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Showing posts from November, 2009

No-procrastination-vember is coming to an end...

For the whole of NO-vember, I've said "No" to procrastination. More specifically though, house maintainence procrastination. This is what my house has looked like for the past 30 days straight.








Mostly, I manage to keep our home tidy on a semi-regular basis. That is, I might let things slide for a day or three, and then have a big clean up. However, over the years, and particularly in the past year or so since Ari was born, I've found the slide seems to happen far more rapidly and dramatically than it used to, and the "big cleanup" as, on several occassions, morphed into a "massive cleanup".

So, I decided to try and maintain - at least - a level of neatness in the house every day. To do this, I'm spent about 20 minutes each morning going around a putting away stuff that wasn't in it's place, making beds, and putting on a load of laundry when the bins got to about half full. Then each evening after dinner, I've done the dishes an…

When did we stop thinking for ourselves...

And letting our kids think for themselves.

That which is discussed in the following blog post is of a sensitive nature. Sensitive because parents, rightfully so, want to protect their kids from harm. However, I, and many others, are beginning to wonder where the protection mentality will end. This blog is NOT having a go at any of my loving, conscientious parent friends who only want their children to be happy and healthy - this is merely a blog questioning and discussing the lengths to which we, as a society, are going to protect children from the world and themselves.

When you have a baby, you whole view of the world changes! Quite literally, you see the world with new eyes, you baby's eyes, eyes of wonder and innocence, and inexperience. Suddenly the world seems a lot bigger and, for some parents, a helluva lot scarier!

For some reason, that might be explained by media scaremongering, or by advances in technology that allows to feel more in control, parents these days seem MO…

Good vs. Bad Self-Esteem...

I reject the idea that self-esteem is a homogenous entity. I don't believe you can have good self-esteem OR bad self-esteem. I haven't researched this, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't be the only person who believes people have areas of self-esteem and those areas variety in health.

Taking myself as an example - because it would be kind of rude to use anyone else as an example - I would say I have great self-esteem, generally speaking. I like me. I generally believe other people don't appreciate me as much as I do, mostly because I'm not particularly good at interacting with other people. The interpersonal part of me certainly suffers from low self-esteem. I believe I fail in the area of interpersonal relationships because I tend to be a bit tactless (fail to engage brain before engaging mouth, or worse, lack enough sympathy to be bothered engaging brain before engaging mouth).

I often misread how other people view me, often opting to believe they don't …

Self-sabotage?

So, it occurred to me this morning, as I sat here playing Bejewelled, knowing it's just a complete waste of time, and yet not being able to motivate myself to do much else (though, of course, the care an maintainence of the youngest child did get a look-in)... Hmmm, what was I saying? Oh, yeah, so it occurred to me that success - achievement - is well and truly within grasp for me, but for some reason I resist grasping it.

I know EXACTLY what it would take to achieve the things I would like to achieve. The effort of achieving would not be disproportionate to the contentment I'd feel once I've achieved, and yet I can't seem to just do what needs to be done.

There are three goals I'm thinking of specifically, here.

Finishing my Masters degreeSaving money
Becoming healthy (fit and a healthy weight/size)To finish my degree, I just need to do the editing and rewriting required. I have time to do it, I could be doing it right now. I could do it at night instead of watch…

The Hazards of Thinking Out Loud...

I love to think. I love to sit and think about stuff more than anything else. More than reading a book, more than eating chocolate, more than making love (and I love making love - who doesn't)...

Unfortunately, I also love feedback on my thoughts. Partially because I think I'm oh-so-very-clever in some of my thinking, no truly, I tend to think that the way I think about stuff is so totally different to how other people think about stuff that it MUST be completely original and therefore fascinating for others to read... Partially because, ironically, I want to be challenged on what I think - this both tells me how original my thinking is, and whether or not I'm actually retaining any contact with reality in my thinking.

The problem is, I don't really take my thinking all that seriously, but quite often I sense that other people do.

I'll throw a random thought or idea out there into the interwebs and I might be well and truly married to the idea in the millisecond …

Black clothing...

Wearing black is very popular in Melbourne. Melbournians are quite proud of this. Black attire is probably equated with sophistication and it certainly has a reputation for being slimming.

I was thinking about it today, though, as you do. I'm actually kind of surprised that I've never heard of black having an aging affect on the wearer. I'm sure many won't agree with me on this point, but I really think black can make people look tired and older than they really are.

Just think about it.

Black is a favoured colour (ok, it's not a colour, but let's not split hairs) among young people. Certainly, black is dark, brooding, and often considered to be the antithesis to the playful rainbow of colours children wear. Adolescents most like adopt wear black to mirror their own ambiguity, the fact they DON'T want to reflect something about themselves, they want to remain dark and mysterious and so on. Also, though, black is considered sophisticated (possibly becau…

2010

I have to admit, I've already left 2009 behind, mentally. Yeah, I don't think I'd ever make a great Buddhist!

