Friday, July 31, 2009
I'm stuck in some sort of apathetic quagmire.
I'm doing the bare minimum to get by these days, and honestly, I'm not convinced we're "getting by" per se, at all.
I know I've been here before and gotten out of here before, but for the life of me I can't remember how? What did I do to get my mojo back? Where, oh where, is my ZING!
I have a sneaking suspicion it's one of those things where I just have to start. You know, just get up one morning and start doing stuff, even if it means dragging myself around to do them. Oh and I have to actually DO something. Mental work isn't going to be enough.
But see, sunshine always helps with this. Sunshine and warmth and a wide open front door onto the world... When the house is closed up as it is and has been for the past couple of months, I just want to crawl into bed, and failing that, sit in front of this little box idly tapping away at the keys...
Ok, enough! Must. Do. Something... At least until I WANT to do something...
Thursday, July 30, 2009
myself because neither of us have coldsore virus! I've gone through
my entire life avoiding the dreaded cold sore like the plague, and now
one of my boys have it! Bugger! Anyone have any experience with
coldsores in littlies - is Zovirax a no-no?
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
For those of you who can't be bothered reading the link, in brief (very brief, much better to just read the article than my paraphrasing of it, because, well I'm going to be very subjective here)... A couple of studies have found that women, moreso than men, are less happy with their lives these days than they were 50 years ago, or even 15 years ago. After a bit of tumbling through speculation as to the whys and wherefores of this new low in the benchmark of happiness, the article pretty much ends up blaming our culture of individualism and entitlement for it. That is to say, parents (because parents have the strongest influence on culture) have become so obsessed with conveying a strong sense of the individual and of entitlement in their kids, that the kids have grown up to be disillusioned when lives doesn't end up meeting their rather high expectations of having it all and being super-extra-special in their own right...
I LOVE what this article has to say, many of you won't.
Dave can see that our own children have a strong sense of entitlement, but he can't see how we (I'd like to think HE) has encouraged that...
I fight against this culture daily. It completely sickens me. I travel around on parenting forums and blogs a lot and see a lot of "My child NEEDS his or her own room, his or her own computer, his or her own mobile phone"... My child has a RIGHT to privacy, to respect, to "a say"... If my child doesn't WANT TO, then who am I to make him or her *insert verb phrase*...
Yes, I am an attachment parent. No, I'm am NOT denouncing attachment parenting, I completely and WHOLLY support the tenants of attachment parenting. I just don't agree with some parents interpretation of attachment parenting as "do whatever your child wants to do, because your child is the most important person in the relationship"...
My children here it often and loud from me, "You are important, but you are NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYONE ELSE, everyone is equally important." That is no matter their age, or social status.
I guess I'm a socialist. I believe the community is more important than the individual. That doesn't mean I'm a democrat, though. I don't believe in majority rules, because democracy only really works in discrete situations, not as a long term strategy. Logical and commonsense must prevail...
So, Dave and I argued. Mainly over the toy situation, again. I hear you all heavy a sigh and thinking, not that again!.. But, yes, that again. I believe toys should be communal excepting a few items which are special to the individual. Dave believes more in the "you recieved it, it's yours forever and ever until you no longer want it" policy. I KNOW a few of you have differing opinions to me on this, but no matter how I look at it, it always comes back to this... Our family is a community that shares pooled resources. Those resources aren't huge, but even if they were... It is ridiculous that money needs to be spent TWICE on every item just so each person can have their own, because the money would be far better used expanding the variety and everyone learned to share and co-operate.
I don't see that as dimishing my children's experience AT ALL, and well, according to this article and the studies it refers to (but neglects to reference), it might actually set them up to be happier in the long term because their expectations won't be our of sync with the reality that we just CAN''T have it all, and when our society bought those magic beans from the old guy at the side of the road, it didn't lead to a beanstalk of endless riches...
Addendum! I love that the article points out that narcissistic people (aka, people with an expanded sense of self-worth) are MORE likely to engage in risky behaviour... Perhaps because they have an inflated sense of what they can handle???
