Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007!

Dave asked me this morning if I'd achieved everything I'd set out to achieve this year, and quite honestly i could say, yes I had, and more!

Ok, so I'm about 22kg heavier than I was this time last year, but honestly my weight wasn't really a priority for me this year. The things I REALLY wanted to happen this year, that I thought were just fanciful dreams a year ago included:

* Dave and I resuming some sort of relaxed, not forced, sexual relations again, after having a platonic relationship since Bryn's conception.

* Me becoming a better, more respectful parent towards the boys.

* Starting my Masters degree in Writing, though a year ago, I thought that would probably not happen until 2008.

* Reduce my CC debt massively.

* Convince Dave to ttc baby #4.

I've achieved all those things, much to even my own amazement and amusement at times!

Something wonderful happened yesterday, but it kind of upended my world a little bit at the same time, and reminded me of how much more work I need to do with myself.

I got up late thanks to Dave letting me have a sleep in while he occupied the kids. So, I crawled out of bed at about 11.30am and had a decaf, and then called Leah and chatted for a while (and you all know how I like to chat), and so then I got off the phone at about 1pm, and went into the loungeroom. Bryn wanted a feed, so we were all just sitting around in the loungeroom, hanging out, and we see someone watching up along our front porch. We had no idea who it might, but I thought it could be the handyman coming to finish off the front gate. Dave answered the door.

I heard him say, "Oh! Hi! Wow, this is unexpected" and then I heard the familiar voice of my dad...

I immediately leapt up and deposited a confused Bryn on the floor (definitely no breastfeeding in front of my dad), and kind of stood to attention. Of course, I've been fastidiously spending these holidays keeping the house tidy but because I'd been in bed all morning and the boys (including Dave) had been hanging out without me, there was crap everywhere, and I was still in my pyjamas!

So, dad comes in and I say to Dave, "You take Bryn, I'm getting dressed". I tell Erik to put some clothes on as well, as he's standing there in his undies. Then after I'm dressed, I quickly dress Bryn (yes, we're one of THOSE families, who only dress for EXPECTED guests, or to leave the house). Then I come back out and we chat for a few minutes before I tell dad we only have decaf coffee and skim milk, at which point he says he'll have to go to the shops and get some real coffee and milk then. So he leaves again.

While he's out I whip Dave into a cleaning frenzy with me, and luckily the mess was only superficial. By the time Dad is back we're all but finished the dishes and the house is neat.

Dad stayed for about 3.5 hours, I guess, and we just had coffees and chatted about a bunch of things, politics, work, computers, cameras, that sort of thing. It was good. It was weird though. I mean the last time I saw Dad was about 5 years ago, and the time before that was 3 years ago. In the intervening 5 years since his last visit I've spoken to him on the phone maybe three times... Then all of a sudden he calls on Christmas day and then shows up on our doorstep five days laters after a 3.5 hour drive from Albury.

I have to tell you, part of me is wondering if he's just discovered he's got some sort of cancer and is going to die in six months time or something. I guess I'm mistrusting the sudden interest in us all...

But it was really nice to see him.

I was a bit upset though because right at the end of the visit I wanted to get some photos of him with the family and Luey was being as contrary as he can be sometimes. I don't think it was because he didn't like my Dad so much as to have a go at me for not giving him something he wanted yesterday. Then Dad shook Erik and Bryn's hands (which is actually very affectionate for my dad) and Luey point blank refused, and Dad stood there with his hand outstretched for a while, and then tried again later, but Luey wasn't having a bar of it... I felt kind of bad for Dad, but also embarrassed thinking he might judge me or the boys based on Luey's behaviour. I don't know.

Family dynamics are so weird aren't they?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mind what you manifest aka ARGH!!!!

Ok, this is getting beyond a joke now...

