Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh for crying out loud! Feral neighbours...

So, Jayne came over with her two kids today and all the kids were playing in the front yard on the new cubby climbing frame, and sure enough, like clockwork the neighbour's younger son (who is a day older than Erik), comes out and starts hurling insults and obscenities at the kids - basically trying to get their attention.

My older two just cannot seem to resist this child, and so they give him the time of day and I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but Bryn starts chucking unripe plums at the neighbour's car...

Now, Bryn would even be able to throw stuff at the car except that the feral neighbour's son pulled about 1/2 a dozen pailings off the fence a year or two ago - specifically so he could get our boys' attention...

Anyway, so then the neighbour calls us out, and Dave goes out to talk to her. He complains that Bryn has been throwing stuff at her car - fair enough - and Dave says that if her son just left our kids alone this kind of stuff wouldn't even happen...

She says, "Well, you're children are no angels"

He says, "Thanks, that's a compliment coming from you! Your son has been squirting water on our kids to get their attention for the past couple of days, as well as hurling obscenities at them..."

She says, "He has not doing anything of the sort! Your children are lying!" (De Nile ain't just a river in Egypt)

ARGH! This child will NOT leave our kids in peace when they're in the front or back yards. He's peed over our fence (stands up on their garage and pees into our back yard), pulled pailings off the fence so our privacy is effectively gone now, thrown rubbish in our yard, yelled obscenities at the boys, otherwise tried to engage them in arguments (which they're all to willing to be engaged in because they think this is all a great drama). More frighteningly, he's tried to tell them to doing sexually oriented things to each other (I called DoCs and reported that incident).

They are already on the books with DoCs, and the police have also shown up to their house in the past few months (another neighbour called the police because the younger boy had been locked out of the house at 8am and was screaming obscenities and pounding on the front door with the house phone.

The thing that gets me is that I've just bought some great outdoor equipment for the boys to play on this summer, and if this child is allowed to continue harrassing our kids and if we can't convince our kids to just IGNORE him and not engage with him, even if he IS throwing small stones at them or squirting them with a water gun, then our kids will be spending their summer inside, not on all that great equipment, because Lord knows the other boy's mother had NO intention on disciplining her child (which is obviously why he is the way he is)...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

All together now... "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"

We've had a busy day here...

Got up this morning and after a strong coffee (was a restless night, to say the least) and some time to start feeling human again, I cut the big boys' hair. That led to showers for one and all, and then I got the three older boys dressed for Christmas pics. I took some for our Christmas cards, and then we made our way to the local shopping centre where we stood in line for the better part of an hour and waited to have photos with Santa...

The lunch.

Then Dave and I split up and he took Luey and Bryn to shop for dinner and go home, while I took Erik and Ari to shop for Christmas tree decos and lollies for the advent boxes. Erik decided we'll have a blue and silver tree this year (not cobolt blue like our couch, more a turquoise blue, should be, um, interesting!)...

Then home and the three bigger boys played outside before Dave made dinner... We finally got all boys to sleep by about 7.30pm...

Here are a couple of pics from today...

The pic that will go on our Christmas cards...



And the Santa pic - how tiny is Tiny???

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lots of fun new stuff...

Today has been a day of new things... Just wanted to share.

The first "new" thing is a co-sleeping "bed" to lay a baby on in the big bed for families who are concerned about baby being smothered or crushed by a sleeping parent or older child. I haven't bought this, but am borrowing it from BaBs - who have received it as a promotional gift from a local distributor who is kindly supporting BaBs financially.

I've co-slept with Luey and Bryn before Ari, and never bothered with anything like this, but with the other two boys, it was Dave and I sleeping in the bed with them, and both of us were very aware of the baby. This time, the other co-sleeping person besides myself, is Bryn. Bryn is very much unaware of the baby, LOL. Nothing has happened so far that has put Ari at risk, but I'm very aware that one night something so easily could because he's never been shy about sleeping ON me, or slinging and arm or leg over my body (for his own comfort, LOL)...

Then my photo order with Snapfish arrived. I'm so impressed with the quick turn around and with how simple it was for me to order and pay and then just sit back and have these lovely TANGIBLE glossies arrive in the mail - and so inexpensive too!!! I'll be doing this regularly from here on in!

The other mail of the day was my laptop stand. I'd been thinking throughout my pregnancy how much I wished I had a screen on an arm because I'm so near sighted and with a belly it was so hard to read the screen of my lappie as I had to sit further and further away from it, and I was all bend over my belly (which hurt). I ended up mounting my laptop on two Yellow Pages to get it to eye height, but it was still too far away and I got headaches from straining my eyes... I decided I'd buy a second LARGE screen for my laptop with the Baby Bonus...

Then one day I was was A Current Affair and some woman being interviewed was filmed working at her laptop which was on some sort of stand that brought the screen to eye level and brought the keyboard up on and angle, I thought that was SO CLEVER, so I googled laptop stands and discovered they're available ALL OVER THE PLACE (Why hsd I never seen one before???)... I was going to get Dave to buy me one for my birthday, but it turned out to be a rather convoluted procedure (ordering through a store online)... Then I discovered one on ebay that was so economical I could not pass it up. I bought it, and here it is, and it's FANTASTIC, and I can sit so close to the screen!

I bought it from THIS ONLINE STORE... Check out the computer and IT section... I can see they're selling for $7-8 + postage, right now, but mine actually only cost me 99c plus postage, LOL - gee, I was lucky, must have been meant to be! Oh and I don't have mine set up on the highest setting, it can stand almost completely vertical - that just makes the screen too high for me, LOL...

The last thing is not really a NEW thing, but it feels new! I got my couch cleaned today!!! We've had this couch since Luey was 10 months old - so nearly 7 years and it's been treated fairly toughly by three boisterous boys (and their mum and dad, and a few thousand visitors of the adult and child variety)... It was looking PRETTY grotty! So, I finally got my act together and called a dry cleaner and got it cleaned. Again, why did it take me so long, it was such a simple and relatively cheap thing to do!

There are some stains on the couch that just will never come out, but OMGoodness it's amazing compared to what it was!!! I reckon we could get another 7 years out of this couch - and then I want a leather one!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My new favouritist mug...


Arrived from Snapfish today... I order it last Sunday night, and it arrived some time today (Thursday)... I'm seriously thinking I might get one of these made every year, just to see the boys growing, rofl!
In case anyone was under any illusion that I manage to keep my house tidy and clean all the time with a newborn, this was my house at 6pm last night...







I do believe though that as long as you can tidy your place within an hour, it's ok... This was my house at 6.40pm after Erik, Luey and I did a quick tidy...





Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Scary...

Me that is...

I was just changing Bryn's bum and went to dispose of the dirty nappy in the bin outside. I opened the front door and nearly had a heart attack when I found my neighbour and her daughter standing there!

Apparently, they had *just* rung out doorbell - the doorbell that doesn't work - and then coincidentally I opened the door...

Unfortunately for me, I was wearing my ratty old "World Greatest Mum" tshirt style nightie, and had a Maya hair band in my hair - so I looked like some old Troll mum from an Icelandic saga standing there in my hairy legs (the nightie only goes down to mid thunder thigh), no bra - so my, now size F+ boobs where resting comfortably about my belly button...