Monday, July 27, 2009
He's 67cm long and 8.1kgs
He sits and recently started turning around in circles on his bottom,
he can scoot forward about 1/2-2/3s of a metre, but doesn't do this
He still a gummy shark!
We're pretty sure his eyes will stay blue with yellow centres, they
sometimes appear green or grey.
His hair is dark honey blonde! (obviously, he has some now)
He says, Dadadad, hello, more, and Ah? (which means what? As in, "what
He uses the up sign regularly now, LOL, but doesn't see the point to
using the milk sign, hahaha!
He's happy to spend time with D and the boys for a couple of hours on
Sunday afternoons while mum goes grocery shopping...
He started eating two regular meals a day at 8.5 months.
You tube puts him to sleep on Dadda every time when booby with Mama
hasn't worked it's magic!
His favourite toy is his wooden fishy rattle that we recently bought
from the giant rocking horse in SA.
He loves being spoonfed purée, especially if it contains creamed corn!
He has an intense gaze which he fixes on every new person he meets.
Only a selected few outside the family get smiles, and that is not
dependant on how well he knows the person...
He's a screecher - our first schreecher! - and mostly he screeches at
around 4-6pm, aka "screech-o-clock"
He completes us! (as a family)
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Some would call this veganism, but I'm finding that a) being vegan encompasses so much more than what I'm doing. It's not only not eating animal products for whatever reason, but also not consuming ANYTHING animal, which also means medications and cosmetics that were tested on animals, or animal conpanionship for assistance, such as guide dogs - and well, considering that one day I might need a guide dog, I'm not sure I'll ever be vegan in the proper sense of the word. But also, I'm not sure about the whole "no wool" thing, as my main issue is with consuming death, and as far as I know, sheep aren't routine killed for their wool...
Anyway, that wasn't really the point of this blog, but rather all the varied reactions I've experienced from close friends through to strangers...
Changing your diet for something other than life threatening allergies doesn't seem to sit well with a lot of people, and even to the point where I've felt that somehow my decision to not eat animals and their products has been viewed as my just trying to make other people's lives difficult or not as enjoyable.
Really, I'm not trying to do this, and as much as I can, I'm trying to "bear the weight" of this lifestyle choice as much as I can myself. My boys (including Dh) still get their 3-4 animal product dinners a week, and I'm making the effort to find tasty recipes for them to eat the other nights (so far, so good, no complaints).
I'm baking (ME!!! That's right!) vegan cakes and what not to take to afternoon teas and get togethers.
I'm definitely NOT expecting anyone to accommodate me, or do what I do.
So, why do I feel that somehow this choice is not acceptable to a lot of people? That I should apologise for it, or "get over it and eat animal" because others don't really "believe" in what I'm trying to do for myself - lighten my spirit a bit by not consuming what I perceive as fear sodden products? I don't mind at all that other people don't feel this way about the same products or that it doesn't affect them the same way.
I guess it's one of those Western things though. Spiritual well-being is not weighted the same as physical well-being. If eating dairy made me violently physically ill due to lactose intolerance, people might understand better (it does affect me, btw, just not violently, though it's certainly not comfortable). If eating meat or eggs caused me to stop breathing, again, I think people would understand.
That these products make me feel spiritually unwell, heavy, depressed, chaotic, well that's just nonesense, or so it seems.
I'm finding that aspect of not eating animal products much harder than the actual changes in diet, and even harder than not just being able to walk into a food court and pick something warm and tasty to eat like I have in the past (I do love "fast food")...
Dave and the boys have been supportive - probably because it hasn't impacted them at all. I don't know how supportive the rest of my family will be though.
Not all the reactions have been negative, mind you. I've had a few people say they admire me, LOL, which is kind of strange to me, because I don't feel what I'm doing is that hard, now that I've made the decision (except when I worry about other people feeling put out), and I don't want anyone else to feel like my choice is in any way a judgement on them, because I'm doing this because of how animal products impact on my well being. Just as not every is allergic to bee stings, I don't expect everyone to be impacted by animal products the way I feel impacted.
