Friday, 27 February 2009

Hand made gifts are my favourite and the wondrous Placenta

There is something so special about a hand made gift. It takes time, effort, love and dedication to gather materials and make something.

This first pic is of a felt and knitted doll the a very talented friend of mine for my daughters first Birthday. The picture does not do it justice. It is a bit brighter in person, and my daughter adores her 'Dolly Jo' unfortunately for her however, her older brother loves Dolly Jo too. So she is adored by everyone here.

Thank you so much again Jo!!

The next pic is very special. It is a knitted placenta with felt, made by the very wonderful and awesomely(it's a word!) talented April. A mumma April knows wanted her baby's placenta, however, sadly the hospital did not respect her wishes.

The Mumma now has this woolly placenta and was very grateful for the thoughtfulness and loved it.

April made the woolly placenta just from her own ideas and thoughts, she is very cleaver, and I would love even a smidgen of her talent.

What is special is that it was made by a fellow Mumma, who understood the sadness and disappointment.

To some a placenta may as well not exist. Too often, almost every time actually, in hospital the placenta is never seen by the mother, or parents. It is cut too early form the baby and then discarded. Gone. Spoken of like something that looks awful, gross and even disgusting. People screw up their noses at the very word. Why? How did people get to the point where they associate disgust with the organ that was made of the same cells and womb as their baby?

For me, I do not understand this view. The placenta gives every baby the nutrients it needs to stay alive inside us. How can people find it gross when it has en their baby's lifeline?

The following is taken from Birthowl blog Follow the link and you will also see a placenta cake. What a great imagination and patience to complete!! It looks wonderful.

The placenta is a beautiful organ. It is the only organ that develops and
grows within another organ. It is responsible for growing a healthy baby. It is
the bridge between a mother and her baby in the womb. In some cultures, it is
called the called bucha-co-satthi, meaning baby’s friend.(1) Others see the
placenta as the baby’s protective older sibling.(2) For these reasons alone, it
is unique, amazing and beautiful.
The baby and the placenta are made from the same cells, which are formed through combination of the egg and the sperm.
Once implantation occurs on about day six after fertilization, the gestation
period begins and the fertilized egg and the placenta begin to develop
separately, still connected. The placenta stays attached to the uterine wall
while the fetus has the ability to move around the uterus.

The placenta is the fetus’s only source of food, blood, oxygen, vitamins and nutrients. All of these vital resources are carried from placenta to fetus via the cord. These
resources come from the mother’s bloodstream, which is why a healthy nutritious
balance of whole foods is so important during pregnancy. Iron is especially
important because iron increases the hemoglobin level in the blood; hemoglobin
carries oxygen in the body. Once the baby is born and the cord stops pulsing,
that baby is no longer getting its oxygen from the placenta. When baby takes a
first breath, the lungs begin to work and baby begins breathing on his or her
own. In order for the baby to receive all the blood and oxygen required, the
cord must stop pulsing before being cut.
The placenta is an incredibly important and spiritual piece of life. It has many uses, both spiritual and medicinal. It can provide whatever is needed and should not be wasted. We are responsible for treating the placenta with respect for everything that it has done.

If you are stuck for ideas of a present for someone maybe you could make something for them.

I have another special handmade gift to post about real soon!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Just a widdle award type thing-a-me

Lotusbirther over at Embracing Life has passed on a Lemonade award to me. Debs from A Simple Life passed it on to her. I have copied Debs cute pic of the Lemonade Stand from her blog. Thank you Debs!

It's the Lemonade Award for bloggers with great attitude or gratitude
Now for me to pass it on to 10 people, and then they can pass it on. If they want to. It's ok if you don't, seriously. But it's fun. OK, so go do it.

~ Loz at Confession Time. A very dear friend of mine with two gorgeous boys and a beautiful baby girl born very recently :) She is a loving, caring person and I wish I had half her energy and dedication. We share a passion for unhindered birth, breastfeeding support and strength and courage for all women.(Amongst many others)

~ Next is Alecat at Serenades and Solace. Another homeschooling Mum who is a wonderful person always ready and willing to help others still finding their way with homeschooling, such as myself.

