anise dean

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since Oct 07, 2015
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Recent posts by anise dean

I've had a hospital birth (first) and a home birth (second). Home was definitely better for us. I'm in New Zealand, and midwives are the norm here, but my first midwife was a nervous, overcautious type, so it wasn't my ideal experience. I went out of my way to find one for my second pregnancy who was more open and relaxed about letting things work as they are designed to She turned up 15 minutes before my son was born, then sat and watched as hubby delivered him

Both kids were cloth nappied (diapered). I made most of my own and enjoyed it, so having lots of outgrown nappies weren't a problem, and I reused them for my second baby (then lent them out to family and friends, and then sold them). It was an extra half-load of laundry per day, and I didn't have a problem with that. I was definitely a cloth addict, though, so it was part of the fun. Back when my daughter was born (almost ten years ago) cloth nappies were only for crunchy weirdo types, now they're practically mainstream, so even if you buy all your gear it can be a lot cheaper. I'm using all my terry and flannel flats and prefolds now to wash windows and stuff, so it's not like they're sitting unused or going to waste.

I breastfed both kids long past the socially acceptable point around here, but even that didn't seem terribly long term to me. My mother-in-law was horrified when she realised I wasn't going to wean my first baby at 6 months! She came around, though. Other family members were more obnoxious, but I simply ignored them. None of their business, in my opinion. My daughter weaned herself at around 20 months when I was pregnant with my son, and I weaned him at 2+ when I had had enough. I bought bottles and a pump before I had my first baby and barely used them. Waste of money, to be honest, at least for us.

I didn't co-sleep with my daughter, but she was a good sleeper. My son, however, from the moment he was born, wouldn't sleep alone. I never intended to co-sleep with him, but the first night I brought him into my bed out of necessity, and he didn't leave until he was around 3. It worked for us, I got far more sleep while he was small than with my daughter!

Again, I didn't find babywearing until my oldest was a toddler, so my son was really the only one worn a lot. I sold the stroller because I never used it! When my daughter was a baby I had to wait until she was sleeping before I could get anything done, when my son was a baby, I simply threw him on my back and he was quite happy to watch or sleep while I did the housework.

My son was the only baby who had jarred baby food, though. I made all my daughters food from scratch, but I was only juggling one kid then Totally dropped the ball with my second baby there, and after a couple weeks of jarred food, he wouldn't touch my homemade stuff :/ He's still kind of a fussy kid, whereas my daughter will eat anything...

Neither of the kids ever went to daycare. We went to Playcentre together (Playcentre in NZ is a parent co-op ages 0-6 early childhood education). Lots of people around here think that if your kid doesn't get left at kindergarten (also early childhood education, not the first year of school, such as in the US) for at least a year before they start school, they'll be clingy and won't transition well. My kids had no problem. While other new entrants were crying and clinging to their mothers in their first week at school, my kids happily waved us goodbye. They'd never been left with strangers before they started school, and I think that made them feel a lot more secure to be left when they were ready.

We didn't have the kind of support families had in years gone by, unfortunately. We've had family fairly close, but none that were willing to take up the slack when we needed it. But we coped, and it doesn't last forever. It was still an easier, cheaper, and less stressful way to raise my babies
5 years ago
I think I will too Sadly, I won't be able to see the kitchen garden from the kitchen window (it's a whole weird thing in the way our house was designed - the 'back' door that goes outside from the kitchen is actually a side door), but I 'll be able to peer out the bathroom window at it when I brush my teeth
5 years ago
Hiya! I'm vamp - that's what everyone calls me, except my dad and my aunt and anyone of their generation who was introduced to me before a whole lot of years ago. I tend to run into problems when there is a real name policy, so if you want you can call me anise, but I'm really more comfortable with vamp :)

I'm pretty much a newb to permaculture. I'm only on my second year of serious gardening (started digging over the very neglected and weedy veg patch in the back yard in August last year, and it's all kind of snowballed from there). Watering/irrigation was a nightmare last summer, we end up on water restrictions, and it's likely to be like that again this year (southern hemisphere, so it's spring now) because I didn't do all the things I planned to do over the winter. But I figure while I'm growing stuff in my somewhat traditional beds this season, I can start to figure out what I can do going forward.

We get a ton of rain in the winter and spring, but tend to have very dry summers around here. Clay soil, but after last year the soil in my actual garden plots and beds are looking a lot nicer, but it's still cracking and going hard when it gets dry. I mulch with whatever is going, mostly lawn clippings, which everyone tells me is bad because weed seeds, but I don't have too much of a problem, really. I've acquired some straw this year, mostly because I've got more beds now and not enough lawn clippings to go around ;)

I companion plant, but I'm not too strict or hung up on rules. Mostly stuff goes in wherever it will fit. After last year I'm thinking a bit more about where the sun is, where the wind is coming from. Especially the wind. I learnt that after my sweetcorn all ended up on the ground last summer :/ My garden is quite diverse, for a vege patch, I think, though so far I've tended to keep annuals and perennials separate. After just one year I'm shifting from the 'traditional' mindset that at the end of the season you rip everything out and start over. It feels so much more logical to have a rolling change.

I refuse to mow lawns, call me old fashioned, but I insist that it's man's work ;) Hubs isn't fond, however, and will procrastinate until they're knee-high. So I figure, I can do us both a favour and turn half the lawn into a food forest... I'm kind of inhaling all the info I can on swales and hugelkultur and stuff right now - we're on a somewhat gentle slope at the base of a mountain, and I hope to get as much rain into the ground as possible over the spring seasons to alleviate the need for too much watering over the summer.

I noticed last year that the lawns tended to grow quite happily at one of the lower corners of the property even during the drought last summer while everything else was turning brown - the corner directly below my main garden bed (which, incidentally, is about as far from the house as it can get without actually being in that soggy corner - it was there when we bought the house, so I've been working with the existing feature). Everything I'm putting on the garden is just kind of seeping down to where it's not really needed. So I need to find some way of keeping it where I put it... And I want the actual 'kitchen' garden a lot closer to the house as well, so really I need to redo everything. I have plans to start on a lumpy section of lawn hubby *really* hates mowing between the house and the garage - but I might have lack-of-sun problems.

I really have no idea what I'm doing... Which is why I'm here. Running off my mouth and going off on tangents ;)
5 years ago