Sunday, August 30, 2009

The little things...

It's been a rollercoaster of a week here; what with finishing the first draft of the manuscript (huge relief!), to having my laptop then go into a coma (major stress!), and thinking that because I really needed to buy a new computer that was reliable and within external student specs for uni, I wasn't going to be able to go on the roadtrip with Jayne next weekend (huge disappointment + guilt for disappointing Jayne and the kids)... But then with the help of friends and Jayne's lovely mum, I can still go on the roadtrip and I have a new computer as well (HUGE RELIEF and gratitude!)...

Anyway, another friend put me onto the great idea of having a gratitude blog. I'd already downloaded a gratitude journal application onto my iPhone, and that allows me to export to blogs, so I set up a gratitude blog, which you can access on the right hand column there, if you like. I'm hoping it might inspire, and others might do this for themselves - no need to be as public about it as I am, LOL, just do it privately... Because it really does help to ground the soul and remind me of all the little blessings in the every day... I mean, even the fact that my biggest problem on Friday was (at the time) having to choose between a new computer or a roadtrip with a friend - when other people have to choose between leaving their children home alone while they work, or FEEDING their children a meal that day, well, it just puts things into perspective...

And this morning, as I was "personalising" my computer, adding ad-ons to Firefox (I love firefox tabs), and discovering ad-ons that makes each tab a new colour (so very pretty), and a skin that is rainbow coloured (I LOVE colour - in case you couldn't tell from my header up there, or the pics of the boys on the right)... Anyway, just having lovely colours on my interface makes me smile and be happy. Little things that brighten my day.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm only as happy as my unhappiest child...

I heard a mother say this today, and while I generally don't like to focus on the negative, isn't this SO true!!!

It's really hard to be at peace when any one of your children is not. Thing about having four children is that it's often hard to find a time when all the kids are happy, hahaha! There are moments though, and boy do those moments shine!!!

My children's worries are my worries, even though I have the ability to see the big picture and know things will work themselves out or blow over or come good, or whatever is most likely to reduce the worry in the long term.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The draft is done...

I just finished writing the first rough draft of my Masters thesis novel. The polished thesis novel is due by the 1st of November and there is a lot of work I need to do before then, including writing a 10 000 word exegesis (explaining how I formulated my plot and what research I did with regard to my market, the plot itself and how to write generally speaking) and editing the manuscript to the most finished version I can get to (should be the version I'd hand into a publisher for consideration - eek, eek and triple eek!)...

I just had to mark this milestone in the process though, because for me, I guess knowing how the story would end was a big deal for me because I don't usually write to a plan (which is what is expected for this project), and so now knowing how the story ends, is a big deal, LOL.

The thing is, I guees, I was expecting to feel a huge sense of relief having finally FINISH the plotting, but instead I'm filled with doubt. Doubt about the strength of the plot, the depth of the characters, the choice of market and whether this manuscript is suitable for the chosen market. I'm actually quite worried about handing this in and having my supervisor tell me that it's complete unsalvagable CRAPPOLA and I'll need to start over again (if that happens, I think I might have to just give up on this degree, LOL, I don't think I have it in me to get another 40 000 word plot down on paper again, at least not in the next two months.)...

Oh well, for now I'll do a copy edit and hand it in and hopefully my superviser will read it faster than I wrote it and get back to me with enough time for me to polish it and hand it in in two months time!

Wish me luck!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Smile - you'll live longer!

This article was posted by Leah on Facebook this morning, and it was so good, I just had to blog about it!

For those of you who are too busy to go read it (though it's really very short, but still I know some of you have lives, LOL). It pretty much says that a group of researchers have done a study on the correlation between 100 000 women's life outlook (attitude) and their long term health, and have found that women who are optimistic are significantly more likely to live longer!

Now, living longer isn't for everyone, and I suspect if you have a pessimistic attitude, you don't really think there is any benefit to living longer anyway, because well, life is so hard - who in their right mind would want to prolong the suffering...

But anyway, for those of us who do love life, and find it mostly gratifying, Yay!!! We get to have more of it!