Ayway, one week of dedicated non-animal product eating (I should call it NAPE, hehehe), and feeling good!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Dave never put himself in harms way to spite his parents, neither did I, and yet we both had very strict parents.
I did get pregnant at 16 years of age, not to spite my parents, rather in the search of love and affection. I started smoking at 12, not to spite my parents, but because I thought the other kids looked cool smoking. I binge drank at 19, at which time I was legally an adult. And I smoked pot for a month when I was 22, because I lived in share accommodation with other pot smokers and I want to do the social thing. In the end, I moved out after 4 weeks because smoking pot all day seemed like a really stupid thing to do...
Dave's teenhood and young adulthood was even tamer than mine.
And yet, I keep hearing, "If you make it taboo, they'll be more likely to rebel". I just don't know if that holds water.
My friends who grew up in households where they were allowed to drink alcohol with dinner from childhood ended up binge drinking more and much younger than I did, so how did introducing them early and casually at home work as a preventative there?
My friends who were allowed to hang out at the mall, or go to parties on the weekend (which I wasn't allowed to do), did more drugs and from a much younger age than I did.
Maybe rebellion is genetic?
Maybe that means because I wasn't particularly rebellious and Dave wasn't particularly rebellious, then our kids aren't likely to be particularly rebellious?
I don't know.
Maybe, it's got to do with consistently. A rule was a rule was a rule in our house, and same with Dave's. There wasn't any negotiation, but the very firm boundary. Our parents were the parents and we were the kids. There was no pretense of peer oriented friendship. My parents didn't care if we thought it was unfair, and neither did Dave's parents.
That said, when we were adults, we truly were adults. We provided for ourselves, we moved out of home. We became autonomous. Both Dave's parents (who always lived in one house from when he was 11 and who were happily married for 57 years) and my parents (who moved house with use dozens of times and were accrimoniously divorced after 13 years), were there for us as adults when we needed a place to live while getting back on our feet after a difficult patch, but we were also expected to GET BACK ON OUR FEET and become self-sufficient again.
I guess I'm thinking, when we were children, we KNEW we were the children, and then when we grew up we KNEW we'd grown up... So, maybe we never needed to show prove to our parents that they weren't the boss of us???
And we never put ourselves in harm's way to spite them, because we understood that when they made rules or choices we didn't like, not only were they non-negotiable, but they were to keep us safe.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
There is a one day option, but the parents have to get the child there and pick the child up afterwards, which is out of the question for us.
The dilemma lies in that Erik has NEVER been away from both Dave and I overnight, and when I took him to Adelaide in April, he got quite teary on the second night becaue he'd been overstimulated so much with the first two long days away from home. He was homesick for Dave and Luey and Bryn. He coped by being able to call them and cry on the phone to Dave, but honestly I can't see the teachers letting him call us much. Camps notoriously involve overstimulated kids, and long, long days. I'm concerned that he'll want to go because he won't want to miss out, but at the same time, going might mean crying in front of the other kids in the class who he already feels don't really respect him...
Just to clarify, the reason Erik hasn't had a sleep over before now is NOT because we didn't want him to. The opportunity just never presented itself.
So, what to do? If we ask him if he wants to go, he's definitely going to say yes. But will he end up even less socially confident as a result of the trip, and is that a risk we want or perhaps even NEED to take.
We could wait until next year when Luey will also be in middle school and they could go on the camp together, but then again, they're not twins, and on some level Erik would really benefit from being able to do something "first" because he's "older", yk?
But can he cope with three days and two nights, and as the school has already made provision for kids who might not do well staying overnight, would they even be happy to have him if he wasn't coping too well, because we couldn't come pick him up...
What to do, what to do...
Monday, July 20, 2009
With iLanguage, you simply at the affix "i" to whatever word you want to i-ophise, as well as capitalising the first letter of the word being i-ophised. With Twanguage, you need to supplant the first letter of the word you want to twangophise with the letters "tw"...
So, when using iLanguage you can be an iWanker, but with Twitter you'd be a Twanker...
