Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunny Sundays

We had a lovely productive weekend! Got so many jobs done and spent some time with the kids. While we dont often get time to just sit and play, we involve them with everything with we do, yesterday was car washing, baking, and tending to the chooks - moving them, feeding them, collecting the eggs and watching the new baby chickens emerge from their eggs! It was amazing! (the kids thought it was pretty special too!)

Saturday was a trip to town to do the groceries - the kids love coming, and help to pick out the fruit vegies for the week! They look so cute smelling the strawberrys to work out which ones are the tastiest!
Sunday morning we sat down to bacon and eggs and felt I was in 'Little House on the Prairie' - Free range bacon, home grown eggs, freshly squeezed juice from home grown Tangello's. If only I had gotten up early enough to bake bread! Um, no, on second thought, that is taking it a little too far!

As I sat back with a coffee on Sunday evening, smiling at a weekend well spent, I felt a little ashamed of myself.
I have been known to whinge that we never do anything, we never go anywhere, we are always too busy, we need this, we need that, we need somthing else etc etc.

This was, truly, one of the best weekends we have spent together in ages, everyone happy, no tantrums, no fighting, just enjoying each others company doing our daily routine.

I turned to my hubby, and thanked him.
"This has been the nicest weekend.
I love our little family, we dont need EVERYTHING, we dont need the BEST of everything, we have each other. We have fun with each other. These are values that our kids are going to pass on to their kids, we are shaping a generation!"

And thats exactly right! I want to instill values into my children that they can pass onto their children and so on. Our values lay in our family. In each other.

I am going to leave you with a quote from my husband.

"... It is our job, as parents, to teach our children to be responsible adults, not how to be a meance to society..."

Lunchbox fun

What a lovely Sunday it was. I was lucky enough to get a sleep in this morning, and then I attacked! I washed the car (seriously, 4wd's were not made for short people, I needed to use a step ladder!) Tackled a mountain of ironing, enjoyed some sunshine with the kids and my hubby, and prepared and planned a weeks worth of dinners and school lunches.

I find School lunches such a chore! It is the one job that I really need to be organised for, or it can very easily be vegemite S/W's for a week! Dinner I'm ok with, as I have all day to plan for this, and really do love to cook.

If you are like me and need some lunch box inspiration from time to time, then you are in luck, because here are some of my NEVER fail lunch box recipes!

Slap Happy cakes/muffins
These are seriously the yummiest, easiest, and greatest cakes on the earth!
This recipe is from the best cake maker I have ever met, my Pop! He doesnt measure, he doesnt do anything that the CWA women swear you must, and his cakes are always amazing!
SR flour
and egg or two
some milk
some mixed fruit
a little sugar if you so desire
a touch of vanilla is nice, but not essential
You literally just add all this into a bowl until you have enough mixture and the consistency that you are happy with it. Pop in the oven, and in about 15 minutes, voila... the most delicious little cakes EVER!
These cakes are always good, but are amazing fresh from the oven, with a little bot of butter on them!!
Pasta Salad
So easy to slap together the night before school, and so tasty the next day!
Pasta - I like the spirals but whatever you have
Mayo, or any dressing that you have! (coleslaw, potato, ANYTHING works! even italian! )
Any veg that you want to add! I like to use:
Grated carrot
grated cheese
finely sliced shallot
sometimes a little ham or chicken
Combine cooked pasta and vege ingredients, then stir through enough to dressing to help it combine and add flavour!
Here is a list of some of my other homemade Fav's!
  • Fried Rice
  • Home made LCM's
  • Anzac cookies
  • S/W sushi
  • Vegie Stir Fry

I like to send my kids to school with the least additives and preservatives as I can, they do get some crap, tiny teddies, museli bars etc to fill it up, and loads of fruit! But where I can, I like to fill it with homemade goodness!

I have been asked to do regular contributions to the school newsletter (after the teachers scoping out our lunchbox!) so, I will add them here as well!

Happy Baking

Monday, August 23, 2010

...But it wont kill them!

I have been wanting to write this post for a while, it has been written in my head many times in the last few months, but, in fear of causing too much of a stir, I have let it lay.

