Tuesday, January 31, 2012

5 Things about having 3 girls I never want said to me again

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It is true that I have been blessed with 3 children. Three beautiful, amazing children. It's also true that they all have a vulva. Another sad truth that goes with having 3 kids who share the same set of genitals is that people love to make misguided and often stupid comments about it.

Stop it OK? It's annoying and sometimes offensive.

Here are my top 5 comments that need never be said to me again

1. Oh THREE girls! Your poor husband without a son. Really? That assumes that my husband cannot relate to his own kids based on their genitals and that they will never like the same things he does thus never being able to share a special bond. What a load of shit. Maybe fictional son would have been into techno and had my taste in films thus only having a penis in common with his Dad.

2.Oh THREE girls! Lucky you! Your house must be far less messy/loud/rough than if you had boys. HAHAHAHA no. Don't stereotype boys and girls into boxes of being one way or the other because that makes it hard for everyone. 

3.Oh THREE girls! But who will carry on the family name? What is this 1950? Who says they will all get married, or take their partners name. Also, who cares. A family history is far more that a surname.

4. Oh THREE girls! Nevermind, that one has short hair/likes Buzz Lightyear/kicks a ball. SHE can be your boy. People actually say shit like this.


5. Oh THREE girls! At least you know what to do and they all like the same thing. Is there a particular way to parent either sex? I parent and relate to each of my kids differently because THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT. And I am often out of my depth on what to do. Having a vulva doesn't mean I have a subliminal understanding of other humans who share the same.


Raising kids is the same for all families regardless of the amount of kids or ratio of penis to vulva. Each child is a wonderfully unique being and the other unique relationships in that unique family mean that you cannot make assumptions based on the sexes of the kids. I feel sad that our culture is boxing in gender so much that we feel like we have to be a certain way and our kids have to be a certain way based on their genitals. It's all bullshit. So you have 4 boys and your house is indeed messy and loud-you know some families of girls are the same, as are some with 2 of each. Not all girls are into pretty things and not all boys like football.

And the next time you see a mother with 3 daughters (or sons) say "Oh THREE girls(or boys)! Oh the possibilities!"

Friday, January 27, 2012

Let the wild rumpus begin!

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This time in 10 weeks it will be moving day. I will be dispatching the kids, packing the final boxes and bossing around the people who have come to help. And there will be large amounts of coffee involved.

But before I am running around and throwing all of our worldly belongings into a trailer I have the most ridiculous 10 weeks ahead of me.

Good ridiculous though. Just busy, crazy busy.

In 3 weeks I'm off to the Gold Coast with the kiddos to catch up with our family and friends up there. I love going home for holidays and it's a great time of year to go. I'm planning on 2 and a half weeks of building sandcastles and paddling at the beach with a couple of theme parks thrown in. And eating all my favorite meals that my Mum will be cooking.

A few days after we get back we are planning on taking the new camper for her maiden voyage (to us) down to our favorite home educators camp for a week. Love hanging out with other school-free families and playing at the amazing park across the road from the campsite. Tannah is getting big enough now that I imagine she will be off with her friends on their scooters a lot of the time.

10 days after we got back it's Harper's birthday. She wants a Buzz Lightyear party. 

2 days after Harper's birthday is the Digital Parents Conference. Which I'm speaking at. And staying in the city for.

Which leaves about 5 days from when I get home until moving day. Which is the week before Tannah's birthday.

Not to mention all of the regular stuff we have going on. Tannah is back to piano and Willow to ballet in the next couple of weeks. Home ed groups and birthday parties for friends and family. And no house move in complete without a trip to Ikea.

But it's all going to be awesome.In the down times I'm going to pack and declutter like a demon. I'm going to enjoy all of the holiday time we have coming up. I'm going to celebrate the birth of both my first and lastborn on their special day. I'm going to rock the conference-both the speaking and the after party.

And I'm going to look forward to our new home, with more space for all of us to stretch out in and a new garden to grow food in. The house my girls will live in until they move out on their own.

Big breath. Let's do this.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When routine came to town

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I've blogged about my Harper Bliss before and how I love her just as she is. We are trying to make life a little easier for our little firecracker by putting some predictable routines in place.

Harper really struggles with changing from one thing to the next and unexpected setbacks can send her into a rage. It's taken me a long tome to realize this and I need to get better at being predictable and giving her plenty of warning before we move onto the next thing.

For example, last night's hour long screaming rage may have been avoided if I had gone outside and told Harper face to face that we were putting our pj's on and leaving our friend's place in 5 minutes rather than just shouting it from the back window to everyone. Lesson learned.

We have started a morning and evening routine. Routine and structure is not something that comes naturally to me, but these times of day are the worst for everyone so we are giving it a go. Harper seems to be MUCH happier to wash her face and get dressed if she knows it's coming. I'm hoping some visual cue cards might help even more.

Can this structure fit into a free-range life? I think it can. I think part of being a good parent is realizing that all of your kids are different and may need different things and systems. We may have a deliberate rhythm but we are still not watching the clock and free time for play still dominates our day.

As for me I'm reading some books on spirited kids, chatting with people who's opinion I value and taking kid free time to recharge when I can!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Skipping The Supermarket.

One of my favorite blogs is Little Eco Footprints. I was reading about her commitment to skipping the supermarket this year and it got me thinking about how much I enjoy sourcing our food.

