Sunday, 31 May 2009

Mountains Birth

2am Friday, my friend who had asked me to be her doula, text me and said that she had had a show (lost her plug), saying that she would call me when her labour started to happen.  Thirty minutes later she called and said she felt she needed us (me and the midwife) to be there as soon as possible.

I jumped into the car and drove the hour and a half up the mountains, I was 15 minutes behind the midwife and her baby boy was born 15 minutes after I arrived.

As I walked in the door, I heard her roar my name and I walked over to the birth pool lit by a small lamp and the crackling fire to see her baby was already crowning.

After he was born, I held her older daughter, we took photos, we drank chai, waited for the placenta to be born.  Then we talked, laughed, the mother held her new baby to her breast and he nuzzled and licked until he felt ready to try and feed, and then we tucked the mother father and their two beautiful children into bed.  The midwife and I tidied up the birth space, put washing on, washed up the dishes and smiled at how fast and brilliantly the family had done, welcoming this new child into their family.

It was quick, quiet and truly lovely.  I felt so blessed to be a part of this life changing event in these peoples lives.  I was also reminded once again at the way a homebirth allows a family to take this huge change into their own hands as I watched their little girl taking photos, and then feeling the need to strip of her clothes and be wrapped in a towel, rocked and sung to as she assimilates this new baby and what he will mean for her life, she holds his hands, talking to her parents and I about what had just happened, she goes to her mum to be held after a while, to breastfeed and to be reminded that this new child does not mean her place has been overtaken just changed.

I left the warm cave of their house on a high, remembering my own birth, loving my job that gives me that chance to be with them, to help in my small way.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Bedtime Embrace

He wakes gently, sitting upright with a smile.  He looks over and sees me laying here watching him as he stirs.  We catch each others gaze, sleepy, soft and warm.  He gets out of bed and tiptoes over to me climbs under the covers and holds me for a moment caressing my back with his warm hands.  It has become a nightly ritual and one I look forward to every night, quietly I whisper into his ear 'I love you' eyes closed he murmurs back 'I love you to mumma'

He doesn't know the time, to him it may have only been moments since I tucked him in to bed, but I know it has been hours and every night I am reminded of those times when he was small enough to fit in my lap and how I would wait impatiently, filled with awe of this new love, for him to wake so I could kiss him again.

He opens his eyes and kisses me then crawls out of my bed and back into his.  If only I could bottle these perfect moments of motherhood, love and soft nightly embraces.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Be Brave and Courageous

Today the kids and I met some friends and their kids at the Australian Museum.  We had a great morning, looking at skeletons, bugs touching, animal skins, playing in the interactive spaces and generally learning all about the natural world.  Beside one little flip out over waiting for a turn on the computer to colour a dinosaur, all went very smoothly and it made me think, we live 15 minutes from the city where there are all manner of cool activities and because we live so close its OK to go and only spend an hour or two checking things out, so why don't we go and do these thing more often?

When I was growing up my dad used to talk about trying to live my life by the motto, be brave and courageous...... What happened to that?

When Hamish was born, as a matter of necessity, we started only doing small activities during the day, it just seemed to hard to drag a little baby and a toddler out to do anything much, but they are getting older and still it seems to take a lot of mental energy to prepare myself for bigger activities.

Today was a great reminder that I do need to be braver and more courageous with the activities I do with the kids, funnily I would happily travel overseas, move somewhere out of our comfort zone, or do anything with the children as long as Andrew was with me, but on my own, a trip the the museum or on the bus, or to the zoo seems so incredibly hard.

One of the benefits of moving through to the other side of the baby phase that I was talking about last post is that these things are easier than I give them credit for, the kids enjoy them more and I am now able to handle any meltdowns.

So my new motto for the next few months is to spend time remembering how to be brave and courageous in my mothering and to try and chill out with the ideas of getting the kids to 'behave' in these environments, because the enjoyment I get from my kids loving these excursions is more than enough reward.

I See Dead People !

Girls Like To Look At Pink While Contacting The Dead

Ouija 4 Girls!


Wednesday, 20 May 2009

What About Me?

Last night the boys slept in bed together and for the first time they both slept through the night without me.  Jack slept for 9 hours with me waking him to wee when I went to bed and Hamish slept for 7.  After 4 1/2 years of being woken multiple times a night, you think I'd be over the moon, and part of me is, but the other part is a little freaked out.  