Today I am thinking that I have found myself enough knowledge, learnt enough words, that just maybe, I will be able to write it with each and every person agreeing with me, with no one being upset, with the world being happy, and hopefully, if I do it properly, if it all goes down on paper as well as it is sounding in my head, then I just might be onto something. WE might be able to start a revolution, a new way of thinking for future generations. WE might be able to stop the behaviours that, in this society, are causing so much pain to mum's everywhere.

So, here I go.

I am a mum to 3 amazing children. I support Breastfeeding. I am a member of our local Australian Breastfeeding Association. I attend the meetings. I have breastfed all of my children.

I support Breastfeeding. I think it is the BEST thing you can do for your child.

I support Breastfeeding. And it makes me cranky when people dont even want to try it.

Please don't switch off because of my above statements. Please keep reading.

I am a mum to 3 amazing children. I support breastfeeding and I attend ABA meetings when I can, I love the social side of it, and being with people who have children the same age as mine.
I love being there, because you can feed wherever you like, and its ok! You dont feel uncomfotable, you dont worry that you are making others feel uncomfortable, and its nice to have the support.
I find that if I have to feed in public, it changes a lot of people. A lot of people wont even look at you, let alone speak to you. Conversations instantly come to a halt. It almost makes me feel bad for feeding my baby.
I am not one of these people that like to make a show of breastfeeding, I like to be discreet, but I dont feel I should have to segregate myself from the world. I have seen some women that make a rather huge spectacle out of the fact that they are feeding their baby, some that even make me feel uncomfortable!

Each of my children were breastfed, for different periods. Each one has gradually been for a longer time. I am nearly up to 12 months with this one, and in all honesty, I dont think I am ready to stop any time soon. I would love to have my body back, to be able to leave my child sometimes, but I really do cherish those quiet times that we get together. I know I can still have them if we use a bottle, but its not the same to me, she wont need ME then.

I know what you are thinking, I am just another breastfeeding Nazi and you dont want to read anymore. But please bare with me.

Breastfeeding for me, with each one, was DAMN hard! It was hard for weeks! I would brace myself each time I had to feed because of the pain. My nipples were cracked, bleeding, and excruciatingly sore. But I REALLY wanted it to work, so put up with it. Once that passed, it seriously is a walk in the park!

My 2nd child was breastfed and bottle fed, he was a greedy little thing and needed more than I could give him. While it was frowned apon by many, it worked for us, and thats all that mattered. All that ever matters is that it works for you and your baby!

While the world is out there telling us that breast is best, that we should all do it etc etc, is anyway actually saying that using formula is ok too? That formula will not harm your baby? That if you can't breastfeed, formula is perfectly acceptable?
There are so many formula advertisments around, each one claiming that it has some amazing added nutrient. But no ad's for breastmilk.
There are so many advertisments for baby bottles, but none for boobs.
There are no ad's purely saying, congratulations, your having a baby, this is what you ca do adn both are FINE!

It seems that there is no level playing field when it comes to this topic. Women who breastfeed are made to feel uncomfortable in public, whereas bottlefeeding women dont. Bottlefeeding women get to hear about how much better breast milk and are made to feel guilty. But it seems that no matter what you choose, no-one is happy when the topic is brought up. Breatfeeding mothers get on their high horse and carry on about it, talking down to everyone else, and bottlefeeding mothers get their backs up and become defensive.
This needs to stop, no matter how we choose to feed our children, no-one should be made to feel bad! We should all be supported! Hell, we are new mums!!!!

Which brings me (Finally) to my point.
My mission statement.
The one thing that I want you to take from this and pass around the world.

Breast milk is a wonderful amazing thing, designed soley for the feeding of our babies. Those that can do it easily are extremely lucky.
Formula is also a wonderful amazing thing, designed soley for the feeding of our babies, and while we know breast is best, formula isn't about to kill anyone!
As I wisely read recently - Fed is Best!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A little bit of realisation

Life around here has been pretty crazy of late. Between building a home, the farm, the kids, and staying up way too late sewing and crafting, I have been feeling a little flat. Exhausted actually.

Which got me thinking.

