Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2011

The ADD meltdown...

I had cause to relive Erik's meltdowns in the past week or so, and it wasn't pleasant.

Between the age of 15 months and 7 years of age (maybe later, I try not to think about it often), Erik had literally thousands of meltdowns. They weren't tantrums, he wasn't ever prone to temper tantrums - none of my children were until I had Ari (now I know what people mean when they speak of the two year old tantrum). Erik's meltdowns were never like tantrums. For one thing, they always started out off a clear blue sky. At first we had no idea what they were, one minute he'd be laughing, then his bottom lip would start quivering and the crying would begin. We'd try to hug him and ask him what was the matter. He'd pull away from us as if we were hurting him. Then the screaming would start and his eyes would become wild and frantic. The more we tried to comfort him, the more and louder he would scream and his arms would flail and he'd seem horrified as if we were a…

Gender-less...

This article popped up on my screen late last night. In short it is about a Canadian couple who have decided to keep the gender of their third child secret. Not just for part of the pregnancy, not even for all of the pregnancy, no, this child is already several months old and only a few close family members know the child's sex. The child is named Storm, which is a unisex name (though the two Storms I know are both women).

Issues surrounding gender stereotypes are important to many parents today. On parenting forums you will find countless threads about girls clothing being pink or purple, with occasional splashes of orange or apple green being thrown in for variety. Meanwhile boys clothing comes in navy or grey and sometimes brown. Nappy ads have girls being clean, and quiet and whimsical, and boys being grubby and noisy and boisterous.

Bloggers blog about their boys playing with dolls and having their fingernails painted in attempts to breakdown stereotypes, which other discuss …

Wells of Inspiration...

What inspires you?

You don't have to be a writer or some other kind of artist to answer this question. Inspiration in handy in all sorts of situations, relationships, parenting, business, education. What inspires you to clean the kitchen floor? Or maybe - if you're like me - what would it take for you to feel INSPIRED to clean the kitchen floor (for me it would have to be that by cleaning the kitchen floor I had a better than even chance of revealing a golden ticket to the lifestyle of my dreams - sometimes I wonder if there might be a golden ticket hidden under all the toast crumbs and grime dragged in by four grubby boys from the back yard)?

Wouldn't it be great if we could ring a 1300 number and just order inspiration?

"Hello, yes, I have a submission deadline coming up and I need inspiration for the 3000 words short story. Also, my 12 year old has started moping about the house and slamming doors erratically, so a little inspiration for handling that situation wou…

TV revolution...

What do you like to watch on telly?

Television viewing is not what it used to, with families gathering in the evening to catch up on the latest episode of their favourite show as distributed by television broadcasters. No, these days - at least amongst my friends - the viewer is in the control seat of what they watch and when they watch it.

Years ago, I watched an episode of Oprah where she raved about a new gizmo she had just acquired where she could program her device to seek out and tape shows of interest to her while she was out of the house doing other stuff, and then when she was home she could watch the shows of her choosing at a time that suited her. She could even save up a few episodes of a drama and watch them consecutively. She was, of course, talking about a TiVo, and I decided there and then that as soon as this virtuous device was available in Australia I would buy one! A couple of years later, I did just that, and I haven't regretted the purchase for a moment. More…

Short attention span and maintaining enthusiasm... A quandry.

I have attention deficit disorder, and so it's pretty much par for the course that I have a short attention span.

I have a tendency to undertake interests and projects with enormous enthusiasm and then quickly tire of the same interests and projects. I hate committing myself long term to anything because I'm really afraid of letting people down when I eventually and predictably lose interest in whatever I was committed to. I realise this probably sounds terribly fickle and selfish, but I definitely don't feel that people should simply accept this about me. 
I guess I love the thrill and challenge of starting something - like, just recently, I started playing Gardens of Time on Facebook. It was fascinating and I loved the challenge of the hunt for objects in pictures. I loved setting up my Garden and designing it, but after the first fifteen or so levels (which I played with almost obsessive enthusiasm), it all started to just run too slowly. The learning curve had dropped aw…

Change is Inevitable...

