Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Eight weeks down - 44 to go...

Well, it'll be the first of March tomorrow. The first of Autumn, according to the calendar, though we Pagans still have another three weeks of Summer (Yay!!!)...

Today, then, marks the end of my second month of doing things every day to increase my health and general well being. I think I've come a long way in the past 8 weeks! I've lost 7.5kg, well over a stone. Dave and I have completely revised out dinner menu! I've gotten into Crystal Healing and Angel Healing...

I still haven't implemented a regular exercise routine and I know I need to do this to continue to reap the benefits of this change of lifestyle.

So, in the great tradition of "copying as the sincerest form of flattery", I'm going to take up Leah's "1000 minutes of exercise" challenge for March. I've set up a graph through http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/index.asp to track my progress (by keeping a record of the percentage of that 1000 minutes I've done)... Unfortunately, this program doesn't work like a ticker, so I have to manually redo it every time I update it, but it's a start and if I find anything better I'll just swap over...

I've also made a graph of my weightloss to date, because I do like to see it all laid out, makes me feel good.

Once Dave is home for good (could be as early as this week the way things are going at work, eek!)... I'll start going for daily walks. At the moment though, my goal is to carry Bryn as much as I can handle, and trying a get out of the house every other day at least for a walk around of some sort...

Monday, February 27, 2006

Feeding the ducks

We wagged homeschooling group today (oooh-ahhhh), and went and fed the ducks at our favourite park instead... It was a bright, sunny day, so all the photos are a tad overexposed (I NEED a digital SLR, LOL!)...


Here's Dave and the boys at the lake side. We *think* the two Indian Runners you see there (the white ducks) are the same pair we used to feed when Erik was a baby, if not, then they might be the grown duckings from a few years back...

Bryn slept through the duck feeding, which was a shame in a way, being that this was his first trip to this park and to see the ducks...

I decided to wear Bryn today, and get in some exercise that way. It wasn't too bad. It really helps that I can wear him pn my back already



Then we took the boys over to the playground, at which time Bryn, of course, woke up, LOLOLOL!!!

He seemed quite happy enough just to sit and watch his brothers playing...

Looking at this photo, I can see I've lost weight, but hmmmm, I might rethink the light blue singlet and white skirt next time, hehehehe!

Bryn, for his part is sporting one of his new nappies that arrived in the mail today... I love these nappies, they spunky and so trim and he wore that nappy for 5 hours (I know, bad mum, but no rash, thank goodness) with not a hint of dampness, in fact, when I changed him a moment ago his bum was still dry to the touch, though the flanny flat inside the pocket was soaked!

The boys love the giant slide at the park and have literally grown up sliding down that slide. I have photos of each of them at different ages going down this slide...

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Day Out with Mike

Dave and I took the boys into the city today, and met my brother so he could give Dave some disks of his work for publication. We took the boys to the park down by the river - Art Play, or something, it's called... I don't know about other people's kids, but well, it only took our boys about 30 minutes to get completely bored with the park and begin venturing over to the river. I'd like to think this is just because they're extremely intelligent and therefore not satisfied with a playground for too long (once they've checked everything out, they're bored with it), but truth be told I just think they're highly attracted to water!

All the same, it was good to meet with Mike. He's now officially "working for the dole", and as it turns out, it isn't a bad thing, LOL... Previously, he has worked in factory settings, in warehouses. By nature, he's an artist, so not only does he find it really difficult to adhere to the 7-4/5 days a week routine of working in a factory, but it isn't making the most of his innate abilities.

Well, having been on the dole for what, a year (? is that how long it is before they make you do WFTD???), he now has to volunteer somewhere in order to continue to receive the dole. Now, I thought this would mean doing crap jobs like, road works or some such thing, and I was really depressed for him, but as it turns out, you only get jobs like that if you don't investigate the options and make your own suggestions.

For once in his life, Michael was pro-active (geez, I hate that word, why do I use it, it's a tautology if I ever heard one)... He nominated something like 20 options, from which he was sent to a local radio station (PBS) to do artwork for their site, and perhaps later to do interviews with bands or whatever... Now, that doesn't sound too bad at all. He is getting to do stuff he is interested in, he is gaining experience, AND making contacts, which means he might later be able to get real work from this (if he makes the most of it...).

He actually said he should have given a lot fewer options and narrowed their selection a bit because he could have been a dogs-bodily in an art studio (which sounds pretty fascinating actually)...

Mike has shown interest in radio work before, so I'm secretly hoping this will lead to something for him...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ah Buggar...


See how nice dinner looks on the new plates, and simple fritata and salad, but on these plates it almost looks restaurant quality (ok, well, that's a stretch, but it does look good)...

Onto other things though...

I stuffed up... We've been trying to organise a small hamper for Rach, who had her little girl a couple of weeks ago. What with one thing and another, illness and well, life, it took a little longer than we thought. One thing we needed to sort was getting my esky back from Jen's (I'd totally forgotten to get it from her after Sienna was born a year ago, and she had been meaning to give it back all this time, but well, I didn't even know she had it and so it never came up in conversation as a reminder, LOL)... Anyway, Jen dropped the esky around a couple of days ago and at the same time brought a half dozen cookies with her for me, from the batch she'd baked that morning and was meaning to bring more around for Rach when we knew for sure when we were taking everything to Rach's.

Well, I totally misunderstood. Thought the cookies were for Rach, put them up nice and safe away from the boys and then packed them in the esky today. Of course, the cookies were just a taste for me (Jen, being aware that I'm trying to lose weight) and not nearly the amount she would have passed on for Rach, argh! So, now, poor Jen is embarrassed about that, and I'm embarrassed about making her feel embarrassed... Gawd, I really need to listen more carefully when people talk - I was obviously distracted by my own thoughts...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Things to be happy about...

Ok, well, time to assess what I have to be happy about...

~ Today is pay-day...

I'm always happy about payday, I enjoy stocking the cupboard with food, we live from week to week, so by Wednesday night our cupboards and fridge are usually looking a bit bare...

I love paying bills, I just love knowing we don't have bills outstanding, this stems from my childhood when we were always in a lot of immediate debt and because mum worked so many hours in the day it was my job to go pay for the bills, at aged 14, it was a lot of responsibility to bear, knowing how little money we actually had, and so ever since, I've been a bit precious about paying off bills quickly...

~ I FINALLY - after 10 years of living with Dave, and nearly 8 years of marriage, bought us new crockery and cutlery - when we first moved in together we bought an el cheapo 16 piece cutlery set from Safeway, with blue plastic handles, I've longed for a "proper" set of cutlery for years, and today bought Wiltshire stainless steel 42 piece (6 settings) set at 30% off...

We have only every had bits and pieces of crockery, never a full set, some of his and some of mine... Today I bought plain white (Dave wanted white) square 16 piece set, I'm actually going to buy a second set tomorrow - didn't really think about it today but at 40% off and being that we're a family of 5 we could do with a second set... Only $35...

