Wednesday, May 9, 2012

That Tunnel of Treachery

The birth canal. It has to be removed from common vernacular pertaining to birth.
Here's the heads up... or down... follow me for a second.

Lie down, on your back, knees bent up.
Take a deep breath. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat a few times.
Now feel with your right hand, the front of your pubic bone.
With your left hand, feel your perineum.

Now close your eyes, and imagine the 'tunnel' that exists between them. It's not made of steel and concrete. It's not kilometres long. 
It's a vagina.
Purpose built for birthing babies. 
It's elastic.
And it's about the length of you middle finger. 

Your baby's head will be behind that same pubic bone you are now touching with your right hand when you are at term, and often it is LOWER than that. 

Is it really a birth canal in your mind? A passage between the womb and the world, yes... but not long enough to house a ship or 20.

Myth of tunnel of doom = busted.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another year rolls by...

Well, well, well. It seems I've been a neglectful blogger, and I'm finding myself drawn to return to share my current journey here.
I'm into my second year of my nursing degree, half way through my third semester. I'm loving it. Really I am. I didn't ever think that nursing was something that would appeal to me nearly half as much as it does, and I'm looking forward to my first prac rotation this semester. I have two med/surg rotations to look forward to, and whilst to a future midwife that might seem like a contradiction in interests, I find the area of nursing interesting enough in it's own right, and surgical nursing is really starting to appeal. Quel surprise.
The children grow as children do. We've had some ups and downs this year, nothing drastic though and it's more like riding a slightly choppy sea than a major storm.
Lochlain is now wearing glasses for a severe sight problem, and no longer seeing the palate/jaw team at the children's hospital. He's moved into pre-primary with the language school and has made a fantastic transition to full time schooling. New friends, old friends and a kid who just takes it all in his stride.
Will is cruising along in school, never misses a beat. He's really opened up this year and become heaps of fun to be around. He loves to experiment and try out loads of things. He's still very much a natural learner, and is exploring the world of 'planning' and spends his days 'planning' which fits so well with his need for control on the minute level.
Tristan is bored without his brothers home during the day, and whilst Rhiannon has become a fantastic playmate, she's not quite compliant enough for Tristan to get his way every time and that challenges him. They play, they fight, they play, they fight.... and then they eat, they fight, they play, they eat.... you get the idea.
Andrew has begun his post graduate diploma of education this year. He's studying externally, online via a university in Victoria so that I can finish my degree.
The biggest changes really this year have come from me, for me. I am working on my health as much as I can. I've addressed my overweighted-ness and have vowed to continue to make myself the priority for me this year. I've just this week had my gallbladder removed and while I am in recovery from the laproscopic surgery I am focusing on the family foods. I can't exercise at the moment, so I have to maintain my focus in other ways.
I've been running the Couch to 5km program  and a day shy of the 5th week. It's taken me 8 weeks to get there because I was so unfit in the beginning. It started with me not even being able to jog for 30 seconds. Now I am up to jogging for 5 minutes at a time.
I've been doing a weights training program up to four times per week as well, and adding in bike riding and other incidental exercise where I can. I feel fitter now than I have in the last 8 years. I am still overweight. Massively so, but I am working on all the facets of long term weight loss, not just stepping on scales and berating myself.
So I'm playing. And I'm living. Right now I'm recuperating. My life is changing before my eyes. I'm re-entering the world of grown ups, away from the hazy baby days of newborns, naps, and nights that go forever to dawns.
I vow to return to blogging more frequently this year. I'll make it part of the 'new dawn'. It's a new day. And I'm feeling good.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A May Musing

I haven't updated here since I started uni, and I do apologise but I have seriously just been too freakin' busy. I don't feel like I've come up for air in the last 4 months, and until I see the backside of these exams, I don't think that feeling's going to change.
I was catching up on a friend's blog today (hillsdweller) and just the pace of her blogging with the crafty bits and the foody bits and oh my I just wish I'd had the time recently to get into that. Sadly, I've just been going a million miles an hour and feeling like I've missed huge chunks of the past months, and it's all because I wanted it that way.
The course is awesome though and I am really loving it and I'm actually doing pretty well at the moment. I've got about an 84% course average, which isn't too shabby I don't think.
I feel like I've finally got my teeth sunk into something that's good for me, and good for helping me help others. It's what I should have done all along, but somewhere down the line I got the idea that I was no good at 'sciencey' stuff, turns out that's a load of codswallop and I am nailing it, total surprise for me!
As for the day to day bits and pieces -
I'll start with today and work backwards and forwards at once, I know that won't suit everyone, but meh. You get that.

