Thursday, October 25, 2007

Colourful Cosleeping Cuddlers

Just a couple of colourful pics of my cosleeping babes.
I think they are stunning.
Lochlain was entertaining Tristan with his sock puppet and Will was being camera shy, he wakes up just like me. Grumpy!
Hope you like them.
x B

Friday, October 19, 2007

Spring Is Well And Truly Here

It's late. I should be in bed. I really should. Tristan started my day at about 5am, but here I am browsing the web and mucking around with some photos... feeling a little jaded about the online world tonight after a much loved community has almost imploded in it's own ego, and sold out, leaving me feeling rather gutted. Oh well, have to find a new home, and get my groove back elsewhere.
We spent the morning in Freo today, hanging out with some other funky mamas, having a coffee and a play out in the spring sunshine. It was fantastic, but of course I got sunburnt rather badly... hmmm not a nice tan. Naughty mama, not wearing a hat.
It was great to be out and about, and I picked up a new wrap. Yes, the sling addiction continues. I bought a Gyspy Mama today from Karritree Lane, as I am going to sell my HAB after a very short love affair with the jersey wraps I have decided that I need a lighter weight fabric going into summer, and I would prefer something that I could get wet and have it dry much quicker. Tristan also got a matching hat to go with it, so we look like the cool crew!
The weather is certainly turning it on of late, and we have some flowers starting to appear in random pockets of the garden. It's great for inspiring the useless gardener in me, and I am committed to getting my yard looking neat as before summer is here. I have some pots that are begging for Aloe Vera and Agave. I want to fill in some gaps out the front with more shrubs but am still undecided on what will fit with my "more natives" plan. I am loving that the boys have such an awesome yard to play in, with a great deal of shaded patio area, it makes for a great play date setting and a fantastic fruit eating spot!
The big boys are really into helping out with Tristan now and finding ways to be "mums" to Ted and Baybee. Ted is here on holidays while Grandma and Ron are in Sinagpore. Will has taken to slinging him around the place to keep him settled, and when he needs a mummy milk, Will obliges and faux feeds him. A little AP in the making. Lochie has adopted Will's Baybee in the interim but he is not fussed on being a slinging dada, he prefers to use a stroller and race around the yard, speed freak that one! Here is my slinging boy with Ted in his pouch.
Lochlain is known here as the key thief, and the addition of our new "busy shelf" for keys and wallets could not have come at a better time. Lochlain has added to his "Escape Ariste" repetoire and now knows how to get out of the dead bolted front door and into my car, in less than 30 seconds mind you. So the keys are now as high as they can be, and Mr Houdini is on 24 hour watch. Here's a pic of him in action, cheeky monkey. Sigh, I think it's time I hit the hay. As much as my brain is still ticking I am sure that I will benefit from an extra hour or two's sleep rather than sitting here mucking about. Oh, and a bit of *fluff* news, I have taken over giving the ABA info talks for the antenatal classes at the local hospital. It's 3 nights a month, and it's only about 25 minutes of giving people a heads up on where/how/why/when to get breastfeeding support. I am stoked, I feel like I am back on track with helping women out, and getting out and about doing what I want to do, empower women. It will all count towards my training as a counsellor, and as I get further along in my chosen career path it will all count towards me becoming a Lactation Consultant. That's right, the mad breastfeeder is choosing to move into paid work eventually to talk all day about something I have done for almost 4 years already! I have finished up my state government contract, so I am not working at the moment, which is allowing me to focus on my volunteer work a bit more, and giving me more flexibilty in steering myself towards my *ideal* career path. I have applied for direct entry midwifery next year at Curtin, and failing gaining entry into that (which is highly likely as I am only eligible for 1 of 9 places), I am in line for a nursing degree with ECU, to get through that and then do a post grad in midwifery. Yep, that's right. I want to catch babies, and help women boob on. Geez, whooda thunk that's where I would find my passion?! Ha, yep. I am sure I mentioned going to bed... I am certain of it. Well I better head to it... it's looking nice and cosy and I am reading a couple of great books at the moment so I may just sneak a peek into them before I shut my eyes. Night all, and have a fantastic weekend. I know I plan to! x B

