A Simple Day for Our Bub

Last night; the night before Zubin’s birthday, I said the birthday verse to my beautiful bubba (the same waldorfy verse I have said to Elki and Anusha for years) as we lay in bed. He was looking up at me with his little mouth open (his way of kissing) as I recited the words, kissing him between each line (my heart melting just a bit!)
Today we celebrated Zubin’s first birthday. We kept it simple; focussing on the things he enjoys and gifting him mostly handmade toys.

image

Anusha had been getting very excited about her little brother’s special day and was the first awake ready to give Zubin her gift; a secondhand trike we bought from an op-shop.

image

We gave him loads of love, kisses and cuddles; Elki proudly hugging his now one year old brother.

image

The morning sun shone with a beautiful warmth,

image

A glorious day to spend outside.

image

Yesterday he surprised us by easily clambering up the slide, now one of his favourite things to do.

image

We spent a lot of time at the playground,

image

And a lot of time sitting around on the grass as Zubi played with his new toys.

image

Tree blocks made by Scott, beach rocks and shells collected by Elki,

image

And a Waldorf inspired fern baby made by me.

image

A simple day devoted to our little fella.

image

I spent moments of the day remembering this time one year ago; his amazing birth and a magical day with my family.

image

Some of the day was also devoted to one of his favourite things; eating!

image

His birthday treat; family made chocolate date and apricot logs.

image

He couldn’t wait to get his hands on them!

image

There was more time spent at the playground, a walk with me around the lake, and lots of playing in the sunshine.

image

And here he is at twenty to five; exactly one year old, waving to his Dadda. Blessed we are to have this adorable little soul in our lives đź’–

Advertisements

Elki’s Birth Story | 14 Years Later

Elki; 14 years ago on the last day of February and summer, 2002, your father and I visited the birth centre at Flinders medical centre for what would be our last appointment before your birth.
I was 41 weeks and 4 days pregnant. The midwife was getting concerned about the length of my pregnancy and advised me to have my waters broken to stimulate your birth. She even mentioned casually that if this did not stimulate labor you may need to be born by cesarean. I was very upset by her insensitivity; determined to have a natural birth, and looking back now as a more confident and knowledgeable mama, I would have told her what I thought, that you were not ready, you and I were perfectly healthy, there was no need to stimulate your birth, and I am not having my waters broken….
But I was young and more fearful, and you were my world. So, at about 4pm I had my membranes broken and your father and I went back home hopeful that soon you would begin to make your journey to us.
And you did…..
At about 9pm that night I felt the first cramp, the very beginning of contractions. At first these were occasional and easy to bear for several hours. I remember your Dad and I went to bed to try and get some rest and at a point the contractions began to get stronger and too uncomfortable; bed no longer an option.
We wanted to wait for as long as possible before going into the birth centre, and at around 1:30am on the 1st of March, we decided to go. Your father rang Noni and Pop; they were taking us to the hospital and staying for your birth.
We arrived at the birth centre at 2am; I was taken from the emergency area to our room in a wheelchair. The room was like a spacious hotel room with a double bed, small kitchen, lounges, bath, and bathroom with a shower and toilet.
I settled in, pacing and walking around the room and hallways of the maternity ward; breathing through each contraction. The contractions were steadily becoming stronger and more intense, and closer together.
A midwife was there popping into the room occasionally to see how I was going and to check on me.
As the contractions became more intense I had a long shower; enjoying the relief and warmth the water gave. I was unsure how I was coping; I didn’t know how much more painful the contractions would become and if I was going to be able to cope with them. But I had the support of your amazing father and your Noni assured me I was going really well.
I had brought incense and music to put on whilst I was in labor with you, and at one point your father lit an incense for me but I promptly told him to put it out, the smell making me feel sick. I don’t remember the music ever being played, my mind too focussed on breathing through each contraction.
As the hours past the contractions became closer and closer together. I was nearing when I would begin to birth you. The midwife on duty left and another took her place. She came and checked on me and I remember needing to lay on my back for this and it being very uncomfortable.
After this came the point of labor that I remember most vividly, and I later realised that I was going through transition. I remember feeling a loss of control and fear; not knowing how I could possibly get through this! As each contraction came I did not know what to do; there didn’t seem to be any position in which I could bear the intensity.
It was then the midwife suggested I try the bath. I stripped off my clothing and climbed in but as soon as I lowered myself into the water I knew that I had to get out! I needed solid earth under me and you were coming now!
Your Dad and the midwife helped me out of the bath and over to the bed where I knelt with my knees on the floor, leaning over the bed with my elbows, holding your fathers hands as he supported me from the bed.
The urge to push was uncontrollable and the immense pressure as your head came down my birth canal enormous. But it was only two or three contractions before your head crowned; the midwife guiding me. I squeezed your Dad’s hands, his strength and love giving me the strength I needed, and pushed, it was painful and burned but you were so close.
And then with one more contraction and push your tiny body flowed like a wave from my body; you were born! It was the most amazing, relieving, beautiful feeling in the whole world, and that I had ever experienced, and then the midwife passed you to me, your Dad exclaimed, “it’s a boy!” and I held you; my glorious, so small, crying little baby boy!
What an amazing surprise, I had never felt such joy before as when I saw and held you for the first time.
You were born at 6:08am, on the 1st of March 2002. You weighed only 2.59kg or 5 pounds,12 ounces but you were so alert, healthy and perfect. Your skin looked to big for you and oh so delicate, and you were so soft. We named you not long after, your little face telling us to choose Elki.
We snuggled in bed and you had your first feed,

