Thursday, June 29, 2006

Busy, busy, busy...h

This week has been such a whirlwind of activity, and not necessarily in the 3D world either...

Had Sue and Jayne over last Sunday because Sue is moving back to Perth (you just don't know how much you're going to miss someone until they're leaving!)... Was an excellent afternoon discussing all things metaphysical. I learned so much as I always do, and found myself on ebay and amazon afterwards ordering crystals and books! My Faden quartz arrived yestereday, along with a lovely seraphinite and some pyrite (which was a gift from the store, but how appropriate - I definitely need grounding!!!)...

Am waiting on the following books; "Your Magical Child", "Spiritual Astrology" and "Love is in the Earth" (which is an encyclopaedia of crystals)...

I've decided to learn to read natal charts, and as with anything, the little I've learned just this week has shown me the virtual OCEAN of stuff I still need to learn. To think that I used to laugh at people who read their horoscope and believe all the world's population could be divided into twelve groups - there is so much more to it than that! (of course, you daily in the newspaper isn't going to be very helpful, unless you decide to use it as messages from the source)...

I have actually gotten a glimpse of my anger issues by tracking down Mars in my natal chart and seeing how he is affected by the sign he is under (pisces) in my fifth house (the house of children and creative endeavours). I can now understand why it is that my temper has flared up since having kids, and in response to the kids, but also how it has mellowed in the past few months when I got heavily involved in knitting and scrapbooking (knitting moreso than scrapbooking, but all the same)...

It's amazing the insights that come from understanding even a smidge of your natal chart...

What else? Ordered some more wool. After last months re-stocking of the cauldron, I've felt very "up", goodness only knows how long this longies ferver can last though, and now there are so many talented people selling on Ozebaby, that I can't help but think things will start to slow down a bit on my stuff. That's cool, I'm really doing this for the sheer enjoyment of creating. Will have five sets this coming full moon, will see if the market can hold that number.

I also visited Libby's shop last week and am doing a couple of sets for her - I was really surprised not to see more knitted stuff there. There were a few hats, and a few soakers, and one pair of longies, but that was it, and nothing was verigated, which just really surprised me...

Writing is coming back into my life too. Talked to mum this week, she lectures at Tabor College in Adelaide and is currently doing a Masters in Writing there. As it turns out, they're going to offer the Masters as a distance course, but moreover, they've started talking about offering a PhD. in writing. I've been looking at other Masters in Writing and PhD. but they all seem to want your thesis to be on the subject of writing, whereas I'm looking for a course that makes your Thesis a major project in writing (eg. a book), because I want to be supervised while writing and have a chance of being published!

So, these Tabor courses actually offer what I'm looking for AND as distance Ed, which suits me to the ground! The thing is, on the application they ask you to describe your faith, and well, I'm not a Christian, so, I was saying to mum that I probably couldb't get in, but she thinks that won't necessarily be an issue... So, yay (I hope)...

Been thinking about the state of my sight a bit lately... It dawned on me the other day that I'm about to turn 35, which means only another 5 years until I turn 40 and my sight starts to degenerate following the normal pattern for your average 40+ person. People in my family definately start to lose sight after 40. The thing is I don't have a lot of sight to begin with, so as the natural deterioration starts to occur, I'm basically going to rapidly go completely blind. In ten years time I could be completely blind... So, this has me thinking about all the stuff I want to do before then. I'm trying to spend a lot of time noticing the boys, how they look, their expressions and so on, so I fix all those memories in my mind's eye. I'm hoping I have at least a little sight in ten years time because I want to have some idea of what Bryn will look like when he's grown. I think by 15 and 17 I'll have some idea of what Erik and Luey will be like, but Bryn will only be about 10 or 11...

Yeah, so anyway, a busy, busy time, at least in my head...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Finally got some batteries for my camera, so I could take some photos to show just how versatile longies are! Did this sea themed longies last week, and was a little concerned about their length. They're about a 00-0 in length, and getting to be capri length on Bryn already (who is ten months old), but then it occurred to me that this winter's longies could be next summers capris and the summer after they could be shorts!

In fact, they fit my five year old (sans nappy)!

