Friday, April 30, 2010

Things I know

-when your last born is old enough to leave with her Dad for half a day the feeling of freedom is ace..yet I felt also strangely sad
-if you tell your kids you are getting a puppy I recommend doing it the night before- unless you want to hear endless discussion about the name and where it will sleep
-if your kids seem extra hungry one week, take extra food out with you. Otherwise, on shopping day, it may look to people that you don't feed them as they walk behind you saying "I'm huuuuunnngryyyyy-are we finally going to get more food?"
-remember that you have a new hairdo that is vastly different from the one you had. So don't be alarmed when people say "WOW-when did you do that?"
-don't feed your kids popcorn just after you vacuum.
-not remembering every last name that your kids have given to all their toys makes for tears and stinkeye.
-when the initial excitement over an upcoming interstate trip wears off, the reality of flying with 3 children and no husband sets in....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What I really want for Mother's Day

Was flicking through the junk mail yesterday and all the catalogs had a Mother's Day angle. "Spoil Mum" and "gifts for Mum" and so on. I saw a lot of stuff that I most certainly do not want for Mother's day.

Family take note, I DO NOT want
-a weight loss drink. Please do not give any money to those vultures who pray on Mothers feeling insecure about their post baby body. Also I am fine with my weight thanks very much. Same goes for the exercise equipment.
- a toaster or a kettle. As a woman who enjoys baking and cooking I would never knock back something that is along those lines *ahemkitchenaid* but I'm not sure I can get excited about making toast or boiling water. They sound like appliances that should be bought with family money.
-a skin care pack claiming to be "like natural botox". Really? No comment.
-an iron. Don't even go there.
-uncomfortable "body shaping" underwear. "Wear these awful undies so that you are less wobbly and more presentable" does not really say "I love you Mum" to me.
-pink tools. I'm not sure if regular tools are unsuitable for women. Let's just say I'm happy to use what we have.

It did seem that there was a lot of gifts peddled as Mother's Day presents were aimed at Mum's appearance. I know it's nice to feel confident in how you look but anti wrinkle cream & weight loss stuff does not seem like a gesture of appreciation and love from the family. That might just be my opinion. Nor do boring household appliances that are really for the whole family. Nor do regular items all pinked up. The commercialization and money making side of Mother's Day makes me uncomfortable. Can we even have a day of celebration and not make it about money money money and stuff stuff stuff? *sigh* It hurts my head.


I'll tell you what I think would be ace for Mother's Day.

-How about the Australian government leaving Independent Midwives alone? Giving Mother's REAL choice in where, with who and how they give birth would be an awesome gift. Making them fit into the hospital system will be the near extinction of natural birth in this country.
-Mother's bodies being appreciated for what they are. Amazing and different. These bodies that grow and feed their children don't (usually) go back to a neat photoshopped little package. Health and beauty does not come in one size.
-the breastfeeding debate over-breastfeeding is what's normal for babies. Period. I'd love to see photos of children being fed mothers milk not being labeled as obscene and artificial milk companies to stop peddling their wares. Support and real information based on fact and trust not fear and mistrust of women's bodies.
-paid maternity leave. Stay At Home Mothering being seen as a real way to spend your time. The value of children raised by their own parents.
-better child care choices for working mothers. Improving the baby to carer ratio.

I personally would just love to be loved by my children and told I am appreciated and valued as a mother by my husband. Maybe a drawing or something the kids have made would be nice too. Time spent together. And maybe a little time to myself.

If you are a Mother and you are reading this know that your worth is not in how you look or how much stuff you have. I hope you feel valued, loved and appreciated. I hope you don't have to parent alone. Take some time on Mother's Day to celebrate your achievements as a Mother and to appreciate the gifts your children bring.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Puppy

In early July these is going to have a new addition to the Yay For Homestead.

We are getting a puppy.

Tannah has been asking for a puppy for over a year now. Obviously when I was a million weeks pregnant it was not a good time, nor with a new baby. So we have been putting her off with "when Harper is bigger". But she asks and asks and talks and talks about "her dog".