I'm typing this on Dave's computer because my computer suddenly decided to die overnight. That's right. I was working FINE last night. Then I put it away and this morning it won't even turn on. I thought it might be the cable (there are a couple chinks in the protective coating stuff, so went to Dick Smiths this morning to get a new one (hang the $100 cost, because quite frankly, I'm going a bit mad here without my net time)... Got them to test the cable instore, and nope that wasn't the issue.

Of course, today is Saturday, so when I tried to call the warranty people to find out where to take the computer for a once over (THANK GOD for extended warranty!!!), they politely told (via a nice lady message) to ring back on Monday after 9am... What is it with people NOT working 24/7 when you need them???

So, looks like I'm going to be sans computer for a while longer.

Ok, so Dave does have a computer and I can use that (on and off, because he isn't really keen to give it up either, which I totally get), but the thing is, I can't access my Fertility Friend account because I can't remember the account number, grrrr... So, I can't get FF to tell me if I O'd or not, and even though I can probably work it out myself (I do know how all that stuff works after all these years), I just like the reassurance of FF confirming what I can see for myself...

And also I'm REALLY worried now that if they fix my computer it might be at the cost of all my files... Can I just say 7000 PHOTOS... I've been trying to get them backed up for like three weeks now, but it just hadn't happened for lack of the right kind of writeable disk or the money to buy them...

Ok, Universe, I know I was the one who said I needed to spend a helluva lot less time on the net. and YES, I DEFINITELY want a daughter, but GEEZ, this is a bit harsh, don't you think??? I've ordered that negative ionizer for my computer, so do you think I could get my computer back now INTACT????

PLEASE!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Whoa, Christmas!!!

OMG! I've been in enforced internet exile for about a week.

I manifested it for sure! I said that from Friday last week I would NOT be getting on the computer very much at all because the computer emitts positive ions, and that's contraindicated for conceiving a girl... So, I finished my studies and every and packed up my computer. Mum rings because she needs Michael's travel details for the next day and I check those, and say to her I'm doing her a special favour because I'm determined NOT to get on the computer much for the next few weeks, and WHAMMO, the next morning we no longer have any access! I know this because DAVE wanted to get on the net to check something at work, and couldn't. We contacted Telstra and the problem was definitely at our end, but they said they'd send someone out by the 28th (today).

So, true to their world a guy turns up today and give us a new modem (apparently we were still under warranty FOUR YEARS after they gave us our last modem, rofl)... Then we had some sort of issue with the reuter not recognising the new modem but somehow that got fix (I still don't know what I did)... And here I am.

After two hours on the net catching up, I'm developing a nice headache, so have to get off this thing soon, but just wanted to catch up quickly on Christmas.

I don't have any photos because my memory is full, apparently, and I need to archive my pics onto disks - I do take a lot of photos... So, photos will come later...

First up, we got a nice surprise when a handy man turned up on Christmas Eve (our Christmas) to hang new gates on our front fence. So, visitors... We now have PINE gates, not the old reddish brown wood ones...

Ok, the boys all got lego for their presents and that was an absolute HIT!

Erik got Mars Mission, and Jen, he loves it, and put the pack together BY HIMSELF, without our help!!! We were pretty surprised by that! The booklet was quite thick and some of the pics were visually very complex. There were no words to read of course, which was probably a bonus to Erik. Anyway, Dave had assembled Luey's for him (over a period of about 3-4 hours, and Luey had a somewhat simpler pack, rofl), but had run out of time to do Erik's on Christmas day because we had to go to the inlaws. By the time we got home it was bedtime for the boys, and so poor Erik had to wait until Boxing Day and obviously couldn't wait for us to get up. LOL, so by the time Dave dragged himself out of bed at about 7.30am, Erik had built the entire vehicle, plus the alien fighter thingy!

We were pretty impressed! He's obviously a 3D construction savant of some kind, hahaha!

The boys also loved the flat balls we got them, and the felt tips and pads for Erik and Luey and the BTB tshirt for Bryn.