Ok, so you don't see a lot of five year olds getting around in wool knitted shorts, LOL, but still, I think I've proven my point :D...

Longies are an investment that keeping repaying itself...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fair Dinkum Baby!

Yes! I have one of those fully fledge fair dinkum babies, like you see on silly Huggies or Kleenex ads! I swear, all the babies on those ads must be ten months old!

Today Bryn started crawling on his hands and KNEES... Now he's been mobile for about 6 weeks or so already, started out commando crawling on his belly and then a could of weeks ago he adopted, what is fondly termed, "The Audrey", crawling using one knee/foot and then folding the other leg under the bum and kind of half hopping (ok, baaaaaad description of it, but you guys know what I'm talking about, right?)...
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The day before yesterday I spotted him trying to co-ordinate this left and right knees, rather ineffectively at the time. Yesterday, he managed to co-ordinate them for "one crawl" (like one step, but on his knees) and today he is finally making it some distance without feeling the need to flummax on his belly, or fold one leg under his bum and shuffle along, hehehe!

But not only that, he is charming ladies on the bus with smiles, and coy peek-a-boo games. His hand dexterity has really shifted up a gear in the past week or so too, and now he grasps, throws, manipulates.

He also suddenly realised that he CAN swallow without choking, AND he likes food!

But wait, there's more...

He's formed his own word for boobiejuice!!!

Erik called it Meh, and so I called it Meh when Luey was a baby and Luey went with that...

Not content to have a twice-recycled word, Bryn has decided it's not Meh for him, but rather, "May"... And he says it in an *almost* sentence format which either goes something like, "May, bubbub, May, mummum, May!", or "Mummum May bubbub!" (so either bubba wants some boobiejuice from mum, or mum give boobiejuice to bubba)...

Ah, I'm so proud - who says you can less about what the third child does than the first, when it's all a wonder...

Sunday, June 18, 2006


The purchase of the day was this Safety 1st pedal operated gate from Target. We've had three babies, and this is the first gate we've ever had to buy!. Mainly because this is a new house, and the kitchen in the house the other two grew up in was able to be completely shut off. Our concern wasn't that Bryn might touch something hot, but that the door out to our laundry has to be left ajar so Luey can get to the toilet quickly, unfortunately, Bryn is enamoured with doors, and we're deathly afraid he'll get his fingers caught. One of the little boys from our playgroup was temporarily seperated from the tip of one of his fingers recently, after just such an encounter with a door hinge, eeeewww and ouch!

Anyway, in true Baby Bird form, Bryn has spent the last little while since the gate when up, testing it's fortitude, now that he is satisfied about it's "here to stay"ness, he's off playing happily on his mat.

The gate itself was bought because it comes fitted with a foot pedal, requiring adult weight (or full body 5 year old weight) to open, meaning hands free opening for Dave and I if need be. We're encouraging the bigger boys to use the other kitchen door during the day though (at night the other kitchen door remains shuts because opening and closing it disturbs the boys in their room...

The gate has a second advantage, hehehe. It stops bigger boys and girls from making a running circuit through our kitchen/dining/lounge/hall/kitchen - meaning less noise and headaches for us tired old aged buggers...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ah bloody hell!

Ok, I REALLY have not reason to complain, really, I know! BUT I weighed myself this morning and I'm STILL sitting on 84.2kg... Last week I was 84.1kg and the week before that I was 84.4kg, so I'm hovering, hovering, and it's driving me balmy! I can feel, on my clothes, that I'm still losing weight (or perhaps I'm just toning up???)... But the scales aren't reflecting those feelings... This is the hard part, I guess. As I get closer and closer to my goal, my weight loss is bound to slow and plateau, but it's hard to keep motivated when that happens... I'm so excited to lose weight, I like to see those numbers going down, but I need to be more patient, I guess... Just keep on keeping on...

Monday, June 12, 2006

First attempt at duplicate stitch...


I finished Zoe's hat yesterday, as I mentioned, what I didn't remember to say was that her hat was my second attempt. The first hat I did for Zoe was too small, and so it ended up being a Bryn hat. To distinguish between the two if ever they are worn in the same place, I stitched a B onto Bryn's hat this afternoon. It was my first attempt at duplicate stitch and I'm quite pleased with it!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A sinking feeling...

