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Showing posts from June, 2011

The Mind of a Toddler...

Is an interesting place to go sight-seeing. Just recently, we've noticed that Ari is becoming quite destructive and disruptive around the house. This is never a fun thing for a parent to become aware of, but we believe it is a child's nature to be inquisitive and social, and so we reflected on why he might be frustrated and realised he has not been getting enough outside time.


Outside time is very important for toddlers. Their brains are developing at a rate of knots, and "outside" provides almost endless variety of stimulation, observation and learning opportunities - everything toddlers are wired to seek out! Have you ever noticed that children don't seem as noisy outside or as irritatingly active? Trust me, they're being as noisy, if not noisier than they would be inside, and they're being at least as active, it's just that outside their "energy bubble" doesn't seem to crash into yours quite so much. There is more space, and the b…

The Serious Business of Choosing a Footy Team...

I have lived in Victoria for 14 years (in November), but I'm not from here. One way you can tell I'm not from here is that I don't barrack for any AFL team. According to many Victorians, that alone should be enough to have me booted out of the state! Many Victorians take their footy very seriously!

I was introduced to footy through the Grumpy Old Man and his parents. His dad was a Richmond supporter, his mum is a die hard Carlton supporter. Dave is also a Carlton supporter - though, to call him die hard would be an overstatement, he is a quiet, bemused observer...

When Erik was born, there was quite a bit of talk about which team he would support. My MIL was keen for him to be Carlton supporter, while my mum (not a native Victorian either, but a keen football fan all the same) kept threatening to knit Erik a Footscray scarf - both she has my step-dad are Bulldogs supporters...


Sadly for everyone, Erik decided at around the age of 8, that he would be a Hawthorn supporter li…

Managing school demands...

If you're reading this in hopes I will be offering sage advice on the topic, I'm afraid you've been tragically mislead by the title...

No, unfortunately, I am not one of those parents of many children who manages everything very well - if you want someone like that, then keep reading and I'll point you in the right direction in a minute (if I give it away now, you'll stop reading my blog post and shoot on over to the other person's and then I won't get the advice or comisserations I'm seeking)!

Some mornings I simply can't get out of the school gate fast enough. After seeing Bryn off to his class I race to the gate and down the street to our house at the end of the road because tears are imminent and I don't want to sink to the footpath in a blubbering mess lest I embarrass my children more than they already have to endure.

You see, I'm completely overwhelmed by the demands that eminate from those buildings at the far end of our street. Ther…

Questioning a life of questioning...

My mum and dad are both very intelligent people. Not only do they have higher than average IQ, but they are smart, too. Both my parents question EVERYTHING. Sometimes this causes people to view them as obstinant troublemakers (yes, they do mum and dad, you both know it, and to some extent I think you both basque in the warm glow you receive from that knowledge). Neither of my parents take ANYTHING on face value alone.

So, it's probably not very surprising that both my brother and I are questioners. We question everything. We question what we see and hear, and what we don't see and hear. We question the world around us, each other, our parents, and even ourselves.

What is real?

What is worthwhile?

What and who can be trusted?

Why do people do/say/think the things they do?

How, where, what, when, why and who...

Sometimes I question all this questioning though (of course I do, that is what makes me me - all this suspicion!).

Certainly, it seems to me that often my inability to j…

The Importance of Teaching Children Grace, Appreciation and Gratitude.

Most of us have had that cringe-worthy experience of having one of our children be less than gracious when receiving a present. Once, my five year old told the gift giver, "I've already got one of these", before tossing the present aside and picking up the next one in the stack. Yes, that was a proud parenting moment for me... For the most part, it's cringe-worthy, but understandable in young children who are still learning empathy and manners, but yesterday I had this happen to me with my soon-to-be twelve year old, and it wasn't at all understandable, and in fact, I was deeply hurt by the experience.

My two oldest boys are born ten days apart (for those of you who have always heard they were born 11 days apart, I need to explain that apparently I can't count)...

More often than not this means we have to buy both lots of birthday presents out of the same pay fortnight. We had to do that this year, and this year both the boys were in need of new bikes. We'…

Little Boy Blue...

Lukas James Thomas; born June 25, 2001 at exactly 10am, after just 30 minutes of labour.

Tenacious! FunnyFriendlyA quiet achieverArtisticMusicalBookwormEnergeticInsightfulCharismaticJustLuey Blue is our little star. You can always find him in a crowd - he's right there in the middle! People are simply drawn to him. He loves a good joke, a funny story, a lark! At the same time, he has a dark and serious side to him. He takes justice VERY seriously, both for himself and for others. He reads voraciously. He has a sense of dedication and responsibility beyond his years, and never seeks adulation for his personal achievements. On the other hand, he's a born performer and entertainer and loves an audience to play to, to delight and make laugh! He is our enigma, both fierce and delicate, funny and serious, the performer AND the behind the scene man!