Here they are... (not including the mugs that came with the crockery)...


Everything I bought was very plain so I can add in new stuff later and not have to worry too much about matching...

~ I lost 1.5kg this week. That's actually a bit more than I'd like because I believe that anything over a kilo a week is likely to be waterloss, and being a full time breastfeeding mum, I can't afford to become dehydrated, but YAY! I'm still happy for having lost more weight!

~ Dave started talking more about what he wants out of the computer when he leaves work, which means he's thinking about what he wants to do - which is a relief (sometimes I think he is just living for right now, LOL)... We looked at laptops, but he also really wants to buy our own software because he didn't enjoy the rigmorol with our computer when my motherboard died at Christmas... I was surprised at what you could get from a regular shop (Dick Smith) for around $1100 - laptops used to be soooo expensive...'

~ Dave got Erik a workbook last weekend to help him learn to read and write - this is totally a Dave thing, not my style at all, but Erik actually WANTED to do three pages in it this week (admittedly I LOVED workbooks as a kid, so why shouldn't he?)...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

He's a Creepin'!!!


He's officially "creeping" to get to stuff!!!

He spies something and reaches for it, but can't quite reach, so why simultaneously voicing his frustration, he puts his head down and drags his bum up in the air, pushing off with his toes and then lifting his head... Millimetre by millimetre he gets closer until his grasps the object of his desire...

As you can see, it's pretty frustrating for him, but he just keeping plugging at it, and as you can also see from the bits of paper around him, he slowly but SURELY always manages to reach his goal!!!


Bryn has beaten his brothers in the creeping stakes by 3 and 2 months respectively!!! I keep forgetting this but he is only 6 months and 1 week old (he seems so much older because of his size)...

Darn good effort there, little man!!!

Feeling Better (TMI alert)

Well, I'm feeling a lot lighter in mood today and better able to cope with everything, and this leaves me wondering if perhaps I'm not starting to cycle again, menstrually... I've noticed a dramatic increase in creamy cm today, so maybe I just finished a non-bleeding period???

LOL, welcome to my blog, ROFL!

I've spent most of today, so far, looking at recipes on
http://www.allrecipes.com ... We did our usual Safeway homeshop last night and were flabberghasted to find out total had blown out to over $190!!! Just a few weeks ago it was only around the $150 mark... It seems the more fresh, unprocessed stuff we've bought, the more the total has risen. It is soooo unfair, and it make me mad that families who try to do right by their kids will be penalised for doing so...

Anyway, we reviewed our list and discovered that 1kg of skinless chicken breasts (for our only two meat based meals) cost us $19!!! That's right... Now, checking this out on the site this morning, I realised, of course, that I'd bought 2x500gr @ $8.5o per unit, instead of 1x1kg @ $14.65 per unit, so I could have saved myself nearly $5 right there, argh!

I've told Dave I think I'd prefer to go out and do the shopping myself, at the butcher and green grocer and safeway, where I can compare prices better, etc. than through homeshop, once he is home to watch the kids...

But also, I've decided we need more variety in our diet. We eat a lot of the same dishes week after week, and I don't want us all to get bored and start dreaming about pizzas, LOL...

We have to fit in with eating at least 5 non-meat meals a week (though two of those five can be fish), also Dave can't eat capsicum/peppers, and doesn't like bean, brussellsprouts, cabbage, cauliflower (though occassionally he has to compromise because I love those vegies)...

So far I've found:

~ home made pizza (base and toppings)
~ zucchini risotto
~ sicilian lentil pasta sauce
~ ginger and garlic stir fry

In addition to our regulars
~ vegetable fritata
~ vegie stirfry w/ sweet chilli, soy sauce and oyster sauce
~ Tuna and 4 bean salad w/ either sweet chilli or mayonnaise
~ vegie indian curry
~ Mushroom bolognese
~ Lentilloaf

Hopefully this will mean we don't have to eat the same meal more than two weeks in a row if we rotate them, and as I get better at this cooking thing and get a handle on all the spices and sauces etc. out there this will expand more.

I've also been looking in savoury muffins, and playing with the sweet muffin recipe I have so it doesn't have quite as much sugar etc...

Hopefully, we can organise to both eat more healthily AND reign in that food bill...


Also, we have this excellent patch in the back yard that looks like it used to be a vegie patch. These photos were taken at about 3.45pm today, and as you can see it get strong afternoon sun, so I wonder if that would be bad for growing our own vegies... Because I'm thinking it would be cheaper to grow our own... Also the ground is quite compacted, so I don't know what I'd need to do to fix that...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm having some sort of crisis...

Ok, I realise my posts have been all over the place lately...

I feel like I'm having some sort of crisis of confidence or something. I'm seriously considering enrolling the kids in school. I've been playing this over and over in my mind the last few days. I LOVE the whole concept of homeschooling. I believe it can work! I believe the whole school system is completely useless, in fact, and in many, many cases dangerous and detrimental to children - but especially children with parents who aren't aware of the dangers of schools, lol... I really want the freedom homeschooling and particularly unschooling would afford my boys... I see them thriving on that freedom...

All that said, I;m feeling very useless at this time, as a parent, rather than as a homeschooler. I feel this way often, but just recently I've been aware of this situation stretching out ahead of me for years to come... Can I really do this in the long term? I mean, yesterday, and so far today, I've kept the front and back doors locked because they just take off, and they prefer to play on the footpath outside our house, in their underwear, and well, I'm afraid that DOCS will come around at some point because the people working at the school across the road will report us for neglecting our kids...

I know they're just 4 and 6, but I expect some sort of co-operation from them, and I'm just not getting it... Is is going to be like this for the next 12 to 14 years??? Or longer even, with Bryn... My logical brain says it's not...

Also, Dave will be home a lot more in the next three weeks, which should make things easier, but maybe it will actually make things harder because when he is home, there does seem to be a lot more arguing and carry on in this house. I'm sort of dreading that, to be honest...

This is all rhetorical btw. I'm not looking for anyone to hand me an answer, I'm just bouncing thoughts around. It helps to type this stuff up. Knowing me, as I do, I won't send them to school, I'll feel better in a couple of days and then it will all be forgotten...

I don't know. Mostly, this is just parenting stuff that I want to run away from. I want to hand my kids over to some one else, to get them "fixed", so they listen and do whatever it is I require of them... Schools don't fix kids though, and I think that is the biggest misconception about childhood development in our society, and it put undue pressure on teachers and principals and schools - all these parents who, for some reason, believe school will finish the parenting job they started... But it is tempting to fall into that mindset. To let yourself hope that by sending your kids to school, they'll learn to listen, they'll learn self-discipline... Or maybe just that if they don't, someone else will have the job of "dealing" with them for several hours a day...

