• Mark Latham's out of date views on women and domestic violence are wrong.
    Social,  Womanhood

    Mark Latham: damaging & wrong on domestic violence

    Mark Latham's out of date views on women and domestic violence are wrong.

    Recently you may have seen that Mark Latham decided to write down his opinion on Rosie Batty, domestic violence and how things just aren’t like they used to be.  And the editors at the Financial Review, in their wisdom, decided yet again, to publish his writings.  If you haven’t read it, and feel you must, click here.  

    I wasn’t going to write a post about his nonsensical ramblings, but I’m furious.  Furious that someone who apparently has the capacity to access the statistics and to talk to the relevant people can write such ill-informed, disrespectful and damaging twaddle.  If you don’t want to read it, fair enough.  The gist of it, from my reading, was this:  he started off questioning how Rosie Batty is grieving her child, reminiscing for the days when the ‘working class’ would keep their grief private (I am not joking, he used those terms).  He then moved on to having a go at her for speaking at events, like business functions, and for having an agency who arranged her bookings for these events.  He bemoaned the way we turn grief into celebrity these days.  He had a go at several writers for airing their issues in public, and made light of one man’s discussion on alcoholism, by stating that his writing made him feel like drinking.  Hilarious.  The ultimate point of his piece then seemed to come through, where he attempts to argue that the issue of domestic violence is a fiction made up by left feminists, and it only really affects indigenous and “other underclass communities” anyway.  Yes, he refers to indigenous people as “underclass” and apparently anyone else who experiences domestic violence is also a part of the “underclass”.  Wait, what?  What year are we in? 

    So here are some of the things that sprang to mind upon reading this.  Mainly, why the hell is the Financial Review still publishing this drivel?  But also; who is Mark Latham to dictate how a person grieves?  Who is he to tell Rosie Batty that she isn’t grieving her murdered child in the correct fashion?  How are we at a point, as a community, where it’s ok for someone to so publicly shake their head and ‘tsk tsk’ at a woman who is working through a grief that will be life long, life changing and very nearly soul destroying?  Rosie Batty must every day deal with the violent loss of her son, and every day she manages to get up and step into the world with the purpose of helping others and preventing more family violence.  Oh yes, truly worthy of dressing down. 

    To the comments on her being represented by an agency, and horror of horrors, being paid for her work:  This is coming from a man who works within an industry where people regularly use agencies to manage their speaking appearances, his ‘dismay’ is questionable.  He is pedalling smoke and mirrors.  Having an agency representing her merely means she has someone sorting out her speaking appearances, whilst she gets on with the actual work.  You know, the important work, of speaking, educating and raising awareness of an epidemic of violence that in the majority, impacts on women.  Women like you, me, your sister, cousin, girlfriend, colleague, boss, mother. 

    To his claim that the idea that women from all socio-economic communities are at risk from domestic violence being a “Big Lie” of the feminist left.  Well, one can only imagine he hasn’t actually read anything about domestic violence in Australia.  He follows this up with this zinger.  That domestic violence is concentrated in indigenous and “other underclass communities”.  Putting aside the charming, retro use of the word “underclass”, so what?  Just because there is a higher prevalence in indigenous communities means we shouldn’t speak about it?  Shouldn’t do anything to address it?  The truth is, the numbers are so high that it means it is prevalent across all communities.  Low, middle and high socio-economic

    His assertions that Rosie Batty is putting women at risk is not only insulting, but also flies in the face of all that is known by those who have actually studied, worked, researched or experienced family violence.  You know, the ACTUAL experts.  Being an ‘almost’ important person, does not make you an expert.  

    Being a white, privileged, “well educated”, well paid male does not give you the right to belittle the indigenous, the working class or to dismiss the ongoing horrific experience of thousands of women.  An experience forced upon them by men.

    Feeling miffed because a “working class” (I shit you not, he referenced ‘working class’) woman isn’t sitting at home hiding her grief does not give you the right to belittle her, nor does it make you an expert on family violence. 

    I’ve worked with it, I’ve sent it.  I personally know women who are well educated, well employed, highly regarded, white and other, who have experienced varying degrees of violence against them.  By well educated, well employed, well regarded white men.  Because they are women.  Don’t be fooled by his apparently racist, sexist dismissive ramblings.  This issue is huge, it is relevant and his scared, pitiful whining against the “left wing feminists” ie women who don’t conduct themselves in a golden age, 1950’s fashion, speak more of his fearful close mindedness, than anything actually resembling fact. 

