Sunday, July 31, 2011

The legal age of driving is three, right?

 Lolly in our driveway last weekend.  She loves to drive.  She talks a lot about the "small green car" we're going to buy her (apparently).  I thought we'd have a few years, yet...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Offbeat Mama!

My post on being a stepmother was published on Offbeat Mama!  Here is the original piece, with lots of extra pictures. 

If you're visiting, you might like to check out a few posts: on living with a wheelchair (which was on Offbeat Mama a few months ago), or on epilepsy, or on the hard work of caring and parenting

 Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Really? On google search terms

I've seen posts around the traps where bloggers list what seach words find their blogs, now I'm not a huge blogger, or even a big blogger, [or even a medium sized blogger!l] so I don't get a huge amount of search engine hits, but each month I get more and more, and this week there were several hits on my blog via google searches that tickled my fancy...

In addition to the "memo to self" hits, I also had multiple hits from these keywords:

memo to self 8121   [??]
wheelchair kids on bus    [Why?]
octonaut photos   [uh huh]
i know this comes at very short notice    [who googles this?  Whyyyyyyy?]
girl in a wheelchair    [Appropriate?  Creepy?]
funny memo to self    [why thanks, I'm here all week!]
wheelchair kids blog   [okay, but I'm not sure what they're looking for]
starwars meaningless  [NEVER!!]
funny moon road signs  [uh huh]
booba  [perhaps after a breastfeed?]
being a stepmom stinks  [:(]
poking stick  [Awesome!!]
alia's cat named "milk"  [that one is just weird]

I think it's the final two that make me lol the loudest. 

Search keywords are officially weird, and can I mention it's a bit noice to get enough hits these days that I get keywords other than what I know is my Mum on google.  :D

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Doldrums

Other people get these, right?  Those days (and strings of days) where snack-making, activity-doing, going-out-organising is just too much and you end up parking the kid in front of the television and hoping they just keep quiet for a week or so.  Where one more demand for any kind of attention (from anyone) feels like it's going to blow one of your gaskets.  Where you just can't bring yourself to care (again) that the cat or dog "did stuff", or to explain *why* endlessly, or admire the all round awesome of your own flesh and blood (and all of their bodily products!), who at that moment you'd quite happily neglect shamelessly for an episode of your favourite TV show (uninterupted) and a good lie down (also uninterupted, and possibly in a different time zone). 

I'm not a bad parent, in fact I'm pretty damn good at my job.  But I'm in the doldrums.  My sails are flat.  My brain is fuzz.  I am a limp biscuit.

The Doldrums: apparently "warm air rises and loses its moisture" is code for "parent loses motivation to walk upright and talk in complete sentences."
I had revived a tad, in the past few weeks, but this damn cold has plonked me back in the "warm air rises and loses its moisture" zone again. 

Surrealism some more

Part of the kid's exhibit is scupture making from everyday objects.  DinnerDad and Lolly did this masterpiece...

Okay, it was mostly DinnerDad, they are clearly undiscovered artistic geniuses!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It doesn't count when you're sick, right?

Just a cold, but feeling a tad sorry for myself yesterday and today...  I'd pay decent money to NOT have to care for a 3 year old right now.  TV is my drug of choice when sick, none of my shows are ok for kids to watch (think True Blood) and she won't watch anything longer than 20 minutes to let me get my iPad magic on.  Oh the woe!!  Or should I be grateful, as this girl's stubborn refusal to be tranquilised by television is surely just support for my new policy enforcement?  *le sigh*

I'd ask DinnerDad to do it, but he's sick too, which just compounds everyone's misery by a factor of 10.  Don't you hate it when you're hanging out all day for the other parent to come home, and the swing in the door (early, causing premature flutters of gratitude) just as sick and miserable as you!  I unfairly feel unreasonable resentment about it, purely because I wanted a break.  I'm not proud...or particularly awesome when besieged by germs. 

Fortunately, Smash made dinner last night, and disappeared with Lolly for a good long time jumping on the Jumpoline. I take back everything I said about lazy teenagers with no sense of familial responsibility.  Most of it.  Some of it.  A couple of sentences at least.

Continuing our theme of unicorns, how can I resist this one?

[Image credit]
 And now I return to listlessly lolling about the house, staring down the ever increasing pile of washing up, and the fresh layers of toys no one has tidied, and being very glad it's not a Snail week. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Surrealism, and a Muttabuttasaurus

We head over to the Museum and Art Galleries a fair bit, and went over yesterday to check out the Surrealism exhibit at the Gallery of Modern Art. (By way of review, it was okay, overpriced!)
Doing collage in the kid's exhibit
We had to zoom into the Museum to check out the Muttabuttasaurus, and compare it to our toy model of one. 
Exactly the same!!!!

How do you know you've been to the Surrealism exhibit?  When you ask your three-year-old: "have you got your hat and your eyeball?" on the way back to the car.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Garden days

Checking out the garden recently.  Sometimes photos show just how grown up she is getting.  And it's just an iPhone shot, but I love the fingers of light. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On Television, Part the Second

I have written at excessive length about my views on television and kids on this 'ere blog before: On Television, and the TV has been the subject of some recently reviewed parental policy here at Casa Selene.  To be honest, it's not so much a revision of the policy, as it's application, by yours truly.