I'm feeling very "not together", LOL, and in my divided state, one part of me is screaming, "For crying out loud, woman, pull yourself together, get organised, get on with it, stop wishing and whinging. You can change this, but sitting here moaning won't make it happen!", this other part of me is crying, "Just leave me alone, it's all too hard, I need a break, I need some serious ME time, like a week away at a retreat - just me and mini-me (Bryn)" - then again, I'm afraid I might not want to come back, LOL...

My house is in chaos atm, too, and that always causes me to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope...

Ok, if you've read this far, you're probably thinking I've become some sort of raving lunatic! So true, so true... Something is definitely up! Quite possibly it is all the uncertainty of what the future holds. I've come to realise in recent times that I really am a control freak, I like to know I'm steering my own boat, and well, homeschooling among other things, does require a lot of "surrendering"... Maybe that's my current lesson... Just surrender it all up, and let the winds blow me to where I need to be...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ah, F@ck Yas All!!! (rant alert)

Boy I'm in a shitty mood today...

I don't know what has come over me, but I'm feeling incredibly taken advantage of... Like everywhere I turn, I'm being taken for granted... I think everyone has days like this, though... Right now, I want to send the kids to school because they seem to be hell-bent on NOT helping me with anything around the house, stealing food, waking the baby as soon as he goes to sleep, or distracting him while he is feeding, just being plain inconsiderate!!!

Meanwhile, I'm feeling like all the work I do for AP is totally useless because AP is misrepresented everywhere!!! If people aren't saying we molly-coddle our kids and let them grow up only thinking of their own needs, then they're saying AP is very liberal in that it is all about doing whatever suits your family - which while true to some extent, just ain't so... Some people's idea of doing what works includes tying their child down to his bed... Or implement Controlled Crying, or smacking (because my child really NEEDS to be smack or else s/he just won't listen and it's not safe)...

I accept that parents are humans, god knows I'm completely and utterly human, and being human means sometimes being selfish and hurtful, even towards our children... I accept that... But parents who follow AP ideals don't try to justify being selfish and hurtful towards their children, they try to strive for being emotionally supportive of, and respectful toward, their children, right??? So, there are boundaries to what AP encapsulates, right???

Also, AB is constantly being flamed on other sites, because apparently we're very cliquey and bitchy, and yet we're supposed to just be ok with other sites raising revenue by using our site... Yes, we have a lot of shared members, and yes, those member need not show loyalty to one site or another, we're not trying to force people to pick sides or anything, LOL... But seriously, we don't allow flaming of other sites on our site. We encourage members on our site to be respectful of other sites and members, even when we disagree strongly with views promoted on other sites, and today I feel like that is being taken advantage of because people think we won't mind, because despite being called bitchy on other sites, we're not, so it's ok to use our site to raise money for another site, yk?

Yeah, so today I'm being unreasonable, overly sensitive and childish. I just want to turn tail and flee to the top of the nearest mountain and not have to deal with people at all...

Send the boys to school
Give away trying to promote AP online
Say it like it is about the way other sites treat our site

Just scream "F*ck Yas All"!

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be back to my mostly optimistic self - sorry for the rant...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Vain and Bi-polar...

Yes, I think I'm both those things today...

I'm feeling, and looking rather depleted today, which after my last two posts will make me seem a little emotionally unstable...

Went to the Sustainable Living Festival this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, and it was interesting and fun. I think, mostly, the fun for me lay in getting out of the house with friends, more than anything else. I bought a copy of "Parenting for a Peaceful World" by Robin Grille, and had him sign my copy as well, which was fab (especially because, for some reason, unbeknowns to me, I hadn't realised Robin Grille was a guy, and it's great to see a male role model for my children - I mean besides Dave, LOL)...

Anyway, woke up this morning feeling a little flat. I'm naturally introverted, so that's probably all it is, worn out from gasbagging all weekend.

Also felt very restless. I'm thinking of setting up as a freelance editor, but don't feel my editing background is strong enough - technically, like using editing notations, etc. Anyway, thought I'd check out a course Jayne had told me about at my local TAFE, but looking at the course, it's a writing and editing course, and the greater emphasis is on writing, which I'm already well skilled in... I want a course that focuses on editing, and especially electronic editing.

Found other courses, but they're all through independant colleges or companies, and I'm wary of going through some "Kellogg's Certificate" place, if you know what I mean... So, now I'm feeling a bit flat about that...

THEN...

Dave points out that my left eye (my blind eye) is rather bloodshot, and went I checked, it most certainly was!

As time passes, my left eye becomes more and more "lazy", wandering towards the outside of my face, and in recent months this has really bothered me. I was actually just thinking about this last night, that perhaps I should take to wearing sunnies a la Anastasia and Bono...
Hmmmm, What do you think???

Friday, February 17, 2006

Blessed Day!!!

Aw, I'm sitting here all bursting with happiness, to the point of feeling a bit teary!!!

Everything today has just been so wonderful...

~ Dave and I had that convo I wrote about earlier that set my mind at ease about our "new frontier"

~ Jen came for an impromptu visit (dropping of the car seat, thanks!)

~ My "Best of Savage Garden" arrived in the mail (listening to it now, it contains the song I consider to be "Erik and My Song" - I Knew I Loved You)

~ I paid off all our current bills (always a weight of my shoulders)

~ I bought two skirts and a cardigan for winter ALL SIZE 18!!!

~ I went out with Bryn in the sling and got soooo many compliment, how beautiful s/he was (he was wearing the pink/orange tie-dyed singy from Leah, LOL), and content he looked in the Maya pouch, etc...

~ I had a Bacio and waffle cone icecream :)...

~ And last, but so very not least, I read that Leah has decided (finally!) to tcc, and for some reason that just feels so RIGHT and GOOD and WONDERFUL to me (don't ask me why, though I adore Audrey, so maybe just because another lovely little spirit in the world will be a beautiful thing)...

...I want to lay like this forever, until the sky falls down on me....

The beginning...

Dave and I have spent part of today discussing how things might be once he finishes up at work (just three weeks from now)...

It was a really good talk. I can see he has formulated some fairly good ideas about what he wants to do. He is going to get his lisence, which will be excellent. Also, he wants to go and see a life coach (I seeded this idea over a year ago, but he has recently started reviving the idea all on his own, which is excellent!), he wants to go and check one out and see if they can offer him what he's looking for, anyway...

I brought up the idea of get me a laptop (not totally unselfish, LOL), and a wireless router. The idea being that we make up a timetable, let's say 9am-2pm 5 days a week (not Mondays or Wednesdays), Dave will disappear into the study, not to be disturbed, so he can work uninterrupted on his "work", while I watch the kids in the rest of the house, with my laptop, so I can still do my stuff. He would have to learn to tune out the household noise, and realise he is not responsible for the kids at all during that time...

This way, he gets his time to work and get his dreams underway, I get my wireless laptop, and to have him "home" some of the day.

