Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I've been tagged...

The rules for 6 Things Meme - I have to answer 6 questions about myself. At the end of the post, I then tag 6 people and post their names, then go to their blogs and leave them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read my blog. Then, I must let the person who tagged me know when I’ve posted my answers.


Here goes something ...


6 Places I have lived.

1) Sydney, NSW
2) Bolungarvik, West Fjords of Iceland
3) Canberra, ACT
4) Asker, Norway
5) Adelaide, SA
6) Melbourne, Vic

What I was doing 10 years ago

1998 - Let me see... I was doing my Graduate Diploma of Education: Vocational Education and Training, through Melbourne Uni. I was planning my November wedding (that we'd ONLY JUST booked at the Registery Office that July), and planning to start ttcing (Erik) September, whoo hoo!

5 things on my to do list

1) Send out invites to Bryn's birthday
2) Pick up Bryn's birthday present
3) Figure out what nappy supplies I still need for baby #4
4) Have a baby
5) Write a novel

Snacks I like to eat

1) Indian curries
2) Mashed potatos
3) Hungry Jacks Whopper with cheese combos, minus onion, minus tomato, minus pickle...


If I was a billionaire

1) I wouldn't tell anyone, LOL...
2) I'd fly my entire family to Icelandic (including mum/partner and bro)
3) Buy a house in this suburb across the road from the boys' school, rofl!!!
4) Have my own cheuffer drive car to take me places...
5) Get Dave a sensory deprivation tank


I know I'm supposed to tag six people, but here's the thing - I'm usually the last person to be tagged, rofl... So, if you haven't been tagged yet, consider yourself tagged now!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tooth extraction day...

A couple of weeks ago, Dave broke a tooth. Well, truth be told, it was already long broken, but it broke even worse, and then an absess formed in the bone under his left eye. He went and saw a doctor because he´s about as enamoured with dentists as I am (he hasn't seen a dentist in 35 years, I've seen one only twice in the past 25 years, both times for extractions of broken teeth)... Anyway, so the GP gave him some ABs and told him to get himself to a dentist. The ABs worked and the absess subsided and Dave half-heartedly investigated his dental options, but was quickly losing motivation to actually go see a dentist.

He had to mention his absess to his parents because it prevented him from visiting them for some errand or other, and they offered for him to go see their dentist, at their expense, rather than try to get out to the dental hospital at some ungodly hour to sit in a queue and maybe not even be seen...

So, then the absess made a reappearance, and Dave booked an appointment with the dentist for this morning...

Last night he was looking a little palid, and this morning he was very short tempered with the boys - he's obviously more than a little nervous about the procedure. Like I would, he's going to flat out refuse to have anything done to the tooth other than extraction - not that much can be done to it anyway, there is like nothing left of it now... I'm not sure when he'll be home, but his parents wanted him to go to their place afterwards, but I've told him if he's feeling under the weather he should just come home and go to bed because his mother LOVES medical stuff and will want to know all the ins and out of what the dentist said to him, what the dentist did, and what colour socks he was wearing at the time...

Anyway, tooth extraction day is having further reaching trauma than expected, in that in his distraction this morning, Dave left the vegemite jar out on the counter - a massive no-no in our house because Bryn is quite the Pro Hart wannabe - and so when I dragged myself out of bed after Dave and the boys had left, Bryn had "painted" his entire body, two books, the coffee table, the loungeroom floor (thankfully wooden, not carpet), the Bob the Builder telephone, and the tv screen... No, I wasn't very happy about that, despite it being a combination of bad luck (with Dave's distraction) and poor parenting on my part (for dozing too long after Dave left and just assuming Bryn would be occupied by the box like he usually is)...

The books are now in book heaven, but managed to wash everything else down...

Now partially I think this little "accident" is also due to the house having fallen in a heap since I've been computer free. That's right folks, having no computer did not send me into a cleaning frenzy, quite the opposite, I slump into a "I can't cope with it all" mode and just let the house fall apart... Having had the computer back for 36 hours now, I'm finally starting to come out of the fog as I've processed a lot of the stuff that was milling about aimlessly in my head, and I'm looking around the house and realising there is a LOT to do...

