Thursday, July 29, 2010

Such a long time

I know. Its been a long while since I blogged. But SO much has been happening.

A started back at kindy, we resumed our very busy social lives, op shopping and rubbish dump runs, you name it. Up from 8am to getting home after 9pm each night means that the two days we had at home, we all snuggled down on the couch and spent the day relaxing our brains and bodies, recharging again for the next weeks.

I have HEAPS of photos to show, things we have bought, stuff we have done, things to share, so stay tuned. I have promised myself that we have to get this house back to its cluttered but clean status before I relax and blog, so hoping that happens real soon!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

This Wonderful New Government Creation - The 'Eligible' Midwife

As regular readers of my blog might know, I'm seriously NOT happy with the Governments and the AMAs new policy for home birthing midwives.

They crap on about making it more accessible for Australian women to access home births, 'allowing' midwives to access medicare and PPS, getting insurance....blah blah blah. Nicola Roxon (or Rocks-In-Her-Head as she is known around here) repeated said that they are not making home birthing illegal, that its about MORE options for women. I have repeatedly been told that its all been done FOR Australian women.

Well, throughout this whole rotten process, rarely, if EVER, have any actual birthing women - the ones who are actually affected by this whole process - been consulted. They have asked the AMA, the trade union for DRs and OBs (hhhmmmm why ask the ONE group of people whose hip pocket would be affected most by increased home births?????), hospitals, insurance companies, the Midwives College (most of whom are hospital midwives, mind you). They have tokenly asked for public input, then promptly and completely ignored all the submissions - over 2000!!. We rallied, sent in thousands and thousands of informed submissions - all to no avail.

Apparently, the people who actually use this service, the ones that want our independent midwives, are of no concern. We don't count. We shouted that we didn't want these Drs and OBs telling us what we can do with our bodies, our babies, our safety, our families, but we were ignored. We are nothing

Well, here is the reality people. Its not conjecture, its not scare-mongering, this is the reality of NOW!!

Already, there are women being 'DUMPED' by their midwives!! Presumably for not meeting the governments NEW WONDERFUL policies. Yes, it was happening before the July deadline by a few very unscrupulous midwives, who DUMPED their clients in the final few weeks - YES, WEEKS - before their births. (After full payment was made of course!! Can you guess? Did they get their money back?? uh-huh )

But it is happening more and more already! Women, who have met with these medwives for 8 months in some cases, formed (or so they thought) relationships with them, built that trust, are being 'DUMPED'. By email, by sms, by phone. No warnings, no explanations, just 'DUMPED'. Never in the first few months, oh no, but by 37 weeks, by 35 weeks!!

I was told, by a person who was apparently 'in the know' that any midwife that decides to refuse service, will have to arrange alternative support for their client, one that their client agrees too - but I have yet to hear of that happening. All I am hearing is "Sorry, I am withdrawing my service, see ya" and leaving a heavily pregnant, emotionally abandoned woman blowing in the breeze.

HOW is that better for Australian Women?? Anyone??