So, yeah, don't know who would have been more scared;

Me opening the door, not expecting to find people just standing there, or them having this half-clad troll woman open the door for them...

LOL, well, considering they only just found out on Monday that we'd had Ari at home four weeks earlier, I guess I fit the "public image" of dowdy, hippy, homebirthing earthmama... Maybe not the look I'd normally go for...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stylin'

So, after starting to build the TP Challenger climbing frame on Friday - and having to leave it unfinished because I ran out of time (and then couldn't get to it on the weekend because it was just too damn cold...



I got started on finishing it today so Sienna and Bryn could play on it after creche... Well, the best laid plans and all that... I encountered a problem attaching the cubby to the frame - one of the eyelets just would not reach the bolt in the frame it was supposed to be attached to... I called the seller and after some tooing and froing with emails and photos he had me half dis-assembled the frame and try attaching it in a different order. With some muscle help from Jayne we FINALLY managed to get the cubby attached...

Poor Jayne and Sienna ended up spending their whole time helping me out in thr front yard while I swore like a trooper and sweated and tried to get the frame up so the kids could play on it. Again, we ran out of time (so sorry guys!) and now they're coming back on the weekend for a play (which is good in a way because the Liam gets to check it out and Erik and Luey will love seeing Liam and Sienna again anyway!)...



Jayne also helped by soothing Ari when he got impatient with mum being distracted by construction toys... On the whole though Ari was pretty chilled in the yard...



The following is *supposed* to be a slideshow of Bryn playing on the climbing frame cubby after I finished assembling it - hope it works!



Other stuff we did today was go to Baby Bunting to exchange some size 00 winter clothing I bought for Ari - back in July when I still thought I was having a 4kg+ baby... Geez, Baby Bunting gave me a bit of a hard time, mind you. I rang them first to see what kind of exchange I'd get, and they couldn't even guarantee me they would exchange the stuff, even though it was completely unused, unwashed, with tags and I had the receipt. Apparently, I'd waited too long to exchange it and they wouldn't commit to exchanging "out of season" clothing. I think the only thing that convinced them was that it was all Pure Baby and Tiny Tribe stuff, and that stuff is very popular and therefore would probably resell...

I used the instore credit to buy a bugaboo toddler skateboard for the pram...



Bryn was NOT impressed that it wasn't a REAL skateboard, so I had to bribe him with two biccies to get on it - and then he loved it, hahaha!



I love that it hooks up under the pram when not in use - I don't know if this par for the course wrt pram skateboards, but it's great because it means Dave won't trip on it all the time, hahaha!



I also got Tiny a summer Pure baby outfit (I LOVE Pure Baby and now have a few things I can mix and match!), and a Pure baby single kimono top (in light blue, Leah, rofl)...

For Mary - I DARED!!!

Ok, this is in response to THIS DARE by Mary...


  • In the foreground, a variety of dishes from the previous 24 hours, including pasta&sauce dinner bowls, ugh (this photo was taken at 6pm the night AFTER that dinner...
  • Megabag of 2 minute noodles that was Luey's dinner last night (he only had one packet out of the 10 pack bag, mind you, LOL)...
  • In the background, the steamer from dinner TWO nights previous (Dave hates washing the pots and I refuse to was them on principle - or he'd always leave them for me to do!)...
  • Various other dishes...
  • Dark object on the floor is a great shopping bag that had held the ingredients for last night's dinner (that didn't get cooked last night, and so we're having it tonight)...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tis the season... To run about like a chook with your head cut off...

Oh dear, suffering terribly from that feeling of having a lot of things to do and being behind the eight ball...

Have had one of those mornings where I've spent most of my time soothing a fractious newborn. Don't know what the problem is, and not really interested in trying to guess what it might be, but nothing seems to help the boy feel calm and contained.

He's sleeping now, but his last sleep didn't last long at all, so don't know how much time I have...

Anyway, so here are some of the things I need to do and organise...

  • Book a dry cleaner to do the couch (FINALLY!!!) DONE
  • Reschedule MCHN appointment for this Thursday, so I can go to the AB meet up DONE
  • Wrap MIL's birthday presents (for tonight)
  • Exchange baby clothing at Baby Bunting before it looses even more value (grrrr) DOING IT TOMORROW
  • Finish erecting the TP activity frame in the front yard before Sienna comes over to play on it with Bryn tomorrow
  • Get Christmas window lights from Ikea
  • Get new Christmas Tree decorations
  • Pay off and organise delivery of trampoline from Target
  • Pay off and pick up Maxi Climber from other Target
  • Buy scooter or roller blades for Erik (pin him down on which he REALLY wants)
  • Buy scooter for Luey
  • Pay off and pick up Buzz Lightyear for Bryn
  • Order/buy Dave's present from ABC
  • Order triple smoked Ham for Christmas dinner

This is besides just cleaning/maintaining the house and taking care of the kids...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Another family outing...

Wow, twice in two weekends! That must be some sort of record for our family in recent years!

Not terribly exciting, just another trip to the shopping centre to buy MIL her birthday presents for tomorrow, and see if Santa was set up yet for taking Christmas pics - apparently not until next Saturday...

Had some lunch out, and you could have knocked me over with a feather when Erik and Luey asked for sushi rolls for lunch!!! I honestly didn't believe they'd eat them, and made a point of telling them sushi rolls cost a fair bit more than a happy meal and so I wouldn't be impressed if they turned their noses up at them once they arrived and demanded something else...

They each got a cooked chicken and cucumber one and a raw salmon and avocado one. Erik ate both of his, and Luey ate his salmon one (he loves avocado!) and then was full so Erik ate his other chicken one as well. I waited until they'd finished before telling them they'd eaten raw fish, LOL...

So good to see them choosing something relatively healthy of their own volition!!!

I thought I'd give you all another Tiny hit :)...

Starting to get a bit spotty, but still irresistably cute!


This is why I need a little point and shot camera... Blurry close ups are not a lot of fun - but can you see that my boob is bigger than his head, rofl!!!


Had to dress him up for the Christmas picture, LOL. He doesn't look wholly convinced that being dressed up as a ladybug is WAAAAAY COOOOOOL! Does he? "Mummy, do you PROMISE not to put this in my 21st slideshow???" "Yes, dear, I PROMISE!!!" (XfingersX)


Oh, and FINALLY the tail end of a smile (sorry folks, that's the closest I've come so far to catching one!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Wish List...

It's just so much easier for me to think about what to get for other people for Christmas and Birthdays, and so much harder to think of stuff for them to get me...

My birthday is December 14th, so I have to do all my "asking" at the same time of year, too, which is another pain in the neck...

Today I ended up throwing a tantrum because Dave had asked me what I wanted for my birthday and Christmas...

At first I couldn't think of anything... He often gets me DVDs or books or CDs, but to be honest I don't get much use out of these. I NEVER have the time or inclination to read a book these days (I can read the net all day, read magasines, or the newspaper, but a book seems like far more of a committment than I'm able to, erm, commit to... I used to be the kind of person who would read a novel in a day - because I tended to hyperfocus - but that just isn't possible these days)...