The Mp4s I ordered for them from Hong Kong arrived today, and tonight I'm going to charge them and load on some music and they'll get those tomorrow - I'm so excited!!! Bryn will then get him Hi-5 dvds - he'll LOVE those!

Dave and I got each other a DVD each (The Devil Wears Prada for me, and The Illusionist for Dave).

At Dave's parent's place we were all thoroughly spoiled, as per usual, with the boys getting a hoard of books, games, and sundry others, and Dave and I getting an upright blender (like for fruit smoothies) as well as a bottle of wine each and chocolates/shortbread. They also gave us all bits of money ($5 per child, and $50 per adult) and I've already spent mine on clothes... Rofl...

Christmas dinner here at home was a complete success, and afternoon tea on Christmas Day at the inlaws was scrumptious; with various toppiings on crackers, voilevonts (sp?), mince pies and cream, merange birdsnests with fruitsalad and yogurt, teacake, and more (omg, it was supposed to be easier on MIL than making the full lunch, but I'm not sure it was)...

Oh, and to top it all off, when we got back from the IL's there was a message on our phone from MY DAD... Yes, that's right, the old man actually called me! The last time we talked was when Bryn was about three months old. I'd tried to call him a number of times since then but never gotten through... So, now I have his new mobile number, whoo hoo!

And a new modem isn't a bad thing either!

So, it's been a great week!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

School reports, and such like...

Jen just reminded me that the boys got their reports from school on Friday.

Erik's was great, no so much the level he was working at, as the mini essay written by his teacher. He is at the lowest expected level for reading in grade (grade 1 - as if he started school aged 6). Writing was the same level as reading. Stats, probability and chance were below the minimum expected level but everything else was at the top end of the expected level for his grade, which is fantastic considering he has only been at school for one school year where as the other kids in his grade have been at school for twice as long! (and he had no instruction whatsoever at home)...

His teacher said he was an excellent group leader in class and took a lot of pride in that role. She said he was an enthusiastic participant in class discussions. She said that with his reading, it is his lack of concentration that is holding him down, but if he could focus just bit better he would excel! The report from her was just really positive and she said she looked forward to having him in her class next year.

Luey's report had him at the top end of all his grade level work, which was great (he was a preppie this year, starting at the average age of 5). In her usual critical way, Luey's teacher managed to slip in little comments about him needing to learn class rules and concentrating better. I take all of that with a grain of salt for two reasons. First, I know she does not have realistic expectations of 6 year old boys, and secondly, he IS keeping up with his work, and keeping up WELL!

We found out who Luey's teacher will be for next year, and HALLELUJA! it's one of the teachers on our list of preferences.

Erik is at the top of his grade in art, and Luey is showing a lot of talent in sport despite his small stature!

The best thing I read on both the boys reports though was that they both enjoy learning and are enthusiastic participants in their classrooms! Can't ask for more than that!

Revelations about the process of writing...

Well, this week I've discovered that how I write now has change considerably from how I used to write back in the nineties when I was writing for my Bachelor degree.

Back then I used to plot out everything, I usually started with the end of a story and then worked my way toward the end. Before I started I "created" my characters. Their appearance, their names, their environment, their actions and the motivations behind the actions. That was all worked out before I even started.

Things have changed!

For the last couple of years of the nineties, and the last 7 years of the naughties, I've mostly writing academic stuff; essays and the like. I had started to doubt if I even had any stories to tell, and if I could remember how to tell them.

Well, it turns out there are stories in me. I don't know how many, and I can't tell you what they are about.

