Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2011

January Blessings...

This is just going to be a boring "list post" of all the various blessings we've received this January because I'm 100% convinced that 2011 is the year our luck turns good again!


We won 5th division lotto on New Years Eve (but discovered this on New Year's Day morning).  Was only about $26, but at the time that was all we needed to feed ourselves until payday, so yay!Found out the owners of our house were turned down on their application to build two two storey townhouses in our back yard.  They are resubmitting, which gives us a good 7-8 months before they're likely to want to proceed with the building (at which time we really need to move).  The reprieve was such a relief to us!On the morning of the one big family outing these holidays, Dave found a $50 note in his wallet that he'd forgotten he hadn't spent, so the outing was freebie, yay!Halfway through the month when I was projecting our income vs. expenditure and freaking out about how we were goi…

2011's first proper hot day...

Today is the first day this year, in Melbourne that is, to reach 40 degrees - or so they tell us, though my BOM weather application of my phone says it only reached close to 37 degrees.  We moved into this weather-board house last March, and haven't experienced a run of hot days here yet, so because we weren't sure what to expect, we stocked up on icy poles and made plans to camp out in the lounge room and dining room.  It hasn't been too bad though...

Being the people we are - or rather the person I am - we also decided today would be the day we start NOT putting Ari down for a nap.  He's stay up without a day nap on several occassions recently when we've been out and about during the day, but this is first time we stay home during his regular nap period and don't even attempt to get him to sleep.

So, come 3pm, with us all stuck in the house because of the heat, and Ari running on vapours, I found myself casting about for something to interest him and save all …

Sif's 2011 Photo Project : January Installment

I took plenty of photos in 2010 - probably 2000 or more.  Sadly, the vast majority of them were on my iPhone.  I think I used my old Canon DSLR on a handful of occassions, and even then, I was pretty much just pointing and shooting.  The end result was that when it came to making a Christmas card last November/December I had no decent photos of the boys to put on it.  It was very disappointing.  On top of that, I was stressed out of my mind trying to complete my thesis and really didn't have the mindset to rectify the problem.  It was all too hard for me at the time.

This situation did lead to a new years resolution of sorts - only of sorts because it didn't formulate properly in my mind until about ten days ago.  Basically, I've set up a folder in the My Pictures directory on my computer and into that folder I am determined to place AT LEAST ONE decent printworthy photo of EACH of my boys for EACH MONTH of 2011.  I aim to also put in about half a dozen group photos of the…

Words, power, control...

There is an Icelandic saying or belief or something that we each have a pre-determined number of words to use in our lifetime and once we've used up our quota, we die.

The idea is that you should use your words frugally and with discretion.

I can't say I've lived by this value.

Today though, and more and more recently, I've been confronted with the fact that my words are no good.  The people who mean the most to me don't listen to my words.  I think maybe it is because I flood my environment with words and so my words have less value - there are always so many of them about.

I've wondered on and off if I should have days of silence once a week, or maybe for a week at time, as a sort of cleansing, or detox or something.  Maybe then I could learn to choose my words more carefully and make them more valuable to people?

Words also carry a certain amount of power.  The words we choose and the way we intonate them cause make or break a conversation or the passing on o…

One and only...

Warning:  This blog post contains discussion of personal female biology.  If you suspect you may be embarrassed or upset reading about such things, by all means feel free to skip this post and wait for the next one.

Jayne at Random Ramblings of an Unhinged Mind recently wrote a post about her Pigeon Pair in which she explained why she is grateful for, and values, having one child of each sex.  I know when she wrote this post she was concerned she might inadvertently upset a couple of her friends, one of them being me, because we have many children of only one sex.  I attempted to thank her for her post using my iPhone, but my comment became entangled in the etherwebz and I lost momentum for retyping it all on a minuscule keyboard.

I can honestly say, though, that her post was a breath of fresh air to me, after so often hearing from other parents that having one of each sex (or multiple of each sex) is really no big deal.  The most insulting assertion to me is that "it makes no re…

Something old, something new...

I've never been a fan of school holidays.  Even before I had school aged children, I didn't like the fact that other families would crowd out all the interesting places for weeks on end...  Once my boys started going to school, I have to admit I dreaded the holidays.  Homeschooling all the time was one thing, you got into a rhythm and have a pace which is comfortable and predictable.  Once they were at school, the holidays turned all of that on it's head.  The boys would be all too excited to begin with, then they'd realise that unlike their friends families, we WEREN'T going anywhere exciting every other day and they'd get narky with us and one another, and then there was the impact on the younger children (poor Bryn and Ari who do so well playing on their own all day long were thrust into a world of over-stimulation by having two bored big brothers up in their stuff all the time)...

But somehow the past couple of holidays haven't been so bad.  In fact, it&…

Do we know too much?