About 6 moths ago I told Luke that maybe we should think about it. We love dogs too and I think dogs are good for kids. But the whole Lola incident was scarring for everyone.

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Lola was our "firstborn". a big greyhound cross who we adored and spoiled. When Tannah came along she was great-took it all really well. When I was pregnant with Willow we moved interstate and lived with my parents. She lost her rank completely (they have a dog as well) and never recovered. Willow was born and she started acting up. I'm sad to say that I should have put in more time with her or re-homed her to someone with no kids when the first signs of aggression started to happen-but I was busy with 2 small kids. So one day I was outside with Tannah and Lola and Lola attacked Tannah-unprovoked. It was by sheer luck that I was able to get in between them and grab Tannah and run her inside. She was physically unhurt but really traumatized and I was not prepared to live with a 35kg dog that wanted to hurt my child. We had her put to sleep as I was worried that she might hurt someone else's child (or dog)if we re-homed her. Luke and I were heartbroken.

So when Tannah started insisting that we needed a dog Luke and I were hesitant. Apart from having a small yard we wanted to make sure we had the time to put into another member of the family. After much discussion and back and forth we have decided that we do.

A friend's dog (who is called Shae lol) had puppies on Harper's birthday. They are brittany/cocker spaniel cross puppies. Luke was unsure about timing-he wanted to wait another year-but seeing Tannah hold these puppies yesterday and talk about them non stop since he had a change of heart. They are a perfect size, from a good home and *ahem* adorable! She will come to us in early June. Tannah wants to call her Bindi-I should have been less surprised.

Very exciting times. Now to fence the strawberries so she can't get in!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Things are changing

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It seems that (finally!!) Tannah and Willow can share space without constantly fighting. It's a nice change from all of the yelling, pushing and crying.

As soon as Willow got mobile Tannah decided that Willow was a pest-and Willow decided that Tannah was her hero. Needless to say there has been much frustration and annoyance on both sides. Tans is annoyed because Willow won't leave her alone and Willow is annoyed because Tannah just won't play with her. I must say that I was surprised at how rough and nasty they can be to each other. My brother and I never really fought much so that level of sibling rivalry was new to me. Of course we have the usual turf wars over toys and Willow knows exactly how to push Tannah's buttons.

But lately there is a lot more play together. I'm sure it's mostly age related. Willow can follow direction and actually participate in imaginative games with Tannah and not just push all the toys over. Tannah is becoming a lot more understanding of ability related to age so her expectations are not as high. Of course this is not 100% of the time, there is still quite a bit of bickering-they are so different in personality that I can't imagine that they will get on great all the time. Whatever has changes they sure seem to be enjoying each others company a whole lot more often-which is SUCH a nice change.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Now for some fluff....

"booo-BAH"

Before I had children I was NEVER going to breastfeed a child long enough that they were old enough to ask for it. Eeeeew gross and all that.

When Tannah was one and I was long past thinking all the eeew gross stuff I was desperate for her to have a word for breastfeeding so all the pointing and flailing had meaning (note-pointing and flailing did not always mean boob me). So I kept saying "you want boob?" every time she went for one. She shortened it into "boo" and it was one of her first words. She would (very cutely)come up, point at my chest and smile and say "booo". People became confused that when they would say "where's Tannah? Peek-a BOO" that her face would light up and she would come jump in my lap like "yes! Boo, great idea".

When Willow started talking (she was 18 months old before she uttered a word) all she said was "NO" for a couple of months-which should have led me to be more prepared for her at 2 years old. This was followed by Mama, Dadad and boo. All the important words.

Now Harper is having a go at saying Mama and Dadad I'm saying "boo" every time she has a feed. But Harper has her own version. "booo-BAH" It's too cute. It has me saying "you want booo-BAH?" when I offer and it has Willow frowning at me. She knows the word is Boo thanks very much and makes a point of shooting Harper a sideways glare when she says "Boo Mum"-think dramatic chipmunk look.

So much for weaning kids old enough to talk.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My way or the highway

Have been thinking about yesterday's post.