He's also talking about getting 1-2 days paid work a week (that work would be done during those work hours I just mentioned)... I'm considering doing an editing course, and then setting up to edit thesis or essays etc. I've also suggested we should really *set up* an office properly, so we can both work properly, and also for the kids school stuff in the case the homeschooling legislation is strict and we have to keep records/show work(sheets) etc. So, we might invest in a fax, photocopier and a lazer printer, but we have to investigate that further...

I had a dream years ago, when we'd been together only a few months, of us with three kids aged 8, 6 and 18 months-2years. We lived very close to a beach that we used to walk along, and I was tutoring in writing, or some such thing with groups that came to the house, and I had a laptop... Timeline-wise, that is only another 18 months away... Things definitely seem to be moving in that direction, except the living right near the beach bit...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Homeschooling thoughts...

LOL, well, I published this post without even typing out my thoughts... That's pretty symptomatic of where my mind is at the moment - all over the place!

Just read this article:
http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=4152 on On Line Opinion, about the outcomes for homeschoolers in situations where the parents were able to homeschool as they saw fit, even if the representatives of the relevant Education Department felt the parents were neglecting their children's education... It's an inspiring article, all the kids sound as though they've done really well both academically and socially. And the parents don't read like they spent hours a day drilling their kids, in fact, they sound like us in their approach - at least what is intimated...

I also went to
http://www.homeoflearning.com (an Australian forum for homeschooling support and resources), and they have a new shop open, with some cool stuff in it, like these baseball shirts: http://www.cafepress.com/homeoflearning.45438833... I definitely want some of these products!

All this stuff uplifts me, it really does, I see this stuff and I'm so happy we've made the choices we've made for our kids... I'm mean, look at my boys here, this was taken this morning, they're curled up in my armchair together, wearing nothing but undies, and playing and chatting about anything and everything... Later today we've planned more baking, which they love. How many other school aged kids (well, Luey isn't quite schooled age, but soon), get to do this kind of stuff on a Thursday, during term... All kids should have the opportunity if their parents want them to, without the fear of Government intervention!


Then on Monday we were at homeschooling group, and talking to other parents who have been more intensely involved in the debate over the proposed changes to the Victorian Education Acts, and that was really quite depressing. Politics on the whole are depressing, but it seems that changes, this time around, are fairly inevitable. Some people are claiming we could be fined $400 a day for not registering, other say it's $104 per day, but we don't know if that is per child or per family...

Registering might be the way to go, but then we don't know what will be required for those who register. I have heard it could be as little as an annual assessment, but then I've also heard they could go as far as to require testing of the child (eg exams) every 6 months and that the family follow a proscribed curriculum (which even schools don't have to do)... I'm kind of wishing we could be done with all this waiting and speculation and just get on with dealing with whatever eventuates...

I just received and opened Dave's redundancy confirmation letter, effective as of yesterday (though that doesn't mean he'll leave work just yet)... Payment won't arrive for a couple of weeks yet... This is truly going to be a year of changes for all of us!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Redundancy day....

Ooooh, I'm sitting here, all in a jitter!

The sun is shining outside, and it feels like the sun is about to break through thick, heavy black clouds in here, too!

I'm waiting for the phone to ring, and for Dave's voice on the other end saying he has been offered his redundancy!!!

It's all a bit scary, really... I'm mean, we're about to be rich and broke in one fell swoop! The redundancy will be nice, but at the same time, Dave will be out of a job, for God knows how long - he's 47 in April... It'll mean no more Swinburne, no more media office, no more student politics, that'll be nice... It might also mean trying to live off $600 a week, when our rent is $260, LOL!

It'll mean money to pay of the credit card, and finally be debt free... It'll also mean virtually no spending money...

It'll mean money for Dave to get lesson's so he can finally get a liscence... It'll also mean, no more taxis, we won't be able afford them...

I'm hoping it will mean a new and exciting career path for Dave - hopefully in niche publishing, but well that is up to him, isn't it...

The suspense is killing me... LOLOLOLOL!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Uni, Writing, Change...


My little treehugger...
I keep feeling the need to go back to Uni and do some sort of writing course... I had fun writing up that little poem the other day, only took me a couple of minutes... I was talking to mum (who trying to do a Masters in Writing part-time, while working as a tutor, assessor and lecturer 4 days a week, crazy lady that she is!)... She said I should just start writing something, anything... I don't think she meant a blog, mind you...
She suggested writing *the* children's novel I would have loved to have read as a kid. Not a bad idea. Maybe I should do that? I don't know, I feel like I need a deadline hanging over me in order to be motivated. It's this feeling of not really knowing what my life's work is yet. There is a part of me that would love to be recognised for doing achieving something outstanding (There! I've said it!), but I can't think of anything outstanding to do, and besides I'm not good at self-promoting, I'd prefer that someone quietly nominated me and I could just be overwhelmed with surprise!!!
Hahahaha!
I was looking at pics of ballerina's the other day. When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a Ballerina (or a surgeon, or a pilot)... I did ballet, but because of my monoscopic vision, I just didn't have enough grace (ok, read that as dancing hippopotamus...)... I can watch people dance for hours, I itch to dance myself, but I feel incredibly silly at even thinking I could ever dance... Dirty Dancing, Flashdance, and Centre Stage, rate amongst my favourite films...
I also love to sing, and I sing very well, in a choir, even a chamber choir, even a quartet, but my voice isn't strong enough to stand on it's own, unfortunately.
For a while I dreamt of being a novelist. That dream isn't quite dead and buried yet, but still, how influential are novelists, can they make a big difference in the world? Is that even important? I suppose it is to me, I want to make some sort of difference. I want to change how people think about something, I just don't know what yet... Maybe everything... Let's face it, I don't really like how our society thinks these days about anything much... This whole me, me, me, the importance of the individual thing just frustrates me no end...
The things that seem to matter to large chunks of the dominant culture just don't rate in my view of the world, it's like people can't see the big picture...
Hahaha! There I go again...
So, yeah, somehow I need to find a way to write something that will both appeal to people and perhaps make some changes in our society...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

My Erik...

Erik was born at 42 weeks gestation. The last three months of the pregnancy were tough. For some reason (possibly because he seemed so big to everyone, including me), I believed he would come early... When he didn't come around 37 weeks gestation, I was mildly disappointed. When he didn't come by 40 weeks, I was very disappointed. By 41 weeks, I was starting to go crazy. Three days later I was BEGGING with tears streaming down my face, for an induction. The OB and midwives weren't interested, they laughed and joked about scheduling an induction for the following Monday (it was a Thursday), because there were no slots before then, and how he would probably arrive over the weekend without the induction. I knew he wouldn't, and I was NOT happy. I bet them I'd be there on Monday night, and I secretly wish ill on the young midwife who was so cheerful about him coming in his own time, probably well before Monday night...



I was never more frustrated to be right... On Monday night I came in to have gel applied, and found out the midwife I had wish ill on had been in a car accident and broken her ankle... Oops...

