Archive for May, 2012

Easter Bookshelf

May 20, 2012

Possum is 6 years

Bandicoot is 3 years 10 months

Little Princess is 1 year 2 months (16 months)

 

Today at Church we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension.  The Ascension?  How did that happen?  That means next week will be Pentecost already and the end of the Easter season.

Well, oops.  I had best get this post posted!  I have had it sitting in draft form since way back in Lent.  How time flies.

 

As you probably guessed from the title, these are the books that we have had to read during the Easter season.

The Bible for Me series are a bit of a favourite around here.  You might remember that we have the Christmas one, too.  The story is divided up into chapters of one or two double page spreads, which makes it perfect for devouring in bite sized chunks.  And, personally I love the pictures!

image

 

This is another Easter Bible that we have.  It has more detail in it, and is slightly more hard core (Easter isn’t really G rated).  It is very good, ‘though.  I especially like that some extra topics, like the story of Judas, are given their own billing.

CCF06042012_00000(This book is Jillian Harker and illustrated by Jane Swift.  I haven’t been able to find it in print anywhere (Paragon), but Amazon do have a few second hand ones listed.)

image I bought this one to use with our Resurrection Eggs.  It is a great story of a little boy living in Jerusalem at the time of the first Easter.  I liked the idea of telling the story from a child’s point of view.  Unfortunately, the story is long and I left it too late to start.  Next year I will start this book a week or two before Easter and read a story a day from it.

image Have you read any of the “Parable of…” series?  They are beautiful stories!  I cried when I read this one.  The story can stand alone, or you can use it as a Bible study with the passages on each page.

Little Kids’ Books

This one is a real favourite, especially with the littlest ones:

image

 

And this one?  Well I actually bought it for my baby nephew, but it never made it.  Little Princess is just mad about it.

image 

 

More Bunnies…. and a Bilby

These books are not Easter books, but someone has to bring the chocolate…

image image

 image  image

Oh, all right, the Bilby one IS an Easter book!

image

Ducks and an Emu…

image      image

image    image

 

And while we are looking at New Life in the garden…

imageimage

  

 image (This book seems to be out of stock everywhere, but Amazon do have a few second hand ones listed.)

 

 

Activity Books

image Oh the boys loved this one!  It is just what you would expect- lots of sticker fun from Lois Rock.

image I really like the look of this one, but to be honest, the kids didn’t get around to it this year at all.  I might pull it out as new next Easter.  This one has a “split page”.  Approximately the top 2/3 to 3/4 of the page has a scene and part of the Easter story on it.  You need to complete the picture with the stickers.  The lower portion of the page has other sticker activities related to the story or picture on the top of the page.

image This is a more complex puzzle book – probably for ~ 7 year olds.  When I received it, I had intended to put it away until next year, but Possum found it and loved doing all the mazes in it.  The word puzzles were still beyond his abilities.

image We have had this one going for a couple of years now.  Possum and I really enjoy it, and Bandicoot had a bit of fun this year, too.  It has the Easter story written in chapters, but certain words are missing from the story.  You need to put in the picture stickers to complete the stories.

 

 

*phew*!  That is quite a few of them.  I love being able to pull out books on a theme like this!  I hope you have enjoyed some Easter books, too.

Ah, Pox!

May 20, 2012

Possum is 6 years

Bandicoot is 3 years 10 months

Little Princess is 1 year 2 months (16 months)

image_thumb1

Lately we have had the pleasure of learning more about chicken pox than we really wanted to know.

Possum’s best mate was exposed to chicken pox during the school holidays.  He is vaccinated and so is Possum, but just to be sure his Mum kept him in quarantine while she was waiting for him to potentially spot up.  To be extra careful, she kept him home from school at the end of holidays for extra days.  He finally came back to school for one day and sure enough, then he came out in spots.

So the wait was on to see if spots would appear.  In the interim, Little Princess was vaccinated.  Apparently the vaccination works faster than the wild virus, so even if she had been exposed it should give her some protection.

Now, here is the rub.  On day 15 we were hosting my mother’s 85th birthday party.  Amongst the guests were an 85 year old, a cancer sufferer, two babies, two adults who have not had chicken pox (coincidentally the mothers of the babies), and two adults who, despite having had chicken pox previously, have no immunity to the virus (one of whom lives with the 85 year old, the other with the cancer sufferer).  At this stage we still thought that the incubation period was 14 days, so the absence of spots had us delighted.

