Thursday, May 31, 2007

A short, short story for your enjoyment

The following is a draft of a story mum sent me the other day... I really liked it, so I'm posting it here...

Dream-catcher

by Yr Ham

In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit. He was a quiet, unassuming little Hobbit, with no aspirations beyond his station. His life so far had held few surprises. He had gone about his business gathering dreams from his dream-catcher, spinning his stories with care and passing them on to one of the Muses that sometimes passed by his place. He had never wondered about what they did with his stories, or where they took them. Until now.

‘Now’ had begun when his dream-catcher malfunctioned; at least, he hoped it was the dream-catcher. Stretched out between the needle sharp crystallites that towered above the entrance to his hole, his catcher had begun singing earlier than usual; before light-break. The Hobbit had been taken by surprise – he was usually way out of his slumber-chamber before the first vibrations began. Out, and ready to begin spinning.

The song was faint at first, sombre and foreboding, with red overtones that sent shivers through him. Unease filled him, but he ignored the warning. Excited about the unusual behaviour of the catcher, he clambered out of his hole and set to work. He reached first for the notes in the higher register; gathered them along the finest fronts of his tentacles with gentle swaying. He was careful not to tear them, but wound them into suitable spinnin-coils with quiet movements. The colours shone around him, infusing him with their wonder and light. He caught quick glimpses of adventure, beauty and joy. Love and delight rushed through his whole being as sweet tones flowed in wonderful harmony in through his spinning ducts.

With all the brighter notes gathered, the colours changed. So did the music. Darker and darker, the notes and colours flowed through him – darker and deeper, until he was forced to apply all his strength in order to pull the pitch-black notes from the slowly pulsating dream-catcher. He had never encountered such force before. Nightmares surged into his dream-chambers, forcing back the newly-gathered delightful dreams, as well as remnants from dreams that had furbished his stories in the past. Monstrous visions of contorted images flooded his mind. Evil took form, surrounding him with waves of despair. He felt watched. Felt his mind invaded with a consciousness even darker than the throbbing music that threatened to tear him apart. An alien mind filled his being, scanned his thoughts and memories; devoured his stories. Desperation surged through him. He knew he was dying.

The dream-catcher shattered as the Hobbit wrenched away his tentacles. Burning pain surged through him as delicate fronts tangled with the wreckage, tearing from his body. Nightmarish images crowded his mind, rushing and heaving, making it difficult to think. He lay motionless by his spinning frame, allowing his emotions to subside. At last the darkness settled.

Then the Hobbit began to weave. Caution drove his pace as he gathered the music from his aching chambers. Light and dark tones began to weave in and around each other, blending and moving with perfect harmony. Colours flowed; separated; flowed again, until a story began to form on his frame. Dark undertones of despair provided the background for lighter colours of courage and love. Rough textures flowed throughout the story, razor sharp in places, while delicate chimes of pure gold softened the surface with their gentleness and hope. The story took a long time to weave, but at last his masterpiece finished.

He slept in his hole for a long time – nearly missed the seven Muses as they flew by the twisted remains of his dream-catcher. But their excited thoughts sought him out, finally roused him from his slumber-chamber. The Muses were full of questions; were curious about the destruction all around – destruction that bore evidence to unusual events in a place where such things never happened. They probed relentlessly, until he told them what had occurred: he told them about the strange music that had grown into a raging torrent of dark horror; told them about the evil that had nearly overcome him, as it poured out through the dream-catcher and into his chambers; and he told them about the nightmares. He showed them his injuries, deriving comfort from their pity and attention.

His story lay on the frame where he had left it, giving credence to his account. The Muses gathered around it, drawn by the kaleidoscope of colours and music.

‘Wondrous colours’ said the first, ‘wondrous, but wild. Unfit for painting’.

‘Yes,’ said another, looking at her sisters, ‘its wildness is harnessed in the music that soars with crystal clear tones one moment, but falls to darkest despair the next. No composer could survive its power.’ Their discussion continued as each had their say in turn: unfit for drama; unfit for sculpture; unfit…

Only Calliope, the wisest among them, stood silent in the end. She held out her hand, gently touching the frame. It quivered under her touch.

‘So beautiful,’ she whispered, ‘so strong. Reminds me of the Iliad and the Odyssey - of Homer…’ She stood ever so still. ‘There is another – a man of language and knowledge... I believe him strong enough.’ She looked at the Hobbit…’Can I?’

The Muses were gone. The Hobbit stayed outside his hole a-while, thinking deep thoughts. It was a malfunction of the dream-catcher that caused the dreams to pour through him with such intensity and dread…it must have been! The alternative was too dark for him to contemplate – the evil he had encountered through the catcher… He shuddered. Alone, he cast his mind outward, following the golden flight of the Muses as long as he could hear their music. He had never wondered about their travels, until now…

* * *

The man writes. The study is quiet, stuffy. Blue smoke from his pipe curls through the air, creating unseen images as it fans out above him. He sighs, signs his name to yet another marked exam paper. The pile to his left appears just as high as it was when he begun this morning. He stretches, reaches for another paper – begins his labour all over again; is bored. Above, the smoke from his pipe begins to curl furiously, as if touched by an unseen hand. The man turns the first page of the paper he is working on; stares in disbelief at the next. Blank. A wry smile passes across his face – oh, well…one less page to mark! He stretches again, casts his eyes down onto the carped by his feet. A small hole by the desk-leg draws his attention. He sits still awhile, day-dreaming. Then, turning to the empty page in front of him, he writes: ‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit’…

This story was inspired by the beginning sentence in The Hobbit by J. J. R. Tolkien.

Dave is class helper again...

This time in Luey's class today... We were both a bit trepidacious about Dave going into Luey's class for a couple of hours today because he had felt that earlier this week Mrs A had been giving him the cold shoulder, and I had felt that yesterday when I went to pick Luey up she actually glared at me for making him go back into the classroom to put his raincoat on before going out into the torrential rain (she likes the kids to vacuate the classroom pronto each afternoon, and not linger, but that's too bad, I couldn't have Luey get any more soaked than he was bound to get anyway)...

She was, however, nice enough to Dave this morning. She fluffed advising him not to gravitate towards Luey, she just couldn't say it straight out, and was trying to tiptoe around the subject until Dave ended up just saying it for her - some parents must be uber-sensitive about being told they're not their to spend time with just their kid, LOL...

I was very interested to hear what Dave thought of her teaching style. He said he didn't feel she was quite as on the ball as the two teachers in Erik's double room, but he also said that her class was by far rowdier, as in there were 1/2 boys in Mrs A's class who were pretty full on with their antics, and chatting in class etc. He said she didn't manage the calm confidence of Mrs P from Erik's room, and that perhaps the kids smelled fear behind some of her impatience...

Luey was, this morning at least, one of the quieter boys in the class. This is not to say he doesn't play up, afterall Dave was right there (not that that stops Luey at home, but yk what it's like when the dynamics change, Luey might have been distracted enough by Dave's presence not to participate in some of the other disturbance the other boys were getting up to)... The girls in the class are actually quieter than those in Erik's class, Dave describing them mostly as fragile little violets!

Mrs A. has two daughters of her own, so I'm sensing she might well favour the girls, who are quiet and eager to please, while feeling slightly on edge with the boys. The loudest boys are also the 2nd graders who are 8 or turning 8 this years, and two or three of them in Luey's class are physically quiet large for their age as well, so probably a lot of testosterone happening there, me thinks...

This brought up an interesting outlook though. With the loudest, brashest and most distracted children in the class being 2nd graders, it means that next year those boys will move into new classes, and quite possibly this will change the dynamic in the classroom a lot! This might mean that Luey may well come into his own in that class next year - as we've noticed of late he is not particularly happy there (yesterday he was saying he didn't want to go back to school and that no one in his class liked him except Liam C but that Mrs A was using "stragetic population management" - yes he came out with that phrase, she's obviously used it in class, to seperate kids who chat in class away from one another, including Luey and his only friend in the class, who had been away for a week and whom Luey has missed terribly!)...