The following morning I was back for a drip induction. He seriously didn't want to come out yet, and was still high, and the registrar didn't want to start an induction just yet, but I refused to go home, so she broke my waters and inserted the drip. Eight hours later he was born. After 2 hours of resisting pushing because I wasn't dialated enough, and 2.5 hours of actively pushing with all my might... He was 10lbs, with a 38.5cm head, and wide open piercing slate grey eyes that gave me a chill the first time he glared (yes, glared, he wasn't happy to be born yet!) at me!!! From the get go, Erik Keith Michael was switched on and had an evident personality!


Erik suffer a few minor maladies as a new born, he had fairly severe jaundice in his first week that required 48 hours under the phototherapy lights. We never took any pictures of him there because Dave didn't want to remember that time, I sort of regret that now because it was a life event that was part of his first week, even if it wasn't a pleasant life event...

He also suffered undiagnose atopic eczema for the first 7 months of his life. It got quite infected and caused sleeping problems, that I was advised to deal with by starting solids just under 4 months of age, and by do Controlled Crying with at 6 months of age - two more things I regret about his infancy, both unnecessary and scarring in their own ways...

Erik followed people with his eyes, across a room at just over a week old, and he smiled socially at 22 days of age. Of course, as his parents, we were sure he was a complete genius! We still think he's a genius, though now we see the areas in which he shows profound awareness quite clearly...


Erik really is an amazing kid! Everyone who knows him, likes him. He is always full of enthusiasm for life, and always has something to say on any topic. Erik loves people, and sees only the good in people.

Erik is very sensitive to energies, auras, if you like. From a very young age, it was evident that he was quite empathic. All children are, they pick up on the energies in a room like a tuning fork, but Erik seemed even more sensitive than most. He was very obviously affected by the number and intensity of energy in a room. If he was alone with one other person with a quite energy - for example, an adult in repose, he was quite and calm. If the adult was quite simmering, he would start to get aggitated in an excited sort of way (Erik doesn't usually react with negative emotions, but rather positive emotions like nervous excitement)...


If the adult suddenly got excited, Erik would explode into frenzied excitement and chase around the room for about 15 minutes. The same would happen if 1 or more people suddenly entered the room with their own excited energy. Erik would always be hyper-excited if more than 3 energies occupied an enclosed space. As he has gotten older, his tolerance for other people's energies has grown, but even now, if there are 4 or 5 or more energies in the room, it only takes a spark of enthusiasm or temper from someone in the room to set Erik off; giggling, arms flailing, running about, and it takes a while to simmer him down again...

People often would comment to me that Erik had a large energy that would kind of assault them when they met him, and it would make me laugh because what they were seeing was their own energy reflected back at them but magnified a couple of times, which is what Erik does... Erik's own energy, the energy Dave and I see when we're alone with him, is very quite and gentle, sensitive and introverted, and when he speaks, he uses this small, delicate voice you can hardly hear, almost a whisper, even in a quiet room - but this is our private Erik, that few other people get to see...


Erik is a highly visual child, for whom aesthetics are very important. He likes to look good, and will often say, "Do I look cool in this mum?", "Everyone will tell me I look great in this, won't they mum?"... He will refuse to wear something he doesn't find aesthetically pleasing, and goes to great measures to make sure his clothes "match"...

His visual persuation also comes out in his artistic prowess and flair for construction. He was a "builder" from the moment he could hold a block. His ability to find balance in a duplo structure astounded us. When he was 25 months old he all but single handedly built a tower of duplo block that towered over his head. He designed the tower in two parts, the bottom half and the top half, and then he got his dad to put one on top of the other (he couldn't even speak sentences yet, he just pointed!)... We told him the tower was too tall and would fall over, but he insisted we try, so Dave put the top half of the tower on the bottom half, and lo and behold it balanced! Our constructive genius! He didn't really start to draw "things" until he was over 2.5 and for almost a year, he drew eyes, nose, mouth, ears and hair, but no actual "head" to place these things on... Then suddenly his drawing lept forward in development, and he started drawing all sorts of thing in interpretive detail; flowers from the garden, animals, and bugs, all sorts of things...


These days, he uses cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, sticks, cardboard, sticky tape, whatever he can find, to construct anything from a camera to a lunch box, to a jet backpack... His imagination seems to know no bounds...

When asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he replies an artist or a builder or a vet...

We got a couple of cats when he was 3.5 years old and he was so in love with them, but particularly the reticent male cat, Rastus. Erik was incredibly gentle with Rastus and seemed to sense that Rastus needed to be treated very carefully or he would run off and hide. Erik and Rastus formed quite a bond. Just recently we had to give up our cats, and that saddened Erik greatly. Since then he has often mention getting a dog or some other animal...

Cats, especially big cats, are his favourites. His long term "lovey" has been a small plush tiger. He got his first tiger, by the name of Tigey, when he was 15 months old, from the Adelaide Zoo... Unfortunately, Tigey got lost a shopping centre and was never seen again... Many months later, I found replica "Tigeys" in a shop in the city and bought two, they were name Tahni and Tibet... Then on another trip to the Adelaide Zoo when Erik was 4, we found a tiger the same as Tigey, only white, and Erik fell in love, so since then his best lovey has been "White Tigey"... He later gave Luey his other tigers, though he often plays with them still, Luey prefers Tahni, which mean Bryn will probably inherit Tibet...


Erik loves to use his body, he is constantly on the go. Even when he is sitting still he is moving, fidgeting restlessly... When he is on the go, his whole body is in movement. Erik doesn't *just* run, he runs and swivels his arms around his head.

Erik is better development in fine motor skills than gross motor skills, and yet he loves to dance! Not just jumping around, but actual dance moves.

We've long planned to try him out in dance classes. We're not sure how he'd go because Erik is more the observer than the joiner. He loves people, but is also shy around people he doesn't know very well. He takes his time getting involved in a group. He is more comfortable with adults than children, but watches other children play with great longing, wishing to join in but not being sure how. If he is invited to play with another child, that child is instantly his new best friend and he naively believes the other child automatically feels the same way, he has often been crushed to find on the next getogether that the dynamic has changed... So, he can be shy about starting new groups, he wants to, he longs to, but he is also afraid of rejection. For a 6.5 year old this seems all to adult a way of thinking, and often it breaks my heart...


Erik loves people. I worry often that he will put up with anything from anyone as long as they show him occassionally that they like him. He has been called names by other little boys, and yet won't see that the child who bullied him (in my view) is not nice. He will defend his "friend" to the death. Erik is very loyal.

When Nanna threatens to smack him and his brother with the wooden spoon, he just laughs, his brother refuses to talk to Nanna for the rest of the afternoon. If Nanna ever smacked him with the wooden spoon, he would be very upset, but if Nanna then smiled at him and told him he was wonderful, all would instantly be forgotten... It worries me, at the same time, it warms me that he is so forgiving and understanding and willing to see deeper into people than just their actions...