Kate's 21st Present

I finished it. 9 months late. oops. Sorry Bug.
The photo doesn't do it justice as the flash hits the paint badly....
But this is it. It is simple acrylic on canvas board. I really got into painting this one, and the kids loved helping me... although Andrew wasn't impressed with the art work on the projector screen. Oops.
I am really, really super keen to set up my art space out in the shed now. I went and bought new oils and new acyrlics yesterday and just need some new canvas and a fair few new brushes. Decent brushes. It's something I do slack it with my brushes a bit, and don't clean them off well enough.
This is what I call getting my groove back. Woo!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Buses and Trains

Yesterday we had an adventure into town. The highlight for Lochlain was the walk on the overpass over the freeway where he could marvel at the cars racing below him. So excited! We caught a train to Glendalough and had to get on a bus to the city because of the trains being out of service into the city for the Mandurah rail link up. Wasn't too much of a hassle, the guards helped me get all three on the bus with no drama and Will loved being on a caterpillar bus, a new experience for him. The boys loved it. It was a bit tougher than I expected because of the bus transfer, but all in all, everyone was really helpful. I had Lochlain in the E3 with the bags in the baby bit, Tristan in the Hug-a-Bub and Will walked everywhere for me. We had a bit of an uh-oh moment on the way in, when Tristan had a poo-splosion, but thankfully I had invested in Cute Tooshies this week and he was well covered, and we had no blowouts! Fantastic! We had a look in Myer, and went to Borders to get part of Ava's birthday present. The boys got to pick out a book each and they both chose the same set of books in a box set, so no arguments. YAY. We watched some buskers in the mall for a bit, and went and got a cold drink in Carillon, and we made our journey home again. Will loved every minute of being on the train, so much to look at. Lochlain fell asleep on the bus from Perth to Glendalough, so thank goodness I took the E3. They were so exhausted from their day out and about, Will was asleep by about 6pm and Lochlain soon after.

