Thursday, 30 October 2008

A Hoydens Take on Coached Pushing

I read this study recently and didn't blog about it, mainly because i thought that it would be a little boring to anyone but me, but its certainly talking about one of my big birthing passions and that is the difference between coached pushing and instinctive pushing. The Hoydens have a great way of making it enjoyable, with a Meaning of Life skit and the beautiful french birth video at the bottom.

The birth video is awesome i have seen it quiet a few times and last week it was sent to me again, even if you are not a birth video type person i still recommend you watch it just for the pure joy on her face. Plus its great to notice the lack of intervention from her caregivers they just leave her body to birth perfectly. The position she is in isn't the best but beyond that ...... its just so beautiful

Birthwatch: Coached pushing robs babies of oxygen, Brazilian C sections, and joyful birth

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Catriona, Dont click on this

Yet another reason my fear of spiders is justified

How about some truth in advertising, Australian Tourist Bureau?

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Wednesday, 29 October 2008

What's in a Preschool

Today as I was dropping Jack off to preschool I saw one of the teachers come back with 5 children all dragging some old dead branches from the park.  I wondered briefly what they were going to do with them as I went on my way.

When I got to preschool to pick Jack up this afternoon, there was this amazing structure built beneath the trees.

Ok I admit its slightly Blair Witch with the wool and stick crosses that the children made to decorate it, but its a pretty awesome structure none the less.

I love Jacks preschool, I think its a positive welcoming nurturing environment and its things like this structure that really remind me why I love it there.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Ideas About Christmas

I have been pondering the idea of Christmas.  How to explain the ideas behind it to the kids? what traditions to bring in? Who is santa? Who is St Nicolas? Why do we have christmas? What do I hope my children think we are celebrating?

I've been looking into loads of different websites and talking to other parents trying to answer these questions.

I loved this site on St Nicolas;

We have a few different books on Christmas, one that talks about the christian version of the christmas story, one that talks about the standard santa christmas story and one that is the australian version of the santa story.  None of them really summed up how I felt about christmas and so the search continues.

So I'd love to hear about your family traditions or the christmas stories you tell your children or grew up with, what are the best bits for you? I'd love to pinch them :)

The Rug

As promised, here is a photo of the rug Catriona made me for my 30th birthday and that I had in time for my 31st. 

Its made of 3 strips of flannel material plated together and then wound in an oval shape and stitched together.  The stitches are hidden on the inside so that although there is a front and back you could really have it either way round.  Because there is so much material in it, its a beautiful soft rug to and I have spent many hours standing on it rocking my babies to sleep.

She has the prototype of the same sort of rug in her lounge, and as much as I originally wanted to put mine in our lounge and decided not to cause the kids/dogs would trash it. In the end I'm glad its in my bedroom. It gives it the warmest comfy homely feel.

It totally deserves a post all to itself, its the most beautiful present I have ever received ......... I mean can you even imagine the amount of work that went into it and all while Catriona was doing her PhD.

Its divine, as is she, thank you my beautiful friend.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Lifes To Do List

Being a list maker it surprises me that I have never made a life 'to do' list. I think it might have something to do with the idea that I would come across the list again when I am 80 and feel like I haven't completed enough of them. In spite of that I am going to make a list of things I would like to do. The reason I feel comfortable doing it is that I am reasonably sure that the things that are on the list are either a) doable or b) so undoable that I will think of them as the flight of fancy of a 30 something. Oh and a disclaimer, the greater version of me would also love to cure cancer work for world peace and other grand ideas but then I really might look back at the list at 80 with a tear of regret.