And now he's a whole decade old!

Happy10thBirthday,Blue!

Uninformed versus Ignorant....

Last week I was called ignorant when I voiced an opinion the other person didn't agree with. From the other persons perspective, I lacked information and therefore the correct insight to make a judgement. What that other person actually meant to say was that my opinion was uninformed. So, I informed myself.

An ignorant opinion is one based on having clear information that contradicts one's opinion and persisting to hold the opinion anyway by ignoring the information you have...

For the past couple of nights I've been watching "Go Back to Where You Came From" on SBS.  It is a documentary about six Australians with strong views on immigration issues in Australia (particularly entry of illegal immigrant via boats - also known as "boat people"), and their journey backtracking the process by which immigrants and refugees arrive in Australia. Five of the participants firmly believe immigrants should not be trying to settle in Australia - some only feel this w…

Changing family dynamics...

Just now, Blue and Buddha went outside to play, and Viking asked if he could take the Little Lama out as well. Both the Grumpy Old Man and I agreed that Little Lama is still just a little bit too little to go out into the wilds that are our very large and very overgrown suburban back yard without our direct supervision (there's rusty old chicken wires and spidey hidey-holes everywhere, thanks to previous occupants enthusiasm for self-reliance).

This exchange led me to think about how our back yard is really too big for the Grumpy Old Man and I to manage (we're definitely NOT green thumbs) and how next time, we'll probably look for a property with smaller yards, because the boys prefer to go to the park anyway.

The problem with this, of course, is that we have several large outdoor play equipment items, including two large trampolines and a cubby house, that we'd need to get rid off. I thought this out loud, and Viking was quite concerned, "Mum, it'd be fine to…

Silly Singalong...

We love to sing in this house. Mostly we like to sing songs we've made up. We usually make up our own tunes, but occasionally we borrow a tune and rewrite the lyrics to suit ourselves (this may or may not breech copyright, but I think we're safe until we go public - and we wouldn't be that safe going public anyway, one well aimed shot with an overripe tomato could do serious damage, I imagine...).

Today the Little Lama was a very, very sad little boy. He had been quite content when he was destroying the loungeroom this morning, and also when he was de-shelving all of the Grumpy Old Man's books this afternoon, and especially when he was running amok in the school yard at pick-up time, tripping up mums, and riling up dogs at the front gate, but after we arrived home and he realised we weren't going to play outside in the icy rain, he pretty much lost the plot and became the very saddest Little Lama you've ever seen.

To cheer him up, I started singing. This is wha…

Parenting Compromises...

I'm an idealist (not as idealistic as I used to be, admittedly, but still fairly idealistic). I'm opinionated (who isn't, honestly, I know there are people - not at all like me - who are pretty much able to keep their opinions to themselves, but I have an opinion about them, too...).

When it comes to parenting my idealism and opinions go into overdrive. I'm learning to be a bit more relaxed - a bit - but mostly it just feels like I'm compromising.

Here are some of the things I've compromised on, and why...

Homeschooling - I planned, from the very beginning, to home school. Erik was only a few months old when this decision was firmly set in my mind (and I convinced the Grumpy Old Man as well). It was hard for us, I will admit that. We didn't have a car, and that meant getting to homeschooling groups (which for some reason are always held on the outer reaches of Melbourne) was always a trek. By the time we had three children, and it was taking us all day to ge…

Trials and Tribulations Tuesday...

Yesterday was a wild and wacky day in our household.

It's started off mundane enough. Boys off to school, the Grumpy Old Man and I pottering around, doing dishes (him), tweeting (me), coffee drinking (both of us).

Then I went to look up something on Google and got an error message. I refreshed and the same message popped up. I asked the Grumpy Old Man if he'd been having any trouble on his browser, and he confirmed he had. We figured it was probably just a fault on the line and got on with writing out a shopping list and trundling off to the supermarket with the Little Lama in tow.

Back from shopping a couple of hours later, and the computer was still not making any meaningful connection with the net, so I called Telstra.

After a lot of "If you want waffles with icecream, press 1" and giving anonymous operators my name, date of birth, and bra size, I was finally put in touch with a technician. She said the line was clear, and as my modem appeared to be working just f…

Let's Talk about Suicide...

I've been meaning to post this blog for over a week now, been waiting for a good time. There never seems to be a good time to talk about suicide, though, does there...


I was on stand-by with SBS to translate a video from Icelandic to English for them for an episode of Insight, a couple of weeks ago - in the end it turned out the video wasn't about suicide and they couldn't use it. Still, I tuned into that week's episode of Insight (the final for this season), and listen to the discussion on suicide and suicide prevention. More specifically the discussion was about whether or not it was a good idea to speak publicly about suicide. The concern being that many believe talking about suicide might glamourise it, might encourage others to do it.