The Birth High - Tristan is Born

Like a form of foreplay, this long latency process (“forelabor”) seems to set up the biological and social circumstances so that all the “elements for success” are simultaneously present. Latent labor gets everyone gathered, involved and geared up to attend to the biological and emotional needs of the mother and baby. The marriage of biology to psychology with its attendant association to sociology (the right people present and the wrong people not) is necessary for physiological function. From http://www.collegeofmidwives.org/prac_issues01/MFer_01a.htm
This birth story has been so hard to write. Not because there was trauma, not because there were parts that were hazy and unclear because of drugs. It’s just that it’s a birth story that I find really hard to explain. In my mind my baby began his journey the day before he was born. A Friday. I had two of my doulas over for lunch and just to chill out and get a good feel for how I wanted my birth to go. I was feeling crampy and very blissed out. I could taste every atom in my food that day. I felt sharp and aware of every sensation. As my doulas left that night to do their own thing I felt like I was made of pure electricity. Andrew invited a friend and his girlfriend over to watch a movie and hang out with the kids. We sat up until about 11 watching old movies and just having a laugh. I was going to the toilet about every 30 minutes. I was losing huge amounts of mucous and the twinges really started to get me excited. I closed the front door at about 11.30 and went to bed with Lochlain, knowing in my heart I had a big job in the next few days. Saturday morning Andrew started work around 5am, I could hear him getting ready at around 4.30am and I remember hearing him leave and thinking that I just had to wait until his shift finished and then I could birth. I went back to sleep and woke at around 9am. Both the boys had slept in and we got up to have a lazy morning in our PJs. I got out of bed and took two steps to the bedroom door. BANG. A contraction. Ok, get a grip Brooke, this is going to be hours yet and you have things to do. Get the kids’ breakfast. I made food, and ate breakfast for myself. I got up to go the toilet. BANG. Another contraction. Or was it? Nah, it was just a niggle, I am not in labour. That hurts far more than this. I turn on the computer and log on to MSN. Laura is free to chat so we have a little rave online, and I let her know that I think I am warming up. I time two twinges while I am chatting, 8 minute gaps between them. But they don’t really hurt in my back, it’s lower and to the front, so surely it’s not even real labour. Laura asks if I need company for the day and I figure why the hell not. I tell her to get her skates on, and see if I can manifest perfection. I try to do the dishes, but the twinges are distracting me. The phone rings. Did I text someone? I don’t remember. I answer the phone. “Megan is that you?” I hiss through gritted teeth at the peak of a twinge. Shit, should have waited until the end of the contraction before I answered the phone. Don’t want to freak her out. But I want someone here NOW. Megan talks to me, I try to tell her I am not in labour, but I am. She decides to come to me. Her and Laura are both about 40 minutes away from me, in opposite directions so I know that I am going to be alone for a while longer. I decide to tell myself I am not in labour. I try to chat more online to people. Nope, can’t do that, I can’t concentrate. I put on a movie for the kids and just pace around the house. I am not in real labour yet, it doesn’t hurt enough. Time passes. I get a text, my witches are 20 minutes away. I sit on the toilet and try to read a magazine. It’s a Zoo magazine, why am I looking at naked women? Ugh. Get up and pace some more. Megan arrives. Greg waits in the driveway in case it looks like I am closer to birthing than I let on. Nope, I smile and wave, have a laugh. I am not in real labour yet. I just need company. Lochlain is extremely ill. He is screaming at me, constantly. His fever rages. He sleeps in fits and wakes to scream and cling to me. Laura arrives. We chat. We have fruit. Fantastic strawberries. And organic chocolate. Oh, and the strawberries and cream lollies too. My water bottle is endlessly refilled. We tidy the boys bedroom. Well, Megan and Laura tidy, while I sit on the edge of the beds. I go silent occasionally and the house honours me. We get the boys lunch. Or at least I assume we did. I stand lots, and just rock every now and then. But I am not hurting yet, so this is going to be hours, days even. I feel stupid for calling the team in so early on in the piece. I need help with Lochlain but he won’t go to anyone. He warms to Megan. And eventually Laura.. He is still screaming. And screaming. I need him to sleep. Someone asks where Andrew is. I explain that I am not calling him home from his shift