1. Do astronaut training - I saw on one of the morning shows that they are starting commercial space flight. You know where you experience high range G forces, do the whole weight less training etc and the you go into a shuttle and fly around in orbit. I didn't catch how much a joy flight would be but I can dream, or start saving my pennies

2. Learn to be a fire twirler - its the pyromaniac in me I guess or that episode of Sea change where Miranda fell in love with a fire twirler and he wrote her name in the sand in fire ...... Who knew the fire twirler in me was a romantic

3. I think I will be a tad disappointed if I make it to 80+ and haven't figured out what my mutant super power is. Mind you it doesn't have to be a mutant super power, I'd settle for a spider bite or undiscovered dormant super gene. I will be very sceptical of movies and all of the cool things they have promised if it turns out I don't get to have a super power. Personally I'm hoping for a flying/teleporting power, but telekinesis or telepathy will do. I don't want one of the dodgy ones, like turning into a rock monster or not being able to touch anyone though. And being that I am intrinsically lazy I don't much want super strength or the ability to stretch, move fast or anything else that requires me to move a lot to use it.

4. I want to travel to; Africa (to many countries within to list), Morocco, Paris (I can take or leave the rest of France though I'm sure it beautiful), New York, Ireland (while I'm there I want to see that crazy race where they roll a wheel of cheese down the hill and run after it, not sure if I want to actually break my leg running after it but if I had to break my leg that's how I'd want it to go .... Actually is the cheese race in Ireland or Scotland? if it's in Scotland, Dad why didn't we make a special effort to see the cheese race?), Peru, Alaska (mainly for the aurora borealis) Antarctica, Tibet, Nepal and India. I'm sure there are others so consider these my top 10.

5. Go Zorbing - I think that's what its called. It's when you go inside a big clear plastic ball that has a smaller ball space inside and they roll you down the hill. It sounds a lot like the experience of going in the Zipper ride (Catriona and Andrew can contest to me loving the Zipper and both of them have sworn to never get on it with me again)
6. Interact with a Tiger/Cheetah - I'm not sure how I feel about those *come pat a tiger* type places so if I can't find a way of doing it without feeling that they are caging the tiger for my pleasure then maybe I could join that show Big Cat Diaries and then a cheetah will jump on my car
7. Go scuba diving - I actually find the idea of scuba diving scarier than anything else on the list, too many movies where people fall off the edge into a 4km deep chasm and get crushed by the pressure. I think I have underwater vertigo

8. Own a horse - speaks for itself really. I have wanted a horse since I was a little girl and I hope now that I am a financially independent adult one day I will see fit to fulfil my dream of owning one
9. Learn how to knit, crochet and sew - obviously the most achievable but I have tried knitting and it hard, the sewing thing relies on me understanding mums ancient sewing machine that tries to eat my creation or my hands and crocheting seem crazy hard (though I've heard its easy) how do you make all of those beautiful things with one little hook. I would also like to try my hand a batik, quilting, own a kiln and potters wheel, glass blowing, lead lighting, mosaics and welding
10. Have a go at being self sufficient - remember that show the good life, where the couple had a small suburban plot and had chickens, pigs, veges and an interfering neighbour. Well I don't mind if we had to do it on 50 acres of a 1/4 acre I would love to be able to produce more of our own food clothing drink etc and then barter for the rest. At the moment with two young boys and two large dogs our 6 meter by 8 meter garden doesn't seem quiet large enough to even produce a meal let alone be self sufficient ..... Maybe a roof top garden, hmm but that's where I want the pool :)

So that my top 10 life to do things as they stand today, as my post about my favourite music months ago has shown it could change at any moment (I mean really since when was rocketman by Elton John even close to one of top songs?) But it will do for now. I'll keep you updated on those super power ...... Unless that would give away my secret identity :)

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Unusual Things in my Day

• After his swim class today, Jack was super excited about getting to have a play and swim with his friends in the wading pool.  While I was talking the other parents the lifeguard started yelling 'get out of the water' to the kids, I ran over to make sure they were alright and it turns out that someone had done a poo in the pool *thankfully not one of mine*. Thanks Mr Lifeguard it took my boys 15 minutes to calm down and realise that you weren't yelling at them
• I was sitting on the loo (should I have titled this entry as unusual toilet related things in my day?) I watched the dog walk past shake and keep walking, I looked down, looked back up and saw the dog walk past shake and keep walking.  It was a very black cat matrix moment and now I'm wondering if someone is going to come and offer me a red pill green pill choice.
• We went to the local RSL club for dinner *no comments please* and suddenly over the intercom a man is talking, as usual in these situation I ignore what he is saying and suddenly everyone is standing facing west and having a minute of silence.  Note to self at 6pm RSL clubs have a little dedication to lost servicemen and women and it is not very *PC* to be squabbling with the kids through it.
• Tried to answer an exam question where you have to pick the correct 5 answers from a possible 7 and found info on all 7 being possibly right ! So I emailed my trainer with sources of all the answers I came up with and she said that she would look into it..... I wonder how she will help me without giving me the answer

All in all weird rainy and unusual day.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

What Would You Do?

