Friday, April 30, 2010

More about me

I asked for some questions from the audience just the other day!
so you already blog about studying midwifery... but i'd like to know how it came about... how did you choose midwifery?

and what's your favourite vegetable? :)
Katrine from My Feet Move Forwards asked the above. Um. I barely remember really :). That sound - is the gears in my brain grinding!

I wanted to be a midwife back in 1996 when I finished school, but back then it was a huge trek to finish - nursing, then 3 years experience, then another degree I seem to remember. So not something a 16 year old could commit to! So instead I did forensic and analytical chemistry, became a public servant, moved to Canberra, then Sydney, became a tax consultant, met to-be-TheHusband, got to a point in my career where I had to go back to do law to go any further, so moved back to Adelaide and changed careers into worker's compensation, hated that and quit/go fired, and suddenly had no plan B, so got a job in retail (which I love) and went back to school.

What drew me then was an interest in the most amazing process evah encapsulated in childbirth, a fascination with bodies and health, an assessment by a career counsellor that I'd be great in health care but not with sick people, and an interest in working with women and for women, who are not in a position of priviledge.

Favourite vegetable - that's a hard one. I would have to say pumpkin. I love pumpkin. In fact my afternoon involves a butternut pumpkin from last week's FoodConnect box. I love it roasted, and boiled, and sauteed, and in soups, curries and pasta dishes, with salt and pepper and butter or with cheese or with feta in filo or with vegetables in a soup, or so many other ways!

My favourite way at the moment is to cook pumpkin in a curry and it mushes down and thickens it a lot and gives it a great orange glow to it. Try it next time you make one! Pumpkin is so well suited to the flavours of curry - the nutmeg and cinnamon and chilli and garam masala and so on - and suits meat well as well.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

FoodConnect box #2

So a week has passed since the first FoodConnect box we had and I wanted to share how it went. As a recap, the box contained:
3 potatoes, 3 carrots, 1 zucchini, 1 leek, 1 corn, 1 bunch spinach (I think), 3 beetroots, 1 butternut pumpkin, 3 capsicum

and 4 apples, 1 pear, 1/2 a rockmelon, 2 oranges, 1 lime
and I made wild claims that this was not enough. We did buy more fruit but I have just spent the afternoon using up the last of the veges...

and still there's a leek to use. So really it was a good size box. We did inherit a large number of carrots, an extra zucchini and a tomato from my SIL's garden, so it's been a great week.

I made tonight:
  • carrot and pear chocolate chocchip muffins (a BIG batch so mini muffins, 12 big ones and a cake)
  • bolognese with lots of veges
  • zucchini slice
  • kangaroo pumpkin curry
There are two oranges and a lime to use yet as well. Not sure what to do with them.

Dishes that I've used things in over the past week:
  • apples were eaten
  • spinach in a bolognese from the freezer (was disappointed that part of the bunch was bruised and wilted)
  • rockmelon was eaten
  • carrots in muffins
  • potatoes roasted
  • zucchini in slice
  • corn with potatoes (om nom nom - it was DELICIOUS corn too!)
  • beetroot roasted too
  • pumpkin in a curry
  • capsicum in bolognese
  • pear in muffins
  • zest of lime in cream cheese icing
So this week's box looks like this:

and has in it:
  • celery
  • celery leaves
  • spinach
  • 6 potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 3 beetroots
  • 2 carrots
  • leek
  • corn
  • 5 apples
  • pear
My first impression is - I don't like celery, so that's gonna be a challenge. I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ask me about me!

Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don't blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't blog about, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll write a post about it. Ask for anything: latest movie watched, last book read, political leanings, thoughts on alfalfa, favorite type of underwear, graphic techniques, etc.

Repost in your own journal so that we can all learn more about each other.

