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The absolute end for homebirth in Australia?!?!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Friday, October 30, 2009 1 responses

Hi everyone,

I have just received an urgent email in my inbox. If you are a supporter of homebirth or even just of the woman's right to CHOOSE homebirth, please read on and do all that you can to support this. It really is at a catastrophic point right now and as Aussie mum's we really need to be heard!

By effectively making homebirth illegal in Australia, it will put mums and their bubs further at risk as many ladies will choose to go "underground" with their births possbily preventing them from the adequate care that a wonderful midwife could usually provide them with. This has happened in the US, and it is a terrible, and some times tragic thing!

The birth of a baby is not an illness. It is a miraculous, blessed event that should be experienced in the way that makes the mum-to-be comfortable, safe and relaxed. If birthing in a hospital is the way of achieving this, then that is great (all of mine were birth centre or hospital births and I don't have any regrets). However, if a mum-to-be dreams of a beautiful homebirth then that option should be available to her as well!

Society has become so litigious and people seem to get so hung up on things that we are moving further and further away from nature and all that Mother Earth has provided us with. The contrast of a mum on a bed in stirrups in a stark, white hospital room, with machinery and tubes, fluro lights and an (often male) obstetrician gowned, and gloved and wearing a protective mask (!) to the scene of a cosy mattress on the floor of a family home with soft music and candles and drawn curtains and the buzz of family out in the kitchen making preparations to welcome their new addition, is so obvious, it doesn't even need to be stated!

Some politicians (most of whom have never given birth and are not midwifery or medically trained) would have us all believe that home births are a scene of chaos and devestation and blood and all things gory and tragic. In reality, that is not the case and common sense (and statistical evidence!) will tell you that too.

Please support this cause if you believe in CHOICE! You don't have to be a huge home birth advocate, but in my opinion, every woman should have the CHOICE to choose the environment in which their baby will enter the world and no politician in Canberra has the right to take that away.

Here is the email that I received:

"Dear All

We have just (and yes I mean in the last 24 hours) been advised that Nicola Roxon will put amendments to the midwifery legislation that will REQUIRE a midwife claiming Medicare to work WITH either an Obstetrician or GP. It is not work FOR (ie in their office) but it will be to demonstrate that you work WITH.

As we all know this spells the end of midwifery practice as we know it, and IT IS THE ABSOLUTE END OF PRIVATE HOMEBIRTH.

I have been feeling that something very bad was around the corner and that is why I knew I had to re-invigorate What Women Want. In my heart I believe the only way we will win this is to unite like never before in a formal political force and meet these pathetic politicians AT THE BALLOT BOX.

We are now furiously contacting politicians for support and the response has not been overwhelmingly positive. The Libs seemed to think this would always be the case.

After an excellent campaign by so many wonderful women, we are in such a desperate position.

I have pasted the details for joining WWW below. We need 500 members by the end of the week (yes Friday!!!) We have half so if you want to be part of a federal election campaign for women's rights please join us.

Could people please FORWARD this FAR AND WIDE.

In solidarity

Justine
Justine Caines - Founder
What Women Want (Australia) Inc

To maintain our registration as a political party, WWW needs 500 members by October 30, yes very soon!

Are you interested in joining?

Membership is $20 per year


Proceed directly to Paypal site

And then click on the individuals tab

Then "send Money" tab then send money to a friend and type in this address

paypal@whatwomenwant.org.au


Then send a membership form in if you are new (attached to this message). If you are renewing just send an email to wwwmembership@gmail.com
with your details and payment advice)

Direct Credit transfer $20 into the WWW Account: Name: What Women Want (Australia) Inc BSB: 062-598 A/c 10132892- then send a membership form in if you are new. If you are renewing just send an email to wwwmembership@gmail.com
with your details and payment advice)

Send a $20 cheque or Money order to WWW PO Box 625 SCONE NSW 2337 then send a membership form in if you are new If you are renewing just send an email to wwwmembership@gmail.com
with your details and payment advice). "



Ok, hopping off my soapbox now,
tan.x.

