Saturday, October 30, 2010

Be careful what you wish for

I have spent the last 2 nights in the childrens hospital with Harper. I'll be here tonight and possibly tomorrow night as well. She is sick, very sick with a virus that we are awaiting final results on before we can give it a name, if we can.

It all started so innocently. Vomiting, diahorrea, a bit of a cough and a mild temperture. Then she developed a rash. You know, one of those rashes that you are told to go straight to the hospital when you see it. Her temperature started to climb. She was still, quiet and drowsy. When I got to the hospital I was put into priority to see someone. I started to feel sick with worry. Blood tests, IV fluid, IV antibiotics, poking, prodding-and Harper stayed still.Yesterday she barely moved. She was semi conscious most of the time and so so hot with a fever. The rash spread. All she had eaten in over 24 hours has been breastmilk, and I'm so grateful I'm breastfeeding. There was talk of lumbar puncture if no improvement in the morning.

Last night when Luke had gone home I started to cry (again) and started making bargains with the universe. Please let her be OK. Please can she get better. I hoped that some of my christian friends might have been praying too to cover my bases. I tried my favorite visulaization of me at Harper's 21st with all 3 girls as happy, healthy adults. I held her and said over and over again in my mind "Harper's body is strong, healthy and well".

Then I thought about all the things I had been wishing for lately.
"I wish she's just be still and quiet"
"I wish I could just have 5 minutes to myself"
"I wish she'd just stop once in a while"
"I wish I could just forget about the housework for a while"

I got my wish. There I was with a still, quiet toddler. With no one else to talk to and no housework to worry about. My big two girls were at home (as I write this it is the longest time I have been apart from either of them) and I had all the space I wanted.

It was a sharp reminder to be grateful for all that I have.

I have 3 beautiful, amazing children. I have a comfortable home filled with food and the people I love the best. My life is busy in a good way. My husband is my best friend. I have such fantastic friends and family both near and far, in real life and online who's support and messages and wishes have meant such a lot to me.

Harper has improved today. This morning she stood up and she gave the nuses hell when they were trying to do her obs. She has eaten half a banana. The rash has stopped growing. If she keeps improving we might get to go home tomorrow. She is still very sick and can't stay awake for more than an hour-but she is improving.

I can't wait to get her home and have her climbing, running, yelling and eating me out of house and home. I can't wait to see my big girls. I can't wait to sleep in my own bed.

And when I get home, I'm changing my wish list.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Love/hate

That's me and the internet. I love it, I hate it.

I love all the interesting blogs, ideas, forums, social networking etc. I hate how it's a never ending rabbit hole.

For every one awesome blog or inspiring person to follow on twitter there are thousands more waiting in the wings. I find the screen addictive and with an iPhone I can waste hours entertaining myself and ignoring real life. I find myself asking the kids to wait while I read an article or ignore house stuff to go back and read hours I have missed on Twitter.

I don't think this is making me happy.

I do think I'm finding a compulsion to know what's happening. To see photos of the children of a person I haven't spoken to since the third grade, to read articles people link to-knowing they will piss me off, to follow blogs that I don't love to be polite in the blogging world.

I love being in touch with friends-both in real life and online. I love finding inspiring stuff to read. I love being entertained. But I think my net usage has gone beyond this.

Can I just blog, read blogs I adore and cull my facebook friends?

Watch this space....

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Happy

I'm sitting here in the SUN which is coming through the window and listening to my big 2 involved in a serious game while they are crafting. The smallest is asleep and the dog is on her bed. My dishwasher is empty and the washing is on the line. Tomorrow is payday and I still have a little petrol in the car. We have plans for the park this afternoon.

I can't help but smile.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Simple pleasures

Some simple pleasures for Sunday.

Licking the bowl
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Games that last for hours
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Being presented with home made treasures
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Homemade custard
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1 cup of cream- I use raw cream which can be tricky to get. Use Double cream in it's place but don't use ultra pasturised watery cream
1 cup of milk- again I use raw but full fat milk works too (bonus points if organic)
pure vanilla
1/2 cup rapadura- raw sugar works fine too
5 free range egg yolks-or 7 if you have bantam chooks like us :)

Heat the milk, cream and a decent splash of vanilla in a saucepan until almost boiling, whisking as you go. Take off the heat.
Once that is done beat the yolks and sugar until it's glossy. Add this to the milk mix and put back on a low heat constantly whisking until it thickens. Don't burn your mouth trying to eat it all at once when it's done. You can eat this hot, cold, poured over something etc-we're having it over brownie for dessert!

