emma_in_dream: (BTTF)
This was a fabulous mother’s day, my best ever.

It began with a delicious breakfast in bed, toast and juice. I remember making a cup of coffee for my Mum when I was a child that I made with water from the hot water tap. Poor Mum.

I got fabulous gifts, including a picture of what I have in my handbag (purse, phone, book, leaves, feathers and rocks) and a photo of Pearl. Then the children were whisked away to go to a fair with my parents, which was great because it gave me time to shove tons of stuff into the shed so that the house is less messy. Then morning tea with the family before we headed off to the park in the afternoon.

daily life

Apr. 10th, 2017 06:02 pm
emma_in_dream: (trance)
I am even more tired than usual. I actually fell asleep while having my teeth scaled and cleaned. I was all… no kids around, lying down, great, time to sleep.

I would very much like to live a less busy life.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Things that have happened in the last week:
1, the electricity was out upstairs which involved significant work in the ceiling area by the electrician.
2, there was a burst pipe in the common area and the plumber had to cut the water off overnight.
3, my parents' car is out of commission again so I am lending them my car next week.
4, as an unrelated issue, one of the light fixtures has broken and the electrician will have to return.
emma_in_dream: (obbit)
Today I have:

Negotiated an extension of my appeal against the ATO’s refusal to relodge my 2012 and 2013 tax returns.
Represented my boss at a hierarchical meeting where we had to sit by rank.
Attended a meeting with Pearl’s teacher about her ongoing issues and never-quite-diagnosed Autism.

I have adulted enough. I think now a cruise of some crystal blue ocean in a flying boat is in order.
emma_in_dream: (BTTF)
A question for minds with a better grasp of 3D rotation of objects than mine.

Would a couch that is 90cm deep fit and 97 cm high and 155 cm long fit through a 70cm wide door? It seems like it wouldn't but I note our old couch is 80cm deep so it must be possible to do a bit of wiggling. Yet not too much because of the stairwell. But I don't remember bringing it over the back fence which used to be an option but no longer is because of the shed.

Any thoughts?
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
When I arrived at work it was to discover that there was a massive leak in the adjoining office. We’re lucky it’s not us, as the meaning of ‘massive’ is that water leaked all weekend through the roof, through the third floor, through the second floor and onto the ground floor. I don’t know what the ground floor looks like but the second floor had about three inches of water on it when I arrived, plus water flowing down the walls. I expect that an awful lot of electrical equipment is toast. I hope they backed up.

I had a splitting headache all day, as we operated to the sound of industrial vacuum cleaners extracting the most foul brown water from the carpets next door. How I hope they replace those carpets rather than leave them there to inevitably moulder.


Jan. 5th, 2017 05:59 pm
emma_in_dream: (Corellia)
I no longer have pre-primary kids. I now have big, school age kids – Ruby is going into Grade one.

Time to stop and reflect that life is much easier. Things that I no longer have to do – for instance, going out is so much easier. They walk to the car and get in – Pearl does up her seatbelt. Ruby’s hands are not strong enough to buckle herself in but she can unbuckle the belt and also open the door from the outside though not the inside.

Time was when Pearl’s anxiety meant she could not be left in the car so every trip to the petrol station involved unstrapping them, taking them in, shepherding them back and then restrapping them. Time was when her anxiety was so intense that if I walked around the back of the car rather than the front of it where she could see me, she would freak out.

Things are certainly improving greatly and my life is much easier in many ways. Although, conversely, this just frees up time for paid work. But at least that means more money.

I have always felt that having children is a bit like being hit viciously and repeatedly in the face. This is not going to convince the childless that it is great having kids, but to me this is how it feels:

Here is your baby, she is lovely. BLAM – she can’t breathe. Now you can hug her. THWACK – she chokes on the milk, she has no suck reflex. Finally out of hospital? Then WHACK! It’s time to notice she is super floppy and take her around a series of doctors who will pooh-pooh your concerns as those of an over-anxious first time mother until BLAM! They decide it is serious and suggest it might be cerebral palsy.

WHACK! Your child fails to thrive. The doctor describes her legs as wasted. PUNCH, PUNCH, PUNCH. No one can diagnose her problems. Got that under control? Hours of physio! Because she can’t balance properly, she can’t be toilet trained! PUNCH! Your child is ‘odd’ and not doing well at school.

Parenthood is a long series of happy moments interspersed with being BEATEN at random, unanticipated moments.

I read a thoughtpiece once where a woman said that parenting was like slogging through a leech infested jungle in the rain and every now and then you come into a clearing where the sun shines down and you see butterflies. Then back to the jungle.

For me, there is a lot more of the happy periods but they are certainly interspersed with being punched in the face.


Dec. 19th, 2016 06:02 pm
emma_in_dream: (Singin')
The good news – I have finally got the syphon to work so I can clean Mr Gold’s tank properly.

The bad news – I had to suck the water through the tube to start it which is just gross because Mr Gold pees in that water.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
I was impressed by my kids this weekend. Pearl went on her first sleep over. She behaved well and did not freak out, to my impressed surprise.

I had thought Ruby would be jealous when Pearl left but she was actually heart broken. She kept hugging her and telling her how much she loved her. ‘One more hug, one more kiss.’ Of course she has no memory of not sharing the room with Pearl, except when she has been in hospital, and she was very anxious that Pearl might not come back. ‘What if our car breaks down and Baby_Elvis’ car breaks down and all the taxis break down? What would happen then?’

the week

Nov. 14th, 2016 05:17 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
So, what a rollercoaster this week has been.

