Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nifty!




Check it out, these were taken 10 minutes ago! Bought this cool bottle for Bryn last week, the top compartment (the clear part) is for storing snacks and has a flip top lid, while the straw (which folds down when not in use) goes through the top compartment into the bottom compartment for drinks... Thusly, toddlers can manage snacks and drink with one easy container, not having to worry about juggling two and possibly spilling the contents (do I sound like an ad yet?)...

Anyhoo, B just couldn't get the hang of this new contraption, specifically the sucking through the straw part...

So, anyway, just a while ago, he gets a hold of Erik's drink glass containing reminants of rice milk, and has a swig, from all the smacking of his lips I could tell he LIKED the rice milk, so I poured a little into his sippy cup (previously only used for ebm and water), and he gulped it down! (it was only a tiny bit) So, then I put a bit into his new drink bottle with some water mixed in, and lo and behold, he started sucking for dear life!!! Hahahaha!

So, this is great! It means he can drink water this summer on hot days (of course, I'll still be breastfeeding him all through the day, but it means I can also get a break once in a while), and it means that next time he gulps down all the ebm I've left with Dad if I should want to, say, go have a coffee all by my lonesome, or heavens! see a movie! He can still have this thirst quenched, if not with plain water, then with watered down rice milk (if he's upset)... Oh happy day!

(oh, notice how the straw and the drinks section of the bottle are a solid colour??? So convenient for parents wanting to discretely put Coke in their toddler's drink container, don't you think?)

Freebirthing

Freebirthing
The subject of freebirthing (unassisted child birth), has recently come up on AB, and I've found myself revisiting the subject, reading sites and blogs on it that I'd previously checked out. I had another look at the Autonomous Birth blog...

Ok, one assumption behind free birthing is that birth is part of the sexual continuum, and hold the same level of intimacy between the woman and her child, or the woman, her child and her partner, as the act which created the child.

On an entry I just read there was a description of the blogger's first understanding of this sacred intimacy when she attended a friend's birth and witnessed the friend labouring in the embrace of her partner, and the blogger realised the feeling that she should not be there, that this was an intimate time. Now, the blogger isn't naive enough to assume the reader would take that feeling alone as the legitimation of freebirthing as the ultimate birth process, so she shows that that, indeed, the labouring woman had also be uncomfortable with the presence of others at her labour and birth. This consensus between these women acts at the legitimation of freebirth.

A few things occurred to me when reading this...

Firstly, I was reminded of a birth I attended where I also witnessed the intimacy of the relationship between the birthing woman and her partner, and I also felt that sense of "I shouldn't be here", that I was silently (in a darken room), witnessing something so intimate and sacred, that I was acting as a voyeur. I don't know that this woman or her partner felt the same, it has never come up in conversation. What I do know is that this experience, as much as I was concerned with my own feelings, had very little, if anything, to do with me. What I felt and thought was irrelevant. This woman's birth was not about me and my feelings.

The other thing that occurred to me. Even though I have also felt the sting of having my "birth bubble" burst by the well-meaning, but intrusive presence of my midwife and my Dh, I would not assume that my feelings on this translate to the entirety of womanhood, even if there are other women who feel the same way I felt. I also feel completely unselfconscious in my nakedness during labour and birth, despite birthing in front of complete strangers, but would presume to tell other women they should feel the same way I do about being naked in front of strangers during their labours.

Finally, and I realise that this could be something particular to me, but for me, at least, birth has never felt like and intimate sexual act continuum. I had one orgasmic birth (my most intervened birth), but my Dh and I have never connected during a labour or birth. This could be, most possibly is, because he withdraws in fear, but then again, I don't know that we have ever connected in conception either. We love each other deeply, but our children were never conceived as a result of our love making, but rather as a result of optimally timed conception sex.

Perhaps this is where we "went wrong"?

I don't know :).

