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Showing posts from February, 2012

Let's Bust a Myth: Children Mimic Their Parents...

All the great scary stories about parenting come from the premise that what you do in front of, or to your child, they will take on board and replicate.

Don't smack your child because then they will grow to believe physical violence is the answer to all their problems.

Don't swear in front of your child or they will swear at nanna and all hell will break loose.

Don't let your child see you iron for your partner or they will become indentured houses slaves for their own partners...

Never drink in front of your child or they will become an alcoholic.

Like every scary story, these all begin with a grain of truth. Children do look to adults to learn how to become members of society. Human children are most definitely social creatures.

However, living in fear of being the wrong kind of role model is also based in the belief that children come into this world as empty vessels with no personality or thought processes of their own, and that the people around them create their ever…

10 Things Tuesday: 10 Signs I'm Truly Getting Old and Grumpy...

I call my husband the Grumpy Old Man - don't worry, I'm not having a go at him. He is quite proud of his Grumpy Old Man status, he even has a tee shirt with Grumpy Old Man emblazoned across it (not that he ever wears it out of the house; t-shirts with slogans go against the Grumpy Old Man code, don't you know)...

I'm many, many years younger than the Grumpy Old Man. In fact, there is an entire decade (the sixties, in case you were wondering) between our birthdays! Until my last birthday, he was a man well and truly into his fifties with a wife in her thirties...

Until my last birthday, that is, when I turned 40. The big four ohhhhhh!

I have to admit I've been feeling my age recently. It's true what they say, you trundle along feeling 23 for years and years and then all of a sudden your age catches up with you. Oh my, but it does.

I know there is a lot I can do to counteract this, and I plan too, just as soon as I have more energy...

But actually, this post isn…

Let's talk communicating...

Way, way back in the early 90s, I did a Bachelor of Arts in Communications at the University of Canberra and while I never went on to have a career in communications, I have found a lot of what I learned during those years very helpful.

Over the years I've observed how people communicate with one another and one thing I've noticed is that communication despite - or perhaps because of the deep penetration of technology - has become more garbled.

Many humans on the planet have had to learn to communicate via text. This is not a new phenomenon, but the speed at which we communicate with one another via text certainly is new. Text communications in this day and age are almost instantaneous.



I know how easy it is to become swept up in an emotional tsunami while operating technology - before I have a chance to reconsider my response, I've typed (and I touch-type at 90 words per minute) and sent my raw emotions to another person - often to many other people and with no real contr…

How Sif Got Her Groove Back...

I wasn't a very happy Sif the other night...

It's easy to get down when you have high hopes and they are not realised.

That said, there is nothing to gain (except momentary attention from good friends and reassurances that people do care) from dwelling on what has not materialised.

What do you do when you're feeling very, very low?

Me, I sing. I sing daggy songs to the power of 10!

So, yesterday I cocooned myself in my bedroom and spent the day listening to 80s music on the radio, surfing the net on my iPad and iPhone and singing...

I wasn't alone...




Erik and the GOM did come in and chat as well, though I didn't have the presence of mind to take photos of them as well.

I also hung up and placed a couple of pieces I've inherited from mum in the wake of my parents downsizing... These reminded me of my place in history through my connections with the past...


This blanket, which I hung on my bedroom wall, was hand stitched by my mother's father's mother.

Th…

Why I prefer KRudd...

My twitter stream is full of KRudd hating. People think he's smug and a whiner. I hear the majority of Australian's would still prefer him, but I don't have those people on my twitter stream.

I don't fancy myself any kind of politically aware person. What I do fancy myself is a keen observer of people, of personalities, of what motivates people. As a writer, I'm always watching people and over the years I've discovered I have a very good bullshit radar.

Twenty months ago, Julia Gillard was manipulated through pride into the position of deposing Kevin Rudd. I will not go as far as to say she was a complete innocent in the matter - there is no doubt in my mind that Julia is a woman with a sharp mind.

At the time my twitter stream was full of 'Go Julia! Finally a woman Prime Minister! KRudd didn't deliver, Julia will!'

In the intervening months I've seen much disappointment over Julia's failure to deliver things she never promised in the first …

No one.

2.25am and I can't sleep. Earlier today my parents left for home after an epic 10 days.

Epic because for a week of that the Grumpy Old Man was visiting them in Adelaide and getting in as much automatic driving as possible before his test. Epic because at the same time my parents were putting their house on the market after making the huge decision to simplify and downsize their life and become debt free and footloose as well.

Epic because they sold their house in record time, for the price they wanted, and bought their next home within two days (to be ready in July).

Epic because they have to move out of their home in three weeks time following an extremely short settlement time.

Epic because the Grumpy Old Man had yet another driving test to get through.

He did his driving test today - well, yesterday, Friday. If I tell you in wasn't straight forward, you'll be pretty much not surprised, right? On Thursday afternoon, after spending most of the day out of the house buying …

Uptight and anxious parenting...

What I should be doing right now...


What I have been doing instead...
Obviously, that's not me browsing the net - she's far too perky and no where near myopic enough - she doesn't have the haggard look of a bedraggled hausfrau, like me...