    Well Mark Latham, here’s my opinion.  We are not in the 1950’s anymore.  We are no longer shackled by old fashioned views on grief, violence, abuse and the role of women.  Men and women today are able to talk about the terrible things that can happen in our society because as we evolve as a society we recognise that education is important.  Education where we tell young men and women that violence of any kind is not acceptable.  We do not hide at home in our grief anymore, unless that is what we want to do.  Indigenous people and women ARE NOT underclass.  Violence against women DOES happen across all parts of our society and WE ALL need to do more about it.  Rosie Batty suffered an unthinkable loss, and has somehow managed to focus her life so that to help others.  To speak up, to make others aware and to educate our society on the violence that is harming women and children daily.  For that, we should be gathering around Rosie, lending her our strength and asking what can we do?  We should be standing with her.  I know I am. 

  • My Child's Asthma Story || www.tullyandmishka.com.au
    Family,  Health,  Parenting,  Toddlers

    My Child Has Asthma

    And it’s pretty scary, actually.  We had been taking Mr 2 back to the doctor on a seemingly weekly basis.  It wasn’t actually weekly, but that’s what it felt like.  Constant coughing that turned into wheezing, that sometimes turned into heavy, laboured breathing where his poor little ribs sucked in and out.  

    It started about September last year.  Initially it was croup – meaning a steroid dose was taken.  The next month, we were away on the Great Ocean Road for a weekend, and his breathing became wheezy and his ribs were working hard.  So we called the Lorne hospital and they recommended we come in.  It was a Saturday evening of a long weekend, and we had never needed to take the kids to an emergency department before.  And we weren’t in Lorne, we were probably 25 minutes further on the winding ocean road.  That had Mr 2 vomiting with car sickness the day before.  Awesome. 

    The very winding Great Ocean Road.
    The very winding Great Ocean Road.

    So we headed in, with Ms 3 happily bunked in with friends in their cabin.  I was, of course, completely anxious the whole way there – was he going to spew on the way, was his breathing going to get worse, was Ms 3 ok with us leaving her when it was night and we were in a strange place.  Naturally, he didn’t spew, slept the whole way there and Ms 3 had an awesome time with the big girls!  When we got to the ED, the staff was great.  Saw us straight away and were lovely.  They monitored him for a bit, gave him a dose of steroids and diagnosed bronchiolitis.  Rest and fluids, and get another course of steroids for him. 

    Over the months since, we’ve been back to the GP at least five times with similar symptoms – particularly the wheezing and coughing.  Each time leaving with redipred and ventolin, and sometimes antibiotics, but no diagnosis.  When kids are under two, there is a reluctance to diagnose asthma, mainly because they can ‘grow’ out of it.  Their airways are small and more sensitive to inflammation.  So they wait a bit and see if the symptoms will ease off.  That’s my understanding. 

    We had started considering going to a different GP, to push for a bit more assessment.  He had turned 2 at the start of the year and it was still happening.  Around March, he was wheezy AGAIN.  Of course it came on later in the day and I only managed to get an appointment at about ten to five and with a different GP.  I got in to the clinic, with Ms 3 and Mr 2 managing to climb all over every inch of the waiting room and the GP’s room.  They cannot sit still when we are in a GP’s office! 

    Well, this one was awesome.  She read the file, listened to what I was saying and assessed Mr 2’s presentation.  “It is asthma” she pronounced and proceeded to instruct me to take him to the local emergency department for assessment.  Wait, what?  She was concerned that he needed a thorough assessement that she couldn’t do at this stage of the day.  He needed to be monitored over a three hour period, to assess his breathing and his response to medication. 

    So off we went to the local emergency department.  The Mister had just got home from work, so he met us there.  Luckily, it went fairly well.  We didn’t have to wait hours and hours.  Saying that, whislt we were waiting, his breathing worsened and we heard that real rattling, whistle type breath for the first time.  That wasn’t great. 

