love of my idea of homeschooling is that it is child led-meaning that we can learn things from what your child is interested in at that time. Also we can do things that the kids enjoy-cause they are just picking stuff up all the time form everywhere.
Tannah wants to "do stuff" at the moment. She has hit a stage in her development where she is feeling much more confident and social and wants to be where the people are (no Ariel-not see them dancing however) This suits me too. If we bum around home too much she drives me mad with requests for TV and fights with her sister.
As an added bonus Luke has got himself a carpool buddy. This means we have the car 3 afternoons a week!! So we can do more "stuff".
Sounds like fun huh? And most of the time it is. But I have been dragging my hugely pregnant arse around town in the afternoons with 2 kids in tow. Can I get a big yawn and a lie down please?
But Tannah is really thriving with the couple of extra kid activities a week (and the extra burning of energy is doing Willow no harm either lol) so all is worth it. And of course I feel like I'm wearing my good Mama badge cause I listened to what she wanted and found a way to meet her need. Tough gig, this parenting thing, at times!

Now I'm off for a hot drink and a lie down after story time at the library today...man can that little Willow run.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My baby belly

Lovely Kate from www.picklebums.com came and took some great pics of my belly today. Some with the kids crawling all over me and some of me by myself-even some almost nudie bath shots.

It was really nice to get some fancy snaps taken as this is my last pregnancy and the belly I am sporting is by far the roundest yet-less "love handle action" on the sides to if you catch my drift. OK so my boobs are saggier and I have a flap of flab at the bottom of my belly that jiggles but that is nothing some strategically placed hands can't hide.

Go check out the ace one that is up at Picklebums.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Toy nazi

I will admit that I am a toy nazi.
I am particular about what toys my kids play with and own. But I have been rethinking that a bit of late.
We have beautiful toys. Wooden, Steiner, dress-ups and a big play kitchen. I have selected most of them fairly carefully with imaginative, open-ended play in mind. We have things like play cloths in all different colors, dolls, an array of Sleich plastic animals and about a hundred wooden blocks.

But the toys which get played with the absolute most are the My Little Ponies.
We had 2. Then word on the street was that some flouro super dooper plastic had made it in the house and they seemed to breed in the pony bag.The we went on our trip to Qld and I bought some as a way to hopefully keep the girls entertained on the flight.
Now we have about 15!
Granted they are hideously bright and look quite flammable-but they do encourage imaginative, open-ended play.
The girls (both of them, Willow is a fan too) play all sorts of games with them. They haven't locked them into one personality or one use. So how can I hate that?
To Tannah they are just "ponies" and they can suit whatever game she wants them to.

So we come to Barbie.

I openly dislike Barbie and all the messages about fashion and being "pretty" that come with her. Not to mention that dressing/undressing her is too bloody hard for pre schoolers and requires heaps of my help!

Tannah (with no encouragement) has developed a LOVE for Barbie and desperately wants one.
Her Granny has some that she bought which live at her house-no doubt after hearing Tannah bang on and on about how awesome she is.
Which brings me to my dilemma. Who am I do decide what toys she can and cannot like?
I do decide what she watches on the small amount of telly she sees-but am I just being a killjoy if I interfere with her wanting a Barbie doll??
She is heavily into princess type stuff and I have just followed her lead on that, neither encouraging or discouraging her-but definitely letting her enjoy it. Same as I would if it was dinosaurs or something. Though I guess if it something that was not age appropriate and violent like Batman I'd have issues.

I am stuck on what to do. I am sick of hearing about how cool Barbie is. Will it surprise me with all the open ended play that would happen or will her plasticky massively titted body just annoy me? How long can I be a toy nazi-is Tannah getting too old for me to make these decisions for her? Maybe I should take the "unschooling" idea on this and just follow her lead and get her a damn doll. Maybe I can get away with another year without one.....

I can haz a fancy blog!

Thanks to the Lovely Kate at Lazy Cow Designs I have a luffly new blog!

Oooh look at it :-)

Monday, February 16, 2009

How long til the baby comes???

Not long!
This has been the fastest pregnancy. I can't believe that I am 33 weeks pregnant-if this baby comes at about the same time as the girls did I'm only looking at about another 5 weeks. But, of course, this baby will come when it's good and ready.
I have been trying to sort out stuff in preparation ( a good and organized Capricorn am I) like actually finding the stored bag of baby clothes and borrowing some teeny tiny fitted nappies for it's bum the first few months. Not to mention my box 'o' birthing stuff like the pool and drop sheets etc.
We have pretty much everything we need except for a few bits and pieces, mostly non-essential, disposable type stuff. I could just use cloth nappies, pads and liners but it is handy to have a few of each in the disposable variety. As green and non chemical as possible of course!
Luke is having time off after bubs arrives so I'm not going nuts and cooking and freezing-he is a very capable man and whipping up some dinners should be no problem. Of course I will have some meals made for me as well (hint to locals lol).
I am currently planning my Blessingway with the help of the lovely Kate (OK she is doing pretty much all the work). Now THAT should be fun-friends, food and fussing-over me me meeeee haha.
Feeding Willow is not all that fun at present so it is nice that the end of the pregnancy is in sight and there will be much more milk there for her so it should become much nicer to breastfeed. For both of us!
I don't feel at all worried about the birth. I am somewhat shitting myself about how it's going to go with 3 kids. Mainly cause my lovely Willow is such a firecracker and really does take up a lot of time some days. Curious how tandem feeding will go. The co-sleeping arrangements should be interesting too-we have a huge 2 mattress on the floor set up but it's musical positions a lot of the time. I guess baby will be in the crook of my arm and as long as a boob is close he/she will be happy.
I guess it's not worth stressing about any of it-it's going to work how it works. I'm sure some times are going to be just plain old hard and some times are going to be lovely. I am getting excited about meeting our baby and becoming a family of 5 :-)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Our Qld trip