On the evening of day 16 Possum had a very suspicious looking spot on his arm.  I know, chicken pox is supposed to present on the body first.  And there is supposed to be more than ONE spot.  So did he have chicken “pock” or not?  It was definitely a spot that followed all the correct patterns, but despite careful inspection for days, it remained a lone spot.

Little Princess on the other hand, came out in a series of spots (about five on her face) a day later.  I knew that it could happen post vaccination, but was it that, or was it the real deal?  The doctor said that if it was going to happen it would be about a week after the vaccination.  It seemed too quick for the wild virus to have been passed to her, but was it too slow for the vaccination side effects?  Was she contagious?

More research showed some fun facts:

  • The wild virus incubation period is 14 to 21 days (not just 14 as we had thought).  It is contagious while the spots are coming up until they are all crusted over.  However it is most contagious two days prior to the spots showing.  It is mostly transferred via coughing etc – great in a household that is riddled with colds and flu at the moment!
  • The vaccination is not contagious prior to the spots showing, but it is while there are spots, similar to the wild virus, and it is spread in the same way.  The spots show from 10-26 days after the vaccination.

So, were they contagious at the party, or weren’t they?  And even if Possum didn’t catch it from his friend, will the boys catch chicken pox from Little Princess?  I guess time will tell.

I do know that there is a pretty good chance of me catching shingles from Little Princess, given how run-down I am and how much tending she has required.  Let’s hope that doesn’t eventuate either!

 

***Note:  This article is about the life of a Mum, not medical advice

I’m a Pout Pout Fish

May 20, 2012

‘I’m a Pout Pout fish, with a pout-pout face

and I spread the dreary wearies all over the place…

Blub, Bluuub, Bluuuuuuuubbbb!’

image image

Possum is 6 years

Bandicoot is 3 years and 10 months

Little Princess is 1 year and 2 months (16 months)

I love this book.  I thought it looked cute when I saw it in the Aquarium bookshop, but it took me a few visits before I handed over the money for it.  (DH seems to think I have a bit of a book problem.  I don’t know… just because I would love to have a library in our home with wall to ceiling compacter shelves for storing my favourites…)

Anyway, eventually I did.  And I am glad I did.  It is really a wonderful book for me just now.

In this story, the poor Pout-Pout fish is a bit of a misery-guts.  All his friends offer the kind of trite advice that people give you when you are depressed, but just makes you feel worse.  Until…

Along comes a special fish that gives him a kiss and no advice.

And he feels so much better.

It is all done with beautiful pictures and with gorgeous rhymes and in such a warm manner.  I love it.  And the boys love it when I do my special Pout-Pout Fish voice when I am reading it, too.

image

It is nice to remind myself when I am having a really bad day (too many of those just now!) that I am not really a Pout Pout Fish, I am a Kiss-Kiss Fish in need of a bit of gentleness.

Thanks, Mr Fish!

image

Acceptance

May 7, 2012

 

I have been working on acceptance this last three days.  Acceptance of me.  I am trying to avoid judging myself, because I hadn’t realised how much I did that.

I also had not realised how much I was effected by anxiety.  I am starting to recognise it’s symptoms in me everywhere.  It is amazing!  So many situations have come up already, especially with the kids, where I had thought that I was a failure or a bad person for the kind of reactions that I had, but now I am noticing that just prior to that reaction I am overloaded with anxiety symptoms.

It has been a real eye-opener.  Instead of judging myself as bad, I am gentle with myself and acknowledge GAD.  This is not to say that I am allowed to do whatever happens, it just means that I can see what is causing it.  I can say to myself, “Ah, there is that anxiety again.  It isn’t me; it isn’t the kids; it is anxiety.  I’m going to learn how to deal with that.”  And that in itself can help limit the snowballing.

Not that it always works.  Sometimes things can be a little tough.

For example:  we are hosting my Mother’s 85th birthday party here next Saturday.  I am dreading it.  I really wanted it to happen for my Mum, and this seemed the only way to do it, but the pressure is killing me.  The apparent expectation of failure that is coming from some of my siblings is not helping any.

Today I received some emails that had been copied to the whole family, that were really insulting to me and my abilities to organise the event.  They may not have been meant like that, but they hurt like crazy.  I cried and cried.  And then I replied.  Vitriolicly.  I was hurt and I was raging.