Ask me things! I love to talk about myself! Please indulge my vanity!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

First FoodConnect box

Looked like this:
And inside:

And more inside:

This is what we ended up with:which was 2 onions,
3 potatoes,
3 carrots,
1 zucchini,
1 leek,
1 corn,
1 bunch spinach (I think),
3 beetroots
1 butternut pumpkin
3 capsicum

and 4 apples,
1 pear
1/2 a rockmelon,
2 oranges
1 lime

and is entirely organic, and cost $30. To me that's pretty good value!

Menu plan: (I also find using Love Food Hate Waste is great for planning)
Thursday - dinner with an onion (already had the rest planned - TheHusband making pasta),

Friday - rockmelon at meet, dinner: roast potato and beetroot with something protein-y, spinach, corn

Saturday - zucchini slice for lunch

Sunday - apple pancakes, pumpkin in a curry

Monday - potato and leek soup, orange cake

Tuesday - pumpkin soup, lime fish dish

Wednesday - capsicum risotto

Thursday -

Ok so for 2 of us it's probably not enough. The fruit won't go very far for lunches for example. And vege wise we eat more than just 3 potatoes and 2 onions. So I'd suggest this was good for 1 person who cooked all the time or 2 who ate out more than we do, or didn't eat lunch at home / take it to work.

ETA: In fact, FoodConnect have put together a menu plan for the box that I just got!

Monday, April 19, 2010

5 week update for Sally

So it's been a few weeks since Sally completely upended my world.

Some milestones to look at:

Child's Age
Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
1 month Lifts head when lying on tummy
Responds to sound
Stares at faces
• Follows objects briefly with eyes
• Vocalizes: oohs and aahs
• Can see black-and-white patterns
Smiles, laughs
• Holds head at 45-degree angle
2 months • Vocalizes: gurgles and coos
• Follows objects across field of vision
• Notices his hands
Holds head up for short periods
Smiles, laughs
• Holds head at 45-degree angle
• Makes smoother movements
Holds head steady
• Can bear weight on legs
• Lifts head and shoulders when lying on tummy (mini-pushup)

She's a little bit prodigal as she can do most of these things - not so much on the smoother movements but most of the advanced stuff! I think it makes up for her petite size. But I did score some awesome nappies because they suit her:

Cushie Tushies had some nappies made a little too slim, so I picked some up for half price. Given that we plan on cloth-nappying for a very long time, it's a pretty good deal.

I was going to write about stuff - the "my world" part of that opening sentence, her progress so far, how breastfeeding is going, the hell of the first few weeks, what our routine is, and so on. But she's awake and hungry so off I go to fak. Feeding a kid, feeding at keyboard...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Post project let down

It happens with weddings - post nuptial depression is a "real" illness, or at least a real situation that many brides find themselves in after the Big Day.

I have been thinking that in a lot of ways, there is something to be said for the postproject letdown that comes with getting to the end of a pregnancy, and getting through birth, and getting to the end of that first newborn phase. It's a time of changing definitions of myself, and of looking around and going "now what?". It's probably a lot of the reasons that there are challenges in redefining our marriage, living arrangements, personal space, image, routine, budget and so on.

How to address it? I'm not sure. I need to redefine myself and it's being done for me in a lot of ways which in itself is hard and really confronting. But in a relationship, a friend gave someone else the best bit of advice:

"Also, keep in mind there's always "post project" let down. You did this huge thing together and now you're sorta in maintenance (survival!) mode. Keep looking for the next "big project" you can do together. Stay focused on you and hub as the core of your family. It will be ok!"

So what other big project can we tackle together? So many things still have to happen - are still happening.

Cleaning out the garage that is rapidly becoming "a great Aussie shed";
Finalising my insurance claim - 3rd anniversary coming up soon;
Me finishing school;
TheHusband finishing his PhD;

and so on. But these aren't Big Projects. These are the day-to-day minutea that we all have to face. So dear readers - suggest me some Big Projects.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The handy husband

TheHusband is awesomely handy and very keen to learn how to do new things. He recently hired a jackhammer and helped out Kate (Craftastrophies) with some cement.