I dunno, I still think Mrs A isn't a great teacher, I think she has strong Administrative ambitions and so she wants to be perceived as a great teacher but for her that means keeping kids "in line" more than actually getting to know the kids in her class and learning how best to interact with them as individuals, yk?

The other day Luey had complained to me about kids teasing him, so we talked to his teacher about it. Of course, it had happened in the school yard, and she was unaware of it, because he hadn't told her (he told us instead), and the FIRST thing she says, directed at Luey is, "Well, Luey, I'm a VERY GOOD teacher, but I can't read minds, so I really need you to tell me if someone teases you so I can do something about it!" Now, you know that was for MY benefit. Why she felt compelled to tell me she was a very good teacher is beyond me, I wasn't saying she should have known about this, in fact, I'd just finished telling her that we'd only just found this out ourselves because it can take time for Luey to confide in people (he has to digest his experiences first, I've learned)... Ah, so defensive, so afraid she won't be perceived as perfect...

Anyhoo, Dave filled in a few of the blanks for me today. Before he told me about his observations I was ready to ask for Luey to be moved from that class, but now I think I'll wait a see a bit...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This from Bryn...

He's just sitting here, reading my laptop over my shoulder (sitting on the dining table, his new fave spot in the house). He spots some piccies of the boys, and points to Erik and says, "Eh-dit!", and I say, "Yes, Erik, and Luey, can you say 'Luey'"... He mouths the "oo" part of Luey and then exclaims, "Dat!" (that)... So, again, he points to Erik and exclaims, "Erik", and then points to Luey and exclaims, "Dat!"...

EVIL school fundraising chocolates...

So, I'm slowly (or maybe not so slowly, but hey, who wants to admit that) working my way through $72 worth of mini Snickers, Mars, Milky Way, Starburst, and Maltesers... 18 small boxes worth... Dave is pitching in too, so I don't have to do all the work myself...

Of course, if we'd had our act together we could have told the school we did not wish to participate in the fundraising effort, and just "donate" (is it a donation when they DEMAND it from you?) $20... But while we were mumbling and grumbling about having to participate at all, we managed to miss the cut off for whimping out...

Of course, the school sends home these boxes with the oldest child, but as our oldest child was busy at home coughing up a lung or two, the responsibility for the massive carton of chocolate fundraising hell fell on Luey's small but surely capable shoulders. In Luey's reckoning, this means the chocolate belongs to him! He assures me his teacher told him he could HAVE one of the boxes of chocolate even though he cannot produce the $4 it is worth in fundraising money (I'm sure she chuckled wickedly to herself thinking how WE would have to shell out the $4 and then deal with the sugar high fall out)... Unfortunately, we had to disappoint Luey. So, I'm hoping he's given his teacher hell today for misleading him on that count...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Oh, yes you DID!

This is what Bryn is wearing today, and it's rather appropriate considering his antics over the past couuple of days... There is a TERRIBLE parenting book out which sports the title, "The Mighty Toddler", and while I'm not happy with all the strategies for dealing with toddler behaviours found in the book, I totally understand the title of the book!

Bryn has discovered his MIGHTY TODDLERHOOD in the past few weeks! Tantrums I can deal with, he's my first to have tantrums at this age, and thank goodness for that because now I'm much more laid back about it than I would have been with Erik or Luey... What I'd FORGOTTEN about was that "Getting into EVERYTHING" stage that occurs around about now (ok, Amanda, La peaked a bit early on that one, hehehe!)...

In the past 48 hours I've realised what a FALSE sense of security I'd developed since Erik and Luey came to the end of pulling EVERY item out of EVERY cupboard, box and container in the house to investigate it.... I've realised it's time to get back to some basic toddler proofing habits... What brought me to this realisation...

First, Bryn decided it would be nice for Mommy if he coloured in her laptop screen with a purple texta, and then added some orange and green flourishes to her keyboard and mouse...

Then, he thought he'd take some photos with her DSLR, but as he couldn't reach the camera itself with his hands, he yanked the cable that mum had it connected to the laptop with, bringing the camera crashing down on the wooden floorboards - luckily the camera has proven to be sturdier than mum gave it credit for...

Finally, on the theme of "technologies", Bryn decided to use Mommy's mobile phone as a swizzle stick in her coffee last night, rendering said mobile completely Fing USELESS!

So, in a little while I'm off to buy a new phone. Meanwhile NO BEVERAGES are to be left unattended, no more textas for the boys unless supervised to prevent sticky fingers Bryn snaffling any surepticiously, and no leaving expensive technologies where Bryn can PLAY with them...


On the UP side, I am very proud of how well I dealt with each of these situations. I didn't lose my cool, I didn't hyperventilate or yell, or drag him screaming from the offended item. I was very calm and philosophical about it all, and I could hardly believe I was ME at all!!! Yay for me!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pump It Up!

If you're looking for the Blessingway, scroll down the page :).

Got my latest and greatest piece of training equipment today... It's such a simple design, and didn't cost very much at all, and yet it's quite effective. Here's Bryn modelling it for us...


So, now I have the Ab King and this Xing thingy. Basically between the two, I can work all the major muscle groups. For cardio I have walking. I've just decided that if I walk just the half hour walk up to the shopping centre each weekday, that'll be a great cardio workout (it involves hill, and pushing the pram)...

So, with those three elements, I will be able to get some great fitness going! That is going to be my focus for the rest of this year.

Kate´s Blessingway!

Sorry guys for getting this up so late tonight, I had to come home and have a nanna nap, and I´m not even pregnant, like so many of you!!!

Anyway, the very first thing I have to document was the first conversation Jen and I had with Kate this afternoon when we had to ring her to clarify directions after driving as far as we could, quite literally, and realising we´d gone wrong SOMEWHERE... Kate quickly figured out we´d driven too far along a road, and gave us back tracking directions with a cheerful, 'And it´s really EASY from there!' to round things off... As she said that I could help laughing, considering I was looking at the following seen out our front window!

Anyway, us city girls got there, and not even late (ok, 10 minutes late, but that was bloody marvellous considering I was in the car distracting the driver with my verbal diahhrea!)...

Ok, so who was there... From left; Jen, Kate Y, Leah and Laura...


From left; that space on the couch is where I was sitting, but you all know what I look like - if not, check out yesterdays blog... The Mum-of-honour Kate F, Nee, and Rach Y...

We chatted forever, and then we decided we'd better get this ball rolling (no pum intended), and Kate Y started on the henna-ing of Kate F's bump...

Isn't Kate F just a vision of blossoming pregnancy! Love these photos, the light was just right, and well, just personally, if I could choose someone to be my mum now, I reckon I'd choose Kate - she's such a down to earth, lovely, WYSIWYG person (ah, yes, Kate, now who sounds like the looney stalker!)...

Kate Y did a fabulous job with the henna too, might I add! Kate, if you ever wanted to give up Tuppering (which I know you don't, BUT), I'm sure you could start a successful business doing henna for special occassions!

Meanwhile the rest of us got busy doing affirmation cards, that I hear Kate is going to make into a book...





I took this opportunity before the ceremony itself to take some belly shots, of Kate, of course, but also of our other two blossoming bellies - Jen and Rach!









Rach on the left at 26 weeks, then Kate in the middle at 38 weeks (minus 1), and Jen on the right at 27.5 weeks...

Bellies in all shapes and sizes! Unfortunately, I was using a short focal length here, so I could use the lens that didn't require the flash, to maximise the light, but that meant that Kate was kind of out of focus, but I think the effect still worked (kind of)... Anyway, I like it!

Then we did the ceremony, which included everyone giving Kate a bead so she could make a necklace or bracelet to wearing during labour. As well as this the "Book of Birth" (that's what I'm calling it, as I don't know what it's called), was passed on to Kate. This is a book recording the birth stories of the women who have worn the bracelet that a number of women from Alternativebaby originally made for Kate Y's daughter's birth two years ago. The bracelet was then so generously passed onto me, by Kate, and then onto Laura. Next it is going to Kate F, then Shae, then Jen, then Rach, and then I'm hoping Leah will have a chance to use it at her birth - your time must come, I've been waiting so long! Since starting this tradition nearly all the women in our social circle, and a couple of new ones toboot having been pregnant in an overlapping fashion at one time or another! We're even mooting having retrospective Blessingways for those women who had their babies just before this tradition started...