When we started our family it was decided that I was going to be a stay at home mum and raise our little possums. We didn't want to put our children into childcare and I was ready for a career change anyway. I thought this be a good time to do some soul searching and find out what I REALLY wanted to achieve in this life.
I didn't want to have kids and work. I wouldn't go and get a job. I don't want a job. I want to be at home.

HOWEVER, since starting my WAH biz, I have worked harder than ever before! Why?

If I was given the choice to go to go out and job and do the hours that I am currently doing, there is no way in hell that I would agree, I would kick and scream and throw a big old 2 year old temper tantrum on the floor!
How could you possibly expect me to do that on top of what I already do?
Do you realise how much time and energy goes into being a mum?
And where do you think I would find the time to do a job, in between washing, ironing, toilet training, cooking, reading stories, breast feeding etc etc?

So why then, am I working so hard? Why have I decided that I will work so hard from home, and so such stupid hours for little return, when I would never in a million years go out and get a job that would pay SO much more?

So, with this realisation, I am downscaling. I am only sewing in reasonable hours, I am not accepting custom orders, and I am getting back to my kids.
I have decided to judge my success on on MYSELF, not in comparison to those around me, and to enjoy the little things again.
I think, that if we all actually sat down and thought about it, I wouldn't be in this boat alone. There are many of us that stay up til the wee hours of the morning getting things finished, then get up before 7 and start all over again!

This week, I think we should make a movement! We should all take ONE day off, no computer, no phone, no crafting, no biz, just play!

If this is ringing some bells in your mind, then maybe you also need to scale back a little, look at the bigger picture. We only have these little souls for such a short time before they are all grown up and out in the world, and I for one, dont want to miss a single moment!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Excited Much?

Well, the answer to this would be no!

I am married to a farmer, whom I love dearly, but, I, am NOT a farmers wife. I dont enjoy tractors, I dont enjoy farming actually. I generally tend to stay at home and be the 'backbone' of my husband, you know, the - 'Behind every great man, is a great woman', thats me - BEHIND!
My husband is very passionate about what he does, and its great to see that he is doing something that he loves, as we should all be doing!

I am also very lucky to have him, and as he supports all my fabric shopping trips, and even comes with me, which brings me to my 'next week'.

I am off to, dare I speak its name - AG-QUIP! Yep, 3 whole days of looking at farming paraphenalia, most of which I have no idea of its name, or what it does, or if we need one.

Excited much?

I must admit, however, that I have been secretly scoping out the ad's for PAAL on the back of 'The Land' for the last few weeks as they announce that they are going to be at AG-QUIP, so my compromise is that we get to take a LONG look at their stand, ask LOTS of questions, and he must be open minded!

Excited much? HELL YES!

So, who knows, maybe I will end up coming home with something that I understand, can use and know the name of!

Anyone else going?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In My Words

I am blessed. Truly blessed.
As I sit here reflecting on the joy that is being a mother, with my eldest beside me doing homework, my youngest on my other side having dinner, and my darling middle child outside with his daddy, I am wondering why I complain so much.

I can say this now, because this is a good moment. An hour ago was not. This morning was not. Last night certainly was not.

{half an hour later}
Youngest is on my lap helping me out, had to help with homework, finish off dinner and attend to a 2 year old tantrum. Now, where was I?.....
Thats right, I have just re read the article by Jacinta Tynan, after having read it on the weekend, and then hearing her follow up on sunrise the other day. And for all of this week hearing everyones take on it.

{45 minutes later, had to feed middle child,chat to DH about his day and settle youngest}
Ok, as I was saying, this article has ruffled feathers Australia wide, and for good reason.
..."Quit moaning about your lack of me-time and unread novels"...

I would like to point one simple thing out here, this lovely lady takes her child to day care and goes to work. She has that wonderful thing that I used to be good friends with, that I used to know... what is it called.... ummmmmmmm thats it - ADULT INTERACTION!
I would kill for a reason to get dressed and do my hair and look like a normal person occasionally! Hell some days I would simply kill for the chance to be able to take a shower!
Having that can make a hell of a difference to a person!
While I dont regret my decision to stay at home with my children, and I do cherish everyday that I get with them, somedays I wish I could just be alone for a while. I wish I could go to the toilet alone. I wish I could shower alone. I wish I could get my hair done. I wish I could finally use my voucher for the beautician. I wish a lot of things. But I know that time will come. And then I will want these days back, so most of the time I'm happy to suck it up.