I've been reading (and enjoying)a lot of quite strongly opinionated blogs of late. I've also been listening to a few friends who are getting a hard time from people for choosing to do things outside the mainstream's idea of normal. I think both those things had me all riled up that there is this belief only one way to do things-and I presented an equally biased idea of another "only way to do things".

This post is not an apology for my beliefs in the school system, the hospital system or how I think women and children are expected to act. I still have those beliefs.

But I do not think that my way of thinking is the absolute right way either. I actually think that putting your faith in one way of thinking-be it mainstream or alternative can be equally as dangerous. Real power comes from knowing that you have a choice.

Knowing that you can research your options fully and use your own intuition to make those choices for yourself and your children is power. We are often not given the full story or all the information that there is available. We often struggle through with something that we are not comfortable with because we feel we need to to conform to some ideal. This might be a hospital birth you are not comfortable with-or it might be breastfeeding your 3 year old when you hate it.

I truly believe that there is NO one right way.

I have made choices that probably make a lot of people's eyes roll. I had ultrasounds with every pregnancy-even my homebirths. Harper has a dummy. We indulge in horrid fast food from the Mcempire from time to time. I am also the only one out of a close circle of friends who's kids don't do school. But I don't feel judged-so who am I to pass judgment on other people's choices?

I think my real peeve comes from people with no information criticizing a choice they know nothing about. Knowledge is power. I researched my choices and am very comfortable with the decisions I have made for myself and my family. I apologize for assuming that others are not in the same boat.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Take the power back!!

ANOTHER friend of mine was tweeting that she was getting a hard time from a family member about her upcoming (any day now squeeeeee!)homebirth. It got me all pissed off again.

Women are trained (most of us) from an early age to conform, to not make a fuss, rock the boat or draw attention to ourselves. We must look and act a certain way. Heaven forbid we question something or point out that things can be done differently.

This is done to a lot of people from birth. You cry, no one comes. You are loved one moment and ignored the next. You are not trusted to know when you are hungry or tired or not tired. You are called manipulative and controlling because you seek out comfort in human touch. Then you are praised for giving up and being compliant. .

Then comes school where you are just a number and the aim of the game is compliance and being average. Ask too many questions and you may be labeled as disruptive. You need permission to use the toilet and there are time restraints on what you can learn. A bell rings and it's time to move on. In most cases you must even dress the same.

Children are controlled with praise and punishment. You are constantly seeking approval in the form of a gold star or looking to avoid being punished. You are encouraged to "be good" at all times-which means compliant.


We are led to believe that without help we are setting ourselves-and our children- up for failure. Failure to birth, to breastfeed, failure to create healthy adults Even failure to live. We need drugs, schedules, routines, teachers, artificial milk, cesareans and star charts if we are to succeed. We need to be compliant and not ask why we need these things. We are not to ask fro help. We are taught to fear our own bodies and that to be successful we need to look a certain way as well as act it.


Is it any wonder that when we question being told what to do that we make other people twitchy? That they are offended by choosing something different because then you are accusing them of being wrong. Stepping outside of the "norm" is too far out of people's comfort zone to imagine.


Here is what I wish we were taught.
Trust your own intuition and how to live your life. Trust your body to birth, breastfeed and nurture you child. Trust your own knowledge of your own children and choosing to send them to school or not. Trust your body to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Trust in your ability and motivation. Trust that eating well and moving your body will mean health regardless of size. Ask for help when you need it. Ask questions if you need to know things. Going against the tide is not always a bad thing. Nurture yourself and the rest will follow.


In the words of Rage Against The Machine "we gotta take the power back!"
(Oh yeah 90's rock wooooooo)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Things I know

Should really do this every Friday...


