Monday, May 30, 2011

Advice from the Enid Blyton medical textbook

I've been re-reading some of Enid Blyton's books lately, since the boys have been reading Famous Five, the Five Find-outers and some of her other adventurous characters.

What strikes me, reading these books as an adult, is how often her stories start with the kids being sick with some kind of illness (like a bad cold, for example). So the doctor is called and when he turns up, the recommendation is invariably that they all need to go away on some sort of holiday to make them better.

In the one I was reading yesterday afternoon (Five Get Into a Fix), the doctor recommended that the best place for a holiday to recover from a severe cold and cough was to go for a trip to the snow. I'm no doctor, but it did seem to be a bit of a stretch to call that good medical advice.

I'm a bit sad that they don't make doctors like those ones anymore actually. I'd love to go to the doctor with a bad cold and have them tell me that I needed to go away on a holiday for a week or two. And then supply me with the medical certificate so that I could do it.

Dropped off the radar for a while there....

A big week of being sick, followed by having to back up for church camp over the weekend. Another bunch of new faces and people to get to know, so now I just want to get back into my cave for a while. It's great that our church is getting so much bigger but it means it's harder to keep track of who everyone is than it used to be.

So we had lots of music and great talks from Phil Campbell this year. And five of us played in a little ukulele band at the campfire on Saturday night. It's amazing how many songs you can do with C, F and G7 chords. There is a lovely old gentleman in our church who learned to play ukulele growing up in the Pacific islands, and he gave me a folder full of music, songs and chords that I can't wait to get started on. It even has "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in it, but I will need to learn a few more than three chords for that one.

The only low point was Liam's midnight vomit on Saturday night. After being caught out when away for a weekend previously, we always bring the children's Panadol with us when we go away now. But sadly, we'd left the vomit bags in the car. So we were left with vomit on lots of bedding and clothing, but at least most of it missed the carpet in the little unit. And we were in one that had its own bathroom and toilet. Would have hated to be dealing with that while running back and forth to the toilet block. Fortunately he made a quick recovery. I think it's because he drinks too many sweet drinks whenever we're away from home and there's no one watching his food and drink intake.

The kids were excited about going away for the weekend (well, not Rosie, I think she was a bit overwhelmed with the whole thing) but predictably, by Sunday afternoon, some of the kids who usually manage to socialise without arguing with eachother were starting to grate on eachother a little bit. And Aidan had a huge meltdown last night when we got home.

Back to the real world....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ads you'll never see again #3

I'm not quite sure what to say about this one....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Toddlers have this "reflex"...

...where if they are frustrated about something they have in their hands they will just throw it on the ground.

So they can't put their shoes on and they can't find an adult to do it for them (because we are actually not leaving the house)? Throw them on the ground.

They've finished dinner and the bowl and spoon aren't being taken away quickly enough? Throw them on the ground.

A toy won't do what they want it to do? Throw it on the ground.

They're being reprimanded while they just happen to be holding onto something? Throw whatever it is on the ground.

I was talking to a friend about this over the weekend. We were marvelling at how kids just seem to be born knowing how to throw things on the ground when they are frustrated. They may never have seen anyone else throwing something when they feel frustrated (....although maybe in our house they might have.... ) but somehow they just know how to do it.

It's hard to believe that kids are sinful when they are cute little babies. But the onset of toddlerhood makes it oh so clear.

Friday, May 20, 2011

So perhaps now might be a good time to tone down the controversy

....and make an announcement.

We're having a baby. It's due in November.

And we're a bit anxious about it. This wasn't we planned to do this year. I was feeling really happy with the three kids we had. It felt like our family was complete. My pregnancy history hasn't been fantastic. I don't really want to go through having a premature baby again and to deal with feeding issues. No one knows why Rosie came early so it's not like I can do something to stop it happening this time around.

But we're slowly getting used to the idea. The scan on Monday made it all seem a bit more real. The baby was wiggling around and waving its hands. It was kind of cute to watch.

And I guess I have to keep remembering that God is in control of all this. Last year I posted this which attracted more comments than anything else I've ever posted. So maybe all of this is actually God's way of trying to tell me something....

I just want to say as well that when we went through many months of struggling to conceive a few years ago, that announcements of unplanned/unexpected pregnancies often felt like the hardest ones for me to hear. I am so conscious of those who might read this who are trying unsuccessfully to have a child. I am actually re-reading Just the Two of Us at the moment, which gives a really helpful Christian perspective about infertility issues. It is such a good book to read to remind me that getting pregnant isn't always an easy road. I'm continuing to pray for those people I know who are struggling with infertility and praying that I'll be sensitive to their feelings right now.