Then Kate wrapped a red thread around each woman and gave each woman a candle, which she then light from her Mother Candle... Doing this signifies the creation of a circle of positive energy to encompass the pregnant woman throughout the end of her pregnancy and into her labour and through to the birth of her baby. The red thread is for the rest of us to tie around our wrists until the baby is born as a constant reminder to send loving energy to the pregnant woman!



The lighting of the candles (a bit blurry due to low light)...


See the red thread around Jen's wrist, and then around Rach's, Kate then cut this thread, so we each had our own lengtth of it, and blew out each of our candles - which will be relight when we hear she is in labour!
As the sun was setting in the West we had to leave, but it was a beautiful Blessing to be part of this Blessingway!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's all relative...

So s-dad Lester had a conference here in Melbourne on Friday and Saturday, so my parents came down and stayed with s-bro Jason and his wife, Kirsty, and their 8 week old daughter, Sienna (who I met yesterday and am now thoroughly clucky!!! If I was clucky enough before the meeting)...

So, thought I'd record Mum's visit with some photos. Erik, Luey, Bryn and I met mum and Kirsty at KFC, and then the boys and I took mum up to their school for a looksee... Then back home via the corner shop (to pick up some ham for lunch, and for mum to buy the boys a small pressie each!)...

So, here is mum showing Luey some photos of their new house (the laptop is mums)...


Luey with the new car his Amma bought for him...


"Mæðgun", as we'd be called in Iceland - or Mother and daughter! Note, the jaw line, I see my future, argh! Love the twin laptops - we're both cruising the same site, the Uni site she works and studies at, that I'll soon be studying at... Getting the low-down on the course, and the requirements. We had a good laugh yesterday when I let mum read some of my old wiriting, for the first time EVER (apparently I've never let her read my stuff before, didn't realise that...)... Our styles are so similar, but mine actually proceeded hers! We write in a similar way, with similar themes and similar choice of genre!


Grandpa Lester with the three boys! You know, it's so funny, but I see a lot of similarity in Erik and Lester (they're not biologically related, which is what makes it funny!)... Something about the shape of their faces, and their noses... I don't know, maybe it's just my blindness speaking, LOL... Oh, and for those of you with a keen eye, you'll notice Luey isn't wearing the same top in all these shots, despite them being taken at about the same time... This is because he decided he HAD TO make a wardrobe adjustment so he could show off his Spidey tatts...

From left; My brother Mike, Mum, Luey (showing off his tatt, NOT being rude), Me, Bryn, and Erik. Erik is listening to music on Mikes Mp3 player - guess what's made it to his Chrissy wish list?! - Bryn's vague look is courtesy of "Bruuuuuuuuum!" being on the box...

Ok, Mike behind the camera this time, and mum insisted we rope Dave into this shot... This is the third pic in the series - with Dave and mum each pulling faces in the other two... Bryn still enamoured with Brum....

Ok, these are from this morning... Bryn found a bottle top of a Tupperware drink bottle that used to belong to Erik... He thought it was cooling for sucking like a dummy, and did so for some little while this morning. I finding this behaviour fascinating as Bryn, like Luey, point blank REFUSED to take a dummy as a baby - which I know is probably ideal, but it didn't feel that way at the time for me...


How very Maggie Simpson of him (including the appropriate sucking sound)...

Ok, on the topic of Bryn and his obsession with all things Thomas, Bob the Builder and Brum... We have the following ongoing conversation with Bryn these days - by ongoing I mean it's almost relentless!

Bryn: Mommy, mommy, mommy! (yes, he calls me MOMMY with an American inflection)

Me: Yes, what is it Bryn?

Bryn: Mommy, Tomma?!

Me: No! No Tomma.

Bryn: Mommy?

Me: Yes, Bryn?

Bryn: Mommy, Bob, bob, bobby?

Me: No, Bryn. No Bob.

Bryn: Mommy, mommy! Bruuuuuuuuuuum!

Me: No, Buddhi, no Brum, no Tomma, no Bobby...

Bryn: Mommy, mommy, mommy! Tomma, Bobby, bobby, Brum, Tomma!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Check it out! Fast tracking...

Just had a conversation with my mum...

Have been trying to pull together my writing and my transcripts from my previous degrees an what not... Couldn't find the transcript from my Masters - I know I have it here somewhere, REALLY thought I'd put it somewhere safe, but it's not with any of my other stuff... Also, had a squizz at some of my old - and I mean YE OLDE pieces of fiction, OH BOY, I don't even want to go there... Ok, the writing itself isn't too bad, and I can say I was actually pretty impressed with the dialogue in my pieces - I can see why I was always complimented on my ability to reproduce believeable dialogue... But, SHEESH! Talk about romantic, moralistic, idealistic and NAIVE!!! Truly cringe-worthy at times!

So, was lamenting to mum as I haven't exactly focused on fiction writing in the past, um, 10 years... And this is when she tells me her associate had come up with a "plan" for me, specifically for me, that is... Because I don't have a very current fiction based folio, and yet they believe I'm probably very capable of doing the Masters (hey, I believe I am), mum's associate has suggested I actually sign up for the Post Grad. Certificate in Creative Writing - this is an 8 unit certificate. The Masters is 16 units, 8 of which are course work, and 8 of which are the major project or thesis. He sasy he can exempt me of 4 of the units in the Post Grad. Cert. and then credit the other four units to my Masters. So, essentially, I do 4 units in the Post Grad. Cert. The assignments of which become my folio for the Masters. Then I transfer to the Masters, and am given 4 units worth of exemption in lieu of previous degrees in Writing. Then I do my major project.

If I did this full time, I'd do the four units in the Post Grad. Cert. this coming Semester, then transfer in the new year and do my Thesis or major project next year! So, by the end of 2008 I could have my Masters complete!!!

This will be quite an undertaking, especially as mum broke the news this morning that the major project MUST be work of fiction. So, I'm going to have to writing a novel, eek, as opposed to the book I had started outlining in my head which was more in the discussion/self help genre...

But still, WOW! How helpful is that???

Gosh, I'm thinking I should be more nervous than I am, instead, I'm excited and raring to go, and positive I can handle four units next semester and trawl through to the Masters in 08!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's 90% personality, you know!!!

OMG! The child is obsessed with drawing! He is drawing on everything ALL the time! I opened my laptop before and found he'd "coloured in" my screen with a couple of textas he'd found in the couch cushions (thanks so much Erik and Luey, and don't deny it, ONE of you DID put those textas there, and right now I no longer care which one of you it was...)...

I love that he loves to draw! He comes from a long line of people who love to draw, closest of whom would be his brother Erik, who now reminds me so much of my brother, Michael with the various mythical creatures he creates on a daily basis (Octo-shark and Lightning Eye Boy)...

Why must this child draw on EVERYTHING though, even if he can't see the marks, it doesn't bother him, he just wants to run the tip of the textas, pens, pencils over whatever surface is closest at hand...

But, actually this is not what the title of this blog is referring to...

What I wanted to blog about was how Bryn and I went out today, and I took the chance and let him out of his stroller to walk with me, and to sit with me while we had coffee and cookies at Gloria Jeans. I had let him out of the stroller a few months ago, and the boys were with us, and he just took off running after the big boys and then just running... off... out of sight...

But then the other day I let him out and he CHOSE without any prompting, to hold onto the stroller. The difference was, it was just me and him... So, today I let him out of the stroller again at the shopping centre, and he walked so happily right next to me, much of the time he was even holding my hand, though I didn't insist on it (don't want to start a battle that might otherwise not arise)... Gosh, he was CUTE! And then we went to the cafe, and he sat in the chair opposite me, eating his cookie, and carefully placing it on his plate when he got himself a drink of water from his bottle. He sat with me there for a full 10 minutes! Then he got off the chair, but he only walked around the table a few times, never walking away.