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Just yesterday I dropped in on my friends Nina and Ben who run Taranaki Farm to pick up some eggs. I also got my weekly supply of  local, raw milk from Nature's Garden. Mark, the owner of the store who I chat with regularly when I'm there, asked after Willow who had taken a tumble on the footpath a few days previous. I went to the local farmers market where we are on a first name basis with the woman that does the face painting. My kids played with the other kids at the market, both old friends and new, climbing trees and eating sausages.

Last week when I went to choose my monthly lot of meat Udi already had the rump steaks out, knowing they are a family favorite. I delight in seeing my kids faces light up when there is an abundance of their favorite fruit or vegetable at the market. We sometimes catch up with friends for a play and a coffee at Ceres before grabbing supplies.The staff  at Fruit Peddlers ,where we get our groceries, are always welcoming to my girls and carry my boxes out to the car.

I love shopping outside in the weather. It's real and keeps us connected to the seasons. Gumboots and coats in winter and dresses and hats in summer. We eagerly await the strawberry stalls as the season for berries begins-and they taste even sweeter when we first get to eat them each year. I love that I can combine shopping with friends. I don't thing pushing a trolley up an aisle would be a place I would like to meet a friend but to wander the market stalls and have a coffee afterwards while the kids play is lovely. I love that I am on first name basis with the farmers who produce my meat, milk and eggs. I like paying them what they are worth so they can treat the animals well.

But mostly I love seeing my kids connect with food. It is something that is grown and harvested. It is seasonal. Rea food and businesses that support it are worthy of our support.

Skip the supermarket? Sure. I'm in.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Things I Know

Happy Friday everyone! I'm joining in with The Good, The Bad & The Unnecessary for Things I Know and you should too!

This week I know-

-when you are woken up at 1am by your crying 6 year old your brain will be in denial of the cause. Meaning you will stand in the doorway, half asleep, and stare at the enormous power spew that covers seemingly half the room and your child for ages before it registers what you are actually looking at.

-planning to move house is fun! Arranging the furniture in your mind, writing Ikea lists and planning a housewarming are all good times. Try to hold onto this as long as possible until the actual reality of moving house sets in.

-coming across old pics of your kids when looking for something else always gets a smile
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-my love of the show "American Pickers" makes me feel old

-my knowledge of all the words to LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" tries to counteract the old feeling

-getting up before the kids and going for a walk and getting started on he day makes a huge difference to how my day rolls. But trying to go to bed early is tough!


So what do you know?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Reveiw of some kid friendly movies at IMAX Melbourne

We've been to see a couple of movies at IMAX Melbourne museum these holidays. Going to the cinema is a rare treat for us as we have kids who can be pretty sensitive to noise and themes in movies so we tend to go to the drive in or wait for DVD. The added bonus of it being at the museum was that Harper & Willow got to hang out with someone else and have a fun day while Tannah and I saw a movie.

IMAX Melbourne boasts the 3rd largest screen in the world and the biggest 3D experience in Australia. I'm a recent convert to 3D after rolling my eyes at it for a while-now I love it! The kids love the extra novelty of the glasses too
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I cannot say enough nice things about the staff either. When we went to see Happy Feet 2 it was Willow's first cinema movie. She is particularly sensitive to visual and audio stuff and gets overwhelmed and frightened very easily. I kept Luke on stand-by at the museum to see how she coped. About 10 minutes in she was asking to go and be with him. I took both girls outside to the foyer and called him. I had 2 lovely young staff members come and ask if we were OK and offered Willow a drink of water. Though she wasn't upset they fussed over her and when she was safely off with her dad they opened the back door and showed us back to our seats. When we went and saw Born To Be Wild we were running a bit late and they let me take 3 kids in the disabled entry as to not disturb anyone and to make my life easy.

The first film we saw was Happy feet 2


Tannah and I both really enjoyed this film. It's easily as good as the original with the same entertaining all singing and dancing fun with conservation undertones. Robin William and Elijah Wood appear again with Pink now playing the role of Gloria-which Tannah was stoked about. Brad Pitt and Matt Damon voice "Bill and Will Krill" who are hilarious and really make the movie.  Hank Azaria is perfect as "The Mighty Sven".
The movie was not scary for little ones and the singing and dancing would hold their attention and there is enough in the story and comic relief for the adults. Highly recommended!

The second film we saw was Born To Be Wild


I cannot recommend this touching and inspiring documentary enough! It is only showing at IMAX 3D but well worth making the effort to see. Morgan Freeman narrates the film about orphaned elephant and orangutan babies being rescued and raised to be released back into the wild.  For Tannah, who is very concerned about endangered animals and the effect things like palm oil and poaching is having on them this documentary kept her spellbound. I also had the pleasure of taking the 2 oldest Picklebums with us and at 8 years old they enjoyed it too. The 3D was amazing! At one stage I was sitting next to 3 girls who were all trying to reach out and touch the orangutan that seemed to be only inches away. This film did keep me misty eyed and a bit teary but also reminded me why we do try to boycott palm oil products.


So if you need something to do or want to escape the heat why not go to IMAX and see a movie?


Disclaimer-I was given complimentary tickets to see both of these movies courtesy of IMAX Melbourne but was not paid for this post and all views and opinions are my own

Monday, January 16, 2012

Slowly, slowly

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I'm back. I know you've missed me. Right? RIGHT?

I've been having such a lazy summer break. Luke only just went back to work today.

Sure lot's has happened. New years, a new campervan, a new house waiting for us to move into, my 33rd birthday complete with rock star party, movies at IMAX, drinks, friends, outings and so on.

But mostly it's been family time together, sleep ins and "marital relations".

Forgive me if I just ease back into life a little bit slower than normal.
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