-You will not catch all the vomit that comes out of your child into your 2 cupped hands. No matter how much you want to.
-if you are shaking vomit off a towel outside shake gently, unless you want all the vomit to get airborne and end up in your hair.
-if your kids take turns at choosing the DVD keep up to who's turn it is, unless you enjoy upsetting everyone
-the post office and 3 children. Just don't go there.
-when an invitation to join a new unschooling group asks to bring some food to share try to remember that said unschoolers are all raw vegan before just dropping into local supermarket to pick up a bunch of packaged food.
-when a blog post gets shared around and your blog gets a whole lot of hits from new people and lovely comments you feel like Heather Armstrong
-all 3 children being asleep, Luke on shift and the housework all finished + bloglines being down = oh the humanity
-when your Mother is offended by the existence of all flies and spent your childhood saying "yuck! Dirty fly!!" before emptying a can of spray onto the fly you will have no choice but to HATE flies.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The right to complain.

In our society the norm is 2 children who are born is a hospital, vaccinated, sleeping alone as soon as possible, breastfed for a few of months, controlled with manipulation (praise or punishment), packed off to daycare, kinder, school and so on and so on. If you stray from these societal norms then you have made a rod for your own back and have no right whatsoever to complain.

I know a woman who is getting a hard time from some family members because she is having a much wanted 4th child. They are putting all sorts of pressure on her to cope no matter if she finds it difficult-because she is "so crazy" to have a "huge" family like that. Bullshit or what?

Women who choose homebirth and need medical assistance are treated with contempt when they enter the hospital system.

The response by the mainstream upon comments that breastfeeding a toddler or tandem feeding is sometimes difficult is usually shock at why you wouldn't "just" wean.

The answer to EVERY co-sleeping complaint is moving them into their own bed/room.

If your child has moments of difficulty when learning outside the school system the answer is to send them to school.

And most behavior related issues (which are usually not issues for the parents!) can be fixed with a star chart or a punishment.

*sigh*

No one tells a mother who is artificially feeding her baby that maybe she should relactate after multiple illnesses and stomach discomfort. They medicate the baby and never suggest that the artificial milk could be the problem. I mean they were formula fed and turned out OK.

No one suggests to a mother who had an unnecessary cesarean that maybe she should avoid the hospital altogether next time and birth at home. In fact it's usually a repeat surgery that's recommended! For safety of all things.

No one says to the parent of a school child who is not enjoying school to take them out. It's just the child adjusting or being lazy (good grief).

No one tells the parent who is trying to sleep train their baby to just put the baby in bed with them and everyone can get more sleep. They are usually told to "stick with it" and "be brave".

It is never suggested that the injury from vaccines is ever worse than the possibility of a disease. If a child is injured (or dies) then they took one for the team.

And families who choose to have two children never have heads shaken at them when they decide to have no more. Their choice is accepted, or even praised if they got *trumpets please* one of each sex.


The thing is no matter what style of parenting you choose or how many kids you have there will be days that are tough. Attachment/connected style parenting is no different. Nor is home/unschooling. The implication that "well you tried your way and it didn't work out" is insulting. The "you made a rod for your own back and now you can deal with it" is just plain infuriating. Parenting is a joy-but it can be hard at times.
Every parent deserves a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Neat little box

I have been reading a LOT of blogs of late. And googling blogs. It seems most blogs have a particular topic that they run with.
It made me wonder what topic mine is.
I suppose it's a Mummy Blog. But I talk a lot about unschooling and they have their own genre. I do bang on about homebirth. I also go on about my garden and sustainability and food. I have been reading a lot of blogs from "the fatosphere" and feel a post about fat acceptance coming on. I have been spamming you with photos. I invented an apple cupcake recepie that will be up in a couple of days.

I guess my life is not a neat little box :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Almost there!

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Being the youngest of 3 Harper has had it in her mind that she is as old as the other two for quite sometime. It causes her much annoyance that her body won't work like she wants it to and that she can't chase the big two around on foot instead of all that pesky crawling. She is also incredibly frustrated that I don't understand all the "uuhhhhh" and "mmnnnnnhhhhh" that she says. It must seem that I understand the other two-why not her!

But she is walking around all the furniture, pushing the trolley around and standing by herself a bit. This makes her happy. When she tries to walk and it doesn't happen, this makes her mad! Poor cranky baby-she is a ball of frustration at the moment. She is also losing patience with my attempts to decipher what all her grunting and pointing means. But to see her face as she said "moore" when she wanted another piece of apple and I complies-awww she was so pleased with herself.

