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)
Spring.


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?


Me: BECAUSE MY CHILDREN ARE SICK ALL THE TIME AND IT IS A MARATHON THAT I RUN ENTIRELY BY MYSELF. I NEVER GET TO REST.


Her: And yet….


Me: BURSTS INTO TEARS AND LEAVES.


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.

Show

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.

http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/artwork.php?artworkid=9793&size=large

Rio

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.

Alas

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?

3 Things

Jun. 27th, 2016 08:18 pm
emma_in_dream: (Methos)
1, I had so much free time on Friday that I was able to *walk* from the pharmacy to the post office to the library rather than driving for the sake of the few minutes it saves me.


2, We avoided the evening squabbles on the weekend by allowing ample time. If we go upstairs at like 5:30, the whole evening bathing/toothbrushing/story reading/quiet time/singing/pj/endless existential questioning time can be done smoothly by 8:15.


3, We went to the market again. Unusually coloured vegetables are certainly a hit. This time we got more coloured carrots, white corn and gold beets. Anything that encourages Pearl to eat is a good thing by me.
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
Mother to have 2 weeks of hospital bed rest to see if this improves the liquid of her spine.

Daughters had 5 medical appointments in 5 days this past week.

Mad builder wants to go to court over 2cm. Does anyone know how accurate GPS is? Is it really accurate to the millimetre?

3 Things

Apr. 28th, 2016 03:55 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
1, One of my everyday luxuries is hot showers. Clean, running water is amazing.


2, Instead of staggering out of bed like a grumpy snail, Pearl instead sprang out this morning like a cheerful gazelle. This meant that the day did not begin with me nagging her to get up, get dressed, not to lie on the couch moaning that she is tired – a very nice change for both of us.


3, I got refund from the place I parked last week where they had no functional elevators, the doors in the stairwells would not open and there was a fire alarm misfunctioning by blaring an unnecessary alarm. I had not expected to get a response from a big company like that.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Why do I find this so amusing?


The Parliamentary Counsel’s Office has sent around a newsletter, just letting us know how things are going with the Counsel and his friends. It includes this gem:




There is one change to the process for submitting documents to the Executive Council as a result of PCO’s new processes. Currently, all documents submitted to the Executive Council must be single-sided. The Cabinet Secretariat has reviewed this requirement and agreed that it will in future accept double-sided documents. This applies to legislative instruments as well (eg regulations). The Cabinet Secretariat is updating the Executive Council Guidelines accordingly.


Double-sided, people! Don’t say things don’t change in the building with the movers and shakers.

Circus!

Mar. 6th, 2016 08:45 pm
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
Just went to my first ever circus and it was *amazing*.

Star Swamp

Mar. 6th, 2016 07:48 pm
emma_in_dream: (Methos)
We will be at Star Swamp tomorrow, if anyone is interested in attending.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
I know I could probably google the answer, but I ask you, oh network of friends. Why does the American constitution state that only natural born citizens can be president?


This makes no sense to me as at the time of the American revolution there cannot possibly have been any natural born citizens. There were a whole heap of men who had been British subjects born in the American colonies and who had become American citizens, but none of them were born as citizens, surely? I can’t imagine they hung about for 28 years, waiting for some natural born citizens to be old enough to become President.


Quite a lot of Australian PMs have not been Australian citizens by birth. Not just recently (Abbott and Gillard) but also historically as anyone born prior to 1901 was an Australian born subject of a distant Empire.

Slow Clap

Jan. 12th, 2016 06:35 pm
emma_in_dream: (Singin')
I have finally had a response from the Federal Government regarding my complaint made *last May* about their policies to cap Family Tax Benefit B in return for channelling money towards the child care rebate.


Given that I use virtually no child care, I pointed out that this means that I am subsidising people earning up to three times as much as me. The response notes this and then points out that I could get a nanny.


ETA: Perhaps I could claim my parents as nannies?
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
Is anyone free this afternoon for a play at the park?

Stuff

Oct. 25th, 2015 05:11 pm
emma_in_dream: (steve)
Stuff happening in my life.

We have a new bunk bed! The children love it! Thanks to those who donated and assembled it.

My car is slowly dying, so I will be working more hours to pay for a new (hopefully only a few years old) car. I am not choosing it myself due to my track record of choosing incredible duds. I am getting my Dad's friend who is a mechanic to make a decision after I shortlist some.

Unless anyone has a *very reliable* car they want to sell?

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emma_in_dream: (Default)
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