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ethel_aardvark

[ website | slow loris sometimes rhymes ]
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childcare [21 Dec 2009|07:12am]
yay stuff.

another annoying article about how terrible it is that small babies are in daycare.

Perhaps someone should instead muse about how terrible it is that we only have 14 weeks paid parental leave instead of say six months.

Perhaps someone should muse about the costs of accommodation which have risen rapidly over the last six years in this country which mean that people don't have the means to stay at home with their kids.

Or could muse about the complete separation between the adult and child world in our society which makes it harder to combine work and family and probably is the cause of a lot of teenage misery because they're placed firmly on the child side.

but no. It's much easier to prompt outrage by writing a facile article like this.

Example of annoying sentence:
"They see that as an economic necessity," Dr Angus said. "It's been seen as economically good for the household."
personally I *do* think it's good for the household if we pay the mortgage and our son has a roof over his head. It's not like most parents are just going back to work for the sake of buying gewgaws.

But hey stuff thinks it's important for my kid to not be in care so I'll just stay at home for the sake of the kid. Though how long we have a home is up for debate and I'm sure it's great for the wellbeing of my baby to be homeless. yeah.

another annoying sentence:
"Getting more kids into childcare is in the interests of providers and in the interests of government advisers who think it will increase productivity in New Zealand to have skilled women return to the workforce quite early on," he said.
Note that it talks about skilled women returning to the workforce - do fathers even exist in stuff-land? certainly not if they might stay at home and actually well i don't know look after their kids or something.

I could go on but instead I'm going to have breakfast and get ready for work so we can pay the mortgage and the electricity bill. Disclaimer: Owen will be looked after by his daddy all day who will feed him food bought with the money that is 'economically good for our household'.
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Hullo! [19 Oct 2009|08:08pm]
Richard commented the other day that he flicked to my blog now and then but all that was there was my rant about Plunket Line!

So here's something else for people to read.

Stan the Snail follows the trail
through the flowers
along the path
under the leaves
around the flowerpots
and peeps behind the bucket
'Here I am Stan!'

Great Literature it is not! But it is is favourite book. Mostly because it's a cloth book so he can eat it.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

And now something that is not about the baby...

Koalas have fingerprints.

Actually - I have nothing else that isn't about work or the cat...
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Plunketline [27 Jul 2009|02:01pm]
I am really never ever going to ring them again - the first time I talked to them they judged me and the second time I rang up they hung up on me. What a waste of time.
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And in other news [13 Jul 2009|06:06pm]
I spilt tea on my computer last night and the delete key and two of the arrow keys no longer work. Sigh.
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Two posts in one day! A record! [12 Jul 2009|01:53pm]
Oh yes, and while I'm at it, I really need recommendations of dinners that are easy to throw together or can be prepared early in the day because cooking with colic is really not an option...

'Cooking with Colic' - recipes for parents who can't cook between 5-7pm.
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Baby Baby Baby [12 Jul 2009|12:10pm]
Seeing as it is my experience at the moment....

Time has passed swiftly since Owen was born - I can't believe that in 2 and a half months time I'm going back to work, when at the moment I feel like I can barely make it out of the house. (Well, actually I can't make it out of the house - I can't drive due to the caesarean, though I'm not so worried about the driving, the actual issue is getting the baby plus car seat in and out of the car at either end :-) People say it gets better.

Things i have noticed so far about parenting

- Whatever I do I feel guilty for doing the WRONG THING WHICH IS GOING TO DAMAGE MY CHILD FOREVER. Society needs to support parents, not make them feel like shite. It does an exceptionally poor job of this.

- Plunket line is completely unhelpful. When you ring them to say 'my baby is unsettled, these are the symptoms etc, they tell you about the 'feed, play, sleep' routine, and a bunch of techniques for settling the baby which are available from any website in the land. They also keep you on the phone for time that would be much better spent in actually trying to settle the baby rather than talking to plunket line. I was particularly not impressed when I said that we couldn't settle the baby and he'd been awake for three hours, and they told me I shouldn't have a baby awake for longer than 90 minutes. YES I FREAKEN KNOW THAT LADY, THAT'S WHY I'M TALKING TO YOU! Also mega-unimpressed when I said that the baby goes between four hours between feeds overnight and they told me I shouldn't leave the baby to sleep for longer than three hours. AND IF ITS FOUR HOURS BETWEEN THE START OF FEEDS THAT'S ABOUT 30-60 MINUTES OF FEEDING, NAPPY CHANGING AND SOOTHING BACK TO SLEEP WHICH MEANS ABOUT 3-4 HOURS OF SLEEP. They also didn't mention colic. Maybe the 'feed, play, sleep' routine completely eliminates colic. Ha Ha.