We went to Target and he wondered around with me, coming back whenever I called him. Eventually, his little legs got tired, and I saw him slowing down and losing concentration (he's walked A LOT for a little person), so I cheerfully popped him in the stroller and he was fine with that, no tantrums! Soon after that he fell asleep!

Ok, had he been my first child, I might have been tempted to Congratulate myself that I'd trusted him so much, and so he'd lived up to my trust in him, and that is how you get children to walk with you... Only problem there is I trusted Erik and Luey the same way, and Erik, like Bryn, walked happily with me on a relatively short invisible umbilicus, but Luey ran, EVERY TIME, and we tried quite often, though by the time he was three we'd pretty much given up...

So, basically, I have to believe it's personality! At least a high percentage of personality! Erik doesn't exactly have a lot of impulse control, so I can only assume something in his personality didn't compell him to run off. He just didn't have that impulse it seems. He was naturally cautious of strangers at that age, which might have been the issue. Bryn is like Erik, a bit shy of people. Cheerful and smiley, but prefers to watch people from a distance rather than engage them. Luey on the other hand loves to engage people!

So, there you go! It was a fun afternoon out though!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Two questions...

Can something NOT physical be taken from you without you giving it up?

Is losing you life the worst thing that can happen, and would it be worth giving up for "a greater cause" (ie. to make a gain for other people, including you loved ones)?

Bryn´s 'A'

Gosh, he's an amazing child!

Bryn has been totally obsessed with "droRing!" lately... He's been drawing on EVERYTHING, walls, tables, the floor, himself... So, we're encouraging him to use the MegaSketcher, much to Luey's disgust (it was a birthday present for Luey a couple of years ago, but he hardly uses it unless Erik or Bryn are wanting it)...

So, I come home from my session today and Dave tells me Bryn has been very busy drawing and immediately Bryn wants to show me "droRing"... So, he's got the MegaSketcher, and is chanting "ABC, abc, abc!" and then he draws this...



The red and blue lines are mine, of course, to show what he drew and how... It looks like an "A" to me! Clever child!

I talked to my therapist today about what I posted about ADHD last night. I asked her if she'd seen the Insight episode and she said she has missed it because she was teaching, but had been discussing it this morning with her colleagues, and then she laughed and said it was funny I should bring it up because when she was discussing it this morning she thought of me! I hadn't even told her until our session today about my assessment from when I was 18, but she was not at all surprised by the assessment.

I asked her opinion on the issues sorrounding ADHD, and she agrees with the psychologist who said that often what seems like ADHD symptoms could easily be traced back to something else, if people investigated each case thoroughly! She feels there are some legitimate cases of ADHD and some of those do benefit from treatment with stimulants, but not nearly as many as are misdiagnosed and misprescribed...

I realised today that I pay this woman to talk to me! I don't even mean to analyse me, or sort me out, just to have an interesting, stimulating and fulfilling conversation with! That is NOT to say that my friends aren't stimulating and interesting (so don't anyone go getting offended, ok!!!), but rather, with my therapist, I can really turn over ideas and it doesn't end up becoming about all the stuff friendships entail. I don't have to take her feelings into consideration, I don't know much of ANYTHING about her life, and so I don't have to worry about her taking anything I say personally. She is not a friend, and she has nothing invested in convincing me to see things from her perspective. So, I feel like I can go completely "theoretical" with her and she will go there with me because, well I'm paying her to. That's not to say she doesn't challenge me, but rather she can challenge me, and I can say just what I think because I know I'll still be able to come back in a fortnight and discuss it some more, and what she is getting out of it is a payment from me for her time, so there is equality there, no favours being begged... It's very liberating for me! Liberating and stimulating!

And so, even though we don't often discuss how I can deal with the kids in this way or that way, I find I'm getting to be a much better parent because I'm getting to use that part of my brain that I had to push aside for all those years while being a parents and friend, but not a student or something with less emotional ties than being a parent or a friend.

Does that make sense. It's like seeing her is like going to Uni! Lots of mental stimulation with no emotional strings attached... It's great!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder...

Tonight I watched a discussion on Insight about ADHD, it´s diagnosis and issues sorrounding medicating for ADHD.

I don´t often discuss my ADHD (or ADD as I was diagnosed as having when I was 18, though apparently now there is no distinction made between the two, though adults, and a percentage of children often DON´T exhibit outward hyperactivity), but tonight´s episode of Insight has prompted me to put a few thoughts down on this topic.

The entire disorder is often questioned, and on that count, I will say I can see both sides of the argument. Specifically for myself, I have questions over my own diagnosis because although I experience 'classic' symptoms of ADHD, and as a child exhibit many classic symptoms, I also have an abnormal brain structure, which might also account for these symptoms, I´m sure.

I noted that many of the people on Insight who had experienced great personal success with medicating themselves to combat the symptoms of ADHD seemed to take personal offence to those who argued that ADHD is often over-diagnosed and over-medicated. It was as if they felt they were being called liars for experiencing their difficulties with the disorder, and their successes with the medication.

I tend to think that if you are experiencing ADHD symptoms, and you take the medication and do not experience adverse side effects, but experience positive results from the medication, then it is likely that the you were correctly diagnosed and correctly medicated. This does not, however, negate that their are probably many, too many children and adults who are incorrectly diagnosed and incorrectly medicated. Why do people have so much invested in it being just one or the other?

I don't know if I was inccorrectly diagnosed. Certainly ADHD adequately covers the symptoms I have experienced. The difficulty remaining focused, the fidgeting, the impulse control issues. Once I became aware of ADHD, it really helped me to be aware of what was happening with me, and how to, through cognitive exercises, regain some control in my life! I was offered the opportunity to take medications, but I never remember to take them, and besides I didn't like the sound of the side-effects. I've managed to get through the past 35 years fairly well without medication, and certainly with awareness the past 17 years have even seen some great improvement in my day to day life. I work WITH my ADHD, and I could really relate to a statement by one ADHD diagnosed dad, who said he almost felt sorry for people who DON'T have ADHD. I DO experience aspects of my way of being as an out and out asset!

For example, I think on four "channels" simultaneously. That is, at any one time, I have four trains of thought going through my head. Which means that right now, I'm thinking about that show and what I'm typing here, while thinking about a conversation I had with Jen the other day on another topic, while thinking about the logistics of getting the boys to school in the morning, and the logistics of getting to my psychic reading on the 3rd of June after taking the boys to Liam's birthday... Yes, this can mean I'm easily distracted as sometimes I become more deeply involve with a different "channel" to that which I'm working in irl, and it can mean that I'll "jump about" or "jump ahead" in conversation in a way that only makes sense to me. At the same time, it means I CAN multitask successfully and more "fluidly" than others...

When I'm pregnant my "pregnancy" brain in the first trimester tends to be worse than the "average" pregnancy brain, I tracked that down to thrush in my last pregnancy, as thrush tends to exasserbate ADHD symptoms, and treat it with Acidopholus, which did help a lot. During my other two pregnancies, I did things like leave the house with the door not only unlocked by wide open - visible from a main road - for hours! I once left Luey asleep in his stroller, in a handbag shop for 15 minutes! I was leaving the shopping centre when I realised I was missing "something"...

Dave really helps me manage my distractibility. He is the opposite to me, anally retentive, fastidious, unable to focus on more than one thing at any given time. I often complain to people that he fathers me. EVERY time I leave the house he goes through, "Have you got your keys, your phone, you purse, your travel pass, your taxi card?" I moan and bitch about him not having to remind me, but more often than not I'm secretly realising I've forgotten one of the things he mentioned.

So, why am I writing about all of this?

Well, as you know, I'm having Erik assessed in July. I'm NOT having him assessed for ADHD, but obviously I'm aware it might be on the cards. He has impulse control difficulties that I've been aware of for years, and he is restless. In some ways he's really not as "bad", as impulsive or forgetful or distractable as I was as a child. He has never just left the classroom or the school on a whim the way I did often. He doesn't lose "something" every week the way I did. But still there is an impulse control difficulty there. I'm not going to walk into the clinic and say, "I have a ADHD diagnosis" and then ask them to assess him, I don't want to colour their investigation like that. But what if, independantly, they come to that conclusion?