because he finishes at 1.30pm. My witches roll with that. He comes home and I tell him to go to bed. I need him to sleep so he can be alert for me in the night. I tell him to take Lochlain to bed. I need a break from the screaming. Will hangs out with us. We eat, chat, laugh. I don’t remember any of what went on in the next few hours. But I certainly wasn’t in real labour yet, definitely not. Andrew arranges for his mum to come for dinner. I am not in labour yet. At least that’s what I have told him. Lochlain wakes and screams some more. This all happens around me in a blur. Megan #2 arrives with a birth ball. I asked for one apparently. Now I can’t bear to look at it. But they talk about brownies, food. So hungry. Laura leaves. Her baby is sick and needs her. I still have two crew. Two Megans. One Megan leaves, Melissa arrives. I have no idea what order that happens in. Lochlain is still screaming. I can hear Andrew snoring. Andrew’s mum arrives for dinner. I am at the kitchen sink. “I am going to have a baby tonight,” I breathe. More activity as she realises I mean I am in labour. But I am not in real labour. It doesn’t hurt yet. Someone asks about the kid’s clothes for an overnight stay. I remember having packed stuff. Where did I put it? In the car. I get more stuff ready for them, they are excited, because granddad is coming to get them. Who is here? Where is Andrew? He needs dinner. Eat dinner. All of you. Please. I am going to need you all tonight, it’s going to be hours yet. I start to pay a bit more attention to these twinges but am still able to move through them. The kids leave. I wave them off, thinking that it’s still days before I birth, and people are being far too preemptive around me. It doesn’t hurt yet. Andrew eats. A potato crisp sandwhich and a pepsi. I remember that. We are still laughing and chatting. Melissa is easing Andrew into the idea that I am birthing. He resists that I am in labour. I’m not, it doesn’t hurt yet. Time passes. Someone hands me the phone, someone wants to talk to me. Trying to focus. Hold the kitchen bench. It’s a midwife. I give her my details, and what she needs to know, then BANG a huge contraction. Grip the bench. It’s double backed. I get hit twice in row. Oh, so now I am in labour. That hurt a bit. But it’s not in my back yet. So I still have ages to go. Someone is telling me to go get in the car. I am not ready. This is not real labour yet. It doesn’t hurt enough. Would you all just let me decide. But surely they wouldn’t be jeopardising my birth. Trust, Brooke. Trust them. It’s all lining up, and apparently I am going to give birth whether I want to or not. You hand picked this crew. They seem to know what’s going on. Melissa has made a sanctuary in the car for me. Megan holds my hand. Melissa drives. Andrew follows in his car. I text my family to let them know I am going to birth. The car trip sucks. I grip the roof. I need to stand up. I can’t sit. Arrive at hospital as Laura pulls up. How did she know? It’s dark. Wow the whole day passed so fast. What time is it? Who cares? Grip signpost, gather strength. WALK NOW. I move fast in a straight line to the toilet. I need to go badly. I still don’t think I am close to birthing. This is stupid take me home. I will just sit in the toilet for a bit, I can just figure out my plan. My plan, get the baby out. Lets just do this. We get to the lift.We get upstairs. Confusion. I didn’t follow some rules. I forget where to go. People talk, doulas sort it. I prove I am in labour, discuss medication needs and get a room. Ooh a ball. Ohh even better, a toilet. Let me get there. Shit, now I am on the toilet, and I have to sit here through a contraction. BAD move. Got to stand. I hold the end of the bed and the side rail and pull/hang off there in waves. I am still talking in between rushes. I feel alive. People are talking to me, and apparently I am making sense. We are laughing a lot. I want to drink a lot. I need to pee a lot. Contractions come and go, this is still not hurting in my back. I am still sure this is not the real thing. Wait a minute. My toe hurts. What on earth? Half my toenail is torn off. Can I have a band aid please. Note to self, find out how that happened later. It’s all so different to how I expected the pain to be. I am coping too well. Surely I should be in the zone by now. Oh well, enjoy the ride, it’s going to be hours. My crew are with me two by two, helping me with cold washers on my back. Holding my hand. Grinning at me. Loving me. This is awesome. My midwife comes, she tells me she has read my birthplan. Cool. She asks if I need anything. I forget she exists and I don’t notice her for ages. I feel anxious about the fact that my membranes are still intact. I am upset and quite angry. Surely they should have exploded by now. I can’t bear the pressure. My midwife speaks, the only time I hear her. She reminds me that my body and my baby have their