2009 has been a big year with a lot of changes and a lot of challenges. I hesitate at calling it a "terrible year" for a couple of reasons. First, it has been the first year of Ari's life and that, in itself, has been a joy and I don't want to diminish that time at all. Second, challenges are a chance to grow and I do embrace any chance to grow.

That said, I'm quite looking forward to 2010!

Just the fact that it'll be 2010 and that being, for me at least, quite an iconic "year" makes it kind of exciting!

It's going to be a very busy year, and I don't mind busy. I prefer busy to "don't know what I'm going to be doing".

Bryn is starting kinder next year. He will be the first of my brood to ever go to school. When Erik and Luey were 4, I was in full homeschooling mode - well, unschooling mode. The thou…

Satisfaction...

Step away from that hairbrush! It doesn't matter how much you pout those lips, you're never going to be Mick Jagger, so just let it go already...

Been thinking a lot about satisfaction of late.

I tend to lack it quite a bit and have been wondering why that is and whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

If asked the question, "Are you satisfied with your life?" I would probably have to say that I am. Well, I'm satisfied with the big picture. I live in a great country (on the whole, let's face it Australia is a pretty good place to live), I have a nice home, a loving husband, four fantastic kids. I have plenty of friends and my social life isn't too bad (for a mum of four kids). I'm able to be at home and study (when I can get my act together). Life's good.

And yet, I quite often feel a niggling sense of dissatisfaction.

This could be because our society is set up to encourage us to be on the constant look out for the next "big thing&q…

A Good Old-fashioned To-do List...

Been doing well on my No-procrastination-vember thingy-magig. The house has been really tidy and surface clean all month, so yay me! Anyway, as there are now just under 5 weeks until Christmas, the time has come to start do a bit more a fine toothed comb throughout the house. To this end, I thought I'd do a bit of to-do list a get a couple of things done today (Sundays are always dedicated shopping and attempting to relax days)...

So, today I want to achieve the following.

Clear out and wipe down the glass cabinet in the kitchenClear out under and behind the couch and behind Bryn's bookcaseGet the gunk of the corner of the sink in the laundry (that'll be Dave's job as he put the gunk there in the first place)Clear out and tidy my wardrobe, including relocating unused clothing to bed drawers and pitching the old Christmas lollies from last year that are attracting ants, eep!)Get Dave to surface tidy the study so it doesn't look so much like a dumping groundGive the…

Head scarves should be required clothing at all child centred institutions!

I'm upset. Very upset! This morning I've had to shave Luey and Bryn's heads, and this afternoon I may have to shave Erik's. Why? Well, because of head lice. Now, some of you may feel I'm over-reacting, but in all honesty, I'm not. We had our first case of headlice almost as soon as Erik and Luey started school. They'd never been in childcare, or to kinder, and somehow in the playgroups they'd attended (sometimes weekly, sometime less often) they never did catch headlice.

For 18 months after they first contracted headlice, we had a continous battle with the little critters. We tried EVERYTHING on the market, and every natural solution we could find until eventually our only recourse was to shave the boys heads.

That's when we first heard a phrase that has since come to irk me so much I want to scream every time I hear it...

"Well, luckily you have boys, because if you had girls you couldn't shave their heads.

Really, why not?

The truth i…

What Ari has taught me about himself just recently...

The child finds it much easier to take a firm, "No!" over me trying to figure out what the hell he wants.

It's been a bit of a gradual lesson. Started a few weeks ago when he started on that same little thing the others had done around this age where he wouldn't just feed then pop back off to sleep, oh no, he wanted to graze... And GRAZE is just about the right word for it, too. I certainly was feeling very "grazed". So, despite him being just around the age of one (he was a little before one when this started), I took to telling him, "No more, sorry, that's all there is, shhhh shhh, time for sleep..." Well, I really wasn't expecting it to take, I was just feeling desperately tired and hoping even 10 minutes of dozing might help me cope a bit better.

Lo and behold, he grumbled, turned over and went to sleep.

So, I've been doing it ever since. He feeds through the night, but not at all continuously. He's on for about 10 minutes o…

Transitions...

Life is full of them, isn't it?

Right now, Luey is in the middle of his transition sessions as he moves up from grade two to grade three. Might sound strange to some of you that he needs trans session for moving up a grade, but at the boys school there is a system of multi-age classes (which is different from composite classes in that it is an intentional pedagogy rather than a situational compromise). So the preps, 1st and 2nd graders are grouped together as one class with the same teacher (theoretically, though this hasn't been the case for Luey due his first teacher being a complete tool and him needing to change classes and then his second teacher taking up a position in a new school) for three years. Then they go to "middle primary" for two years, which is 3rd and 4th grades together, and finally "senior primary" which are the 5th and 6th grades together.