The most interesting part to me, the bit I took from this, is that mistrusting others, and being cynical or harbouring hostile thoughts about others is great and negatively impact your health! So, just don't do it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude...

It's all too easy to get bogged down in the stresses of life. In some ways this last week has been quite stressful. I'm a long way behind on my thesis novel and time is starting to run short. Luey has been having a difficult time at school lately, and Erik has been suffering with insomnia (which I'm beginning to this is probably carried in the genes and he got it from me). My nanna had a stroke on Bryn's (and my mum's birthday), and well after Dave's dad, it's all a bit close to home...

But, then there is so very much to be grateful for and just the act of gratitude helps to bring peace to a troubled heart...

So, the 10 top things I'm grateful for atm...

  1. The weather has been so much better in the last few days, we've had sun and warmth and today I went out without any kind of coat or cardigan, and the cherry blossoms were out and the world just felt happier.
  2. I just read on a cousin's facebook that Nanna moved her left foot a little (she has left side paralysis). This is very good news, I think! The beginning of the road to healing!
  3. Our school apparently submitted an education maintainence allowance form for us this month, and so there was a surprise bonus in my bank account this morning.
  4. Jayne and I are going on a road trip that means I can visit Nanna in the next couple of weeks, instead of just sitting here so far away!
  5. I broke the back of my novel last night, and so now I have less work ahead of me than behind me, and I have big hopes for handing in the first draft next week, finally!!!
  6. I had a lovely conversation with a long missed uncle a couple of nights ago, and I'm looking forward to catching up with him and meeting his new family next month!
  7. Our house is COLD FREE!!! I don't know how long this will last but for the first time since APRIL, no one in this house has a cold!
  8. Ari is able to move himself forward on purpose and has slept soundly the last two nights!!! (I believe the two are linked, LOL, his previous restlessness was due to struggling to master purposeful movement).
  9. My baby is nearly 10 months old and I'm not even the slightest bit clucky!!! (ok, that probably sounds like an odd thing to be grateful for to some of you, but for me the aching for another baby has been alive and kicking for the past 20 years, and to pass a pregnant woman and NOT feel that ache, well, it's like finally not having a migraine anymore!)
  10. Dave nearly has his license, the end is in sight!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

About now, four years ago...

I was 41 weeks and 4 days pregnant.

I was sitting in my study, playing poppit on the computer, and browsing parenting forums.

I was listening to Dave snoring in our bedroom, two rooms away.

I was TIRED, so very tired. That kind of tired you only feel when you've been pregnant FOREVER and you've had prelabour FOREVER and you've been to the hospital, only to have labour stall.

But as well as tired, there was something else. A tiny little thing, deep down, an ember glowing in the depths of my mind. That ember has caught a breeze earlier in the day. I'd woken up in the wee hours of this day, four years ago, we regular mild contractions. I'd been excited! FINALLY! Finally I was going to go into labour ON MY OWN! Not at 42 weeks with the assistance of ruptured membranes and a drip. Not at 40 weeks and 4 days with the assistance of rupture membranes, but ALL ON MY OWN, because my baby was ready!

I'd gotten up at 5am, all set to labour at home for a while. My excitement had continued to grow over the next hour and a bit, until I decided to call my doulas because my previous (augmented) labour had ended up being 30 minutes long...

My lovely doulas got to my house by about 7am-ish and we sat around as the sun rose and I embraced every contraction. I tried to stay centred and serene, but my 6 and 4 year old wanted me to answer questions and cut out masks they were making themselves, and eventually I thought I might be able to labour more effectively at hospital, so off we set.

Only a 3 minute drive door to door from home, I had no contractions in the car. I had a tightening or two when we got out of the car, but not as intense as at home. We went inside and I was shown a birthroom. We settled in and waited for labour to recommence.

It didn't.

We walked and waited for labour.

It never came.

We climbed stairs, drank Golden Seal diluted in water, and "tried not to think about it", no more contractions.

