daily life

Oct. 21st, 2016 05:03 pm
emma_in_dream: (bobby)
My children had an argument yesterday, sparked by the *Lord of the Rings* soundtrack – about whether Boromir’s death was the sort of thing that grown ups like or not.

Obviously they have not seen it, but have heard my retelling while listening to the soundtrack.

Pearl has a visceral fear of death. It is hard to know how to address this. Yes, death does suck and mostly we adults just ignore its inevitability.


Oct. 13th, 2016 05:10 pm
emma_in_dream: (alexa)
Congratulations to the Upper House of NSW which has unanimously called Donald Trump a ‘revolting slug’ unfit for public office.

‘It is clear that all reasonable and decent people find Donald Trump’s behaviour obnoxious and that the world is hoping American voters reject his politics of hate.’

3 Things

Oct. 10th, 2016 06:23 pm
emma_in_dream: (steve)
1, On the weekend we went to the zoo and took the opportunity to feed a giraffe. It was so cool, because he twisted his tongue around the leaves and pulled them into his mouth. As Pearl said, it was like his tongue was a hand. A slightly slimy feeling, blue hand.

2, Ruby did some woodwork and created what she calls a musical instrument. With help she nailed random nails to a block of wood and then strung elastic bands over it to strum. Her Pop is incredibly impressed.

3, Inspired by a fanvid, I have been rewatching *Leverage*. Perhaps I will finish it this time.


Oct. 8th, 2016 12:03 pm
emma_in_dream: (steve)
Hello and thank you, Yuletide writer! Thank you so much!

Read more... )
emma_in_dream: (bobby)
3.13 Noriko Matsubara, Bocchi + Pocchi and the Bird, 2014

It's a kid's story about two socks going for a walk. What my children liked the most was the photos of the author knitting models of the socks at the end. She wrote it! She illustrated it! She made the socks!

3 Things

Oct. 6th, 2016 05:56 pm
emma_in_dream: (alexa)
1, The art is up at work. I’ll take some photos. It seems like my sole achievement since July.

2, I have had some free time to read about ADHD, sensory processing issues, etc. Did you know that some studies link NF1 and ADHD? How very interesting. And how much I hope Ruby is not also diagnosed with ADHD. (Though I do not think it is likely).

3, I watched some of the extras on *Gosford Park* and part of the reason it is so astonishingly accurate is that they found a handful of British folks in their 80s who had been in service above and below stairs in the 1930s. They were literally able to instruct on how eggs were hand beaten to make custard rather than mayonnaise; how wine was filtered; the way measures were used to ensure the table was set evenly; the shade of a footman’s ties; how an under-house maid would address a housekeeper.

Also, of course, the way it was filmed and recorded ensured that all the actors were aware they could be being filmed at any time, so they are continuing their plots in character at all time. No wonder it is such a champion of a movie.
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
Agatha Christie Mrs McGinty'sDead 1951
David Evan Stalin's Russia 2005
Enid Blyton Five Go Adventuring Again 1943
Richard J Evans The Coming of the Third Reich 2003
Agatha Christie They Do It With Mirrors 1952
Joachim Fest Plotting Hitler's Death: The German Resistance to Hitler, 1933-1945 1996
Connie Willis All Clear 2010
Rupert Matthews Stalingrad: The Battle that Shattered Hitler's Dream of World Domination 2012
Niki Savva The Road to Ruin: How Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin Destroyed Their Own Government 2016
Michael Jones Total War: From Stalingrad to Berlin 2011
Enid Blyton Five Have A Wonderful Time 1952
Sue Allen Can I Tell You about Sensory Processing Difficulties? A Guide for Friends, Family and Professionals 2016
Benison O'Reilly and Seana Smith Australian Autism Handbook 2008
Agatha Christie By the Pricking of My Thumbs 1968
emma_in_dream: (cameron)
I took the first week of the school holidays off and it was great. I feel like I am actually (though momentarily) on top of things. I have new shoes; the girls have summer sandals; my hair is cut; the girls had hair cuts; they got new bathers; Pearl got some new t shirts; Ruby got new PJs; Ruby has one of the two new car seats she needs; we went to the library; Ruby did some OT; Pearl saw a counsellor.

The counsellor was the culmination of a massive amount of effort. Pearl’s teacher thought she might be dyslexic or maybe have ADHD. Which is to say she has no idea but finds her hard to teach. The school psychologist observed her and I filled out surveys so comprehensive that it took literally four hours to get through them. This is what I do in my spare time. The psychologist thought Pearl was a quirky and odd child who might have… something. Maybe she is on the autism spectrum? she suggested. I took this non-information to her paediatrician who sensibly thought that seeing a psychiatrist on a regular basis might help with a diagnosis in the long term and in the short term could give her some strategies on dealing with her anxiety and difficulties with focus.