I'm a fan of change. I get bored easily and tend to embrace most change - even challenging change, because I view it as something fresh and wonderous and, well, exciting... I've been noting the changes around me this week. Some are beautiful, some are inspiring, and some are just a teensy bit scary for this mama...

We have a number of maple trees around this area. In our previous house we had a giant maple. She was the reason I applied to rent that house. She was the first thing I saw that crisp spring day, and she was magnificent in her luminous green crown. Several months after we moved in the weather turned cold and with that her crown turned a multitude of glorious golds and reds. I was enthralled! I loved that tree, she made the cold weather bearable. We don't have a maple in our yard, but we have one on our side nature strip. She isn't a mature as the queen we left behind, but her beautiful autumn shed has cheered me up in the greyness of the past couple of weeks…

Self-publishing from the Writer's Perspective...

Self-publishing is still a dirty word in many circles - whether you're a bookworm or a writer (or both).

I've been investigating self-publishing a fair bit this week for several reasons. I want to know what my options are for the future. I want to know how well a self-published book might be received by readers and peers. I'm not rushing to publish my novel myself (for one thing, I don't have the money), I'm really just testing the waters.

Why would I even give self-publishing a second thought? The reasons a many and varied.

The publishing industry seems to be very closed. Certainly, the major publishing companies seem quite conservative, and why wouldn't they be, they don't spend much on market research, so every publication is a punt. If they take a chance on a writer and that chance pays off big, they will keep going back to that writer until sales of their book sales begin to decline. Publishing companies have also discovered the rich soil that is cele…

The Price of Integrity in a Capitalist society...

We had a very interesting conversation around the dinner table last night when Erik announced that his teacher had bought a huge pile of lollies for the class and would be handing them out for "good behaviour".

He enthusiastically relayed the breakdown of "points and prizes" and I'll admit, my hackles rose at the speed of light!

Apparently, the students in his class receive points every day for being helpful and co-operative, for two points they can receive a Chuppa-Chup, for five points they can receive a Push-Pop, and so on. It is up to them whether they collect the smaller prizes more often or the larger prizes by saving up points.

On the face of it, I can see lots of people - including the teacher, himself - arguing that this all about teaching children to work towards something, to have a goal, to feel appreciated for the effort they make to build the community. Having goals and working towards those goals is definitely something I want my children to lear…

Bloggus interruptus

Yesterday was a fun day - we had one broken glass, a broken bottle of
red (these breakages were unrelated - the glass was broken while
setting the dinner table, the bottle fell off the top of the fridge
late last night), and the most fun of all, my computer contracted a
deadly virus!That makes four dead computers in two years! Okay, my computer isn't
completely dead yet - we're hoping to download an antidote off a flash
drive tonight - but I can't use it for the time being, so it might as
well be dead.If you remember, my phone is also mortally injured. Still waiting to
be able to afford to get it fix, in the meantime, it's a less-than-
glorious iPad - without speakers.So, I'm spending time doing reading...

Recipes for trouble!

Linking up with Kate Takes 5's; Listology - Bad Combinations because it looks like so much fun!

Here we go!


Four noisy children/introverted parentsFour noisy children/any kind of study/small houseSeasonal Adjustment Disorder/Melbourne, Australia (nuff said)Co-sleeping/4000 drinks of water/parents forgetting to change night nappyEngorged F-cup boobs/feeding on demand/supermarket/hungry newbornChips/me/my clothesIcy cold rainy weather/my plans for walking everyday/ectothermiaCityville-Cafeworld-Gardens in Time/no pressing commitments/creative writingWhat can you come up with...

Things I know - the late edition...