Thinking about controversial stuff....

....God's design for women. We're in the middle of a sermon series at church at the moment. Week one was on men, week two (last Sunday) on women, and this Sunday we'll be hearing about children and parents.

Whenever the Biblical priorities and responsibilities of women are discussed in our church, it seems to eventually funnel down to the issue of women in the paid workforce. Most of the women with young children in our church don't do paid work. I do, so I often feel a bit like the odd one out in the women's daytime Bible study group, which consists mostly of stay-at-home mothers.

The thing that gets me is that often the argument is advanced that those who stay home with their kids are in the right from a Biblical standpoint because they are making their home and family their priority, being a good helper to their husband etc etc. I feel as if the implication is that being in the paid workforce automatically means that you are not making your home a priority and you are neglecting your husband and children. And that voluntary work is somehow better than paid work because Christians shouldn't be valuing economic productivity above unpaid work.

I struggle to agree with this argument. My home IS my priority. Sometimes I'm tired. Sometimes the housework doesn't get done. I'm no great lover of cleaning. If it has to be done, we do it, but if not we might let things slide for a week or two. Sometimes my husband and kids are neglected because I'm doing my own selfish things. I'm a sinful person. But would this be any different if I didn't do paid work two days a week? I'm not sure that it would be. And no matter how much I read all the women-related Bible passages, I still can't find the bit that tells me that women must stay at home, and if the option to do paid work arises, that doing voluntary work is a far better choice. And yet I feel like I am in the wrong and have to be defensive every time the issue comes up. It shouldn't be this way. I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" Biblical position on the issue of women in the paid workforce, as long as you have your priorities straight. God first, husband and family next, then home, then things outside the home. That kind of prioritisation.

When we were discussing this at our daytime study group this week, someone suggested that it's entirely possible to stay at home and be very lazy and idle (which the Bible commands us not to be). And if that was the case, then you might as well work (paid or otherwise) to prevent this from happening.

I thought this was a great point. I actually spend my week doing a combination of things at home, voluntary work at church and school, and then I do paid work for two days each week. I'm far less idle doing all that than I was when I was at home by myself with Rosie for most of the week.

Sometimes I wish I was better at putting forth an argument along these lines. But as it stands, I tend to just end up feeling guilty and ungodly. But I don't believe that the decisions we have made as a family are either of those things.

I realise this could be controversial. I'll apologise in advance because I realise not everyone will think the same way I do about this. Or maybe I'm making more of an issue out of this than I should be? Feel free to let me know if I am....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ukulele Gold

We watched this at the ukulele workshop I went to over the weekend. Amazing stuff.

The instructor said they have been trying to get these guys to tour Australia. That would be excellent.

They cover a lot of other great songs too. Check out YouTube and you'll find their versions of Wheatus' "Teenage Dirtbag" and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Now back to what I'm supposed to be doing...getting an activity sorted out for RE at the special school on Wednesday. Jesus calming the storm.

This is just bizarre

I found this photo in one of yesterday's newspapers. This six year old Croatian boy (who looks quite large for his age...) allegedly has magnetic powers that cause metal objects to attach to him. Kind of like a human cutlery rack. Apparently his parents believe he can also speak to spirits.

I asked Aidan and Liam if they wanted us to try sticking cutlery to their bodies. Sadly they weren't keen, but I don't think it would have worked anyway. And although the accompanying article said that medical tests on why this boy seems to attract metal objects have been inconclusive, I would be quite concerned that something is seriously wrong with him. This shouldn't happen. Maybe he has high levels of some heavy metal inside or something.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


1. First NAPLAN week survived. Lots more to come. Next time we'll have two kids doing it at the same time. Can't wait.
2. Housework, grocery shopping, birthday dinner, cake and presents taken care of (thanks, Chris). And thanks Aidan for being happy to eat the last meal on the menu plan for his birthday dinner, even though he didn't actually choose it. Lucky he likes tacos.
3. Ukulele workshop was great fun. But my fingers are very sore. And my eyes are tired from driving to Lismore and back. I learned how to play Happy Birthday, among other things. That was handy tonight when we were having birthday cake.
4. Have just run through all the songs (on piano) for church tomorrow. And I am also doing one of the Bible readings in tomorrow's service. Proverbs 31:10-31.

Right now, I feel like that Proverbs woman. Busy, busy, busy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


One day of testing down. Two to go. And then on Friday it is the birthday of the child involved.