A poultry little tale...

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Tuesday, October 27, 2009 1 responses

Looking out my kitchen window this morning, cuppa in hand, I discovered that our back yard had become Chooky Paradise over night!

Thanks to the gorgeous down-pour last night, our yard became one massive playpen for our girls, and they were lapping it up! Just look how happy they are:


And so, on that note, I vowed that today I would FINALLY blog about our gals! I have been meaning to do it for ages, and we have now had them for 21 weeks, and they are yet to grace this page! How remiss of me, they are part of the family!

So, I went to work today gathering all of the pics I've been shooting of them since we welcomed them, and I am soooooooo sad to say that I can't find most of them! Between shooting for Bacche and a million other things, I think that I have deleted them from memory cards thinking that I had stored them onto my hard drive and not actually done it! :( I had the most adorable pics of them when they were only a day old, and at various intervals whilst they were still in their little brooder box, and one particular shoot I had Jaimyn, my eldest, cuddling his in the chooky pen and it was sooooo cute! Fingers crossed that I will find them in my travels one day when I am searching for something else amdist the perpetual clutter and chaos that constitutes my various computers!

Ok, so for now, you will all have to be content with some more recent shots of them! And so, without further ado, I would formally like to introduce you to our chookies aka "The girls"!

1. Fluffy and cuddly as can be is our Light Sussex, "Peckie". We coined her name for obvious reasons, namely because she has taken to the habit of pecking at the wart on Molly-Rose's knee! :) She also has a weird obsession with pecking my toes when they are painted with red nail polish! Peckie is Zali's chooky, and she is so soft to touch!

2. Next is "Ebony". Ebony is a Barnevelder and her beautiful lacey patterned feathers are characteristic of this. She is also Jaimyn's chook. He wanted to name her "Blacky" which I convinced him was extremely un-original. Come to think of it, so is Ebony, but at least it is a little more sophisticated than "Blacky". Her feathers have this gorgeous golden shimmer when the sun hits them at just the correct angle. She is divine! Hey, how would that be for a name - "Shimmer"!? Maybe I'll suggest that to Jaimyn! Poor girl, she'll be having a major identity crisis with all of these name changes!


3. The third of our girls is "Speedy", again, for obvious reasons! (note to self: encourage children to think "outside the square"!). Speedy is Molly-Rose's chooky. She is a Plymouth Rocks, hence the stripes. She is bloody hard to catch, and loves to let you just near enough that you think you can confidentally grab her before she bolts, usually leaving you bum up, with a face full of dirt and chook poo!


4. Lastly, we meet "Heather"! Why "Heather"? Well, because it rhymes with feather, of course! And Kudos to my son, Keegan for thinking of the name all by himself! Finally, one of my kids comes up with something at least a little bit imaginative!

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The lovely Heather is the only one left of our original girls and is a hybrid Isabrown. She is also responsible for THIS:

That there egg is our very first ever gift from our chookies! It was discovered on Monday morning 19th October, and judging by the state it was in, we're thinking that there was a good amount of straining and hard work gone into getting that out! This is because yes, those are some pretty decent chooky, erm, skid marks, you are looking at there (excuse the expression!). The discovery was made on the day that our chookies turned precisely 20 weeks old, and they are supposed to begin to lay at 20 weeks, so we are pretty proud of their impeccable timing!

After the joyous discovery of our very first egg, the kids of course launched into a tirade of arguments over just whose chook was the "gift-giver"! It was even suggested that we separate each chook into their very own pens until another egg was discovered so that we could work out who the culprit was! Well, we are glad to say that the issue sorted itself out pretty quickly as we have been noticing that Heather is spending pretty much every morning roosting in the coop whilst the others are scratching about merrily, and only comes out after a nice warm egg is deposited in the laying box for us to collect!

