Saturday, 31 October 2009

They’re Back… Trick or Treat!

Littletree and Purple arrived home this morning! I was really starting to miss my little girl.

I picked them up at the airport and we came home to unpack – they brought home heaps of stuff.

37 unpacking

Then Purple passed out from jet lag, and Littletree and I played together. We made a cubby house for her dolls in the great big washing machine box I got for her (well, actually, I had to buy a washing machine to get that box, but it’s a great box, and therefore worth it!)

39 cubby

Then Littletree wanted to go for a bike ride, so we went around the neighbourhood, and ran in to some of Littletree’s friends. Littletree invited her friends over to play with her new toys from Israel, and the kids were having fun.

After a while, some other kids came to the door and shouted “Trick or treat!”. Well, this might sound strange to those in North America, but this was the very first time someone has ever trick-or-treated me – we don’t really celebrate Hallowe’en in Australia much; never ever at all when I was a kid, but it seems these days, probably due to the influence of American TV and movies, it’s starting to become a bit of a thing.

Anyway, I didn’t have anything treat-worthy to give the kids, so I handed out oranges :) and Littletree and her friends got inspired to go out trick-or-treating as well.

I figured, why not, so the kids raided Littletree’s dress-up basket and off we went.

40 trick or treat

I was surprised to see a few other kids out treating – I’ve never heard of anyone doing that in Australia. We knocked at about 15 houses, only one of which was actually prepared to give out treats (as it turned out, the mother of a local child who was out trick-or-treating as well), but just about all the other houses, unprepared as I was, good-naturedly came up with something to give the kids, even if it was just a cookie or some fruit.

Most of all, the kids had a fantastic time, and we got to meet some of the neighbours we didn’t meet before.

41 trick or treat

Along the way we had lots of interesting talks about the history behind Hallowe’en, being All Hallows’ Eve and the traditions around the Day of the Dead, and Samhain, and how in Australia the seasons are opposite than in the northern hemisphere, and it’s actually Easter/ Beltane here, and many divergent topics.

At the end of it, Littletree had a huge bag of treats, mostly candy, chocolate and cookies, but also an apple. Funnily enough, she hasn’t touched any of the sweets, except to give some away, and the only thing she’s eaten was the apple LOL! No doubt that bag of candy will join the other bags of uneaten candy she has sitting on her shelf in the kitchen.

Most of all, it’s great to have her home :D

Sunday, 25 October 2009


This week I spent four days living in my van down in Byron Bay, doing a 3-day Birthwork Workshop. The workshop was phenomenal, and my head is spinning with all I’ve learned. I can’t wait to work with these new techniques.

The workshop was held in a massive Ger (traditional Mongolian Yurt) – it’s the biggest Ger I’ve ever seen, and so beautifully decorated with crystals and altars.

01 Yurt

This was the ceiling inside the Ger, which meant we had beautiful rainbow-speckled light and fresh breezes when they opened up the sunroof.

05 celing

We learned a lot of techniques about breathing and relaxation, as well as traditional Mexican Rebozo practice. I’ve done a lot of work with rebozos before, but I added a lot to my knowledge.

06 rebozo pelvic rock 

09 rebozo pelvic rock

This is a great one; I’m comfortably supporting the full weight of this woman – such a great trick for labour support!

14 rebozo labour support

I also learned a lot about the pelvis, and how to work with the bones and soft tissues to open up the space for the baby. I’m really excited about this stuff, since I focus a lot of my work on releasing past trauma, especially with abuse survivors.

15 Pelvic opening

We also practiced traditional Mexican closing ceremony for after the birth, which felt so divine :)

39 rebozo closing

I had a great time, and made a lot of friends. It was wonderful to connect with other midwives and birth attendants, and feel a part of that community, as someone who has something to offer.

Here’s the group portrait at the end:

43 the group

I also had a lot of fun hanging out around Byron with friends, and sleeping at the beach.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

A long week

It seemed like not much happened in the first few days after Purple and Littletree left – I spent most of my time at home, studying and cleaning up around the house. I chatted with Littletree on Skype; she’s having fun in Israel, and playing with her cousins. (Here’s a webcam shot from skype)

Video call snapshot 5

Last Tuesday, Química came up for a visit – it’s been great to spend some time with her, and she might be moving up here next year.