Sunday, July 19, 2009
This last week included
- Flying back from Adelaide last Monday and all the older kids off to school/creche on Tuesday
- Dave's driving lesson and shopping for medications for psoriasis after UV treatment on Wednesday
- Meeting up with friends on Thursday
- Grocery and birthday present shopping on Friday
- Birthday partying on Saturday
Yes, on Friday night I received an SMS from a mum of another child in Luey's class. This woman's child had come home with lice, so she was just letting the class know. It crossed my mind that perhaps we were the only people to get that SMS, LOL. Anyway, so yesterday Dave and I both checked Luey and found baby lice - Dave only found one, but I was sure I saw more (coz, you know, the blind woman is more likely to see them, right?)... Erik, Bryn and Ari are all lice free, so being unwilling to take any chances, I took to Luey's head with the clippers.
In other Luey news. We've really been struggling to get Luey (and Bryn) to eat dinner in the past couple of months. Everything is "I don't like it" from Luey, or simply, "Ewww" from Bryn. I've been patient and tried to empathis, but when they wholeheartedly hoe into fish and chips and hot dogs and batman nuggets, my patience begins to wane.
So, tonight I told both boys to go to bed at dinner time, seeing as they weren't eating. I said they needed the extra sleep (30 minutes extra) because they weren't filling their bodies with nutrients to fight illness so they needed to rest their bodies more than the rest of us. Both boys said they'd try dinner (a vegan slow cooker hot pot full of veggies and lentils), but in the end Bryn turned his nose up and went to bed (he'd had meh already).
Luey did eat (yay), choosing to pick out the zucchini and mushrooms, but claiming he LOVED the pumpking, potato, onions, leeks, and most especially the lentils! Well, yay for small miracles!
That said, the boys all loved Dave's ham, cheese and onion omlette yesterday...
Speaking of vegan... This week I recommitted to veganism. I'm been here a few times in my life, but always fallen away because I like the taste of animal products. But the time has come to be true to my spirit.
For me, using animals goes against my spiritual beliefs. I've tried to rationalise my use of animals, but how can I have a closer connection with Spirit if I'm cannibalising others living beings - basically cannibalising myself. This is not a judgement of anyone else I know because my beliefs are based on my understanding of things, and other people's understanding is different.
Anyway, so I've been transitioning (I say transitioning because I've only had two truly vegan days this week, but vegetarian days all week), and today that transition is complete.
It's really hard for me to think about Christmas, but well, does "tradition" excuse ditching your own values? No, I don't think so. I've got a few months to come up with something really special for Christmas.
Dave and the boys aren't going vegan, but I am insisting that at least half our meals each week are vegan, and then I'll keep something alternative for myself on the nights they eat animal products.
Anyway, I'm eating so much better than I have ALL YEAR (even though at the beginning of the year I had to cut out all fat, so all animal products, but also a bunch of other yummy stuff that contains fat though not animal products)...
Today, for example:
I skipped breakfast (which isn't good), but then had a wrap with baby spinach and rocket, alfalfa and thinly sliced tomatos. For dinner, the aforementioned vegan slow cooker meal packed with vegies and lentils and pasta sauce.
So, it's been a big week!
This coming week is no smaller, hahaha...
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I have to say, I'm almost greatful for the psoriasis I've been afflicted with this year. It means going to phototherapy three times a week and I think the UV lights may help with my SAD. The SAD has been particularly harsh this Winter but I think that is as a result of being more generally run down.
At the moment, I'm learning to have a lot more sympathy for women who abandon breastfeeding in the early days due to mastitis and cracked nipples. Apart from some very early attachment issues with Erik, I've had a very smooth run with breastfeeding my first three children, but this time around has been somewhat more challenging. First there was the undiagnosed case of mastitis in January. I developed a massive, golfball sixed absess in my right breast, which was thankfully close enough to the surface of my skin that it erupted in a huge boil of sorts - sounds gross but honestly so much better than if it had been deep in the breast tissue unable to diffuse (euphemism for burst in bright green pussy volcano)...