Hope your Sunday was full of simple pleasures too!

A concert!

In my life before children I liked to go see bands. A lot. Part of the reason I chose Melbourne over anywhere else when I decided to leave the Gold Coast was the music scene. My ex was actually IN a band and Luke loves live music as much as me. I went to the Big Day Out festival for 10 years straight and part of my weekly wage went to gigs and CD's (in the olden days before iPods).

The last gig I went to was to see Magic Dirt at the Prince of Wales. I'm pretty sure that was the night I got pregnant with Tannah. That was over 6 years ago.

I have missed seeing bands but kids and pregnancy have not made it easy to just pop out of a few hours to a loud bar. I was looking forward to a time when it was possible to get back into the occasional gig. When Powderfinger announced their final tour I jumped on the chance to go.

Luke and I lined up his parents to mind all 3 kids and he took the day off work as it was on a Friday afternoon and we had to drive over an hour to get to the venue. Exciting times.

We woke on Friday morning to rain. Lots of rain. And it was cold! Did I mention that this was an outdoor event?? I felt really nervous about driving all that way in crappy weather, but we pressed on. By the time we got there it was still raining and the temperature had plummeted. I looked up the local temperature on my iPhone and it said with the wind chill it was about 1 degree. In spring. Truly.

Here is us lining up to get in
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Ponchos are cool right?

But by the time we got in there the rain had stopped and it was under a huge tent. I must say it's the first gig I have ever been to where I wore a parka and beanie the entire time!
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We had an AMAZING night. All the acts-including the supports Paul Dempsey and JET -were brilliant! We danced, we sang, we made the "wwooooooooo!!"noise after songs. We enjoyed each others company without the kids.

It was really nice to be at a place where I'm not knee deep in babies and was able to do something with just Luke and I. It was kind of a milestone for us :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My current Otherways article and other places I am

I'm getting around at the moment. I had a guest post on Nursing Freedom about being a Tandem Mama and I'm on the blog roll for the new site Natural Parents Network which looks amazing!

This is my article called "Overdoing It" in the current Otherways magazine-


My first born, much loved though she is, is unfortunately a bit of a “practice child”. Not meaning that we do experiments on her but rather that she is our first everything, so we often learn a lot from her by parenting. And sometimes we learn what not to do by stuffing it up a bit the first time.
Tannah loves those “Buddies” movies with talking dogs in them, they are of the Disney variety and are set in the U.S.A. One of them is about Christmas time and it is by far the red hot favorite. And it led to a lesson-for me.
Tannah told me that she would like us to have snow this Christmas. I told her that it would be summer here and it wouldn't snow.
“Why does it snow where the Santa Buddies live and not here?” she asked.
I was excited. That sounded like a question about something that could involve a trip to the library and strewing some books around. Suddenly it seemed that I could “teach” her about hemispheres and the earth's rotation and so on.
I set to work. First I tried explaining the concept of the equator and the rotation of the earth around the sun. She looked a little confused. Next I went to You Tube and found some awesome short movies on the subject and we watched them and I tried to answer her questions. She lost interest pretty quickly so we left it there.
Except I couldn't. I got some books out and strewed them around. Carefully choosing books where the focus was on pictures not words. No interest. I figured it must have been my explaining that caused her to drop it so quickly. So I set up the torch and a couple of tennis balls in the dark. She loved this! Not for the reason of understanding the earth's rotation around the sun via visual experiments. But because torches and tennis balls in the dark are awesome fun!
I had forgotten one of the many commandments about raining young children. “Thou shalt not give huge long winded answers, thou shalt give short and simple ones and elaborate if asked to”.
A couple of days later Tannah came and said “but I want it to snow at our house on Christmas day!” I said that it wouldn't because it would be summer here at Christmas, not winter like in the movie. She said “why?”.
“Because we are the opposite to the U.S.A when it comes to seasons. When it is summer here it is winter there and when it is winter here it is summer there. It's really hot over there right now.”
And after all the careful thought, tennis balls, torches and You Tube do you know what her answer was?
“Oh OK. Maybe we can just go there for Christmas one year then.”
Too easy huh? I guess I could have just said that in the first place and trusted that she would ask for more information if she wanted it. At least we both learned that tennis balls and torches in dark rooms is great fun!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Living Chemical Free Seminar with Dr Sarah Lantz

‘Our Children will ask…What were our parents thinking?