I discovered this because I had to write 4000 words of a young adult novel for my Writing for Children unit. At first I thought I'd write about a young girl who's parents were "tree hugging hippies" and how this affected how the other kids treated her at school. But then her school was at risk of being shut down unless there was some way to prove the school HAD to stay open, and to get some more funds running into the school. The girl comes up with the school applying for an environmental program grant, and to do that they need to show that they intend to make their school environmentally friendly and even a resource for the town. Through the knowledge this girl gets from her parents and their friend, the kids at school increase the school's energy efficiency, start their own organic garden and compost production, and recycling system for water. The school wins the grant and the Govenment is forced to keep the school open. The girl's reputation at the school is transformed from tree hugging hippie chick to school hero!

Ah, but something about the story didn't appeal to me (probably the fact that I had to do a bit of research, pmsl)... So, instead I went with a story about a boy who finds a box in a forest and along side it he finds a tiny little key. He opens the box hoping to find treaure, but the box is empty. Then two men come along and demand the box off him. He decides the box is important in some way and maybe if he can find out how he can benefit in some way from that knowledge. It turns out the box belongs to a girl who is living with her adopted parents. Her mother is dead, but her father is still alive, but hasn't stayed in contact with her. The boy understands what it is like to be rejected by a father because his own father left him and his mum and sister when his sister was a baby. So, he encourages the girl to write to her father, then they discover her adopted dad has intecepted the letter, so the boy decides to deliver it himself. The adoptive dad sends to men after the boy and they try to drown him. Thinking they've succeeded they leave him, and he is discovered by a farmhand. He eventually gets to the girls father and the father and daughter are reunted.

Other stuff happens along the way, but I don't want to go into all of that here (you just never know who might steal the idea, hahaha)...

Anyway, I started out with the scene in the forest with the boy finding the box. I didn't know where it would go from there but somehow the story just unravelled itself in front of me as I went along. I'd already mentioned that the boy didn't have a father but at that stage I didn't know the girl thought her father had abandoned her, too. It felt like the characters were telling the story and I was just transcribing it for them! It was amazing, I was getting to know the characters as they revealed themselves to me AS I WROTE.

I finihed the first two chapters (which was all I needed to do for the assignment) and then I needed to write a synopsis of the entire story for submission, and that's when I found out how the story ended. I'd finished the assignment without actually knowing what happened beyond the boy encouraging the girl to write to her father again...

Actually, when I started this blog, I didn't know how the hippy chick story was going to end either, all I knew what that there was this girl with hippy parents who had to somehow become "cool at school" and the rest came to me as I wrote it here, just ten minutes ago...

Who knew! I might just be a writer after all!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Bodacious Bryn

After his shower yesterday, Bryn was just looking so gorgeous I had to snap off a few pics...


Only after I reviewed the pics on my camera did I realise that DESPITE only having JUST gotten out of the shower, he'd managed to smear snot across his face... That's my boy!!!


This is him doing his impression of Santa, hahaha!

And I was looking and saw all these OTHER faces in his pictures... With different expressions he looks like Erik, or my brother Michael, or Luey, it's amazing how the family resemblance is so broad!

Erik aged nearly two...


I have a better likeness of Michael to that picture of Bryn above (from when Michael was about 2.5, but it's not on this computer...)




This last photo is not connected to the one of Luey, it just so happens that in this one, Bryn has his hand over his eye, he was playing peek-a-boo...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pronoia - A Conspiracy of Miracles...

I was just introduced to this idea :).

I like it!

Instead of viewing the world around me as a conspiracy against my happiness, I can imagine the world as a conspiracy of miracles creating happiness in my life!

Today I've had the joy of giving something to someone else, something I had in surplus and she was about to run out of, and would find difficulty getting more of! Being able to help someone else really makes me happy!

My mum has done the essay I'm really struggling with, and this morning she is sending me her essay to look at so I can get some idea of what the lecturers are looking for. She got a HD in the essay, so it will be a really good guide to my own research (I'm using different literature texts).

It's going to be stinky hot in South Australia in January, so mum has suggested we postpone out trip until Easter because they don't have any airconditioning. This means I don't have to worry about slipping off my girl diet just a couple of weeks before our attempt, yay!

