Monday, December 26, 2011

101 things in 1001 days! #2

My old list is done and dusted as of September (hush yes, I forgot to write about it then - I was kind of busy!), and with the new year on its way so soon!!! I thought I'd write another one. I have a better idea of what I can accomplish too.

My new list incorporates some of the old list, you will see, but with a lot of new things too!

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as New Year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

  1. Write down all my baggage and burn it 
  2. Put my camera gear into my hard case
  3. Fly a kite
  4. Put up a compliments notice board in a public place
  5. Throw TheDoctor a party to celebrate his PhD-dom
  6. Put together our wedding video and show it to people
  7. Enter something into the Royal Adelaide Show
  8. Host a high tea for homebirth
  9. Go to a pagan meeting
  10. Go to a cricket match
  11. Do three things to make our home more green
  12. Do a kind deed for a stranger, with no expectation of it being reciprocated
  13. Have a sleepover
  14. Do a weekend away
  15. Take a photo a day for a month
  16. Answer 50 questions that will free your mind
  17. Get a pedicure
  18. Tattoo my scar on my left shoulder
  19. Find a personally inspirational quote and work it into a piece of art
  20. Buy a piece of art and hang it
  21. Make cushions for my couch
  22. Take a photography class
  23. Make a list of 25 things I'm truly grateful for
  24. Organise a craft retreat
  25. Write a will
  26. Become a marriage celebrant
  27. Get my ears pierced some more (3 more times)
  28. Go overseas
  29. Go bushwalking/hiking
  30. Sort out superannuation and consolidate
  31. Write to 5 people by hand
  32. Plan a surprise birthday party
  33. Take a weekend away with my sweetie
  34. Try a new cuisine
  35. Get engagement/wedding tattoo
  36. Take a photography course
  37. Learn tai chi
  38. Go camping for a weekend
  39. Go on a winery tour of the Maclaren Vale
  40. Paint 2 inspirational canvases
  41. Decorate the bedroom wall
  42. Visit someone interstate by surprise
  43. Do a burlesque class
  44. Buy 5 pieces of lingerie
  45. Catch a train across the country
  46. Go somewhere tropical
  47. Celebrate 4 pagan festivals
  48. Go on a girly road trip
  49. Do a pottery class
  50. Go fruit picking in autumn
  51. Attend a wine vintage festival
  52. Take 6 'us' photos and frame them
  53. Host a photo scavenger hunt
  54. Make a list of 100 things that make me Happy
  55. Write out 10 family recipes in a cook book and share them with siblings
  56. Send someone flowers
  57. See someone amazing in concert
  58. Go away for a trip by myself
  59. Attend a book signing
  60. Make a herb garden
  61. Plant our placenta
  62. Sand and refinish a coffee table
  63. Sell a photo through RedBubble
  64. Photograph a day in my life
  65. Finish the time capsule for Sally
  66. Build a henge over a year
  67. Ride in a hot air balloon
  68. Bake a rainbow cake
  69. Do a yoga class
  70. Give contact lenses another go
  71. Write a letter to myself in 1001 days
  72. Make an iTunes playlist of 101 of my favourite songs
  73. Make a list of sites I'm a member of, and passwords there
  74. Make a house journal
  75. Set up an altar and seasonal table
  76. Get my passport
  77. See a musical
  78. Knit a scarf for winter
  79. Send hand written cards for birthdays to 5 people
  80. Buy a red 4 slice toaster
  81. Find a Friday fill in to do
  82. Learn about EFT
  83. Buy an overlocker
  84. Set up a sewing corner
  85. Learn to juggle
  86. Buy a flute
  87. Take some lessons in playing said flute
  88. Buy a really good pair of jeans
  89. Try indoor rock climbing
  90. Drink a cocktail on a beach
  91. Go star gazing
  92. Do the City to Bay
  93. Find wooden dinner plates and buy them
  94. Buy a couch to suit the room!!
  95. Make wrapping paper with Sally
  96. Use a "shelf elf" for Solstice
  97. Go a week without swearing
  98. Play bingo in a bingo hall
  99. Build a teepee
  100. Build a bonfire and toast marshmallows
  101. Write another 101 list

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Solstice to me!

Well I have to say that I am still alive (if you're on FB you know this of course as I was described the other day as a "prolific" poster) but in bumping into an old friend yesterday I realised that I have a LOT to update on.

  • My motor vehicle accident compensation case settled. The money has been paid, Centrelink / ATO / the universe has been repaid, and 
  • We bought a new house with the money. Settlement is on 13 January and I'm excited! about it but not looking forward to moving (again for the last time for a while, right?).
  • I did my filing (for the first time, thoroughly, in about 5 years).
  • My baby turned 1 and 3/4.
  • She started walking! and has a lot of words.

  • She had really bad gastro, which we got through by lying on the couch and her going back to being exclusively breastfed. The feedback from the hospital, whom I consulted because she was really sick, for a really long time, was that "breastfeeding saves lives, even here in our country, and I wish more women could do it for toddlers because it'd save them having to be on a drip!".
  • I won $10,000 in a competition and am planning a midwifery clinic in my head!
  • I did a big cull of people on my FB friends list, because there were people there that I felt obligated to have but in reality the wouldn't piss on me if I was on fire give me the time of day. 
  • I bought a new lens for my camera, and have been taking AWESOME photos of births recently. I love love love it and my only regret about my own birth is that I didn't get similarly awesome documentary photos. 
  • So NOT a reason to have another baby though.

  • I finished my degree!! I got that beautiful, system-generated email on Saturday morning, the day before the end of the study period that I was enrolled in. I have received my formal statement of my academic transcript, and have submitted everything to AHPRA for my registration and now am just waiting for some little busy beaver of a public servant to tick one itty box and register me already! That's all I want for Solstice.
  • Which was yesterday and it was a lovely day, even if I did have to work in retail for another Christmas lead up.
  • But my gift to me was that I gave notice to my employer! I finish on 8 January after 5+ years at the House of Bun. I will be sad to leave but onward and upward, right?
  • I put Sally's name down for a new childcare venue in my new local area. That was big and freaky, but even more freaky was getting my daughter's name onto a class list. For 2015. For school. Woh freaky grown up feelings there!
  • Oh we sorted out our wills, power of attorney, superannuation and life insurances. Also a HUGE stroke of very grown up.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just to show I'm not crazy

I'll write an update shortly on the life of Emma but for now, let me tell you what I did today. I went and saw a new doctor, under my own steam, and talked about a new treatment modality I'm going to try.

Let me tell you that the idea for a book is burbling around in my head. Because being the victim of a motor vehicle accident, and then coming out the other side of it, is something that you should be warned of at the beginning.

It is truly liberating to go to a doctor today, and not have to hand over my client number or name lawyers. And the doctor I saw cleared up a few thing, namely that I'm not crazy.
  • Yes, the tinnitus is because of my injury. It's inflammation-caused though, which is why it fluctuates.
  • Yes, my arms really are longer! I have complained/commented about this recently and over the past few years, that arms of long sleeved shirts never are long enough. And today the doctor explained that because of my injury I roll my shoulders forward and droop my arms longer!
  • Yes, pain is pain. It's not just "because". It is genuine and NORMAL and treatable and most importantly - is real.
  • Yes the injury I've had to my pelvis and the ongoing symptoms are consistent. I didn't have to convince him of this though which was surprising!
  • Yes my sense of taste and smell have diminished because of inflammation as well - not because I'm crazy.
The treatment I'm having is going to be $$$$ but from what I've heard so far from others enjoying it, and from scouring the internet, it is genuine and offers me a chance to get back to being

I want an unfurrowed brow.
I want to sleep easily.
I want to not feel like I'm always on tenterhooks.
I want some reserves in energy. And mood.