Upon doing some further research, we also discovered that she, being the only hybrid of the lot is more likely to be a "good lay", ooops, "good layER" hehe. So, the mystery was solved! Much to Jaimyn's consternation, Keegan has been eagerly gloating since the laying began about just how much cooler his chicken is than anybody elses, so the other kids are impatiently awaiting the day that they are greeted with more than one egg when they tend to the chooks.

I might add that despite being the only one whose chooky is giving him said "gifts", Keegan is the most difficult to motivate in the care of the chooks and we have to spy on him each time it is his turn to tend to them to make sure he is completing all of the required tasks thoroughly! The sneaky little so and so will do ANYTHING to get out of doing it but one utterance of the "b" word quickly gets him moving! (The "b" word stands for "banning" and is in reference to Keegan's use of the computer, his DS, the Xbox and the TV and basically any other computerised gadget available in the house!).

Ok, so despite a sad start (3 of our original 4 day old chickens died within 2 days of receiving them from an unknown virus and were replaced by the ones that we have now), our girls are proving to be such wonderful pets! Scruffy our Maltese x Foxy loves them too and has spent the past month playing bodyguard and scaring off the menacing Magpies that keep swooping them each morning! He's a pretty scary looking dog our Scruffy, I wouldn't want to get in his way either, being a huge Maltese and all!

So, a word of warning to anyone who is considering getting chooks! Yes, they are awesome for ridding you of your kitchen scraps! Yes, they give you yummy fresh eggs! Yes, they are such a great easy to care for pet and they produce great fertiliser... HOWEVER, that fertiliser doesn't come from nowhere you know! That fertiliser is a result of the fact that they poo aLOT!! I cannot emphasise this enough!! Our backyard is so full of landmines we never attempt to enter it without shoes, or if we do, we do so at our own risk and fully expecting the inevitable "Code Brown"! The kids have a new chant that they like to call out when they see someone standing still with chook poo oozing through their toes, it goes something like this: "Code Brown! Code Brown! Sound the alarm! Waargh! Waargh! Waargh!" They seem to take GREAT joy in leaving the poor victim stranded there in the back yard whilst running up the stairs to tell me of the impending horror faced by the "Code Brown-ee". Worst still is the fact that Neo, who STILL is not walking, seems to take great fascination with the land mines and we have had MANY close calls where a handful of fresh, warm chook poo was within centimetres of becoming his morning tea! It was totally FOWL (pun intended)!

Well, we came up with an EGGSELLENT idea and we installed some, you guessed it, CHICKEN WIRE around the shaded pergola area! Now, it all makes sense! The penny has finally dropped for me and I understand just why that stuff is called "chicken wire"! It ain't pretty, but it works, and at least we can step out our back door and only have to worry about stepping into the dogs bowl and half-eaten dog food rather than chicken poop! :)

Food - ok, well our chooks are pretty spoilt and are fed on only 100% organic laying mash, which was previously 100% organic baby chicken food. We have discovered that when it comes to kitchen scraps they aren't keen on anything that is GREEN! HOWEVER, they ADORE red! Strawberries cause all manner of chaos when we scatter them in the backyard, and as mentioned above, my red toe nails regularly feel the brunt of their excitement too. For a fun morning, place a quarter of a watermelon in the middle of the grass and watch them DESTROY it! It is such a laugh and amazing to see what is left (ie. nothing but a paper thin piece of the GREEN skin that they won't eat!) at the end of the fun!

Naturally, they LOVE worms too, and it is a free-for-all whenever it is time for us to dig a spot to bury our Bokashi waste and they see the wriggling going on in the soil! (Watch during the next week as I will be posting about our Bokashi experiences too!)

Ok, so before I send you all to sleep with my prattling on, I'd better share some more pics with you:

Here they are in chooky paradise, getting to work laying some of the aforementioned land mines as Steve gets to work in the background cleaning their coop:

And here is Neo, giving Peckie a "gentle" haircut...

Run, Peckie, Run!

(I think she'd better be a faster mover when he learns how to walk!)