    My Child Has Asthma - Tully & Mishka

    He was assessed and monitored and sent home with ventolin and spacers and instructions to see the GP, having responded well to the ventolin.  And that was how we found out our child has asthma.  Since then, we have had an appointment with the nurse at the GP’s to develop an Asthma Management Plan and to learn a little more about asthma.  That appointment really bought home to me how serious asthma is.  We don’t have it in our family and neither does The Mister.  So I’ve never really been exposed to it.  The nurse made it clear that it can and does kill children when not managed properly.  Scared the bejeesus out of me.  So now he is on preventer medication, morning and night, with the plan to reassess once we are through winter.  For Mr 2, coughs and colds appear to be a trigger, so winter can be a difficult period.  And we carry ventolin, spacer and mask with us all the time, in case an attack flares up.

    My child's asthma story.  Tully & Mishka
    More stuff for my bag!

    Luckily, the younger kids are when they’re first diagnosed, the more likely they seem to grow out of it.  Fingers crossed that happens for us too.  He’s been travelling well so far through winter, with only a few episodes of needing ventolin, usually when he has had a particularly severe cold/cough.  

    Did you know there is an Asthma First Aid Plan?  I didn’t, I had no idea.  Click through if you are interested in knowing more about it.  It’s simple and straight forward, and good to know if you’re with someone who appears to be having an attack.  

    How about you?  Do you or your child have asthma?  Was it a surprise, or does it run in your family?  Let me know, I’d be keen to hear (read!) your experience.  

     Here are some more links you may find useful:

    • The Asthma Buddy App – great for slightly older kids learning to manage their asthma.  
    • The National Asthma Council Australia – lots of information for those with asthma, or caring for someone with asthma, for professionals and for media.  
    • Asthma Australia – again, has lots of information and links to state/territory specific sites.  

    #MyAsthmaStory || Tully & Mishka

     

     

  • Crayola Color Wonder Review || www.tullyandmishka.com.au
    Kid Friendly,  Product Reviews,  Toddlers

    Product Talk: Crayola Color Wonder Review

    This product talk is bought to you by Nuffnang and Crayola.

    Crayola Color Wonder Review || www.tullyandmishka.com.au

    In this house, when the kids choose colouring as their activity of  the moment, I think two things.  What are they using to colour and what are they colouring on??  Because, you know, we are inundated with colouring books, and pencils, but somehow drawing on other things and with pens, textas or even crayon is a much more permanent way to display their artistic endeavor.  I present you exhibit A:

    Crayola Color Wonder Review || Tully & Mishka

    Yes, the other day, Mr 2 was having a great time colouring the chalk board.  He was very enthusiastic and when he called me over to see “look, Mum!  Look!” I realised he was colouring with crayons.  Not chalk.  Sigh.  So when Nuffnang offered me the opportunity to try the Crayola Color Wonder range, I was all for it.  After all, it was offered as a “mess free” activity.  Mess free?  Hells yeah.  Because frankly, this house doesn’t need more mess, for reasons best described by the forthright and awesome Janelle at Renegade Mothering.  

    Crayola Color Wonder || Tully & Mishka

    And joyously, the review included TWO packs!  Frozen and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (high school flash back anyone?).  Both kids sorted.  Basically, each pack comes with five textas and once colouring book.  The textas are clear, and it’s not until you (or your child, whoever gets the texta first) draws on the Color Wonder paper that the colour starts to appear.  When you’re a 2 year old kid, that’s hands down amazing.  I give you exhibit B: 

    Yes, that’s one excited little man!  And really, this stuff is cool.  It’s non toxic, there are hidden patterns in the pictures, and I have not found texta colour anywhere else, not their clothes, their hands or the walls.  Well, not from these textas anyway!  Seriously, I just got interrupted by Ms 4 telling me Mr 2 was drawing on the wall.  Gah! At least that was with chalk……
    Crayola Color Wonder || Tully & MishkaCrayola Color Wonder || Tully & Mishka

     

     

     

     

    What activities do your kids love doing indoors?  Is it mess free, or full of fun and educative messiness??? Let me know!  And let me know if your kids love the Color Wonder range too 🙂 

    I’m linking up with Mama Raj Says’ Review Round Up!  

    And here’s a bonus video of Mr 2 and his speed colouring. 

