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Showing posts from June, 2009

The elipses of life...

So, i touched on this topic briefly in yesterday's post, but wanted to probe it more closely today...

Soon i'll be applying to undertake a Tafe course that i actually applied for twenty years ago (it's probably not EXACTLY) the same course, but very similar, on the same career path. I didn't get into the course twenty years ago because i was overseas at the time of applicant interviews. I guessits been playing on my mind how not getting into that course two decades ago changed the trajectory of my life, and how a multitude of moments like that are constantly changing our lives...

I'm not a fatalist, but i believe in grand designs, all the same. Many eliptical grand designs that propel us through our lives in accordance with the uncountable decisions we make every day.

I wonder, though, when my life takes a turn like this (wherein i seem to have come full circle over a twenty year cycle) at the importance of this choice in my life?

I have an old friend, we were once …

So ,uch going on, I´ll try to order my thoughts under subheadings...

Big week

As the sub heading suggests, it´s been a big week. The last week of June always heralds in the birthday season in our family. First there´s Luey on June 25th, then Erik on july 6th, then my dad on August 4th, then Bryn and my mum both on August 16th, then my brother on September 24th and now Ari on October 27th...

Erik and Luey traditionally have a joint birthday because many of their friends knows each other and so it´s always more fun to bring everyone together at once. This year was extra special as the boys FINALLY got to go to Dark Zone! They´ve been wanting to have a party there for two and half years, since Erik was first invited to another friends party there, but as the lower age limit is 8 years, we had to wait for Luey to turn eight. The excitement has been building all year! I woke this morning with the usual nerves. I´m not great with parties, I worry too much about everyone having a good time and such like. One of Erik´s intivtees wasn´t able to make it an…

More fun with the crop n frame app

Loving my iPhone!

And yes, my boy too!

Happy 8th Birthday Lulu Blue!!!

LOL, there's that familiar feeling again... Where did the time go? Eight years, it's not a long time, but it's such a long time, all the same!!! Luey is a beautiful kid! He's never been much of a worry to us, except when he had severe reflux teamed with colic in those very early months, but we did eventually get through that. He's a boy who feels things very intensely, but is not at all overt with it. As a baby, once we dealt with the pain of the reflux, he smiled and smiled and smiled. We used to call him Miles of Smiles because of that. But he is truly a boy of balance, and to balance out all that smiling, he sometimes went to some very dark places and sometimes needs help to unfurl himself.

He's stubborn as the day is long, but endearing with it.

He's at once completely self-oriented and completely empathetic. In particular they adoration he shows for Ari reveals how absolutely GIANT his golden heart is.

Golden, yes, that describes Luey well.…

I would never wish giftedness on my kids...

I have to say, just recently, I've been seeing so many references to "the smartest toddler in the world" and "how to switch on your child's potential genius"... And then there is all the talk about "Early Literacy" and "getting in while kids are still in that sponge phase of develop"...

What is the obsession with early high achievement and giftedness in children?

Do people honestly think gifted children will be more succcessful or more happy in life?

The smartest toddler in the world is a two year old with an IQ of 157 who can tell you the capital cities of 35 countries and count to 20 in spanish (as well as English, I'm guessing)... Her IQ was compared to Einsteins, which was 160, even though the IQ of a two year old cannot possibly be compared to the IQ of a grownup. And, what exactly is the point of testing a two years olds IQ? Does it benefit the two year old at all? Or is it just for spectator amusement?

Does being gifted make life …

NOT a homemaker, NOT a career woman...

This article might suggest that's makes me "adaptive", but that's not really true either... Just like the stereotyped housewife referred to in the article, I could quite happily NEVER go out into the workforce...

Ideally, I'd like to be able to continue to study and write, and be paid handsomely for doing both, but not to anyone's schedule but my own...