Firstly here is the adorable and snuggly reason for going up there-Little Caleb. 2 weeks old
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Awwwww isn't my nephew lovely? We all think so of course.

It was a very quick 3 day whirlwind of a trip. I managed to see a dear friend who's baby is due a week before mine! Here are our bellies
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Luke and I snuck out minus kids for a very lovely dinner with some great friends who don't have kids (yet? maybe one day...) and that was just so civilized! I also seemed to bump into a heap of people that I hadn't seen in ages, which was lovely.

But mostly we hung out with the family
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Swam in the pool and even got to spend Kiara's birthday party with her.

The flight home was hell-Willow managed to throw an hour long full body tantrum after doing a poo that escaped her nappy and went halfway up her back.

It was good to get home-and sad to see what the bushfires had done down here while we were gone.

Only about 7 weeks to go til bubs arrives-getting organised, nesting and counting down!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tannah and the new baby

Tannah decided today that our baby is a boy. In the early days she also thought it was a boy and insisted that we call him Flora. Now she likes Baby-Jesus as the boy name, said like it's hyphenated. A bit hilarious seeings as her religious education comes from "Silent Night" in the Wiggles xmas dvd. Kind of better than her new favorite girls name which is Barbie. Also weird considering that we don't have any Barbie dolls.
She also told me that Kate (who is coming to the birth to help with the kids-and hopefully do the more important job of taking photos lol) could just "take her shopping or something" if I get too loud. Hope you are ready for some bossing around Kate! I told Tannah that Kate was coming to help her etc, Tan has decided that she has a personal assistant or something for the day. I didn't have the heart to tell her that her younger sister may take up much of said assistants time.
Tannah is either excited or worried about how much noise I might make. She talks it up a bit. Also she needs to see some more birth pics-she thinks the baby might come out my bum. Funny-that's EXACTLY where it felt like she was coming out of. I actually yelled at the midwife "she's coming OUT MY BUUUMMMM"
Tannah is however most excited about 2 jobs she has given herself. To help her Dad cut the cord. I keep reminding her that this won't happen straight away, have a feeling there may be nagging. And to help me check whether the baby is a boy or a girl. Very exciting and important job!

So Tannah may be strolling around Coles when our new arrival arrives...or she may be in the tick of things and arguing with me about why we don't have a brother named Baby-Jesus

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Overwhelmed

I just can't comprehend the loss and tragedy of the VIC bush fires. I am regularly in tears about it and it just seem so surreal because we are talking less than an hours drive there are communities that don't exist anymore and all is normal here.
I am keeping a close watch on where the fires are-it is all a bit terrifying really.

I will blog about my lovely QLD trip in the next few days. Right now my thoughts are with the victims and their families

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hairdresser conversation

I took Tannah to the hairdresser for a little fix up of the hack job she (and I) did of her hair a few weeks ago.
She was a lovely young woman who asked Tannah lots of questions to keep her occupied. Not that she needed to win Miss T over-she loved every minute of it! Anyway, again she asked questions that got some unexpected answers lol-I must attract it!
HD "so do you have any brothers and sisters?"
T" Yes-her name is Willow Rain"
HD "oh you must like having a sister"
T "NO! She is a funny bumhead and I don't like her. She hits me"
HD "but you MUST like your sisters!"
T "no Mum says I just have to not hurt her, but I don't have to like her"

I get a funny sideways look from the HD-I am inwardly stoked that at least she is listening to that sentence that I say quite often!

HD "when the baby come are you going to help Mummy?"
T "no-that's not my job" (I know ROFL)
HD "but Mummy will need help with bathing and you could give the baby a bottle!"
T "babies have Boo's, they don't need bottles"
HD "what is a boo? is that like a word for bottle?"
T "Mummy has boo's"

I jump in and explain that that is a word for breastmilk in our house-I get the "oh"

Poor love turns to me-

HD "what hospital sre you going to?"
S" I'm having our baby at home"
HD "OH! can you do that-I mean are you allowed?"
S" yeah-you can choose to birth your baby wherever you like"
HD "so a DR comes to your house?"
S "no, we are having a midwife"
HD "what if something goes wrong?"
S "well we would go to hospital if we needed intervention-if the midwife couldn't take care of it with her stuff"
HD "so an ambulance just waits at your house in case ?" ( ???)
S "umm no"
HD "what about drugs-you know for the pain?"
S " I've had one drugged up hospital birth and one drug free homebirth and the drug free one was much less painful and much easier"

At this point the apprentice pipes in (she must have been just at leaving school age) with
"God women have been having babies forever, I guess if there is no reason to go to hospital then why would you go? You don't want to hurt your baby-right? You would just go if you needed to."