Their pad:

A bit of bling for their pad, and despite appearances, this is not a wind vane! It is actually a chooky compass! The arrow says "this way to the roosters, girls!"!

Neo, chillin' with his crew, when they were about 6 weeks old:

And again, last week on the maiden egg laying day (on a side note, look how brown the grass is compared to the first shot above the rain we had last night is MUCH needed):




And finally, a family portrait:

Ok, enough from me, this has turned into the Ben Hur of blog posts! If I haven't convinced you by now to get THE most eco-friendly pets in the world, then nothing will, but at least I had a very eggstraordinary time trying!

PS we live smack-bang in the middle of the 'burbs in Brisbane, so you can't use living in the city as an excuse either!

Who wants their own home... for FREE?!?!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Friday, October 23, 2009 1 responses



Ok, well, maybe not a HOME, but how about a HOUSE?!?!

We are very near to processing our 500th order on the Ankle Biters website!! Who would have known when we took our first order in May of last year that we would have had the year that we have!

Ankle Biters has been evolving constantly and will continue to evolve and hopefully to grow, with a beautiful, loyal customer base of like-minded mums and dads who value and respect the planet that both we, and our little ones inhabit!

I have been honoured to have met so many wonderful people in my travels since Ankle Biters began, and I am so excited to have reached this milestone!

Sooooo, as a toast to, well, US, we are celebrating with the following great offers to our customers:

1. EVERY order received on the Ankle Biters website between now and our 500th order clicking over, will receive a complimentary Bee Natural Vanilla Lip Balm (rrp $5.40), to show you our thanks for supporting us!

2. Every order (excluding all BabyJogger items and bulk boxes of nappies) over $50.00 received on the Ankle Biters website between now and our 500th order clicking over, will be charged the discounted FLAT RATE of postage of only $10.00!

3. The VERY lucky customer to place order #500 will become the lucky recipient of their very own, brand new Kids On Roof "House", worth $86.00 plus FREE delivery of it to your door!

note: We love the "HOUSE", they are tough as nails, believe me! Our demo one that lives outside our shop has been blown from one end of our shopping centre to the other, courtesy of the dust and wind storms of the previous few weeks and that thing continues to stand proudly!

Every child that comes into our shop has a wonderful time in our "HOUSE" and always leaves their autograph on it before they leave. We are sure that the lucky winner of the "HOUSE" will enjoy it just as much!



4. Now we know how much it sucks to "just" miss out on a prize, and so, as a consolation, we are offering the customers who place order #499 and #501, their choice of either a boys Bacche organic clothing pack OR a gorgeous custom-made Ankle Biters tutu, both valued at rrp $55.00!

So, get ordering folks, there are prizes to be won!

And follow our tweets through-out the weekend as we keep you updated on who the lucky prize winners are!

PS Don't forget to check out all of the great new products we have added over the past week! You can find them right HERE!

Keep watching that page as we are adding a STACK of new products through-out the entire weekend too!

My big girl is 7 - how the heck did THAT happen?!?!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Thursday, October 8, 2009 1 responses

I always get really reminiscent when it is one of my kids birthdays, but for some reason, when Molly-Rose turned 7 on Sunday, I was more so than usual. Perhaps it was due to all of the stressful times we have been experiencing of late, but I really started to take a long hard look at our family and the gorgeous kids that we have been blessed with.

So much so that I went back to my old stomping grounds over at the Essential Baby website and looked up the birth story I had written just after Lolly was born. It gave me goosebumps to reread it! It was a bit weird actually as I reference my "DH" (dear husband) many times in the story, and I now have a NEW "DH". It seems like a lifetime ago that I welcomed my little Lolly into our then family! It is ironic that the stresses that Lolly's dad and I were experiencing then as a couple seem to pale into insignificance when I consider the stresses that Steve and I are facing now. If only I'd known then what the future would bring!