While I dont think I could ever say that I have had PND, I feel for those ladies that have, and reading this article must have been a real 'kick me while I'm down' moment for them. I have reached my low points, where being a mum seemed like the worst choice I could have ever made.
My mum was very ill when my 1st was born.She was there at the hospital with me when my little angel arrived into the world, a moment I will never forget, but sadly, I dont think its stuck there because of the birth of my child, but because it was such a special moment that i shared with my mum.
She passed (hate that damn word) 15 months later. It was torture, and to have to pull myself out of bed because it felt like the whole world needed me too was excruciating some times.
I stopped going places. I didnt leave the house. I put on STACKS of weight. I hated life. But I couldn't just BE. I HAD to pull myslef out of it for my child. While, in hindsight (isn't that a great thing?) I probably did have depression, not post natal depression, but post mother depression. And that was hard enough. If I read someone saying that somethign like that is EASY I would slap them.

Yes, we all cherish our children, we all love them, but goodness, motherhood being EASY? What a joke. Yes, these things are easy to DO because we do them out of love. But what about all the things that we dont get to do because of this love?

Jacinta, while I respect your story of where you are in your motherhood journey, I know that one day you will eat your words, you will be screaming for a chance to read a novel, have a shower, go to the toilet alone, and grab a quick coffee. But then again, you use childcare dont you?

Mums of the world, please dont let this article get you down, smile, because you are WITH your children, smile because YOU will see them grown up. Smile because you will be the person there when they fall. Smile because you are you - the BEST mother YOUR child could have.

While we may moan about it today, we will be able to smile at it later. We dont make the make the choice to be a mother because its easy. And it IS the hardest job in the world, if its not, then you arent doing it right!

Now, back to finding the novel that I'm going to read in 18 years time.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Who Needs Shopaholics Annonymous when..

After my post yesterday, I set out this morning to redeem my dignity and style.
'How this mummy got her groove back' was going to be my title for this post when I got home from killing my credit card, filling the boot of my car, earning enough fly buys and frequent flyer points to get me to europe etc etc - you get my drift.

Off I went - supportive hubby and kids in tow (One little cherub in particular who spent an entire trip around Target telling people that mummy is buying new undies!).
I went into the shopping centre with all these great intentions of a monster shopping spree, emerging through the change room doors in a montage form terribly similar to that on "The Sweetest Thing" or the 1st "Sex & The City" Movie, exiting the doors with TROLLEYS full of goodies exlaiming "GOODBYE SLUMMY MUMMY" and doing a little dance all the way to my car! (All I needed was a camera crew and cheering crowds and I would have been set, letting out quotes like "I'm the king of the world" and singing "she's got it, baby she's got it").

See, the intention was there. Things I wanted to spend money on, however, were not!

Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nadda.

I left with 2 new pillows, 2 new cook books, dishwashing liquid, dishwasher tablets and a new mop head!

Ok, I will admit I did upgrade my skanky, daggy, floppy, grandma undies. (I now own lingerie!) And I did buy a skirt. Oh, and 2 singlets to wear to bed that I got for $6 each as I simply cant resist a bargain and hey, I went there to shop so I had to spend something!!

I am realising that it so hard to buy anything that meets the comfort and practicality of my trackies, but that I can still feel stylish and good in. I can get plenty of corporate wear, city wear, I dont have kids wear. But no Mummy wear!

I am now on a mission to find NICE, affordable clothing for mum's.
I have the sketch book out doing some designing, so hopefully I can come up with something. First off will be some nice pj pants to go with the singets that I now own.

So I ask these questions of you - where do you shop that is stylish and affordable?

Do you like the idea of a Mummy Wear range that meets all of my above criteria?

Let me know your thoughts, let me know what YOU want in everyday wear, and lets see if we MAKE IT!