own plan, that’s it’s all unfolding as it should. She reminds me that my baby knows what he needs and that she has no intention of interfering and if I want to break my waters I have to get on with having a baby. Andrew reminds me to just TRUST. He seems really calm, sane and rational, like he KNOWS that the membranes have a purpose. I move between the toilet and the bed. That’s it. I rock and sway and dance a bit. Hands in the air. Tip my head back. This is awesome. Am I meant to enjoy this? Do I want a bath yet? No, it’s still too early, didn’t we only just get here? It doesn’t hurt enough yet and I don’t want it to all stop. It’s not going to stop Brooke. This is real labour. Someone hands me a warm face cloth. Put this on your peri. Huh? You want something of me. I know it. I can see you want me to do something with this cloth. I don’t understand. Oh, ok. I go along with it. Hmm, give me a few more contractions. I am coping. Megan and Melissa convince me it’s time. Fill it up, it’s going to take a while. It’s ready. Ok, lets get it on. Time to get this baby out please. Take a deep breath. Barrel down the hallway. Clothes off and in I get. Holy shit. Oh no. It’s too hot. Cool it down. Wait, hang on. This hurts NOW. It hurts. I am splitting open. I can’t catch a breath. BANG, whoa, this is hard work and I want to go home. I can’t do hours more of this. It’s too much. It’s too hard. Take me home now. I call out, help. HELP ME. HELP ME. I am in a dark room, in a warm tub. I have smiles surrounding me, calm, grinning faces. I can’t do this, this is insane. Who the hell wants to have a baby? Right now it intensifies about 1000 times and I am hit hard. I feel like if this lasts more than one more hit I will die. Oh, that’s right. This is transition. It will end. Melissa would you stop smiling at me please. Wait a second, I need to push. Uh oh. Andrew, where is he. Shit, I see the midwife’s feet. I am gripping someone, I think it was Megan. Push whoa bear down hard this rocks but wait aren’t I meant to push in bits, this is one long huge push and geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez, what the hell was that? What do you mean it was just the membranes rupturing? NO WAY. What? The heads out? I thought that was just the waters breaking, what do you mean he’s half out. Who’s holding him? No I can’t hang on, deep breath. I am coming. HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. I just had a baby. Shit that was quick. Hey look, he’s out. Tristan. Wow. He is behind me, so I loop my leg over and grab my baby. Oh my god. That was awesome. Lets do that again. Wooooooooooooohooooooooooooooooo! Andrew has his hand on my shoulder. I feel really warm. He is big, and oh wow he looks so much like Will. I am getting cold and I let the crew know to keep me warm. They remind me to stay present and not let this take me away, I feel a pull to close my eyes. Nope, must stay present. I have a load of hot towels and stuff on me and we drain the bath. The water won’t go down because the caul is stuck in the plug hole. The time to move is now. I need to get on with getting this placenta out. I hand my fresh baby to Megan and her colour changes. I get in the wheel chair. I am warm. We get out into the hall and someone congratulates me. I beam. I have my entourage. Megan holds my baby while I contract more as the placenta moves out. I am really not liking this bit at all. I want to enjoy my baby. But this is kind of uncomfortable. Look at that giant long cord. I am getting impatient with this placenta and feel myself forcefully pushing. I try to hold up on doing that and eventually it comes away easy. Ahh relief. Who is going to cut the cord. I hadn’t picked anyone. Melissa caught him, Megan has held him as his placenta is born, Laura cuts his cord. I am so happy. So, so happy. We weigh him, Andrew is keen to pass on the size when he calls family. What’s his name? Tristan James. He weighs 4.78kg. Andrew leaves relatively soon. I have a shower. This is the first time ever post birth I have showered myself. I stand there. Watching the water and just cry. This is amazing. I climb into bed. I am still high. I talk to the midwife about my blood loss. She is happy to leave it for a bit longer, I am not. I want to relax now. I ask for a shot of syntometrine. She estimates that I am already at 500mls of blood lost and I just want to sleep without worrying about more gushes. She is happy to give me the shot, and if it doesn’t work we will go from there. I have the shot, and then I get comfy. My doulas are still with me, all on a high. The room is abuzz. After a while Laura leaves, and later again Melissa leaves, Megan camps in my room. I think someone set her up on the floor. I drift in and out of sleep. My baby feeds. He smells divine. I feel like I am radiating my high. This is how birth should have been for me all along. This is what makes a birth addict high.