I wish my TV looked like this one!
After some not great health here (on my part) I realised we'd had major TV creep, maxing out at several hours on my sickest days.  Look, I'm somewhat guilty of beating myself up about things like this, when perhaps I should focus on the "what the hell else am I supposed to do with a three year old and a disabled 12 year old when I can't get off the couch from nausea," and yet...and yet!  I don't want TV to be about ME, at least not routinely.  Even if I end up using it when I'm at my crappiest, the rest of the time should be about other stuff, not the dreaded box.

Thing is, one of the principles of self-regulation of television (and anything else) is that it should be, funny that, SELF regulation.  I was finding that it was ME putting on the television, or suggesting television, way more than the small one (WAY more!).  So a couple of weeks ago I pulled myself out of my media-induced daze and decided to only facilitate television when Lolly asked for it (she can't operate it herself as yet).  Sure enough, not ONCE did she ask for television the first week.  The first time she asked for a show was over a week later, purely because we were sitting on the giant couch in front of the television.  It was location over desire.  One episode of Diego and she was off again.

Lolly and the GODDAM PINKY PONK!!
I confess I also used an online episiode of Dirtgirl World as a ten minute sanity saver on the laptop during a particularly awesome ONE HOUR phone call with a government agency last week, and Snail asked for Blue's Clues after school on Monday, so we had that on for an hour or so.  By *ask* I mean I changed her on the rug in front of the telly, and afterwards she bum-slid right up to the TV, craned her neck expectantly, and sat there for several minutes.  I took that as a hint.  That and the "more! more!" as the credits played from the first episode.  Snail does say "Blue" and used to request TV by saying that, but with the decreased communication from seizures/meds, we don't hear many verbal requests these days.  *sad face*

If I'm honest, no TV other than on request is more work for me.  I have to facilitate more stuff, and come up with more ideas during the day, be more present.  I get less time to computer (you may have noticed the less blogging), read, and do stuff. We go out a lot, that helps.  Well, we did that before, but now I don't put on the TV when we get home. I miss it most during the witching hours, like that last hour before DinnerDad gets home, when I'm cooking dinner and am sick of looking after people, or putting on my *interested* face.  And I'm certainly not saying I won't use TV sometimes for these reasons!  But I'm committed to that being the exception rather than the rule, which is where my original thoughts on TV came from. 

TV creep is easy to do, and totally understandable, but I'm a bit over it, and have made fighting it my focus for the next few months.  It's certainly been an eye opener as to how much of Lolly's media consumption was about ME not about HER.  And while that's perfectly okay at times, it's still an important distinction to be making.

Wish me luck!

Addendum: I'm going to write more about how self-regulation hasn't worked with Smash, he is woefully spending almost ALL of his time in front of a screen at the moment, it's not working for him, or us.  More in a follow up post...oy vey!

Oh and I should probaby point out that it sounds like all my kids did was watch television, which isn't the case.  We had a bad run for a week or so, other than that, we were mostly less than 2 hours a day, much of which Lolly wasn't sitting in front of (off doing other stuff).  Not that 2 hours isn't a SHED LOAD of time, when you think on it.  Did I mention Oy Vey!?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Growing Up

Look how grown up the Snail looks in this shot (from a visit to her Aunty Liz's).  We're loving her new short haircut, she looks like an ethereal pixie!

Beautiful Snail
Oh and I realised I hadn't posted photos from her haircut a couple of months ago, so here they are!  We went to a flash salon.  Here is DinnerDad helping Snail keep her head up (which was the biggest issue).  She was fine, if a little floppy (she'd had some seizures the day before).  Snail LOVES mirrors "in the mirror!" (kind of one word: indamerra), so that helps!  Lots of "oooooo!" and "Snail!" and "indamerra!!"  The short style is great for her, and way easier keeping it out of her eyes (and dinner). 

Exposing the inner pixie!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Found items

Sometimes I find things, things in odd places, things left by a certain three year old.  This morning, these dinosaurs greeted me from their upside down perch on the tea-towel drawer in the kitchen.

Kids are awesome.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Beautiful days

From our recent adventures, around Brisbane and around our house!  Little iPhone camera slivers of our lovely days lately....
The boardwalk outside the Gallery of Modern Art
Cupcakes in West End
Cuteness in her walker
Lovely teapots at a cafe
Cafe, with rabbit
Digging out a garden bed to make a firepit in our front yard!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Shelves this month

Here are our shelves for Lolly (three and a quarter) and Snail.  I recently went through them and got rid of a lot of stuff as they were collecting crap [by crap I mean awesome toys] and here's what we have out now, post purge.  These are Lolly's:

Top shelf: Lauri tall stacker blocks, number activities, her tool box, chockers with plastic and wooden tool sets (the white basket underneath has more).   Bottom shelf: stacker boxes and colouring in books, her marble run, and the rest of her tools. 

Lauri tall stacker blocks, not a lot of use of these to build upwards as yet, but lots of wand and stick building, leading to dog thumping.

Lolly is crazy about numbers at the moment, so I've got a collection of number activities, a foam puzzle, number cards, and a set of wooden numbers. 

Here are Snail's shelves:

Spinning top, switch adapted bubble machine, drums and bells, her musical whacking toy (lol), her collection of toys that make a sound when you squish 'em, and her cars.  I'd say her squishing toys and her whacking toy is popular here (when she is interactive).

We also scored this great road table from a friend (it doesn't fit in her house), so we're using it as a loaner.  Lolly is loving this for garage play and train building!

Play chaos!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A balanced diet for your tattoo...

A friend posted an amusing group on facebook, Feed your Tattoo, which tickled my fancy so I thought I'd post my picture here.  My black dragon gets some mandarin, courtesy of Lolly.

Dragon says nom