I might watch a DVD once, but there are few DVDs I'd be prepared to watch more than once...

I know this will just astound some people (it would have truly FRIGHTENED the teen/20s version of myself) but I NEVER listen to music anymore... With kids, I just can't hear it half the time, and when they're asleep or out of the house, the SOUND OF SILENCE is so precious that turning a CD on seems like sacrelige...

Anyway, so I told Dave I would love a little point and shoot camera to have in my bag for all those moments in time when I want to catch the kids doing something cute or funny or remarkable but don't have my bulky DSLR with me...
  • He seemed to think that was a waste of money because I already have the DSLR, and besides I have the old Kodak Easyshare (from like 8 years ago, and the battery hub is sticky taped in place, and he's not sure where the cable for it is - though he's sure we still have it...)
Then I suggested an el cheapo photo printer...
  • He felt that the cheap ones would just break down immediately or not produce good enough quality prints - hmmmm, as opposed to the past 3 years or so when we've produced NO prints whatsoever...
So, I looked online to see if there was anything else I wanted... I thought of a digital photo frame, but figured he'd think that was a waste of money... A panini maker, but then he'd say that we have no where to store it and besides we already have a jaffle maker...

And this is when I got MAD!

Can you see why?

Well, seriously, it's MY present!!! I should get to choose whatever I wanted (within his budget of course, which is very small), and it's not for him to make a value judgement on what I choose! So, I told him... Or rather, I burst into tears and yelled it at him...

Ok, so now we understand each other and I'm making up a list of what I that he can afford...

Here's what I have so far...

  1. Ergonomic laptop stand - to save me from having to hunch over my laptop to see the screen (I want this for my birthday!)
  2. Digital point and shoot pocket camera
  3. Lexmark wireless all-in-one printer/scanner/copier
  4. Satin PJs
  5. Sandwich Press

Friday, November 21, 2008

My poor little Frankenbaby...

Oh, just saw the most lovely photo of Owen!

LOL, Owen and Ari are notoriously called the "same same" babies because they gestated for exactly the same amount of time, and Leah and I seemed to have the same sorts of systems usually at exactly the same time, they've even started smiling at the same age - they're only 2 days apart...

But, there is one way in which they're not *same same*...

Poor Ari is looking the worse for wear atm. He isn't a round little cherub like Owen (though he's working hard on getting there), but now, on top of that, he's gone and lost half his hair (he's developed a monk's hairline), and the skin on his head and face is shiny, oily, pimply and now peeling, as well... Poor little blighter!

Of course, I think he's gorgeous anyway... But I'm kind of glad my parents won't be seeing him for another couple of weeks, hahaha! Hopefully by then he'll be completely bald, instead of half bald, and even if he still has shiny, oily, pimply skin, hopefully the peeling will have run its course by then...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Preparing for the weekend...

In hopes of having a relatively relaxed weekend this weekend, I've decided I want to make sure a few things are done before everyone gets home tomorrow night...

Climbing frame: I've ordered the following climbing frame (minus the slide, which I might get at a later date) for Bryn - the other boys can use it, too, of course, but I've bought it primarily to give Bryn something to play on/in outside while I'm busy with Ari and writing my book in the coming year...



I was expecting this to be delivered today, but then while I was at BaBs yesterday, they tried to deliver it, and I wasn't home. The next delivery day for this area is tomorrow. Of course, they can't give me a delivery time so I'm going to have to hand around the house all day waiting...

Anyway, I'm hoping the weather tomorrow won't be as inclement as it has been today, so that I can get this set up before the boys get home...

Household To Do List:

  • Finish the laundry (this is 80% done today already)
  • Stack the dishes (today), do the dishes (either tonight or tomorrow)
  • Vacuum throughout
  • Dust throughout
  • Tidy throughout
  • Wash toilet and bathroom
That way, on Saturday there will just be shopping to do, and for Dave to do the boys school clothes.

Good stuff :)...

Yesterday was a good day for a couple of reasons...

BRYN...

I have the following sigpic on a number of the forums I frequent...



Yesterday morning I was reading a forum and Bryn came up next to me and started saying, "There's a S, and there's a R, and there's a E..." I was a little surprised as we never do the whole, "let's identify letters" stuff with our kids - we wholly believe in not putting emphasis on "jumping through hoops" for the sake of impressing other people in particular...

Anyway, so I pointed at the letters under the photos (going from right to left, LOL) and said, "What's this?" and he identified, S, O, R and then called the B a D... Then he identified the E, B, and A in Erik, Bryn and Ari, but didn't know what the L was.

It's so funny, it hadn't even occurred to me that he might be picking up on this stuff, though, as Dave sees it, he has a LOT of experience with letters etc. He can recite the alphabet, but you know, it's a song (he knows three versions of the alphabet song, actually) and he LOVES songs - he knows dozens off by heart now, so I never thought anything of it...

I could read by the time I was 4.5, and I don't remember the process of learning to read at all. I know no one sat me down and taught me because my mum was only just learning to read English herself at the time, and my dad never engaged us kids in anything, and we were living in Iceland at the time, so only my maternal grandparents read to me and that was in Icelandic (I must have picked it up as mum was trying to learn to read herself and practiced on me, I guess). Now I'm kind of seeing how literacy can be extablished almost by osmosis! (not that I'm expecting Bryn to be literate in the next year, LOL)

ARI...

SMILED!!!

Erik and Luey had been trying to tell me on Tuesday that Ari was smiling, but I thought they were being a bit eager (yk, wanting to see smiles where they weren't), but then yesterday afternoon I *caught* Ari in a smile, and then last night he smiled at Dave as well. This morning we've seen more smiles! Smiling is the most beautiful gift from a child to their family, I have to say, it's like all of a sudden the baby is able to tell you, hey, you're doing well, I'm happy!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Unscheduled Meeting...

Last night I was so exhausted that I took myself off to bed at 8pm. The night before Ari had been waking every 1-1.5 hours, argh!

Anyway, he slept 8pm-11pm, 11.30pm-2am, 2.30am-4am, 4.30am-6.30am... That's about 8 hours broken sleep, so I felt a lot better this morning...

Dave to Bryn to creche when he took Luey to school, and Erik and Ari and I went to Jen's at 10am for a BaBs playgroup meeting. I was planning on leaving Jen's at about 11.40am to get back to the creche to pick Bryn up, but then got a phonecall from the school counsellor at 11.30am regarding Erik and wanting to schedule a meeting with her.

I gave her a reader's digest run down of our concerns, and she suggested a meeting for today with Erik's teacher, the vice principal (I definitely didn't want that) and herself. We decided to meeting at 1pm. So, I rang Dave at work and told him he had to get over to the school by 1pm, because I really didn't want to do this meeting on my own.

I picked Bryn up (thank goodness he is REALLY enjoying creche!!!), and we got up to the school at exactly 1pm and met Dave there.

Erik went and played with his school mates (it was lunch break) and we went in with Bryn and Ari for the meeting. LOL, afterwards I realised I was so pre-occupied with the meeting itself I didn't think twice about pulling my boobs out (top down) throughout the meeting to feed Ari, hahaha - I wonder if the other three women were used to seeing breastfeeding, particularly Erik's 24 year old, no-kids, teacher...