This weekend I realised it really is in Luey's best interested to change classes and get some space away from his best mate. It is also a really good idea for us to have his mate over here for visits so we can monitor their interactions and guide their friendship.

We're going to enjoy a nice simple Christmas this year with a strong emphasis on family togetherness and fun.

AH, the info. from mum arrived and YAY! now the essay makes sense, and I know I can write and probably finish it tonight, whoo hoo!

It will all be FINE! Pronoia, think about it!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Anger again...

I've encountered a bit of anger again this week. Not directed at me, thankfully. It was misdirected anger.

I think anger is a natural human emotion which serves a very important purpose. All anger is derived from fear, and fear often warns us that something is wrong. Something needs to change. Many people seem to get stuck with the anger phase of implementing change though. Some people are simply not equipped to effect change without anger in place to motivate them because other fears also play part. Fear of not being liked is a big one I've noticed.

When I was a child, I experienced a lot of anger that was based in the fear of not being accepted or liked. My mother could not effect change without anger. An example of this was when Erik was a newborn. Our relationship wasn't great. I didn't let her have him over at her house on her own. When Erik was nearly 6 months old she and s-dad decided, over one weekend, to move interstate because they'd been interstate on a trip and loved it. However, mum couldn't make that move without starting an argument with me and blaming my not letting her have Erik for her move. Her just wanting a change wasn't enough motivation for the move, she had to move out of anger towards me.

So, anyway, I've seen people being "righteously" angry this week, and it's reminded me about the fear-anger dynamic and how anger is like some medicines, good in small doses, just enough to kill of the threat, but poisonous in large doses, or taken over extended periods of time - and quite addictive, too...

Anger frightens people becasue it poses a threat, the threat may be a counterthreat to ward of danger initially, but eventually it's just threatening and just create's more fear, anger and opposition.

I find it very sad when angry people don't get why people react badly to them. It's even sadder when they feed of other people's rejection of them and become more angry, more sure they must be right to be angry, and more difficult to be around. Eventually they become a selffulfilling prophecy, and the pattern of rejection they've experienced before continues.

Love is far more powerful than anger. Just like how a strong wind can be fierce and blow a man's coat off, it can also cause a man to cling to his coat all the harder, while the sun without raging can convince a man to willingly remove his coat of his own volition...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Curious...

I just read a thread in the multiples section of EB where a mum was asking about HCG levels, because hers were a little elevated, she was wondering if perhaps she might be carrying twins or even triplets.

I read one point of view that seemed offended at this mum-to-bes excitement over possibly having more than one baby in this pregnancy. The poster felt the mum was being flippant, and that, in fact, many women who pop into that section of the forums asking about the possibility of their pregnancy being a multiple pregnancy with great anticipation were in some sort of bad taste (my words here)...

I'm quite curious about this view.

I'm one of those terribly short sighted women who would LOVE to have twins. I've always wanted twins since I ever even wanted children. Why would that make me offensive to other people. The only thing I can come up with is that this twin mum has found her journey particularly difficult. Perhaps her babies have suffered a lot during the pregnancy and post partum? The thing is, does this give her the right to judge other women who want multiples?

Many people want experiences in their lives that come with the risk of hreat challenges. I accept that multiples are at higher risks themselves and that one argument might be, "Who would want to put their own babies at risk?" The answer to that, of course, NO ONE? Why assume that became some parents would excitedly welcome twins, they are prepared to sacrefice one or both their babies?

Of course, as mum who would LOVE to have twins, I would also love to have a healthy twin pregnancy, resulting in two healthy babies.

Overweight women risk their baby's health.

Mothers who have Type 1 diabetes, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, hepititus, Rhesus negative blood, and many other ailments also go into pregnancy risking their babies health and well being. No one gets mad at them and tells them they shouldn't be so enthused to get pregnant...
Why not? Well, obviously they have just as mught right to dream of and try to conceive their baby, and take on the challenges that a pregnancy might afford them, and hope for the best.