This is aside from wanting my life back.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Follow your bliss

"If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time."
--Joseph Campbell

My bliss is not really allowing me to follow it at the moment. Sigh ok sure that's the point. That if I follow the tiny smidge of bliss in my life I will live the life I should be living.
The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure. 
--Joseph Campbell

So I decided after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing that I would apply for a graduate position as a midwife. At best, it would mean I have another option for 2012, as our house purchase fell through due to a technicality in our financing (damn you GFC!)
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
--Joseph Campbell

I'm trying to embrace all of these things.

I am waiting until 15 September to find out what is happening with my court case. Chances are that there will be another delay, to go with the other 4 that I've had. Colour me VERY surprised if that doesn't happen.
We will decide what we're doing with housing then. Until then, just staying in the moment. Surrounded by boxes.
We will get a rental for 6 months (Sept-March) in an area we like - on the tram line perhaps? Near the beach? Near a cafe strip?
Or if we do settle, we'll look into buying a house.
Then early November I'll find out if anyone wants to take me on as a graduate (bwahahahahaha I'm not betting that they will - I am brilliant on paper until you get to the "Do you have a disability" part and then I'm sure I'll go to the bottom of the list). But I think I can set a start date for March 2012.
The adventure is that I've applied for country placements. Which makes life more complicated but more of an adventure!
Which leaves me with finishing up at Bunnings in December, after 5 years there. I'll have to work out what to do with the shares I hold in the Bunnings parent company when I leave there.

But for now, I'm just waiting for TheBabe to drive around on her car.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Back to midwifery

There is a lot of swirling in midwifery recently - the past 2 weeks have been rather tumultuous.

Which made me realise that I've not posted about midwifery in a long time. Lots of reasons - I am only 15 weeks away from finishing my degree, I have applied for a graduate position after a LOT of heartache and back and forthing with TheHusband, and it's just been a damn hard slog. I'm a little over it but I also need to dive back in.

But recently there's been a lot in the media - one midwife dragged into court to face a very one-sided roasting, midwives running around like chickens sans head about nothing, and lots of mentions about the rate of homebirths going up. All things to tempt me out of the hermitage!

And getting my brain working again. What I think this adds up to is that there is a push to define what a midwife is. Not just in the ways it's been done (to death) already but in a specific, task-oriented, check this list kind of way. So that if you palpate a belly, check any physiological measure, or whatever I've spent the past 5 years learning how to do - not the important stuff of working with women but the practical skills - then I need to be registered. And just as practicing medicine without a license is a crime, so practicing midwifery without registration will be.

And what that means is that only registered midwives will be allowed to practice midwifery. So midwives who are off the register won't be allowed to practice. Not just "are not allowed to call themselves midwives" but won't be allowed to support women in pregnancy or birth. Which I think is what some midwives in private practice have been working towards all along. And it will be the undoing of midwifery and be more limiting that freeing.

Midwifery will get more few layers. Doulas who do the old-fashioned and SO VALUABLE stuff of midwifery of supporting women in their travail with no medical advice involved; lay midwives who combine herbology, aromatherapy, body work, psychology and so much else to caring for women in their community; registered midwives in private practice hog-tied by insurance and regulation to not attend anyone who is not perfectly "no risk"; eligible for Medicare registered midwives doing even less midwifery and more paperwork; and the rest of the midwives who are able to go to work in the system.

And thus there will be another change in how women are served. We started off attending the births of our friends and neighbours, then worked on our own, trained apprentices doing the attending and so on. We tended our gardens and the ill, laid out the dead and welcomed the new, and our reputations were the most important.

Then changes came with the invention of anaesthetic and forceps and thus obstetricians were separated from midwives and the skills were separated. And so much was lost for the women.

Then into the hospitals.
Then into the universities.
And now this.

Call me paranoid but I think the persecution of Lisa for her role in a tragedy that had little to do with her and instead is part of the push to define midwives and limit practice of my craft to only those that hold registration.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

To the woman in the shops today with the child...

I came home today from work and saw an article by Janet Fraser entitled "To the woman at the shops with the weeping babe".
I saw you today, at the shops, my sister. I saw you pushing a pram, perusing scarves, unable to respond to the bleating, hiccupping cries and jagged breaths of your newborn. I heard the babe cry out over and over, “Help me. Hold me close. Comfort me. Show me I’m not alone.” and yet in your aloneness, you were kept from responding. Was I seeing the trauma of your babe’s birth in action? The fragmented care of a brutal maternity system which prizes compliance above wellness? The ugly effects of industrialised parenting and the mould into which we are all shoved in this 21st century Sparta? I saw your babe’s face as she shut down and stared blankly at you from the pram and I felt my heart break for you both.
And it has encouraged me to write about something I saw today.

I see you, woman that could be me. I saw you stalk by, wound up tighter than a spring and glowering at everyone who passed. You were a woman on a retail mission today, something clasped in your hand and an item in your mind. You and many others were in the store and they were in your way and I could see that everything was going to annoy you. How much it clearly annoyed you that your child was with you, that your child existed in your timeline for consumption today.

I saw your daughter, frisky and boisterous in her enjoyment of the freedom of childhood. Probably irritating as fingers through cornflour, but really, what harm is there in a little frustration at your offspring's mercurial and inexplicable moods? As you stalked by she stopped to gather a trolley for her treasures. Isn't that what childhood is about? Learning to borrow a trolley, learning to keep your treasures safe and enjoying the excitement of a trip to a store when the reason is lost on you? Isn't it about taking time slowly because childhood whips past so quickly? About learning the tradeoffs between having to suffer the inconvenience of accompanying your mother to the shops instead of the park, because you get a trolley for a few minutes?

Is it really important that you had to stop a moment to untangle the trolley for your daughter? Her yelp at being caught up on another trolley was one of frustration but perhaps, if you'd waited, she would have sorted it out and you could have had a wry smile on your face, a mixture of pride and amusement and something to salve your own anger. And she would have happily gamboled along with you instead of slinking along, rubbing her thigh.

Instead, at that yelp, I saw your anger, your hurt, your baggage, gather suddenly and focus on your child and instead of helping her, you rounded on her and took two swooping fast strides down from the pedestal you are on as her mother, and even as she said "No mummy!" in a thin piping but strong voice, you picked her up and bundled her down an aisle and slapped her. I heard it, clear as day. You smacked her, in public and in a way that made me shake on the inside. In a way that reminded me of a childhood, and made me feel sick.

No one stopped you. No one asked if she was alright, even as she cried and you picked her up roughly and continued to stalk down the store. I hope you were mortified and embarrassed, just as I was shaking and upset at this and had to take a few deep breaths.

And I'm no better for putting my employment above standing up for a child.

If my husband did that to me, there would be police called and cups of tea made but because it's a parent doing it to a child, it's ok in many people's eyes. I hate people who hit their children. There is not justification for it. It is wrong and a symptom of how screwed up the world is that people are going to argue with me on that.

 I remember being smacked by my parents and what I remember isn't the lesson learned - I remember so many other things and so many chips in our relationship.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Seventeen months old!

Dear S - you have been with me in individuality for 17 months. You have turned my world upside down and back to front and put it back together in ways I can't convey and can't quite believe.