image

image

your Dad had his first hold of his precious boy,

image

image

and it was just amazing.
During that morning I remember after about an hour I birthed your placenta, having been given oxytocin to stimulate it’s birth. A doctor came to check on you and gave you the apgar test. If you had been any smaller they would have wanted to take you to the maternity ward for monitoring, I couldn’t imagine being apart from you for even a second! But thankfully you scored very high on the test and the doctor was not concerned.
We bathed you, which you did not appreciate at all,

image

image

I had a shower, and we dressed you and kept you warm.

image

image

We rested and slept together, you in my arms all the time,

image

And you had your first visits from family, including your Nanny and Poppy.
At about 3pm on your birth day we took you home; so happy and bewildered by the arrival of our first, sweet baby.

image

I began my life as your mama, now 14 years ago. Since that first day you have thrived; gaining your birth weight and more by the end of your first week,

image

And always approaching life with exuberance, vibrance, loving energy, and a heart of sweetness.

image

đź’–

Unschooling | Our Homeschooling Journey

image

Over the past year our homeschooling journey has been evolving and settling into a new rhythm.
New tides and growing waves have brought changes into our life and my way of thinking.

image

A precious new baby joining our family, and our decision to embark on a year long family camping adventure around mainland Australia were catalysts for needed change.

image

For several years our homeschooling life has been based on a loose but consistent Waldorf foundation and curriculum.

image

But as we adjusted our days to meet the changes occurring in our life I began to see our family’s needs being met in different ways.

image

Ways that are more natural, more flowing, and truly authentic.
The children’s learning has become more self led; instigated by their current interests and needs. And I have realised that letting go, really letting go; of false ideals and previously held misconceptions of how natural learning occurs, is the best and most exciting way forward for our family.

image

I have been reading a lot, and affirming my own realisations and thoughts.
On our homeschooling journey I now see that unschooling is where we are all happiest and the children are learning the most.

image

They are learning in their own ways; we do not need to tell them what to learn or coerce them, and I now trust with all my being that they will learn what they need to as they need to because they are self driven individuals whom know their own desires better than anyone else.

image

We will support and encourage their interests and learning in all ways that are within our means,

image

continuing this journey we began as a family nearly eight years ago with love and understanding.

image

I spoke to the children about unschooling before writing this, and we discussed how learning is not something that happens at school from the ages of five to seventeen; it is life long. And Anusha asked me, “What are you going to learn this year mummy?” It made me smile and feel so excited as I talked about what I want to learn this year,

image

And thought about how the children are sharing in and experiencing my, and Scott’s, love of learning.
What could be better than learning together as a family….

image

embracing each tide and every wave.

What a day at camp looks like….

image

The morning started with Zubin waking first and Scott and I rising for our morning cuppa’s.

image

The children ventured out later after spending some time in the tent; playing Lego together, Elki reading (finishing the third book of the second R.A Salvatore trilogy he has recently been reading), and Anusha drawing.

image

After breakfast Scott and Anusha picked blackberries for making jam; I began some sewing that needed completing,

image

and then Elki and Anusha played a fantasy card game; Magic, The Gathering.

image

Whilst Scott started to prepare lunch the children walked down to the rope swing.

image

I followed after a while spending time watching their tricks and giving some big pushes.

image

Zubin explored, played, and watched his brother and sister.

image

Often we spend time observing the local birds; I captured this sweet fella and Zubin and I watched a little tribe of Superb Fairy Wrens flitting around looking for food.