What I do know is that because some women (and theirpartners) feel the very understandable, to me, need for privacy in birth (I do totally understand this because I've felt the same in the wake of all my births, my own ideal would be to having a circle of friends at my birth, but them moment my baby was born, they all left the room, and left me with my baby until I called them back), for those women who don't feel this need, for those women who DO want the presence of a midwife, or Dr or friends, or whatever, that's all good too.

There IS no one way to feel. There is no "right" way to birth. If you don't feel what another woman feels, it doesn't mean you've missed the point, or not had the ultimate experience, and if you did you'd understand. Feelings that are particular to individuals and even groups cannot be translated to the whole population. That would be like saying, if I tried base jumping I'd experience the exhilaration and the freedom that other base jumpers feeling, and if I didn't it would be because I was holding on to imfect fears, and if only I could release those fears I'd be free to experience the "rightness" of base jumping. Well, sure, IF I could become a base jumper, feel what they felt, then yes, of course I'd feel that exhilartion and freedom because I'D BE THEM!

As much as we all want others to feel what we feel, to experience our feelings on any situation imagineable (wouldn't I LOVE for other to feel the incredible sadness and rage I feel over babies being left to cry themselves to sleep - if everyone felt what I felt they'd UNDERSTAND how cruel that practice is, and they'd IMMEDIATELY cease and disist, and the world would be more perfect and ideal), as much as that would be wonderful, unless they can become us, with our life experiences and understanding of the world, it ain't gonna happen...

It's just a tad Narcissistic to assume you own feelings on a matter are the only right way, even if you can find a bunch of people who agree with you. Hey, a huge number of people seem to agree that birth is dangerous and must be overseen by trained medical staff, and surely if we felt and understood what *they* feel and understand, we'd agree... A growing number of people don't agree, and in the circles I travel in NOT feeling and understanding what those medical staff feel and understand is a good thing...

So, yeah, Congratulations to everyone who has found and experienced their birth ideal, whatever that may be, don't let anyone tell you that if you could just experience *their* birth ideal, you'd understand, you'd be a BELIEVER too, because you can be darn sure they have no interest whatsoever in feeling and understanding what YOU feel and understand... No matter how perfect you feel your birth experience was (or how awful you feel it was, and want to prevent others from experiencing the same)...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More pics from today...

Went over to Jayne's today for an aromatherapy party... Tried to get some shots of all the kids there... I found out it's harder to take decent photos of kids you don't know particularly well... Which is why I got plenty of my kids and Jayne's kids, but proportionately less of the other kids (I have them, just don't feel like showing them off)...










Taking the plunge!

Time to take the camera off auto settings and learn a little bit about the manual settings... This morning I had a play with ISO and WB... It's hard because I can barely see what the settings are on the camera! Don't know what they really mean either, so just trying to get a "feel for them" so to speak, by trying them out... Here are a few shots I got... None of there have been digitally altered...

Bryn (like Luey) always sticks his tongue out while concentrating...

Looking a bit vacant, hehehe..

This one is a little blurry, but I liked the shape and contrast of Luey's face against the couch. Luey have a very ethereal quality to his looks (I think)...

This is Erik feigning startled, LOL, he's such a little actor!

Luey spots something interesting out the window...

I just love the shape of Bryn's hands!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Playing with hue and saturation...



Mini fun!

We took the boys to the local miniature railway today. The weather was great, so that was a blessing. Thanks to Jen for the heads up on a lovely pathway that would take us directly there from one of our local streets, too! We had a lovely walk.

The boys really enjoyed riding the miniature trains, they went on two rides each (at $2 per ride per person, it's VERY inexpensive fun!) with Dave and I taking turns taking them (so we each got a ride as well, the big kids that we are!)... Then there was a lunch of pies and sausage rolls!

Grabbed a few photos, but unfortunately most of them didn't turn out (that's what you get when you're legally blind and can't really tell if you're in focus or not looking through the lense...). Got a few ok shots though. Had a bit of a play with them in photoshop pushing the colour up and whatnot (seems to be the thing to do atm, LOL).. I'm espeically happy with the photo of Dave and Bryn (so hard to get a decent photo of Dave, he's always grimacing!), and I like the feel of the one of the boys on the path...