Erik responds to Bryn as fast as I do, and sometimes faster. "Bryn needs you mum!" the moment Bryn gets a frown on his face... "Aw, bubba" if Bryn sounds sad. Erik's heart is very big.


Erik is fascinated by the workings of everything. "How does energy make the lights work, Dad?", "How do the vegetables I eat make my body grow?"

He also loves to teach others the stuff he knows, "Luey, you know the food you eat goes into you stomach, and gets mushed up, and then goes into your intestines and all the important stuff taken out to make your body work, and then goes into your bottom, and then you poo out what's left?"

He has been teaching himself to read for the past three years, first he learned all the names of the letters, then he wanted to know how many letters in different words, then he wanted to know how to write the letters, now he wants to know how to spell words. He still hasn't fully grasped the sounds that correspond to each letter, but he is working his way there...

So, that's Erik.

Loves people Positive outlook on the world Empathic Generous Inquisitive Observant Gentle Enthusiastic Joyful Passionate Determined Focused Restless Charming Reticent Noble Aesthetically aware Naive Sensitive

Beautiful in face amd heart


Saturday, February 11, 2006

He is Bryn!!!

Bryn has had this HUGE developmental leap this past week, all these new things he is doing and showing us...

  • He learned to sit about a week ago
  • He started clapping yesterday
  • He started playing the "wait and look and laugh" game (he stares at me and stares at me until I look at him and then he bursts into giggles, like it's the biggest joke)...
  • His new favourite joke is to suck on his fingers, then offer them to me (try and put them in my mouth) and when I pull away, he cracks up laughing...
  • Today he rolled from his tummy to his back
  • He LOVES music! Last night I watch part of the Grammy's and he was buzzing with excitement. Then again tonight, he's nearly asleep and then Rock Whiz came on and suddenly he's kicking his legs and clapping his hands and giggling with the boob in his mouth!!!
  • Today was also the first time I noticed him respond to his name (Bryn, not Brynjar), so now he knows the he is Bryn!!!

He hardly slept at all today! He didn't sleep at all between 8am and 3pm, then he slept 15 mins, then he was up again, he dozed for about 5-10 mins around 8pm, then finally went to sleep about 9.30pm...

He's such an amazing little person. He wails without fail when I leave him with dad to take a shower, but the second he feels my hands on his waist (picking him up from dad's knee - usually facing away from me), he's all smiles, like magic. He just doesn't like me to go out of site unless it is first thing in the morning, then he's happy for about 30-90 mins without me, go figure! He's a create of habit, so that morning thing (he comes out with Dave and the boys and I get a little extra shuteye) is fine, because it's part of his expected routine, but the evening shower isn't ok, maybe because the boys aren't there???

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Good Life!

Today has been a great day in the scheme of things! The boys and I took the bus to the Shopping Centre and bought some yogurt tubs for them, as well as apples, lettuce (to the replace the rotten ones that came to us through homeshop, we were refunded the money, but no even the slighest hint of an apology), onions, which I forgot to buy in the big shop, and self raising flour and tinned green apples for an attempt at baking muffins.

While at the shops, I took the opportunity to weigh myself. I've lost another 300g, which isn't as much as previous weeks (despite not indulging in crap), but is still a loss, and I can really feel it in my clothes. I think the time has come to add in some exercise though...

Got home, I had lunch, and then the boys had their yogurts, and then we got stuck into baking...
Each boy took it in turn to add something to the mix, be it 1/2 a cup of flour at a time (to make up two cups), or eggs, or milk...

Then they stirred the mix (they're VERY good at stirring!!!). I wasn't sure how high the muffins would rise, so I only 2/3 filled each "cup" in the tray. The mixture yielded 12 muffins...

Into a 200 degree oven (or in our case 210 degrees because we have a cold oven)... 20 minutes later we were all waiting impatiently to get the muffins out!

Well before the muffins were baked, the boys threw themselves into the all important baking task of "licking the bowl"... I allowed myself one spoonloaded with mix, I LOVE bake mixes, just couldn't resist... But then again, these muffins were baked with only a 1/4 of a cup of oil, and Splenda rather than sugar... Or is that the same thing, you know, "made from sugar, but not sugar"...

The tray on the bottom shelf of the oven didn't brown as nicely as the top shelf, so when the first 20 minutes was finished, I moved the second tray to the top shelf of the oven and gave him another 5 minutes, which helped brown the just a little more...

And Voila! Couldn't have been prouder if I did it myself... Hang on... I DID do it myself!!! We each had one once they cooled a bit, and Dave had one when he got home, and they're YUM!

We'll definitely be doing more of this, and now I'm feeling a bit more confident about baking bread too, and other baked stuff... This actually means that when we have people over, I can offer something nice! And it gives the boys and I something to do together that also will become a life skill, and who knows, they may even come to teach me a few things!

In other news... Being that it was a little cooler today, Bryn wore a long sleeved body suit and some overalls out today, and he looked so grown up! He's just under a week shy of 6 months. I love this age soooo much, I was thinking on the bus on the way home that if I could suspend him at any age, this would be the age!

Especially now that he is sitting up with a lot more confidence (not quite enough to be left alone with it, but getting there very fast), he is so much happier within himself.

I love his personality, though I suspect TWO will be a challenging year with him, LOL (he has great determination and a low frustration threshold, LOL, a firey combo - then again he is a fire sign)...

He is such a sweetie though, and this week he started giving me kisses and hugs (the kisses are open mouthed and slobbery, LOL) which is just adorable - awww, I don't want him to grow up so damn fast!!!

Food, Glorious Food!

It has been my total focus this past 24 hours... But not for the reasons you think...

No, I'm not having major cravings and planning on storming Maccas any time soon... I'm trying to figure out if I'm starving my boys - and it seems the answer is unanimously, YES! Well, at least according to them it is... Admittedly, they're probably eating the same quantity of food they were eating two years ago, and well, they are two years older now... So, after a family meeting last night, we agreed to up their food alotment and they agreed not to filch from the fridge anymore...

I feel pretty awful actually, about it all, like I should have already picked up on this ages ago, and I've somehow neglected their needs...

I also feel awful because I know our food bill is about to go up, which in the light of Dave's upcoming redundancy, is not a good thing...

I have to become more ingenius, make the money stretch further... That's a tall order for someone who is really only *just* learning how to eat properly herself, and I feel a tad overwhelmed by it all... We used to rely solely on processed foods, now we are eating a lot more fresh produce, but still we do eat a lot of yogurt, which comes out of plastic containers and therefore isn't cheap - it's our one really treat though, so I can't happily let go of it...