So, here comes a to do list:

  1. Tidy loungeroom
  2. dishes and clean kitchen
  3. sweep/vacuum floors throughout
  4. tidy bedroom
  5. wash down toilet and bathroom
  6. dust/wipe all surfaces (looking for missed vegemite smearings)
  7. fold the mountain of laundry that's collected in the hamper
  8. tidy laundry
I'll start with some breakky and see how much of this I can achieve before Dave comes home.

Midday Update:

Turns out the dentist couldn't do anything with Dave's tooth just yet because the absess is still there, so he's told Dave to fill the repeat prescription and come back in a fortnight's time. As well as this, Dave needs to get a full set of xrays (he had an xray on the trouble tooth today) before that appointment. The full xray will be bulk billed, thank goodness.

On the cleaning front; I've done a superficial tidy up in the lounge, and tidied the bedroom (even washed down the change table, woot!!!). Have folded the mountain of washing... Am going to stop for lunch now and finish up afterwards...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My muse... The net...

Well, what an enlightening and somewhat terrifying 10 days I've just had...

Some of you may remember that back in May my laptop decided to have some sort of nervous breakdown, which at the time I thought had to do with memory space. Turns out it has something to do with a faulty power connector thingy-whatsit...

No matter, I just started comp-sharing Dave's computer, and while this meant accessing things like msn and my email via the web, and having to put up with IE mangling my home forum and not have that ingenious tabs mechanism that Firefox offers, I was surviving...

But then 11 days ago disaster struck when Dave's computer contracted some sort of evil, malicious virus that eats desktop icons. For 10 whole days I was SANS NET... OMG, it was just awful!

It's not that I don't have a life. I have a very full life (how can a 6 month pregnant mum of a 0, 7 and nearly 3 year old NOT have a full life, I ask you), but seriously folks, I'm an introvert. I'm the worst kind of introvert - that kind that actually DOES need social interaction, but can't actually deal with a lot of direct social contact. The net was made for people like me! We can socialise COMPLETELY on our own terms. I can dip into social contact for 5 minutes or 5 hours, and then as soon as I start to feel overwhelmed, I can walk away. There just isn't too much commitment.

What I've found in the past 10 days is that I've swung violently between feeling socially isolated and extremely lonely, and feeling completely socially overwhelmed. Noise is my biggest issue! I can only really handle small or short amounts of direct auditory stimulus where I need to be paying attention to the noise being directed at me (talking), and then I get very, very tired and sad and overwhelmed.

I'm very much a visual person and so reading "talk" suits me to a tee!

That said, I LOVE a good chat - as anyone who knows me irl will attest to. I just get very emotionally drained being around other bodies of energy (people), whether they are happy or sad or frustrated or relaxed...

Also, I've discovered how my ADD affects me... I'd really thought I'd conquered the worst symptoms of my ADD in the past decade, but now I realise, I actually just managed them digitally. I used to manage them in a handwritten diary, but I guess I've transferred all that to the net, and I just couldn't interrupt that continuum by starting the process of a new handwritten diary while waiting for my computer to be fixed. I knew that all those entries would either be lost once my computer was up and running or I'd need to transcribe them for my own piece of mind (for the mental continuum), and it just seemed like an overwhelming task, so I became completely inert with my millions of darting thoughts and reflexions instead...

SO, THIS IS ME EXHALING...

Yes, so it seems that any ideas that I may have had previously about ditching the net completely at some stage of my existence have now been utterly dumped. I really do need the net for my sanity and I will just ignore the possibly of power shortages in the future that might see our civilisation thrust back to the "dark ages" before personal computers and the internet...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bryn can READ!!! AND, he's wearing organic pants!!!

Yes, I'm gonna take the piss, rofl...

Hey, I just found out I'm already in the third trimester, so GOI, I'm hormonal, I'm allowed!

Bryn started a love affair with "Study Dog" a couple of months ago. This is an American, phonics based literacy program that we downloaded free (back before it became so popular that they just *had* to start charging for it) from the net when Erik was about three... Erik never took to it, not being auditory and all, and not even being particularly computer interested. Luey LOVED it. I can't say it actually augmented his reading development at all, but he did figure it out, and loved seeing those little gold coins roll in...

Anyway, so having seen Luey play it occassionally, Bryn has recently decided he wants to give it a go...

So, this morning, because mummy was trying to talk on the phone, she acquiesced (sp?) to Bryn's plea to play Study Dog...