Saturday, August 26, 2006

Pics from today!

Some photos from today...

Luey read, taken without flash (I have to learn how to do that apeture thing magiggy...)

Bryn playing with a puzzle...

This is the look you get from your one year old when you say, "Hey! Not for bubba!" in a sing-songy kind of way...

Luey trying to get a different perspective on Bryn's toys...

Bryn trying to figure out what the bigger boys do with these plastic disc thingies... He ended up trying to juggle them...

Beautiful smiley boy!

Ooooh, finally got a good silhouette, and all my chance, Luey just happened to be mucking about on the couch with the sax and the lighting was just right!

Bryn just loves the music and lights in his FP gumball machine!

Luey trying to thread my camera's usb cord through the gumball machine, argh!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Vego/Vegan Struggles...

Been struggling with this for a few weeks, probably since Erik freaked out over the wolf killing that other animal in the documentary a few weeks and him saying he didn't want to hurt animals and didn't want to eat meat anymore...

Anyway, so since then all these thoughts have been swimming in my head. I feel like somehow I'm failing him, or being hypocritical, because i totally understand where he is coming from, and yet because I like the taste of dairy, and occassionally chicken or fish, I ignore what I KNOW about how the vast majority of animals are treated by humans in the process of making them our food. I'm mean, let's face it, there IS NO "humane" way to breed an animal for the purpose of killing it...

I struggle with this...

I love that Erik has this sensitivity. I don't want to be the person who encourages him (even passively) to become desensitised to the plight of animals on this planet.

Even just drinking milk, I KNOW that in order to harvest the milk from dairy cows their calves are taken from them, and then they are milked each day to create a false demand which their bodies naturally respond to supply with... I mean, imagine if some other animal did that to human, imagine if I was made pg with Bryn, and then when he was a few weeks old, someone took him away and then force expressed me every day to keep my supply up, to keep those mothering hormones flowing...

And what happens to those calves, veal?

Chickens don't fair much better, even free range chooks, their life is already over, they just don't know it yet...

I don't know... This plays on my mind.

My own hypocracy plays on my mind...

That said, I don't want to just go on another food "kick"... Don't want to put effort into starting something I won't stick with, maybe I'm just kidding myself???

Oak, Oak!

Not content with the "Yes, Dad!" incident yesterday morning, Bryn exercised his vocal chords AGAIN yesterday afternoon... This time he was playing with Erik on the floor near the fire place and then Erik wanted to do something else, so got up and walked out of the lounge, at which time Bryn exclaimed, "Oak! Oak!"...

Hehehehe, "Oak" actually has family significance, because my grandmother on my mother's side used to call herself an old Oak, standing strong, but lonely... We joke that now she has passed, Mum is the old Oak in the family now, but it seems Bryn has different ideas about that!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yes, Dad!!!


Not quite 1yr and 1 week today, and Bryn spoke his first phrase (not a sentence because it didn't contain a SVO combo, merely an O...)... Dave was in the kitchen, and Bryn was at the gate chatting away to him in baby babble as he is prone to do several times a day... Dave is good at keeping up a "conversation" with Bryn (learned to do this with Erik and Luey, of course), so then he asks Bryn a question. I can't remember what is was, maybe something like, "Are you very busy talking to Dad this morning, Bubba?" and clear as crystal Bryn replied, "Yes, Dad!"

I think we must have all gone into shock, because the house was suddenly silent and four pairs of eyes looked like plates, and then suddenly there was all this commotion as we all kind of went, "Did you hear that???" and "He said, 'Yes, dad!'!!!" and so on...

We think it just slipped out of him.

We know that babies talk inside their heads, long before verbalising words, much like a learner of a new foreign language with do, fir you learn to understand, then you think the words you'd use, then you finally speak them... So, we think he just kind of automatically geared up his mouth this time, but WOW!

Once again, he's doing what he's done before and falling between the two older boys in developmental pace... Erik didn't speak his first phrase or sentence till he was two, but Luey was ten months old when he said, "I did it!"...