Pearl was resistant to going and flitted about like a butterfly on speed during the first meeting, but *I* certainly found it incredibly helpful to have someone carefully observe Pearl. He pointed out that she is in the 99th percentile for hyperactivity which partly explains why I find life so exhausting. And I felt he was actually looking at her because he noted how she stilled when doing drawing, so she is capable of moving away from the stimulation seeking.

I have fallen slightly in love with the psychiatrist because he was certainly a good counsellor for me, in that he offered me heaps of praise for the way she responded to my Mum Voice and said again and again how hard it is to be a single parent to two kids with special needs. Honestly, I lie in bed at night wishing there was someone in the house who would say that to me while patting me on the back. Indeed, my last attempt at getting counselling for myself ended with a stand up argument with the counsellor about whether or not being a parent is hard.

Me: I’m just saying that, you know, when I came home from hospital with Pearl and the house was hit by lightning and I had no phone or heating and there was a hole in the window in the middle of winter. That was harder than it would have been if there had been heat, electricity and the ability to call for help. Objectively, that must be the case.

Her (young and presumably childless): Perhaps that is why you think of parenting as hard.

Me: Because it is hard.

Her: But why do you struggle with it?


Her: And yet….


Compare that with Pearl’s psychiatrist. He hasn’t offered concrete or useable advice yet, but just talking to him made me feel more competent and happier.

In short, I had an excellent break and things seem (fingers crossed) to be setting up OK for the return to work and school. The girls are ready for their swimming lessons to start, and while Dad is having dialysis on Wednesdays I am able to help out by taking him in. I am SO PLEASED that Dad is finally on dialysis as it means that the pattern for the upcoming months is becoming defined, making it much easier to make work and school plans.

3 Things

Oct. 4th, 2016 06:17 pm
emma_in_dream: (cameron)
1, Ruby is always attracted to books about trips to hospital, no doubt her way to process her life. At the moment a picture book about a bear having an ear operation is on high rotation. She likes to point out the degree of greyness in their fur which illustrates that the doctor bears are older than the patient bears, nurse bears and orderly bears.

2, I found Pearl reading an Enid Blyton short story collection under the covers after lights out. She was only given away by her giggling. I am somehow reminded of myself….

3, Although I was stuck inside at work, the girls did nature play by the river today.


Oct. 3rd, 2016 06:12 pm
emma_in_dream: (Singin')
I had a splendid time at the Royal Show, the best time for years. This was partly because of the weather. It was bleak, raining and extremely windy so there were many fewer people than usual. This was great because the things I dislike about the show are the heat and the crowds.

Also, there was a bus service provided within the show grounds which made it possible to travel across the grounds. Ruby always struggles with long-distance walking and this made it possible to go to the pavilions as well as the animal sections. We saw the rabbits (of course) and also watched the rabbit show jumping, including the cross country obstacle course (very good). We missed the pig diving but did catch the dog diving as well as going to the pat a piglet section. We also stopped by poultry and cats. And, is it just me or are the cat people a bit odd? Like the cat judging seemed to include the decoration of the cage as well as the health of the cat. But perhaps it is wrong to judge the cat owners when the pigs are diving and the rabbits are leaping over five rung fences.

[ETA - Also, I see the dog people ran a dog dancing competition so maybe the cat people are not so odd.]

Even better than the animal displays was the I LOVE DIRT pavilion which had magnifying glasses and microscopes so you could examine moss and dirt. The kids could have spent the entire morning there. When they were eventually pried away it was only to go to the display of soils where Ruby endeared herself to the guy in charge by being so very interested in soil improvement and the use of clay as a binding agent. I’d say this was nearly as much fun for her as the ride on the kangaroo up-and-down machine in the kiddy rides section.

All in all, two thumbs up for this year’s show.
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
To my surprise, the choice of the Year Three class for the movie to watch on the last day of class was… *Mary Poppins*.

3 Things

Sep. 21st, 2016 05:46 pm
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
1, It turns out that as well as *American Ninja Warrior*, there are a whole host of other versions. In Japan, the UK, France! I am the last one to board this train!

2, I have much of next week off.

3, We will be going to the Royal Show on Saturday 1st October if anyone wants to join us at the Rabbit Pavilion. I am hoping we may get to watch the pig diving again, as it was pretty much the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life. (For random reasons, the pig diving board is right outside the Rabbit show.)