I am going through the process of getting my head round Hamish starting preschool next year.  The big question is what two days should I put him in?
Points to consider;
• Preschool's rules are that for two days you can only pick from Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday
• Jack goes Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday
• Hamish knows a lot of the kids on the days Jack goes
• If he goes the same days as Jack, I will get 2 days where I am child less and can study/work/actually get stuff done
• Will Hamish interfere with Jacks preschool experience?
• Will Jack interfere with Hamish's preschool experience?
• Will Jack enjoy having Hamish at preschool?
• Will Hamish settle easier with Jack being there?
• Having them in separate days means that I will get 2 days alone with Jack

At this time of night I think that's it. In a perfect world I'd love them to cross over for only one day, but its not an option, so its all or nothing.  So I'm calling for ideas, ideals and any other points I haven't thought of to help me make sense of this tangle of ideas.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Ideas Underload

I was talking the other day to dad about how Jack was starting to listen to stories and not need pictures to enjoy the tale. So I have been making up stories before bed when we cant think of a book for him to read. Dad mentioned that I should write some of them down. At the time it seemed a wonderful idea, I often have story ideas running through my head but had never thought to write them down. I think I know why, suddenly I am totally underwhelmed at the ideas I have. I'm no writer but I guess that even Shakespeare went through periods of writers block ...... mind you can it be considered writers block if you haven't started writing anything yet :)

Friday, 17 October 2008

If the World Could Vote

Just a fluff site really, someone has asked people from around the world to vote on the American election. Go and throw your vote into the pile. Its interesting what countries have what breakdown between McCain and Obama.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Holiday Shots

Fire Twirlers - Learning to be a fire twirler #22 on my to do list

These beautiful puppets had lanterns in their heads and walked around glowing during the night, freaked out the kids a bit so it was good for them to have a talk to one during the day, i didn't add it but the next photo in this series is hilarious, the puppet bent down to talk to Hamish and he almost peed his pants.

After a hard night on the chai, everyone crashed out in the super chilled chai tent

Feeling relaxed after a swim in the Bellinger river, in my opinion the most beautiful part of the whole trip
Our Hill End camping spot, with Trish and Antonys awesome circus tent, and our Shangri-La

Finding a quiet space out of the heat

For the boy who loves to pick, camping wounds are manna from heaven

Hamish, completely content after playing in the sandpit with Jack and Arieal and probably about to get into mischief

Best friends take some time out from running squabbling and laughing to sketch the scenery

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

There's no Place like Home

One of the best bits about being away is feeling re invigorated about where we live.  I loved Bellingen and could happily imagine relocating there, but the key word there is imagine.  Sure my longer term plans will always involve moving out of Sydney, but as of this second 'I still love where we live'.

So as much as people envisaged that we would go for a holiday to Bellingen and never return to Sydney, the opposite has happened.  We have come back with ideas, loose plans and dreams that involve living in Sydney and making it a more comfortable existence.

Don't ask me how, or when, but today I'm looking forward towards a future here in our sweet little cul-de-sac, close to friends, and resources, occasionally complaining about the lack of space and wanting a vege patch, but knowing that we forgo those for kinship, convenience and familiarity.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Not a Poem ........

Driving alone, I still
Feel your feet
On the back of my chair
Like a missing arm
So a part of me
I feel you even when
You are not near

Global Carnival Come Down

I have been in communication blackout while we were in Bellingen, and now that I have a bit of signal and a bit of time I can't actually think of how to blog about it all. It was a mixture of frantic and peaceful, rippingly loud and pin drop quiet, safe and scary, but entirely fun, worthwhile, different and challenging.  So the highlights of the last 4 days;

- Camping in the Bellingen show ground with somewhere around 2000 other people.  It was such a party atmosphere, but felt like the kids were safe, people were respectful of each other, the grounds were lush, and everything was in close proximity.