In the past week, you have become even more amazing and astounding. You've learnt so many words! Book, sock, fish, cheese, peas, beer, biscuit, car, cat... and so many more! Mama, daddy, papa, Katie and Zaza as well. You also waited last Saturday for me to get home to show me that you can clamber up my side and let go and stand on your own.

You've done some growing as well - 80cm long and out of a heap of your size 1 tops! You are 10kg and because of the increase in your length/height I am loving wrapping you on my back again. I know you're growing because you've gone back to a 7am wakeup, morning napy and then midday nap. That and eating me out of most things in the fridge.

You love reading books and making noises for things, such as a dog bark (urh urh) and beep beep on a nose. You are suddenly in love with a stuffed cotton bunny that I wish I could remember the gifter for, and it's cute to see you ask for it last thing at night. You have so many words for foods and feed me and hungry and more and I love the amazing leaps you're making in communication. Which is lovely given that you spent last week screeching in frustration at me and not sleeping. But the LEAP in development is pay off.

Oh baby do you love dancing! And talking, singing, la la la ing along, and having whole conversations with people. You love to say "Haaaaiiiii!" to anyone we see and you love to smile with your whole body. You love food - mandarin, cheese, peas, meat, egg, grapes. Not so keen on banana and avocado.

You are slightly a neat freak with sorting and storing things. You get a bit upset when things aren't in the right spots and love to unpack the plates cupboard or the baking drawer. Your receptive language is obviously huge compared to your spoken language and I have to be careful to remember that. You can stack blocks, play with a large ball, put things away and LOVE musical instruments and shaking things for rhythm.

A pencil or crayon and some paper and you're a happy girl. You love to scribble and write and play with colour. You love watching me draw as well and are impressed with my skills which is amusing given I have no drawing skills! You ask "Whatisthat!?" all the time and can follow instructions sometimes. You do get upset when something bad happens though - a spilled glass of water or a broken glass and you're upset even if I or TheHusband don't show any kind of upset. 

It's funny isn't it that so many of your fine motor skills are well developd but you're not walking yet. You crawl and climb and clamber and frankly, I'm fine with you not walking just yet. You're hard enough work without that added bonus! I know you'll get there really soon - just in time for summer so you can toddle in the park and at the beach and in the bush. You can feed yourself well, love using adult-sized cutlery and insist on eating what I'm having which means that I'm watching what I eat a lot more than I used to! You love yoghurt and brown rice and fruit, or porridge.

You are the light of my life. My life revolves around you and I love it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I have a strange thing with my chest. I've had whooping cough twice, and when I get a cold or anything in Winter I get asthma that flares up. It sucks and is frustrating and distracting from the rest of the things I have to think about. Especially when I don't like taking my inhaler for it as it gives me the shakes but don't have many other options and have a lot to think on!

It's kind of a long list at the moment. Buying a house is heinously stressful. There is so much crap and fluff and ritual around it. So many boxes to tick and fit into and then other bits that are skated over. It's kind of confusing for the first timer, ya know? And then when I know what I'm doing it'll all be done and I won't do this again evah ;).

I did joke to TheHusband today that the next time we buy our first home it'll be a lot easier. Har har.

At this stage, we are settling at the end of August and moving in the first half of September. Our landlord who is a GEM has offered to advertise the place from that stage as well which means we *might* not have to pay rent at the same time as rent. Maybe.

Add to that that my last placement EVAH for my degree is going to be difficult to manage because I got option number "not even on my list" which means I have to drive an hour each way each shift and there's a lot on my mind at the moment. But I have been doing some knitting - I finished another Milo just the other day, and have knit more of my super secret project as well.

And look! I posted a blog post. Which isn't a fabulous one (yes I did take my inhaler and am all over the place) but it is done! Good night.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On doing my tax

Did my tax. Sigh. I wish we could just agree to get back roughly $x of what we pay out through the year. Agree on some deductions, agree on some surcharges. And be done. Cause I get the same amount back roughly each year.

It did take me a while to do my tax this year. I've had a husband for the entire year and a child for the entire year as well. But I had to wait on so. many. pieces. of. PAPER - Centrestink, Flinders University, Adelaide University, Bunnings, share statements - that it took 2 weeks to get through.

I love doing my tax. I know some people get upset about it. That "their money" is hanging out somewhere other than in their hands for up to a year, and should be theirs instead! But I like having some forced savings through the year, and a money balance sheet that is in my favour.

Now I'm waiting for the money to come back to us. What with buying a new house and all, the money we can get in needs to be accounted for and the more the merrier! So much more for the plans we have for next year as well.

But that's for another post ;).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

On how to buy a house

This was #10 in yesterday's list but I thought I'd write it out today.

A few weeks ago my settlement conference for my motor vehicle accident for going on 4 years and 2 months ago got delayed. Again. By 5 weeks this time. Which would be laughable if it didn't also come up against a whole lot of other stress in my life.

Like - our lease here is up in early October. So either we need to keep this lease up even though TheHousemates want to move on; or move from here to another place that is affordable; or buy a house. Actually that is only the distillation of the whole process, because there are a huge list of backs and forwards in there, and costs and benefits and challenges. In the end, we decided to go ahead with the craziness of buying a place.

So we (I) had to decide:
  • where to live
  • what to live in
  • how much we could afford
  • what kind of loan to get
  • how to find a house
  • and the whole process of buying it!
in the space of a few weeks. Phew! It was TOUGH going because for some reason I was seized by an urge to do so RIGHT THIS MINUTE and when we (I) found our little house I knew why the urge was so strong!

Because it was the right time to find TheNook. It is perfect.
It has 3 bedrooms.
It has a loo separate to the bathroom.
It has land to grow on.
Which faces north, which is all kinds of exciting because it is better for growing all year round, and for heat management for the house.
It already has solar panels which are feeding into the grid.
It's in good condition for its age.
It's been painted recently.

So now is the time to move and as we've not moved or packed in 2+ years this is going to be "fun" right?


Friday, July 1, 2011

In which my blog morphs into a house reno type blog...

No not really but dear blog, I do have a lot to share with you!

I've had a serious attack of Life (TM) recently so my blog has just fallen down the list of priorities. I has gotten me to thinking though that blogging about deeply personal stuff, like working my way through the steep learning curve that is putting an offer in on a house, is something I'm better at doing in hindsight. Plus I was so caught up in the doing that I couldn't also take time to do the blogging about it, ya know?

I have been so caught up in the last few weeks with Life (TM) that I've also not been looking after myself very well. Sigh. It seems that I fall off my "to do" list so much more quickly than other things, and when I'm limited with my number of spoons* I just don't have time for me. Silly Emma though because that then reduces the number of spoons* I have and so on and so on.

So as well as blogging, I plan on doing:
  1. a massage
  2. a haircut and colour 
  3. fitting the gym back into my weekly schedule, twice a week
  4. finish TheChilderbeast's quilt
  5. catching up with friends
  6. planning my future better
  7. cooking and baking
  8. spending time with my lovely TheHusband and TheChilderbeast
  9. doing my tax
  10. and - buying a house
No I didn't forget about the title of the blog. But for now, short and sweet is the name of this game!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The long and short of it

I went to the gym today. I worked out hard enough to work up a sweat, which is unusual for me. What was more unusual was that I rowed, and used the weights machines, and found a fit ball and a wall and made sweet lovin' to them both.

Yesterday I took my sorry left leg and shoulder to an exercise physiologist. I had no idea how much help he'd be but after seeing a physio (or three) and a personal trainer (or three) with no joy, I needed a plan C. The physio gave me exercises to solve my "injury" which is crap, as I'm not "injured" and won't "be cured of an injury". The personal trainer was all "Wah your left leg is atrophied and you're very lopsided - let me focus on your left!" despite me saying that doing so made my left sacral-iliac joint burn and could we not?