- I am currently not feeling very happy or confident with the advice of a significant proportion of the medical profession. There are some who are wonderful and reassuring, and provide assistance, not directions, and a lot who are completely judgmental and consider there is only one right thing that must be done for the baby, regardless of circumstances. I'm also feeling that a lot of the socially constructed mythology around natural childbirth and baby care is bollocks.

La la la, this turned into much more of a rant than I expected. Owen is lovely, he's smiling at us now, and has just started to take an interest in objects, including the elephant that plays a tinkly tune that his cousin sent him from Australia.

I need more sleep :-)
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Baby news [24 Jun 2009|04:51pm]
Not much posting on livejournal. More on facebook recently. I think that's because I only have to write one sentence on facebook, whereas on here it's more of a paragraph thing. That and the fact the baby finally arrived, so all I really have to say is 'baby baby baby', which may be an improvement on where I was a few months ago, where all I had to say was 'baby baby emissions trading scheme baby emissions trading scheme' which is why there hasn't been much posting on livejournal :-)

Anyway, to summarise, for those that didn't pick the news up from facebook, baby Owen was born on 5 June 2009, via c-section after a 26 hour labour... weight 9lb 2oz. 2 days later, the little guy was in neonates having picked up an infection in the hospital. One course of antibiotics later, we finally made it home on 13 June, and all has been going well since (with the obligatory sleep deprivation etc of course. Baby wrangling wouldn't be that bad if it wasn't for the sleep deprivation).

Eventually I might have it together again to have enough of a life that I can talk about something other than the baby or my job, but then again I might not any time soon, either.....
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Something I've noticed [18 Mar 2009|09:31pm]
...It's weird, but generally when people talk about their cats and dogs, they go out of their way to talk about how cute and adorable they are. When they talk about their kids they seem to go out of their way to talk about how terrible and draining they are. Maybe I'm just noticing this because I'm pregnant.

NB this doesn't seem to apply to my friends, but does seem to apply as a general rule about workmates and other casual acquaintances.
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[30 Jan 2009|06:20pm]
Wow! It's been 18 weeks since I last posted on this blog. Time flies.

In that time:
- I got pregnant (the baby is due at the end of May).
- Our vegetable garden never got planted, and turned into a weed patch.
- I got a promotion at work.
- I did a woodwork course and
- Molly got a home made cat hut for Christmas, that she loves nothing more than to sleep on top of.
- I started a secondment, which involves a lot more work than my existing job. Sigh.
- I discovered the hard way that I now have a kiwifruit allergy in addition to my already existing tamarillo allergy.

So how about them Black Caps, eh?
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Buses again [23 Sep 2008|11:28am]
For those of you that live in Wellington city, I heard a rumour the bus drivers are going to be on strike during the tomorrow am peak. Might be a good day to walk, or some other form of transport.
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This time, about Snapper [04 Sep 2008|12:00pm]
[ mood | snapper hatred ]

BTW Have I ever said how much I hate Snapper? I really hate it. If I never had to use it again, that would be too soon.

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Can't wait for Saturday and the DCM bookfair! [04 Sep 2008|11:57am]
[ mood | wanting to hide under a rock ]

I don't really like this week much so far.

So far:
- Morgan has been sick
- one of the elements on our stove top has broken
- a giant grease stain has magically appeared on my trousers
- I have had to get up early and do extra hours at work most days
- I have been made to look stupid by getting dumped in someone else's poor process and lack of planning
- I have choked on a cup of tea and accidentally sprayed tea across the table toward my manager in an embarrasing fashion
- my snapper card has failed to work in such a way that I have been charged a 3 zone fare once on the bus, and if I use it again today, will get charged another 3 zone fare

[update - I have also poked myself in the eye in a painful but not requiring medical attention kind of way]

Nothing too bad, but I would really like to go hide under a rock for a bit just in case! :-)

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On the subject of buses (but not Snapper this time) [03 Sep 2008|02:03pm]
The new paint job on the Go Wellington buses features a strip along the top of the bus with various sentence of the 'Go (insert locally focused activity here)' e.g. Go surf Lyall Bay.