This month seems to be about the children moving onto the next stage and me feeling like my time as a mother of very young children is passing.  We are looking at schools for Jack, Hamish is barely breastfeeding any more, Jack is also going through a bit of a rebellious testosterone driven stage and now they are sleeping without me.  All good and normal stuff, I logically know this and have been repeating this mantra in my head all month but still scary, foreign and a little sad. 

I love being a mother to young children, I love almost everything that comes with it, breastfeeding, babywearing, singing to sleep, fitting on my lap, baths together, giggles, loving mummy like I am all there is in the world, I didn't even mind the nappies.  Sure there were hard parts, lots of them, but as a whole it was an amazing ride.

What comes next is unknown, and I'm sure in different and wonderful ways it will be fulfilling and beautiful, but for the moment I need a little time to start grieving the baby and toddler stage.  

I won't miss the frequent waking or the way that being sleep deprived affected the way I felt about myself and the way I mothered, I won't miss the tantrums that no amount to patience, words or anger seemed to fix, I wont miss the babywearing until I felt my back and legs could hold me no more, or the long car rides with distraught babies, mostly I won't miss the disconnection from Andrew because we always had a baby either physically or figuratively in between us. 

And so I will pine for a while, maybe a long while, maybe in some ways for the rest of my life, for the relationship between mother and baby, for being needed (a lot) and for the closeness that the boys and I have that will change as they grow.  And today while I am happy for the sleep and the closeness that the boys have with each other that means they are content to sleep together, I still feel a little sad for the passing of my babies as they move into the next stage and I wonder what will that mean for me.......

Jack and I when I was 8 months pregnant

Hamish, not letting go of mummy's leg

The kids at a party last weekend, thats Jack with the orange pants on and yes that is Hamish hanging upside down about 4 meters off the ground.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Babies for Profit

Today I went to a Babies expo, and worked on the HAS stand.  Once again it was a mixture of great talks with people who had either thought about homebirth and needed someone to talk it over, and people walking past saying loudly 'homebirth! are they fucking kidding'.  

When I go to these expos, I am amazed by the amount of peripheral crap they try to sell us when we are getting ready to have our babies.  Today's real eye openers were; 
- The toddler urinal
- The 30+ line of people trying to grab their 50% off bottles
- The amount of devices to help protect your child from touching anything that resembles germs
- And again the most amazing amount of crap that is marketed as 'baby needs'. 

I spent 1/2 the time I was there wanting to grab these women on buying frenzies and tell them that all you really NEED is love and a set of boobs, the lesser needs are a sling, some nappies and some clothes.  

The creams, pushing devices, swinging devices, toys for brain stimulation, bottles, sterilizers, breastfeeding covers, baby sunglasses, feet casting, bottled food, toddler formula, cribs, cradles, cots, pram covers, wraps, sleeping bags, and a hundred other things that people seem to think of as NEEDS are really just excess, some might help, a lot could hinder, and some actually get in the way of you and your baby finding your own rhythms and cycles.

Mothers and children (and fathers to a lesser but no less important degree) really just need each other, babies need to be nurtured and loved, and all of these devices and gimmicks, just get in the way.  The more we feel we need 'things' to complete ourselves and our babies the less we understand and believe that we have everything we need already.

OK, that's the end of my rant, I'm feeling a little emotional tonight, after the expo we went to the open day at one of the schools that we are thinking about sending Jack to next year.  It seemed like a good place, but it made me remember how little Jack is and how unready I feel to take this next step with him, but more about that when I am feeling a little more clear and much less emotional.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

The Nature of Love

As we were driving home from Bowral today a song came on the radio, it reminded me of a time in high school where the boy of my 'then' dreams and I were laying on the grass during a free period, I rember lying there wishing he knew how amazing I thought he was, wishing that he would ask me out or that I could ask him.  As we lay there suddenly he held my hand and said 'imagine how wonderful it would be if we both fell asleep and we could meet in our dreams, then we could do whatever we liked'.

I fell in love with him that day, and although the moment was fleeting and he never did ask me out, nor I him, he will always stay in that little corner of my heart saved for people I once loved.

Love is one of those things that people have very different perspectives of, I know a friend who holds the word so sacred, she has only told a handful of people that she loves them, and others use it as a throw away term, luv ya, I sit somewhere in the middle.  I have loved and do love many people, men, women, friends, lovers children and adults.  Does the fact that I feel love for more people make my love less pure?