This week, I had 2 births, one was long – I was with them for 40 hours, which but the mama eventually birthed a beautiful little girl. Then I drove home at 3am from an hour away after the birth to collapse into bed.

The next day, thankfully, I got a bit of rest, tried to catch up a bit on study and work, and was called to another birth the following morning!

Thankfully, this labour was an easy 3 hours, a little girl born underwater without problems.

28 mama

I was still pretty wiped out by the end of it all, and it was great to come home to Química, who is a massage therapist, and cooked me a wonderful roast dinner :)

Finally, I’m not on-call till after we get back from New Zealand, and I’m starting to work on a bunch of projects around my house and garden. Not to mention some well deserved rest after 2 births in 2 days!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Bye bye again Littletree

I’m home alone! Child-free for 30 hours already!

Yesterday I dropped Littletree and Purple to the airport and said goodbye to them… again!

They were supposed to fly to Israel on Monday. We were all packed Sunday night, and drove in the morning to the airport. They checked in and I kissed them goodbye at the gate

19 airport 

Quite a poignant moment for me, since Littletree will be away for almost 4 weeks, and we’ve never been apart more than a couple of days before. I gave her one last big hug and smooch, and drove back home to relax.

20 airport

Only about half an hour after I got home, the phone rang. It was Purple, calling in a panic, because there was some problem with the aeroplane’s engine and their flight was delayed. It looked like they might miss their connection in Sydney to fly to Bangkok, and it was a big stress.

Purple didn’t have a cell phone, so he called me from a payphone… only the airport is under renovations, and there is only one payphone in the whole airport – outside on the street. So poor Purple had to go back out through security, with all their bags and Littletree to make the call.

I found the number of the travel agent and called them, thinking it’s hopeless since it was a public holiday on Monday. Thankfully, the travel agent has a 24 hour emergency line, and after a mere 20 minutes on hold, I got through to a helpful guy.

I explained the situation, and he promised to do his best to sort it out. Meanwhile, I waited. Eventually he called me back to say he’d not managed to get Purple onto another flight, but that his original flight was ready to leave very soon, and if Purple and Littletree were able to run really fast when they got to Sydney, they’d probably make their connection. He’d even arranged to have their baggage labelled “priority” and to get them sitting near the front of the plane, and alerted QANTAS that they’d be coming a tidge late for the Bangkok flight.

Only when Purple next went out again to call me, he had only 10 minutes to get back through security and on to his plane!

It didn’t matter, since the plane wasn’t ready after all. Back to square 1, called the travel agent again, who realised there was no way possible for them to make their flight, and started trying to get their tickets transferred onto a flight the next day. After loads of calling back and forth, and stressing out, it was all sorted – they could get on a flight the next day and it was up to Purple to get the domestic airline to either take them on the next flight to Sydney and put them in a hotel for the night, or give them a flight the next day. They took the second option, so I had to drive back to the airport (35 mins on the freeway) to collect them, and home again!

We spent the evening vegging out watching videos, and in the morning we did the whole thing again. This time, I parked the car and went in to the gate to wait with them.

21 airport

Finally, their flight was called to board, on time, and I kissed them goodbye. Just at that minute, it was announced over the PA that their flight was delayed due to technical difficulties.

I swear my jaw hit the floor.

Luckily, they got the plane going again after just 20 minutes, so that was it. Littletree and Purple are gone!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Shadow Puppets

This week at homeschool group, I organised a shadow puppet workshop with a local puppeteer.

The kids watched a demonstration show,

73 hs puppet workshop 

And then got to work making their own puppets

82 hs puppet workshop

There was a lot of drawing and cutting and taping (and a bit of help from parents)

80 hs puppet workshop

In the end they all made great puppets. Here’s Littletree’s

84 hs puppet workshop

Here’s the test run:

88 hs puppet workshop

Then the kids all had a great time making up little plays with the puppets and performing for each other :)

90 hs puppet workshop

It was a great day, and I’m glad we had such a good one as Littletree won’t be back at homeschool group for a month! On Monday, she and Purple at flying to Israel… without me! It will be the first time I’ve been away from her for more than a couple of days. So far she’s fine with the prospect of being without mama, and she’s really excited and looking forward to the trip, and seeing her grandparents and cousins.

I’m looking forward to having 4 weeks all to myself; I’ll get a lot of work done, and I’m sure Littletree will be fine – she’s even been sleeping on her own every night since we got the new bed! But I’ll miss her like crazy.