Then later this afternoon, we were in Jayne's car, as she kindly dropped us off up the street to go pick up the boys from school, and out of nowhere, Bryn pipes up with "A is for Archie!"...

Ok, just to show how bloody brilliant my child is, can I point out, that NO WHERE in the program is the name Archie EVER mentioned... Of course, Archie is our friend's baby son, who Bryn adores (mostly, though recently, realising that Archie is now interested in toys as well, he's have a bit of a love/hate thing going on)...

So, like so many proud parents I have known, I'm now going to announce that my not-quite-three year old CAN READ!!!

My second piss take (well, actually they're hardly piss takes now that I've pointed out that they're piss takes), is that Bryn has been getting about town in his brand new ORGANIC jeans for the past couple of days. Bought on sale at, wait for it, Target! GAWD, all I've heard for the past five years is organic this, and organic that, and how much BETTER organic is... So, now Bryn has his very own pair of non-toxic, non-cancerous PANTS!!!

So, he's two AND he's organic - isn't he just WONDERFUL!

(PS. Today I also took delivery of Leo's gorgeous new WOODEN ORGANIC highchair - Yes, I'll take one one-way ticket through the pearly gates, thanks...)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Well, thanks the gods for that!!!

Coming up to third trimester at the end of the week... Now, besides the fact that I'll probably still be digesting the spare ribs I had for dinner last night then, it seems two other things will also be true...

The first is that my baby's brain is now transmitting brain waves, which means his memory is being developed in his base neural networks - yes, his PERMANENT memories, those buggers that will sit in his subconscious for the next 100 years or so... AND, it seems he will now start to be able to hear my voice... I'm pretty sure he's been able to hear MY voice for some time, actually, but anyway, according to the ticker over there on the right, it's all happening for sure now...

So, this is where I start thanking the gods...

Why, you ask???

Well, because today is the end of the Winter holidays for the boys, tomorrow they go back to school, and I will, hopefully, reduce my yelling by about 90 percent, and if I WORK REALLY HARD at it, for the next 10 weeks, then by the Spring holidays, I will have found a far better way to relate my feelings of frustration to my darling children...

Seriously, it hasn't been too bad these holidays, we had a very rough day towards the end of the first week, and then I think I managed to pull it together in the second week - ignoring the meltdown I had on Wednesday morning, but that was directed at Dave, not the kids, and we did get through the rest of Wednesday ok... On Thursday we went to Ikea and I got one of those $10 rolls of unbleached paper, and that's been a godsend for the past three days... Which of course, is a parental irony, the kids got a mass of fabbo plassy toys last Sunday, and what gives them the most satisfaction??? 45 metres of unbleached paper!!! Of course, what else...

Had a laugh at Dave this morning... Yesterday morning and this morning he was a delightful Dh and let me laze about in bed till 11am - well, hey, only fair as I've spent 100 hours alone with three boisterous boys in the past two weeks...

Anyhoo, so this morning was his second FOUR HOUR session alone with all three boys (while awake, he was alone with them last night for a few hours but they were all asleep then), and what do I wake up to??? Him screeching like a banshee that he's "hard enough" and they're "driving him INSANE!"

PMSL, I was a BAD Dw and came out and said, "Ok, so NOW do you see why I had a meltdown about being alone with them for 9 hours a day while you're at work?" He didn't actually answer me... Funny that...

Anyway, so now I'm on notice, not only can bubs hear me, but he'll remember the screeching madwoman he hears FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

99 Days...

I'm due in 99 days! I'm down to double digits! I'm getting a bit excited now!

I was thinking there was nothing to organise really, but there are a number of things to, I just haven't sat down and organised it in my head...

In no particular order...

  • Pay the midwife up to 36 weeks
  • Have a look at nappy stash (both cloth and paper) and determine what is needed, get bamboo prefolds from Jen (thanks Jen)
  • Looking at clothing, wraps, blankets and make sure I've got enough of everything
  • Get bassinet (thanks Pam) and highchair (thanks Mel) into the house
  • Sort out the change table (it needs a thorough scrub down too, it tends to collect dust in tight little corners)
  • Sort out the birthpool and hose and fittings (or decide if I'm just going to use the bath)
  • Contact the water people about getting hot water put on peak all day and night
  • Visit parents in Adelaide for a relaxing weekend sans kids (sorry kids, just need some time with no one asking anything of me)
  • Make sure the house is organised enough that I won't feel like its coming down around my ears in the weeks following bub's birth
  • Order nappy bag
  • Get Mei Tai (thanks Rach)

Well, that's all I can think of for now... None of it is a major undertaking so 99 days should be plenty of time to arrange all of this...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Funny little monkey...