So, why is the mum wishing for twins not allowed to do so? Why can't she be excited at the prospect of twins? One woman's pregnancy and early babyhood experiences have absolutely no bearing on another woman's experience.

It like the gender issue. Wanting a particular gender is considered being too picky, not grateful for the miracle of creating life, whichever sex that life may be. So much transference!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bryn's favourite song this week...

He's actually learned the chorus, LOL, but then again it's a pretty simple chorus...

And I know many of you will appreciate the film clip, too...



In other news, I just found out that computers emitt positive ions, and for girl making you need negative ions, and so all this sitting in front of the computer is REALLY BAD for my attempt, argh!!! I can give up chocolate, I can give up caffeine, hell I can even give up having an orgasm (not allowed one of those in the next couple of months either, damn it), but my computer, hell no!

So, to minimize the effect of the computer emissions, I need bees was candles and a indoor fountain thingy, because running water emitts negative ions... I still need to minimize my computer time though, too...

Geez, is it any bloody wonder I've had all boys, what with my domineering personality, chocolate, chips, coke, coffee, computer time and orgasm obsessions...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Just because...

Listen as your day unfolds,
challenge what the future holds
Try to keep your head up to the sky
Lovers they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted,
don't be shamed to cry
You gotta be..

Chourous:
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold,
you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough,
you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm,
you gotta stay together.
All I know, all I know
Love will save the day

Herald what your mother said
Read the books your father read
Try to solve the puzzleS
in your own sweet time
Some may have more cash than you
Others take a different view
My oh my,hey hey hey

Chourous

Time asks no questions, it goes on without you
Leaving you behind if you can't stand the pace
The world keeps on spinning, can't stop it if you tried to
The best part is danger staring you in the face

Remember Listen as your day unfolds,
challenge what the future holds
Try to keep your head up to the sky
Lovers they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
my oh my,hey hey hey....

Chourous (2x)

Got to be bold. Got to be bad
Got to be wise. Not ever sad
Got to be hard. Not too, too hard
All I know is, love will save the day

Chourous (repeat till fade)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

50 days to go!!!

Put it on your calendar people! In fifty days time, I enter my girl conception period for 10 days! During that time, the plan is to catch and egg and turn it
PINK!


Monday, December 03, 2007

Accepting Change...

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
- Helen Keller


I'm a bit of a fan of Helen Keller's level headedness, I mean, the woman was deaf and blind, what's not to like, right?

Anyway, this arrived in my inbox this morning and was very timely, too... I had found out last Tuesday that my plan to hire a friends independant midwife to take to my local hospital for the next babies birth, because this same midwife already worked at that hospital as well as doing independant midwifery, has been thwarted by recent changes at the maternity service. Another midwife at this hospital quit her job, complaining of other midwives not following hospital policy by cheerfully allowing women to not understand tests of their choosing (as if they actually could force the women to take those tests). I realise as I write this that Bryn's pregnancy might be one of the ones in question, as I had absolutely no tests at my own discretion.

So, now there is a review being held of the know your midwife program at that maternity service and at worse, the program may be shut down completely, and at best it is likely to change drastically in tone. Another issue being that the hospital isn't keen for the KYM midwives to be on call for the women they are supporting, which kind of, well completely, undermines the program altogether... What's the point of getting to know your midwife if you're going to get "whoever is on duty" when it comes to your labour? I'm mean, come people, heads are for thinking with...

So, anyway, I suddenly find myself in that place that many women in Australia find themselves. Out of reach of a good, accessible alternative in the hospital system. Either I accept substandard (by my standards) care, or I homebirth.

Homebirthing is sooooo expensive though. I don't, not for one minute, begrudge the midwives their fees, they have to make a living somehow or they would cease to exist to support women who aren't happy with the hospital birthing system.

I just don't have the money for a homebirth...