*hears echo bouncing around a suddenly empty room*
No. They aren't making home birthing illegal, just the ability to choose to have someone experienced there with you. If you don't meet these precious rules imposed by OBs AND INSURANCE AGENCIES, you are out. Mind you, these rules were thought up by OBs and Insurance companies - who got their info FROM OBs *facepalm* - and don't actually have any bearing on the truth of birthing.
Not a popular opinion, but one I agree with - Obstetricians are trained for emergencies. They specialise in births that go wrong, rarely have any actually SEEN a natural birth, one that God intended. They are fabulous for when you need one, disaster if you don't.
Think of it this way - do you take your car to the mechanic if nothing is wrong? Do you call the police if nothing is wrong? Do you have a brain scan or operation with a Neurologist for a simple headache? NO, you see these people, these professionals IF NEEDED. Birth does NOT automatically NEED an OB. So WHY were they considered the 'consumers', the ones to consult for this? Who the Hell Knows
All I know is that there are women and families are suffering NOW because of short-sighted, fear-mongering crap.
Take my un-solicited advice! If home birthing is where YOU want to go, here are a few tips.
1) Research your options FIRST. Find out about about any potential midwives. Ask around. Find people who have birthed with them. Ask local hospitals if they know them (and their transfer rates too of course) Check forums and websites that discuss midwives. DO NOT take Advertising at face value!! A great midwife is one that has the BEST form of 'advertising' - Word Of Mouth!
2)When you have a few midwives you are interested in, ask them about their costs, what they will provide, what their level of experience is, what they will and won't transfer for, if they are an 'eligible' midwife - ask them WHY.
3)Get it in Writing BEFORE handing over any monies! * MY * personal favorite? Don't Pay All Up Front. Cynical? Maybe, but I don't pay my mechanic before looking at my car, my dentist before they fix my teeth or my builder before the work is done - same rule applies here.
But be prepared - if you are too old, too young, no previous births, too many previous births, too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, small baby, big baby, no tests, too many tests, have any mental health issues, previous PPH, have small feet, waters have broken more than XXX amount of time, home not suitable, twins, breech, too early, too late, previous assisted (forceps or ventouse), previous c/s, GBS, pelvis too small, baby head too big, miscarriage, abortion, SPD, fast births, previous drug assisted birth, may need drugs, etc etc etc - you may not be 'allowed' to birth at home under these Wonderful New Guildlines, so read up and Learn Your Rights, cause we are in for a rough ride!
Disclaimer - I am not a Dr or Midwife or Medical Expert, the examples given are ones that are already being used AND are in some way IN the rules already. I am fully supportive of ANY woman who wishes to see or use an OB or hospital for all or any of these reasons, I just don't believe that ALL women who have these should be blanket ruled out of a home birth!!! Choice People - its all about CHOICE!!

Friday Funday

Well, Friday Fun here today. As P is still under the weather with his teething, we had to have another day home.
The Kids played together in the playroom while I was off doing boring adult things (read as washing nappies!) and A played Cook really well with her attentive assistant ready to 'help' at every opportunity.Then we moved onto a sticker book of A's, where you have to match the picture to the sticker while you read the book.
Whoops, sorry for the crooked photo. This was so cute as P was trying SO hard to figure out just HOW he was going to get the toy out of the tissue box. This kept him entertained for about 20 mins!!!

We then made some chocolate biscuits from an online recipe a friend recommended. Unfortunately, they were NOT nice (to say the least) even my Choco-holic daughter couldn't choke one down.

So we decided to not waste them, and by adding a bit here and taking a bit there, we turned it into the base for my very first cheese cake!!

Nice, but nothing to blow your socks off :(. Must work on that one I think!
But P didn't have any complaints! :)

Short and sharp tonight - SOOOO tired from P's endless nights of teething! That Child hasn't slept more than a few hours at a time! Hoping its over soon!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Weather's Fun! Least for me! lol

We had a hail storm here a few days ago, it was brilliant!! I rushed outside, dragging A with me (thank goodness she was still up) and whipped off a quick couple of shots.
A asked immediently what it was and I explained about rain and hail, all excited about sharing this natural wonder... and she looked at me like I was balmy, shrugged and went back to her drawing!! rofl
That was it!! She really couldn't have cared less!! DH and I had a chuckle over that!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ohhh, Such Sewing Fun

We got a eagerly awaited delivery today!! The biggest bag package we have ever received I think!! A couldn't wait to see inside it!

Its almost the same size as she is!

Now, technically, its not on Op Shop purchase, but I figured second hand is just a good!! :)
I bought off an online friend a HUGE quantity of fabric and fabric remnants - vintage, modern, assorted textures etc as well as 8 different patterns.