Bryn has been so cute the past few days, constantly making me smile about stuff, and then I can't remember later what it was that made me smile...

One story though from the other night, had me thinking about the sorts of things I'd miss if I wasn't cosleeping with this child...

Background information: I sleep naked. Yes, Summer and Winter. I just have to because I toss and turn so much that my clothes always end up twisted around me and strangling me.

So, anyway, the other night, Dave and I are going to bed, and Dave brings Bryn in from the couch in the loungeroom where Bryn sleeps during the evening (probably because it's warmer than the bedroom)... Bryn immediately "goes the grope" as he does every night, just to make sure his "Meh" are still there, and then I go to turn over - as I do every night - and he snuggles into my back.

I ask him if my back is cold (it feels cold to me), and he says it's not. I then say, "Yeah, but I bet my bum is cold" The reference to my rear end here is meant to elicit giggles from him, as it often does throughout the day these days... He goes, "You bum not cold, you bum is STINKY!" and laughs. I reply, "Well, that's ok then, because your feet are STINKY!" and this leads to a ramble between us about various things, including Daddy being stinky... Lots of giggles and then we drift off to sleep...

Cut to the middle of the night...

It's pitch black outside, and I turn over, yet again, and manage to put my elbow into Bryn's back, which he doesn't appreciate, and so lamments, "Move over Mommy, YOU BUM IS STINKY!!!" in that half-awake voice, which you know is just the autopilot!

So, i spend the next 15 minutes trying to stifle giggles, hahaha!

I'm really torn about cosleeping atm, on the one hand, who would want to put a stop to that much cuteness and fun, but on the other hand, I wonder how I'm going to manage with one child on either side. I know lots of people who do it, but I don't know if I have that much patience...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Integrity...

This is a value that is a big deal in our household. I guess if there is ANYTHING I want my children to learn, to have in spades, it's integrity. Personal integrity is paramount I think for living a fulfilled life...

Wikipedia (that solid font of wisdom, rofl), describes the ethical stance on integrity as follows:

Integrity is the concept of basing of one's actions on an internally consistent framework of principles.
Depth of principles and adherence of each level to the next are key factors. One
is said to have integrity to the extent that everything one does is derived from
the same core set of values.
While those values may change, their consistency with each other and with the
one's actions
determine the degree of integrity.
integrity can be expressed as personal honesty: acting
according to one's beliefs and values at all times.
The term can emphasize the "wholeness" or "intactness" of a moral stance or
attitude (harking back wittingly or unwittingly to the etymological parallels of
the word in the Latin intactus, meaning
"untouched"). Relevant views of wholeness may also emphasize commitment and sincerity. Structural integrity
in engineering
is derived from this concept.
Integrity can be seen as a virtue in that accountability and moral
responsibility
are necessary tools for maintaining consistency between one's
actions and one's principles, methods and measures, especially when an expected
result appears incongruent with observed outcome.



To me, if the boys can form a strong structure of personal values and ethics - in the positive sense, not the negative - then they have a good chance at being happy people. Happiness, to me, is success, but only if it doesn't come at the cost of other people's happiness... Somewhat like the hypocratic oath, and the witch's creed, "First do no harm" or "Do as you will, but harm none".

Personal integrity needs a solid base of maturity - I was in my late 20s when I finally realised that in order to have integrity I also had to have awareness of other people, because my actions and words always impacted on others. This was not at all the same as bowing myself to others and forgoing my own needs, but that in fulfilling my own needs I also needed to be aware of the needs of other people.

Integrity is not easy.

I see a lot of lose integrity in the act of rewriting history, because the history that was is painful or embarrassing to them, but in doing so, not only do they try to fool themselves into believing that what happened didn't really happen the way it did, but in doing so they potentially make liars of other people, and may also set unrealistic standards for others...