I'm considering taking up baking our own bread, and maybe other stuff like muffins, for snacks... I'm not sure though, is it REALLY cheaper? Would I REALLY be able to do it consistently enough for it to be worthwhile? Homemade bread is said to be denser, that would help with the boys ravenous hunger... They don't eat a lot of bread, I think, used to be 4 slices a day, is about to be 6, at least until I introduce the yogurt pots... Is six slices of bread a day a lot for school aged kids? Do I really want to add other baked goods as well? Or maybe I should go with 2 slices of toast in the morning, 1 sandwich at lunch and piece of fruit then, and a yogurt cup around 3pm? And then, are they having too much dairy, what with milk in their cereal, 1/2 cup with their toast, yogurt in the afternoon, and 1/2 at dinner? I don't really "believe" in bovine milk consumption...

Geez and I thought weaning onto food for babies was complicated... At least dinner is fairly easy... Vegies or a little meat and vegies - oh except for when we have pasta, more starch, and rice too, luckily we've cut way back on pasta and rice dishes...

I'm no Betty Crocker, but looks like baking our own might be the only way to save our food bill from skyrocketing in coming years... I would have to have boys, wouldn't it, LOL...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Well, well, well...

If I was ever in doubt, I'm not now...

Remember that tv cabinet I was going to bid on... Well, today I had a bit of antsy feeling about it as it was coming up to the final hours of bidding and the bids were nearly up to my limit of $200... I decided to consult the cards, my angel cards this time... At first I couldn't get a clear answer, I pull two cards, and each seemed to be telling me not to grieve the cycle I'd just come to the end of (don't know what that is about, must be something in my subconscious I'm not aware of)... So, I tried to still my mind to the question I was asking, "Should I go ahead and bid on this cabinet", I said I wanted a REALLY clear, sledgehammer reply, and I drew Bridgette, with the message, "Caution is warranted, look deeper into this situation before proceeding further"... I can tell you, I wasn't terribly happy to get that card, and I wanted to ignore it, but the thought kept coming back to me that if I have chosen this method of receiving messages, I should be open to receiving both messages I like, and those I'd rather not hear...

Then the thought popped into my head that I should really check the cost of a courier service BEFORE bidding. I wasn't terribly keen to do this because I wasn't going to be making a booking and I'd caused this company trouble in the past with a screwy ebayer who messed us both around... Anyway, I decided to bite the bullet and check on the cost of a courier... Well, that would be $140, thanks :)... So, I would have ended up paying well over what I expected... I have to revise my figures on buying a tv cabinet, or at least wait until Dave gets his redundancy...

Phew, that was a close call, LOL...

Various Updates...

Health report

Well, I'm still trundling along. Not suffering with any major cravings, which is great. Every now and then I might feel a tinge of something, but then I just resolve to move on, and it usually goes away. Did have pizza for dinner the night before last, but didn't order Coke. Was at a low ebb physically, tired, and so when I realised we didn't have all the ingredients in the house for the quicker of the two meals left before delivery day (today), I decided to opt for order-in because I couldn't face organising Dave to cook something that (on his schedule) might take more than an hour (because he does everything sequentially, instead of concurrently, argh!)...

The pants I bought to replace the pants that were falling off me a few weeks ago, are now starting to fall off me, LOL... Wore them yesterday and spent all day hitching them up. It's great, really, but one of the annoying side effects of losing weight... Luckily I have a few skirts with elastic waists and a pair of pants with a drawstring waist, so when my pants that are going to fall off me, eventually do, I don't have to and spend much on new clothes... Not that I don't like buying new clothes, I just don't like to buy new clothes that I'll grow out off in a couple of months...

Haven't weighed myself for this week, will do so on Saturday, I think, unless the boys REALLY need to get out tomorrow...

Dave really wants to lose weight too, he weighed himself the other week and just plain refused to believe what he saw. I didn't say anything at the time, but wasn't surprised with the result he got. It is like he refuses to believe he is getting older and his metabolism is slowing and there he will put on weight even if he is exercising as much as always and eating the same stuff as always. So, now he's trying to lose weight, but it seems he has picked up where I left off. We have much healthier dinners now, but then he goes and eats nearly a litre of yogurt a night, plus toast, plus an apple (his idea of eating healthy...)... I think he definitely has a carb addiction...

Our meals this week are a world away from what we used to eat only a few short weeks ago...

We used to have in a week:

hotdogs
tinned soup
frozen crumbed fish fillet with mash
spagetti bolognese
chicken tonight
pizza
fish and chips

This week's menu is:
burritos packed with lettuce, onion, tomatos, avocado, chicken and a sprinkling of grated cheese
vegie bolognese with mushrooms and zucchini
baked pumpkin risotto with salad
vegie stir fry with rice
tuna and bean salad with carrot, lettuce, tomato and corn
frozen crumbed fish fillets with salad
Fritata with salad

NB: none of our salads are served with dressing...

So, as you can see, just dinner alone has seen a huge improvement in our eating habits, more nutrients, less stuff to clog up our systems...


The Parenting Thang...

I made a promise to the boys the other day, no more smacking. Then the next day, Dave smacked Luey. I sort of lost it with Dave because I'd promised the boys... He was at his wits end (Luey seriously teases and taunts him at bedtime these days, yes, our four year old taunts his dad, and his dad bites)... So, I told him to get me to take over if he felt he couldn't cope... So, guess who got to put the boys to bed last night? Oh well, I'm determined to make this difference. I hate how our parenting has fallen apart and the affect it has had on the boys...

Parenting without resorting to threatening and smacking is hard. It takes two main things; the willingness to come at the "issue" from a variety of different angles (requiring patience and understanding), and the willingness to let go of having things your own way, or *making* the child do or not do what you want them to...

For example. The boys persist in stealing food from the fridge. We just don't have enough money for them to feed themselves at will. I know a lot of families have an open fridge/cupboard policy, and the kids self-regulate, but seriously, in this house, every item of food is carefully portioned out and accounted for in our shopping... The boys would eat all day, and what's more, they're inclined to start eating something, but not finish it, so a lot of food goes to waste, and basically we just can't afford it.

We trialed having fruit in the house, but they steal it. So, yesterday Erik ate two apples and Luey had a banana, they also stole half a loaf of bread. That meant this morning there wasn't any bread for toast, because today is delivery day. We can't seem to get them to understand that when they steal food we all miss out in the long run. So, basically we decided not to order fruit this week. It is extremely frustrating, and I do resent it being like this, but there is no way to actually stop them from stealing, so I don't know what else to do...

Spiritually...

Did a reading last night, just asking what I needed to know right now. Used the Goddess cards. Got Hathor (recent past), Madam Butterfly (present), and Lakshmi (future)...

Hathor (recent past), said to embrace my feminine side and learn to receive graciously with thanks, and to be willing to play the role of the recipient, as well as the giver...

Madam Butterfly (present), said that this change I was going through was good, and that I should not fear change or endings as they represent new and bright beginnings...

Laksmi (future), said the world is a beautiful place, generous and kind, and I and my family will always have our needs provided for...

The Angel number that came to me also, was 717, which said that I had asked the angels for wonderful things and my prayers were already answered, and that I should keep up the good work...

Both these messages cover a variety of things in my life...

The overarching message that came to me was, "Live in abundance and you will attract abundance"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Big Day!