I had forgotten how frustrated kids get while learning a new skill. It must be incredibly annoying for those around you to be running places and not understanding you. I'm trying to stay patient and not get frustrated back at her when she dissolves into tears over and over again.

I'm sure I'll read this post in a couple of months as she goes zooming past me...on foot. And I'll have a whole new set of issues!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Be careful what you wish for...

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We have just had weekend mania. 3, yes THREE birthday parties for us and Luke went out on Saturday night as well. Not to mention that he worked on Saturday morning.
That's not to say that we didn't have a lovely weekend catching up with friends and celebrating birthdays-we did. But we did it by running from one place to the next and let's just say that nutrition did not feature highly. Nor did day sleeps. Luke has been on shift this past week as well so we have not seen a lot of him as he is often home when the kids and I have things on.
So yesterday I uttered those last famous words "what we all need is a whole day at home and some serious downtime".

So I have got what I wanted.

Luke woke up and his back is really sore so he is going to spend the day at home, taking it really easy. Tans said she felt funny and vomited all over the toilet floor. And Willow is doing what she always does after eating processed food (which we normally don't feed her)-she is melting down and having tantrums all over the place. Harper needs to play sleep catch up which leaves me. Feeling fine but with 4 people who will need my help all day.

The portable DVD player has already made an appearance and those who are eating got crackers with butter for breakfast-gourmet indeed. But I DID ask for a whole day at home, for all of us and downtime. So I'm going to make the most of it and wear my tracksuit pants all day, leave my bra in the drawer and do as close to nothing as a family full of sick, sore and crankies will allow.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Guest spot

I'm the Guest blogger at Woman Uncensored today.
Check out her blog-apart from lots of ace freebies she has a lot of great anti circumcision info and attachment parenting stuff.

Read my article here

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My bubble

People, by nature, find other like minded people to spend time with. I have a huge community of women (and men and children) who parent in a similar way. I am blessed to have my "bubble".
In my bubble no one bats and eyelid at homebirth (even if they don't choose one them selves)and they bring food after a baby is born. I can whine about how hard tandem feeding is at times and I only hear sympathy and empathy, not weaning suggestions. When I'm asked "how is Tannah going in her own room?" the question is about how she is handling it, not about how I am keeping her in there. I can discuss the recently discovered joys of using a menstrual cup and know I'm not weirding people out. A lot of the children in my bubble also learn at home, and the families that don't never bat an eyelid about their kids catching "socially backward" from mine. It's just nice to have a community where I'm normal. Where bringing brown bread sandwiches and hommus with veggie sticks is not a laughable offense. It's nice to be asked questions out of general interest rather than as a way of further separating yourself from me. Mostly it's nice when the adults treat my children as people too. Not as freaks or morons.

Back into the bubble I go.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Free play

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One of my (many) gripes with regular school is it takes up a HUGE chunk of a childs life. I think that children, especially young ones, need a lot of unstructured time for free play. For us that means setting up play dates with other families for joint free play or just hanging at home and seeing where the day takes us. That can mean anything from play dough or crafting to the girls making up elaborate games and cubbies or playing in the sandpit and jumping on the trampoline. It can even be a DVD.

I was feeling quite stressed about the amount of organized, regular activities that we had committed to. With errands as well they were leaving precious little time for free play. I have restructured our week and it seems much more doable for all of us-and less car time for the kids!

So yesterday we mostly hung at home. I think that with all the rushing around of late the girls are starting to expect to be directed a bit so there were a few cries of "I'm boooreed" during the day. It didn't take long for some serious play to happen though. And as a bonus I got my washing folded! We also spent a bit of time discussing the Journeys project. Tannah wanted to know how far certain animals were from us and how we would get to where they live. We got as far as the cheetah. Looking it up (google <3) and printing off a map with an area coloured in for where they live. We went and looked on her globe so she could see how far from Australia and then we compared the distance in comparison to from here to the Gold Coast, which she is familiar with. It soon merged into looking at nature snippets on You Tube-my girls can't get enough of watching stingrays "fly".