When Blogger is having a sickie and it's Fiction Friday, I'm kind of relieved...When Blogger is having a sickie, I still manage to spend all day on the computer...When Blogger is having a sickie, Wordpress bloghers become kinda smug (and I start reconsidering my options - hear that Blogger!)...That's enough about Blogger having a sickie - better not happen again any time soon!It hailed no less than three times last night and each time, I thought our windows would surely break!I have hail induced sleep deprivation today!I definitely have the cutest and best looking kids in the world!Despite having the cutest and best looking kids in the world, I still have days when I wonder what I might get for them if I could trade them in...In the span of an hour, I can travel lightyears away from Wonderful Mum, to the darkest reaches of Crap Mum of the Millenium.Kids lives aren't determined by our very best and our very worst moments, but by the blending of every single moment we ha…

Wordless Wednesday...

Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.

I have to confess...

I get irritated when I see people misuse language...

I was just on a forum and read about someone receiving "exuberant bills" - she meant "exorbitant bills".

Then I clicked on another thread and read about someone who wanted to hear from people who had "brought" a house - she meant "bought a house".

I once laughed - out loud - at Luey's prep teacher when she told me she was "mortified" to find he'd dug up the dead and buried class hermit crab - she meant to say she was "horrified".

I get irritated because I try very hard to use the right words for the right context, and to know the meaning of the words I use.

I know language changes - I did a unit of linguistics during my undergraduate degree. I understand that it is fluid, and that "oriented" is now "orientated", whether I like it or not.

I just find it disturbing to think of bills dancing and whooping their way through my house, or having to lug …

The fine art of doing nothing.

Mum said to me a number of weeks ago that I'm quite lucky in as much as I have nothing I have to do right now. At the time, I thought she was nuts (sorry mum, you know it takes a while for me to catch on)... I mean, sure, I wasn't doing a course, but I have this PhD to prepare for and some kind of publishing to achieve, and then there is my novel - that novel I worked my arse off (Oh, I wish it was that simple!) to finish before Christmas.I've been living in a state of panic for the past few weeks. It's quiet panic, you wouldn't notice it if you just looked at me casually, but it's there simmering under the surface, and occasionally bubbling over when I think no one is looking too closely.

So, yeah, Panicstations'R'Us set up camp in the pit of my stomach and have been partying on like it's 1999 ever since.

Last night I went to bed at 1am, and I didn't get up again until 11.45am, and even then I could have slept another three or four hours at le…

Mother's Day 2011

Twelve years ago, I was very pregnant, and I received my first Mother's Day card - from a friend. At the time I thought it a very strange gesture, perhaps a bit jinxy even - you know because my baby hadn't been born yet. I know I certainly didn't feel like a mum twelve years ago...  Fast forward to know, and I have four children, and I STILL often don't feel like a mum! This makes me think about my mum, she had me only 3 and a bit months after turning twenty-one! She was so young! She was living in a foreign country with her new husband and her family was about to move back to Iceland! That was 40 years ago (nearly). I wonder if she feels like a mum after 40 years of being a mum (I'm sure she'll tell me!)?

One thing I know about my mum - that is that there is so much about her I still don't know, and I suspect I will never know! Our children never really see who we are, do they? So, when I think of my mum, I think of a woman who is probably the most resourc…

Meanwhile... Things that aren't BLAH...

This post - being about things that aren't BLAH - will contain images and sentiments too saccharine for some, you have been warned!

Life is never all bleak, even when - in the moment - it feels like it is, and all you want to do is scream at the universe like a toddler tantruming that this is "NOT FAIR!!!"... So, here are some of the things that I've been noticing through my foggy SADs...

The ingenuity of my children. They're completely obsessed with Doctor Who at the moment, and just before Christmas we found out we could actually buy replicas of the Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver (an all-purpose Swiss Army Knife-ish implement the Doctor carries with him at all times). Unfortunately, while the full size replica was reasonably prices at $39.95 a piece, with four children - who would ALL want one - we were looking at $120 worth of Sonic Screwdriver! So, that plan was shelved. It didn't take the boys long though to figure out how to make very cool looking Sonic…

Dropping the ball a.k.a. impatience for the sun.