One of the greatest things about loving easily is that I have also been loved regularly, openly and easily by others.  In fact one of the best compliments that I have ever received was from mum just after she met Andrew for the first time, she said if she could have one of my characteristics for herself it would be the way these wonderful men love me.  She was right I have been loved almost as much as I have loved.

With love also comes heartbreak and I have been heartbroken almost as many times as I have been in love, but once the rawness has passed even heartbreak is a gift.  Like a firestorm that leaves everything looking charred and black but is really a way of stimulating new growth.

So no I don't think my easily given love is less pure, and although I'm sure there are some great reasons to hold love so tightly, and declare it so rarely, there are also some huge gifts to giving it easily, and even if I only loved for a week, or a night, or an afternoon laying on the grass, I hold them tightly in my heart.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Mothers Day

I have been thinking a lot recently about mothers.  We all only have one mother, but many of us, me included, were raised by a lot of women, and so on this Mothers Day even I would like to make note of all of the women who were instrumental in raising me.

Of course firstly there is my mother, I have spoken about her in length on the blog. I have raved about what a wonderful mother she was, about how much I miss her in my and my children's lives, mostly I hope that I have conveyed what an amazing spirit and woman she was.  She thought it was as important that I cared for others as it was that I stood up for myself, that I could apply eyeliner as well as I could change a car tire and mostly she did everything in her power to make sure that I felt safe, nurtured and free as a child, person and woman.

There is my stepmother.  She is intelligent, strong, and elegant, most people that know her though would be most taken with her humour and her laugh, that can make a room stand still just so that they can laugh with her.  I am thankful for her being in my life and the lessons she has taught me about life and being a woman.  She taught me how to hold myself, how to love my dad, what fork to use when, and so many life lessons big and small that I can not imagine my life without her.

There is my Aunt Libby, she has always been the woman I could turn to when I was in more trouble than I was willing to talk to mum about, she opened her house and heart to me many times, reminded me that although I was an only child I had a family that was willing to accept me and love me no matter what.

There are the 2 mothers of my childhood friends.  One who gave me a lot of love and acceptance but also by being so different from the other women around me, she gave me a another perspective, even though I don't agree with it, it certainly made for a well rounded way of thinking, with things like 'don't clink your fork on your teeth or boys will think badly of you' she was also the first one to tell me I either needed to start wearing a bra or stop wearing a white shirt.  The other is up there with the strongest women I know, she taught me to think outside the square, that love comes in many forms, sometimes its not about hugs and cuddles but about challenges and even some well placed criticism.  The relationship between her and her husband was something to be admired and her openness and expressiveness has always (especially during the formative years) shaped and guided the way I think.

There are also the 100s of other women that came in and out of my life during my childhood and adolescents, each one of them left an idea, or feeling, admiration, or lesson that has formed the basis of who I am.

Finally, a few photos of my mum.  Happy Mothers day mum ... everyday you were part of my life made me into who I am, and I will always feel the space that your death left in my heart and in my children's lives.  Thank you, I love you, always.

Random Photos from April

Its been the sort of week, where you are so busy you can hardly think, but nothing is interesting enough to blog about, so I thought that I would just do a random photo post.

This is actually a photo of the picture behind the boys.  At preschool the children were asked to do a joint painting while thinking about the patterns of Australia.  Over a period of 3 weeks about 20 of the children added to it, with pencil, pen, texta, water colour paints, and acrylic paints.  Then the preschool auctioned it off in an open auction.  Needless to say, I won the auction, the photo does not do it justice at, its so beautiful and intricate, it has all of the children's names worked into it around the sections that they worked on, and Jack and Hamish's name are in it which makes it extra special, you really need to look at it in the morning light it's a very beautiful piece and I'm glad that I was able to snaffle it :)

The photo speaks for itself really! preschool, had a parent teachers night out, there were a few big names missing but those of us that were able to go had a blast, all be it a bit messy. 

Jack at the top of a high climbing frame. 

I am beginning to realise just how much older he is getting, it is quiet a new concept, to him as well. The confidence he is getting in his body and in his opinions, comes a lot of new challenges, and conquests, joys and hardships.  My lap is no longer as fitting a bed, and the idea that he wants to care for and challenge me occasionally is as delightful as it is confronting, ahh to parent a 4 year old.