Today was the caveman's (aka Husband) birthday. It's the 10th birthday of his we've shared together. And like most of them it involved no gifts, cards or the like. Mostly because I am lazy, and partly because he doesn't like that kind of thing. Total win for me, no stress.
I took the two little boys, Lochie and Tristan, to the WCE v St Kilda game at Subiaco in the afternoon, but we left early because it was just too cold and uncomfortable for them and they weren't really into being there when they realised I wasn't going to be buying them a tonne of junk food to eat. Ah well. We got to have a birthday dinner with their grandad because it's his birthday too, so they got cake anyway, not a total failure of a day.

William starts swimming lessons through school tomorrow and I am a little peeved that his school pulled the 'middle of winter' straw again for the second year in a row (that I know of). Last year he ended up with bronchialitis by the end of it, and I am seriously hoping that it doesn't happen again this year. He hasn't had croup yet so far, so I am pegging my hopes on a shift in his immune system/constitution that's meant less respitory issues will eventuate this year. Touching wood. A girl can hope, right?

Aside from this, I am going to have leave this post with a small photo update of the other muppets. I have run out of time and am being summoned...

A brief catch up xxx.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Our 'Down South' Retreat...

Surfers packing up for the day
14/365: Gracetown tragedy memorial
Baby on board
Bush wees
11/365: The shack
9/365: Boy proof fence

A trip to Gracetown, WA in January 2010.
We had to attend a wedding at Brookland Estate just outisde of Margaret River, so we hired a holiday house in Cowaramup Bay.
It was sensational. We had the closest house to the beach in town, a gorgeous old retiree's shack.
We did all the usual tourist trips, the chocolate factory, had a lunch at a brewery, a wedding on a vineyard.
We took a day trip to Augusta down Caves Rd, stopping to do a cave on the way down. I can't remember what it was called... I'll have to look it up.

I had a ball. I didn't want to come home.

Manifesto of the Idle Parent

The Manifesto Of An Idle Parent

We reject the idea that parenting requires hard work
We pledge to leave our children alone
That should mean that they leave us alone, too
We reject the rampant consumerism that invades children from the moment they are born
We read them poetry and fantastic stories without morals
We drink alcohol without guilt
We reject the inner Puritan
We fill the house with music and laughter
We don't waste money on family days out and holidays
We lie in bed for as long as possible
We try not to interfere
We push them into the garden and shut the door so that we can clean the house
We both work as little as possible, particularly when the kids are small
Time is more important than money
Happy mess is better than miserable tidiness
Down with school
We fill the house with music and merriment

I read this a few nights ago via a facebook link through a friend.
At first glance, I was really keen on it, I agreed with it. But after being prompted to look at it again today, I realise I have more than one or two issues with this manifesto.
The first issue being simply that I can't live by a manifesto. A public declaration of my intentions... well my intentions might change tomorrow, and then what?

But anyway, the idea that because I leave my children alone (and I do, really), because I expect them to not want to be constantly entertained or pandered to, that they'll leave me alone in kind. Hmm, no, it doesn't happen and I don't think I'd like it to happen. Sure, they play by themselves for the majority of the day while I supervise from the peripheral, but I am included often and am asked to join in with whatever it is that's captured their imagination for the moment. I'd be sad if they really left me alone.
It's true, I've often (possibly too often) cried 'just leave me be for a minute'... but that mostly comes from having a small child in arms and on the breast for the most part of the last 6 years, I get touched out. But I only ever want them to sit next to me instead of on me, really. I don't ever want to be alone. I don't mean that I don't want to be by myself, I simply never want to be alone.