This weekend just gone he took some MDF and some measurements and went to work / The House of Bun and built Sally some shelves:

and painted them a great orangey-pink colour and voila, not another piece of Ikea furniture!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

10 reasons I just signed up for FoodConnectAdelaide (an SCA)

I just signed our family up to Food Connect Adelaide, which is an CSA (community supported agriculture) enterprise. Here are 10 reasons I signed up for it:
  1. I am tired of eating last year's apples, of cold storage oranges, and hydroponic carrots, all of which are tasteless.
  2. I want to eat in season and to influence producers to give me what is in season.
  3. Like Sally Mackinnon, I want my tomatoes to smell of scarlet.
  4. I want to eat the heirloom varieties, the unusual, the rare, the threatened and endangered.
  5. I want to eat in season to get more in tune with what the earth is best at producing in my area, rather than relying on other parts of the country.
  6. I want to put more community into the food that I eat.
  7. I want to be challenged to eat what is available, rather than being all arrogant and privileged about me dictating what is available. Or at least deluding myself into thinking that I have some influence.
  8. I'm not that fabulous in the garden and this is a small step in that direction - to see what is in season and what I could plant and grow. I know beetroot works well, and silverbeet, for eg, and can branch out from there.
  9. I want real food. Not so hung up on organic, but I want it with sunburn and blemishes and the occassional bug. I thing blemish-free fruit is actually kind of creepy, the scary-clown equivalent for food.
  10. I want to pay a fair price to the farmers who provide me food.
FCA is still new so there aren't a lot of reviews. I'll try to remember to post pics! And review them on pick up.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I don't care that I'm an adult - it's a bouncy castle!!!

Seriously - who the hell designed this as a "fun clown to decorate a bouncy castle"??

Really I have not much else to say. I had a lovely weekend - house stuff, hanging out with friends, going to the Indofest here in Adelaide to eat delicious Indonesian food. Funny how you can get a lot of your culture across solely from the food you eat. I had a delicious lamb curry soup with rice and thoroughly enjoyed it as well as the company of Alice and Chris and Jon and Cassia. I didn't catch up the Kate though which put a downer on the weekend but there's this week I guess!

Monday, April 12, 2010

1 month round up!

Yup it's been a whole month since Sally joined and completely upended our world!

We have something of a routine. We get up about 7am, not willingly on my behalf, and TheHusband changes her while I wake up. Then we feed, both sides so a FULL breakfast, while I eat toast and tea made by TheHusband as he gets ready for work. We take him to work if it's miserable or cold, as he otherwise rides, and check the mail. Come home, Sally has a bath in the laundry trough if required, fresh clothes are applied, more boob and then into the sling for a sleep by 9am. I put washing on, tidy up the house, make the bed - which is WAY more domestic than I usually am! - and generally hang out.

Sally wakes up about midday. We feed again, change nappy, and then she hangs out on a mat while I shower and dress. More feeding, then settle by 1pm ish for another sleep. Awake at 3pm ish, more boob and changing, then a play until about 5pm. Then more boob, and sleep til 7pm. Wake up, boob, play and change nappy and we settle into bed by 9pm ish. Feed to sleep and wake up about 1am. Feed and resettle til 4am ish. Sleepy feeding and back to sleep til 7am.

Cosleeping is the best thing, especially when it was 7C last night and I didn't have to get out of bed to feed! It is so nice to have a bubba just cuddled up to me and safe, and so easy for her to feed, which keeps me awake, and then fall asleep there and me too.

I have a long list of things to do this month:

* Finish sorting Sally's clothes
* Dye the baby clothes I don't love - black, green/blue
* Buy quinoa, virgin coconut oil, steel cut oats - from Goodies and Grains
* Make biscuits
* Cut nails
* Target voucher $50
* New jeans
* Tattoo design - engagement/marriage, and Sally
* Organise wall decoration
* File last 2 boxes in sally's room
* Sort out pay
* Do a freezer audit
* Osk's birthday present
* Book car in for service
* Sort out mobile phone
* Sell maternity clothes
* Sort out life insurance
* Replace Osk's ring (damaged at work)
* Pick up portfolio from uni
* Find Studio Oat print and hang
* ING pin

Right now, time for some tea and baking I think!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What I see first thing in the morning...