Circle of Life Midwifery

View this montage created at One True Media
Circle of Life Midwifery

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Three Goddesses

A Baby Cries: How Should Parents Respond? by Jan Hunt, M.Sc.

Imagine for a moment that you have been abducted by space ship to a distant planet, and you are surrounded by giant strangers whose language you do not speak. Two of those strangers take you under their care. You are entirely dependent on them for the satisfaction of all your needs - hunger, thirst, comfort, and - especially - reassurance that you are safe in this strange place. Then imagine that something is very wrong - you are in pain, or terribly thirsty, or in need of emotional support. But your two attendants ignore your cries of distress, and you are unable to get them to help you or to understand your needs. Now you have another problem, more serious than the first: you feel completely helpless and alone in an alien world. In all innocence, a baby assumes that we, as his parents, are correct - that whatever we do is what we ought to be doing. If we do nothing, the baby can only conclude that he is unloved because he is unlovable. It is not within his capabilities to conclude that we are only busy, distracted, worried, misled by "experts", or simply inexperienced as parents. No matter how deeply we love our baby, it is mostly the outward manifestations of that love that the baby can understand. No one likes to have his communication ignored. and if it is, this brings on feelings of helplessness and anger that inevitably damage the relationship. Such a response seems to be one that is universally experienced by adults, and there is no reason to conclude that it is any different for babies and children. Few people would ignore an adult while he repeatedly said, "Can you help me? I'm not feeling right." Ignoring such a request would be considered most unkind. But a baby cannot make such a statement; he can only cry and cry until someone responds - or until he gives up in despair. Immediate response to a baby's cry went unquestioned for thousands of years until recent times. In our culture, we assume that crying is normal and unavoidable for babies. Yet in natural societies where babies are carried close to the care-giver much of the day and night for the first several months, such crying is rare. In contrast to what many in our society would expect, babies cared for in this way show self-sufficiency sooner than do babies not receiving such care. In fact, research on early childhood experiences consistently shows that children who have enjoyed the most loving care in infancy become the most secure and loving adults, while those babies who have been forced into submissive behavior build up feelings of resentment and anger that may well be expressed later in harmful ways. In spite of this research, most arguments for ignoring crying are based on fears of "spoiling" the baby. A typical baby-care brochure advises the parent to "let the baby handle it for a while". Though infancy can be a challenging time for the parents, a baby is simply too young and inexperienced to "handle" the cause of the crying, whatever it may be. He cannot feed himself, change himself, or comfort himself in the way that nature intended. Clearly, it is the parents' responsibility to meet their baby's needs for nurturing, security, and love, not the baby's responsibility to meet his parents' need for peace and solitude. The pamphlet implies that if the parents give their baby an opportunity to become self-reliant, they are helping him to mature. But an infant is simply not capable of such maturity. True maturity reflects a strong foundation of emotional security that can only come about from the love and support of those closest to him during the earliest years. An immature person can only respond to stress in an immature way. A baby denied his birthright of comforting from his parents may respond by turning to ineffective self-stimulation (head-banging, rhythmic rocking, thumb-sucking, etc.) and emotional withdrawal from others. If his needs are routinely ignored, he may decide that loneliness and despair are preferable to risking further disappointment and rejection. Unfortunately, this decision, once made, can become a permanent outlook on life, leading to an emotionally impoverished life. Many child-care professionals feel that parental encouragement of self-satisfiers and over-substitution of material objects - teddy bears substituting for parents, strollers for arms, cribs for shared sleep, pacifiers for nursing, toys for parents' attention, music boxes for voices, formula for breast-milk, wind-up swings for laps - have led to an age of materialistic acquisition, personal loneliness and lack of emotional fulfillment.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tristan and I

Tristan is now 11 weeks old. Time flies when you're having fun! This was taken on Sunday at friend's place at a creative session... will show you the finished artwork soon. It was an amazing day hanging out with some very talented women, and kids having a great day with Dad while I had some *time out* with Tristan.

We had a playdate gathering here today, and it was chaos but the kids had a ball and somebody (ahem named Will) was asleep very early after being on the go all day. Rose and Michael stayed last night, and Will was so excited to wake and find his aunty and uncle asleep in his room, and here to play some more.

The house is really starting to come along now, with thanks to help from Vicki I have my patio back under control, and the *JB Women* gave me a hand doing some weeding today while the kids played and we had coffee and cake. Oh, and Vic, the zuchini and pineapple chutney was a total hit today, and I need to score some more soon, cos that jar was opened and eaten in less than a day. Mmmmm.

My next plan is create an art space in the shed again, and set it up so that we can use it as a space to manifest perfection in art, or at least dabble in creativity and crafty activities for the kids on a more regular basis. I am waiting on some supplies to arrive so I can complete my gifts to give to my doulas, I will post some pics when they are finished too. I finally finished writing my last birth story, so I will post that up when I get a chance, it's pretty long, despite it being a short labour. I guess I just like writing hey, heehee.

Yay for having my sanity back!

We are planning to head to CityFarm on Saturday, a train ride for the boys and a chance for me to have a look at permaculture and market stalls... yay. I think we have plans to be out and about every day for the next few days so we are going to have some tired boys of an afternoon and a mama keen for a hot bath and a cup of tea.