On the bad side: the American election, the triumph of hatred, racism and misogyny, and the inevitable effects on Australia’s drift to the right. We finally got to go to the incontinence clinic and they think that Ruby has two to five years to go until continence. We also got to see the orthopaedics people who said that there is nothing that can be done to relieve the pain in her feet, knees and hips. She just has to live with it. The lion at the zoo died unexpectedly.

On the good side: The thirteen month wait to get into the incontinence clinic is over. I was so depressed that I went to the beautician and pampered myself (for the first time in eight years). Ruby likes her new pet fish. Hilary won the popular vote. Because Americans don’t have compulsory voting, it’s not 50% of the population who voted for hatred but only 25%. Because I had the day off to go to medical appointments with Ruby, I also got to go to the school excursion to see *Snugglepot and Cuddlepie* which was surprisingly good. I particularly liked the way they made the Banksia men still scary but less racist. Here’s a picture for non-Australians, with bonus Snugglepot and Little Ragged Blossum.


Yep, that’s about it on the good side, a less racist Banksia man than was envisioned in 1915.
emma_in_dream: (bucky)
Is it the season of Halloween with mellow mists and fruitfulness or it is the season of spring with racing and hats? Which is it, people?
emma_in_dream: (Leia)

The girls are now old enough to walk the dog.

Dad has much more energy now he is on dialysis.

Pearl is making marginally less fuss about doing her homework.

There are now choose-your-own-magic *Rainbow Fairy* books, a genre that amazed my children.

I am enjoying *Designated Survivor* and, to my surprise, *Lethal Weapon*.

Ruby shows no sign of the dyslexia which often accompanies NF1 and read me a scaaaary book about the daaaaark, daaaark wood last night.

Cannot think of any work-related happiness….. but the American election will, thank God, be over soon. It feels like it has loomed over everyone for months, years, possibly. And I’m not even American. Every time I open my social media or look at the news I am beset by new electoral lows and frantically implored to vote, which I totally would if I could.
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.


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: (bucky)
For once we had a nice, relaxing weekend.

We made costumes for Book Week. Pearl is going as Aslan from *The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe* and Ruby is going as the pink crayon from *The Day the Crayons Quit*.

We did some craft, went to the park and also went to the zoo. All easy and cruisy.

I was able to enjoy the weekend because I spent so much time the week before doing boring adulating. I did the census, filled out my tax forms, paid my rates and water bill and sorted out the children’s letter writing campaign. I anticipate a $65 tax refund which I have already spent on a forthcoming book on the oil paintings of Frank Dicksee, a painter who was technically competent and who was wired into the Victorian id but who is not remembered in the way Leighton or Waterhouse are.



Aug. 19th, 2016 01:50 pm
emma_in_dream: (cameron)
Rio has failed to achieve my minimum standards for an enjoyable Olympics. I do not like Australian swimmers saying it is good to beat cheaters; Chinese media saying Australians are all rude because of the convict factor; Egyptian sportsmen refusing to shake hands with Israeli competitors; boxing judges being sent home in disgrace; cameras hurtling out of the air to land on viewers; gymnasts breaking their legs; American soccer players saying the opposition played like cowards; massive Russian doping scandals; ‘journalists’ outing competitors; gold-winning gymnasts being showered in racist criticism from their own side; the darn mascot being shot.

This Olympic was so dire that I have instead been watching footage of the 1908 London Olympics. Now there’s a set of competitors!

(NB: 1908 also had ridiculously petty conflict, such as the Americans failing to dip their flag to the reigning monarch and the British being given a do-over in the sprint. Also, did you know it set the standard for the marathon based purely on where the Windsor Castle nursery was? And it was only moved from Rome to London because Vesuvius blew.)
emma_in_dream: (Default)
I have no things to record today. There were, I suppose, some things that are less horrible. We went to the foreshore yesterday and the children played at cubbies until Ruby was overcome with the exhaustion of this rotten cold. But that’s basically it.

Work, impossible to describe. Also, unwise to describe in a public forum. Illness, ongoing for the past fortnight. Hope for any change in personal or political life, extinguished. Teresa May, self-described as to the right of Cameron, now in power in the UK. Turnbull, the man who stands for nothing, in power here. Disaster and despair everywhere.

I find it gruelling to live at a time when all political discussion has lurched so far to the right. In the last election I could only find six parties that I actually wanted to vote for, compared to the endless arrays of political parties for racist/religious zealots/free market dimwits.


Jul. 11th, 2016 08:23 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
The plan for these holidays was to go on a trip to my aunt's place, for the kids to hang around on a farm and for me to get some time out from the ongoing nightmare that is work.

But as it turned out, I got a horrible cold that seems to finally (after 11 days) to be getting better. It has not been a terribly good holiday, mostly consisting of us staying home and not eating anything sensible because I have not felt like cooking or eating.

Luckily for me some kind people have taken Pearl out a few times, since Ruby also succumbed to this horror illness. Yesterday Pearl went out exploring ponds with a friend while Ruby and I slept for three and a half hours.

Every time I look at the news I get too depressed. What the hell has happened in Britain? It appears to have imploded and then had every leader desert. And the stupid mixed up ball of terrible race relations and guns in America makes my heart ache. I suppose I should be pleased that at home the dislike of business as usual politics was channelled into preferential voting for tiny niche parties rather than into a big terrible political move like Brexit or into individual armed deaths like in America.

Where is the up side?
emma_in_dream: (pic#)
I've been sick for more than a week now, starting just before the election.

I've kind of lost track of time - thought today was Friday.

I've just opened the news for the first time the week and what the heck is going on in America? Could someone give me a chronology?


emma_in_dream: (Default)

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