Now read on in this manifesto, to the bit about reading poetry and stories without morals. I will admit to being confused here. I read to my kids, and often preselect books for our collection that cover a realm of different areas of social conscience, not necessarily morals that are upheld by the greater community. Sometimes we read poems about bums and farts, and fall about in fits of laughter... no morals or lessons there. But I don't think I'd be committing to never reading anything to my children that wasn't, at least in part, attempting to vicariously bring their attention to potential quandries they may one day need to address. I do believe in letting my children have fun with reading.

When it comes to the item about alcohol, I have to admit my IGG went ballistic. I can understand not wanting to drink alcohol with guilt. I don't believe we should feel guilt about enjoy a drink or two, and sometimes a few more, but I can't live with that as part of my day to day goings about. I don't feel guilt over indulging my taste buds with a Baileys on ice at night, but I do believe I'd feel guilt, and rightly so, about indulging every day, and more than enough to alter my ability to parent. So whilst I agree with drinking alcohol without guilt... I guess in my head there's always the addendum: in moderation.
I'm guessing any who read this would be thinking "well, that's a no brainer", but from what I've encountered in the world of parenting, it's apparently not as obvious to some.

It then comes to the encouragement of no family days/holidays. I totally agree. We don't go on holidays for the sake of a 'family holiday'. We don't need encouragement to spend time together in the form of forced company. We spend tonnes of time together every day, because we all live under the same roof and my children still rely on myself and hubby as their only mode of transport outside of the yard. Our family days are really every day. Every day we've got something on, or not. Every day we are a family. We don't need to, nor would I want to make a big deal of us being connected as a family. We simply are, organically.

We go on holidays, albeit not as often as we'd like simply due to lack of funds. Last year I took Rhiannon to Adelaide for 5 days. Over December we went camping, all 6 of us. In January we went to Gracetown, WA for 5 days as husband was expected at a wedding down there as he was the best man. But they're weren't specific family holidays, they're just holidays we do as a family, because where we go, the kids go for the most part.
Take today, for example, we're about to head out to the farmer's market. A veritable family day out, but it's not really, it's just a day and as a family we're headed out. But it's not a 'family day' where we're committed to spending the day together in some false hope of fostering a connection by force.

And then my last nitpick: Down with school. Hmm, well I understand the basis of the homeschool/unschooling arguments. I just don't agree with them enough to give it a go. I have a two kids who love school.
They're always offered the opportunity to stay home, but when given the choice, 9 times out of 10, they'll choose to go to school. I guess that's because their friends are there, and they have structured activities to look forward to (unlike the complete chaos of home).
I do sometimes think 'down with school'... it's true, I would love for my boys to be home and happy and just hanging out. Over the long summer break, we had a great time, but by the end of the 6 or so weeks, our big lad was in need of something other than what we had to offer. Sure in a homeschool/unschool environment I'd be forced to look for stimulation for him outside of the school setting. But I have things I want to do this year for me. I'm returning to school. My husband will be teaching at a school. School is a pretty big part of our lives right now, and will be for at least the next 4 years... so sure, 'down with school'... so long as I've still got the option to send my children there ;-).

As for the rest of this manifesto... It's pretty much spot on. I'm sure that the bits I was hesitant to accept are mostly just areas that lacked explanatory notes. I am an Idle Parent. So is husband. We want our children to be self sufficient, and not needing to rely on anyone/thing for encouragement or enthusiasm in life. I want them to be entertained within their natural landscape without having to seek artificial stimulation, whether it be television, electronics or ballet.
Don't get me wrong, if the kids ask to be allowed to participate in something that they are interested in, or want to learn about, then hell yes, I'm there. But I won't be enrolling them in every extra-cirricular activity for the sake of keeping them busy and filling their lives with 'opportunities' which really aren't that opportune at all.

It's not laziness. It's not even lack of wealth. It's wanting my children to be the best they can be, all on their own.