I LOVE having a house that runs smoothly, but not because I have a strong desire to be a homemaker, and to show my love for my family through caring for them. Don't get me wrong, I adore my family. I'd be completely devastated if I lost any one of them. Honestly though, I don't have the patience to sit and do crafty stuff with the kids. I prefer to wait until they're in bed to do baking, and as far as I'm concerned there isn't a thing in this house that I can do that Dave can't or shouldn't do as well, and quite frankly, if I had a choice, I'd prefer HE did most of it (th…

How to keep a 10 year old quiet...

Thanks for that Mongoose!

The Amazing Arius Darius...

Just have to love on my boy a bit - virtually speaking...

The boy has a cold, a chesty cough with it, and has been running a temperature on and off for the past three days - overnight, he was quite feverish...

And yet, and yet!

Yet, he giggles and laughs and screeches at his brothers' antics. In fact, around this time of day (between about 4.30 and 6.30pm) is getting to be known as Schreech-o'clock, because he loves to belt out high pitched screeches...

Some days he's so content, like today, he's sat and played on his mat for hours and hours! He's had feeds, and a sleep, but has just amused himself for ages and ages and ages! I guess with the other three at home there is always something to see and someone to talk to. I've been pretty busy with other things, and don't wear him anymore (though I do still hold him a lot) because the strain on my neck (even with the best of the best slings, carriers etc.) gives me terrible headaches.

I've long thought tha…

Continuing the Weekend of Work theme...

Today's to dos:

Fold and put away 5+ loads of washing...this job was the biggest and most tiring of them all. It feels good to have all the laundry bins empty though!
Sort out boys toys in big boys room so Bryn can finally access the room freely.I should say, this job is MOSTLY done, because we've discovered we could really do with another set of drawers because of the boys ever expanding lego collection - will post pics when second set of drawers is up and running.
Swap out Bryn's books from bedroom and loungeroom so he can browse "new" books. Bryn could really do with some ACTUAL new books, wish there was a second hand book shop with kids books around here...
Hand over eliptical.And got rid of the Bumbo and tray as well - BONUS (Dave was really sick of tripping over the thing...)
DishesVaccum throughoutBake cupcakes

Ah, that feels better...

Ok, so here is my update from today's to do list...

This became...

this.

This became...

this.

The baskets on top of the shelves contain, respectively (left) nappies and wipe for boys, and (right) hats and gloves for all the kids. And below you can see how I've organised the contents of the cupboard - car seats on top, Erik and Luey's school bags bottom left and Bryn's bag, boots and gloves, bottom right.


The messy changetable in the bedroom...
gone!!!


Still have the boys lego to stow away...

in these drawers - except they'll be divvied up and put on top of the shelves so Bryn can't access them... Will show you the end result tomorrow...

Today's To Dos...

Ok, as Dave said to me the other day.. In the last 9 months, we've

Had a babyDealt with my gallbladder attacks, operation and adhesionsDealt with FIL being very sick, MIL needing extra support to care for himDealth with Dave losing his jobDealt with FIL dying and the funeral
So, can we have a break now??? Can life just run a bit smoothly for a little while? Can we try to rediscover a bit of boring old, NORMALCY???

Trying to put all of that behind us - and making the house run a little smoother so I can finish this degree this year... I'm referring back to my tried and trusted "grounding" exercise of SORTING THIS HOUSE OUT!

I always feel so much more centered when everything has a place and is in that place!

So this weekend will be about sorting the house out so it runs more smoothly. To that end, we're going to...

Do a general tidyMove the old cabinet into the hallway, where it'll now be used to store car seats and school bags.Move the hall table back to my st…

Laws of physics need not apply...

Time is doing weird stuff again. Time has a mind of it own, don't you think? We humans tend to think of it as linear, but there is no REAL evidence that it is linear, and for me atm, it certainly doesn't feel that it is.

On the one hand it's speeding by, my goodness it's nearly June 19th already. Luey's birthday is 6 days away, haven't even THOUGHT about his present (though, I'm sure he has, not that he's said anything to us - I need to take him aside and ask him when Erik isn't around to sidetrack the discussion). Then Erik is 11 days after Luey. Their combined party will be two days after Luey's birthday (last year it was on E's birthday). That'll account for the first weekend of the holidays. Going to Adelaide with Luey will take up the entire last weekend of the holidays.