Anyway, very exciting for us!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Spring is coming ;)

We've had some beautiful days here lately! You can really feel that Spring is just around the corner. The pagan sabbath welcoming spring was just about two weeks ago, and the first calender day of Spring will be in another 9 days. For me, I've also believed that Spring starts at the equinox on the 21st of September...

Was inspired by the sunshine today to go out and take a few shots of the plants in the garden, while they're looking so fresh and full... Those of you who know my garden will know these photos don't actually reflect my garden very well... Anyone else looking at these pics might be forgiven for thinking we have this lush bounty of plants that any horticulturalist would be proud to call her own, not so... We have a few plants, and a bit of patchy grass, but this new camera is wonderful, so clear and sharp and just makes everything looks so rich and lucious!!!

Enjoy!




Sunday, August 20, 2006

Ok, a new blog...

Just letting you all know, I've started a new weightloss blog, because I want to focus my energies a bit more for the next four months, leading up to my 35th birthday, and I want to process the stuff that's been galloping around my mind during the massive changes I've been experiencing over the past few months, but I don't want all that to detract from this blog, which I feel is more about my family life, hobbies, other thoughts, not about losing weight etc...

Anyway, there's a link over to your right in my links section if you feel like sticky beaking at my weightloss journey :)...

In case it doesn't last...

Well, I finally tackled the baby's drawers this morning. Having off-loaded my terry nappies onto a couple of other mums, I had a spare drawer to divide B's clothes into, and boy was that job OVERDUE... These pictures show only about 2/3s of his clothing, the other third being in the wash... I REALLY have to stop buying clothes for this child!!! I packed up a bunch of size 00s and 0s... I know I should sell them or off-load them, but... I dunno, I'm not ready yet...

From the left to the right... Singlets and socks, tees, longsleeved tees, polo shirts...

Left to right... Footwear, leggings (half of which are int he wash), light jackes and sleeveless jackets.

left to right... Sleepsuits (which he hardly ever wears), shorts, pants/jeans, hoodies...

I actually surprised myself at how little he seemed to have in the was of pinks and red and purples... He actually has a lot more then this (as pink and purple are my fave colours on him), but because they're my fave colours on him, they're all in use, or in the wash, LOLOLOL...

Now, the challenge will be to keep these drawers more or less in this state - hahahahahahahahahaha!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

My Amazing Boy

I just had to pop this LO in here because I was so happy with it. When I took this photo of Erik I knew it was special, but when I saw it on the computer, and later played with it (putting shadow around his chin, and blacking out the mask on his forehead, I KNEW I'd captured Erik's essence!

Many people don't see this side to Erik, but I feel it every day. It can be hard to detect amongst the high jinx and incessant chatter, but this boy is soulful, a deep thinker, and even deeper feeler. He connects with everyone he meets on a very deep emotional level, and feels what they are feeling. Sometimes he doesn't understand the feelings he senses in other, and then he tries to get them to clarify their feelings by pushing them to act on their emotions. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed by him because of this, as he reflects back to them their own emotions - sometimes emotions they themselves are yet not aware of.

He has done this to me many times.

Erik is never passive on any instant in time, he always feels his emotions deeply and wholly. When he is happy he is bursting with happiness. When he is sad, the world is awash in blue. His sense of justice, whether for himself or others is very strong and he will get very upset and wound up until he can convince the other person of the need to be fair.

He guards his privacy with the courage and conviction of a soldier going to war, and likes to be sure than he has a place to retreat to and a place to keep his treasures safe! Despite early fears on my part, he has a strong sense of personal boundaries, now at age seven.

Sometimes I forget to give this child his dues, and so doing this LO gave me a chance to reflect on what a marvellous person Erik is.

Friday, August 18, 2006

I love my camera...

Ok, bear with me, I'm going to be a bit camera obsessed for a while I think...

Laura and her boys came over today for a trip to the park amongst other things, and I got some lovely shots of all the boys... Here are some of my favourites from today...









Teenagers and the failing parent...