Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fun with shaving cream!

It’s amazing how such simple things can amuse kids for hours! I often find that the toys we have in this house get played with for all of about 5 minutes before being put aside in preference for some other activity like unloading the dishwasher or hanging out the washing or something else that ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’ are doing. This is why we don’t like to have many toys (that and the fact that we just don’t have room in this house for lots of toys!) Luckily, the kids love being outside and can spend ages out there playing.

The other day I decided to pull out the shaving cream and some muffin trays, spoons and utensils for the kids to play with. Shaving cream is a great tactile activity for kids and something we used to use for the kids with special needs I taught. I didn’t do it this time but you can even add some food colouring into the shaving cream so kids can experiment with making different colours. The kids had a ball and spent ages playing happily together (something that rarely happens with these two kids!) Esme’s reaction was a bit funny when she touched the shaving cream, I don’t think she really liked the feel so I ended up getting a bucket of water out for her to play in.

We love our puddlewear too! It’s great for this kind of messy stuff and for getting outside in the wet weather.

Esme ‘feels’ the shaving cream:


Jacob making muffins:


Playing happily together:


Water play is so much fun:


Thursday, September 17, 2009

We made it into the papers!

Well, the local papers that is ;) Our meeting with our local MP, Jason Wood and attendance at the homebirth rally made it into our local news.

Here we are in the Ferntree Gully, Belgrave Mail and Ranges Trader Mail (minus photo that is actually in the paper!) I'm not quite sure where the journalist got the bit about having a 'midwife birth in hospital with a raft of guidelines' but she got the general gist of what I was saying!

And again in the Berwick and District Journal (with photo ;) )

It was lovely to see so many articles about the homebirth rally in local papers around the country too, we're really getting the message out there!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My first attempt at cloth pads

There's so many reasons to convert to cloth pads...It's cheaper, it's better for the environment, they're more comfy...the list goes on!

I have been meaning to get around to making some cloth pads for myself for quite awhile. I actually bought all the material at least a month ago and it has sat around since then! I finally took the plunge on the weekend and got around to making some. I was quite impressed with how easy and quick they are to make!

I used the patterns and vaguely followed the instructions on this site for the panty liner and 11inch pad. Both of them turned out really well. The panty liner is made from two layers of flannelette and two layers of hemp. I changed the instructions a bit and inside of making the two parts separate I made them all together and top stitched around the outside. The pad is made with two layers of flannelette, two layers of bamboo and a layer of PUL.

Panty liner on left and 11 pad on right:

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Folded up and ready to use:


I still have to make a few more but I’m looking forward to going cloth instead of using more plastic and putting it in landfill!

In the future I would also like to try the menstrual cup but I'm still working my way through the huge stash of tampons I purchased before I got pregnant :(

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Homebirth rally in Canberra

It seems I've become quite the activist lately! For someone who's not very politically minded this is a break through!! It's all to do with the government's plan to make sure that registered midwives have public indemnity insurance. All good in theory but midwives who attend homebirths can not get public indemnity insurance which effectively means that once the new legislation is passed they will be practising illegally and will face a $30,000 fine or a jail term. Ridiculous, isn't it? It's not only taking away the rights of woman who homebirth and those that support them but it's taking away the rights of all women - we're going back to the dark ages when women had no rights! Because the homebirth community is a minority (approx 700 people a year in Australia homebirth) apparently we don't matter. The thing that really irks me is that a woman can still choose to have a c-section and have a highly interventionist birth that cost the tax-payer thousands of dollars, uses up resources in hospitals and no one even blinks an eye at that. In comparision, a homebirth costs relatively little and has been shown to have the best outcomes for mother and baby (when attended by a registered health professional) It was quite ironic that 3 days before this rally, Nicola Roxon decided to make an announcement that there would be a 'reprieve' on this legislation and it wouldn't come into effect until 2012 now. That decision doesn't really mean a lot and seems like a rather cowardly response. It just means our fight will be much more prolonged!!

Anyway, a huge rally was organised in front of Parliament house in Canberra on the 7th of September which I attended. It was an absolutely awesome day and it was such an inspiration to be surrounded by such strong women. I think there ended up being about 3000 people who attended and we came from all over the country. Izzy and I (and Esme ;) ) flew up to Canberra on Sunday night and stayed with Melanie and her daughter Rebecca at the hotel. We headed off to the rally in the morning to meet with our local MP, Jason Wood (member for Latrobe). It was great to chat to Jason about our concerns and so wonderful to find him supportive of our cause. I felt like he genuinely cared about our cause, he was interested in what we had to say and asked lots of questions. Turns out we were even the focus of his speech in parliament the next day! We're hoping to make it into the local newspapers too as Jason's office was going to do a press release.