This is really just a beautiful photo of my avid little climber, over the past few months Hamish and I have come to understand each other and communicate with each other better than ever before, and although we occasionally still clash as I think we always will, it is lovely to have a more symbiotic and balanced time together 

Last but not least, this is a photo of Hamish at the bike races.  He and Andrew had their first real father and son outing.  Andrew and Antony took Hamish and Innes to the bike races along with protective ear wear, a great day was had by all, even if Hamish escaped to have a closer look at the pits :)

Monday, 4 May 2009

Man Cooks a Chicken

Ok so this is a weird one, but I was watching Good News Week for the first time since the new season, and they were talking about how Christopher Walken is a Twitterholic and apparently his Tweets are really enjoyable and then they mentioned that there is this random YouTube video of him cooking a chicken.

Well I looked and sure enough there is .... so really this is another addition to my list of people have to much time on their hands :)

On that point though, I'm really not into Twitter ... I'm on it but I don't get it.  I follow Treena, Nick and Neil Gaiman and truly it spins me out.  I love anything that brings me a little further into Treena and Nicks lives because they live so far away, but Neil Gaimans Tweets are random and definitely not directed at me ... so even though I'm a huge fan why should I care, plus he writes somewhere around 50 tweets a day, so who can keep up and who IS he talking too .... ahhhhh.  So who is reading Kevin Rudds Tweets? or other famous people who Tweet? what are they gaining, because so far I have not learnt anything interesting about Neil, although I have seen quiet a few more photos of his dog than I ever needed.

Ok rant finished, Christopher Walken, strange! (nothing new there) and Twitter, pointless? 

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Family Recipe

Well its not exactly a family recipe but today my mums side of the family had a catchup because one of my American cousins and 3 of her friends had come to Sydney for a visit.  We all said that we would bring a plate of food and when I woke in the morning I had no idea what to make, so I took down a pot of vege soup.  I was a bit nervous about how it would be received but everyone asked me for the recipe, a few of them even reminding me as we were leaving ... so I don't think they were just being polite *grin*

This could be one of the most random blog posts I have done so far, but as I was facebooking the recipe to my cousins I was also thinking about what I could blog about tonight and figured I could kill 2 birds with one stone and what the heck, a few of you might actually like it xx

Here is the recipe for todays soup to the best of my ability xx


1 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp minced Ginger
2 tsp Garlic
1 can Tinned Tomatoes
2 tsp Cumin Ground
2 tsp Coriander Ground
1 tsp Ground Fennel (optional)
1 tsp Tumeric
1 tsp Ginger Ground (optional, can use more fresh)
4 liters Chicken Stock
2 cups water
1/2 a Butternut Pumpkin cubed
1 medium Sweet Potato cubed
4 small Potatoes cubed
1 bunch Silverbeet/spinach shredded
1/2 bunch fresh parsley 


  • Heat oil in the pot, add ginger, garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, fennel, and tumeric.
  • Lightly cook so that the flavours release.
  • Add tomatoes, and cook them off a bit then add the stock.
  • Chop, pumpkin, sweet potato, and potatos, bring to the boil and then simmer until the veges are cooked.
  • Once they are soft add the silverbeet and parsley and cook until it all looks cooked, at this point if the soup is looking like it needs more water add enough to make it look more like a soup and less like a casserole and bring to boil and season to taste, eat as is or blend until smoothish. Serve with sour cream

Note; I put in whatever is in the fridge its become my ... 'what's in the fridge that if i don't use in the next few days I'm going to have to chuck out' soup. So you can also add/substitute;

Fresh Tomato
Fresh Coriander
Natural Yogurt (instead of sour cream)
1/2 a packet of split peas/lentils/brown rice (need more water) to make it more filling but it makes the soup much thicker.
Rocket instead of silverbeet (nice if you add it at the end and let it be just wilted and not blended in)
Cube Chicken breast (just make sure you put it in before the vege and let it boil for about 5 minutes)
Use Vege stock, or just add 4 liters of water, season with salt and pepper and add some Italian herbs/dried oregano/basil/thyme.

The reason its hard to give you a specific recipe is that with the spices i really just do them to taste so if i taste it 1/2 way through and i feel its a bit boring i add more. I've really guessed with those measurements because i just use the end of a spoon to get them out .... 

Enjoy xx
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