Anyway, I can't really say if the meeting was a success or not. I really did feel that the school counsellor understood what we were trying to communicate about Erik acting out when anxious and about how he would be anxious now because he's moving up, and how he needs very strong boundaries, but without causing more anxiety, and how MOST importantly, we can't help the school manage Erik unless they keep up IN THE LOOP at all times, and don't leave things until they've started to snowball.

I also made the point that all the stuff Erik is spouting in terms of sexualised language is being picked up AT SCHOOL, and that he is not bringing it to the school, and so we cannot prevent him learning and spreading this misinformation around.

I said we'd pull him out on Friday to make sure he knew we were serious about him needing to behave at school and resist engaging in wrong behaviour, but also that the escalation of his behaviour over the week - which I was putting down to us not having the information to deal with it sooner - was very stressing to me at just 2-3 weeks post partum, and I was attempting to minimise my own stress as well.

Two things came out of it that I view as favourable.

  1. It soon became clear that their biggest concern was how to appease Dave and I so that we would send Erik back to school asap. They were more concerned about the fact that we'd pulled him out and were willing to keep him out until we were satisfied that this issue was sorted, than in anything else...
  2. They *offered* that really, all the stuff Erik was saying and doing was pretty normal really, and quite common and that it really wasn't a big deal (funny, they always manage to make us feel like somehow our child is some freakazoid who *must be contained*) and that this sort of talk was rampant at the school, so they weren't at all questioning that he'd learned this stuff there...
They also said the boys not doing swimming was not a big deal, lots of kids won't be doing swimming and the boys will just go into peer classes with the other kids - which will also give Erik the opportunity to get to know other kids going into the next level of primary school (which might help alleviate some of his anxiety about not knowing anyone)...

The counsellor tried to suggest that Erik might do well with a male teacher next year (something I feel might help too) but the VP was NOT going to be pinned down on if that might be possible to organise or even if there would be any male teachers for the 3/4 grades next year (there currently is one male teacher at that level, so now I'm wondering if he's leaving or being moved to a different year level???)...

Anyway, so Erik goes back to school tomorrow - and don't you know, after asking yesterday and this morning if he could go to school, he's now claiming he'd rather stay home... Obstinant child!

Gosh, I'd love to be one of those parents who just didn't give a shit and believed the school was overreacting and that it would all blow over if we just ignored it all...

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Nurture Sling

The first Nurture Sling I bought for Ari was too big, but as it turned out, a friend could make good use of it, so I ordered a new one (they're VERY reasonably priced). Well it arrived in the mail today, and fits nicely and is very easy to use and very comfy, and very pretty!

Ari seems to like it too!


Here's a better idea of what the fabric looks like :)...

Oh dear, LOL...

Ok, so trying to organise this stuff with Erik.

Contacted the Paed. we saw back in May and got him to forward me the letter he was meant to send up back then via email - in hindsight, he may well have sent the letter but because both our computers were down at the time, I might not have received it...

Anyway, the letter doesn't paint a pretty picture, rofl. Mostly, it says that Erik is physiologically normal child who is very sensitive and has anxiety and due to his keen need to be accepted by others can be at risk of being taken advantage of by peers (this is key to our argument that he is not the instigator of these situations but rather the transmitter)...

However, it did also point out that I have agoraphobia and suffered severe PND, and that Dave is also quite an anxious person (yeah, Dave will love THAT being on the school records). It also said that I have attachment parented Luey and Bryn and that they are aggressive (um, I had said they tended to be more aggressive than Erik, who isn't aggressive at all)...

Anyway, Dave spoke to Erik's teacher this morning, and told her about the other boys and what they'd been "teaching" Erik. She then tells Dave that Erik had mentioned the other boys but she found it hard to believe that one of those boys, in particular, might talk about such stuff... ARGH! So, Erik tries to tell her WHY he's talking about this stuff and she just dismisses what he says! She said she'd talked to the other two boys and they'd denied saying that stuff - well, DUH! So, their word has been taken for truth but Erik's not. So, um, if he is NEVER believed because in the past he's lied about stuff (completely unrelated stuff, btw), how is he supposed to learn that telling the truth is a good thing?

Anyway, so we've said we want a meeting with Erik's teacher and the school counsellor. Now the school counsellor is only available on Tuesdays, so she will try and get an appointment for tomorrow, but if not then next week. She will contact me when this is organised. If it's next Tuesday, then it looks like Erik will be home for a week...

I'm really very angry about all of this. It seems like it is ok for Erik to cope the blame for being easily manipulated. We're expected to make him spot letting others manipulate him, but we are not getting any support for our situation. Also, just the fact that the teacher didn't feel it necessary to tell us that Erik had already indicated the involvement of other children galls me. Surely, that was an important part of the chain of events.

Also, little things like the teacher telling Erik it's up to her if he graduates to the next level or not - another idle threat on her part, when we've already said that he suffers from anxiety and acts out when he's feeling anxious...

Anyway, let's hope we can get a meeting tomorrow, and get this sorted.
Thought you might like to see Tiny in his bugaboo (ok, so you probably don't give a shit, but *I* wanted you all to see him in my new toy, hahaha)...

This is why I don't need to use the bassinet, he can lie down in the seat - and then I can incline it further for Bryn as well.



Check out the startled look - I hope he will like being the pram, at least some of the time. I will most likely use my slings a LOT, but this allows me to have place to put him down when out (especially on hot, sticky days, or if my RSI starts to play up)...



Oh, and of course, I'd normally have the harness on him when out and about (I have already experienced a baby falling out a pram - Bryn slipped out of a pram and onto a road once, luckily Dave caught him just in time so he didn't hit his head on the road surface!)...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wa-hoo! Bugaboo!!!

Check it out!!! My beautiful Bugaboo!!! I've wanted one of these since Bryn was a newborn. I wanted it so badly that I never even allowed myself to test drive one in any of the baby departments I visited from before Bryn was born!

Finally this last week I decided I needed a compact, reversible, fully reclining pram for Ari. On a whim I checked out ebay, just to see if people were reselling their Bugs yet, and there it was, with a Buy It Now sticker on it! I ended up paying about 1/3 the original rrp, which for a VERY gently used (it seriously looks "As New") is an incredible price.

This Bug is the original "Frog", which is now being superceded by the Cammy. The big differences are that this one has a smaller seat, non-adjustable handle height, non-adjustable suspension... Luckily for me, I WANTED the smaller carriage size (the more compact the better for me), and handle height is well and truly high enough for me (because I'm only average/short), and I don't know from adjustable suspension anyway, rofl, so am not worried about it...

Bryn loves it!

It came with a bassinet, but I realised this afternoon that I actually don't need the bassinet for Ari, and by using the seat exclusively, I can use it for both Ari and Bryn in one trip, simply by inclining or reclining the seat to suit each child...

The pram width is super narrow, so will fit well onto a bus. It has one handed steering, which for me with Ari in the sling and Bryn in the pram will be fantastic! And it's SO LIGHT to push!

Rave, rave, rave!!!


Other pics :)...