2011 is my year for reducing stress.  The last two years have been stressful, but 2010 was particularly so because things I thought we would have sorted in 2009 were still hanging over our heads, I was trying to finish my thesis, and generally speaking, our resources had already been stretched to capacity.

Many of my friends commented on a great change in my demeanour last year, and while I was well and truly aware of this myself, I felt quite powerless to affect personal change.  I simply had no resources or capacity to stretch any further and be the understanding, compassionate, and reasonable person we all expect everyone around us to be under normal circumstances.

Several times last year I was nigh on complete mental and emotional collapse, but without the ability to communicate this effectively to anyone.

I'm feeling somewhat better recently.

In the past couple of weeks I have wondered about the part information plays in creating stress.  For several decades now, we've be…

Let's move along already!

Man, I'm sick of looking at the images of my last blog post, but I have nothing insightful or funny to post about, so here are some more pleasing images to look at in the mean time...

A Touchy Subject...

I need to preface this post by saying that this is IN NO WAY a criticism of other people's parenting choices.  My own choices are not black and white on this topic.  I'm just exploring my own feelings on the topic.

The other day, our family was coming home from an outing and got into a lift at our local railway station with another couple and their toddler in a stroller.  The toddler had a little gold pistol which clicked when he pulled the trigger, and he proceeded to "shoot" each person in the lift in turn.  Ari looked at him confused, because Ari has never really seen a toy gun.  Bryn laughed at the boy, because the boy was laughing and was very cute, and Erik and Luey put on their best poker faces because they know all-too-well that their mum objects strongly to toy guns.

Before Christmas, there was a Kris Kringle in the 3/4 classes at school, and both my boys participated.  Erik came home with a yo-yo and Luey came home with a twin pack of water pistols.  As mean…

The dilemma of education...

As I've mentioned many times before, I'm a home schooler at heart.  I've often referred to myself as a radical unschooler because I have allowed my children to wholly determine their educational path.  Up the age of 7.5 and 5.5, Erik and Luey were unschooled at home.  Then they chose to go to school, and Dave and I did nothing to interfere with that process, leaving them to determine if they wanted to do homework, and then how much they wanted to do - and always supporting them in their homework, without ever doing it for them.

Just recently, I've been rethinking this dynamic.

I've been rethinking it because I always expected them to find school tedious or offensive to their free spirits.  I thought that sooner or later they would ask to leave school again and learn through life at home.  This has not happened.  This year will be their fifth year at school, and they are still as keen as ever to go.  Because they are so very keen to go, Bryn is busting a gut to go a…

'Just make sure they get enough one on one time"...

As a mother of four, I've heard this advice more times than I care to recall.

I guess the first thing that pops into my head is that I'm really not the kind of mother who sits on the floor and plays with my children for any length of time.  Maybe this suggests to you that I'm self-centred, but let me reframe that image for you for just a second.

Throughout the millenia parents have never had the free time they have these days.  Having plenty of time to "engage" your children in "activities" is a relatively modern parenting experience.  Even for those families who were well enough off that they didn't personally have to farm their crops and livestock, or build their home and furniture, make their own clothes and wash them by hand, and so on, the idea of Mother and Father spending more than a few minutes with their precious children each day was mostly rare.  These people employed tutors and governesses to take on the role of hand-rearing children per…

'I've decided I need to spend less time on the net, and more time living in the real world!'

If, like me, you've been a user  of the internet for a long time, you will doubtlessly have heard some incarnation of the above quote - usually it's part of a message on an online forum, or on Facebook, or on Twitter (ironically!).

It always fills me with mixed feelings; irritation and guilt, peppered with a good old fashioned eye-roll, and just a little bit of 'Me too!'.  This last week though, I had a bit of a think about this whole idea of spending more time 'living in the real world', partly because I spent enough time (two whole days!) away from my computer and iPhone to warrant DMs from concerned friends (thank you concerned friends, I felt missed!), and partly because while I was out there 'living in the real world' I realised, I've never actually EVER 'lived in the real world'.

You see, the reason I was away from the computer was because I had my nose stuck in a couple of books (so, a world concocted by an author - this one inhabited…

Thought provoking questions...

I saw the following list of questions posted on a forum yesterday, and thought I might post them along with my answers here because I wanted to navel-gaze a little...


1. If you could have one person you've lost touch with call you up tonight and invite you to dinner, who would you want it to be?


If it made that person call me, I have to say there are more people than I can count out.  This got me thinking...  How DO I manage to piss people off so much...  I have three friendships in particular where I've pissed the other person off doing stuff that really would not piss me off enough to never talk to them again.  In fact, each of those people did things to me which were - to me- more offensive than anything I did to them and yet, I would STILL accept a dinner invite.  Was talking to a friend about it the other day, and realised they (the three I'm talking about) are all the same star sign!  This might be a coincidence, or it might actually mean something (like "don'…