For example, when I had Luey, I had an induction that I DEMANDED. The clinic OB was against the idea. He told me point blank that it was unnecessary to induce my baby at 39 weeks, even if he was bigger than "the average", and he added that the hospital only wanted what was best for my baby. These days, that is an inconvenient truth for me. I could so easily tell people the hospital bullied me into the induction at 40 weeks and 4 days, and I would get so much sympathy and support. I knew better, I knew my baby would come in his own time, but I was afraid, and I went with my fear. For the sake of personal integrity, I HAVE to be hoenst about this. I hope that being honest allows other women to speak about their own fears, for example.

I once knew a woman who wanted a third baby - this was several years ago - she told her close friends how badly she wanted this baby, and one day we were all in chat and she was telling us all about how she was going to seduce her husband, knowing he was never too concerned about contraception. A couple of weeks later, she announced her brand new pregnancy as an "Ooops" pregnancy, and then had the balls to actually accuse her partner of "refusing" to wear a condom. She was embarrassed at being pregnant again, even though she really wanted to be pregnant. There were quite a few of us who clearly remembered her telling us she was going to seduce him for the purposes of getting pregnant right on ovulation, and yet, she persisted with her "oops" story to US... It was frustrating. We were all too polite to call her on it, and really what would that have resolved anyway... She needed to rewrite history in order for it to sit well with her image of herself as a passive victim in the drama that continued to be her life for quite some time afterward.

You might think this kind of rewriting of history was fairly harmless, but what ended up happening was that her friends started to question their ability to trust what she said and did. If she felt the need to rewrite this bit of history, what else had she rewritten??? Eventually, she all the friends she'd had at that time, and at least one of those friends felt justified in playing part in the demise of this woman's relationship because she felt sorry for the woman's partner, who had been manipulated... It was very sad...

Karma bites back, I guess...

So, this is my very long winded way of saying that if there is one thing I really want my children to learn in this lifetime, it's to have personal integrity, to be honest with themselves about the things they value in life, and to be honest with other people about these values as well. People without personal integrity - from what I've witnessed in the past few years are basically very unhappy people.

What prompted me to write about this was something that happened at the boys' birthday party on Sunday. Each boy (Erik and Luey, that is) were made Captain of their own team in the dodgeball and soccer games... Now, even I would have expected them to be quite competitive about this, as they are quite competitve with one another as brothers, and so I was very pleasantly surprised when Dave told me that in picking their teams out of the children invited to the party, BOTH boys were careful to make sure they picked the smaller and austencibly "weaker" kids in the group. Each did this without any prompting, either from Dave or one another. To me, this is the first big sign of the fact they are developing personal integrity. They weren't only thinking "Who should I chose to help me win the games", but they were showing a real concern for making sure everyone felt included and valued, big or small, athletically inclined or not!

I'm so proud of my boys!!!

Monday, July 07, 2008

And then there was one...

Two birthdays down, and one to go - well, not counting the actual BIRTH day coming up in October...

The kids had a blast yesterday at Erik and Luey's birthday party. It was great in so many ways...

  • It's been two or three years since the big boys had a big party (not just cake with mum and dad), so that was lovely, they each had four friends + 1 sibling there, and got to play dodgeball and soccer and eat crappy food like mini sausage rolls, pie and franks, and soft drink, whoo hoo! And finally there was the Batman birthday cake with layers of cream and fruit cocktail!
  • I picked perfect games options for them without even realising it! Erik's friends, in particular, loved the soccer. Erik's best mate from last year - who is very quiet and seemingly bookish - turned out to be quite the soccer fiend, so it was great to see him having a blast! The two girls Erik invited turned out to be HIGHLY competitive and really gave the boys a run for their money too!
  • When Erik was cutting the cake (Luey was supposed to be helping him, but decided against wrestling the knife with Erik, which was probably a very good idea, rofl), one of Erik's mates told him if he touched the bottom he had to kiss his mum, LOL. Then one of the girls piped up, and said, no in fact he had to kiss the closest girl! Yes, well, hmmmm, SHE was the closest girl and Erik needed no encouragement, so the next thing we knew these two were chasing around the table - both of them laughing their heads off... Oh dear, tweenhood is most DEFINITELY upon us...
  • Both boys scored BIG in the lego stakes, and now have Indiana Jones, Exforce, Racers, and Star Wars lego to occupy them for the rest of the holidays... Luey also got a SpeedRacer launch truck thingy, and a book of card places with heavy plastic nose cones to pitch around the house, and both boys got flashing wheels that attach to the heels of their regular shoes. Yes, they were thoroughly deluged! I've got to say, I think one or two people actually spent more money than Dave and I, on presents, it was quite overwhelming, really - not that the boys are complaining, of course... I'm trying to convince myself they just scored well on the sales...
  • Luey friend W came along, and I FINALLY got to chat to her mum briefly (after 18 months of just smiling). Hopefully, this might mean the kids can have a playdate some time in the future - both of them have been hanging out for one, but with neither family having a car, it's been difficult, and also I think W's mum was a bit reticent sending her DD to a stranger's house, which is understandable. Turns out W also has a 24 year old sister, who knew!!!
  • I got to spend time chatting and laughing with Leah and Jayne! Which was great, because besides seeing Jayne on Friday it's been "An adult free zone" here at home all week and I was STARVED for adult company (yes, I know, there's Dave, but it's just not the same, rofl - do I really need to explain this?)...