I'm going to suggest that speaking about suicide is not only good, but essential.


One thing that came up was that a person doesn't need to be acutely depressed to become suicidal. One woman who had attempted suicide only a few w…

Random Acts of Kindness and Paying It Forward...

I have written many times about the Universe providing - I'm constantly aware of being provided for - now I want to talk about being a conduit for the Universe's provision of others... I'm spring boarding this post from Jayne at Random Ramblings of An Unhinged Mind's blog post about Random Acts of Kindness and the Internet.

This week I've been very blessed by other people's Random Acts of Kindness and Paying It Forwards.

Wednesday really sucked (did you read my blog post, didn't even come close to how crappy I felt), and for the first half of the day I hid in bed because I just didn't want to face the world and my frustration over so many things. I was at once convinced that I should become a Buddhist and that I could never succeed at becoming a Buddhist because I can't grasp living in the moment - I always live in the future, I always live in a place of desire and longing...

Then I got on Twitter - as you do - and read about the NuffNang Blogopolis

Things lust...

Do you know that feeling when you see something GORGEOUSthat you really believe you musthave? I do. I'm feeling it right now, for this dress...


At the moment, I have a panicky feeling in the pit of my stomach because I have no money to buy this beautiful, versatile dress (the top skirt of the dress buttons up on the shoulder to create a shawl effect - pure genius - I love clever clothing!). I'm sure, if it is popular and sells out fast, it will be re-released, but I WANT it and I WANT it NOW!
Other things I lust after include...
An iPad 2 with a blue cover - the cover connects to the iPad with magnets and the segments can be folded back on themselves to create two kinds of stands for the iPad. I know iPad 3 will be out in no time, but the iPad 2 has the beveled edge I like the feel of with my iPhone 3GS (I think the iPhone 4 is blocky to hold).
Last night I was introduced to Fluevog boots... This morning I was shown these...

I can't even express my feelings for these boots... A…

This is a blog, not an advertising company...

This article in The Age about PR companies needing to be more savvy when trying to get bloggers to advertise for them is just the springboard I've been looking for for a post on advertising and sales in the blogosphere...

I've been blogging for five and a half years. I certainly don't have the longest standing blog, not by a long shot, but I've been around for longer than most I know. In all that time I've blogged about a number of 'things'; personal 'things' and public arena 'things'. I've blogged because I love to write, and I kind of think my opinions on 'things' are enlightened (mock me, you may, but Nostradamus and I share a birthday and I don't think that's coincidental! You'll see, my pretties, you'll see!)...

Seriously though, when I got into blogging I absolutely was just doing it for myself. In the intervening years the concept of 'the blogosphere' has really taken off, and many entrepreneurial t…

Denmark's Newest Princess!

Overnight - on June 9th, 2011, Denmark time - my cousin Inga and her partner Lars welcomed a brand new little princess into the world!!!  Isn't she just DIVINE??? - and smiling already!!! Of course, I think she looks just like my Ari and therefore is GORGEOUS!!! For a young woman who was never, never, NEVER going to have children (despite having met my lovely boys; Erik and Lukas - go figure!), Inga looks quite besotted with her new daughter! So, I'm sending all my love from across the globe and hoping one day we'll get to meet in person!!!

Defracted Television...

It's not reverse racism...

Today my husband related a story from his week to me. He had been out and on his way home needed an asthma pump (the man needs a preventer, he uses that pump so often, but do you think he'll listen to me???).

So, he went into one of our local chemists. We don't go into this chemist often because we've encountered what seems like subtle racisim (being ignored at the counter, being made to wait 20 minutes for service then being told we'll have to wait another 20 minutes, so we might as well go and doing something else in the mean time - while others around us are being served - and they happen to be the same race as the chemist staff) from the staff.

On this occasion, my husband was the only person at the counter. There were no staff at the counter, only the chemist herself at the back putting together prescriptions, so my husband stood and waited for about four minutes, and no one came to serve him. Then a couple came into the chemist who appeared to be the same race as…

When you want to join the toddler in his tantrum...

There comes a time when it is consider uncouth to chuck a tantrum because things aren't going your way.

That time probably passed three or so decades ago for me.

Is it really so bad to feel like life is unfair, and that it is unfair that other people seem to get their way with very little effort or obstacle?

Is it really that awesome to bear trials and tribulations with dignity and patience, knowing your turn will come one day?

Not ripping the contents from my kitchen cupboards and smashing it all on the floor is almost tearing me apart right now.

I want to rage and scream and throw things.

I want to pout and stamp my foot and yell 'It's NOT FAIR' with clenched fists shaking at the sky.

I want to push and shove and beat the world into submission.

I can really relate to my two year old today - and yesterday, and last month, and last year even.

I want to holler ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! and WHAT ABOUT ME?

I want to cry and whimper, "I'm a good person, I watch out for ot…