Would my childhood have been "easier" if I'd been medicated?

My brother has ADHD, I believe, he has never been diagnosed, so that's my "diagnosis", my mum has it too - I'm like her, basically, and she is like her dad. The thing is, Mike has the "daydreamer" version of ADHD. He wasn't hyperactive, but rather he seemed to live in a daydream. In one way, he was never labelled a troublemaker, but in another way he suffered because he was completely overlooked at school. He didn't learn to read until he was 13. He is very intelligent (like me, hehehehe), but never did well at school (neither did I until half way through my undergrad. degree). There was this kid on the show tonight who was described to be just like Mike, he said once he was on the meds, he could concentrate, and put everything together and he did brilliantly well after that. What if meds could have helped Mike?

I'd be EXTREMELY wary of putting Erik on meds for impulse control. I'd want to know what else could be done to help him. At the same time, I don't want him to suffer because he can't fire those neurons sufficiently to get the messages through to control his impulses.

ADHD doesn't adversely affect my life now, as an adult, but it did affect me well into my teens and early twenties (even after my diagnosis it took a while to figure out the impulse control issue)...

Hey, I'll burn that bridge when I get to it, I guess, but this discussion tonight did make me think more deeply about the possibility that if I was correctly diagnosed, and ADHD does exist, and it is heredity, and some people can be greatly helped by medications, that maybe Erik might be one of those people's and I need to make sure I don't just turn my back on that avenue of treatment simply because I managed without it...

Funny Day...

As the title implies, today has been a funny day (and it's not even over yet)...

Have had both the big boys at home today, because they chesty colds haven't improved in the over-a-week period they've had them and yesterday, at school, after a coughing fit Erik was having trouble breathing.

Erik "resting" with his Yugio cards.

Each boy has been confined to his bed for most of the day, with Luey on a mattress in the study, as together they tend to play up... Dave read to them for a spell this morning, and did their readers with them as well. Then Luey chose to have a sleep, and has been asleep for a good three hours now. Erik was quite a bit more restless, and at midday I had him come out for lunch, and we had a chat about how the body heals itself, and how by sitting on top of his doona in his cold bedroom he is making the job of healing himself a lot harder for his body. I told him how VERY sick people in hospitals are sometimes put in a coma so their whole energy is spent on healing, instead of talking or reading a book etc. He went back into his room and I heard him still playing around for about 1/2 hour or so, and then everything went quite, and he actually slept for 1.5 hours, just waking maybe 15 minutes ago.

He woke just as I was getting Bryn off to sleep, hadn't been able to get down earlier because the gardner came and was mowing and whipper-snipping under the bedroom window, argh!

Gods, I LOVE our gardner, he's such a spunk, but such a NICE spunk, too! He's a dad with three little boys our boys ages (their youngest is a year or two older than Bryn, but otherwise the same)... He is SOOOO great with our boys! So, engaging! He was really excited to Bryn today, too! He said he saw me near the boys school the other day and I explained I was probably on my way to pick them up, and that led to a conversation about Dave and I not driving and why and how Dave is getting his license soon... Anyway Steve offered to give Dave some lessons if Dave wants, and he was DEAD serious, and very enthused at the idea! How nice is that???

Got my Ab King Pro yesterday...



Groovy looking, isn't it? Bloody hard work! My abdominals are made of cooked spagetti!!! I have it on the EASIEST setting, and struggle to manage 2 sets of 10 reps each! Did three sets this morning, but sheesh! The machine certainly doesn't do it for you! I'm very excited about giving those muscles a bit of a workout though! I know I could just get on the floor and do it, but truth be told, having something gimmicky like this machine sitting in the corner of the lounge is really a good motivator for me!... Rock hard abs, here I come!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Boys and school stuff...

Thought this was a cute pic of the boys from yesterday, playing snakes and ladders with Dave (had to, on Dave's insistence, pick a photo that didn't show Dave, LOL)...

Then I thought I'd post this certificate Luey got about two weeks ago. The certificate came as a bit of a surprise to Dave and I as we've seen no evidence of Luey being able to read at all, and aren't really sure what the certificate is referring to, or even if it is a legitimate certificate or just one of those things that get handed out periodically to each child in class as a placebo encouragement.

I recently found out Luey's teacher has a chart up on the white board at the front of the class. It's a "good behaviour in class" chart with each child's name written up and then a sticker is put next to the child's name when they've exhibited "good behaviour" in class. At the time I found out about the chart (when Luey's class had a substitute teacher for a week and half), Luey and another boy (one of his buddy's), had equal lowest scores of stickers in the class (three stickers each)...

Now, Luey hasn't mentioned this chart as yet (Dave saw it and told me about it). But seriously, some thing like chart would NOT motivate Luey to behave in class. In fact, Luey has a reputation in our household for quitting games which he feels he's "behind" in when they're only half finished! So, being 7 stickers behind the best behaved child in class, would be enough for Luey to decided not to even bother behaving...

But, anyway.

Dave witnessed Luey and his teacher having a joke together one morning. Luey had just turned up to school, and the teacher had put up a chart of the tables in class with each child's name listed at a table. Luey asked what the kids were doing at the table his name was listed on after locating his name on the chart. Mrs. A. said they'd be playing games... Luey dramatically slapped his forehead and signed, as in "Oh no! Not that!"... And Mrs. A. did exactly the same, which made him laugh. So, it seems he's found some sort of understanding with her.

Today Dave tells me that Erik has some homework that Dave needs to help him with - so could I watch the other two boys. It's some writing practice with him copying writing from a laminated card of semi script writing. It turns out Erik's teacher feels he's improved so significantly with his literacy in the past 4 months that if he can master the lettering, he will have caught up to his age peers (he's currently doing grade 1 work, but the kids in his class, who are the same age are doing grade 2 work)... What is implied, but no one is saying it just yet - in case it doesn't go through - is that Erik might be able to skip grade 2 and move up to grade 3 with his age peers at the end of this year. How about that! The child starts school not quite 4 months ago, and has caught up so quickly he's nearly worked himself through prep. and grade 1 level in 1.5 terms!

He HAS picked up reading and writing so quickly! He gone from not reading at all, to tonight reading through 7 emergent readers in 20 minutes... He's motivated! That's for sure!

Vision board...

Ok, last night I sat down at the dining table with my scrapbooking supplies and made up some panels for my vision board (which might end up being a vision wall at the rate I'm going, LOL)...

This first board is for my daughter, or daughters - I'm open to the possibility of having twins (Kate, if you read this, don't groan, I know I'm naive, but well the way I've been feeling lately, and instant family of five kids might well be worth the hard slog for me).... This one was a hard one to do, and I found myself putting it face down as I worked on the other panels because I didn't want to be in Dave's face about it, but by the end of the evening I had thought myself out of that hole - this is my dream, he already knows that. I have to be honest with him about it. As I told him last week, the one of us who wants their dream more will get it, and somehow the other one will come to an acceptance of that and be happy to support the person with the strongest dream. It could equally be me coming to an acceptance of no more children, as him coming to an acceptance of more children, only time will tell, but right now I'm holding fast to that dream!

I've put my chosen names at the top of the panel.

Sóley Dís, pron. So-lay Deese - nn. Sóley or Lea (Lay-a) Meaning, Sun-Luck-Goddess

Sóldís Mist, pron. Sole-Deese Mist - nn. Dísa (Deesa) Meaning, Sun-Goddess-Lost (Mist was one of the Goddesses who turned the wheel that opened the dorr to Valhalla)

I do realise the names seem very similar, and they are for good reason, I love both names Sóley and Sóldís for they meanings, they connection to the Sun and the meaning of Luck and Goddess. Because I just love the sound of the name Sóley, I have to use that, but I also love the nn. Dísa (meaning Goddess), so I wanted to be able to use that too if I did happen to have twin girls... Don´t ask me about my fixation on twin girls, I´ve had that since well before ever having children -maybe I was one of twin girls in a past life!