Big week coming up here. Looking forward to the ukulele workshop on Saturday....

Today's cooking adventures...chocolate bread and salmon cakes

Not sure if I should put a cooking post out there after the last entry....but today I made chocolate bread. Time consuming (mostly because dough with chocolate in it seems to rise more slowly than regular bread dough) but yummy when it was finally finished. We ate it with cream cheese spread and raspberry jam. I think the fruity cream cheese spreads would also go well on it.

And then we made salmon cakes for dinner (joint effort between Chris and me). A recipe from a low GI cookbook I found at the library, in which mashed cannellini beans were used instead of mashed potato. I don't usually make fish cakes because I can't be bothered boiling up the potato and mashing it first, but this was an easy short cut and they tasted just as yummy.

I was also planning to make an apple crumble slice this evening but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Too exhausted to cook any more today...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ads you'll never see again #2

As promised a while ago. Hmmm.

Petrol gauge anxiety

By nature, I tend to be an anxious type of person. I think I've gotten a little bit better over time. Having a fairly laid back husband helps. And funnily enough, as I've had more kids, in some ways I've become calmer. Not in everything, but if I still worried about all the stuff I used to, I would be a nervous wreck.

But there are a couple of things that I still get anxious about. The petrol gauge falling below a quarter of a tank is one of them. I'm not sure why I still worry about this. I've never ever run out of petrol. But when the tank shows a quarter or less I start to get stressed. I constantly look at it while I'm driving to check the little warning light hasn't come on.

The other night I went out by myself in the evening. Chris told me there should be heaps of petrol in the car to get me where I needed to go and home again. When I got into the car, I saw the little needle below a quarter and immediately felt my stress levels go up. I was running late to get where I needed to go, I knew by the time I came home, all the petrol stations would be closed. What to do? Compulsively check, that's what. It's very distracting. Fortunately there wasn't a lot of other traffic on the road.

And of course, he was right. I made it there and back with no problems. The warning light didn't even go on.

I'm not sure why I'm like this. Maybe it's because I first started driving around the same time I started my first job. It was a job out in the country where I had to do lots of driving between small towns and out and about doing home visits. One of the rules was that you had to fill up work cars when the tank showed under a quarter. I was very good at making sure that got done. And if I was driving anywhere in my own car, if I was by myself and ran out of petrol, I would have been stranded. Mobile phones weren't around back then.

But even though times have changed since then, I still can't seem to lose the fear of driving with a low tank of fuel. I think I might need to do some cognitive-behavioural therapy so I can move on.

Am I the only person like this, I wonder?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Surviving times when you feel spiritually "dry"

I'm having one of those times at the moment. One of those times when I find reading the Bible is a huge effort, I don't feel like praying, and I generally feel out of step with everybody. When all this happens, I tend to withdraw into myself because talking to Christian friends who seem to be going well (from outward appearances, anyway) just makes me feel worse. And I'm introverted so interacting with others leaves me with less energy rather than more.

Some days I wonder why it can't be easy all the time to enjoy reading and learning from the Scriptures and praying. But I guess that's not what we're promised. Today in Bible Study we were reading passages from the Old and New Testaments about why Christians are different from other people. The lesson I learned (not a new lesson, but one I needed to be taught again) was that being a Christian is not supposed to be easy. It's easier to just be like everyone else in the world because that doesn't take much effort, but being a Christian requires hard work.

And we can't do it in our own strength. That's the bit it's too easy for me to forget. We need to pray and read our Bibles because that is where we will find the strength we lack in ourselves.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A storm is on its way

As I was typing that last post, I heard some very loud rumbles of thunder.

Better go and save the washing.

I wish there was money to be made.... correcting spelling and grammatical errors on public signage.

I could make enormous amounts of money doing this. Because I always notice these mistakes.

There are signs on both sides of the glass doors at the entry to the building that I work in which say "No Hawkers or Canvases."

Even though I have worked in this building for many years now, every day that I work I have a little chuckle to myself at the thought of a building in which canvas artworks are forbidden. We are a government department, so we don't have a lot of fancy artwork on our floor anyway....but it is nice to think we are following the building rules.

As they say, small things amuse small minds....

Sunday, May 1, 2011


This afternoon I went to a cooking class at a friend's house. It was so much fun. Lots of clever cooking tips and new recipes to learn. We made tortellini using wonton wrappers, with a pork mince filling. Much easier than I expected it to be. I am definitely going to give that a go at home.

And we got to eat all the food after we'd watched it being made. A three course dinner with my favourite creme brulee for dessert.

Great food, lovely company, what could be better?