I LOVE this look on Ari, he gets this big O mouth look when he's contemplating something new and (to him) curious...


Foot praying...


Here he is wearing a knitted matinee jacket and matching bonnet that my Nanna (dad's mum) sent him a few weeks ago. I really must get out and get a nice card for her and send her a picture!!!

The Good Day...

Well, after all the worry and stress of this last week, it was really nice to have a good day yesterday in our family...

The morning was pretty much spent as Saturday mornings are spent in our house. The boys watched cartoon while I fed Ari (for hours, rofl, he is very much a cluster feeder - early morning, early afternoon, early evening, the rest of the time he's either sleeping or "chatting" with us)... Dave did the dishes, and I checked out the net and tried to organise some stuff for the boys.

Luey had a nap late morning - this child REALLY needs a nap on a Saturday to "get over" all the stimulation of the school week. Often we have to make him take a nap (because he is being so obstinant and argumentative and cranky), but yesterday he took himself off for the nap.

Erik and Bryn had a quasi lunch, I had a shower, Dave looked at some clips on You Tube and kept an eye on Ari, who was also napping.

When Luey got up we fairly quickly got everyone changed into going out gear (we're very much a family who gets around in "comfy/house/pj clothes" unless actually going out...

Then we headed off to the new big shopping centre together.

This is a fairly big deal because we very rarely go out all of us together. We had quite a wait at the bus stop because we just missed one bus and the next bus must have been cancelled. Erik got a bit restless and defiant at the bus stop, so I ended up having a long talk with him about considering the needs of other people. He seems very taken with the concept of "What is it worth to me..?" whenever he is asked to do something (in this case it was staying in the bus shelter so that drivers didn't have to worry if he was going to run onto the road at any minute, he wasn't getting that they couldn't know that he knew better than to run onto the road when he was sitting/standing right on the edge of it)...

The bus finally came (I'm hoping Dave can see that we'd have been at the shopping centre about 40 minutes earlier if he had a lisence)...

We got to the shopping centre and I showed Dave around (he'd been there briefly once or twice but isn't very good with orienting himself in busy places like shopping centres)...

We went to Big W and I bought undies and a some new tops. Erik and Luey FINALLY got to pick out their presents from Ari (and Bryn picked out a small something for himself too, rofl)... Big W was giving away free fairy floss so all the boys had some of that.

Then we went and bought Erik some new shoes for school (his FOURTH pair this year, the child is so rough of his shoes). We were insisting on Dunlop Volleys because they're the most hard wearing for him, but he wanted something else (which was also much more expensive and probably wouldn't even see the term out), in the end we compromised on Volley slip ons that a very popular atm and he was very happy with thos.

Then we made out way to the food court and had a late lunch/early dinner, before going home again.

The boys built their lego sets when they got home (they actually both opted for the same small set each, LOL, which is a first for them)...

All the kids were asleep by 7pm, and Dave and I watched SBS and hung out and chatted.

..............................................

Today we've tidied up the house (was getting very messy which always leads to the kids being loud and frenetic (it's AMAZING how sensitive our boys are to a chaotic environment, each one of them)...

Now Dave is showing Bryn clips on You Tube, Erik and Luey are chatting and playing quietly (wow!) in front of the fireplace. Ari is asleep next to me here on the dining table.

My brother is coming over in about an hour for a visit. This afternoon I'm getting to pick up my BUGABOO (SO EXCITED about that, can't even convey my excitement!)...

It's going to be a busy and probably somewhat emotionally turbulent week coming up, but it's been nice to have a relatively (for us - sometimes I liken our family to den of Icelandic Trolls, yk) peaceful weekend.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Round and round the mulberry bush...

So, had a long conversation with Erik last night.

Got out of him that two boys have been teaching him about a variety of words, some "rude" some just not very nice, like imbecile... Another boy (the one we've had ongoing issues with, as have others in the school), has been telling Erik to do and say things (including what he said about his friend on Thursday), or this child was "bash him up"... The thing is, these other boys, they're 6 and 7, but Erik legitimately believes these boys will physically attack. In the case of the boy we've had ongoing issues with, it's not an idle threat. That is the child who attacked both Erik and Luey in the school holiday program, scratching both boys in the face and drawing blood, as well as laying into a third child. This child's attitude is apparently that all teachers are stupid and that you don't have to listen to them. Also, Erik has seen this child do the most appalling things to other students and seemingly nothing gets done about it - that is not to say they school isn't dealing with it at all, but as far as Erik can see this child is hurting other kids with no consequences, so if he hurts Erik, he'll get away with it...

It's complicated (this stuff always is)...

Anyway, we've told him that if he is told do something "wrong" or dared to do something he shouldn't be doing (including swearing, talking about sex, ignoring what his teacher say - we pointed out that while you don't have to listen to your teacher, you might choose to co-operate with her because she has always been respectful and considerate to you and you actually like her and want to get along with her), then he should a) tell the other child he isn't going to do the wrong thing, and that he is going to tell a teacher. If the other child threatens to hurt him, he should run to a populated place where there would be witnesses if someone did physically attack, and preferably seek out a teacher (because one of Erik's problems is that he never has any evidence of the other children saying or doing what he claims they've said and done, so it always ends up being his word against theirs and often these children pair or group up with other kids and back each other up)...

The problem here is, we had Erik assessed by a paediatrician earlier this year who said Erik is intellectually advanced for his age, but emotionally immature (innocent), and that he doesn't know how to interact with boys his age - which is why he tends to prefer the company of girls. The Paed. was going to send us a letter stating all of this, but hasn't yet, and I haven't followed it up. It would provide some evidence to the school that Erik is easily manipulated by other boys, and basically - as I'm interpreting it - these boys, rather than getting into trouble themselves, have figured out that they can get Erik to do their bidding and he will cope the blame for it, they're having fun at his expense because he's not sophicated enough to realise what they're doing...

Anyway, so Dave and I are going to organise a meeting with Erik's teacher and the school counsellor or the principal (I'm not keen to talk to the VP about this because she is completely lacking in compassion or understanding of children)... Before we go to the meeting though, I need to get that letter from the Paed.

Erik will not go to school until we've talked to the school.

Dave and I want some acknowledgment from the school that this other child, the one beating up kids in the school yard is party to creating this situation with Erik. Erik has been teamed up with this boy in class, to try and help the boy with his schoolwork at time, and we want that stopped immediately, because obviously this child poses a threat to Erik, if only emotionally.

Erik has also confirmed that he has a lot of anxiety about going up to the next grade level and not knowing anyone. Also, his teacher has said to him that he can't be at school when the swimming is on - so that's what he understands, anyway, I need to know what she actually told him.

The children should not feel punished because we're not sending them to swimming - I really don't care WHAT arrangement the school has with the aquatic centre...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy 10th Anniversary...

Dave and I have been married for 10 years today. We've been together for 12 years, today, as well...

I really wish I could say it's been a great day, but truth be told I'm sitting here in a flood of tears. Dave is cabbing it over to the boys school as we speaking to pull Erik out of class. He came home this morning and took his time in telling me that Erik's teacher had talked to him, yet again, this morning. Yesterday, after I relented and sent him to school - and gave him "another chance to learn this social lesson", he apparently told other kids in the school yard that he was going to, "sex up" the friend who's house he went on a playdate with yesterday afternoon.