Anyway, on my browsing travels a few things I've read have started to tangle up with one another in my brain and got me thinking about parenting and parenting styles and all the stuff that worries parents...
First I saw this article which suggests that even having the TV on in the background around children (who are not actively watching the set) is detrimental to their development. So, when Australian parents are recommended to have no television for children under two, that means that while the child is awake, the television simply should not be on. One hour a day for 2-12 or two hours a day for 12-18 year olds means the same for the parents while those children are awake. Think about how long your average 16 year old is awake and do th…

10 Things Tuesday: 10 Things My First Encounter With Solo Parenting Has Taught Me...

The Grumpy Old Man comes home late tomorrow night, a few hours short of a whole week parenting on my own.

I know I'm not the first woman to parent on her own. I know I'm not the first woman with four children to parent on her own. I know I'm not the first woman with low vision and ADHD to parent four children on her own for [only] a week.

But I know this has been a first for me. It's been a steep learning curve, and I've learned quite a bit from this exercise. So, I thought today I'd reflect on what I'd learned...

#1 I rely on The Grumpy Old Man quite a lot, and I don't mean to do stuff like take out the rubbish or even get up in the morning and get them ready for school (though, he does do that and bless his little cotton socks for it, because quite frankly homeschooling has been at the forefront of my early morning thoughts for many days now).

No, I rely on him emotionally. He's my sounding board for all the billions of thoughts that hustle for …

Why I hate carpet...

I hate carpet. I hate it with a passion!

The Grumpy Old Man - despite having moderate asthma and an allergy to dust mites, is quite fond of carpet. He says it keeps his feet warm. The fact he wears Grumpy Old Man Slippers ™ around the house which are probably more likely source of his cozy feet seems to go completely over his head.


The best thing about our previous house was that it had very little in the way of carpet...

I loved it for that. The Grumpy Old Man hated it. He said this was because every footfall in the house would echo and the constant clattering of little feet drove him to the edge on a daily basis.

He was overjoyed when we moved to this house with all its carpet throughout. I hate the carpet here, it's extremely ugly, and by saying that I'm actually being very generous. It's those carpet tiles that were so popular in the 60s, but which peel up from the floor, and then the edges curl and fray. In this house, the peeling, curling and fraying is so bad no one …

Whoa, my blog's become a dead zone...

Hello? Is anyone out there? Hello?


I think I've been very boring off late...

Either that, or everyone is having a spectacular life - are you having a spectacular life? Tell me about it! No, seriously, I want to know - comment to your hearts content about your spectacular life, pleeeeease!

You see, I just realised something... The Grumpy Old Man, as grumpy and old as he is, well, he fills a very important need in me which is currently (for the past 50 odd hours) not been filled. No, not that, put your manners back in...

He's the constant adult voice in my life.

It's taken about 50 hours for me to really begin to miss not having grown up conversations. Conversations which don't centre around axes, remotes, farts or who's turn it is to clean up the bedroom/livingroom/kitchen...

This is about when Facebook and Twitter should really be coming into their own, but for some reason they just aren't doing it for me. I can't quite managed an in to conversations alread…

Forgetful Friday...

Been working on the premise that yesterday was Wednesday and today is Thursday, but no - that's not right...

So, was going to post a Thankful Thursday post today... Looks like it might have to be a Forget Friday post instead...

So, had I remembered it was Friday and therefore realised it was Thursday yesterday, I would have been thankful for the following:

Deciding to get a new phone on a plan last weekend!


Here's why:  Yesterday morning, the Grumpy Old Man left Melbourne, bound for Adelaide and a week spent with my parents driving around in their car in preparation for his driving test.

Me being at home by myself with all the kids for a week is a first!

I've gone away with all the kids before and left the Grumpy Old Man alone at home. I've also travelled away with just some of the kids. I've been away on my own without any of the kids as well, so the Grumpy Old Man has been at home with all the kids on his own before (though no for a whole week).

I'm well aware …

Scattered thoughts about books and reading

Last night a tweet about this article where one mother of two children with ADHD (one who also has autism) responds to this article in the New York Times which, apparently (no, I haven't read it myself - post isn't about either of these articles, but bear with me, my own ADHD mind is actually following a logical path here), blames parents and more specifically parenting for symptoms attributed to ADHD...

I ended up listening to a radio interview with the blogging mother responding to the New York Times article. In that radio interview, she described her son's symptoms. Amongst other things she said he had difficulty concentrating to read. Which got me thinking about my own boy - who is not diagnosed with ADHD, but who I firmly believe has ADHD all the same. He's a very clever kid - much like the son of this writer. He can solve problems when he's motivated enough to summon some sort of focus, but he is mostly too restless to focus on anything for long.

This boy of …

10 Things Tuesday: 10 Inspiring Bits of Crochet!

I'm neither 'hip', nor 'with it' - in fact, just using those terms probably proves this point perfectly.

I do have a Pinterest account, but sadly I'm just not sure how to use it... So, I collect inspiring images the old fashioned way... By Googling them. Lately I've been Googling crochet images a lot. I saw a blanket on Google images a while back that I loved, but because I don't use Pinterest, I didn't pin it, and now I have no idea where I saw it.

It was a blanket where the design, although all done in granny squares, created an optical illusion of wiggly lines or distortion... I've approximated the design on an app I have on my iPad... It looks something like this (from memory)...


So, anyway, I thought I'd share some images I will pin once I figure out how to use Pinterest properly...

#1 The only way I could warm up to a tank... This practice is known as 'yarn bombing' (and not because they've covered a tank in yarn...).


#2 Lov…