Bryn ate far to much rubbish yet, as was evidenced by the "squelching through all openings" poo that errupted from his back end just after he got up this morning... He REALLY enjoyed his shower though, hahaha!

So, five weeks until Bryn's birthday and party - which will be at home... And it just occurred to me this morning that THAT will be two months before our next bub is due. OMG, time is really flying now!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Erik's Song

Ah, now I thought I was going to embed a youtube version of this song on here, but apparently the scummy bastards have disabled embedding of this song because the contributor asked them too...

So, here are the lyrics...

Maybe it's intuition
but some things you just don't question
Like in your eyes, I see my future in an instant
And there it goes,
I think I found my best friend
I know that it might sound
more than a little crazy
but I believe...

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

There's just no rhyme or reason
Only the sense of completion
And in your eyes, I see
the missing pieces I'm searching for
I think I've found my way home
I know that it might sound
more than a little crazy
but I believe...

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

A thousand angels dance around you
I am complete now that I've found you

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life

I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life


And here is the link to where you can see the video...

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=69Z9rkmEcPE

This is Erik's song, and while it's true for each of my children, it's the song I most strongly associate with my feelings for Erik from when he was born until now...

Happy Birthday Erik!!!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Dear Erik,

The story of yesterday...

Tomorrow is your 9th birthday, and yesterday we had a big fight. I smacked you. Not because you did anything particular "bad", all you were doing was being an 8 year old who had had a really big exciting day out (during which time, you'd been responsible and helpful, btw, and it was good to be out with you)... After we got home, you were still so excited and hyped up, and confines of our little house just weren't big enough for you energy.

Your brothers were also tired and hyped up, and together the three of you mucked around and did all the stuff I'm constantly on your cases about. At one point you chucked a rubber ball across the living room and hit some crockery on the kitchen bench. Nothing fell down, nothing broke, but just the sound of the crockery clinking into each other made my blood boil.

I sent you to your room, and as always, you argued the point. You didn't want to go in there, it's boring, it's cold. I told you I needed a little time to calm down, that I was getting angry, and you needed to also calm down. You didn't want to go. I yelled at you to go to your room, you argued, I yelled some more, you argue, I got out of my chair, and you went into your room. Two minutes later you came out wanting to go to the toilet. I said you could go, but then straight back to your room. You went, you left all the doors open, letting the cold in from the back yard, you didn't flush, leaving an unpleasant surprise for me when I went in straight after you...

5 minutes later, you tried to sneak out of your room. I sent you back in there, telling you not to come out until I called you out. You argued the point - as 8 year olds do - my anger rose, I yelled, and you went back into your room.

5 minutes later, I'd calmed down and called you out. 10 minutes after that, you had an argument with Bryn over who was taking up most the fire place. I told you both to get away from the fire. Luey said you weren't moving, and you hit him, he hit you back, and I sent both of you to your room. Luey went in there, but you argued the point. You pleaded that if you apologised to Luey could you come out. I said no, I said Dad would be home soon, and you could both stay there till he got home, I had had enough, I didn't want to see or deal with either of you. You argued. My anger rose, and I snapped. I hit you.