Anyways, I am not going to dwell any longer on this as I am trying to be optimistic and devote much less time on our blog to negative things. Sooo, I actually want to share with you all the birth story that I wrote for my little Lolly as a tribute to her 7th birthday and her entrance into this life.

Rather than post the entire thing here (it is quite long!), I will link to it, and you can decide yourselves if you wish to read it in its entirety or not. It is a very personal account of her entrance to the world and I hope that you all enjoy the read:

Molly-Rose's birth story

And now, as further tribute to my beautiful girl, here is a collection of images that I shot of her on Sunday, her birthday, as she enjoyed the gorgeous gifts that our family and friends gave her... I am so thankful to have been given the gift of being a photographer when we have occasions like this. The collection of images I have of my kids are absolutely the most precious thing that I "own"...
Wearing her new hair clips from the wonderful Jodie at

With her gorgeous "big girl" perfume and shampoo and conditioner from the lovely ladies at Petit:

With her cute little cup cake maker that her Daddy sent to her:

Lolly showing us her "action girl" moves with her punching bag from Granpa Reg & Grandma Sally:

Still the action girl but with Jaimyn observing in the background and Zali chucking a tantrum as "me want to punch too!":

Blowing out the candles, careful Lolly, don't BURN THE HAIR!! note to self: never attempt to make a "turtle" birthday cake 20 mins before the grandparents arrive. The results are disastrous!

(...and why would she request a turtle for a cake anyways?!?):

Ever the poser...

You can see her gorgeous Thula Thula shorts from Love Mum here too:

Lolly is such a cheeky little sod, but you can't help but love her spunk!

You may be interested to know that Molly-Rose's two birthday "requests" were for

  • a) a punching bag and boxing gloves and
  • b) a metal detector!

Well, her Granpa Reg bought her the bag/gloves, and we managed to scrape together for the metal detector. She was one VERY excited little girl, and not a Barbie or fairy in sight! Lolly is a self-proclaimed "action girl" and despite her pretty long hair, she is one of the most UN-girly girls I have ever met!

Boy does she go hell-for-leather on that punching bag - I hope it is a good one cause if it isn't, I don't think it will last for long with her kicks and punches! As for the metal detector, well, she hasn't made her fortune yet but we do have a growing pile of a very motley collection of nuts and bolts and bits of tin that she has found in the bush behind our house!

Happy Birthday to my BIG GIRL!

Bornsage is HERE!!

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Tuesday, October 6, 2009 0 responses



We are excited to announce that we are the VERY FIRST stockist of Bornsage Organic Cotton Clothing in Australia! The collections are available NOW by clicking on the image below...


Born Sage is now Available HERE!


The daily grind in 2009...

Proudly broadcast by... Love Bytes Thursday, October 1, 2009 1 responses

Why aren't there enough hours in the day? Like seriously, if only I didn't have to sleep, I think that I may actually scratch the surface of the volume of work that I have to try and get through!

I literally wake in the morning, and if discovered that I have slept in until like 8am (due unusually tired kiddies), I chastise myself all day for wasting those precious hours between 5am and 8am which I find to be the most productive time for me to work in!

With school holidays now coming to an end, and with this in mind, I have decided to throw my hands in the air and shreak "Bugger it!". Tomorrow, Saturday, I am going to close the shop for the day. I simply must get some bookwork done and I am literally drowning in my office amid new products that simply won't sell themselves if I don't hurry up can get them up on the website!

Then, we have to consider the whole "modern day mum guilt" trip that most of us mums find ourselves shouldered with in this day and age. We are much more independent and forward thinking than our predecessors and there are few of us now who are or would be content to simply being a "stay at home mum". By the same token, there are those of us who feel the burden of guilt for not helping to pay the bills if we do take on that role.

