Doula Love

I know that I said I've been busy.  It's true.  I was going to come back sooner and tell you what I was up to, but then, I was...too busy.  :)  I'm starting to get a grip, or at least not care as much about the minors while I'm sorting out the majors.  So I'm ready to talk a little about what's going on.


Our youngest started school this year, part-time, and will go full-time next year.  We got settled into our house and neighborhood, and as soon as things began to normalize, I knew that I had to get Out Of The House.  I'll talk more about that later, but I should probably talk to a therapist first ;).  In any case, I began to search for things that interested me intellectually, spiritually, and physically.  I just couldn't do one more week of dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning with nothing else going forward. 

One of my lovely cousins began to study doula work.  Because of my close acquaintance with many large/homeschooling/alternative families, I was aware of what a doula does, but had not really considered it as a vocation myself.  The more I thought about it, the more I could see how my own experiences, in difficulty and joy, could be of use to someone who has yet to experience the building of their own family.

 Many people in our city are away from their families of origin, and that is extremely hard to cope with when building your own young family.  Also, many women just need a little extra, knowledgeable support as they bring children into the world and begin their individual journeys of motherhood.  I decided to look more into doula perinatal support, and when I realized how well it fit me, I quickly signed up for training.  I also began volunteering my time to work with women in crisis during pregnancy and after birth.  I fell head over heels in love with that work and as I did so, I felt even more determined to continue in this field, in education and practice. 

At the moment, I'm doing online coursework with an international doula certification organization, and hands-on training with a local group.  I've met such an interesting and varied group of women who have chosen to follow this line of work.  I'm still volunteering only, and will be doing so until next year when I have larger chunks of time to organize for work purposes. 

It is so good to have a direction.

I made this locket to wear to doula training on the weekend. It felt really special putting it together. Doula work is all about supporting the mother and family during the transitional time of childbirth and adding a new member to the family. For this locket I chose charms representing childbirth (unfolding rose), caring for the mother (teacup), the family bond (heart), power, perseverance, patience and protection (turtle), awareness of the plight of unborn girls (baby girl hands), and three birthstones for my daughters, for whom this work becomes important to me.

This is a really wonderful time in my life, for so many reasons.  While a lot of responsibilities have been added to my plate, even more weight has been taken off my shoulders.  I'll talk more about that later, as it relates to home schooling and the SAHM.  Both of which I support :) but there is a time and a place for everyone.  Blessings!

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The Ball!

I know, I'm the world's worst blogger.  I'm so busy!  I know everyone is soooo busy but seriously...I'm studying now, on top of everything else. I'm really hoping to share more about what I'm studying, and what I'm doing for work these days, because it's SOOOO EXCITING!  But...until then, here are some photos from today, of my precious girlies.  One, going to her senior/yr 12 Ball, and the other two tagging along to see the girls in their "princess dresses."  Just an amazing day and we are so proud of our beautiful, accomplished, intelligent, distinguished Miss Em.  Enjoy!

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Haha!

Last January/This January: Beaches and Budgeting

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Last January we were fresh off the airplane and the kids only had 2 weeks to adjust before starting school.  It was pretty huge.

My parents saw to it that we took some time off in the midst of everything to go out and enjoy our new surroundings.  We drove down to the beach, about an hour from their place, and had a really gorgeous afternoon.  There were lots of loud and somewhat inebriated teens enjoying their last days of summer hols, but the gorgeous yellow sunshine, breeze, perfect temps and the salty ocean air overwhelmed everything with a sense of happiness and well-being. 

We sat by the ocean at a little cafe for a while with family and friends, and had cappuccinos.

I can't believe that was a year ago -- it seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

I also can't believe that only just now, nearly a whole year later, I'm finally getting my house in order and really working on a budget -- I've been keeping track for the past six months and it's not looking good! -- so I'm diligently exploring ways to get our grocery bills down and cut back on everything I can cut back on. 

Moving is expensive, and so is adjusting.  I remember when we first moved back to the USA it was the same way.  Time to knuckle down.  Give me your best Aussie money saving tips!  xx

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Happy New Year


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Happy New Year to all my readers.
I apologize for having been away for so long. 
Here is a brief recap of what happened this past year.  We were very busy.

Mamma:  Moved to the other side of the world, with two suitcases per person to start over with.
Started kids in school with a Very Long Commute.
Moved again.  Continued transporting kids to school with half the commute time.
Moved again.  Now we are 6 minutes from both schools and life is a lot less complicated.
Began to set up the new permanent home, basically from scratch.  It was really stressful at first, but we are finally sliding into a rhythm of home.  All the moving is just not easy.  We are very grateful to everyone who gave us so much help and good will.

Daddy: Moved to the other side of the world.  Became self-employed. Bought a van.
Moved again.  Looked for a permanent job.
Got a job.
One day before he started the job, bought us a house.
Moved again.  Bought a second car.
Now beginning endless rounds of house updating, gardening, and renovation.  Sometimes enjoys the beach and always enjoys the lovely weather for walks.   Helps out at church.

Miss Rose:

Turned Sixteen with a great big party shared with her second cousin, who is the same age, attending the same school.
Returned to school after eight years of home schooling, skipped half a grade.  Main focus in music and drama, learned tons and tons.  Made some good friends and enjoyed reconnecting with her cousins and second cousins.
Joined a chorale which specializes in Gilbert and Sullivan.
Just finished a major part in a sold-out pantomime.
Had many solo performances with several of the highest performance marks with tough grading.
Finally got her own bedroom.

Joman:

Turned Fifteen.
Returned to school after eight years of home schooling.  Made many friends and reconnected with old ones, and had lots of interesting experiences such as a riverboat cruise, ecology field trips, and making movies.
Skipped half a grade, was enrolled in high-level classes and still managed to maneuver to the extension level of maths.
Retained his generous, happy, positive attitude.
Finally got his own bedroom.


Roks:

Turned Nine.
Went to school for the first time, started in Fourth Grade. 
Found he is advanced in Maths, and won the Principal's Award for the year, which is awarded for good citizenship.
Sang his first vocal solo at church for the Christmas Eve service.


Bert:

Turned Seven.
Started First Grade.  It was a rough start, but perseverance resulted in lots of friends of all ages and a successful year.
Went to school unable to write at all.  Ended the school year as one of the best spellers, advanced in language arts.


Gater:

Turned Five.
Started Kindy four days a week.  She did great.
Remained a ray of sunshine and good cheer.
Grew her hair all the way down past her waist.


Wannie:

Turned Three.
Adjusted to life as an "only" while the others all went off to school.
Started speaking big words in long sentences.
Began to show her personality as a wonderful mix of dark, quirky, and humorous.


Since there is such a huge chunk of time that has passed, which was documented sometimes with photos, I think what might be sort of fun, rather than dumping everything on you at once, would be to do some "this time last year" posts.  That way, we can keep up with what is going on now, and eventually we will get around to what was going on this past year as well.

Remembering that this blog is not just for you, but for our family as well, and we don't want to forget.

God bless your coming year and keep you safe and well.
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