No, I don't think my child is some sort of sexual pervert. I think he was merely engaging in the taboo language that has so far gotten him a lot of attention, both from teachers and other stufents. The thing is, we didn't hear about this until this morning, and yesterday afternoon, the mother who offered the playdate picked our boys up from school. I don't know if the teacher told her what Erik had said, but coincidentally, last night, Dave was telling me that he had a funny feeling when this mum and her dh dropped our boys off yesterday evening (mind you, they had said they'd drop them off between 5.30 and 6pm, and they didn't get here until closer to 7pm, so they didn't seem to be in a rush to drop the boys off)... So, now we're left wondering if Erik's words were reported back to the parents either by the teacher or by the girl herself.

Anyway, so now Dave is going back to the school to pull Erik out and Erik will not be going to school next week. He obviously doesn't comprehend the seriousness of all this acting out, and we aren't getting what's going on with him because we're not getting through to him. Also, he obviously got the message yesterday that I wasn't at all committed to pulling him out of school (my mistake), so now we have to sort this out.

I think I need to pack up the laptop too, because I think Bryn is not coping so well with these changes either, and to be completely honest, I don't feel like I'm coping very well atm myself.

I was expecting Luey to be the one with issues after Ari arrived, not Erik... With not enough sleep, Erik's behaviour deteriorating so much in the past week, Bryn acting out as well (and me not reacting very well him his acting out), it's all a bit too much. I need to figure this stuff out - I feel like I'm stuffing it all up right now...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MCHN visit today...

Well, I met my new maternal and child health nurse at the centre today. This is not the same person who came to my house last week and couldn't subtract 2750 from 3040 correctly (she thought the total was 190, it was 290 and that extra 100 was important to me because it refers to 100g of weight Ari put on that she didn't acknowledge, yes, I'm a highly sensitive new mum, hahaha)...

Anyway, so I'd asked to see someone consistently and not to be passed amongst the mchns the way I had been with Bryn (3 different nurses for 3 seperate visits before I stopped going because having to explain myself regarding, co-sleeping, breastfeeding a 4 year old, homeschooling, declining vaccinations, and using cloth nappies to three different less that approving nurses wasn't something I was keen to keep doing)...

So, I mentioned this to the mchn who arranged for the other mchn to come visit me, and she was falling all over herself to make sure I saw just one mchn (her) throughout...

So, I met her today, her name is Jane, she is chinese-australian. She's new to the centre, I think she's replacing the mchn I had with Erik and Luey (who I really liked because even though she didn't get my strange ways, she never made me feel weird about them)... The first thing she said when I got there was, "We've spoken so much, I feel like I already know you!" Hahaha, how's that for Sanguine! We'd spoken twice!

She weighed him and didn't comment on his cloth nappy, it wasn't a hassle that I didn't have my blue book (had to forget something)...

Checked his penis but didn't make a big deal about it at all...

As we were about to measure him, another mchn came in and asked if a trainee nurse could come observe because her own client had just cancelled their appointment. I said sure (hey, another opportunity to be an example of the wide variety of choices parents make)... Jane excitedly told her I was a homebirth, and then we measured him... At birth, he was 52cm, today, he first measured 50.5cm, LOL, then when I said he'd shrunk, she remeasured him and found another cm...

His head had expanded 4.5cm from birth to measure 36.5cm (the same as Luey's at birth!)...

Hips fine, pointed out the outie/herniated belly button, but said it was no big deal (told her my M/W had already said as much), double and triple checked his spine because one of the lower third vertibrae was a little poking out, I mentioned that I'd noticed the same with Bryn as a newborn and carted off to an osteo, who didn't think much of it... She said that his walking reflex was fine and he was obviously moving his legs easily, so it might just be something within the norm for our family (I'm thinking maybe he needs more time laying flat, rofl, less boppy pillow and car seat time)...

Then he peed all over the change table, rofl - so plumbing is all good too (he's wet me four times in the last 24 hours, so I wasn't worried about that)...

And then we weighed him...

6 days since his last weigh in...

Last Friday he weighed 3040g

Today he weighed 3275g

That's a gain of 235g in 6 days!!! I'm happy with that!!!

So, then she turns to the trainee nurse and says, "That's breastfeeding for you!"

Anyway, she was really encouraging, and nice, and never mentioned vaccination, or commented on the cloth nappies (I was told last time that I'd soon give up on those), or tried to readjust Ari when he was on the boob (feeding over his shoulder)...

So, seeing her again in a fortnight...

One step ahead...

Lately, I've had the feeling that Erik is one step ahead of me all the time...

This week we've had his teacher complain about his behaviour at school, which she put down to him having a new brother and us not paying as much attention to him - an assumption that actually peeved me quite a bit, especially because, if anything, I'm spending more time just chatting with Erik because I spend so much of my time sitting on the couch feeding Ari, instead of with my nose in my laptop...

Anyway, we talked to him about it, and told him he needed to be more considerate of the needs of his teacher and the other children in his class to be able to get on with their work without him being a distraction to everyone...

We did point out to him that if he didn't want to pay attention at school, then he could always homeschool, but that the other kids at school were there to learn, not just to socialise.

Anyway, so then yesterday morning his teacher talked to Dave again about Erik's behaviour. She's at her wits end and says if his behaviour continues to deteriorate in class then she'll be forced to give him and internal suspension (he won't be allowed to participate in the "fun" classes, sport, art, and performing arts)...

Apparently, he'd used the C word in class (no, not a word we EVER use at home). Now, a few days ago he'd come to me and told me another child at school had told him "can't" is a rude word. I explained to him then that it wasn't, but that the boy was playing on the similarity between that word and the C-word (which I did tell him what was, and then explained to him how extremely offensive it is to people, including me and that I never wanted to hear him say it, ever)...

Well, the teacher had told him that word was definitely not ok to say, and he then proceeded to use it again...

So, I talked to him about this last night. My plan was to tell him that he would not be going to school today - to show that I'm serious about what kind of behaviour we expect from him at school, and if he can't behave considerating he couldn't go to school - and that meant he also couldn't go on the swimming playdate with his friend in the afternoon. Admittedly, I thought just telling him this might scare him into compliance... Yeah, can you see the lesson coming my way, yet?

Ok, so I execute my brilliant plan, and what do you know... His response to my question about why he was upping the anty at school was... Wait for it... "My teacher keeps *threatening me!" I said that she wouldn't need to threaten him with internal suspension if he wasn't using obscene language in school. He kept repeating, "Yeah, but she was *threatening* me..."

Eventually, dense little me, asked him why that had anything to do with him behaving worse and worse at school, and then he explained that he KNEW she wasn't going to follow through...

Well, I'm ot a brilliant parent, so at this point I totally blew my cool... I said, "Well, don't think for a second that *I* am merely idly threatening you. *I* am deadly serious about pulling you out of school, mate!"