This is not my current physio by the way. He is awesome. Well, he's horrible and nasty and has big pointy long needles that he insists on sticking into my muscles some 7cm (!) but he's worth his weight in gold and I do recommend him to everyone who needs a physio come acupuncturist.

So I went to the gym and rowed and such. I also sorted three baskets of washing, parented fed watered boobed and loved on my small, ate breakfast and lunch, took said small to child care, did the gym, showered, visited with my sister, am now blogging and am out to dinner with TheHusband this evening to celebrate his thesis getting examined.

This is a Big Deal (tm) by the way but kind of sort of not mine. Yes it means a lot to TheHusband and by extension me, but not to me directly.

Unlike the other big things which have happened recently, which include that my settlement of my injury case, now 4 and a bit years in the going, has been delayed AGAIN. To 22 June this time. Sigh. But that means it'll be done before the last evah exam that I have to sit for my degree, which is 29 June and yes I should start thinking about studying for it. Or even having a clue about what I'm meant to know for it.

So the delayed court date, again, for the third time, came after being given a ballpark figure of settlement for my case. So that means that we are now a bit more prepared for the future in that we can start to daydream about the future, and to think on what we're going to do.

Ugh. This is a BIG DEAL (TM) in the Vanilla household though. A big deal to take your life off hold and start to progress it towards... well, as our financial planner will want to know, towards what?

OPTIONS for our future that it's a tad overwhelming. And I have to start making decisions now about things for next year as graduate positions are being publicised at the moment, with applications in August which is really soon.

But the idea of doing a fulltime ish program is underwhelming for so many reasons. Not only would I rather never work than go and work in the system that I've been a part of as a student, I also don't want to work fulltime or even 0.84.

But I have to do something with my time next year.
But I am hearing from more mainstream than my crunchy freerange friends that they'd never take on a midwife who was fresh out of school.
Which leads me to doubt myself.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

On night shift and life

Night shift is kind of hard to describe. Unless you've worked in an industry that does night shifts of some flavour, you don't really know what it's like. So let me explain:

On Monday, I took the day pretty easy. I had Sally in childcare that afternoon and had an hour-long nap. When she got home, I had another hour-long nap with her. Then dinner late (7pm instead of the usual 6pm), changed and dressed with a coffee by 8:30pm for a 9pm start.

I have to take another meal to eat overnight. I tend to get a break around midnight, and express at that point as well, then another break around 3am. I eat an extra meal at midnight (what do you call that? It's not supper to me, but it's between dinner and breakfast so I don't know?) with a coffee as well. Then another snack at 3am, with a tea or something sweet. By this stage I've been awake going on 24 hours with only 2 hours of naps in there, and I'm using anything I can to stay focused and alert.

It's a strange time, those hours past about 11pm til about 6am. I don't usually feel tired per se, but am obviously fatigued. I have to focus on drinking water and not focusing on the clock too much. Time goes strangely without reminders of what time it is.

So 6am ish comes around and I'm sent home as there's not much else going on. I get home and eat breakfast. Then feed Sally and TheHusband takes her to a friend's house who then drops her to childcare for me to pick her up in the afternoon.

Have I mentioned how much I love my friends?

Then I wash my face and brush my teeth and go to bed by about 6:30am. Today I slept til 1pm with only a brief up/loo/drink moment. So only 4.5 hours of sleep. But as today is my "day off", which I use very loosely as it's really a sleep day after a night shift, not a day that I can do much in, I don't want to be anything other than tired because otherwise I won't sleep tonight and will be messed up for the next few days.

So that gives a small thumb sketch of how a night shift goes. If it's more than one in a row obviously, I would be napping and preparing mentally for another night. Night shifts are fine in short bursts and the HUGE fabulous point of this is that this is the LAST ONE that I have to do until October.

And no, I don't know what I'm doing next year and whether I'll have to do more of these. So many options, so many variables, so much but so little time as well.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Do you carry stamps in your wallet?

Ages ago, I was watching Dr Phil while writing an assignment and there was an article on it about stamps in your wallet. I found a summary elsewhere of it:
While describing conscientiousness he used an example of people who carry stamps with them in their wallet.  Dr. Phil then asked his audience how many people had stamps with them in their purse, approximately 10 people raised their hands and then reached into their purse to pull out their trusty sheet of stamps.  Dr. Phil was shocked that anybody would carry stamps with them, actually stating that he didn't understand why anybody would do such a thing. 

The Professor went on to explain that people who score very high in conscientiousness are the type of people that carry around stamps with them and almost always buy extra of things long before they run out of anything!  GUILTY!  I am totally guilty of both!  I proudly carry stamps around with me AND buy multiples of things long before they run out.  I can't for the life of me understand why people wouldn't carry a sheet of stamps in their wallet, its such a small item to have with you, besides what the heck do you do when you spontaneously need to mail something and don't have a stamp with you?!!!  I also can't understand why people actually allow themselves to run out of stuff without having a replacement. 

Isn't it so annoying to run out of something and have to wait to finish whatever you were doing until after you run to the store...heaven forbid it should be toilet paper!  Of course this could explain why I will have 4 extra shampoos, 15 bars of soap and 25 cans of rotel acquired before I leave Germany!  Admittedly, the lack of closets and pantry is definitely helping curb my desire to have too many extras of anything, because if its one thing that bothers me more than running out of something, its not having a place for that something to live!
So, do you have stamps in your wallet? TheHusband teases me because I do. I have stamps on hand and stamps in my wallet. They are old enough now that I've had to buy 5c stamps to keep using them, and then 10c stamps as well, as the price of postage went up.

I'm surprised that it says anything about me. I do a lot of those things and I didn't realise it was a personality test.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Not the royal wedding

I am sitting at home in silence because I cannot stomach watching the royal wedding. I am impressed that a wedding of that size was brought together so quickly - a friend of mine has just announced a save the date for 5.5 years' time! so they can save and get organised - but apart from that, I don't care. I also dislike the amount of attention for what should be a family affair, and am astounded at the hype around it for two people who are already in love, living together occassionally, and so forth, formalising their arrangement. I also don't give two hoots about whether she'll be queen, queen mother, king's wife or whatever.

Why yes, repulican here how did you pick?

So to celebrate something far more interesting and important, here is my favourite photo from my wedding day. Self-portrait, at the end of our photo shoot, freezing our legs off by that stage and keen for a spa, some cake and champagne, and our holiday to begin!

We eloped. We had a lovely holiday. It was cold. My dress was orange, not red as the picture implies.

Our rings are titanium but TheHusband damaged his between pallets at work, so I want to replace that with a simpler one sometime soon.

Our wedding was just one day of our lives together. We're coming up to having had 6 lovely years together, 2 married, 5 homes, 1 child and lots of laughs.

I get a bit teary when I hear of Christchurch and the damage to it, as it's a special magical place in my memory. We are really wanting to go back there sometime soon!

So happy wedding day to all who've had one, all who plan one, and all who love them. I hope that any couple marrying today is as happy as we are.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Orange bread! Or how to hide another vegetable in dinner

Our oven door exploded 3 weeks ago. AUGH it is the bane of my life at the moment.

I think I'll bake some... nope.
I want to make a slow cooked... nope.
I have leftover fruit so could whip up some... nope.

And so on.

I also got a fabulous pumpkin from a friend's yard on the weekend, and in true Samhain style to celebrate the harvest, I made damper with said pumpkin to share for lunch tomorrow.