Got to get this out there, can't talk to Dave about it...

Today, the ILs were supposed to come and visit. The boys and I haven't seen them since very early January, so they haven't seen Bryn for more than half his life. The reason being that FIL has been sick almost constantly since late February with colds and what not. So, anyway, it was decided yesterday that they would come over this afternoon to drop off their fire screen for us to borrow for Bryn and also to see the kids for the first time in ages.

We just got a call an hour ago, MIL saying they won't be coming because FIL had his worst night yet last night with wheezing and coughing and she just doesn't want to take him out in this cold weather. I totally understand this.

It has left me with a sinking feeling though. FIL was diagnosed with brochitis last week, and basically that was caused by fluid collecting around his heart and in his lungs. The fluid seemed to be some sort of aftereffect of the bowel cancer and the treatment for that (he is currently still in remission). So, basically one illness is now leading to another and another. Today I just got this feeling that this is how it is going to be now, that he will never really get better. It will basically only be a matter of managing his ill health from now on.

I'm really sad by this, for Dave, but also for the boys, because I have a feeling they won't be seeing too much more of Pa. I don't want to sound dramatic, but I find myself hoping he holds out until Summer and then get well enough to see a bit more of them. I want Bryn to have a chance to get to know him.

Anyway, just had to get it out...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Knitty bits

Got the following link from an AB member yesterday and had a go at finger knitting with the boys. They loved it! Erik is quite good at and Luey understands how it works and can do the winding and the knitting bit, but needs me to start him off and finish off for him! So, this was also a great parenting moment for me as I got to do what I kind of always imagined being a parent would be about; that is spending some one on one time with each boy showing them how to do something new that they enjoyed and then doing it with them, and finally leaving them to do it for themself while I helped the next child - it was very cool!

http://www.kidscanmakeit.com/AC0023.htm



Erik fingerknitting...



Luey sporting two wrist bands, the one on the right was made by Erik but turned out to be too big and so needed to be doubled over to fit, the one on the left was one Luey made, taking into account that Erik's had been too big...

As for me, I'm currently working on a new hat design that will be road tested by Kate's Zoe, I'm really hoping it will work out, and it has given me an idea for a range of hats using the same theme... Could be lots of fun!!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Learning new stuff

So today Erik and Luey and I had our first concerted lesson on the $3 recorders we bought from the Reject shop the other day. Erik has almost learned "Mary has a little lamb" after just one session! I'm very impressed, and Luey has completely grasped the concept of covering the holes on the recorder to make different notes, though he doesn't quite have the determination to "try, try again" for learning to play a tune fluidly.

Bryn also joined in the jamboree, on his pilano, LOL!

Today Bryn took his first hands and knees crawling movements, which is very exciting as he's been building up to this for several weeks!

The boys also learned about money manage when they found the Thomas trainings they've been coveting for a number of weeks now, at Target. Erik had so far managed to save $9.95 from his tooth money and other odds and ends, and Luey had $4.20. Taking into account that Erik will start recieving an allowance on his 7th birthday, we came to the agreement that if I paid to put the trains on layby, Erik would repay his half of the layby out of his saved money, and then pay of his half by saving more over the next few weeks, while Luey would give me the entirety of his savings to date, and Dave and I would pay the remainder of his train (because he saves money he finds on the footpaths etc. and so isn't likely to make up the $15 or so he needed to pay for the rest of his train. He won't be getting an allowance until 2008)...

So, the trains went on laybe, and Luey gave me his $4.20 and is paid up. Erik gave me the $2.50 it cost to put his train on layby and is holding onto the rest of his savings until he has the full amount for paying of the rest of his part of the layby (clear as mud, isn't it?). He has another loose big tooth so he'll son get $5 from the toothfairy for that, and then if he loses three more smaller teeth, he'll have the $6 he needs to make up the rest, otherwise, Dave and I may find some other way for him to earn the money before the layby is due on August 4th...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Homeschooling update

Lots of things have been happening here lately, so I thought I'd better do a bit of a recap for my own benefit...