My midwife wanted to know what I wanted to do next. I was so disappointed, I was looking forward to meeting my baby that day, four years ago. I might even have agreed to an induction, but a tiny voice told me to go home. A tiny voice said, "Wait."

I said I would go home. They asked if I lived far away. I said I would go home. They asked if someone was available to drive me back quickly, if needed. I said I would go home. The pointed out my last two babies had been 10lbs and 9lbs. I said I would go home, and home I went.

At this time four years ago, I was so tired.

I wanted to meet my baby, and I wondered how long my baby might want to wait.

Deep inside an ember had caught a breeze and the ember glowed.

In an a couple of hours from now, four years ago, I had a big contraction that heralded my third babies journey out of me. He came quickly, but not too quickly, in 3.5 hours of labour. When I went back to the hospital this time, my labour didn't stop.

Deep down though I knew my fourth baby would be born at home, and perhaps that's what my third baby was trying, ever so gently, to tell me with his brief "labour strike"...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Not cut out for this parenting gig...

How do other parents keep it together when their kids are feeling like the world is out to get them???

When my boys started school, it was very good for us in one way. Because Dave and I do the parenting thing pretty much on our own from a practical sense (with the emotional support of our parents), the first 7.5 years of parenting was ever more strained as days, weeks and years passed and we (well, maybe it was just me) had more and more kids.

My ability to cope with the day to day pressures of parenting 1, 2 and 3 children without a break, without a car, and without full sight, was patchy at best. My relationship with Erik, in particular, suffered from that, and I do regret that.

So, when they went to school, I have to admit, it was a good thing for all of us. If gave us all a little space, so we were able to miss one another and actually enjoy each other's company.

I know there are homeschoolers for whom this is not their bleak reality, I often wonder what the hell was wrong with me that I couldn't cope with 3, six years and under, when others cope with much more, but, well, that's how it was.

But then I'm lost in the school system. When my boys have issues, I just fly into a panic. Erik gets into trouble and it because he couldn't express properly what happened, and suddenly I'm envisioning him becoming emotionally crippled for the rest of his life, feeling that people never listen to him, but blame him for everything. Luey struggles with his frustration, and wanting to just belt kids who irretate him (he doesn't belt them, but he WANTS to, so he wants to stay home from school so he can "calm down"), and because I really can't cope with the idea of trying to refereee him, and Bryn, and Ari, I tell we have to deal with this IN the school situation and I wonder if I'm not going to regret making that choice in years to come.

The rational side of me says, it'll be ok, you hated school and didn't have friends and didn't do well, and look at you now, it'll come out in the wash...

The other side of me says, you're making every wrong choice, you're not compassionate enough, you're not patient enough, you're going to screw these kids up!

How do other parents cope with this? Or maybe other parents just don't feel like this, maybe I really am just nuts, LOL...

I want my kids to be happy and confident and self-possessed, but it seems to be more like lurching from one crisis to another and nothing I do or say, or not doing or say makes very much difference at all. And the worse bit is how bad I feel when I hear about their suffering and how quickly this stuff blows over despite how badly I felt about it at the time...

Last year's crises are but a distant memory, and yet this year's crises seem to loom like a massive Rowling's Troll...

Winter and nighttime don't help, do they?

Monday, August 10, 2009

New Things!

This is Ari in his new Bugaboo Bee! It arrived this morning, and marks a new chapter in my latent (or not so latent) pram obsession...

I NEED this new pram because of how narrow it is, and how it fits neatly into a taxi boot, even those annoying ones with the tyre in the boots (which seems to be most of them these days, grrrr)... The other reason I NEED this pram is because it folds down as ONE PIECE, which hasn't been that important until now, but with Ari getting more mobile, I need to be able to hold him while erecting the pram, and I can't do that with the Frog, sadly...

This has led to another NEW thing... Listing items online for sale... I've listed my beloved Bugaboo Frog on Gumtree, as you can see here!

I so don't want to sell this pram, she's so, so lovely!!! However, I won't use her now that the Bee (nn. Saphy) is here and is easier to use when out and about.