Why did they produce toxic chemicals and then allow them to get in to our bodies?

Were they so arrogant to think that our bodies would not be affected?’ Dr Sarah Lantz PhD

If you are in or around Melbourne this Saturday get to the Living Chemical Free Seminar, hosted by Eco Toys, brings together the bestselling author, speaker and children’s health advocate Dr Sarah Lantz.

From the Eco Toys Blog-

If you want to know how to raise healthy children in a toxic world you simply can’t afford to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from and be inspired by one of the world’s leading experts on chemicals and the effects on children’s health today. The presentation will address:

* Why babies are being born pre-polluted, the chemicals they are born with, and what makes kids particularly susceptible;
* How the chemicals found in your children’s food are hindering their development, lowering IQ scores and triggering attention and behavior disorders;
* Why Australia continues to use chemicals that are banned or restricted in other countries across the world;
* What’s really on your dinner table and in your children’s medication – vital information EVERY PARENT should know!
* How you can begin to implement health changes and practices for you and your children that help cleanse the body of chemicals.
* Solutions and strategies for raising healthy children (and adults) in a toxic world.

Date: Sat 16th October

Time: 12.30pm – 3pm (registration 12.30- 1pm)

Venue: Hawthorn Town Hall – 360 Burwood rd, Hawthorn



TICKETS $30 - SEATS LIMITED BOOK NOW!

Or contact Melinda on 9078 7500 (discounts apply for group bookings)

There will be a vibrant marketplace with local sustainable businesses showcasing their products, plus plenty of great give-ways, samples and specials.



This INSPIRING PRESENTATION WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE !

To read more click HERE

Monday, October 11, 2010

As I collapse into my chair.

Harper is 18 months old. Harper is an inquisitive, busy, curious and strong willed toddler. She behaves in a way absolutely appropriate for her age.

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Did you see how I used positive language there? Because what I wanted to say was that Harper is exhausting, stubborn, cranky, rough, single minded, aggravating and exasperating. She doesn't stop. She will not be distracted from what she is doing-even if it is trying to cuddle a dog that is going to bite her. She never ever takes no or being distracted with good grace. Who am I kidding, if I try and distract her she goes right back to what she was doing while flashing me daggers. There are lots of tears and throwing herself down on the ground.

I'm tired. I'm out of ideas.

I know that this is all normal behavior-if not on the extreme end of normal. I know that all these traits are going to make her an amazing adult (hell, she's an amazing kid!). I know that I don't always deal with it all terribly well. But how do I parent respectfully when she cracks the shits at me and fights me about not letting her swallow a marble or run in front of a dozen 6 year olds skipping towards her? And let us not speak of having a full bowl of yoghurt thrown back at me because..well I don't know why that upset her seeings as she got me the bowl and yoghurt and asked for help.

I know this too shall pass and I know when she is able to talk more it will get easier. I know that being the youngest of 3 born all so close together must be tough. I'm doing the best I can with the resources I have so that we BOTH come out of this period with our emotions in tact. I love her so much and part of who she is is this amazing and huge personality, I don't want to squash that.

But in the meantime can I just get a little break sometimes..pretty please?

(I must say I have toyed with this post for a while because it sounds so negative but THIS over at With Hearts and Hands Full inspired me to put it down! Thanks C)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's official

I put the paperwork in the mail today to register Tannah as a home educated student. I know it might not seem like much but I'm excited about continuing on our school-free journey.

Short and sweet tonight-but also a big thing for us :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

YES Project-rest of the week

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OK so I dropped the ball on this one lol. But it's Luke's week to work afternoon shift and that always makes life somewhat full on.