Ah hah! No, I didn't bake it. Or make a fire. I used the Bessemer my lovely sister gave us for a wedding gift.

First time ever using it to "bake" in and it worked a treat. It is sheer tiredness that is keeping me from eating the whole thing RIGHTNOW with butter and a hot cup of tea.

Pumpkin damper
Not too sweet, not too savoury. Sadly it is a bit "a pinch of this" recipe but I hope you can follow along.

1/4 of a pumpkin - about 600g
2 and a bit cups of plain flour, converted into self raising flour
A big pinch of cinnamon
About half that of ginger
1/4C of cream
1/2C milk
Pinch of salt
A small palmful of sugar

Ugh when it's written out like that it looks really weird. But I cook by feel and sound so that's how it's written.

Anyways - cut the pumpkin skin off and then cut it up, steam it til it's soft, cool and then squish down with a fork. You don't want a puree but squished bits of pumpkin. Well, I don't anyway - I like a bit of texture. Add the rest of the ingredients and mash together with a fork. The "bit" of flour is because you need to work it with your hands a little, and it should be a fairly damp dough. Sometimes you'll need a bit more flour than other times. It depends on the pumpkin and the flour and the cream/milk and the phase of the moon. But the dough shouldn't be overworked, or too dry. Damp.

Heh that's the "damp" part of damper perhaps?


Form it up into a cob and put it on a floured baking tray in a 200C oven. Or in the Bessemer if you have one, on a low heat for about 1/2 an hour. It kind of steams rather than bakes, in the Bessemer, so it won't sound hollow when it's done but it'll taste just as good.


So this is an awesome way to get more pumpkin into someone, and it goes well with tomato soup or based meals, any soup especially pumpkin, sweet things as well as it's a bit sweet. I put a bit of paprika in it sometimes too, or chilli. It goes well with Mexican food too.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Contemplating my navel

Where do you escape to? Where do you escape from? I do so into my shower. Or cup of tea. Depending on the day and whether Sally is around, I can sometimes have a shower alone or a hot cup of tea.

Rarely both in one day though.

Oh - someone asked me what to do with a Sally-sized childerbeast when in the shower? If her being in the shower isn't an option, such as when shaving or if she has already bathed, I stick her in the bath with a LOT of toys. The shower abutts the bath so she can see me and I can see her and it's a deep bath so she can't get out.

For now, because she's worked out how to stand up and sit down. And with cruising that means that climbing is not far off.

Anyways, so the shower. I escape from the world into a warm, white-noise dominated, pleasant and reassuring. I think we all need a place to go, for silence and comfort, for consolation or a little private jig when something goes right. In the out-of-focus latte-coloured tiled and glass box, I can stand and be whatever I am that day. In my shower, I only have to deal with what's within arm's reach. Soap, shampoo, tiles, water - all have a place, and a purpose, and an honesty. Running water does not lie to me. My navel is open for gazing in.

In recent years, perhaps the last 5 (4 in particular) the shower has been my epiphany, my muse. In the bathroom my focus on life changes from a ways over there, to just a few feet, when I take off my glasses and my clothes and wait for the hot water to run through. In the daylight hours, or the bright lights of the ceiling extractor fan, I am forced to stand, literally and figuratively, naked, and contemplate myself. Truly see myself for that moment. To look myself in the eye and assess how I'm doing. In the shower, feeling spray on my shoulder and neck, I realise things that I otherwise would not or could not face. Often just a small thing, like why I have hoarding tendancies (That was this morning's epiphany. It's so that I have something to look forward to. I'll unpack that one in a later post too I think).

I have made some amazing realisations and decisions in the shower. Some not so exciting or profound, of course, but the daily ritual of revealing my 31 year old body and seeing how things change or how I'm feeling, is a distancing but at the same time connecting ritual. I see myself for who and what I am, in the warm light of the heat lamps or the cool sunlight on an Autumnal morning. In that moment, before I shower and dry and put on moisturiser and choose a face from the jar and gird my loins for the day, I look at myself - confident, genuine, concerned, upset, lost, found. I can lie to the world for the rest of the day but to myself, in the mirror, in the slightly-steamy moments I cannot lie to myself. I can dress up or down, choose funky shoes or sexy underwear, interesting socks or a different scarg but I can't hide, in my eyes and face, that which a careful observer might see. My skin my fluctuate, my hair misbehave, my physical form improve or decline, my bright points and dark nooks blend into the greynes of normality and reality, but in the end I cannot hide my soul nor my light under a bushel.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Where do I get my writing style from?

Heh did you even notice I have one? I didn't realise until the other day that I can pinpoint the inspirational writing that inspired me to write and convey the stuff that's in my head. The following article is probably the biggest inspiration but more than that - it really does sum up how I think and my writing may as well reflect that. I have developed it further of course, and do occassionally talk like this (especially when tired, frazzled or excited) and do write neatly for academic reasons. But I do also like to acknowledge my sources!

So here is the article, entitled "Thesis of Superman":

This is an actual essay written by a college applicant. The author, Hugh Gallagher, now attends NYU.


I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.

I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I
play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.

I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.

I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

But I have not yet gone to college.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Anyone else tired of being frugal?

Is anyone else out there tired of being frugal?

It's like the unspoken elephant in the room sometimes when I'm talking to other frugal-types. Not just the pissing contest type conversations about who's more frugal, but the genuine frustrations of needing to do x and only having y options because of frugality, poverty, or ambition.

This thought started when I got sick of our toilet paper. It's not the cheapest, but I thought it was a good compromise between tissue-paper thin and the uber expensive, while also being a little bit green. But one time too many of having to ration the paper so that I got enough coverage without taking 2m of the stuff made me realise that I wish I didn't have to make these decisions. That I sometimes wish money wasn't an issue.

I am happy to buy a greener product.
I'm happy to buy a larger pack at a lower unit cost, or a different brand to see if there's a cheaper alternative.
Or even, a more expensive brand that is something else I value - locally made, or without x or y.

But what I'm tired of is the penny-pinching just to get by. We're not destitute or poor but going on 5 years of student-ship means we're close to the bone while still achieving some savings goals. And that means making the tough decisions about toilet paper.

Ok woe is me - first world privilege, I has it. I am able to make these decisions. I am able to choose what toilet paper I buy, and opt for one over the other so that money flows elsewhere in our budget.

But in the meantime, I will enjoy the trappings of my life and ponder whether this is why some people go off the rails. Whether we all need a little "thing" in our frugality that means we don't go crazy. For me it's dried spices. I buy them, and I use them generously. Others might scrimp on what they use, how much they use, when they use it or don't use it or what they cook. I also buy and use nice tea and collect tea things (pots and cups).

I do know though that this kind of stress can turn into something more than toilet paper. And living on our budget at the moment means that when I start working professionally we'll be well set to save and prosper. And that these habits are those that self-made rich people use to get the most out of each dollar.

But sometimes, I wish for nice loo paper.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tautology rules!!

I applied for a position blogging for someone else. Crazy talk perhaps?

I have shown I can blog every day for a month (ugh). It was a hard slog and boring towards the end but do'able.

So here's my application for posterity. And so you can wish me luck.

Hello! My name is Emma and I'm mama to a 13 month old girl. I write a mishmash of a blog at the moment but would love to focus my writing on one topic, in a different forum, and have my own blog for the rest of my writings that aren't about being a mama.