And finally, I have a new blog. MetaSIFical is all about my thoughts on metaphysical stuff, and WARNING, it may offend some readers (with other beliefs), so readers are expected to take responsibility for their own reactions to whatever I write in there, which is why I've started a whole new blog to discuss that stuff, instead of trying to tread the thin like in this blog...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

One reason I loves the internet!

Restaurants post their menus on the net!

When I first heard that the AB dinner would be at La Camera and I realise that was an Italian restaurant (not a camera shop, LOL), I had a mild freak out...

Yk, coz, well, I'm doing this vegan thing, and more specifically, this RAW vegan thing (though not 100% this week, coincidentally, LOL). And when I think of Italian food, raw vegan just doesn't come to mind... Vegetarian, yes, but amongst all the cream sauces, and the bacon, and the meat pizzas, and the cooked stuff, what the hell was I going to eat! Hence the mild FREAK OUT!

Ok, so I decided to look the restaurant up online, and see if they had posted their menu, and Voila! There it was!

Turns out they have a lovely VEGAN salad, consisting of leafy greens, apple, orange, grapes, chick peas, nuts and roasted sesame seeds (I guess I could ask them to hold the roasted sesame seeds, but well, not this week)! Yum!

So, thanks to modern technology my frazzled nerves are calmed and I have a plan, LOL...

But, yk, even if I wasn't trying to avoid eating animal products and cooked stuff, I'd still REALLY APPRECIATE these online menus because, as a legally blind person, being able to peruse the menu in good light without feeling like everyone is starring at me for having the menu pressed up against my nose, well, it just makes going out more pleasant!

Go the net!!!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Welcome to the last month of Winter!

Finally, August is here! Whoo hoo!

August always starts with the feast of Imbolc on the 1st and what a lovely feast it is. The feast of renewal

Lots of new stuff happening around here this week.

On Friday I went to the Eye and Ear hospital for an assessment to have my left eye operated on and straightened. The assessment went well. The doctor said they had about a 95% chance of making me happy with the outcome (getting the left eye completely straight). The doctor did say though, that as my eye condition is rather unique. they can't give me any indication about how long the effects of the surgery would last. My eye could turn out again (or even turn in) in 2 months or 10 years. They said it would almost CERTAINLY turn again because it's completely blind and so there is nothing to tell the eye where it should focus.

I have to wait a minimum of three months for the surgery so they can see how stable my eye is. This means they'll do measurements again and see if it's moved in the meantime. But I will have the op some time in the next three to 12 months. Most likely between 6 and 9 months from now...

The other big new thing is that I've decided to go fully raw vegan.

A few things have led to this...

I had a lapse last week and came out of it feel emotionally and physically really unwell. I noticed and recognised that horrible dispairing feeeling I regularly feel when I eat meat.

As well as this I read details of a most horrific case of post partum psychosis that I've ever come across and beside putting me of ever eating meat again, it also just caused me to view a number of other aspect of society and the things we take for granted quite differently. I'm not going to extrapolate on that further because I don't want to enter into circular arguments with people I like and what I'm thinking is very much outside the square for most everyone I know...

I've chosen to do the RAW vegan thing because I believe (and science supports) the idea that cooking destroys most of the nutrients in food and so modern diet that relies a lot of cooked, dense, low-nutrient loaded food actually leads to a lot of malnutrition and disease.

Obviously, *I* don't think eating raw if boring or hard, LOL, or I wouldn't be doing it because I don't like to be bored, or to do anything hard... Boring people get bored, LOL, didn't your mother ever tell you that?

Anyway, time will reveal whether going raw vegan is better or worse for me... Right now I'm pretty excited about it, and am really enjoying all the fresh vegies and fruit and nuts - and I haven't eaten a single carrot stick or lettuce leaf, rofl (though I've eaten plenty of leafy greens!)...

Writing is crawling along. I had big plans for today, but it didn't happen, so I'm going to be up late tonight... Right now, I have to entertain Bryn, because his idea of entertaining himself might get one of Ari's eyes poked out...