Well after a busy day it's time for me to go to bed I think. Tristan has had a whiney afternoon, and Lochlain just wants cuddles. Will is snoring away next to me on the couch, looking all beautiful and quiet.

Peace out

x B

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Parents Bill of Rights

The Parents Bill of Rights: Putting Families Before Commercialism
by Gary Ruskin and Jonathan Rowe
WHEREAS, the nurturing of character and strong values in children is one of the most important functions of any society; WHEREAS, the primary responsibility for the upbringing of children resides in their parents; WHEREAS, an aggressive commercial culture has invaded the relationship between parents and children, and has impeded the ability of parents to guide the upbringing of their own children; WHEREAS, corporate marketers have sought increasingly to bypass parents, and speak directly to children in order to tempt them with the most sophisticated tools that advertising executives, market researchers and psychologists can devise; WHEREAS, these marketers tend to glorify materialism, addiction, hedonism, violence, and anti-social behaviour, all of which are abhorrent to most parents; WHEREAS, parents find themselves locked in constant battle with this pervasive influence, and are hard pressed to keep the commercial culture and its degraded values out of their children's lives; WHEREAS, the aim of this corporate marketing is to turn children into agents of corporations in the home, so that they will nag their parents for the things they see advertised, thus sowing strife, stress and misery in the family; WHEREAS, the products advertised generally are ones parents themselves would not choose for their children: violent and sexually suggestive entertainment, video games, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and junk food; WHEREAS, this aggressive commercial influence has contributed to an epidemic of marketing-related diseases in children, such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, alcoholism, anorexia, and bulimia, while millions will eventually die from the marketing of tobacco; WHEREAS, corporations have latched onto the schools and compulsory school laws as a way to bypass parents and market their products and values to a captive audience of impressionable and trusting children; WHEREAS, these corporations ultimately are creatures of state law, and it is intolerable that they should use the rights and powers so granted for the purpose of undermining the authority of parents in these ways; THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Australian Parliament should right the balance between parents and corporations and restore to parents some measure of control over the commercial influences on their children, by enacting this Parents' Bill of Rights, including the following legislation: Leave Children Alone Act: Bans television advertising aimed at children under 12 years of age. Child Privacy Act: Restores to parents the ability to safeguard the privacy of their children. It gives parents the right to control any commercial use of personal information concerning their children, and the right to know precisely how such information is used. Children's Advertising Subsidy Revocation Act: It is intolerable that the federal government rewards corporations with tax write-offs for the money they spend on psychologists, market researchers, ad agencies, and media in their campaigns to instill their values in our children. This act eliminates all tax subsidies and deductions for advertising aimed at children under 12 years of age. Advertising to Children Accountability Act: This act helps parents affix individual responsibility for attempts to subject their children to commercial influence. It requires corporations to disclose who created each of their advertisements and who did the market research for each ad directed at children under 12 years of age. Commercial-Free Schools Act: Corporations have turned the public schools into advertising free-for-all zones. This act prohibits corporations from using the schools and compulsory school laws to bypass parents and pitch their products to impressionable schoolchildren. Product Placement Disclosure Act: This law gives parents more information with which to monitor the influences that prey upon their children through the media. Specifically, it requires corporations to disclose, on packaging and at the outset, any and all product placements on television and videos, and in movies, video games, and books. This prevents advertisers from sneaking ads into media that parents assume to be ad-free. Child Harm Disclosure Act: Parents have a right to know of any significant health effects of products they might purchase for their children. This act creates a legal duty for corporations to publicly disclose all information suggesting that their product(s) could substantially harm the health of children. Fairness Doctrine for Parents: This act provides parents with the opportunity to talk back to the media and the advertisers. It makes the Fairness Doctrine apply to all advertising to children under 12 years of age, providing parents and community with response time on broadcast TV and radio for advertising to children. Children's Food Labelling Act: Parents have a right to information about the food that corporations push upon their children. This act requires fast food restaurant chains to label contents of food and provide basic nutritional information about it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Boys Having A Larf

My men clowning around. 'Scuse the messy heads haha, I can't find any recent pictures of Tristan where there isn't another boy attacking (oops, sorry, LOVING) him. Poor mite doesn't get 5 minutes peace at the moment.

