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Showing posts from April, 2012

Clean up in isle nine...

In our family there are five of the male variety (not including the dog - also male) and one of the female variety. That'd be me. Many years ago, all the boys realised I didn't have a penis, which included various joyous moments such as Erik (then three) pointing to random people on a tram and yelling, 'Penis! No penis!'

I was cool with that, I even kept my cool when he pointed to a women and yelled, 'Penis!'... Luckily, she was also cool with it.

We've had other fun times, like when I recently made a one woman push for the word vagina to be used in preference of 'vajayjay' or Luey's all time favourite 'vahmmmmmm'... Yesterday, he confided he still actually prefers to say 'vahmmmmmm' - I whispered to myself, 'Small steps, Sif, small steps, he's only ten'...

My approach to society's taboo topics is to be very straight forward and open and matter-of-fact and to always answer a question where and when it is asked.

I …

Finding a painting reference...

A few weeks ago, Erik (12) was selected, along with nineteen other grade six students from his school, to attend a seminar at the Ian Potter Museum Annex at Federation Square about painting landscapes. In the wake of this seminar, students have been asked to paint a landscape which will be exhibited in the gallery.

Before Erik can get started, he has been asked to take a photo of a landscape as reference for his painting. The photo has to be a local place of significance to him. He decided to source his reference from a local park where we used to go and watch the local miniature sailboat club sail there boats on a Sunday morning when he was little.

We took the following fourteen photos or the old quarry and brickworks near the lake, the lake itself and the boats on it this morning.

From these, Erik liked numbers nine and thirteen, but ultimately decided he would like to paint number thirteen.

Which one would you choose?

More me...

I thought I'd tell you a few things about me you might not know... Partly because I just want to write something, but done know what, partly because in the past two months my readership seems to have increased by a third, so some of you might want to get to know me more - I'm very considerate like that, you see...

* I bite my nails, but not compulsively. I just prefer to bite them instead of clip them. I don't bite my thumbs nails because they're too tough and it hurts my teeth. Also, just in case you were wondering, no I don't bite my toenails, I clip those!

* I love to wear head coverings. I love hats, but not so much on me. I personally wear headscarves in preference to hats. I once wrote a big post about headscarves and various ways to wear them. I wear headscarves more in winter, of course. I love them to have fringing or to be colourful or glittery - yep, I'm very gaudy like that!

* Despite having lived in Melbourne for the past almost 15 years, I struggl…

Ari at 3.5 - a great big ol' brag post!

Today Ari is three and a half.

It's funny, I was so excited about him turning three but cannot get my head around him turning four, but now that he's three and a half, I can't deny that four is coming!

He is currently 95cm tall and 14 kilos, which puts him on the 10th percentile for height and the 25th for weight. He's still a little tacker, but he seems to be growing like a weed on his own curve.

In the past six months his hair has become more and more curly (the curls are not evident in the photo above, I know, so you'll have to take my word for it). It's still a nondescript light browny, blonde highlighted colour with tints of strawberry.

He still loves Doctor who, but also Thomas and just recently he's become interested in Ben 10 and often wears Bryn's old Ben 10 jacket and Ultramatrix.

He talks fluently now and nearly all his baby talk is gone. He has a peculiar old-fashioned was of talking, 'You look very lovely today, mummy.' and 'How…

The days you get it ALL wrong...

Do you ever have days where you realise you're getting it all wrong and there is no start over, so you just have to get through it and start afresh tomorrow?

I'm having one of those days...

* The dog desperately needs a walks, he hasn't been walked in a few days because of the rain (and our common aversion to it). Last night he was extremely anxious and unsettled. He needed to do his business but he doesn't like to walk on our very spongy wet grass. So, he was wanting to go out every 20 minutes or so, but then not actually going, or not going properly. He didn't sleep well, so neither did I.

* So, we both slept in today. The Grumpy Old Man is a dear in that way. He's happy enough to hold the fort while I sleep if I've had a rough night with a baby, or in this case, a dog. Unfortunately, he was somewhat unaware of all that needed doing today.

* I had a nightmare about being ignored and left alone by extended family and close friends. It was one of those awkw…

Jacob, our fearless defender!

Jacob has been living with us for about a month now.

I would say he's settling in quite nicely.

His very most favourite places to sleep in the house are either on the Grumpy Old Man's side of the bed (when the Grumpy Old Man isn't looking, that is), in front of the fire, or on one of our laps.

He definitely views me as alpha dog (Yes!Finally someone in this family acknowledges my supreme status over all things!), and Lukas is beta dog. He heeds the Grumpy Old Man when it suits him - which is most of the time, except when it's not. He likes Erik and Bryn, but senses their hesitance.

Erik is the 'food man' because Erik puts out his breakfast and dinner - I'm so proud of how Erik has just taken on this role, unasked!

Luey and I are the 'tish monitors' - he comes to us when he needs to go.

Ari... Ari is the noisy, unpredictable nuisance who Jacob battles with for the bottom rung. Jacob senses he could put Ari in his place, and will growl at him and warn…

Hello Winter...

It's icy cold and raining outside.

Two days ago it was mild and sunny.

That's Melbourne for you!

Every year since I was young, I've suffered from Seasonal Adjustment Disorder once the weather turned dark and cold. Every year I've dreaded winter.