The patterns are a combination of dresses for A, suits for P, a handbag pattern as well as a patchwork quilt pattern. But the Best was a skirt pattern for me - IN MY SIZE!! lol

Here are shots of the fabrics -

So so so excited to start working on all the different projects I have planned in my head! A has already 'bagsed' some of the fabric for her to use and for me to use for her to make into her dresses.
I would be doing it right now, only my best friends kids and my own dear angel decided that I didn't really need to have a sewing foot on my machine, so removed it and promptly lost it. And as no-one did it ( see ~ Magical Fairies Did It, We Are Innocent ), we don't even know where to start looking!! *sigh* have to wait until I can get to the sewing store and replace it!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dannii Minogue's home birth

Congrats to Dannii and her family on the birth of her new bubba!!

I wish her all the best, a lovely milky babymoon and surrounded by caring loved ones that can assist her if she needs to debrief.

If you weren't aware, Dannii Minogue had planned to have a home birth, but apparently had some issue or complication that resulted in her going to hospital.

To the media, they are pushing this as a failed home birth. The OBs are taking full advantage to vomit their propaganda onto us. Dr Ted Weaver sprouted some stats and facts he, quite honestly, pulled out of thin air (or his arse, who knows - seems to be the common thing to do when you are a Dr and hate Home Birthing).

Unfortunately, too many people (who would otherwise question Drs and Know-It-Alls) fall for this rhetoric hook-line-&-sinker, with little to no real thought. Journalists are a lazy bunch as well, by all accounts, as they simply print whatever reaches their ears - a bit like a Dictaphone.

What this really is, is a successful home birthing story.

Successful? How? She didn't birth at home??

Well, not knowing her actual history, we can only go on what we DO know from news reports.
'Failure to progress' is a common catchcry of the obstetric community, but that is what I read. So we can assume that she had some difficulties that required her to go to a hospital. So she went.

That is what is supposed to HAPPEN. When you home birth and find you need or want to go to hospital, then you do! Quite simple actually. :)

Simple Fun

As P is under the weather (think he's teething poor thing) we decided to stay home today. Not an easy decision as A has been missing her friends lately, but I couldn't take P out, wasn't fair.

So, pinching an idea straight from another home schooler (heehee, thanks!!) we made some colored ice. Using blue and red, we mixed them in some funky iceblock trays and I let A decide how much water to put in each shape. She was very excited to play with them, and took a little bit of time to understand that the water takes a while to solidify into ice.
With this, we worked on science, colors, tones, depth, time, temperature and fine motor skills (DragonMumma was only stressing a little bit about getting food dye on the yellow bench top! lol )
She is excited about getting them out tomorrow and experimenting with them!! Again, stealing the idea straight from another home schooler, we will use them on paper and fingers and I think we might even try on some fabric I have stashed away!

We then got out a game she has been dying to play - Dora Memory. Its Dora and her friends and you have to match the different colors/pictures.
For example - Lime green with Lime Green, Grape with Grape. The pictures helped to distinguish between the shades. With this game, we worked on colors, words/reading, memory, motor skills, recognition and finished up with counting - her 22 to my pathetic 14!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Relax and Just Chilling

We were supposed to go out today - a bus ride to the city. But last night during bedtime routine, A asked if we could stay home. Considering that we have been out from sun-up to way past sun-down for the past 5 days, she had a point. :)
So, after a lazy morning sleep-in and scrambled eggs for brekki - free range of course!!! We then just pottered around.

A couple of games of Guess Who and A wanted to do some cooking so we whipped up some Honey Crackles - yummy!!! A did most of this herself, with just a little help on the reading of the recipe. Someone thought I was busy with the camera and wasn't watching....... heehee

We then popped next door and visited with our elderly neighbour (took some treats) and spent the rest of the day tidying up, made some dinner and watched a little telly.
So today, we have covered - how to identify people, colors, addition, reading, cooking, socialised and housekeeping. So even for a quiet day, we still managed to get some life experience learning in.
And 'they' said homeschooling is hard! lol

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Journey Begins

I received this picture via an email from a friend today and it gave me a chuckle. Why? Cause most people seem to believe the fish-in-a-bowl is the home-schoolers lot. I don't 100% agree with the public school aspect, (many children thrive in mainstream schools) but I understand the point they were making.