     

     

  • Toddler sleep
    Parenting,  Toddlers

    Sleeping on the edge

    Toddler sleep

    Monday night, Mr 2 decided that he was going to wake up at 3am and come into our bed.  Now, to be fair to him, the whole previous week The Mister had been away and I was not going to do the ‘sleeping in your own bed’ battle by myself.  So Mr 2 was used to just coming on in and sleeping on top of me.  Because why sleep on the other 3/4‘s of the bed when you can make sure mum is sleeping on the edge? 

    Suffice to say, he got a rude shock when he was gently guided back to his own bed at 3:00 am on Tuesday morning.  He did not handle it well.  And for the next two and half hours, did his best to ensure no one else in the house slept either.  He cried, he got out of bed continually, he kept heading up the hall to his sister’s room.  Often, he would be put back into bed, appear to settle for 10 minutes, and somehow sensing that I was just about to return to sleep – bam!  The pitter patter of little footsteps could be heard as he made his way to our door.  To say that he was less gently guided back to bed at this point would probably be an understatement.  I was not coping well with three hours sleep! 

    To add to the fun, Ms 4 had woken at roughly the same time due to a coughing fit that continued to annoy her for an hour or so.  She wasn’t asleep either.  In fact at one point, when Mr 2 was still in his room, yelling loudly, she suddenly appeared in our doorway, hands on hips and demanding “what’s all this racket about??”  If I wasn’t so exhausted and irritated it would have been adorable.  In fact I think it did manage to raise a small smile.  She was promptly sent back to bed, and exhausted, we gave in and bought Mr 2 to our bed.  Where he quickly fell into a deep and angelic slumber.  Faaaaaark!!!

    How do they always manage to have these terrible nights when you really need them to sleep early and well?!  We have kinder at 8.30 for Ms 4 on Tuesday’s.  We need to be up and at them in order for me to be only slightly late and disorganised.  So of course, the two cherubs would have slept until about 9 if I’d let them on Tuesday.  Any other day that would have been great! 

    Sleep and Mr 2 has been an ongoing battle for us.  Recently, it had seemed to be a lot smoother.  We put in some hard work (using the camping out method) and he was sleeping well in his cot, not crying for us to bring him to our bed.  Then after a little while we decided to take the side off his cot, whilst he seemed settled with his sleep, so that he didn’t think he needed to come out.  It was a theory.  A theory that seemed ok until routine changed and it all went out the window.  He had been going to bed and staying there, and only every now and again coming to our room.  Now, he fights bedtime and, well, please see above!  I know for some, kids in the bed are no big deal.  And I didn’t mind when he was smaller, but now, it just doesn’t work.  The Mister doesn’t sleep at all well and finds himself exhausted when doing the long drive to work.  So for us, it’s not something that suits us. 

    Now I could ask for your tips on sleeping, but really, I just want to know that I’m not the only one battling this!!  Do you have a toddler fighting to get in your bed?  I saw that Tegan over at Musings of the Misguided has some good tips for coming to terms with a kid who won’t go to sleep.

    *Update* For this week, the cot has been turned so that he can’t get out.  And we’ll be revisiting the camping out method 🙂 

  • Mercy
    Uncategorized

    I Stand For Mercy

    My heart has been heavy these last few days.  It aches for the mothers of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran and the other inmates who faced the firing squad with them.  For all the mothers, the fathers, the families of those waiting on death row around this world.  What a terrible, despairing wait that must be. 

    I’m well aware that there are so, so many awful events happening at this time.  The rising toll in Nepal.  The rising toll of women being murdered because they are women.  Riots in Baltimore.  The thing is, it seems I can have an opinion, thoughts and feelings on more than one topic at a time.  One tragedy does not negate another.

    The thing about capital punishment is, that it’s not a deterrent – and that is not just me saying that.  Amnesty International conducted research into this.   And look at the ABC’s Fact Checker. So then,  is it punishment?  They’ve already been punished, by their prison sentence.  They could be sentenced to a life term.  Why rehabilitate just to kill them?  It makes it feel like revenge to me.  Like making a nasty point.

    What about a second chance, learning?  We all make mistakes, especially when we’re young.  And aren’t I lucky to have made minor mistakes when I was young.  Aren’t I lucky to have had the support system in place so that I wasn’t in a situation where I could make such a mistake?  Aren’t I lucky that I haven’t fallen through a crack, stumbled at the wrong  time.  There but for the grace of god…….