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More time to play outside...just have to get my arse into gear about that.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy fifth birthday Tannah!

My beautiful firstborn is five.

Here we are just after she was born
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Luke and I make lovely babies. Clearly.
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Around her first birthday
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Around her second birthday
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Around her third birthday
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Her fourth
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And here she is at her fifth birthday party holding a snake.
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And me getting a cuddle at the zoo today
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Dear Tannah. My sweet, sensitive and caring Tannah. You are such a joy to be around. You frequently blow me away with your concern for others and the depth at which you feel things yourself. You are quite sensitive to all things frightening and upsetting. You have a passion for wildlife and I'm sure I will look back on the Bindi/Steve Irwin obsession one day fondly. You ask lots of questions and I hope I'm doing a good job of answering them all! You love to spend time with your friends. You love to craft and draw and, when the mood strikes you, to play big, elaborate games with Willow. You are very affectionate to those you love-showering them with cuddles, kisses and artwork. You love to be read to for as long as the reader will allow. You make up songs and dances. You blame your farts on Harper. Right now mostly you want a puppy.

I can't believe how quickly you have grown into a little girl. I still feel like you are my "practice child" a lot of the time and although I am trying my best to do right by you, I might be stumbling through with no idea.

Love you so much Tanz-bonanz. I'm a lucky Mama indeed.
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A hard post to write

It is the eve of Tannah's fifth birthday. Tomorrow my firstborn will celebrate and we will all make much fuss of her on her special day.

And tomorrow, like on her birthday every year, I'll feel torn. Because one of the happiest days of my life was also one of the most traumatic. I'll have a cry at some point and try to remind myself it was not me who failed her but the system failed us both. But it's hard not to feel cheated. For both of us.

This post is hard to write because birth trauma is not something that is widely accepted in our society as something which deserves attention. Those of us who have birth trauma should "be grateful for our healthy baby" and "stop being drama queens about it". You might be rolling your eyes as you read this now. But it is incredibly difficult for me to publicly announce that I find my daughters birthday celebrations hard because of my "issue". I look forward to the day when the memories of the good parts outweigh the trauma of the bad.

Five years down the track and two beautiful, easy homebirths later it still feels pretty raw at times. I still have a lot of what if's and if only's. I still can't believe that something that, in our case, should have been so straightforward and beautiful and empowering was intervened with so much that it became so violent and traumatic and terrifying. The sense of loss and failure is still very real. I still whisper "I'm sorry" to Tannah before I go to sleep often. I still get furious at a system that treats birth as an illness, women as incubators and babies as if they have no understanding of pain.

I still feel mad that the trauma of her birth stole so much of our relationship. Those precious first moments belonged to us, as a family, and they were destroyed. The unnecessary interventions and trauma that followed interfered with breastfeeding, bonding and my coping skills in general. It made the first year so much more difficult than it needed to be. I remember trying to read a speech at Tannah's 1st birthday and bawling so much I couldn't get it out because talking about how hard it had been was just too much. We were cheated of so much more than just the birth. We still are.

So tomorrow I will blog about my big 5 year old and just how old she has gotten. The post will be full of proud Mama type stuff. And when I pull up those first photos of us to choose one to blog I'll get upset and wish that it could have been different.

Journeys

At the home learning forum Joyous Learning there is a great idea to put a theme out there and see where it takes you. This fortnight it is "journeys".

I'm going to chat to Tannah about it later and see if she is interested or if she has any thoughts about what a journey means to her and any activities we might do. There are so may possibilities! Of course she might still be a bit young to have any interest or ideas on he topic. I do like the idea of a theme like an open ended question. With no pressure to participate but with endless possibilities. When we did the autumn leaves at Easter it was at Tannah's request to hang leaves up because "we don't have an Autumn tree inside".

I think one of the hard things about unschooling is not having any expectations on how an activity might go. I did have to bite my tongue when the Autumn leaves were being painted blue-that's not an "Autumn colour"! I love putting ideas out there for the girls to take or leave and to plan fun things for us to do. I need to remember to leave my expectations at the door and follow their lead.

