Tag Archives: family


I have found several patterns for catnip mice for The Little Cat Prince. Granted, he’s not so little nowadays but he still loves playing with pretend mice.

DD was given knitting needles and a selection of various yarns by a lovely lady at church for her birthday. DD has been asking me to teach her how to knit and I’m happy to do so. Knitting is pretty straightforward once you’ve got the hand and yarn movements stuck in kinetic memory. I’m sure that DD’s doll would like a scarf for winter.

Naturally the crankiness starts in earnest when a kid sees *fabulous* knitting patterns and wants to do them – or wants their darling mother to knit those items!

In an attempt to stave off such ambition, I’ve got 3 catnip mousie patterns. The Little Cat Princes doesn’t like catnip but I’m sure he would like these. I want to get some fleece to stuff them with – much more interesting smell for him while he plays with them.

I’ll report on my progress.

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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Uncategorized


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How quiet

The Little Princess is in Melbourne visiting our relatives. She has apparently been running round like a mad thing, riding her scooter (aunt and uncle bought one to keep in Melbourne especially for her, lucky thing!), driving my mother bonkers, and more. She slept for 12 hours last night. I’m not surprised. 🙂

While I got to sleep in a bit, I have to say the flat here is rather quiet in her absence. The kitten is doing his best to help out but he has a funny little mew rather than a big meow. He has had the midnight crazies lately which involve doing circuits in the living room and then through to my bedroom, onto the bed, round the bedhead, over me a couple of times, and then he’s off again! Goodness knows what goes on in a little cat’s head when they do that. Probably not much.


Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Comparison of different childhoods

New Yorker article on “Why Are American Kids So Spoilt?”

Read this article this morning – oy vey. What an eye-opener!

Somewhat relieved that I make Miss 6-y-o, my DD, do chores. It’s expected that she can get herself dressed and that she can pack her schoolbag (granted, with a little nudging some mornings). She feeds the kitten and I clean the kitty litter. Those sorts of things. If she sat back and expected me to pander to every requirement, I would go nuts pretty quickly and doing everything for her would do her no service whatsoever. I want her to grow into a resilient, reliable, thoughtful adult.


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Working mothers – will the guilt never end?

Opinion piece here.

Like the writer of this piece, Amy Gray, I don’t feel ‘working mother’s guilt’. I may feel guilty about other things (like when I demonstrate poor language choices by swearing at other drivers in Canberra’s annoying traffic!), but I don’t feel guilty about working to earn money so we have a roof over our head. I’m a widow. I don’t have a big fat pension to lean on and we hadn’t paid off our house when DH died. Like my mother, I’m giving my daughter an example of how to work and how to be a mother, and that neither is a walk in the park, yet both can be enormously rewarding on many different levels.

My paternal grandmother was widowed young with two small children. She also worked and had support from her mother with childcare. I have support from paid childcare. Believe me, I appreciate the fantastic young women and men who run exciting activities after school. I couldn’t come up with that variety of activities (soccer, monkey bars, tag, cricket, craft, etc.) for DD and me to do on our own – some things need a number of kids to make it work. DD loves being with other kids. She’s extroverted and very sociable. Hence the endless cries for playdates on the weekend.


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Only children are the future

Article from the Sydney Morning Herald here.

The writer, Emma Kennedy, says

The only thing I’ve been spoiled with is my parents’ love. I adore them. I speak to them every day and see them at least once a week. Often, when I tell people this, they look at me as if there is something wrong with me for loving my parents. I find this extraordinary.

Only children can choose their own siblings – cherished friends, close relationships with cousins and second cousins, make friends and seek out social occasions.

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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Child Development, children


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Busy weekend

I travelled with DD and my MIL to Melbourne to see The Mikado performed by Opera Australia. DD loved it!

The dear little thing sings songs from The Mikado around the house or in the car. Nothing quite like a little kid with an evil grin singing “I’ve got a little list”. She’s also fond of “The Flowers that Bloom in the Spring”, especially the tra la la parts, and “Tit Willow”, and anything that has four-part harmony.

Three Little Girls from The Mikado, Opera Australia

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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Music, Travel, Uncategorized


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Competitive mothers

One dear lady said to me “Since when has being a mother been a competition?” I would say “For years”, unable to be more specific.

I know when I had DD nearly 5 years ago, it was competitive among the mothers groups online to have the ‘best’ birth.  The overt antenatal competitiveness wasn’t so pronounced at antenatel check-ups, though it came to a head at the birthing classes.  My DH would hold my hand tight and give me a warning look so I didn’t say anything awful to the other soon-to-be mothers.   What, you didn’t know there was a hierarchy of how good a birth a woman has? Let me tell you how it works and how you get points.

1. Natural childbirth without any drugs whatsoever – 50 points
Bonus points if you don’t have an obstetrician and only have midwives.
Bonus points if you bring your own doula
Bonus points if you have aromatherapy, a special playlist on your iPod, hypnotherapy instructions, and hold on to your completed birth plan

2. Childbirth with pain relief or epidural – 30 points

3. Induced childbirth, with or without epidural or pain relief – 20 points

4. Caesarean section – 10 points

There are more point-gaining possibilities for the competitive mother. For example:

  • enduring a very lengthy or a very short labour,
  • having two or more children,
  • enduring an avalanche of relatives and onlookers during labour and birth,
  • being unable to eat for three days during the labour
  • back labour (not rated as highly, which peeves me enormously because I don’t get as many points that way)
  • extreme organisation of one’s labour bag
  • complete disorganisation of one’s labour bag because one headed off to hospital at the rate of knots

Before I get howled down for being a horrible mother and  an awful human being, I’ll tell you what I consider to be the ‘best’ birth. The ‘best’ birth is one where the baby is born healthy, and the mother is well. That’s it. We all want that same result: a beautiful, new human being to welcome into our family, our lives and our hearts.  I really don’t mind how each mother gets to that point. Just leave the points-scoring and celebrate this wonderful new life.


Next: how to be competitive after the baby’s birth.


Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Child Development, children, Motherhood, women


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