Then I cooled a bit, and said, "Listen, not following through on her threats is NOT a sign of weak in your teacher. In fact, it's a sign of how much she wants you to "get it right"! She is giving you opportunity after opportunity to do the right thing because she DOESN'T want you to miss out on the stuff you like to do, and she doesn't want you to get into trouble. You are, in turn, taking advantage of her kindness. This is why good teachers leave schools, they try to be understanding and give kids a chance to learn, but the kids just abuse that kindness until the teachers give up, and then that leaves you with teachers who won't give you a second chance..."

He sat there silently, so I continued...

"If you WANT a teacher who is going to follow through on their threats, then you're definitely going about it the right way. When they move you next year, to the grade three, they'll look at how you've behaved this year, and they'll decide you need a hard nosed teacher who doesn't give second chances..."

So, we talked a bit about how we shape how other people treat us.

He did go to school this morning, and will be going to the playdate, but he's been told this is not a sign that we won't follow through on our "threats", but rather a sign that we want him to have the opportunity to learn how to behave in a socially considerate manner.

Anyway, but hey, how about the 9 year old having figured out that consequences aren't always conseqences, but sometimes just tools for authority figures to control behaviour. I could go all, yeah, what's the point of threatening consequences, but honestly, I think fair warning of what might happen if the child doesn't take the opportunity to learn a new way of interacting is not a bad thing... That said, I might have a word to his teacher about how giving him endless "second chance"s is kind of undermining his respect for her... Maybe if she is going to set a consequence, but wants to give him a second chance, she needs to explain to him in advance that she wants him to succeed, but at some point she is going to have to follow through on her "threat"...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LOA and the money stone...

Was talking to a friend about my blog the other day, saying it might not be suitable to link to another organisations blog because although I do write about life in general and my kids and parenting and child development, I also write about other more esoteric things, metaphysical stuff and what not that might not appeal to the general public, or might even be quite off putting to some people...

She couldn't imagine what kinds of things I was referring to, and I mentioned stuff like crystal healing etc. This garnered the response of, "Oh, you don't have crystals and that sort of thing", to which I replied that in fact, just above my front door I have a Citrine quartz, for the purpose of attracting money into this house... I was asked how that was working, and replied that in the next 6 weeks we were expecting a large amount of money (combination of the baby bonus and Kevin's "Go forth and spend" payment)... At the time I remember thinking, mind you lots of people are getting that money right about now as well - even though they don't have citrine quartz' above their front door...

So, anyway, the truth is, we're very well provided for in this house. Whenever we seem to be starting to scrape by, we're blessed in some way. This week was a lean week financially because Dave hadn't worked much in the fortnight after Ari's birth. We were looknig at 2 minute noodles and toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner for the week until my payday tomorrow. And then Jen reminded me that she had some money to put towards groceries in the wake of Ari's birth. So, we've had proper dinners this week! (and that's besides the generosity of people who have given us food in the form of buying the odd groceries here and there, and baking for us; thank you Jen, Rach, and Kiran)...

Then I got home from BaBs today, and there was an Education Maintainence Allowance cheques in the mail - for $65... Now, there have been notices to pick up these cheques at the front office of the school since the beginning of the term (in the school newsletter) but I've been ignoring these notices because, well, I totally forgot to put in the form to claim the allowance last term (pregnancy brain and all), so I didn't think we were getting one! I don't know WHY we got one, as I didn't apply for the allowance for the second half of the year, but here I sit with the cheque in front of me nonetheless!

As well as this, I just checked my online account at Centrelink, and the Baby Bonus is scheduled to be deposited in my account on Friday (yay!), and it's $185 more than I was expecting... So, this week alone we've been blessed with an extra $300 worth of food and money!

LOL, I can't help but feel that even when I've forgotten about the LOA stuff I've put in place here and there - like that crystal and the faith in universal provision I've expressed by having it - the provisions just keep flowing in, for which I cannot be anything but humbly grateful!

The swimming lesson thing...

Dave got hauled up by Luey's teacher this morning because Luey had told her that he wouldn't be doing swimming lessons come December. I think maybe Mrs D thought Luey was a bit confused, because she seemed genuinely surprised when Dave confirmed that we would not be paying for the boys to do swimming through the school swimming program.

As Dave told Mrs D. the issues are that it's an awful lot of money right before Christmas ($180 for both boys), and last year, despite 8 two hour sessions over two weeks, they ended the program barely able to doggy paddle. We feel we can pay the same money (or probably less) at the local aquatic centre and expect more in return.

The teacher tried to tell Dave it can take 2-3 years for children to learn to swim (through these programs), um, that translates to $270 worth of lessons PER CHILD... I don't think so! Not to mention the fact that, as a teacher, I would expect her to recognise that if teaching a child a new skill takes a LONG time, then the most likely reason behind that is that the child just isn't ready to learn the skill developmentally...

Sheesh...

Also, what incentive do these centres (who host the swimming lessons) have to make sure the children learn anything? If the child learns to swim in the first year of lessons, then the parents are less likely to shell out for more lessons, so obviously the incentive to ensure learning isn't that great. Back in the day, swimming level awards/medals/whatever used to be the goal for the child, but that has been done away with, so now the swimming lessons are just two hours a day of supervised mucking around, four days a week for a fortnight... The boys could be doing that at home...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First Day at Creche!

So, here's a pic of Bryn on his first day ever at creche! Ok, so the pic was taken after we got home again, LOL, but that's only because I only got about 4 hours broken sleep last night and so it was a bit of a mad rush out the door this morning... There is evidence of the tomato sauce from his Evil Kingdom cheeseburger and the accompanying toy (aka prized possesion of the moment), so sue me for wanting to celebrate this momentus day in the boy's life, hehehe!

He had a marvellous time, apparently. The bus ride back to the shopping centre was full of stories of building REALLY big sandcastles, hand painting, making play doh with Sienna (the star attraction of creche, don't you know), eating his snack and drinking his drink, and reading stories.

He had been wanting to go to creche since going to the creche at yoga (for one hour) with Jenny's Hugo in the first term of this year, so I had an inkling that he'd enjoy himself. And then there was the added bonus of having Jayne working there, and it being at the Neighbourhood House where we'd previously attended playgroup for over a year, and OF COURSE who could forget the opportunity to spend three whole hour with Sienna, only his most favourite person in the world, LOL!


Mr Tiny and I spent the three hours at the local shopping centre where I walked and walked with Tiny in the stretchy sling I swapped with Leah, for the tube sling I bought that didn't fit... Now, I would have said I probably got in a good amount of exercise towards my weight loss efforts... That is, if I hadn't had a coffee with two donuts, an iced chocolate and then a large cheeseburger meal for lunch - oh dear, LOL... Better eat something a bit more nutritionally sound for dinner!

Took these pics of Ari last night...

Before...


And blissfully, after...

Monday, November 10, 2008

I just can't help myself...

Ah, the little froggy boy!


First ever exposure to The Simpsons... Yeah, he agrees with Grandad Mike, these cartoon characters are the makings of nightmares...