I am happy to commit to blogging regularly - I find it cathartic and enjoyable. I love taking photographs and have a dSLR and am not afraid to use it. I'm actually enthralled with learning how to use it, and Photoshop, and would love to develop my skills further! I'm comfortable with sharing my life with people as well and have been blogging about bits and pieces for ages!

I am a fun mama even though my daughter is only 13 months. I am crafty, I knit, sew, paint, experiment with lots of things, am wanting to learn to play the ukulele and I sing in a choir. I live in Adelaide and have done for 5 years now, and love the city. I also own a Thermomix, am a great cook, have an interesting family and a photogenic cat.

Plus I have a lot of friends who'd stalk my posts and drive business through your site.

I'd love to blog about lots of not quite mainstream elements of parenting though, so am not sure you'd be interested in my story and journey. I have tattoos, had a private midwife for my pregnancy, homebirthed, we co-sleep and co-parent, I am a mature-age student nearly finished with a midwifery degree, I am book smart and well-spoken. I dress eclectically, op-shop with determination, love tea and baking, and have a soft spot for peppermint. I also garden, have an interest in herbs and traditional medicines, am staunchly feminist and unapologetically interesting. What I do have is a fabulous marriage, a whole suite of potentially life-changing events on the horizon, a warm demeanor and a lot of confidence.

What I don't have is a photogenic gene in my body so I do apologise for the picture of me attached. But wanted you to have a face for my name! Hope to hear from you soon.

 Wish me luck, yes?

And for posterity, I can share that back in the day I got sent an email that inspired my writing style. I'll blog about that on another day, yes?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oven exploded - sad face

Am I going to look back at this blog in 5,10, 20 years and be able to groan at my language as being so... teens? Are we up to them already? Anyways, yes, our oven door exploded. This is not ours but it is similar to what happened.

The safety glass exploded off the front of the door, and is now taped up with safety cardboard. It's been 2 weeks without an oven and I am getting a bit annoyed with the whole process. I keep thinking that I'll just bake bread... nope. I'll just make some muffins... nope. I'll just pop a casserole... nope. I'll just invite people over for dinner and... nope.

Ok so Thelma the Thermomix is getting a lot of a workout but I'm noticing that I love to combine things and pop them in the oven or the slow cooker. And then write, study, photograph, play with Sally or do what I want. Instead I'm cooking quickly with Thelma, and not getting any baking done.

I don't mind the not baking so much as I still don't have a sweet tooth. TheHusband on the other hand I'm sure is missing my skills. I love baking for so many other reasons and I am getting better with steaming things in Thelma but it's not the same, ya know? And it's not quite as easy to make steamed pudding things, rather than "what's left in the fridge yes oatmeal and some fruit and random chocolate and fruit yoghurt sure that'll taste delicious in my normal recipe". And they don't keep as well either.

But the batter is so. YUMMY!!! when made with coconut cream.

I do need to get my hands on some new silicon cupcake pans though. The only ones I can find are bee shaped or fairy shaped or flower shaped. These don't work in the confines of the Varoma on top of Thelma but I'm reluctant to buy them online and pay for postage as well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grow where you are planted

It can be so hard to look on the bright side of life when there are so many other places you would like to be. And "if life hands you lemons, make lemonade" doesn't really describe it. It's not about making the best of a bad situation. It's not about being happy with wanting something, getting something just as functional but not ideal, and making something! even! better! out of it.

It's all very Biblical of me to draw on this proverb as it is from Corinthians. And there is lots of interpretation of it on the webs about the Biblical approach to this but that's not where I'm coming from, although it does show that (a) I heard this somewhere, (b) some aspects of Christianity are universal and (c) it is universal.

But when it comes down to it, the take-home message is that adverse life-situations need not prevent you from having a successful and fulfilling life.

There are lots of things in my life right now that I don't like because they are situations that are not what I want, and not where I'm happy. Physically I am troubled by my lack of (not being able to do the couch-to-5k program that got me started in running 7 years ago, and that people who are less motivated, less fit, less driven, less experienced, less pigheaded, have taken up and wah! I want to be able to do that even though I hated running and am not athletic) fitness, I am flailing because I am not finished my (degree of doom with vague scents of a groundhog day) studies, I'm sick of being a student and not having income when I'm putting effort into my life, and so on. I'm tired of working at Bunnings - I'm something (ashamed? embarassed? amazed?) about the fact that my longest employment has been at mininum wage in a position that I've gone nowhere in, because it was never a 5 year plan to be there.

But this in part clouds the rest of my life, where I am happy. I have a good marriage, a healthy fabulous child, earning capacity, a future to work towards and look forward to, a roof over my head, access to so many things that are first-world, and so much potential.

So it's not that I have lemons, and need to make the best of it. It's deeper than that. It's about being in a situation, planted somewhere specific, and having to not just get by. Not just dwell on the momentary need to make lemonade, but to put down roots and bloom.

And that's what I'm doing with this placement. It's not where I want to be with my midwifery - I want to work with women who trust their bodies, who understand what they're doing, who embrace and celebrate the journey, and joyously welcome labour and birth. But I am doing good things on my placement. I have identified what I want to learn from it and I'm learning. I'm stepping up and using the skills I have to support women in their chosen birth. I'm good at what I do and I have had to choose to bloom where I am planted.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Infrequent blogger is infrequent...

I am still alive and here. I'm on placement at the moment.

I have 3 weeks 7 days left of this placement.
Then 2 weeks more of placement, in about 6 weeks' time.
Then a week or so off, then another week of placement.

Then an exam.

Then a hand up of my portfolio.

And I'm done for this semester. Totally achievable.

And then next semester is 6 weeks of placement, 2 assignments and a portfolio hand up and it's done all together.

Then... what? Aiiiiieeeeeeee I don't know. So many options.

Graduate position - needs to be 0.8-fulltime which is 31-38 hours a week. I cringe to think of whether I can do that. Though the money would be good.
Maybe find a position somewhere at a lower load? Private hospital? Agency?
Take on 1 private client a month and see what happens there? Do it part time until Sally is a lot older?

Or the temptation is there to never ever practice midwifery and instead start up a business to sell gender-neutral baby and toddler clothes.
Or take up photography instead.
Or move to New Zealand.

It depends a bit on what happens when my court case resolves in a few weeks time. A friend mentioned the other day that she just had to help me through til May and I drew a blank of what I needed help with. After all, my exam isn't until July and my placements won't be over until late June... oh right, that court case.

Another huge unknown is what will happen with that. It's impossible to make plans without knowing whether it will resolve in my favour (highly likely), how big a settlement it'll be (no idea) and then what we can do with it. Can we buy a house? Do we buy a house? Where do buy a house? A fixer-upper? Something off the plan? Something that's rented and not move in?

Yeah. Lots of stress and unknown. I'm just trying to concentrate on one week at a time, one shift at a time. It's not easy but right now I have to concentrate on the path my feet are on, and ignore the maelstrom of eddies of fate and decisions that are out of my hands.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A long long time ago...

I joined a forum. It was 2004 and I was in need of somewhere with women who were like me - post-university, not yet settled into a groove of life/love/career, and of many different backgrounds and persuasions. I found such a group and over the past 8 years or so, I've seen the women there grow up, get married, have children, lose parents, divorce, finish study, buy houses, discover new careers, travel the world and cook, knit, sew, paint, write and groove their way onwards. The forum also helped me through thick and thin, bad relationships, good books, job interviews, interstate moves, surgery and recovery, a proposal, a wedding and a baby. I'm not so active on there but it's a warm spot in my heart and one that Facebook and other sites help me stay in touch with.