This panel has to do with the material things I am ordering for my life - I really like the concept of placing orders to the Universe. The idea that when you make a statement about your perception of the world, you are in fact placing an order for how you want the world to be. So, this is my order. Dave and I are going to get our 7 seater car, and I can really feel this one is already coming together, which is very exciting! We are also going to get a new freezer-fridge to replace our old-new one which died about three months ago now. While we don´t need a new washing machine immediately it is also a priority as our current washing machine stalls all the time and is a major cause for frustration because of that. The hard one for me to wrap my head around, but I´m working on it, is manifesting a family trip to Iceland. I would like the trip to be for Dave, myself and the kids, but also for my mum and stepdad and for my brother if he wants to come along. I know my mum would REALLY love to get to Iceland (probably more than me), and so I would like to be able to do that for her and soon!

I´d completed those three sections of this panel pretty easily, and only after a bit of thought realised that financial freedom was the key to all of this. Clearing away our debt and organising some savings was key to realising these goals, so have added Financial Freedom to the panel as well.


This panel about our house was what began the work on the Vision Board. After finding that house yesterday, and realising how close we are to finding the perfect place at the perfect time, I decided to grasp that feeling and put it on paper so I can remind myself daily of what we are working towards. At this point this is a rental property, because it is something we want this year. I´ve liquified where I stated what suburb I´m manifesting. Each star represents a detail the house has to have. In large letters at the bottom I´ve written AFFORDABLE. I also thought I was clever because I remembered to put 'In a quiet street with NICE neighbours'!



The final panel I finished last night has to do with mine and Dave´s relationship. Rekindling the relationship we had in the first couple of years of being together, as in the sexual connection we had then. We have a pretty close connection now, which is affectionate, but unfortunately there is just no sex - but even as I speak the Universe is shifting to change that so that we again regain the connection we used to have!

This is the board all put together. The space at the top is going to be filled with My Work. That is my Master of Writing, the book I´m developing, and the Theta work I want to get into practicing...

So, there you go, lots of exciting things will be happening in my life in the not too distant future!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I'm in a writing mood, so bear with me...

Ok, so I thought, to get myself out of my doldrums, I'd have a look on realestate.com.au for properties in the area we need to move to in the next six months, or less. I'm looking for these specifics...

Must be within 15 minutes walk of the school.
Must have three good sized bedrooms, or minimum two large bedrooms and a study.
Must have large lounge/dining or a seperate family room.
Must have storage (i.e. a garage or waterproof shed for all our crap, LOL).
Must have good (neat) back yard.

Preferably an airconditioner or ceiling fans.
Preferably a light kitchen with lots of benchspace.
Preferably under $300 a week - though I'm visualising a place we can afford, which might simply mean we're earning more by then.
Preferably managed by the same real estate agency we're with now (one of the better ones we've encountered!).

So, anyway, haven't had much luck finding any suitable place in this area in the past 6 weeks or so of looking. Then this morning I found a GREAT place! Managed by our REA and has the following features:

Located in a quiet cul-de-sac this three bedroom family home is nestled amongst the trees and offers a quiet existence. The home comprises spacious lounge/dining with gas heating, kitchen with gas stove, family room, 3 bedrooms all with built in robes, storage room under house and carport parking for 2 cars. The home is also close to parks and schools. Full garden maintenance included.
This place is great! Three bedroom, two with built in robes! Lounge/dining AND family room. The double carport means a place for the boys to rollerblade and skateboard. The garden is lovely with tall eucalypts. There isn't any airconditioning, or fans that I could see, but it's it's well within our pricerange, an the space under the house means the house would generally be cooler anyway in summer. The best bit is how close it is to the school, and how it's in a quiet cul-de-sac (and from the map it looks like it's at the end of the cul-de-sac, too!

Ok, so this house is available in 2.5 weeks, and we're not particularly likely to be needing to move in that time frame, but this is EXACTLY the kind of place I'm visualising, and now I know this kind of place CAN come up! It's very encouraging! Oh and full garden maintainence included means we'd save 50 bucks a month...

Ruminating on Family...

Dave and I have such different experiences of family. Not as in, his are all negative and mine are all positive, but as in despite the "issues" my family have here and there, there is cohesion, whereas when his family has had issues there hasn't been cohesion, and people have just stopped talking to one another and being in one another's lives.

My family is also a lot larger than his.

So, he can't understand where I'm coming from when it comes to family, which is the base for a couple of our own issues. After watching that DVD last night, I came to a couple of realisations about myself. My identity is very strongly based in my sense of family - I wonder if that is true for everyone, I'm assuming it isn't, but maybe it is? - and particularly in relation to my mother's family, which I feel very strong bonds with.

As I've mentioned before, when I was about 10 months old, I went and lived with my mum's family for about 10 months. This is because my parents were living on a farm that wasn't really suitable for an infant - it didn't have adequate heating, I don't think. So, I lived on the next farm with my grandparents and mum's 6 brothers and sisters (maybe only 5 of them, my uncle may have already been married by then, I think)... I coslept with my grandparents, and so I think I formed a very strong bond with them. My mum's youngest sister would have only been about 6 at the time, and her other two sisters would have been 8 and 9, so I very much was just the "littlest sister"... I would have been sorrounded by a lot of family!

Then we moved to Australia. We lived near Dad's family, his parents and his five siblings, the youngest of which was also only 5 years older than me. I used to spend whole weekends at Nanna's house with all my Dad's siblings.

Then we moved back to Iceland and back to Mum's family. We didn't live with them, but we lived in the same town of just over 1000 residents.

Then Dad took us back to Australia and this time left my brother and I at his parents place for nearly three months while he went back to Iceland to be with mum who had had to stay behind to have an operation on her knee and for financual reasons. Michael and I had to be wholly reliant on Dad's family.

So, basically more people meant more safety.

Then we moved to Whyalla in SA. We had no family there are all. That was also when things started to go downhill in my parents relationship - from my perspective, I should add, I don't know what the internal workings of their relationship really were, only they can know that.

We lived there for a few years, and occassionally we'd drive the long drive to Wollongong in NSW to visit Dad's family, and once in a while someone from Dad's family would come and visit us. Dad's middle brother, Paul, came to live with us for a couple of months at one stage. I loved him to pieces! Having other family members living with us always made the house seem happier.

So, back to now. Watching that DVD last night reminded me of all of that. I tried to explain to Dave this morning how I felt like our kids were missing all of the family togetherness, but he said it was natural to see something as emotive as that DVD that takes out all the dull and negative moments of family gathers, leaving just the fun and togetherness. Seriously, I know I'm romanticising it a bit, but not that much, there actually is a lot of cohesion in my mum's family. There is a lot of other stuff that goes on too, but basically, they're all close, and I miss that.

So, then, of course, I realise, I'm trying to create that here, in our family. But for me it's all very closely linked to have a BIG family. More people means more cohesion, more options, more chances of having someone to go to when you're not getting along with someone else. More people to share the happy and sad moments with.

I think about when Dave's parents die, this thought haunts me quite a bit. There will only be us, only the boys and I to comfort Dave, and we don't know his family at all, we can't share his childhood memories with him. He is not close with any of his cousins, he has four cousins, but never sees any of them, so when his parents die, it'll just be him with his memories and no one to reminisce with. That may not be at all important to him, I don't know, he never talks about it.

My boys have no direct cousins. Dave has no siblings, of course, and I only have Michael, who has no children, and isn't likely to ever have children. I worry that when my boys grow up, their only family will be each other. Are three people enough? This is when I think I need to have a bunch more kids. I don't care how hard the intermediate years would be, because I need to ensure my kids have enough family when they're older. I know this is probably very irrational. I'm not arguing that it isn't.

Maybe it's better they don't have the big family experience. Then they won't know what they're missing. Dave certainly doesn't think he's missing anything. He's happy enough on his own, I think. Maybe I'm just transferring too much...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Feeling so homescik...