~ Keptwoman at Jumped the Ditch. Another homeschooling Mum, noticed a pattern yet, hehe.
She has also shown patience and time to help me since I first began my homeschooling journey with my children.

~ Lauren at Owlet is so so talented and a wonderful person. She makes beautiful creations in clothing, craft and other gorgeous artsy things. I would love to have even the creativity in her little finger. I get giddy when I sew a button and it stays on!

~ April at A Day in The Life. Another talented Mumma with 3 squishable, gorgeous boys. She has a new store selling her gorgeous knits, despite her thinking that she is not that great at it, which she is!! I have the proof, a gorgeous little sleeveless dress April knitted with love for my little bubba. It was one of my favourite gifts of all time. (pics to come)

~ From Booba and Beyond is a wonderful blog about a very special one year old girl called Harriet. As told from her very talented Mama. Harriet was born gently at home just like our baby girl and I have enjoyed so much, reading about her as she grows, and changes, and moves from baby to toddler.

~ Klynch at Land of Dragons and Butterflies always makes me laugh. She lives in New Mexico with her Hub and toddler son and bubba girl.
I love reading about how other people live around the world, especially when I am hot in the southern hemisphere Summer and I can go here and see pics of the snow!

~ Nat at Bustin' out Baby is an Aussie Mumma living in Japan with her Hub and gorgeous little girl. I love reading about life in Japan and how different our two countries are.

~ Tiff at Three Ring Circus. We both share our own stories about children who were born extra special. She is another Mumma who has her heart and hands full. She is also a wonderful photographer.

~ Swift Jan at 1, 2, 3, 4 kicked my toe on the door also lives in beautiful Australia with her Hub and 2 gorgeous children. I love reading about the funny things her children say, it makes me feel normal that my kids are just as 'interesting' with their view of the world.
Choosing only ten was quite hard actually, as there are so many great logs that I enjoy reading. I hope you enjoy the ones I have mentioned here as much as I do.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Coles donating all profits from their stores this Friday..

If anyone needs to do their shopping, please wait until THIS Friday. Feb 13th 2009

Coles will donate this Friday's profits from it's 750 stores nationally to the Government's Bushfire Appeal Fund in partnership with the Red Cross.
This includes Bi-Lo, Target and K-mart stores.

I normally do my BIG shop on the weekend, so I can go on my own, but will now go Friday.

Every little bit counts, please spare what you can.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Fires in Australia

Saturday Feb 7th is a day that many will remember, and many will want to forget, and wish never happened.

Many fires across the country have taken lives of children, women and men, homes, wildlife, and thousands of hectares of bush and land.

Victoria, the state worst hit has a long history of fires and devastation.
This news article today explains more about what has happened there.,27574,25027543-1243,00.html

Many escaped in such a hurry they left with only the clothes on their backs. The fires were so fast and fierce there was not time. They had to get out, fast.

Donations can be made here ~

More information here ~

Every donation adds up, please offer as much as you can, including clothes and other items of need.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Bribes, rewards and praise

Written by Pinky McKay

'If you sit on the potty, you can have a Smartie.''
''Thank you for helping pack up the toys. Now we can go to the park."
''I will get you the ice-cream now if you promise you will sit still in the doctor's room.''

What is the difference between a bribe and a reward?
A bribe is something offered before the task in order to get your child to do what you want him to do (so the first and third example are bribes). A reward (the second example) is something that happens after the event.

Does it matter, as long as it makes your child cooperate?
Well, that depends on what you are trying to teach him. Do you want a child who will only do things if there is something in it for him? Do you want to encourage your child to have an unreasonable sense of entitlement, to ask himself, 'What's in it for me?' each time there is a job to be done?
Or would you like to teach your child that when he cooperates or works hard, he will feel satisfied by a job well done? That work comes before play? That it is good to consider everybody's needs? And that because your tot has helped you, you feel pleased with him and perhaps now have energy and time to spend with him? Of course, some of these goals are beyond a toddler's capacity to understand, but it is worth setting a pattern and developing a family culture around positive values.