The site is US-based but I've met some of the amazing women there - this one time I flew to Sydney just to meet one of them, because I so couldn't pass up the opportunity to meet her!!

And just the other day, one of the women on there cried out to the wilderness that is the internet. And it was noticed. Within minutes, the concern was raised within the group. Someone more local to her called her house, and was concerned enough with the non-answer that they contacted her husband, and then the authorities in her city, who intervened.

I woke up to this - it had happened while I slept. I was concerned to see the first post, then on tenterhooks to watch it unfold, and then relieved to see that it was resolved. And then I looked at the deeper meaning of the community that is there on that site. Women all over the world were aware that something wasn't right, and were prepared to speak up and do something about it. This doesn't happen in the real world, does it?

And why not?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tomorrow will be my dancing day...

Well tomorrow is Sally's first birthday. But today, I want to write about me.

This time last year, I was getting into labour land. I had my first contraction at 2am in the morning, and was gently working up to birthing a babe. I did a belly cast, ate a lovely meal, watched some movies, swayed and breathed and worked to bring my amazing nearly 1 year old earthside.

It was freaking hard work. Harder than I anticipated. But I did it and I became a mother in the wee hours of tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow is a celebration of Sally, in all of her feisty minded and cheeky cuteness.

Today is about me.

Today is about loving my body for doing the most amazing thing ever. I grew and birthed a whole new person!
Today is about letting myself be ok with the job I'm doing as a mama.
Today is about being amazed at what I've fed, watered and grown over the past year.
Today is about me being ok with my breastfeeding journey.
Today is about measuring what has passed and saying goodbye to it.
Today is about anticipating the amazing year to come - the walking, talking, challenging year to come.

Just wanted to share it, on today the anniversary of my labouring.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

11 things to update you on for Sally!

Cause she was 11 months old on the weekend before last.

Valentine's Day last year was my last day at work before I had a baby.

She is the most amazing, delightful and beautiful thing I have ever had the pleasure of. Even when things are tough, I know that things will be easy very soon afterwards.
  1. She now eats food. Last month, she would play with it, taste it, and drop it. Now she eats. Which is FUN and GREAT but now I have to think of what to feed her.
  2. She can pull herself up on low things - footstool, couch edge, mama's pants. Doesn't do much from there, and panics a bit once she's up as she can't work out how to get down, but she can do it. She does stand momentarily then collapses, so doesn't do it much but I think she'll just start walking one day soon, as she does like to walk holding our hands. 
  3. She has crawling down pat and is very amusing to watch. She gets a boost on when she wants to get to something moveable (cat) or something she's not supposed to have (cat food). 
  4. She waves goodbye and hello, catches people's eyes to chat to them, says "dat" and points, will follow direction (Chase papa! Where's mama?), loves banging things together or shaking them to make NOISE/music, and just last week learnt a whole new suite of syllables. 
  5. She has started to suck on a dummy, or on her thumb, but not for comfort - just for sucking on something. She sucks all the way on the lower edge of her thumb though, breastfeeding style, which is quite interesting, with lips flanged and K shaped. 
  6. She loves putting things into containers, understands no and ahuh and yes, nods and shakes her head, and gets an evil glint in her eye sometime when she's up to mischief. She also likes to crawl with whatever she was playing with, in her mouth, so when she stops it's there too. Object permanence?
  7. She loves swimming in the ocean and the pool - a real water baby.
  8. She has great pitch! She can aaaahhhhhh a note and hold it while mama finds a harmony and papa does too. It's rather creepy!
  9. She has also worked out how to blow bubbles in her spit, with the same aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh. G...R....OSS.
  10. She loves music, creating music, a good beat to boogie to, and any musical instrument. It's so lovely to watch her hunt down those toys at childcare.
  11. She has broken the 9kg mark now, and is tall for her age, and has mama's arms - the longer-than-usual ones. Sigh. That's going to make winter top shopping a challenge.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snapping point

Do you have one? Mine apparently is when I have to wait and wait and wait. FUCK will SOMETHING just resolve, PLEASE?? Or I may have to take up a hermitage.
  • I am awaiting a client birthing. This one is not one of the things I'm remotely anxious about. It'll happen sometime this month, and I'm used to that - the being on call, the being prepared and not going too far from home but still getting on with my life. It's lovely to pack a bag each morning when I go out, with my camera, two lenses, 3 batteries, nappies etc for Sally and some snacks. Exciting even!
On the other hand, the following items are driving me insane with the waiting:
  • UniSA continues to demonstrate that they can't organise their way out of a wet paper bag. With a map. And a headlamp. And a trail of breadcrumbs. I have placement in a matter of weeks and after busting my hump to get my paperwork updated so I could put preferences in two weeks ago, I still don't know where I'm going. Placements were supposed to be out last week. But still nothing. And no response to my polite, friendly, chatty emails. I therefore also don't have a roster for placement. So I can't work out meals, childcare, cars, transport, whether we can billet someone
  • I don't have my training package from the ABA yet. Apparently it was posted to me in early December. I have been chasing it for 3 weeks now and *now* someone tells me this detail, revealing that it is likely to have been lost and therefore offering to send me another one. I have a training day on Saturday that will now be pointless as I don't have ANY work to do for the subject we're discussing.
  • Virgin Mobile have told TheHusband that he can have an iPhone4 in 10 days. I've been waiting for 4 weeks to be told when they'll even have stock of them. I am pissed at this. My phone is unreliable, frustrating and still on a plan so I'd rather stay with Virgin than move and have to pay out my contract. So I ask for an upgrade so I can stay with Virgin. Sure, that's fine says Virgin but we'll let you know when they're in stock. TheHusband calls yesterday and gets a different story. I call today and get told the same story as before. I am pissed at this because it's either a) one of us being lied to or b) him getting different treatment as he's male. Not sure which makes me angrier. I have a loan phone for the meantime but want it resolved.
  • I am waiting on pay for work I've done over the past few weeks, as a casual for two universities. Pay for these is notoriously fickle.
  • I have a court date for settlement of my injury claim, on the 22nd. But I'm waiting for an appointment with my lawyers. And for that date to come around as well.
Sigh. What I need in the meantime is a massage, someone to clean my floors, bathroom and toilet, a fairy to sort out the spare room, something to resolve some time soon, and some sleep.

Or just someone to cheer me on. And bring me wine.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The inside story on childcare

Sally's been going to childcare 1-2 days a week for a few weeks now. And I thought I'd post the "why" and "whatfor" of what it means for me. Not in a defensive way either - this is, surprisingly enough, not a rant at anyone for a change. Maybe motherhood has tempered me.

Bwahahahaha. Hardly.

So yesterday she was at childcare as well but I spent the day running around doing errands. Hardly a pleasant day to be honest, or maybe it was a pleasant day but not enough to outweigh not having my babe around. We got up early, which meant Sally didn't get her extra hour's "night" sleep after motoring around for an hour. We showered together, then I dropped her at childcare, collected a lens that's on loan to me for a birth, had a remedial massage, had lunch at the markets to celerbate Chinese New Year with some girlfriends and their childers, went to Lincraft and picked Sally up. It was hot and humid! and then I had to go to work. Somewhere in there I also went to Target to collect a layby and buy new shorts as well. Way easier without a small to get in and out of the car, and carry around, and feed, change and entertain, no doubt about it. But it is also not my life at the moment.