The actual rally was awesome. We started off the rally at the Aboriginal tent embassy to receive an official welcome from the original land owners and then walked as a group up to the lawns in front of parliament house where the formal part of the rally began. So many people and so lovely to see so many pregnant bellies (you included, Izzy ;) ) and kids and babies. We had Tracy Bartram as MC who was great, she has also homebirthed and breastfed her son until he was 3.5 years old. We heard from various politicians (some good and some not so good ;) ) and Sarah Buckley. The official part was finished off by some songs about homebirth that people had written. 'Song to Nicola Roxon' was a huge hit lol. If I find a link to the 'official proceedings' I will add that in later. There were media there during the rally but disappointing to see that we didn't get much of a mention on the news. We watched channel 10 at the airport and there was absolutely nothing on there about the rally!!

The rally went for a couple of hours all up. Once it was over we headed off to find some lunch and thaw out in Melanie's car. I can't say the weather was ideal for this sort of thing (it poured with rain on and off throughout the rally) but it didn't put a dampener on the spirit of anyone attending the rally!

We will continue to fight for homebirth on our terms!!!

Photos to come...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Father's Day

We had a pretty uneventful Father’s Day this year. Chris wanted to stay at home (we’ve been so busy lately!), so stay at home we did! I thought I’d try something different this year for Chris’ present. I’ve been experimenting with applique lately so thought I’d get the kids to do some footprints and handprints and applique them onto a t-shirt. I was a bit worried about how it would all turn out, especially as I was doing it at the last minute (Chris was banished to the room upstairs while I worked on it last night ;) ) but I think it turned out well in the end!

Here’s some pics of the t-shirt (including close ups!)


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And some of Daddy with his little boy ;)



ABA calendar

I've just found out that our tandem feeding photo, taken by our photographer Vicky Leon, has made it into the 2010 ABA calendar. It came as a bit of a surprise! Vicky had emailed a while ago to say our photo was being considered for the calendar but I hadn't heard anything more. I looked at the calendar the other day and was excited to see that the photo was in there! We're the month of February ;) The only thing I don't like about the photo is that you can't see my face but I think I had my head down to concentrate on keeping them both attached. It's tricky stuff this tandem feeding business ;)

Here's a link to the ABA calendar with the photo in it

And here's the actual photo:

And another tandem feeding photo (just 'cause I like it!):

A day at the goat farm

Yesterday we headed up to Kirsti's for our ABA barbeque. Kirsti and her family live up in Wandin and own a goat farm - kid heaven (yes, both human children and goats lol) It was a lovely day with great company and great food. Kate was there with Harrison and Claire and Izzy, Tom and Oscar came too. Esme and Jacob had a ball. Esme was so excited to see the goats and kept trying to kiss them all! Jacob just ran around the paddock chasing the goats and trying to pick them up (poor things!)

I think the highlight of the day though was Oscar jumping into the goat’s water fully clothed! Clothes were soon discarded! He looked a tad cold by the end of it all though ;)

Here's some photos of our shenanigans:

Waiting to go in to the paddock and baby goats!


Tim showing Esme a goat and Esme ‘kissing’ a goat!


More kisses and pats


Jacob chasing the goats and trying to pick them up!




Kate and Claire


Esme having a ride on Daddy’s shoulders (all was good until Esme grabbed his hair and ear!)


Esme's first birthday!!

Well, I did mean to write this after Esme's birthday but it's now more than a week later and I'm only just writing it! Time passes by too quickly...I still can't believe my little girl is ONE already! Where did the year go? Jacob's first year seemed to go so slowly, it was a really hard year with him but I have just been enjoying every moment with Esme. Life is so busy with two kids (can't believe I still want more!!) that time passes by so quick and Esme has grown up before I have even noticed! I still think of her as my little baby and it's only after seeing her around little babies that I suddenly realise that she no longer is, she's a little girl with a very unique and determined personality!!

Esme has learned to do so much in her first year. She went from rolling at a couple of months old to crawling at 6 months and walking at 11 months. She is a big climber and likes to get herself stuck in some very interesting places, on the blackboard ledge, through the handles of the walker. Her favourite place to climb is Jacob's high chair which she uses to hop on the kitchen table. Even though she's pretty good at getting down herself, we have to make sure we tip it over so she can't climb it when we're not around! Esme has a very BIG personality! It seems I have two kids with VERY different personalities. While Jacob is quite reserved and quiet (in public ;) ) Esme is the little socialite! She loves to do things to grab people's attention and always has a smile for everyone. She has a very distinct 'cheeky look' that she gives as she goes off to do something she shouldn't be doing!

We celebrated Esme's special day with dinner with Nanna and Granddad and a little cupcake with a candle (which was gobbled down very quickly I might add!) Then, on the Sunday, we had a party at my Mum and Dad's for her. It was a lovely day shared with close family and friends who have been a big part of Esme's life so far.

Here’s some photos from her actual birthday (photos from party still to come – we were a bit too busy to take photos so had to rely on others ;) )

Unwrapping presents with some help from big brother (she’s got the idea already though!)


Giving her new doll a kiss


The cake


And no first birthday is complete without a cake eating photo!!

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