3 Things

Sep. 20th, 2016 06:19 pm
emma_in_dream: (Methos)
1, I was number 47 in the recall list for the book taking apart the dysfunctional relationship between former PM Abbott and his chief of staff. It has finally come in, in time for me to join a conversation that ended about six months ago. What schadenfreude to read of the screaming matches in the corridors of Canberra, of Tony running out of meetings to get parliamentarians to apologise to Peta, of MPs being embarrassed when dining with them because she fed him. After running a campaign of relentless sledging of the Labor government for being too personality driven and dysfunctional, and after boasting that ‘the adults were in charge’, it is a real pleasure to read about scenes that, aside from the constant F bombing, would be better played out in a high school.

2, I feel that I have raised my daughter right. Pearl selected “Singin’ in the Rain” to take in to school for consideration for watching in the last week of term. I doubt very much she will secure many votes but she was very pleased with herself for identifying something that she felt would appeal to both boys and girls. OTOH, Ruby requires a little more instruction as she refused to watch *The Sound of Music* and chose *Mary Poppins* instead. It’s good, but governesses called Mary are not a patch on governesses called Fraulein Maria.

3, I will be able to take Dad to dialysis tomorrow.

3 Things

Sep. 19th, 2016 06:15 pm
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
1, I am really looking forward to the circus next week. I am bringing my Mum and sister as well as the kids. I hope they like it too.

2, I have begun watching *American Ninja Warrior* and I am surprised at how much I like it. Much of what I like is the unrelentingly positive coverage the MCs give. They have ridiculous, shouty American voices but what they are actually saying is a barrage of positivity.

This, combined with the way the competitors cheer on the others, makes it much more enjoyable than traditional team sports. I am watching it with the kids, with much moralising about how they practice hard and constant exclamations about how strong the women are.

(To combine these two points, someone with a circus background would do well in *American Ninja Warrior* - so far the best I’ve seen have been rock climbers, Olympic gymnasts and people who make their living doing TV stunts.)

3, We had our Threatened Species party and made some money for bilbies, gorillas and cheetahs. I’m pretty sure they could all do with a helping hand. Thanks to those who attended.
emma_in_dream: (cameron)
Cheetah Conservation Fund - $17.75

Save the Bilby - $20.50

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund - $16.50

3 Things

Sep. 15th, 2016 06:19 pm
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
1, My cold and cough is so bad that I took yesterday off work. I rested in the morning and in the afternoon ran some errands.

2, The gluten free gingerbread house kit has arrived. Yummy and somehow the Ikea-type flatpack house stays together.

3, I enjoyed the circus so much last time that I have booked tickets again. And I am taking my Mum and sister as well.

3 Things

Sep. 13th, 2016 06:40 pm
emma_in_dream: (kate bunce)
1, Dad has started dialysis. Considering it has been imminent since November 14, this is a huge relief. It should make him feel better and once the timetable for dialysis is set up we’ll have a much better idea what the pattern of life will be like.

2, I got to choose the art from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs for our office. Very exciting.

3, The Stucky Big Bang is out, so there are heaps of new, long stories.

3 Things

Sep. 12th, 2016 05:57 pm
emma_in_dream: (X Files)
1, We went to an Educated by Nature event on Saturday and the girls very much enjoyed working with tools. Pearl liked the hand drill and made a lot of holes in some soft wood. Sophia then hammered nails through. They made a sculpture of a hedgehog which impresses me.

2, The girls let me sleep in the afternoon since I felt so rotten. When I awoke I discovered they had eaten a litre of ice cream while watching *Aladdin*, but still, I got to sleep.

3, People were kind enough to come over on Sunday which was good because the girls were super boisterous and needed to run about while I talked to an adult.


Sep. 10th, 2016 06:23 pm
And everything else continues to be enormously depressing. I realise I am only doing this to myself, but reading *Black Out* and *All Clear* has sent me off to reading WWII history which is pretty depressing, especially the stuff on the rise of Nazism which (Godwin award) is even more like our current circumstances than I had realised. I understood that the general outlines of the situation are similar – economic turmoil leads to a lurch to the right. I had not realised how precisely they matched. The appointing of Hitler to the Chancellorship with the expectation that his more seasoned right wing partners would pull him into line, perhaps some senior Republicans could read about how well that worked.

A ray of sunshine (but not). Reading about Dunkirk made me think what a good movie it would make. Unlike Pearl Harbour, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. And lo, one will be released in 2017.



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