I was walking past a row of buses today, when my eye was caught by 'Go get immersed in WOW.'

I was thinking that was a *really odd* thing to put on the side of a bus, then was kinda embarrassed as I realised that they were referring to a different WOW...
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Apropos of Nothing [01 Sep 2008|01:17pm]
How is it that you can have a wonderful and relaxing weekend, and then wake up on Monday morning and spend most of the day feeling vague and tired?

It shouldn't be allowed.

The 'Apropos of Nothing'* CD launch on Friday was great, with an appropriate finale of 'Flakier'* (for me and Morgan anyway - not sure that Morgan would have held out too much longer. One of these days I will stay for a Jet Jaguar set, promise!)

* I should link to the specific album and song, but too lazy to cut and paste the HTML formatting - so your links for today are www.angryrabbit.co.nz and www.maltymedia.co.nz. Go check out some good music!
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Square [27 Aug 2008|01:45pm]
[ mood | busy ]

I was going to post about how old and boring I have become and how much I feel like I should be getting out my metaphorical pipe and slippers to sink into a comfortable middle age. But, upon further reflection I can't work out whether I *am* old and boring or whether 'society' is trying to convince me that I am so, to encourage me to rush out and engage in activities that emit more greenhouse gases.

Mneh. Maybe it's just that I haven't been to improv for a few months, but given that's because I'm doing woodwork I don't know that it makes me square :-)

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There should be a word... [30 Jul 2008|05:48pm]
...for the feeling you get when you see a book that's part of a series, which you've been looking for for ages and you find it, and not only is it a matching edition to the ones you already have, it's either on special or you find it at a book fair for a really good price.
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Bus fares [28 Jul 2008|12:46pm]
Bus fares for 2 zones go up by 50c on 1 September so new 2-zone fare on a Snapper card (25% discount on $3) is $2.25, which is more than the current 2-zone fare on a ten-trip ticket (20% off $2.50 being $2) but 10 trips can only be used until the 1st December.

Bus fares for 1 zone don't change on 1 September so the Snapper card (25% discount) will be cheaper than the ten-trip (20% discount).

The snapper card costs $10 to buy before 1 October, and free to refill, and $15 and 25c to refill after that.

FWIW, it seems the optimal strategy is to buy a snapper card at the $10 price for catching the bus one zone into town, and buy a bunch of 2 zone bus tickets to use up until 1 December for catching the bus two zones back from town. I guess I'm going to have to buy the Snapper card before 1 December anyway so I may as well do it now as later. sigh.

I suspect there will be a big stampede to buy 10 trip tickets before the price goes up on 1 September.
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Should I stay or should I go? [25 Jul 2008|12:25pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

Hmmm.... I have not written anything for a while. This is because I have absolutely no idea what to write. I suspect I am going to become more and more sporadic over time, as the maunderings of random book-reading home-owners with cats and no money to attend festival films can be found in many locations throughout the internet and don't particularly need adding to by my own contribution. Having said that, now I've started, I'll keep going. Seeing as I'm here. Therefore, in no particular order:

- I haven't gone to any films in the film festival. I think this is mostly because the library is free and films cost $14? each, so by the time I've gone to a few it adds up. So in order to not have to attempt to discriminate between the films available, I've decided the easiest way to decide is to not see anything, with consequent inadvertent spurning of friends who sent me their list of choices. So far the only part I feel bad about is the friend spurning, rather than the film missing. I'm currently deciding whether to up my monthly donation to amnesty international in honour of not going to the film festival. (I got a letter in the mail about sponsoring a guide dog puppy, so am also considering doing that) I did get some cool books out of the library, which I'd rather relax to than going to a film. I have a beginner's guide to oil, which rather than being a peak-oil tome is an overview of geology and uses, a book about tea and the role it played in the history of the British Empire, and some other stuff. None of which I've started yet because I'm (skim) reading the Da Vinci Code, which is rather long for what it is, I wish the author had cut the explanations down. Not sure I really needed a four page flashback in order to explain the concept of phi.
- To cover everything else in the 'book-reading home-owners with cats' statement, firstly the cat - who now recognises the brand name 'oh so fishy' as meaning she's going to get some of that tasty fish stuff, which makes feel bad because I've inadvertently introduced our cat to the world of marketing - is doing all those things that cats usually do such as sleeping on beds in a duvet-stealing fashion, and losing platypus soft toys. Secondly the house - it still has four walls, a roof and a number of rooms, none of which has been renovated in any way, shape or form, and some of which are toasty warm in winter when the sun shines. The roof doesn't leak, although the shower door does, though less than it did now it has 3M plastic sticky notes on it. Who knew that shower doors came in a variety of non-standard models, and it would be so hard to get a strip of plastic to go along the bottom of one? The gutter no longer leaks. The garden is what could only be described as a mess, and hopefully will feel less Sisyphean over time. But then I'm no old lady, so it's never going to look fabbo. As long as it grows food at some point, it will be good. Since moving in I have deaded a number of potted plants, and am now going with a 'minimalist' approach to foliage in the house, though may attempt basil again in September.
- Woodwork course starts on Monday, currently deciding whether to make a planter box or an ottoman. Think I will go for the planter box. Should be fun! I have not undertaken any creative endeavours lately, unless reading counts as a creative endeavour. I have taken a break from Improv after May, which was quite full-on, and I wasn't even heavily involved! The joy of community organisations is that they can take a lot of time, as I found when I did the accounts for one. Work takes a lot of time too (even though it doesn't need as much as it takes), and things that take time have a general tendency to be incompatible unless you force them to be. My previous endeavours into the world of trying to do too much in not enough time appeared to lead to pneumonia. However, anything I have to say on this subject pales in comparison with the lack of time and sleep deprivation that pre-schoolers appear to invoke. I admire parents and have no idea how they cope. The idea of being a mum still seems quite terrifying. I suspect that parents should not attempt to read the Da Vinci Code.
- I have not spent much time on the internet lately due to lack of a home computer that isn't having WoW played on it on a semi-regular basis. I don't have anything interesting to link to, although I did like Simon's cat as linked to by Bekitty. If you haven't seen it, you really should. If you go to You Tube and put in Simon's cat as the keyword, you'll get three videos to choose from, which I'm not linking to because I can't be bothered putting in three links. Lazy me. I also haven't watched a whole lot of TV series downloaded from the internet, and am therefore not reviewing anything.
- the world happens. Alan Bollard lowered the OCR. The oil price dropped. There's a storm predicted to hit Auckland and Northland this weekend. Hydro lakes are higher than they were at the start of this month. Global dairy price inflation appears to have slowed dramatically. Politics happened somewhere. Some people commented on it.

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Slithy Toves [30 May 2008|11:04am]
I've had the first verse of the Jabberwocky stuck in my head for several days now. For some reason this made me look at the Wikipedia entry on Jabberwocky (as you do). I don't think I realised that 'chortled' and 'galumphing' were words that came from it. You learn something new every day.

The bus this morning was very wizzy. It had a video screen showing views of the road ahead and behind and the inside of the bus from multiple cameras, and what I presume was a little GPS map of Wilton/Wadestown showing where the bus was on its route. And readers for Snapper Cards, if they ever exist. Which looks slightly more likely given there's Snapper Card readers on the bus.

(There has better be some decent discounts for an up front purchase price of $15).
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Active Talking [26 May 2008|04:12pm]
So, I've been exposed to the concept of 'active listening' a lot lately (and indeed, over the last 5 or so years).

I want to propose a parallel concept, called 'active talking'. This is where the person doing the talking respects the listener by, for example, checking with the listener to see that they're getting their meaning across clearly, makes an active effort to make what they're saying relevant to the listener and isn't boring the pants off the listener, making sure they are talking 'to' the listener, rather than 'at' the listener* etc.

* to is where people converse, at is where one person e.g. tells another person a long self-focused anecdote without pausing to see how the listener is taking it, or e.g. gives the listener comprehensive directions without pausing to check whether the listener either needs the directions or understands the directions.
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