So, this month Luey is transitioning to 3rd grade, which means every Wednesday he spends part of …

A difficult decison...

Today I'm made a difficult decision on behalf of my family. I've decided this Christmas will be a one gift Christmas for each of us.

It's a difficult decision because I want to be able to do so much more for my kids, but finances won't allow. It's difficult because I know my kids won't like the idea at all because all their friends will receive so much more than one gift. It's a difficult decision because the anguish I'm feeling about making this decision proves how much I and my kids have bought into the idea that more is better and that we are ENTITLED to more than one gift at Christmas.

How did we get this out of control - by we I mean, as a society. Most people spend $100s and $100s at Christmas time in presents and food and whatnot, and we do it because "that's the way it should be". If we DON'T spend lots of money on our kids, we're absolutely depriving them - and that's not only in their opinion, many of us parents be…

Big Picture Update...

Been neglecting the pictures of late...

These aren't in order of anything much, so I'll just comment on each one...

Daytime napping! We've pretty much stopped napping him in the pram during the day because he can't turn over and gets shitty. He's had a couple of spills off the bed and won't learn to crawl off backwards, but that'll happen with time.

Bought this button under for him last summer, and it fits now, LOL! Size 00, love it! And doesn't the expression fit the text, hehehe!


Life is a serious business!

That tear in his eye was from the tantie he chucked because i wouldn't let him play with my iPhone...

He's popped four teeth in the past month, so there's been a fair bit of finger-in-mouth going on.

LOL, and this would be that "I MUST have your iPhone" tantie I was talking about...

Erik and Luey's school fair last weekend. The school fair is fabulous, btw, I was totally impressed this year. Rides, hair painting, fake tatoos…

Erik's theory about drawings and why he doesn't like to tear drawings up...

So, the other day I went and picked Erik up from school. Luey was home sick that day, so Erik and I had a good long time to chat about a whole range of things uninterrupted. When you have four children, that is something of a golden opportunity to find out what is really going on inside you individual child's head...

Erik is completely and utterly obsessed with drawing, just like his uncle Mike at this same age. What Erik draws, the style and some of the subject matter, is quite different, but the intensity of his passion, and dare I say it, the competency of his drawing is very reminiscent of my brother and it's something I'm gaining incredible enjoyment from watching develop.

I'm not sure how the conversation came about, but Erik told me that he believes that at night the creations people draw on paper come to life and swirl around the room. Black and white drawings, according to Erik, are kind of transluscent and puffy, while coloured drawing are flat like the pap…

The fear of being ordinary...

Sometimes I think I'm compelled to make choices that promise to launch me out of the realm of ordinary.

I'm not ordinary (if there even is such a thing, I mean ordinary is pretty closely related to the concept of "normal" and it's widely accepted that there really is no such thing as "normal" - to the extent that the word "normal" is almost never written or said without the accompaniment of double quotes). I have a less that ordinary brain for one thing, but let's not go there because it usually leads to, "Well, we already knew THAT..." smirk encrusted comments.

I haven't led much of an ordinary life either - not according to most people I talk to.

I've had three legal names, for one thing.

My parenting choices are not ordinary either, but this is where I begin to think that I've made a lot of choices in my life with, at least, an underlying motive of "not being ordinary".

So, what's so wrong with ordina…

Village Misconceptions...

We often here, "It takes a village to raise a child", and with this in mind, many mothers today try to work together to support one another through the trials and tribulations of parenting in this modern world.

The thing is, in villages, it wasn't peers supporting one another with parenting, so much as an intergenerational support system, and I feel - I've witnessed a fair bit of this - that many women in peer community groups end up feeling let down by the concept of it taking a village to raise a child.

The problem with peers trying to be support to one another is that everyone has the same needs, and when you have a particular need, it's very hard to give of yourself to another person who has exactly the same need, because you have little to give.

When you're emotionally spent, and all touched out and the kids are demanding you constant attention, do you feel able to give someone else's children - as well as your own children - the attention they need in …

Barbecue Culture...

It's Melbourne Cup Day! I love Melbourne Cup Day even though the Salvo legacy causes me to baulk at betting on the horses (somewhere in Australia today, someone is going to lose a heap of money and put their family in crisis because of a gambling problem that our society seems to mostly just scoff at and that makes me feel sick), hmmmm, I digress.

Anyway, I felt like I'm missing out on something. Something particularly Australian - ok, I realised other nations also do the BBQ thing, but it is an iconicly Aussie passtime, isn't it? - the backyard barbie!

Dave isn't entralled by the idea of al fresco eating. The idea of sharing his meal with flies and mozzies causes him to screw his face up in the most unattractive grimace that I mostly avoid bringing up the idea. Besides this, our house isn't well set up for outdoor eating. We have a relatively flat, concreted area just outside the back door, but it's right in front of the garage on the driveway and not very …