I knew it was wrong, but I didn't apologise. I yelled at you because I'd taken you out that day, and I'd organised play dates this week, and I was organising your birthday party for tomorrow, and organising Dad to get your presents, and I was angry that none of this made any difference to you. You didn't care. You only cared about what you could get out of every situation and what I could do for you. Never what you could do for me. I was so angry, so resentful, or bitter. I stormed out of your bedroom, and started to run a bath for myself. I called Luey out of the bedroom to watch Bryn while I hopped in the bath to try and calm down. I was angry and tired and my body hurt from walking around all day - I resented you for my body hurting and you not caring...

That was the story of yesterday, but this is what I want to say today...

I'm sorry. I was wrong.

I've been thinking about it, and I honestly, truly believe children choose their parents for the experiences they need to grow and develop their spirit in each lifetime.

I just don't understand why you would choose me to be your mum. You so desperately need someone with more wisdom and patience than I have. I seem to fail you so often. I'm far to harsh on you. I know you have very particular needs, I can see them and I try to meet them, but I'm not at all good at it. You need a warm mother who is affectionate and softly spoken, you instead you have a mum who doesn't really like to be touched and yells a lot, and hits when she is frustrated. You have a mum who feels sorry for herself and lashes out.

I'm not fair to you. I'm far harder on you than I am on Luey or Bryn. My expectations of them are not nearly as high as they are of, and that just isn't fair. Yes, I get annoyed with them, and angry with them - Luey is a very stubborn person at times - but I'm never as harsh with them as I am with you. I wish I knew why. I wish I could just be a better mum.

I thought last night, in the bath, that if I was just their mum, I'd be a good mum, a reasonably good mum, not a perfect mum, but I'd be ok with my ability to parent them. You are the one who highlights my shortcomings, and I resent that.

I love you though. I love you so much it breaks my heart because I'm not the mum you need. I want to be that person, and over the last nine years I've tried to be that person, but I really only managed it for the first year and bit of your life. For that year and a bit, I did a really good job, but it was only really because you were an easy child and you needed so much less from me then. As soon as you needed me to step it up a level, the cracks started to appear.

ARGH! I'm sorry, this sounds like justifying and self-pity. I don't mean to sound that way. I just don't understand why you would have wanted me to by your mum... Maybe you actually wanted dad to be your dad, and I was the compromise? I don't know.

Maybe you chose me to teach me, it feels like that most of the time. That I am learning more from you than anything I actually have to offer you. That doesn't seem fair. I'm the adult, you shuoldn't have to parent me. I need to be a much better student so you can be a child, not a teacher...

Friday, July 04, 2008

Being thankful...

I was thinking last night that feeling this baby moving and kicking and wriggling inside me is kind of gross if I think about it too much. It feels weird. I've never had this thought before, but I guess for some reason it surfaced.

Anyway, right now I just feel this urgent need to be VERY THANKFUL that he is blessing me with lots of movements and kicks and wriggles. I've just read that a second mum in my EB Due in October group has lost her precious little baby boy at 24 weeks. That's the second baby to leave out group prematurely in two weeks...

So I'm just putting it out there - I'm grateful for the miracle that is having another person growing inside my body...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Reading, or rather the lack of reading...

The following may seem strange coming from a writer, LOL...

Lots of things have been causing me to think about reading in the past few months, not least of which would be the fact that I'm supposed to be writing a novel thesis and exegesis - something I've done NO work on now for at least 6 weeks, argh!

I started reading fluently (well, not out loud because I've never been a competent reader out loud thanks to very poor vision) when I was 4.5. I was self-taught, in fact, I learned to read at about the same time as my mum was learning to read English for enjoy (not just practicality)...

I was an avid reader for about 24 years, during which time I read 1000s of books - between the age of about 9 and 14, for example, I made my way through my parents 500 book Sci-fi collection - and as many of you know, those books are often quite hefty... I also like romance novels (what teenage girl doesn't, really), and family dramas. I loved fairy tale novels and fantasy, and a whole host of other genres. I constantly had my nose in one book or another... I read the bible a couple of times in there as well, LOL...

Then when I was at Uni, I had to read texts, mostly non-fiction, and I spent a good ten years reading these things, and that impacted on my lust for reading fiction somewhat as well...

When I had Erik I read a bit about birth and parenting, only about 15-20 books in those early years...

After I had Luey, reading for anything but my studies, and online, really dried up... I did read a bit of metaphysical related stuff, but only really books I could dip into, read a section and hop out of again...