My nipples have been a bit more sore this time around and shown signs of vasospasm (blanching at the tip), but then a few weeks ago them started to get very dry, and I should have recognised the signs of psoriasis but didn't because there was so much else going on at the time. Now the nipples are engulfed by psoriasis which is more prominent on the side of the nipple that is drawn into the roof of the child's mouth (remembering two different children feed). I have a couple of deep fissures that reopen at every feed and bleed. This morning I started smearing liberal amounts of lanisoh on the nipples, so hopefully that will help.
I HAVE to start getting to bed earlier. I'm going to MAKE myself go to bed at 10.30pm at the latest each night now, even if Ari isn't asleep yet, or if he's just gotten to sleep.
I also HAVE to start eating better, more specifically cutting out all the junk I've been binging on because I feel wiped out all the time (or maybe BECAUSE it MAKES me feel wiped out all the time).
Basically, I need to take better care of myself. I'm not really going to start to feel better until I do, and that means not being able to do all the stuff I want and need to get done.
Winter is such a challenge to me every year, thank goodness this one is half over already!
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
So, we stopped at Semaphore Beach for an icecream and Ari wasn't impressed that the car had stopped amd he wasn't being gotten out of the car, so i bribed him with a little with Old English Toffee... Mmmmmmm, nom, he thought! And this is what happened when he spied me downing the last of the cone...
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
I know a few of you have lives full of substance; full of cooking from scratch, full of growing your own organic vegies, rearing your own livestock and egg laying chooks, making your own clothes and home furnishings. I've dabbled in those things too, but that's not really what I mean...
When I think too much on it, so much of my life is vapid.
What is watching tv all about? Or browsing the net. Posting on Facebook and Twitter... What ARE those things about??? Is that what constitutes living nowadays?
I mean, I know I have four kids and just doing for them and D and myself takes up a lot of time and physical and mental energy - which is a big part of my problem, but seriously the rest of my time seems to be taken up fluffy stuff. Time filling stuff.
The thing is, my head is so full of cotton wool - perhaps from sleep deprivation or placenta brain, or breastfeeding brain, or just the desire to drift of on philosophical explorations of existence, that I can't seem to pull myself together enough to actually have more substance.
I'm not even sure WHAT I would do if I could chain more than a few moments of constructive thought together.
I like doing fluffy stuff because it takes up the background space to what I'm REALLY doing, which is thinking about stuff. While I read blips of other people's thoughts or experiences on Facebook or Twitter, or on blogs, or when I *watch* Brothers and Sisters while tweeting on my iPhone and knitting a baby hat, I'm actually focused on mentally trying to figure out how and why the world turns, why people are the way they are, how so-and-so would react in such-and-such a situation... Turning stuff over in my head is my greatest passtime. But it's not REAL, is it?
I'm too much in my head and not enough in the real world and it leaves me feeling like a marshmallow...
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
And yet, some of the parenting facets adopted by many attachment, nature, free range, and other non-mainstream parents are all about exerting control. Control is achieved by being personally in charge of all decisions sorrounding what the kids eat, wear, play with, or conversely what they DON'T eat, wear or play with.
I'm not judging this as good or bad, I've done much of this myself. I'm just questioning the illusion of control.
Birth is another arena where there seems to be a battle over control. Women worry a lot about losing control during their labours, of themselves, of their environment, of their babies.
I think women choosing epidurals and caesarians (for those who make the conscious decision before even going into labour), often do so partly for a sense of control. If you don't feel the pain of labour, not only do you not feel pain, but you're not likely to scream or moan or cry in front of people, especially people you don't know. If you choose to have a c-section, then you know when you'll go into labour, you know you will have some say over the level of pain you feel, you know you won't have to go through another emergency c-section with all the fear and anguish and disappointment that led to last time...
But likewise, a lot of homebirthing is about having control. In some circles it's more highly esteemed if your self-controlled and self-reliant enough to freebirth, then you aren't letting a midwife into the situation to control you, to tell you how to birth, to touch you without your permission...