Bryn has had a huge day!

We ment Amanda and Laurent at our local ABA meeting this morning. Seems like a nice bunch of women, there was a little girl there born the day after Bryn, by the name of Tabitha Stevens (love that name! And yes, that is the name of the little girl in Bewitched, first and last, LOL, apparently it started out as a joke - boy will that family be shocked if she's a rainbow child and suddenly starts manifesting!!!), pretty little thing with red hair (redder than Luey's) and porcelain skin, looking at her equally red head mum, she's detined to be gorgeous, LOL!

I feel somewhat twitish going to an ABA meeting 6.5 years after I started breastfeeding and with no "issues" to ask advice about... However, who knows, maybe I still have stuff to learn that I don't know about, and maybe I can be of some help to someone else, if only to say, yeah, btdt, it's normal!

Dave swapped out today with Friday at work, so he could be home with the boys (who would have been truly bored witless amongst all the babies and tiny tots)... I was really hoping that he'd know about his redundancy by now, he put in for it a month ago, but now we've heard (through the grapewine) it'll be another three weeks before we know... Somehow, I doubt Dave will let Krish get away with not saying anything for three whole weeks...

Anyway, got home, did some washing (nappies, don't know that that counts as washing, hmmmm), then at 5-ish, Nicole, a mum from EB popped 'round with this toy I'd bought from her for Bryn for $40. The toy is virtually brand new (been put over a newborn twice), and the rrp for a new one in the box is $89, so I was chuffed to get this, and no postage because she cheerfully delivered it to my door (what a sweetie!)...

Erik and Luey swooped on it, of course. It plays all sorts of music, classical, nursery rhymes (which are also classical, btw, Twinkle Twinkle Litte Star by Mozart - ok, that's probably NOT what Mozart called it, but anyhoo)... It also had a free play element which sounds like a piano, not that you can play much with just 5 keys, but it's a start... I'm pretty sure a *real* muso had something to do with it's design, considering the musical content (including warm up scales, LOL, reminds me of the old choir days)... It has three modes, playgym, where the baby lies under it, sitting and standing. Now that Bryn can sit, he loved bashing on it! Erik and Luey have each had a little play, but I've had to limit it so they know not to run the batteries down...

Oh and my favourite thing about it... It has VOLUME CONTROL!!! And by volume control I mean, it plays QUIET or WHISPER QUIET - just what every parent wants, MWAHAHAHAHA!!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The World of Upright!

The World of Upright by Sif Dal

Oh, I LOVE the world of Upright,
there's so much that I can do!
Like pick up blocks, and rattles,
and stripey Monkey's, too!

This "sitting upright" caper
makes me bounce and laugh and smile.
I wish I'd done this long ago
I can see a mile!

Oh I LOVE this world of Upright,
this new perspective's grand!
I know I'll love it even more
when I learn to stand!!!

To Do Today...

Ok, this seems to work for others so, I'm going to try and do it myself... See if I can't get a few things done today...

  • Tidy study
  • Tidy bedroom
  • Do at least 3 loads of washing did 4!
  • Tidy lounge/dining
  • Take boxes out to the garageGet dinner ready so Dave can put boxes in the garage when he comes home instead of doing dinner
  • Finish off dishes that Dave started this morning (why can that man NEVER finish a job???)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Get on your dancin' shoes...

Some of you may know I've been looking for dance classes for Erik for almost two years now, but they were never close enough, or didn't offer the kind of dance he seemed interested in (if you could even call it an interest)... Well, just by chance today I found a place close by that offers tap dance classes for children!

I had been discussing with a friend the various gymnastics classes in this area, as her daughter was already doing gymnastics and her son was also interested. She had checked out a place just down the street from us, but found them to be rather unreliable when it came to returning calls. Then one day she found that her local YMCA offered gymnastics classes, and so I also checked out their site today, and lo and behold, they also offer a wide range of other programs including various dance classes such as tap dance! (they also do trampolining, but I'm not going to tell Erik about that *just* yet (though I did trampolining when I was ten and it was great for me)...

In fact, this place seems to offer EVERYTHING! Dance, gymnastics, trampolining, yoga, marshall arts, and swimming!!! All at a reasonable rate (within market expectation anyway)... So, now I can offer Erik the opportunity to do exactly what he has spoken of doing many times...

Luey could start doing gymnastics in the middle of the year, too (gymnastics, I think, would suit him more than it would suit Erik)... I might even do a yoga class!!!

Moments of enlightenment...

Someone once said that the definition of stupidity is repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different outcome...

I think this is the lesson of the year for me. In so many facets of my life I can see I've done just this, kept pushing on with old behaviours hoping the outcomes would change because changing my behaviour would mean letting go of something that felt good to me...

The two most obvious aspects of my life in which I do this are my physical wellbeing, and my parenting.

I have long struggled with my weight and fitness, and basically because I wanted to believe there was a shortcut to losing weight and that you could achieve fitness without using your body much... Silly, I lnow, and like most people in my position, I know exactly how to lose weight and gain fitness, I just want things to be magically different for me!

But G0d or Mother Nature or whoever you like just did not design the human body to sit around eating while the world passes them by...

Same with parenting. Being basically lazy (see above), I've long hoped for "easy, placid, compliant" children. Children aren't supposed to be easy. placid and compliant, they're supposed to be full of energy, questions, and spunk. They innately know their bodies are for using, even if I want to deny that fact.

It may feel good to me, in the instant, to throw a temper tantrum when they're not letting me sit around watching the world pass by, but how can I expect them not to follow suit. They learn how to interact with the world through my example.

Dave and I have long been in the practice of yelling and threatening to get out way with the boys, but this must always escalate because they slowly learn to be more defiant, despite their own fear. It has ruined our relationship with them, I mean really affected it badly. Our older boys have become frustratingly sneaky, and defiant, but also they overreact to perceived threats - high pitched and constant screaming, tantrums to rival any two year old (in fact, I suspect their emotional development has been retarded by our dealings with them)... Certainly, what worked in a mild for at age two, does not work in a more extreme form at ages four and six!!! Like lice exposed to harsh chemicals, their exoskeletons have toughened up, and we risk losing them completely within their protective layer *against us*!

So these past few days we've come to acknowledge that we've been really stupid by the definition given at the top of this page, and time has come to just accept that our old strategies aren't working, even for us, anymore... We've been trying to support each other in not raising our voices or threatening the boys, it is hard, and sometimes you just have to accept that you can't MAKE them do some things - I think that is the hardest thing, actually, accepting you can't control your children, either through being "nice" or being "mean" because if they're determined to do something they'll find a way to do it, even if you don't find out until afterwards...

These moments of enlightenment, where I've had to just "accept" the reality of how things work have left me feeling a little deflated, the truth is, I like being lazy and getting things my own way all the time, I REALLY like it, but well, it's just an illusion, isn't it?..

Teenagers and the failing parent...