    There was a tweet from one of our politicians, and I cannot find it now, but it basically said that capital punishment is a gross abuse of state power.  Who are ‘we’ to take life?  Why should others be made to do it on our behalf? 

    Shouldn’t society or the community take the responsibility for the failures that result in these young people making these mistakes, ending up in these situations?  Killing them is not taking responsibility.  Killing them seems like shirking that responsibility. 

    It is a regressive act and gains nothing.  Keeping these men alive, in jail, where they could educate, heal and even save others would have been far more beneficial to the community.  Killing them only means that now, they aren’t there.  Fellow inmates can’t learn from them.  They won’t be able to speak to others anymore.  And it won’t stop others.  Especially those in desperate times.  Those who feel they have no choice.  Those who feel trapped, threatened, alone.

    I’m not talking about not punishing.  It’s about being the better person.  Taking the ‘higher ground’.  Remembering they are human beings.  Developing and demonstrating a moral and ethical choice to those that we are responsible for.  I’m not saying that it’s easy.  Terrible crimes need to have consequences.  There does need to be an element of punishment, deterrent and rehabilitation involved.  But adding more dead bodies and destroying more families. 

    How does that help? 

     

  • Oats cooked in the thermochef
    Food,  Thermochef

    Thermochef Oats

    How do you go getting your toddlers to eat breakfast?  Is it an easy task or one of those  things that make you question how your children are ever going to get substantial nutrients into them?  It’s quite often the latter here.  In fact, Mr 2 spent a good ten months screaming at me no matter what I put in front of him.  However, we have discovered a winner.  Something that is rarely refused by the little man (knock on wood).  

    Oats in the Thermochef

    Oats.  Good old-fashioned oats.  He will usually try to eat two bowls of this.  Which is fine, because of course, Ms 3 rarely finishes hers.  Sigh.  Anyway, a little while ago I wrote about using my Thermochef and some of the recipes I had used.  There was a bit of interest in some more posts about cooking with the Thermochef, so I thought I would start a little series of them.  And why not start with the basics.  

    Oats in the thermochef

     Mr 2 loves my Thermochef Oats with a bit of maple syrup on top, as does Ms 3.  I always add a good knob of butter, and use full cream milk.  If I was cooking for me (I’m avoiding grains) I’d add cinnamon as well.  And use the rolled oats, not the quick oats.  When I cook oats this way, they always turn out thick and creamy, and are usually all eaten up.  

    What do you successfully feed your toddler for breakfast?  Share your tips, please!!  

    Thermochef Oats
    Serves 2
    Easy, filling oats in the Thermochef
    Write a review
    Print
    Cook Time
    8 min
    Total Time
    10 min
    Cook Time
    8 min
    Total Time
    10 min
    Ingredients
    1. 1 cup rolled oats
    2. 1 cup full cream milk
    3. 1 cup water
    4. A good knob of butter
    Instructions
    1. Place all ingredients in the bowl
    2. Cook for 8 minutes, 90 degrees, speed 1.
    3. Serve with toppings of your choice. We find maple syrup popular at the moment.
    Notes
    1. Once finished, I blend for roughly 10 seconds, speed 1 with a little cold milk.
    2. Serve immediately or it thickens and is harder to get out of the bowl.
    Tully & Mishka http://tullyandmishka.com.au/
  • Easter Egg Hunt
    Family,  Just For Fun,  Kid Friendly

    Easter Egg Hunt 2015

    Easter Egg Hunt

    Today the kids had their first Easter Egg Hunt of the season.  They had a ball!  A lovely friend organised it, and graciously invited 10 small and not so small kids into her home to find and devour chocolate.  Did I mention she is brave?  The house was decorated with lots of gorgeous Easter themed pretties, and the bigger kids even did some Easter craft.  So Ms 3 managed to get her hit today, without me having to pull out the craft box – win win!  

    Easter Egg Hunt

    And then the kids were let loose on the backyard, and everyone managed to find sufficiently equal amounts of eggs to keep everyone happy. 

    easter egg hunt 1

    And the big kids made sure the little kids had enough, which was lovely.  With minimal prompting from the grown ups.  

    Easter Egg HuntWhat are you doing for the Easter weekend? Getting out and about, or just staying in and making the most of this chocolate overloaded period?  Let me know!

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