Dave reminded me yesterday that I hadn't watched the two DVDs my uncle sent us last year from my Amma's funeral and the wake afterwards. Tonight, there was nothing on tv, and rather than watching some half-baked movie (The Mexican), Dave suggested we watch one of the DVDs. I decided we should watch the second one, which was a compilation of photos from the wake because I don't feel ready to watch the funeral yet.

I watched the DVD twice. The first time I watched it, it was with excitement, spotting all the relatives I haven't seen since at least 1988, and trying to recognise my various cousins (there are 15 on that side of the family), some of whom I haven't met, some I haven't seen in person since they were three or four (my cousin Inga did come to visit us here when Erik and Luey were about 2.75 and 9 months old)...

There were photos from one of the towns I lived in, though it's changed a lot, and I felt filled with happiness and the fun of seeing old faces again...

The second time I watched it, I realised there was a great big hole in the family, both my grandparents are dead now, and so essentially I was watching 6 new orphans (mum not being in the DVD) and their families adjusting to life without the matriarch. My Aunty Helga, the youngest of mums siblings and the one who was closest to Amma, was holding her newborn son (only 3+ weeks old at the time) and looked so lost.

Now I'm missing everyone so terribly. I just want to go there and hug everyone! I want to meet my cousins I haven't met yet, and I want the boys to know their family. I could have slotted into that wake so easily, I could have walked into the room and no one would have batted an eyelid, I still feel so close to everyone, all my aunts and uncles and most of my cousins.

It's so strange to be this far away from everyone for this long and still feel like they are my closest family, I can only imagine how much harder it was for mum to ward these DVDs and know she couldn't be there with her family. I can't bear the thought of the boys not knowing their family properly. I have to change that.

And the Universe shifts...

Storyboard my me, star element from Lisas "Brand New Day"

I'll be back to write more after I pick the boys up from school...

Ok, back to talk about the Universe shifting...

I finished my Master of Education at the end on 2002, when Luey was 18 months old. I was ready to get stuck into my next degree straight away, but Dave was completely worn out from my studies (ok, I wasn't exactly the easiest person to live with as a student)...

So, I promised I wouldn't do another degree for at least 5 years. So, I'm going to kind of cheat on that promise, as it'll be only 4.5 years since the end of that degree when I start my next degree - a Master of Writing - in July this year!!!

When I did my Theta session on Monday, I revealed that I wasn't ready to have that little girl just yet, but that once I was doing what I was supposed to be doing (other than having children), she would come along without any issues with Dave. At that time I asked to be aligned with the Continuum's understanding of what best would serve me right now. What I should be doing, and that I would be open to doing that. Here I sit four days later with the knowledge that in just a few weeks times I'll be embarking on that Master of Writing I've been looking for and wanting to do for several years now!

All week, I've been trying to open up to the idea that the Universe shifts to meet your desire, and that shift can be instantaneous. There is a part of me that thinks that's just a load of multidimensional bunkum, but um, well here I am in the middle of a Universal shift!

Gods, I'm so excited about being a student again, a Masters student. About getting back into writing, and about taking those first steps to getting my PhD!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The cleaning day...

It rained in Melbourne today, and in the spirit of looking for the positive, I was very happy for the opportunity to stay indoors and clean up! I put on Angelique Kidjo full volume and did the dishes, most of Bryn's clothes, most of my clothes, and some nappies that were growing fur in my dry pail (ick, ick, ick!!!)...

I tidied up Bryn's drawers so now Dave can actually find clothes for his son, and I came to the realisation that if I'm feeling a bit short on cash it's probably because Bryn and I have enough clothing to cloth a small village! As I said to Dave, if I buy any more clothing for either of us in the next 2 years, then I must be COMPLETELY INSANE!!! He just quietly agreed...

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...

All this time spent cleaning gave me a chance to mull over something that has been bothering me in the past couple of days... I was watching on of those morning shows yesterday morning, and Dr John Irvine (gosh, I don't like him!) was talking about a compillation of research about children and tv viewing. Apparently, there has been a huge growth in this area of research and the recent research is revealing some alarming trends in Child Brain Development in the wake of television becoming a fixture in every household over the past 60 years.

I've read a lot of the research, as part of my communications degree (some 15 years ago), but obviously there is a lot of new research I haven't read. Part of this has shown that while the visual parts of the human brain seem to be developing BETTER than before, there is a marked decline in the development of the parts of the brain relating to LISTENING skills. In fact, having the tv on constantly is apparently teaching children to TUNE OUT, and so professionals such as teachers are seeing that children actually don't possess the listening skills of previous generations...

I can totally see how this could be true. I have often boasted that my own children will have the tv on but not actually watch it, not really take any notice of it at all as they go about their playing. I thought this was a good thing, because it reflected how they weren't "tv obsessed". However, simultaneously I've often lammented that my boys just don't seem to be able to process what they are told. That they don't seem to be able to LISTEN with attention, particularly Erik. Now, of course, I'm left wondering how I might have contributed to this.

That said, Erik didn't watch any television until he was two. Luey grew up watching tv (he was born 11 days before Erik turned two, you see).... Bryn LOVES his Thomas dvd, and his Brum dvd, and would happily watch those all day, if I'd let him. He PESTERS me for them when they're not on. He PESTERS me to have the tv on in the background, and Dave and I have (pathetically) joked how he believes the tv is another family member, whom he misses when s/he is not on...

Deep in my being I know television is not a positive force in our society. There has never been a god who's alter the family sat at for hours a day, just starring. If you think, objectively (it's hard, I know) about what a tv is and how we (our society) worships the box, it's actually quite alarming. And yet, I, very personally, find the allure of the box almost completely impossible to ignore. Right now, as I type, I sit alone in the loungeroom, I'm at the dining table typing, but the tv is on, broadcasting it's message to an empty room, but I can't bring myself to turn it off and just sit in the silence. That's not good.

People say tv is not the problem, it's how people use their tvs, but seriously, a tv is not like a book, or a game, or even people, you take out occassionally, or visit occassionally, and then put away or come away from. Televisions are like paintings that entire rooms are furnished around! People decide where the tv is going FIRST and then furnish the room around the best position from which to see and hear the tv. We don't control television, it controls us, whether we believe it or not.

It's not the same with computers, or stereos, or any other electronic equipment that we USE. People don't use television that way, people have a relationship with television which is like that of another person. It really is scary how television has taken over the world in the 60 years that it has been around, and how parents are at war with their televisions over the best interests of their children!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nice things...

Been meaning to post this since yesterday...

The second pair of minkee pants I ordered from Tinyroo arrived yesterday...

Aren't they lovely? So silky soft, and Bryn is such a little bovver boy in them!

But the big surprise was there was a second pair in the post pak! I was a bit confused at first because I certainly had only ordered and paid for one pair! Turns out Jacqui is doing a promotion next week, buy two pair, get a third for free, and she saw fit to extend the offer to my order because I'd ordered two pair this past week - I love them so much! So, how nice was that!!!



The third pair was powder blue, and because I like a bit of flair in Bryn's clothes, I decided to add my own trim of "shark tooth" beads down the outside leg. The beads "clatter" and "jingle" as he walks and he loves them. The pants are a tad long (because I always order a bit of extra length so pants will last, hehehe)...

Clever, aren't I?

The other lovely thing was that I watched the Oprah special about "The Secret" tonight, and it left me with such a warm feeling - I got a much better feel for the spirit of the people interviewed on the DVD.

Tonight's show also illuminated for me a couple of things I need to look at.

One is that I do tend to look at what is "wrong" now and how I'm going to fix it (which implies it will be fixed in the future). This instead of being greatful that which I have now. I'm thinking, in particular, about my body image. I've been playing with this idea in the past week or so, so a couple of you will recognise what I'm going to say next.