When I do we all enjoy it :)

Wonder where this journey will take us....

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Birth order can be a bitch

Dear Harper,
When you are an adult and you are going through the photos of when you were little (probably on a magic wand or by telekinesis or something by then) it may seem that you got ripped off in the first birthday department. You may even wonder if you had a first birthday party. Granted, you had to share it with your oldest sister's fifth birthday but we did sing "happy birthday Tannah AND Harper".
I know Tannah had a naming ceremony for her first birthday and Willow had a womens circle dedicated just for her so it might seem like you missed out. I was looking at the photos of the party that I took today and there is only really one of you to speak of. I know there are many of the other two girls sitting in front of cakes that I painstakingly decorated from a Womens Weekly book and you got an plain cupcake, and there is no photo to share.
But let me explain why.
I have learned things over the years. That the cakes I stressed over making were not important. I often made them while I had a sad baby wanting my time around my feet. Or I got up early or stayed up late to finish a cake or prepare for a party. And the best part of the party was sharing it with the guests. Having fun with friends and family who we love.
But, back to the lack of photos.
It's hard to take a heap of pictures myself when my arms are full with you! You have always been my "in arms" baby. You have loves life from the safety of Mama or Daddy's (and now Granny and Little Pa's-woot!) arms. So we do it in shift. One of us holds your lovely self and the other chases the big 2 around. It does make photo taking tricky.
But know that our lack of creativity in getting your big days on record is no reflection on how much we love you.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Farmers market

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We hit the local farmers marker today and look at the bounty we bought home! None of it is certified organic but most said they used no chemicals and one said he used as little as possible. It was all local food, fresh and seasonal.

A friend lent me the book Animal Vegetable Miracle and I really enjoyed reading it. It was set in the Northern hemisphere so it was based on their seasons but the message was the same for here. There was a lot of talk about food miles and how much oil goes into every bite of food we eat in the way of transporting it to your plate. Also how out of touch we have become with food as most of it is available all year round. You can get broccoli in high summer and even mangoes in winter sometimes. People usually think nothing of buying fish from Vietnam or a lime from Tahiti while riding their bike to work to reduce their carbon footprint. Madness?

One thing that I have realized of late that being a conscious consumer is not about this challenge and that challenge but it should just be a way of life. Things like buying local, organic where possible and from ethically & sustainably farmed animals could just change the world.

In other news it seems we have 2 chickens on the lay!
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The blue tinged eggs on the left come from Bok-bok and that's all we have been seeing thus far. Until today when I discovered 2 eggs and the one on the right is such a different colour that it must have come from another chook. Apart from the fact that a pure breed chicken is not going to lay 2 eggs in a day. Exciting times at the Yay for Homestead.

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's coming....

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(which one of my winter lovelies do you think that baby is?*)


Winter is just around the corner! I have felt the chill on a few mornings already. I can smell that people have had the fire lit to warm up their house. The leaves are changing colour and falling from the trees. I hang out a load of washing in the full sun and when I bring it in at night it's still damp.

Noooooooo! I'm not ready for winter yet!

I'm from Queensland originally and wonder if I'll ever embrace a true winter with open arms. Every year I feel the seasonal shift and resist. Short days, heating, wet washing and wearing all kinds of layers of clothes and accessories. And lets not speak of having to wear pants to bed. We all get a bit of cabin fever and stay indoors way more than we should because I just don't want to drag myself out of the nice warm house into the icy wind.

But this year I want to set myself a challenge.

I want to spend part of most days outside. Rain and sleet permitting of course.

I am not going to use the cold as an excuse to hole us up all winter long and wait for September when we are all more than a little over the confinement. We will put on hats and gloves and go to the park, the Picklefarm, the zoo, the farmers market. Even making fun in our small backyard.

We went to a local park today with a couple of friends and it was so nice to see the kids running and playing. And it's what kids need. Outside play. Free outside play. The fact that all 3 have been sleeping soundly since half past 7 is an indication of this surely?