Of course, while in Adelaide, i'm supposed to be discussing the first draft of my novel which I'm a long way off completing as off tonight - the lo…

Cute boy

Feeling slighly vindicated...

Erik brought home an article from the Herald Sun, June 7th this year about friendship. It was part of a homework assignment (that had to be handed in this morning. Do these teachers NOT realise there is life beyond the school yard?)... The assignment was to have a parent discuss friendship with the child. We were to discuss what made a good friend, and how we were good friends to our friends (roflmao, I LOA'd that one), as well as what skills were useful in managing friendship.

The article that accompanied the assignment was interesting... Michael Grose from Parenting Ideas had written an article on friendship. He listed the common skills of those children who found it easier to make friends, while distinguishing between popularity and friendship (saying that popular kids are often good looking, talented etc. but that these children don't necessarily have a lot actual friends. Fans don't equal friends). He went on to say that in "the olden days" children u…

An oldie, but a goodie...

Just wanting to revive my old toy whinge...

Dave and I have such very different ideas about toys, and the use of toys... Previously, I've lamented Dave's need for the boys to build their lego models according to the instructions in the pack then set them up on a high shelf (so small kids can't reach them and wreck them) and LEAVE them there to collect dust for all eternity. Better still, he insists the boys keep the original box AND the instructions, so he can "refer back to them in future if we need to"...

Argh!

The way I see things, toys are for PLAYING WITH not LOOKING AT.

Dave has this morbid fear of the boys toys being broken, or scratched, or misplaced, or anything that prevents them maintaining their "as new" condition.

This morning, I allowed Bryn to have one of the Erik and Luey's Thunderbirds ships. It is from a set we bought for E and L for their 6th and 4th birthday (they often get shared presents because their birthdays are 11 days apart)…

The five year plan...

Amongst my friends, I've been a bit of an odd-bod (yes, I realise I wrote a post only a few days ago which seemed to suggest I didn't have any friends, but that wasn't what I was saying, in fact, so far I only know of ONE person who actually understood what it was I was trying to say in that post...)...

This time, I've been odd because I've never been interested in owning our own home. In fact, the very idea of getting a mortgage and being all grown up and responsible has made me want to run for the hills! I've enjoyed the financial freedom of being a renter. Sure I'm paying someone else's mortgage, but let's just call that my good deed of the year, ok?

Anyway, in recent months the worm has been wriggling and slowly but surely, starting to turn. And now, finally, I'm ready to admit that I'm tired of renting, and anxious for us to get into our own place.

Not unlike my usual style, my timing for deciding I want to be tied to a mortgage, could…

When in doubt... Shoot for the stars!

I'm stumbling along here... I've been wading through a bit of a quagmire of late, and wondering if I can actually reach my goals, or if I'm just setting myself up for failure - LOL, labour is not the only place where you find transition and all the anxiety and self-doubt and fear that often wells up then - then today I hear some news...

Yes, I'm being a bit vague, mostly because I don't want to pre-empt myself, but suddenly one of my life goals looks like it's developed a door with a big, friendly looking WELCOME mat on it! There is a bit of hard work ahead of me, but the tunnel is in sight, and at the end of the tunnel there is a light, I just *know* it! Just this morning I couldn't even see the tunnel!

I'm excited! I've just gulped down a HUGE spoonful of ambition and I'm raring to go! Whoo hoo!

Our wonderful big boys...

Partnership meetings this morning...

Erik was up first. During the partnership meeting the child goes through their collected portfolio from the first half of the year. The portfolio contains the best samples of exercises and activities done during class time, and from these the child chooses three to present to their parents, explaining what the exercise or activity was, showing what they learned or chose to focus on in the exercise or activity and discussing why they chose to show the parents these three pieces.