We are getting to the end of A's kindy experience, she has one more term left. So that means having to start the process of jumping through all the hoops to get us registered to home school. I will be using this blog more now we are starting to get things organised as a sort of journal of our Journey. A sort of reference if you will.

I am very excited to be taking this journey with the children. We are looking at all the different things that we will be sharing with the kids and all the learning they will be doing, through classes, day to day experiences and interests that fill the children as we progress.

One of the classes we hope to be doing is LOTE - Language Other Than English. We asked A what language she would like to start off learning, and she totally surprised us with the request for Mandarin. Well, her words were "I want to learn 'ni hao' one".
She once had a language book that had several different languages, all with their own buttons, and I remember her fascination with the "Ni Hao" button. She has also watched a cartoon called "Ni Hao",_Kai-Lan (thanks to Wikipedia) a handful of times.

Some of the other classes are things like Martial Arts and Kindy Gym at our local Community Hall. We asked A what sort of musical instrument she would like to try first, and she immediately motioned 'violin' which is also something I would enjoy doing with her.
She has also asked if she could do a dance class, so we are looking into that as well.

All these things are great for a learning mind and A is just as excited as us.
We are currently looking into all these activities and hope to have a rough draft of our week up shortly. :)

One of the things I would like to cover today is related to the cartoon at the top of the page. This is probably the MAIN question/query/even accusation we seem to always get.

"How will a home schooled child become properly socialised?"
This would have to be one of the most mis-understood concepts about home schooling. My question/reply can often be one of a snarky nature, as the question in my experience is rarely asked out of interest, but generally out of ignorance/rudeness/even horror. If I'm in a fore bearing mood, I will often explain the where's and hows of it all.
If I'm in a snarky mood (lol) I will often reply by asking if they think home schooled children are locked in a room and simply have food shoved in under the door. heehee.
The reality of Home Schooling (to our POV) is that the home schooled child is more often than not MORE socialized than a mainstream schooled child. How? I hear the question reverberating through the readers mind.
Picture this - In a general home schooling family (ruling out the rare, fundamentalist, isolationist family/cults of course) the child participates in the families everyday life as well as their own interests and learning. So using our family as an example - Classes of varying interests, museums, art galleries, parks, other home schooling groups, food markets, sports, family (both primary and extended), friends, shopping, excursions, child led and focused interests.
All where the child encounters other people of ALL ages, cultures, beliefs, values, diversity, etc. Not to mention all the valuable things they are learning, exploring and understanding.
How is that different from school?
Well, Mainstream school - 30 (sometimes more, sometimes less, but not so much now-days) children, all the same age, generally the same socio-economic level as well and more often than not, the same culturally. All 30 of these children will have ONE teacher and maybe an assistant. Throw in a couple of struggling kids - learning, behaviour, whatever and other children lose time with the poor struggling teacher. Excursions are done, but rarely (come on, who really wants to take 30 kids to the Post office on their own with a few parent helpers? :D ) Children DO go and play with others at break times, but will invariably play with the classmates they know.
Which do YOU think has the most access to socialization?
Add to the fact that they also have to sharing learning with all those classmates, they will for the most part learn how to wait. Waiting is a very important part of life, but in school, they seem to do an awful lot of waiting. Waiting for their turn, waiting for the teacher, waiting for others, waiting in line, waiting waiting waiting... Someone once told me that on average, mainstream schooled children do about 4-6 hours learning a week. By learning, I mean 'schooling stuff'. A home schooled child could cover that in a day if they wanted.
Now, I didn't want to turn this into some type of mainstream vs home schooling bashing post, I was simply explaining it from our POV. In truth, many children do perfectly fine in mainstream schools. I just want more for my kids and the bottom line is, don't we ALL want that for our kids??