I used to be 113kg, I used to be a size 22-24. Back then I used to think how great I'd feel when I was a size 14. So anyway, now I wear a lot of size 12, but I've discovered that, if anything, I'm MORE critical of myself now. MORE careful about what I wear. MORE concerned about looking "acceptable". In fact, I think, in many ways, I love myself less now that I'm that magical size 14 (and less). I'd realised just recently how wrong that really was, how unhealthy that was. At this point, I should be really pleased with myself. I should be wearing the flowing garments I love so much, but instead I'm worried those things will make me look FAT! (which, oddly enough never worried me when I was fat!)

I need to love my body as it is NOW. I am beautiful, in many ways, but unless I really feel that, others won't be able to see it, because that which makes me truly beautiful - that radiant light from within, can't shine through the fog of self-criticism I'm swathing myself in...

So, now I'm celebrating my beauty! I'm celebrating my strength, my nurturing, my wisdom, my body and my spirit! I'm grateful for being energy in a sea of energy, sparkling fragments of light!

The other thing is remembering to let go so I can receive. To look at what I may be holding onto that is filling my hands so I cannot grasp new things in my life!

Dave: AKA Classroom Helper Extraordinaire...

Today Dave ventured into Erik's class as a classroom helper. I have to say, he is braver than me! I'm awfully shy about the idea of going into the boys' classes... Erik had let us off the hook early in the year by saying he really didn't want us to be classroom helpers, but just recently he'd changed his mind. Because I have Bryn, who, no doubt would be a distraction in the classroom, I'd said I really couldn't come into the classroom. So, Dave offered to do the job.

I projected a bit of anxiety onto Dave (my own performance anxiety), but you know what? Dave had a ball! I'd thought he might be a bit out of his element, being that he isn't all that into kids, but he REALLY enjoyed himself and has been relating anecdotes to me since I got home! He says, some of the kids in the class were so sweet, he felt if you blew gently on them they're just float away... Some spoke in such soft voices he couldn't possibly hear them, and had to get down on his knees to get close enough (quite a committment on his arthritic part!)...

He said NOTHING gets past Mrs P (the teacher of the other class that shares the double room, the teacher I had instantly liked at orientation and had WISHED one of my kids would end up get - she has a great pressence, but is simultaneously gentle and respectful with the kids)... He said Ms B. was much quieter and he sensed this was because she was quite a bit younger, and the kids were far more informal around her.

He was immediately set to task by Mrs P. cutting stuff out while the kids did a listening activity. Then he was set up at a table helping some kids write out clues about sea creatures. He was really buzzing about the kids work, his whole face so light up. He thought their various writing forms were fascinating, and seeing all the differing skill levels too...

I think this classroom helper thing is great for Dave. It's been 30 years since he was in a classroom, and so this is a great opportunity for him see how things work now, and to gain an understanding of the experiences Erik and Luey have...

I'm most impressed with how excited he was about the experience, he really got into it! I'm very proud of him - oh and there was a mum from the other class also helping, and she was really pleased to see "a dad" in the classroom! I hope this is something we can do again...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Vic Markets

Ah, today the lovely Jen invited me along on a trip to the Vic Markets. Haven´t been there in 10 years, and honestly couldn´t remember the place at all, but what a treasure trove! I could have spent a couple of hundred EASILY!

Things I would have bought included...

Embroidered linen table runner for the dining table
Embroider silk shawl with Lotus flowers on it, BEATIFUL!!!
Embroidered handbag!
Red leather wallet/purse
Browny/red leather fidora hat - soooo nice!
Painted wooden spiral decoration thingy
LARGE silver jewellry box
Several tops from this clothing store full of those stretchy hippy looking clothes

So many nice things...

So, instead I bought Bryn this el cheapo mechanical "bouncing" Kangaroo, LOL...

Also got some lovely caramels form a lollyshop. Had my first ever Cannoli! And of course, a good ol' chat about everything and nothing...

Poor old Dave called me about 1/2 hour before we were going to leave. He sounded like shit. Has a throat infection, and wanted to know if I was going to be home to pick up the kids from school, because he was thinking of popping into work. I talked him out of going to work, so he's going to watch Bryn while I pick the boys up (which really makes picking them up easy for me)...

Oh, I bought some organic apples too, a brand I've never heard of before; Pippins (very LOTR, hey?)... REALLY super crisp flesh, slight pearish flavour, but more tart. Really, really like them, even though they're $1 EACH (sheesh, I really can't afford organic)... I wish I could get out to the markets more. I'm sure if I made the effort I could get out there while the boys were are school, but Bryn in the ergo, take the trolley with me... Maybe I should think about doing it...

Monday, May 14, 2007

My Theta Healing...

So, Sally came along this morning to do my Theta session.

She started by putting some Frankincense on her hands and holding the soles of my bare feet. Got me to breathe slowing and consentration on my heart place (heart chakra)...

After a little while of meditating, she asked me if there was something specific I wanted to work on. I said I was just trying to stay open. So, she says two things came to her; I (meaning me) am extensively self-educated, but also I'm a teacher.

So, we talked about that, me teaching, and also how I needed to trust the process, because I've been held back by the concern that either people wouldn't respect me, or that I wouldn't have the right level of integrity and be projecting too much of myself...

Then she asked if there was any one thing I could change in my life what would that thing be. I said it would be Dave's attitude towards having another baby. Then I said, maybe it was me who needed to change how I thought because I didn't want to make him change...

Anyway, through a series of questions, mostly consisting of, "What is the worst thing about feeling X", Sally delved deeper and deeper into my issues... Over and over again things came back to being a failure, things falling apart, being abandoned, being alone in the dark. So strange because I've always associated the dark with safety, but then it turns out I'm afraid of the light, of being exposed, of frightening people.

So, we worked on removing old thought patterns and attuning myself to the "Source's" perspective on these issues...

All along the way, she did this kinesiology test where she would have me place my thumb and index finger against one another and she would attempt to pull them away from one another, asking me to resist. At first she tested with simple "yes" (I could hold the fingers together) and "no" (I couldn't resist her pulling them away from one another)... Then she had me make statements like, "My name is Sif" (she couldn't pull my fingers apart), or "My name is Sue" (she could easily pull my fingers apart)...

Then she had me make other statements:

"I am drowning in some way" - yes (this was after me saying how I don't like drinking water because I feel like I'm drowning, and she was thinking perhaps I drowned in a past life, or experieced some trauma involving water)...

"In the dark I am alone" - no

"I am alone" - yes (so, obviously, I don't necessarily associate feeling alone with darkness)...

"I fear light" - no

"I fear being exposed in the light" yes..

That sort of thing...

After much delving which meant a lot to me, including her reciting word for word a statement I've made a few dozen times to Dave in recent months, but which I can't remember much of specifically, the session came to an end, with her testing to see if my issues were resolved, and they were (yesses all 'round)...

She asked if I was ready to have a baby now and the answer came back, No...

She asked if I would have a baby girl when I had opened up and balanced out and the timing was right and the answer came back, Yes...

She was saying it seemed like I needed to do more work on the teaching as it would create balance, and perhaps once Dave saw that the baby was not just being slotted in to meet some other need, his resistence would fall away... This is completely in line with all the stuff I've gotten back about not questioning the process and letting go...

Right at the end, she was just finishing up and asked if she could ask for me to be open to receiving nutrients and vitamins for my body and health from ALL foods without worry or guilt - I thought that was an interesting addendum considering I'd mentioned nothing about food or dieting or guilt, but it had been on my mind a lot lately...

She did a liquid crystal reading for me, and two cards dropped out of the deck before I got a chance to draw a card, they were pyrite and Ily-something or other. Anyway, the second one was about embracing past lives...

She also, at some point made some reference to my GGG Grandad, which I thought was amusing seeing as I'd only just been talking about him, for the first time in about a decade, yesterday - she was saying something about his legacy... She tested to see if he was one of my guides, but he isn't. I'm quite happy with that, hahaha...

I'm really keen to learn more about Theta therapy. I'd like to do the courses coming up in June, if I can organise for Dave to be home on the Friday. The courses are long days though 9am to 6pm; friday, saturday and sunday... We'll see...

Teenagers and the failing parent...