So, here it is, this is what we, as mums in the year 2009 have to wade through on a daily basis....

a) guilt for staying at home and not contributing to the bills OR

b) guilt for staying at home and "wasting" our hard-earned educations on being a "housewife" OR

c) guilt for going out and working and contributing to the bills but putting our kids in day care OR

d) guilt for building a work at home business so that we can stay at home with the kids, and then finding ourselves still not spending enough quality time with them anyways! That reliance on the dreaded box in the lounge room that turns our kids into zombies is something that most of us would be embarrassed to admit OR

e) possibly worst of all, more GUILT, when none of the above seemingly succeeds and we find that we are still struggling financially, and emotionally to maintain a happy, healthy household! When despite our efforts, lack of sleep, hoarse throats from yelling at the kids, ingrained fear to answer the phone in case it is someone demanding money, more lack of sleep, putting on the daily facade that you are uber-organised, hyper-confident and of course, SUPREMELY happy with the situation!

Phew! So, where do the Dads fit in here?! The always hard-working, ever-loving, selfless (cough!) dads who head out to work in the morning with their lunches neatly packed and clothes nicely ironed, only to return 9 hours later to a lovely meal on the table, a house full of smiling kids, all ready for bed with hair neatly brushed and freshly bathed. Oh, and not to forget to be greeted by the smiling mum (hiding her true feelings behind the aforementioned facade) waiting with arms opened wide for that welcome home hug and kiss...

Oh, wait, I digressed into my little fantasy world there for a moment... Because, in my house, my poor, long suffering hubby runs out the door each morning, late for work, usually leaves his lunch of a can of tinned tuna and a half squashed banana on the bench, whilst the kids are fighting in the background over a missing Nintendo DS and the baby sits in the corner, wearing half a jar of vegemite on his face and chowing down on the apple core that he just retrieved from the bin.

Me, running around in my jammies (or sometimes the clothes I had on the day before if I fell asleep at the computer!), yelling at kids to go to school cause they are late AGAIN (we live NEXT DOOR to the school, I kid you not, and are ALWAYS late!).

He returns in the afternoon, not to the scene that I illustrated above but rather one where I shove a baby into his arms before he even puts his bag down, am STILL wearing my pjs, whilst on the phone to the courier reminding him to come by and pic up web orders for dispatch the next morning. I'll have a pen in one hand signing permission slips for swimming or excursions for school, phone on my shoulder, and stirring a (now burning) dinner at the same time, whilst still listening to the perpetual white noise of the kids fighting in the background (now over who's turn it is to have the first shower that night!).

So, when I look at it that way, it makes me sit back and take stock that not only do us mums do the hard yards, but our partners do to, although rarely, do I find myself acknowleging it!

So the scenes above are pretty normal in our house, but haven't been the case of late. My partner hasn't been at work for 12 weeks and during this time, he has become quite the Daddy Day Care! During this time, we have set up and opened our new store, where I am sitting right now as I type this. He is at home, with all five of our kids, cleaning chook poo out of our back yard! For the past few weeks I have had him running to the post office, doing washing, mopping floors, cooking dinner, bringing the baby in for midday feeds and more!

BUT, alas, come Monday, I am really fearful that the proverbial you-know-what is going to hit the fan! Why? Well, by dear hubby is returning to work! And what kind of jackpot did we hit for his first roster? Well, one that has him working on the exact days that our 3 yo DOESN'T go to day care! Woohoo!

So, next week, as the older kids head back to school, and parents all over QLD breath their collective sighs of relief, I am going to find myself cooped up in our little 43sqm shop with a rambuncious 3yo, a 13 month old who is obsessed with my EFTPOS machine (oh, yes, we have EFTPOS again!) and pulling out all stops to keep them from chowing down on our organic lollipops and putting their sticky little mits all over those gorgeous new toys I am yet to price and put on the shelves.

Therefore, in saying all of this, I hereby claim the right to combine a-e above and come up with a brand new category as follows:

f) guilt for going out to work, building a business that is still not contributing to paying the bills, bringing a dreaded zombie box into my "organic" shop AND possibly resorting to feeding my kids cold baked beans on toast for dinner for a week!

I promise though, that I won't wear my pyjamas whilst doing so...

tan.