Today however, we woke up, had a play, motored around, then Sally went down for a nap while I sorted out 5 baskets of washing. It is my pet HATE of housework - folding washing. Sally was up after an hour, we showered and packed up and I took her to childcare a little later than usual. A phonecall interrupted the drive but I spoke to my husband, who I didn't even see awake yesterday. Childcare dropoff was fine and I had a lovely chat with one of her carers. I walked out into the humid! weather and went home.

I'm now watching Secret Diary of a Call Girl, drinking hot tea and eating a biscuit. I am also blogging which I don't get to do much with a small at my feet. I have plans to have a coffee date with my husband this afternoon before we collect Sally from childcare. I know she's safe and happy there for a few hours today and this morning was a good connection so she is extra happy. I am doing what I want without interruption.

That's what mother's work is. Interruption. I can't do anything without interruption. Most of the time that is fine but uninterrupted sleep, hobby'ing, cleaning that cupboard that was grotty but I haven't had a chance to wipe over, painting my toenails - that's what I miss about the BC era (before childerbeast). Most of the time I can be piqued about it momentarily and then get on with the job, as anyone would. But when I'm stressed about Life, it helps to know that I can recharge the batteries just a little.

And if that's what childcare is to me - a chance to recharge - then I'm paying for the privilege anyways. I don't have parentals closeby to help out. I don't have friends who I can leave Sally with "just" so I can recharge. And until you've been a parent you don't, won't understand what it is to be empty and need a recharge. Needs some self-nurturing. Needs to just do. my. own. THING! for a few minutes, and stop when I want to, not to tend to a boo or feed a mouth or water a babe or do anything. Or do something because I want to. To recharge and nurture myself.

Who nurtures the nurturer if not... well, whom? Who helps me when I'm dealing with my own demons and angsts, and stresses and abrasions on my soul and I have to give so much to someone else. The days or weeks when I have stuff to deal with (alas, another post) I feel myself short with Sally. Cranky when she won't co-operate with my ridiculous and unfair expectations, like going to sleep. Upset that I can't be, do more for her. Upset at what I am and do for her already maybe not being enough.

And with that, I'm going to reclaim my kitchen, and clean that cupboard that's been annoying me.

Monday, January 3, 2011

10 things that I can't plan my way out of just yet.

You all know just how much I detest not being able to plan? That "hurry up and wait" is the MOST irritating and distressing situation for me to be in? Well here are 10 things that I absolutely CANNOT plan for, around, up to or through, but will define 2011 for me:
  1. Resolution of my motor vehicle accident?
  2. Which will start with a phonecall tomorrow to my lawyer,
  3. And another appointment with him and my other lawyer,
  4. And then a court case in late February.

    This was care of a surprise letter last week detailing my court date. I was expecting it to all drag on into 2012 and instead it might be all summed up and dealt with by the end of February. Cue a whole lot of tears, a lot of stress and anxiety, and lots of "what if"s. 
  5. Placement for school - details up on 18th of January
  6. Freakout in the meantime because I went ahead and booked attendance at some truly awesome workshops and a conference but if school is horrible and insists that I am on placement that week, I'm lots of $$ out of pocket and really upset .
  7. Choosing of placements in early February
  8. Don't know when I actually find out about them
  9. Sally to a maxilofacial surgeon on 24th of January

    Ah I haven't told you about those dramas and her suspecte posterior tongue tie. I'll post later.
  10. I have to start thinking about next year and applying for jobs, sometime soon (surprisingly soon in fact)
So I asked a friend to cast a rune for me and this is what she said:
I drew the blank rune for you~The Unknowable~The God Odin.

Blank is the end, blank is the beginning. This is the rune of total trust and should be taken as exciting evidence of your most immediate contact with your own true destiny which, time and time again, rises like the phoenix from the ashes of what we call fate.

The blank rune can portend a death. But that death is usually symbolic, and may relate to any part of your life you are living now. Relinquishing control is the ultimate challenge for the spiritual warrior.

Here the unknowable informs you that it is in motion in your life. In that blankness is held undiluted potential. At the same time both pregnant and empty, it comprehends the totality of being, all that is to be actualized. And if, indeed, there are matters hidden by the gods, you need only remember: what beckons the creative power of the unknown.

Drawing the blank rune may bring to the surface your deepest fears. Will I fail? Will I be abandoned? Will it all be taken away? And yet your highest good, your truest possibilities and all your fertile dreams are held within that blankness.

Willingness and permitting are what this rune requires, for how can you exercise control over what is not yet in form?

The blank rune often calls for no less an act of courage than the empty handed leap into the void. Drawing it is a direct test of faith.

The blank rune represents the path of Karma, the sum total of your actions and of their consequences. At the same time, this rune teaches that the very debts of old karma shift and evolve as you shift and evolve. Nothing is predestined: the obstacles on your path can become gateways that lead to new beginnings.

Take heart: know that the work of self change is progressing in your life.
So I consulted my horoscope for the year:
While no sign benefits more from the unsettling yet exciting changes trigger by the encounter between Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces on January 4, you won't necessarily recognise their potential. In fact, because this is the case with most developments, especially during the year's first half, you're urged to explore everything, even what seems unrealistic. Not only will circumstances be shifting, an often, with your ruler Neptune in Pisces from early April until August, you'll be conducting an extensive personal review.

Consequently, what you regarded as ideal as the year began could be very different by its close. Knowing that, ignore those who insist on a detailed plan. Instead, combine a review of long-cherished dreams with serious reflection on what, and who, make you glad to be alive, an allow those to shape your activities. Ther could be no better approach to 2011.
And then decided to have a drink.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

10 things I won't be doing in 2011

None of this resolution stuff. Here's a list of things I won't do instead!
  1. Give up coffee. Or tea. I love them both and enjoy them.
  2. Take up eating chocolate. I'm not going to apologise for it but - I do not like chocolate. It does not like me if it's anything fancier than Cadbury. I don't like it or need it in my life. 
  3. Floss more often. I find it a really horrible feeling and it is disgusting to do and I've never had a prolem with my teeth because of it so why bother? I hate going to the dentist as it is, without also adding the trauma of squeaking floss every day.
  4. Do some extreme sport! No bungy jumping, skiing, skydiving for me.
  5. Eat coriander. I detest the stuff and refuse to eat it.
  6. Get into vampire stories more. Yawn.
  7. Commit to losing weight - I refuse to play that game with myself or society. If my thighs offend, avert your eyes.
  8. Call people more often. I hate speaking on the phone and hope people don't mind email, FB, text, smoke signals etc.
  9. Assume that I can do more, financially, physically and mentally, then survive this year. It is going to be a FULLON one and I'll need my A-game just to get through it so nothing extra - no budgeting to achieve dizzy financial heights of success, no grand plans to expunge the clutter from my life, no writing novels or giving speeches either.
  10. Get divorced, move house or have another baby.
10 things I might do, especially if asked though:
  1. Pose for my photographic friend Billie - you can see her amazing photos on her new website and there are a few of me too! Because being behind the lens most often, means that there are few photos of me!
  2. Read a book that doesn't have to do with midwifery, parenting or babies.
  3. Go for a swim in the freezing cold, just off the iceberg from Antarctica water that inhabits the coast near Adelaide. It is COLD and I don't like it.
  4. See any friend that asks me - tea, opshopping and so forth is fun and I want to hold my spare time close!
  5. Write to people more often.
  6. Take a photo a day. I may only publish once a week though.
  7. Get a good night's sleep.
  8. Order lamb from Wychwood, and maintain our subscription to Food Connect.
  9. Have an anticonsumerist year - undies, presents, food and fuel are fine, but continuing with 2010 where minimal stuff was bought in the shops.
  10. Go to the zoo.