I have said yes lots this week like getting soaked at the park (see above photo), helping with the cooking and cleaning and craft at times I would usually have said no. I have learned that I was saying no to a LOT. Taking a moment to think before I say no to a request has been really eye opening for me. I usually say no in the name of efficiency and getting things done quicker. Meaning not letting the kids join in with the day to day stuff as much as they would like to. Also turning down messy projects (though really, none of them have taken longer than 5 minutes to clean up) if I'd just tidied up or was about to. I also learned that I ignore and put the kids off when the computer/iPhone is in close reach. That's a no brainer right? But do I really want them to think that every time I'm in front of a screen that they come automatic second?

It was just such a great exercise for me to turn on my awareness to saying YES! Anyone else have any yes moments to share?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

YES project-day 2

Yesterday was a crappy day. One of those days where I longed for live in grandparents or a full time job. I wonder if the children are realizing my shift to more freedom and are trying to push me to see how big that freedom goes. There were tantrums at the park, a skinned knee, cupcakes made with forgotten ingredients, super hungry, needy kids and a glass of milk spilled all over the kitchen bench and in my wallet. I felt like I didn't get a minute to just stop and BE. It was exhausting.

But I did say yes to helping with the cooking. Even helping with the hot stuff. Tannah. Willow and I stewed rhubarb that was given to us form a lovely friend's garden.

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Oh, and Willow wore her pajamas to the park.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

YES Project-Day 1

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Tannah and Willow asked to get their new counting bears out, and the scales. After about 5 minutes of sorting them and playing "Mama bear has triplets" Tannah asked for water. Harper can sometimes be a barrier to water play inside-as cool as I try to be about mess and age appropriate stuff like emptying containers I do draw the line at entire buckets of water on the tiles ( she gets plenty of water play outside). But Harper was asleep so I said absolutely yes.

We discovered that the bears floated (I thought they'd sink!) and then Mama bear was having a waterbirth with the triplets. They measured out the buckets with water to try and get them to sit evenly, they saw how many bears could float at once and later they bathed some My Little Ponies. Was there a spill? Yes, more than one. Was it easy to clean up? YES. A couple of towels and a change of clothes and all dry!

It's always good to be reminded of how very easy water actually is to clean up!

Monday, October 4, 2010

My YES project

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A lovely friend of mine is so good at saying yes to her kids. I find it very inspiring. She is in no way permissive or oblivious to what her children are doing-in fact she's the opposite. Very involved and available to help when needed, but aware enough to leave them to help themselves as much as they are able. But she has a real gift for being able to not freak out about mess (her motto is "everything can be cleaned!")and not putting off her assistance when it's needed.

I struggle with both of these things. As much as I would like to be more free and relaxed about mess the kids make it seems to be able to make me twitchy-even though said mess is always easy to sort out. It's a hurdle I need to get over. Also I know I'm guilty of the "in a minute when I've finished on Twitter" and "soon" as responses to easy and quick things I am being asked to help with. I also am cringing as I write this but I have been known to give the response of "mmm hmmmm" as I'm being talked to when I'm on the computer and not really listening at all.

I have no plans to become permissive or be a slave to my children, but I do think that I could say yes more and say it without hovering over potential mess or pre-assessing someones ability. I want my girls to feel like I hear them when they talk to me. I want them to feel freer with mess and trying things that might be new or above their ability. I want them to make more mistakes and have more choice.

I'm going to blog about this all week and then try for regular updates. I'd love for others to join in! If you want to join in leave a comment with a link to your blog, I'm really interested to hear how others say yes more and what more freedom looks like at your place.

Can I do this? Yes!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spring! Finally!! Hooray!!

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I'm not a cold weather person. Or a short day person. I like heat and sunshine and long days. I even like the rain if it's a refreshing drench after warm weather.

This winter has been long and cold and dreary and wet. Those of you that live in Melbourne know what I mean. It has sucked.

But today it is sunny! My washing is on the line for the first time since March. We had already walked down to the park, done painting and played in the backyard by 12pm today. The TV is off and the kids are nude and sandy from playing in the sandpit.

I feel motivated already :)

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Friday, October 1, 2010

This Moment

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Joining in with SouleMama
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