Any one of us in a hurry or desperate to motivate our child can resort to bribery or rewards (or is that offering incentives?), but it does pay to be cautious about our own motivation and methods. It is perfectly reasonable to say, 'When you are in your pyjamas we will have a story,' or 'When the toys are packed away, we can go to the park,' but offering bribes, especially material goods, every time we want to enlist cooperation is likely to backfire. Looking at the examples above, offering Smarties could cause your child to race to the potty every few minutes in order to get a treat, rather than learning to actually use the potty.
And an ice-cream delivered before a visit to the doctor won't motivate any child to live up to his promise of cooperation - he has the prize, what does it matter? Besides, a toddler lives in the present: he doesn't have the cognitive skills or impulse control required to think ahead, so he can't be held to a promise, whatever the incentive. Apart from the fact that children become wise and are likely to raise the stakes for bribery and rewards (read, ask for bigger incentives as they grow - imagine offering a Play-Station if they kick a goal in their footy match!), they may eventually refuse to do a single thing unless there is something in it for them.

Also, if you constantly give rewards for good behaviour or achievements, then one day when you don't give a reward, your child may give up and stop trying. Even worse, when a reward is attached to every achievement, we devalue our child's efforts because we are subtly telling him we didn't think he was up to the task, and this is no help to his self-esteem.

At least most of the time, it's best to allow your child to have the satisfaction of achieving a goal by simply acknowledging his efforts. Occasionally, you could offer a small reward that is a natural consequence of his cooperation. There is another principle at work here, too - psychologists call it 'intermittent reinforcement', which means that giving occasional rewards as a surprise works better from a behavioural perspective than having your child expect a reward each time he does something wonderful. Being mindful of rewards (for effort, rather than achievement) and bribery (which comes before the deed so can have trade-offs, especially in the longer term) means that your child will be more likely to strive because he will be intrinsically motivated.

Dishing out praise
We like recognition for a job well done, and so do children. It is perfectly natural to delight in every little thing your toddler does - he is cute and funny and is doing new tricks every single day, so how can you resist telling your child how clever he is?Just as with rewards, though, we need to be cautious with praise. While a spontaneous, 'Wow! What a clever kid!' won't do any harm, if you heap on the praise for every breath your child takes, you run the risk of setting up a 'great expectations' trap. This can mean that, as your child grows, he feels he has to keep performing to be accepted and loved. This can contribute to a fear of failure, which may mean that your child is so dependent on the approval of others that he may be afraid to try new things.

Positive praise
Instead of gushing, 'What a lovely painting!' it is better to offer realistic compliments: admire the bright blue sky or the very wiggly lines or tell your child, 'What a lot of colours you have used, I can't wait to hang this up on the wall.'

Another positive way to offer praise without overdoing it is a process called 'mirroring' which involves naming exactly what a child has done. By mirroring back to your child what he or she has done ('You have climbed five steps on the ladder, all by yourself!', 'You sat very quietly while I was talking to the nurse'), you are giving them tangible evidence of their efforts, not just empty words that may or may not be believable to them. You can extend mirroring to include a quality: 'You are so patient for letting me talk without interrupting.' Other examples could be: 'Thank you for remembering to shut the car door. That was very responsible,' or 'Good sharing, that is so kind.' This helps nourish your child's identity so that he will begin to think of himself as a genuinely competent person, seeing himself as kind, responsible, generous, helpful, funny, strong and whatever other positive labels you choose to describe his efforts.

This positive praise is far more powerful than empty praise that can see your child undermined the first time another child says, 'What a dumb block tower.' Because your child will have tangible evidence that he really is competent, his self-esteem will not be dependent on constant recognition and he won't crumple like a stack of blocks with the slightest hint of disapproval.
Another small but important caution about dishing out praise is to remember to notice your child 'being good'. How often do we ignore 'good' (read, convenient) behaviour, but notice the smallest mistake?

For more strategies to make magic from mayhem during the toddler years, see Pinky McKay's new book - Toddler Tactics (Penguin 2008) or visit Pinky's website for information about toddler workshops.