I don't want to jinx us, but check out the chilled out bubba below! This is Bryn's favourite sleeping position as well! Bryn is nicknamed Buddha because he was such a chilled out baby (and toddler, and mostly also as a bigger boy now)... When Ari was born looking so much like Luey I found myself transferring so much of my Luey related anxiety onto him - would he start screaming for several hours a day at 1 week of age, would he refuse to sleep more than 6 hours in every 24 (except twice when Luey slept a staggering 9 hours in 24) for the first 2.5 years of his life? But here we are at 2 weeks of age, and while he's as spitty as all the boys have been, so far he doesn't seem to have any pain with the reflux - I REALLY hope this is how things will be for him!

Brain Development and Parental Frustration...

Yeah, so 60 Minutes had a segment yesterday on young drivers and how the legal driving age should be raised, nationally, to 18, because even the one year between the age of 17 and 18 can make a big difference in brain development. They pointed out (correctly) that the human brain takes about 25 years to fully develop (don't even get me started on what this means wrt drug use and alcohol use before this age...)...

I have to say though, despite KNOWING the human brain takes more than a quarter of our lifetime to reach maturity, I can't help - as a parent - but wish it matured a helluva lot faster than that...

Take the following situation as an example...

I do love my big boys - don't get me wrong on that score - but SERIOUSLY, they can be the most selfish, self-centred, self-absorbed little autobots at times...

Erik and Luey share a room. they've shared a room for the past nearly 5 years and throughout that ENTIRE time, Dave and I have tried to teach them to be considerate of the other people in the house who are trying to sleep! Including each other... This has been completely and utterly fruitless.

Erik is the main culprit. No matter what time that child goes to sleep, every morning he wakes between 4.30-5.30am and gets up, turns the light on, or starts making other noise in an attempt to wake Luey. Then they muck around, wrestle, tickle each other, argue, pretend to be various vehicles - whatever takes their fancy. Sooner or later they make their way out to the living room, turn the tv on, thump about etc. etc.

We've tried talking to them, appealing to their compassion, rewarding them and downright bribing them, threatening them, punishing them, seperating them (no easy when they can't have their own rooms). I honestly think we've tried everything within our powers to get them to be more considerate and let us sleep until AT LEAST 6.30am (7am would be a DREAM)...

Last night, I went to bed at 9pn. Ari woke at 1.15am, and I fed him and he went back to sleep by 2.45am, then he stirred at 5am and I held my breath and he went back to sleep, but was awake at 5.30am - during this time Erik woke up, started playing with electronic toy in his room, went to the loo, then went to turn the tv on, and I sent him back to his room, where he proceeded to wake Luey and they started chatting (Luey has a very high pitched, 8" steel penetrating voice)...

I tried to feed Ari back to sleep but by 6am I knew I wouldn't be getting anymore sleep today...

So, six hours of broken sleep - I know some of you would think that was reasonable. I worry though because I ended up having seizures as a result of sleep deprivation when Luey was 2, it's always at the back of my mind that I need to make sure I get enough sleep - hence the unusually early bedtime for me (and the need to get TiVo, rofl)...

Why after 5 years, of EVERY DAY being spoken to about it, do they NOT GET that other people in this house need sleep? I ended up losing my cool this morning - and no, that's not the first time. Over the years I've yelled, cried, begged for some consideration... They 9 and 7... Surely, even with another 16 and 18 years of maturing ahead of themselves, they could conceive of other people's need for some consideration by NOW???

Surely...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I want TiVo!!!

At $700, it's definitely not cheap, but it's a lot cheaper than a plasma, rofl...

http://home.tivo.com.au/

Ah, the promise of being able to watch my fave shows when *I* want to watch them, and pick up all those shows that are on at ridiculous hours while we're left with dreadful reality tv and competition (Dancing with the stars, Idol, et al) shows in prime time...

Can I justify this??? Surely, somehow I can... Just give me a minute to think about it...

WOOT! I'm Back! (explained)...

First of all... This was 7.15pm on Saturday night at our house, rofl...

Bryn, occupying the couch in his usual style (poor Dave has no where to sit at night these days, seeing as Bryn is getting so long and all - we don't have room for a longer couch, or a second one atm)...


And now Ari has joined the evening loungeroom crew, LOL... Ah, TRADITION!!!


Ok, so moving right along - why am I back...

Well, yesterday was a fantastic day at our house, in that for the first time in months, I finally felt like my old self. I got plenty of sleep the night before (thanks to being prepared to go to bed at 7.30pm myself - yes, it kind of galls me, but right now, it's what I need to do (didn't do it last night and am feeling a little worse for wear atm because of it)... So, after spending much of the morning rooted to the couch with Ari the "wakey boy", he finally went to sleep and I set about tidying up the pit that had become out house over the past few days. Put on some washing, put away clothes and toys, etc. Dave did the dishes and I put them away, engaged Erik and Luey in the toy emu parade... And then I vacuumed the whole house, and did a dust as well... WOOT!!! All without pain or breathlessness or having to sit down every two minutes!!!

Then we headed off to the boys school for the school fair, and rides (Luey got an extra ride, the other boys opted for other stuff), fairy floss, shows bags (well, one for Erik anyway), face painting (for Bryn)... Dave and I had BBQ sausages in bread, rofl. Caught up with some parents I hadn't seen in about three months! It was great - even if it was a classic Melbourne "4 seasons in one day" kind of day...

Here are some incidental pics from yesterday...

Luey nursing Ari - he LOVES doing this!!!


Bryn getting in on the act, rofl...


Bryn finally got to "hold" Ari later last night when I was feeding Bryn to sleep, and Ari wasn't willing to hang out with Dad for more than five minutes... I *made* Dave take a photo (had asked him once before, but he was reluctant, so this time I insisted) of our tandem feeding moment. Bryn was so happy - you can't really see it in this photo, but he's got his arm wrapped around Ari's belly, so as far as he was concerned, he was holding Ari...


Little man in one of his PureBaby outfits (pants from Jennifer, top from Tabitha)... I LOVE Purebaby Organic clothing - the style even more so than the fact it's organic. This stuff is all in newborn, and I thought it might *just* fit him, but as you can see it's all still pretty loose, rofl. The pants will fit better over a cloth nappy, I think! Isn't he a spunk though! (yeah, I'm a bit biased)...


Here's Bryn with his Spiderman face paint! You can't really see it in this pic, but the red face paint really brought out the green patches around the outside of his irises. I keep saying his eyes are brown, but really their a mottled hazel colour, not unlike my own...


Speaking of eye colour, I thought I'd show why I think there is a small chance Ari might actually have blue eyes in the long run (now watch me eat those words, I said the same about Bryn, I think)... See the *light grey* around the pupil??? Surely that means they'll be blue, right?

Anyone reading this with true blue eyed children, tell me if Ari's eye colour is anything like what your child's was at this age...

I'm quite keen to have one blue eyed child - just because that's so much more like my own family, rofl... Dave does have a grandfather who had blue eyes, so there is a small chance the recessive gene has been passed on through Dave... I guess it's pretty remote though, with his parents and himself being brown eyed (in varying shades)...


So, there you go! I'm feeling a lot like my old self again - it's only really taken two weeks, and that's really not a long time, but in the midst of it all, it felt like an eternity of being trapped in some old woman's body, not being able to get on with all the stuff I wanted to do... I totally concur with Leah, I don't know how the people who have one month long babymoons do it!

Teenagers and the failing parent...