*Baby is Willow

Thursday, April 8, 2010

crank crank crank

I'm in a bit of a grumpy old mood at the moment. I can feel winter approaching which does not help things and I need to snap out of it. My crank has been caught by the kids (Harper in particular) and we have all been grumping at each other. I'm digging my heels in on a few personal health goals and resisting the change-I'm basically folding my arms and saying "nuh-uh I'm NOT. Don't wanna. Too hard"

Part of a health goal for me is to get outdoors every day-walk to the park with the kids, walk to the bus and catch it to the library, play in the backyard and potter in the garden. It will be an awesome thing for all of us and might just help me survive winter instead of locking myself inside and getting the SAD's. The other part is to remember the health goal I had to eat well-amazingly well-nearly always. I've always aimed for 90/10 (90 being good!) and figured that the other 10% would work itself out. But I imagine it's probably closer to 50/50 at the moment. And I do notice a difference. In me as well as the kids. Sugar(the hyper-processed kind)makes me just as moody and prone to tantrums as Willow. Part of my general blerghness is just having a crap diet. When I know how ace I feel when I eat better it seems crazy to keep poisoning my body this way.

I also need more sleep, less computer. Sounds all so easy right?

Need to pull my foot out of my arse and uncrank myself by taking better care of myself!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tannah and her new friend

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Tannah has made a very lovely "unschool" friend.

These two girls have really hit it off. They are only a few months apart in age and share a lot of interests. Like dinosaurs and sea animals-well all animals really. They both love drawing and crafting. They enjoy dressing up and playing pretend. They play in a very similar way and I have not heard them fight yet-though I have heard them both fight with their respective sisters so all is normal there. They both like to talk. When one is not at unschool group the other misses them terribly and when there are playdates at each others houses there is usually much protest about leaving. They even hold hands when they walk around and make drawings for each other.

Isn't friendship a lovely thing?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Autumn craft

It's Easter. I get all the fish on Good Friday thing because Easter is a very big Christian holiday.
But it's also Autumn and harvest time. Which is why all the bunnies and eggs and spring bonnets annoy me a bit. We live in the SOUTHERN hemisphere.

So we did some Autumn themed craft. I printed off some leaves, apples and pumpkins and the girls painted them.
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We left them to dry
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And then made a leaf mobile out of them.
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Today I made pumpkin soup and bread. Some of the pumpkin came out of our very own garden and I made the stock from scratch. I'm spending some time reflecting on my personal harvest from the previous year-and what to let go of coming into winter.

Happy harvest everyone!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Because I don't have a puppy...

You will have to hear about my chickens!

I am trying to convince Luke that we need a puppy. I'm not sure if it's working or not but I'm feeling pouty about it.

But I still have my "laydees"

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Left to right they are White, Charlotte, Cheeky and Bok-Bok. I think they are lovely. I have always loved chickens and really enjoy having them around. The clucking that happens when they are settling in to roost at night is a beautiful sound-and the bok-gurk! that happens when egg laying happens is a crack up.

Are you bored yet? Join team puppy!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

My big girl

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After 5 years of co-sleeping (well she turns 5 in a couple of weeks) Tannah is sleeping in her own room.

She has been sleeping in her own bed in our room for a couple of months and she has been restless for more space (our room is mattresses on the floor resembling a tetris game)and hinting at wanting a "big bed". She then had a sleepover with her besties and I figured if she can sleep at a whole other house without me no problem then she can probably handle her own room-which is about 2 metres from mine. One where she can see me from her bed.

Then we talked to her grandparents about using Luke's old bunks from their place and she was sold. All week we have been hearing-
"do I get my bed TODAY?? How about NOOOWW?" etc
And tonight when the beds were all up and together she asked to go to bed.

I know. I was amazed too.

She stayed in there briefly before re-emerging and I was worried that sailing might not go so smoothly. But after a story she took herself back to bed, snuggled in and went to sleep. Just like that. I wonder how the rest of tonight will go.



And there were four in the bed and the little one said....
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