I recently saw a thread on a forum where women were sheepishly almost APOLOGISING for not being the person who caught their baby. Their partner did it, or OMG their midwife caught their baby (but passed baby immediately to them, so she didn't hold the baby for long, and it was only because mum was unable to reach, otherwise mum wouldn't have let someone else catch baby)...
Where is this need to control everything coming from? Why is it so important in our society to not be in need of assistance, to not be vulnerable, to not be perceived as WEAK.
If you can't listen to your baby cry, you're weak.
If you don't want to birth without the support of an experienced midwife, you OBVIOUSLY don't trust your body enough, therefore you're WEAK.
If being the sole support for your children all day is overwhelming to you, you're WEAK!
If you can't bear the thought of your child being away from you for 30+ hours a week, you're weak - AND you're going to make your children weak, and wimpy and GOD FORBID, DEPENDANT on you!
Being weak is the biggest insult you can give a person.
Being strong is the greatest compliment you can make.
Last time I looked though, humans were not God, or at least not what God is believe to be - omnipotent.
Humans are weak, it's what also makes us social - we hang in packs BECAUSE we instinctly know we NEED. We NEED other people to support us, to care for us, to HELP us...
We don't have control over anything much. Sometimes we have fleeting control over moments in our lives. We perceive ourselves having control over our choices, but even then that control can be lost in the blink of an eye by the endless variables that we cannot foresee or prepare for.
Being rich does not make you more in control.
Standing outside of society also does NOT make you more in control.
We CERTAINLY cannot control our children, even when we try to influence them and their perception of life from birth.
No amount of getting kids into the "right" playgroup, creche, kinder, private school or university can guarantee success or happiness.
Likewise, no amount of organic raw vegan, no plastic toys, no formal education and feminist socio-environmental political indoctrination through social exclusivism can guarantee the child doesn't grow up to be a capitalist-materialist-rightwinged-massochist-white collar crimial...
Influence is the most we can achieve, but try to exert control often attracts a great big slap in the face from God/Goddess/Universe that is meant to gently remind us that control is merely an illusion, a mirage, pretty, attractive, beguiling, but intangible...
Monday, July 06, 2009
Ok, so here's my handsome birthday boy with the present from his brothers - a Smiggle giftcard (just what he asked for!)...
Luey and his Mini-Me...
Mum and Dad's present was a hit! "Awesome!" he said, "Totally NOT what I was expecting!" (that's right folks, he was expecting his parents to get some injured lego set, like maybe Lego City, yk, because we're clueless and didn't pick up on the MILLION, erm, subtle, hints)...
"See, I get this COOL thing that you don't have and will never have a hope of ever getting... Better take a long look because after this you'll never get within 50ft of this item ever again..." Ah, yes, brotherly love...
Bryn, coping quite well with yet another brother having a birthday this fortnight - only five weeks until his birthday - that's not long, is it?
Can you see Dave thinking, 'I reckon this one ought to take him AT LEAST two hours of quiet concentration to build, two WHOLE HOURS of silence, BOOYEAH!'
A couple of hundred or so teensy tiny blocks of joy! I'll post a pic of the find model once he's done with it - he's quite the lego model expert now, puts it together enthusiastically and nimbly. We first realised he had a talent for lego construction when he built a tower of single Duplo which was over 1.5 metres tall before he even turned two. He fine motor and spatial skills were (and continue to be) a wonder to behold!
We went on to spend the day with a great group of women and their kids. Erik spent most of the day on or another computer games (somethng he doesn't get to do at home, so he was in game console heaven!), and then we came home, had dinner and a cake I'd baked last night (will post a pic of that with the pic of the lego fighter). He's excited about going out to spend his Smiggle money and his birthday money from Nanna some time this week (he's already spent it 10x over in his head, rofl)...
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As I mentioned late last month, I signed up to do the National Novel Writing Month project in November. Actually, I'm sure it started...
With summer finally making an appearance in Melbourne, I've been thinking about getting out the paddling pools for Ari. We bought these...