The first thing I have to say about Erik's folder was that it was a visual DELIGHT!!! That child put so much effort into the presentation of his work, it really impressed me! He has such a natural sense of balance and visual effect. He'd laid all his work out clearly and in a way that drew attention to the most important stuff first and allowed for an easy flow through the work or around the page - I think this has to be something he has in common with his father.…

The end...

FIL slipped away peacefully at 12.20pm today with Dave and MIL tending to him.

I can't believe this day has come and gone already.

The boys have had mixed responses to the news of their Pa dying. Erik is sad, but has taken it relatively well. More than the others, I think he's been preparing for today for the past week and a half. Sometimes he blows me away with his emotional maturity - he has some, and no mistake, I'm so glad this is one occassion when it's shone through.

Luey has not passed much comment about Pa getting ready to pass on this last week or so. Luey keeps his emotions very much to himself until the pressure builds up and they escape... Today, he barely acknowledged that Pa had passed away when I told the boys before Dave came home at dinner time. When Dave first got in, Luey seemed fine, but as the next hour or so unfolded, Luey seemed to become more and more agitated. He wanted Dave to put a dvd on, rather than watch The Simpsons. We never put a d…

I should be going to bed right now...

But I'm terribly churned up.

I'm alone in the house with the boys, which isn't my favourite "status", so to speak, but it can't be helped.

Dave is at his parents place supporting his mum through what will probably be his dad's last night on this earth. For all I know, FIL may not be with us anymore, already - Dave said he wouldn't call until morning because there is no point none of us get any sleep tonight...

It's a bit like waiting for a baby to arrive... The days leading up, you know it's got to happen, and soon, you just don't know when. You have "feelings" about this date or that, and stronger feelings that it might happen at a partcular TIME of day; after sunset, at dawn, but you just don't know... So, you wait.

With birth though, you're waiting to be estatic.

With death, the opposite.

As with birth, this event has also corresponded with another, and no so terrible, but all the same, crisis...

Tonight I baked two dozen…

I remembered why I want to write Young Adult fiction...

I spent some time wandering through the young adult fiction section at Borders the other day. Haven't looked in that section in a very long time. It's so funny, there was a time when all I wanted to do was write young adult novels, then I got side tracked. I do have stuff I want to write for grown ups too, but grown ups are such screwed up creatures with preconceptions about just about everything, everything is to be critiqued and analysed and shredded until it no longer resembles what it started out as.

I found this when writing my precise for the birth journey novel I will eventually get down on paper. I just *knew* that no matter what I wrote, what perspective I took, someone would read my novel and go, "It's just not like that, this woman hasn't got a clue..." I didn't want that to be my first novel out, so I'm saving it for when I have one under my belt...

Anyway, back to the young adult section of Borders. The books there were great! So, I …

A week or two...

This morning diagnosis from FIL's Dr is that he might last another week or two. Kidney function is minimal. FIL is dying in the way most of us might have thought would be the best way to go, naturally.

I was talking to MIL about it yesterday though. Between us, we are of the opinion that it ISN'T necessarily the best way to go. In fact, there may not be a best way.

FIL is 86, he's lived a long life, and mostly it's been a very peaceful, joyful life. He had a battle with bowel cancer three years ago, but won it. Before that he hadn't had any major illnesses that I'm aware of. So, basically, his body is doing it's natural thing, it's winding down. At first the wind down was slow, but in the past six months it has picked up speed. A bout of shingles gave the wind down a kick up the rear earlier this year.

FIL will get to die peacefully at home, which is a blessing to him.

When we saw him yesterday, I hadn't seen him since his birthday in January. …

Cool Equity...

Erik (nearly 10) was lamenting to me the other day about how our family just isn't cool. His friends families are cool. His friends parents have travelled to every country on the planet, apparently, and their parents allow them to watch all the Terminator movies and all the Wolvereen movies. Also, the kids with the cool parents buy them Wiis and DS Lites (yeah, saw that coming a mile off)...

I told him that his family was so cool, I mean, after all his mum (me) has lived in the artic circle!

Yeah, but, but, but, the cool families have all this cool stuff. Like Wiis...

Uhuh...