Nowadays, if someone suggests I read something, I groan inwardly...

OMG, the thought of having more stuff going into my brain space, especially fiction makes me want to dry wretch...

Then I came upon a convenient (for me) thought... Reading, like watching television, or browsing the net, is just another form of escapism. In fact, I'm sure I've written this here before. Yes, it's a highly esteemed form of escapism - somehow more noble than watching tv, or browsing the net, but still and all, it's about escaping the real world.

AND it's not as if most people read philosophy or even literature. Most people read trashy, ill-written, poorly plotted tripe, but just the act of READING is highly esteemed in our society.

Some people snubb their noses at literature as if it is merely a matter of taste, like how art is "in the eye of the beholder", but I guess, to me it's more than that. All that is esteemed about reading refers directly back to the difference between everyday writing, and literature. Literature is a SKILL that many writers do not possess, and few actually recognise. I'm not even sure that I would readily recognise myself as I'm only just learning the difference now, but one thing I do know is that one delivers all those things promised of reading - broadening of the mind, increasing vocabularly, learning about new cultures and life experiences... The other is no better than a B grade movie, a pure waste of time for when people really just want to escape reality. It's about quality, versus quantity...

And yet, we're so engrossed with the idea of reading as superior to other forms of escapism that reading almost ANYTHING counts, and not wanting to read is a sign of ignorance or lack of culture...

I consider myself a highly intelligent person, and yet, I'm actively choosing not to read at this time, because I feel I need to be in my present (that doesn't mean other people shouldn't read)... While all my pregnant friends are reading about pregnancy and birth with great thirst and hunger, I feel that reading about these thing would not benefit me right now, but would clutter my mind with unnecessary external issues.

And this brings me to the crux of this blog post. Reading should be for enjoyment, for the purpose of meeting a need. Maybe the need is to escape, or maybe it is to learn about something, but it must be a genuine need, and not something people do to impress other people, or to feel that they are "somehow worthy", that they are not ignorant or lacking culture.

Reading snobbery MUST STOP! If people do not feel the need of reading, they must be respected for this, not considered somehow lacking...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Taunt...

There is a discussion on Alternativebaby atm about whether or not it is environmentally responsible to have more children that it takes to simply replace the parents (so more than two, but this should be extrapolated to blended families, imo, because if a couple have two children, then split and find other partners and have another child, then split and find other partners and have yet another child, etc. obviously the end result is more children than parents)...

Anyhoo...

Ok, obviously, as a parent of nearly four children, I'm hardly going to side with those people who believe having more than two children, or even having any children at all is to blame for the demise of the environment. In fact, I'm going to (far more predictably) argue that large families (for the purpose of this debate, families with three or more children), share resources more economically and therefore are not to blame for the environmental issues we currently face...

Anyway, feeling mildly irretated by the assumptions of this discussion - that more people automatically use more resources - and go to another parenting forum; Essential Baby...

The very first post I read is titled: How much is too much?

Roflmao, can you see what is coming...

A mum has just been toy shopping at the mid-year sales and spent over $500 on birthday and christmas presents for her soon to be one or two year old - an only child. She admits that before Christmas she is likely to add a couple more things to the booty as well... Value totalling $635... Everything mentioned is made of plastic (I'm not adverse to plastic, btw, my kids have plenty of the stuff)...

A couple of other families admit to spending this much on their kids - they have two kids each...

A couple of other respondents say it sounds a bit over the top, but hey, if you have the money, why not...

OK, so to me THIS is the problem... Not families like mine with nearly 4 children who wouldn't spend $600 throughout the year on ALL their children combined, let alone on individual children (and no, this is NOT because other friends and family pitch in, so far the boys have received no presents from anyone but us this year), but it's not even about the money... It's about the idea of buying ONE or TWO children that much stuff!

And isn't it the parents of (generally speaking, obviously not all) only children or two children who are more likely to get their kids lots of toys and clothes etc? Or is that too much of a generalisation - not unlike the generalisation that families with more than two kids are being environmentally selfish and unaware...

C'mon people, instead of saying, hey don't have more than two kids. Why aren't we simply saying, hey don't consume more than X amount of crap per child! Smaller families don't consume less, in my opinion, they consume about the same, it just doesn't reach as many people...

Teenagers and the failing parent...