Oddly enough, I don't remember feeling this way when I lived in Iceland or Norway for all those years. In Iceland it may have been because the thermometer never rose above 15 degrees celsius anyway. In recent years they've had heat waves of 22 and 25 degrees with elderly people expiring in the heat, but when I was younger these temperatures were unheard of.

Norway was different, being more mainland, even though it borders the Atlantic. The winters were colder, but not as windy (so more tolerable) and the summers were quite warm with highs in the early 30s at the peak of summer - and I do remember odd weeks of 35 degree heat here and there, too.

Maybe I didn't suffer because I was too young to really project the leng…

The art course update...

Today I thought I'd update everyone on how Erik went with the new art course on Thursday. I found the whole experience to be very thought provoking, let me tell you why...

I'll start by explaining the suburb we live in is highly populated by immigrants from Asia, most especially from China. At our local shopping centre almost all the businesses barring the majors like Woolies and Big W are owned and serviced by Chinese. Most of the signage is in Mandarin and up until very recently there were quite a few businesses (particularly restaurants) where you couldn't get service unless you spoke and read Mandarin. There was an issue in our suburb last year of housing auctions being conduction in Mandarin sometimes without an English interpreter. Our suburb is somewhat of an Asian enclave.

I have found this alienating at times and have discussed my feelings of alienation with friends, but if you don't live in our suburb, it can be hard to understand the cultural divide that can…

Household rules in a benevolent dictatorship...

Yes, I'm going to write two blog posts today - why not...

Do you have house rules?

We've struggled with house rules a lot over the years. Mainly because we don't have a concrete list of house rules.

There are about a thousand things the Grumpy Old Man and I tell the kids they shouldn't do around here, and they are often followed by, 'You know that's against the house rules...' But in all fairness, there are no concretely stated house rules in this house, so the kids are unlikely to keep track of all one thousand things they're not supposed to do.

Today I decided to sit down and write our house rules.

I know popular psychology suggests having a family meeting and everyone agreeing on the house rules, but this seems overly manipulative to me because after all parents are always going to steer the choices towards what they think is fair or reasonable. Otherwise, 'The bedroom will be divided into quadrants and each boy can only access their own quadrant …

Doin' the funky Sif...

How do you think it happens that a person can be trundling along okay, doing what needs to be done in life and generally keeping a can-do attitude and then they don't? How is it a person can even feel inspired, then suddenly wake up one morning and just feel that they can't bear their life for another second?

This is me today.

Yesterday I was okay. Last night I went to bed with plans. I love having plans; having goals to aim for and work towards. Plans energise me.

This morning I hate the world. I just want to run away and hide.

I cannot figure out why I feel this way. Nothing has changed and yet that is core to how I feel. Nothing has changed. I feel stuck in this life with no visible exits to something different, something better.

The kids are driving me mad!

Ari has been cooped up for five days straight, so he's all cabin-fevery. I'm not sure what is going on with the other three. Maybe this is fallout from the first week back at school? Maybe the reality of not hav…

Lonely, but afraid of intimacy...

A couple of days ago I took 19 minutes and 48 seconds out of my day to watch the following video, and I strongly encourage you to do the same!

If you have chosen not to, then maybe you will come back to it one day soon. I hope you do.

In a time when we celebrate every new technology, and at the same time hear messages about turning technology off before it destroys us, I think this TED talk oozed common sense. Sherry Turkle isn't telling us to turn off our technologies, but rather to have a good think about our attitudes toward them and assess where we stand on the continuum of 'lonely'.

I am one of those people for whom technology has been very helpful socially. I suffer from agoraphobia and find new social situations extremely confronting (familiar social situations are just regular strength confronting). Technology has afforded me a safe place to initiate connections with other people. A place where I could edit my responses and learn to mediate those thoughts which all…

Tantrums never really end, do they?

This is a post-production tantrum face...

Can't help but love the sight of a sleeping child, right? I reckon sleeping in the wake of a massive meltdown is what small folk do so their parents don't drown in them in the toilet...

As this little one's tantrum was in full swing a while ago I found myself comparing it to that of his eldest brother (who is going on thirteen in July).

This tantrum found it's root in the overstimulated nervous system of an overtired little person who had been up and on the go for the past 11 hours.

He loves to get up early and he loves to be on the go and most days he can get through to his 7pm bedtime all right, but about once a week, now, he'll lose his little mind at about 4pm.

It starts with giggling and running around and flapping arms. It may then progress to hitting his brothers and - since his recent arrival - attempting to hit the dog (the dog is thankfully a bit more canny than the brothers and can avoid most physical contact). …

Anxiety Cleaning - before and afters...

Today is two weeks since this notice went up...

So, today it's supposed to come down according to the guy who put it up on the Thursday before Easter. Assuming none of our neighbours have any major concerns, the owners of our property will have the go-ahead to clear the back yard and commence construction on two town houses.

The construction phase may not happen right away - or it may. We are not privy to our property owner's plans and so, as for the past 24 months, we continue to live with low level stress of not knowing when we might lose the back yard, garage and off-street parking.

The owners are apparently going to build a carport in front of the house - so we'll lose a chunk of the front yard as well.

Because we store a lot of stuff in the garage we are going to have to commandere two rooms in the house for the storage of boxes and crates. We will lose the back laundry and the third bedroom - as well as the back yard.

We will have to get rid of the two trampolines, o…