Yes, well, STUFF doesn't make you cool...

I should know, I have an iPhone and I'm STILL NOT cool...

The truth is, either you have it, or you don't, and unfortunately for Erik, we don't...

I explained to him that there are lots of very uncool people, like us, who have lots of cool stuff, and are still not cool, ourselves. We do not hold stakes in Cool Equity. In fact, when we get cool stuff, we …

The Year of Birth Trauma....

Been sitting on this blog for a while because of the inevitable flack it is likely to attract... Though, perhaps not, perhaps it will be so ridiculous people won't bother to waste their time commenting ;)....

Anyway, one particular parenting forum in Australia has dubbed 2009 the "Year of Birth Trauma".

I believe in birth trauma, I believe it is more than just physical trauma, I believe it can be emotional and psychological. I believe it is not widely recognise, and is often dismissed as simply post natal depression, wild post birth hormones, or even "too high expectations"...

I believe because it isn't widely recognised it isn't properly treated and definitely not properly prevented.

There is something else I believe that might not sit well with some people.

I believe that it puts BABIES in danger, real life, not just "one of the sad facts of life" life-threatening danger.

I once heard a woman say she would rather have a dead baby than another b…

Surrealities...

Dave and I were at a cafe the other day. We sat there with brown hair, brown eyed Bryn on one side of the table and red haired (well, it's definitely auburn), light eyed (probably blue/green) Ari on the other side.

Erik and Luey were at school...

I kept having these surreal sensations of time stopping. If you hadn't seen us in seven years, you might have been forgiven for thinking we were sitting there with Erik and Luey... In fact, it occurred to me that we could really mess with the minds of a couple of cafe owners on Swanston in the city by sitting down with Bryn and Ari, 7 years after the last time they saw us when we only had Erik and Luey...

I had this same feeling a couple of months ago when Jayne, Jen and I went and visited Amanda, with Sienna, Archie, and Ari in tow... People who might only have met us at the Richmond playgroup many moons ago, might have wondered about the reality shift if they saw us with only the children we've had in the past 4 years...

Anyway,…

This week's menu plan - for Stitch Sista

Ok, so groceries and all cost $153 this week, and Sitch Sista was interested in knowing how I fed 6 people on that amount for a week... So, here goes... Though, I can't remember what order we had the meals in, LOL, but this is what we had planned... Items with crosses next to them were already in the pantry/fridge...

Saturday: Homemade pizza. Made the dough myself, and didn't need to buy flour, dry yeast, sugar, salt or warm water for that. Toppings were Ham, onions, olives (x), semi dried tomatos (x), mushrooms, tomato paste (x), cheese (x)...

Sunday: Chicken Tikka. Chicken (x), rice (x), Tikka paste

Monday: Rissoles, eggs and baked beans (were supposed to have steamed vegies, but Dave piked)...

Tuesday: Tuna Mornay. Tuna, Mornay sauce in jar, spiral pasta, cheese (x)

Wedsday: Shae's slow cooker meal. potatos, leeks, garlic, carrots, 3 bean mix, chickpeas, bolognese sauce, didn't find any Braggs - soy sauce, rice (x)

Thursday: vegie and bean bolognese. pasta sauce, 3 …

With all the profits they make...

You'd think Telstra could send out a fix-it guy within 5 days to fix a faulty line...

This afternoon our phone line went dead. At first we thought it might have something to do with the works at the end of our road, but no, apparently not. Dave called Telstra from his parents place to find out what the problem was and they confirmed a fault on our line. Aha, good, something they can fix!

Yes, well, they're sending a guy out on TUESDAY next week to fix it. Until then, we have no phone at home. Perhaps Telstra fix-it guys don't work weekends? I would have thought they would, yk, seeing as phones are so integral to everyday living these days...

They're forwarding all incoming calls to our home number to my mobile. I don't know if that means the caller pays mobile rates or regular rates? I would call telstra and ask, but I don't have a working line to call out on.

I could use my mobile, but with just $30 of credit on the mobile, and nothing in the budget for ad…