- The divine Bellinger River, clear, crisp, sweet water.  The weather was extremely hot and humid through the day and after lunch and a rest we all piled down to the river to cool down and have a wash.  People swimming, jumping off the jetty, skinny dipping, making rock forts from the cold round rocks that line the bottom of the river. It was so beautiful and even though we haven't seen a shower since thursday we all felt chilled out for the evening music acts and went to bed feeling clean and refreshed.

- After chilling out in the Chai tent with the kids either happily being entertained by other people or asleep, I went next door to watch the Mermaids Daughter, a shadow puppet story told with spoken word, song, african harp and xylophone.

- The Crooked Fiddle Band, apparently the darlings of the festival scene.  We missed a fair bit of the set but they rocked the house.

- The whole carnival, great clothing stalls, food, the beautiful handmade lantern decorations that were at each gate or the puppet lanterns that walked around through the night.  People were super friendly and generous.  There were some wacky people, young, old, dreads piercings and gypsy skirts galore. At times I felt positively mainstream :).

- At one point we saw a man carrying a tiny baby, we chatted for a bit met his wife, and found that he was one of the carnival organisers.  Later while catching up with Trish and Antony we found that they had met someone we knew from Sydney who are also part of the carnival crew and they told them that the couple who had brought the farm Andrew and I wanted, had a brand new baby and were part of the crew.  So in some weird cross over of the planets we had met the couple that brought our house

- Everything finished on Sunday night and Monday morning 95% of the campers left.  We decided to stay another night, not sure if we would be told to go sooner.  Andrew and I drove past 'the farm' and the other properties we have checked out, had a drive around greater Bellingen looked in shops, had coffee and basically tried to get a feel for the town.  When we got back to the tent there were a few tents left and we had a very peaceful night with the oval almost to ourselves.

I could go on and on, the whole last 4 days have been so full of experiences and memorable times.  I loved Bello, I loved the carnival and we all had a fantastic time.

Next stop Hill End and camping by the river, it will be a quieter more laid back part of the trip.  I might get some book read Andrew might do some fishing and hopefully we all find some peaceful energy to bring home with us.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

A Good Start

Its night 1 of our holiday and today was the day I was probably most worried about.  How would our kids cope with the drive, where would we stay, would we end up arguing the whole way and stopping late at some flea bitten hotel, or worse.

The good news is that the kids travelled exceptionally well, actually the reason we stopped was because Andrew had had enough and we just over an hour or so out. Close enough not to have to drive for long tomorrow.

We stopped on Port Maquarie.  It seems to be a nice seaside destination.  Its built up and busy, not the sort of place we would want to come and stay but great for an over night stop over.

On the way in I said that we should stay somewhere nice as long as it wasn't TO $$.  We pulled into the Rydges and again its the perfect place for a decadent stop over.

There is a pub that does sufficiently good food next door and it has a beer garden that links onto a grassed area by the water so the kids happily played and ran while we sat and had a glass of wine breathing in the salty air

The best bit is we scored an upgrade from a double room to a two room suite, complete with two bathrooms, free organic mini soaps etc we might actually use and a 5th floor balcony over looking the town (yes it would have been better to have over looked the water but beggars can't be chooses).

All in all a great start to our holiday, I can't wait to get going again in the morning ..... Stopping at the pancake place by the water for brekky on the way.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Global Carnival Here we Come !!!

Its been a bit quiet on the blogging front and the reason for that is that we have been getting ready to go on holidays. We are heading to Bellingen to go to the Global Music Carnival. Then we are taking a week to potter round bello and surrounds, with no real schedule or timetable.

I'm sure there will be loads to share while we are on the road,but getting ready for 10 days camping with our 2 boys has taken me a bit of organising.

I cant wait, to feel the sun on my back, the Bellinger river under my feet and get into nature a bit with our dearest friends and some good music......
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