I have probably succeeded in alienating a whole bunch of people.  NOT what I hoped to achieve.  Not the way I would normally behave.

Unfortunately, when you are against the wall already, or already down, pushing buttons, even a little bit, really, really hurts.

Now I need to learn to accept this.  Learn to be a little more gracious with myself.  Heal a bit,  rather than make it worse.  Then I will need to clear the air.

Hard work, mental illness.

my black dog

Walkathon

May 5, 2012

Possum is 6 years
Bandicoot is 3 years 7 months
Little Princess is 1 year 2 months (16 months)

Yesterday I took another step on the path as school Mum.  Every two years Possum’s school holds a fundraising walkathon.  Yesterday was the day.

Once more I was caught out by the early start which scuppered our plans for the day – especially as this time I had both Bandicoot and Little Princess in tow.  Can you imagine Bandicoot coping two hours without snacks?  Once the pram was laden and the troops moved along to school, we set ourselves up in a great cheering position – right next to Possum’s class’s checkpoint. Nice spot – some sun, grass, trees, gardens for The Littles to explore, good view…

The Kindies had each been allocated a ‘Buddy’ in one of the older classes.  Their Buddy was supposed to walk with them for at least the first three laps, show them the ropes, explain how it worked.  After a while it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen Possum visiting the check point.  I kept a more concerted eye out for him and there he came-upset.  We called him over to the checkpoint to get his card stamped.  There were no stamps on it at all!  And the the tears started.

He just wanted to walk, he didn’t want to collect stamps.   His Buddy had deserted him without explaining the process to him, but making time to point out he didn’t want to walk with him, and leaving Possum with rather high feelings of rejection.  Poor little kid!  I eventually convinced him let us walk with him for a bit.  During that time I explained how a walkathon worked and what they were raising money for.  I was about to clarify for him that it could even be viewed as ministry work, but of course Bandicoot raced off to the bubblers.  Fortunately, one of Possum’s besties was just behind us, and with a little convincing, they hooked up together to keep walking.

By the end of the walkathon, he didn’t even feel the need to wave to us, he was having so much fun.  At least it ended well.

Now we just need to wait for his school hat to turn up again… it was lost somewhere on the circuit.

Piercing the Fog

May 4, 2012

image

Isn’t it strange how sometimes it is easier to believe something if someone else tells you?  Even if it is something that you already know?  And sometimes you even need to be told by a professional?

I have been really struggling with the demands of being a Mum to my three Little’s.  It is a struggle keeping up with three little beings and all their needs, let alone the nice to haves.  I am sure you either know that or can understand.  On top of this I battle with depression and generalised anxiety disorder.  The last couple of years has been especially difficult.

There is so much that I want to do for my family, so many ideas that I would like to implement.  Some of these are basic – like getting on top of the household day to day, while others are bigger dreams.  I beat myself up for being too exhausted to do so, for struggling to serve good meals every day, for being unable to fit in all the basics, for being cranky, for not being sparky.  I think it is fair to say that I am not the mother that I would like to be;  not the mother that I would like my children to have.

I am just so jolly tired.  Not just physically tired from bad sleeping habits and from not having had a good night’s sleep in pretty much 4 1/2 years, but emotionally worn down, mentally burnt out.  But surely that is just making excuses?

Today I finally got in to a psychologist appointment – it is amazing how difficult that can be!  It is tough getting the time away from the kids.  I spent an hour and three quarters there today in an introductory session.  I am not in the best state I have ever been in (hence the appointment!), so not surprisingly, I have a bit of work to do.  However I have walked out of this appointment with two very useful pieces of information:

1/   I am a lot more resilient than I realised – some of the times I have thought I was at my weakest, I have actually proved this.  Also, my worst dealings with depression have occurred when I had a number of triggers and situations occurring at the same time that were beyond my control.

And

2/   I am emotionally zapped.   I can’t do all this stuff I want to do because – wait for it – I am too tired!

I talked to My Friend Sam-O.  As she so succinctly put it, “Well, yeah”.

Really, I knew it already, but I felt I was making excuses.  Sure, my friends had told me, but they are supposed to be supportive.  So now I can finally believe it.  Suddenly I am freed from that guilt, the insidious  disempowerment of depression.  Free to look after myself and follow the directions of those professionals on whose care I am currently dependant.  Free to believe what I already know.