What I see first thing in the morning is… my family in our bed. My husband and my babe daughter. That's about as far as I can see without my glasses on!

The moment that changed me forever was… when I felt that first weight of my babe in my arms when I picked her up out of the water.

The most amazing thing I ever made was... the babe I am nursing at the moment.

My favourite book is… Bake by Woman's Weekly. Awesome history of cooking in Australia and great recipes.

I adore being… whole.

My perfect date would be… 8 hours of sleep.

As a blind date, I would be… overwhelming and amazing, but confident and sexy

When my style is in fashion, it will be… socks and skirts, and berets.

Yesterday I… hung out with my women friends and enjoyed being a mama.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ads and campaigns and ignorance

I have a baby. As far as I can tell, she is perfect. She is growing, is complete and whole, and apart from the usual baby challenges (oooh boy - like "Mama should not eat peanuts or else I have an entire day of unhappies") she is normal. Whatever that means.

And I am finding it hard in some ways. It's isolating to be a new mama. I am so lucky to have an awesome community that I can draw on when I'm having the need, and that I can give back to when others need support. It's expensive with me not working, obviously, but as we're breastfeeding and cloth nappying ongoing costs are minimal.

But what if she wasn't? I don't even want to contemplate what life would be like if she had special needs at this stage. From what I know - which is very little - it is a difficult and stupidly expensive situation to be in. And to make it worse, there sometimes just aren't any answers or services or support.

All Consuming wrote about this just the other day. That some days are hard because she wants everything for her son and that's hard, and other days are hard because she wants for something little and that's hard. That is just wrong and it makes me SO angry. And so aware of the priveledge I have in creating a babe that is perfect.

But amazingly, perhaps things are changing here. South Australia State Parliament has gotten its first disabled politician and nation's youngest parliamentarian and she is one of the few to hold the balance of power!

But of course, the article missed the point. We are all disabled in comparison to the perfection that no one can be, and THAT is why disability rights and services are so important! I doubt that Kelly Vincent is the first disabled politician to sit in those seats. Disability comes in lots of forms and yes, she is perhaps the most openly identifying as disabled politician out there but mental illness, injuries, etc all affect all of us and need to be acknowledged so it stops being an "us" and "them" situation.

10 things no one told me about labour

This one is just about labour - not birth per se. But here we go!
  1. It does get harder but by the time you need to focus on it being hard, you're there in the zone of labour and as long as no one points it out to you, it doesn't get Too Hard. You hardly notice that it is getting harder.
  2. It doesn't just get harder. It changes. The hard bits pass. So if this moment is hard, doesn't mean the next one will be.
  3. So it really helps to take 1 contraction at a time. And one breath at a time for that matter. Because you don't know what the next one will be like.
  4. Being curious about the next one keeps you sane.
  5. You may hit the point of saying "I can't do this any more". What you probably mean is that you don't want to do it any more. Which is a valid point! But you will keep going.
  6. You will be amazed at what you can do in hindsight but at the time you won't believe that you're doing it. Go for hours without sleep. Make a lot of noise. Stand up for 12+ hours.
  7. You will spend most of labour with your eyes closed so make what you can see when you open your eyes worth it. Inspirational words and poems, pictures, a candles, charms etc.
  8. AND make your support people count. Only have people around who inspire love in you when you look at them.
  9. You'll be down to monosyllabic conversations by the end of it, so make them count. "Water", "ice", "hot", "cold" etc etc. Your support people should know how to interpret these things and respond to you.
  10. Your brain slows down so small conversations will take a few contractions. If that conversation is with yourself, you can take hours to make a decision. Which is great!