Making Positive Progress

I had a great birthday in the end. Spent a bit of money (okay - a lot of money) at Ikea, and took myself out for lunch. We got some great stuff to get the house a bit more organised. Having a family of 5 has suddenly made me realise how much I value space, and how it's really something you have to conserve in a house to keep it sane. We have finished off the boys room for now, and you can actually see the floor!! I am pretty happy with how it is, and would like to change a few things as we go... but there is no real hurry for it, as they have beds and toys, what more do they need? Aesthetics to 4 and 2 year olds really mean nothing. Tristan's room has curtains, finally, and it looks like a proper nursery. I guess it's just a room for his day sleeps as he gets bigger and a space that as is his, other than that it doesn't really get used. I am hoping to post some pictures of how awesome the interior is starting to look now that I have got my act together and escaped the PND fog for what's seems like the final time. I was struck down horrifically last week by horrendous mastitis and spent a couple of days feeling really sorry for myself, and unable to do much do to the fever and the shakes. Don't you hate it when you just can't get warm? I resorted to a course of antibiotics, and am being very cautious about how often I am feeding Tristan, just to make sure I am not encouraging any blocked ducts. We had a massive breakthrough with Lochlain's speech in the last couple of weeks. He has added some two syllable words to his vocabulary, so we now have Bebe (Baby), Mummy(Money), and Beep Beep. We are getting there slowly. He is making much more of an effort to communicate with us non verbally, and his expression is done mostly in his hands and his face. Learning to read his cues is such a challenge, but we make do with what we can. He is making great progress with toilet training at the moment too, so it seems we are on the up and up with him. Not being pregnant allows me so much more patience with him, and I think he is really benefitting from me being able to play down at his level more. We spent yesterday morning at the park with some friends, and Will is now learning stunts and tricks. He is really keen on doing the more hardcore, physical, risk taking, co-ordination exercises that come naturally to kids. He is covered in scrapes and bruises, but it's all learning to him. Learning about his own capabilities and exercising his autonomy in deciding what he can and can't do. For me, it's scary to watch, but so far I am managing to just sit back and let him take stacks. He is really starting to come out of his shell and interact with other children on a far more physical level which is awesome. Tristan is just growing up. Already smiling and gooing at me. We are still weighing and measuring him just so I can grin about how fat he is. He only has one more appointment with the paediatrician as a follow up from when he had the Staph infection 6 weeks ago, but other than that we are in the clear with him. His toenails seem to be completely healed, and I am really vigilant about keeping them short and clean to avoid a repeat infection. He may need to see a surgeon at some stage about having the nail bed cut or something, but for as long as it remains no ingrown, it's less of a drama. Andrew is about 8 weeks away from the end of semester, and we can't wait. We are finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel with this degree, and in a year's time he will be a quialified primary school teacher. It's going to be awesome for him to move out into the workforce again, but this time in a role that he is going to enjoy and really wants to be a part of. Exams this year are probably going to be a bit of a stress, but like every year we will just bite the bullet and get through it as a family... lots of stress and door slamming no doubt. Haha. Me, well I am reading some great books right now. Currently have my nose buried in Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah J Buckley, and am about to start Money, Milk and Madness by Baumslag and Michels. Yes I do read a lot of activist/feminist/political texts but it's really keeping my brain spinning and I enjoy the challenge of adressing my preconceptions on certain issues. Tomorrow is a work day, and the rest of the week is free to hang out at the park with the boys, and maybe even do a rockpools visit if the weather is clear enough. I think we have a gathering to go to on Sunday that will involve painting banners and bags with handprints. They might end out being part of presents for people *hahaha*. Waiting on Fay to have her baby so I can head down to Bunbury and do her dishes and make a meal or two for her. She is about a week "over due" now, but as we all know, the baby doesn't come until *it* decides it's ready. So I am just waiting on a phonecall to let me know how big he is! Right, off to see if I can get some photos of the house uploaded for you all, and maybe a few of the boys! I have an article to finish writing and it's due tonight, so I better get to it. *eek* x B