And it was my turn to be a little taken aback-all the truth of it right there. From the mouth of a woman who had probably not even given a thought to having her own babies. She totally got it.

As we left the HD said "good luck!" and the apprentice waved her hand and said "you'll be fine-it's your 3rd. You know how it goes!"

Good on her...future homebirther perhaps?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sleep!

You name the sleep issue and we've probably had it.
Tannah had a traumatic and violent birth which ended in her being dragged out with a huge amount of force by a ventouse (vacuum extraction). The Dr who did this pulled so hard (with one foot on the end of the bed for extra pulling power) that a whole heap of skin came off my new baby's scalp and completely fucked up the bones in her skull. So of course Tannah didn't sleep. We didn't know for a while but she was in a significant amount of pain. She used to wake up screaming and it would take hours-no exaggerating- to get her back to sleep. The part of the whole situation that irks me is that the hospital (apart from what happened at the mismangaed fuck up that was her birth) told me that injuries like that were pretty "standard" with an instument delivery and that it (the open wound) would just clear up. No mention of pain or distress or long term consequences.
So Tannah went on-waking every couple of hours to feed and scream for a couple of hours. I didn't cope very well and spent a lot of time crying myself and wondering what to do. Then we found cranial ostopathy! Within weeks her sleep was better and she had reached a few milestones that were really late-turns out the ventouse made her neck pretty wrong too, making crawling and pulling to stand difficult. After spending a whole heap of time and money "fixing" what we could about her birth and learning about birth trauma-and sorting out a lot of my issues with what had happened also-sleep did get easier. She was a toddler by this stage and the issues we were having were the going to bed ones-no one likes to miss out!

Now we have Willow. My red headed firecracker Leo. She does not like to sleep. She doesn't like going to bed, staying asleep or sleeping in.Her birth couldn't have been more different that Tannah's-it was at home and magically beautiful. But that doesn't change her personality! We fight every night about her staying in bed. She wakes a lot and usually for the day at about 5am. But I pretend I'm asleep for as long as is humanly possible! What we have found to help is-
-no preservatives or colours in her food (that just helps her not throw wobblys in general lol)
-No dairy or wheat
-letting her get out of bed and really tire herself out if she really isn't going to go back to sleep at night

We don't believe in controled crying AT ALL. Actually it is not just me that thinks this. More and more the research is coming back that it isn't good for babies and works for all the wrong reasons. Also we co-sleep. Yep-all of us. Again, the info coming back now is that it is normal and good for kids to bed down near their parents. We don't ignore our kids at night, even if it is tiring and inconvenient a lot of the time. Their needs are just as valid in the evening as in the day. When I am really getting no sleep, which does happen from time to time, I nap during the day or turn in really early. And I palm off what I can to Luke.

On a positive note-Tannah now goes to bed after I read a book and sing our "goodnight song" with no help from me. She just rolls over and shuts her eyes. Just like that. She is secure in the knowledge that if she needs me at night I'll respond, like I always have.

Willow is another story...I'll keep you posted :-)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Parenting books

I love reading a good parenting book-A GOOD parenting book. In our current society which can be pretty UN baby/child-friendly it's always nice to read a book which sits well with your own goals and ideals on parenting. Especially if you are having a hard week and struggling with the whole thing it's nice to reaffirm what it is you are doing and why.
Here are a list of my favorites.
-Heart to Heart Parenting by Robin Grille. This book is probably the best in my opinion. Not only does it give heaps of good info and advice but it is the most "real" parenting book I've read. His other book Parenting For a Peaceful World is a definite must read too.
-Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. More textbook style but I like his theory. Love his outlook on punishment and rewards and why they suck!
-Connection Parenting by Pam Leo. Aimed at older more verbal kids- Along the lines of Non-Violent Communication.
-Helping Your Baby To Sleep by Anni Gethin and Beth Macgregor. A great book to give a realistic idea of how much babies actually sleep and why responding to them is necessary. Very anti sleep training and routine. Good reassurance!

I have just finished reading Naomi Aldort's Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves. I thought her book was excellent but wow-a lot of things to think about. Her style of parenting would be hard without support from extended family/community because it is very child led. I don't think this is a bad thing, in fact I thought her ideas were fantastic and plan to re read the book and use her advice. But it requires a lot of patience and and understanding of where the child is coming from as well as allowing them a lot of autonomy. Far from impossible-and I guess what you put in you get out. Might be tough!

So there is my short list of books that are great-im my humble opinion! I could add some breastfeeding, birthing and vaccination type books but we'll stick to parenting for now.
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