image

Scott lit the campfire; Elki taking some time to read by the warmth,

image

And then we all helped make tofu and vegetable kebabs,

image

Which were cooked on the fire BBQ for lunch.

image

Following lunch Zubin had his second nap for the day, snuggled close to me,

image

And upon waking chewed on an apple Scott picked from an apple tree, whilst watching his Dadda cut firewood.

image

The children spent some down time playing games in the tent,

image

And I finished my sewing.

image

While Scott and Anusha made pancakes for dinner, Elki drew,

image

And then the children washed dishes and we tried the fresh blackberry jam on our pancakes.

image

The children headed into the tent, Anusha drawing some more, and I followed shortly behind with Zubin.

image

And the evening drew to a close in the usual way; with bedtime stories from me and then Scott. 😴

Of course our days at camp vary; a card game could be a family board game or an outside game, swinging could be playing in a playground or an imaginary adventure, drawing could be writing about something important to the children, starting a story, creating something with their hands, or looking up something they want to find out more about, down time on their phone and tablet could be checking their instagram account or skyping a friend.

There is contstants though; we are always cooking together, the work of upkeeping our camp is shared, play, play, play, reading together and on our own, caring for our beautiful baby together, Lego usually appears at some point, as does drawing, lots and lots of conversation, laughter, time when no conversation is needed, usually some silliness and loudness, loads of cuddles, kissing the baby a thousand times, working through disagreements and problems, and spending a lot of our day in and with our natural surroundings.

Our next journey begins

As I begin writing this post I am lying in bed in a cabin in Devonport. I should be sleeping but my mind is too busy.Tomorrow morning we board the ferry to Melbourne and our journey around the mainland for a year begins.

This adventure has been a dream of ours for years. Something that as a homeschooling family we knew would be a wonderful experience for the children, not to mention us!

We have been so blessed with the arrival of our beautiful boy Zubin in April this year but in other areas of our life I have been feeling stagnant and weighed down; I needed a lift and to shed the material stuff that was pulling me down, cluttering my mind, and clouding my spirit. Sedentary life brings accumulation and I felt we needed to be set free. As a family we started to talk about it seriously, things fell into place, and we knew the time was right.

So, over the past three months we have been preparing.

Of course most of our time has been occupied by soaking up and being entranced by our utterly adorable bub,

IMAG0047

IMAG0336

IMAG0598

But we have also been (attempting to) organise and plan. We wound down our small business Organickinder, Scott finishing his last orders. So, now it just consists of my toys, as I can make as we travel.

IMAG0241

Our last postal order of wooden toys

We booked the ferry, bought our beautiful Soulpad tent, and booked accommodation for our first few days in Melbourne.

Then we started sorting, clearing away, packing, and giving away a lot of our possessions and accumulated junk. We also had a market stall to raise a little money and move on our unwanted things.

We told our family and friends and started getting very, very excited!

As often happens when you invite change into your life we had some other unexpected changes occur as well. The homeschooling co-op that we had been members of for the past two years became a place we were no longer comfortable attending. We found it was no longer a supportive, trusting, and cooperative community, and made the difficult and sad decision to move on. It was a time of new beginnings, reflection, and processing with Elki and Anusha. We surrounded ourselves with close friends, some old friendships were strengthened, and loving new friendships were formed.

IMAG0225

As the time for our departure neared we decided what was essential for our nomadic life, caught up with friends as much as possible, and the children finished up their activities.

IMAG0723

Some essentials that we packed; Elki’s Lego tub (a scaled down collection) and an Art tub

It’s been a busy time and not everything I wanted to get done was achieved but I kept reminding myself that caring for a new bub requires your whole self and it’s OK to let things go. Enough was completed that I felt free to leave, unburdened, and when we return the work we started can continue.

IMAG0655

And as a final goodbye and blessing before leaving our home, we buried Zubin’s placenta (or as some traditional cultures call a placenta – ‘little brother’) under Snowdrops.

IMAG0647

So, now here we are, about to depart from Melbourne after recovering for a couple of days after crossing the straight on the ferry.

IMAG0702

We’ve had our Melbourne vegan indulgence, caught up with a dear friend, and bought a super cute trailer for our camping gear. (No more climbing into seats over a mountain of gear for the children!)

IMAG0661

IMG_20150922_162718

I feel like our journey really begins tomorrow. It will be our first night camping, the first pitching of our Soulpad, and the first of many days of experiencing, sharing, and loving our life on the road – together.