There is the option of going the single midwife for a lesser fee, and I could maybe do this. The fee is still an exorbitant $2500 though. Exorbitant because I don't have it...

Then there is freebirthing.

I'm not keen on freebirthing unless it is by chance. If I have to, I know I can, but I would not choose to. The lead up anxiety alone might cause issues. Dave is not at all open to homebirth, so freebirthing is something he'd run away from screaming. TBH, I'm concerned that even if it just turned out that way, he would cope while it was happening, he's good like that, but afterwards, I'm pretty sure he'd suffer post traumatic stress. I'm saying this because he suffered it after Luey's birth, and we were in a hospital with attending midwives then, and it was a 2 hour deal from rupture of membranes to first cry, with me only having painful contractions for the last 30 minutes.

So, now I'm thinking of going with the one midwife, not telling Dave until it's a done deal... I'm just going to believe the $2500 (or whatever is needed) will materialise...

I'm going to need some great doulas (Jen and Jayne???)...

I need to find some peace with this decision because I certainly don't have peace with just taking my chances with whatever incarnation of a maternity service might exist in 2008...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The final snub...

Twelves weeks after Erik was born, I was invited to attend the new mothers' group at my local Maternal and Child Health Centre. There I met about 11 other families with children up to 8 weeks younger... Over the next nearly three years I kept meeting up with this families at least every month, often every week... Then we moved to Bendigo, and we only caught up with the remaining families (those who had not moved away from the area or otherwise decided the group wasn't for them) a couple of times. The last time was when we went to one little boy's birthday (Jen, that's would be Nicolas, Bee's son), when he turned 4. A little while later we moved back to Melbourne and a year after that we moved back to our local area. When we moved back here I called the family we'd been the closest to and found out they only lived a few streets away from us now. I said that if any families were still meeting up, could this mum let me know, and she said they only very rarely met up back then, but she would. That was three years ago, and I never heard back.

It was a shame because Erik had been quite close to this woman's daughter, and Luey was only 6 months older than her son, but I figured the group just wasn't meeting anymore. Until today.

Despite living the same area, only streets apart for the past few years, I'd never seen this mum or her daughter up at the shops. I knew they preferred shopping at another centre so thought little of it. Dave had once seen the dad, who works locally as well, but the dad had been some distance off and Dave hadn't called out to him or anything.

This morning we had to go to Target to buy Erik some swimmers. So, it became one of the rare occassions these days when all five of us went out together. When we got to the shopping centre we found that Target wouldn't be open for another hour, so we did our grocery shopping, then went and got a cold drink each before heading up to Target. As we approached the Target doors we'd stopped to let the boys throw away their drink cups, and who should walk by, only 2 metres away but this mum and her daughter. I saw her, and she definitely saw me, then turned to her daughter and told her to hurry up and then basically sped by us into Target. We follow them in without trying to get their attention and that was the last we saw of them.

At the time I just thought, oh well, she didn't want to stop and say hi, she was in a hurry, but of course this has played on my mind ever since. It would not have cost her anything to say a quick hi, and having not seen each other in 4 years and a bit, it would have been a nice quick hello to make. She actively choice to ignore our presence there and it actually hurt my feelings.

I've been sitting here telling myself it doesn't matter. I have so many good friends, but why is it this has affected me. I think it's because I never did fit in so well in that group, but they didn't reject me either, and in fact I was quite friendly with this mum and another mum, but now I wonder if they just tolerated me and my weird extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, homeschooling, non-vaccinating self.

These days, we "pass for normal" as Leah would put it, the boys don't still breastfeeding, they sleep in their own beds, they go to school, and well no one can tell by looking at them that they aren't vaccinated, and so I guess now, more than ever I expect to be accepted - coz, honestly, I'm such a great person to know...

Ah, the old ghosts of rejection and alienation, thought I'd gotten free of them...

Teenagers and the failing parent...