The new education act ammendments look like they'll be ratified soon and then it will be compulsory to register your homeschooling intentions. No application to homeschool is necessary at this point in time, but basically they want both parents' name and address and the full name and age of each child to be homeschooled, which means if (or perhaps it's really just a matter of when) the laws change and they start making people apply for the right to educate their children as they see fit, they'll have the details of the vast majority of home educators in Victoria...

Now, of course, we could always do what the vast majority of home educators in Queensland are doing and just not register at all. That would mean a steep fine for each child for each day they were seen to be "truant"... I mean, in all reality they cannot legally uphold this law as it breeches international personal rights laws, but for the average home educator to afford to take the state Government to court would be out of the question... So, it looks like we may be officially registering as home educators by the beginning of next year.

No one will have the right to come into our house uninvited, which is a good thing, but they may ask to review our "work" if they have grounds to believe we are failing to provide "regular and efficient education for the child's age level" - age level??? Now, right there you have the reason why MANY parents choose to home educate, so they can free their children of the abitrary expectations of "age appropriate academic development"...

This has me thinking I'd better keep some sort of logue on what the boys are up too... What a job!!! They do so much stuff each and every day that keeping track would be a full time job in and of itself...

Broadly speaking though...

Erik's fine motor skills, particularly with regard to writing and drawing have really taken off of late. He seems to have a very good eye for proportions, and has been drawing what he sees and replicating things in drawings with amazing accuracy for his age. He reminds me a lot of my brother with this.

He has also come out with some interesting questions of late. He wanted to know if ghosts were real and why people did or didn't believe in them. Also, he recently asked me what a good luck charm was and then told me that his Tiger was his good luck charm. He sounded out and spelled his first word by himself, it was "David". He also asked me a question about something, that I can't for the life of me remember, but after explaining it to him, I remember thinking that now he knew about something I was pretty sure other 6 year old wouldn't be learning in school and might not even think about...

Oh, we spent and evening discussing mammals, which was interesting too, and he and Luey were calling out all the animals they thought were mammals...

Luey has just decided in the past couple of weeks that it would be a good thing for him to learn to write. and so he is now playing Erik's game of "How do you spell..?" - Erik is actually teaching him how to write letters, which is very cool!

It's funny, because we follow an unschooling philosophy, I have never thought my boys would spend a lot of time sitting at a table writing and drawing etc. Not that I didn't want them to, just that I have always envisaged most of their learning as happening "on the go". Most of it doesn't happen like that, but this Autumn and (now) Winter, they've come to spend a lot of time at our kitchen table with their textas and paper, writing stuff out, and making books and booklets. They can sit like that for hours. Also playing a lot of board games - I would not have imagined this happening two years ago.

Now I can that bookwork will happen if they're left to their own accord. Upon reflecting on this, I can see that that would make sense, both Dave and I love reading and writing (both of us being writers)... I hate to admit it, but it's a bit of relief to see think "conventional" approach to learning rearing its head in our house. I know I shouldn't worry about it, but this seems to legitimise their home *education* for me...

And, just to finish off... I've been head hunted to write an article for Education Choices Magasine, and it looks like it will actually end up being a two parter (so an article spread over two issues)! I'm thrilled to bits to be able to use my writing skills and also talk about the benefits of home educating!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Yay! They got the loan!!!

Just got an email from Mum...

They were just told they got their homeloan, WHOO HOOO!!!!

This has been an ongoing saga for the past few months, with them having to go through a broker in their town, who seemed to be giving them the run around. Settlement day on the land was yesterday. and as off last Friday, everything was up in the air, the broker was abusing Mum over the phone for calling him too often (she'd called him 3 times in 6 weeks), and he hadn't done anything he was supposed to do. Step-dad stepped in and fired the guy and my parents decided to go directly through the state-government department, and discovered the services of a very friendly and polite gentleman in town who bent over backward to help them meet the deadline yesterday...

So, now they'll start building later this year, and hopefully by early next year they'll be in their own home.

This has been a lifelong dream of Mum's (who last came close when she bought a house in Iceland 24 years ago - a house she ended up having to sell at a HUGE because of the break up of her marriage to dad)...

I'm sooo happy for them!

Teenagers and the failing parent...