Hi guys,

Thought I'd check in and explain myself...

Winter really came down a thump this week, didn't it? I'm enjoying wearing opaque black stocking with dresses and boots, so that's a good thing (and in the cold you can wear those gut sucking undies to keep up your stockings and smooth the lines of your dress and you don't have to think twice about *all those layers*!!!).

I'm trying to deal with the psychological fall-out of the sun being shrouded by clouds day in and day out. I suffer from Season Adjustment Disorder (SAD), but a great chunk of that is purely psychological - the anticipation of long months of darkness and cold - so I'm trying to change my thinking, and we all know new habits can take a while to establish.

This week I've dropped the ball on a number of things because my energy has been directed at just getting out of bed, and doing those things we all need to do to get through the day with four children.

Walking - I did an enormous amou…

Thankful Thursday!

Today I am thankful for:
A gorgeous park to walk in - we chose the area we live in for it's great range of local parks!Having opportunities to make connections with other parents at my boys school.The Emerging Writer's Fest events being cheap enough that I can afford to go to a couple of them - I can't wait!Our gasheater!The ability to recognise the transience of bad feelings and hard times and the knowledges that all things are cyclical. Which means I'm also thankful for the cognitive behavioural therapy I've learned over the years that now allows me to let go of catastrophising when things aren't the way I would wish them to be, and work through the bad feelings and know they'll pass in a few hours or days.No news on the building front from the landlords. I was expecting to have had to move house by now, but so far, so good...Dave's course only taking 10 weeks! He'll be in paid work in no time!A husband with no sense of clothing co-ordination and a…

Rewards gone wrong...

Yesterday Julia Gillard announced the roll-out of the first bonus payments for high-achieving teachers in the Australian school system. Teachers aren't paid enough, that is the long and the short of it, but a one off bonus payment for only 10% of teachers whose students have achieved high scores on tests such as Naplan is just ridiculously unfair, and if anything might create a disincentive for school leavers considering a career in teaching.

If these bonus payments are not simply a bribe to keep Labor in Government (they don't get paid out until after the next election - so if you're in line for one of these payments, you'll need to vote Labor to secure it), and this becomes "the way of things" - paying bonuses for high Naplan scores - two outcomes can be predicted. The first is easy to predict, teachers who want the money will put pressure on their students to perform on tests (which is not the same as intrinsic learning), and that pressure will also come t…

War talk...

It's been a big day for war talk in my little world.

We all heard the announcement this afternoon that Osama bin Laden has officially been declared dead. There is a sort of "Wizard of Oz" feeling surrounding this announcement, and I half expect to see news footage of a couple of sandal clad legs sticking out from under a stone house on the television. It has made a lot of people happy, and also made people think and talk about the place of Capital Punishment in the world. Miss Holly over at Good Golly Miss Holly summed up my thoughts in her blog post today, so I won't reiterate those thoughts, just direct you over to her blog for a read... War brings out the worst in people, that's for sure, it causes people to feel justified in their own violent thoughts and feelings.

Then I had the opportunity to check out a preview of an hour and fifty minutes of the documentary called The Other Side of the Glass which is up for a short time at vimeo. The documentary is about …

Is this it, then?

Life, I mean.

Do you ever have days when you think, is this all there is?

I'm not sure what I'm expecting, but there are days, like today, when I wake up and think, where's my glory?

Okay, about half of you have started thinking about moving on to the next blog or maybe even scrubbing the toilet with a toothbrush around about now, I know, it's kind of pathetic and a bit whiney to think stuff like that, but I can't help it - it just happens!

I'm not a believer in reincarnation in the sense of the soul moving from one body to another body after each lifetime, but if I were I'd be prone to wondering if I wasn't some sort of Empress or Movie Star or Goddess or something in a previous life, because I seem to have this expectation of something more, something glorious or glamourous and exciting just around the corner. I've been waiting for it for a long time, my fame.

Instead, I have a husband and four kids - all very much wanted and dreamed about.

Life i…