Archive for November, 2008

Weighing in

After Hunter’s birthday party we had a look at the photos and got a bit of a dose of reality. The scales were not wrong – we’d stacked on the kilos since this time last year. So last week, we signed back up with Weight Watchers.

We had our first weigh in last night. Leigh lost 2.3 kilos, which puts her at the lowest weight she’s been in ages (so, obviously, when I say ‘we’ had stacked on the kilos since last year, I meant I had…). I lost 2.1 kilos, which is the largest amount I have ever lost in a single week, and put me right back into my healthy weight range. I joked about packing in then, but I actually want to get back down to 57 kilos so I have a way to go.

Leigh, meanwhile, is excited at the prospect of moving out of the obese category and into the overweight one. Gotta have a goal, right?

I probably won’t get to weigh in next week as my exam is on weigh in night and I think I’ll be too busy cramming to get in any earlier, so I’ll have to try to maintain the motivation all on my own for two weeks.

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Preschool update

So preschool drop off went more or less okay yesterday and today. Which is to say that on both days I stayed until Hunter had found some kids to play with and an activity to engage in. If she doesn’t see someone she knows or receive an invitation into a group, it’s a mess. So, on the surface it went okay but I know it was mostly luck.

She’s always been like that, but the behaviour of the past few weeks really has been very extreme and it’s come on very suddenly so I think it’s about more than her preschool anxiety. Several people have suggested possible reasons (thanks for the input) but really I am still baffled.

She’s had no change in diet or routine or anything like that. We have had a lot of visitors lately, but that’s not unusual for us so I don’t think it’s that. 

Her favourite teacher did leave preschool some weeks back. I know lightbulbs are going off above all your heads, but I really don’t think that’s it – or at least not all of it. The behaviour issue didn’t really coincide with Donna’s departure, and Hunter doesn’t seem to be thinking about her much any more. If I mention her name, she’s happy to talk about her, but otherwise she doesn’t seem too fazed. Plus, for the moment, her behaviour’s worse at home than at preschool.

I’ve talked to the preschool director several times and she doesn’t have any ideas either. I trust the director and don’t think that anything untoward has happened at preschool that we don’t know about.

So we’re still in the dark. She had another absolute melt down last night when it was time for bed, which started with her refusing to get changed and ended with pinching, hitting, scratching and screaming. In between, we tried everything we could think of to get her to calm down and do the right thing. We tried talking to her about making choices. We tried telling her there would be consequences (she threw these right back us….If you do X then I will just immediately do Y).

As of now, we’re just focusing on trying to be low key, heading things off at the pass when we can and being as consistent and reasonable as it’s possible to be when your kid’s behaving like an utter psycho.

And I want to add, too, that in between she’s her beautiful, thoughtful, delightful self – she’s still my girl so I had to throw that in. She’s a handful – more – but I still adore her, and I guess that’s why it is so gut wrenching.

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Preschool problems

We’re starting to have some serious behaviour issues again with Hunter, and we’re really quite perplexed. She’s always been high-strung, has always struggled with transitions and has always needed structure and routine. But for the past six months – more, maybe – she’d really been doing so well and was much more even-keeled and better able to control her emotions.

But the past couple of weeks it all seems to be coming unglued. It started with some serious attitude. She’d flat out refuse to do what she was asked, laugh off any sugestions of disciplinary responses, goad us, etc. Then we started seeing some real tantrums.

A few nights back she came into our room at about 11.30. She was wandering in and out and I told her she needed to lie down and go to sleep (there’s a mattress in our room for her, just while she’s sharing with Hugo during the renos, so she can come in without disturbing him. It had been working fine up till this point).

She told us in no uncertain terms that she was not going to lie down and was not going to go to sleep. No amount of suggestion, discussion, instruction or, eventually, yelling, made any difference. She screamed and screamed and screamed. Scratched at my hand, kicked the bed. We told her she’d lose a privilege and she didn’t even care. Told her she’d be sent to sleep in the loungeroom, and she said she wouldn’t go and if we made her she’d just come straight back in and keep screaming. There was malice in her tone and we were really at a loss. I seriously didn’t know what to do – it was very clear that we had absolutely no power to affect her behaviour at all. There was a solid half hour of carry on before she eventually settled down, when she chose to.

We’ve been having mini versions of this at bed time at least a few nights a week lately, too, and there was another night time tantrum a couple of nights ago.

On top of this, she’s been saying lately that she does not want to go to preschool. She is getting very obstinate in the mornings, not wanting to get dressed or pack her bags. She cries when I tell her it’s a preschool day. Today she told me she prefers red lights to green because the car trip to preschool takes longer. I’ve asked her what the problem is and she always says it’s because she doesn’t like rest time, but I think that’s just how she’s chosen to respond.

The past couple of weeks, drop off has been getting harder and harder and this morning it all went totally to shit.

She did not want me to leave until her friend phoebe arrived. I don’t want her to view phoebe’s arrival as the solution to her drop off worries because pheobe doesn’t go every day Hunter goes, and sometimes she wants to play with other kids anyway. So I have been working on helping her get involved with activities with the other kids (she’s VERY reluctant to do this – she really lacks the confidence to approach other children). Usually I can help her find someone to play with and she’s okay, though she’s often borderline teary before that point.

But today, she absolutely did not want me to leave before phoebe arrived. And I needed to leave because there was someone due to arrive at our house at 9am.

I told her I needed to go and that she’d be okay, and the director took her hand and tried to lead her away. She clung to me, screaming and crying, and I had to literally prise her hands off of me. It was awful and what I really wanted to do was just bring her home.

I could hear her screaming as I was leaving, “I don’t WANT YOU. I WANT MUMMY!!” She was so full of anger. I can’t even explain the volume and emotion of her meltdown. It was not what you picture when you think about a kid crying at drop off. It was so much more dramatic than that.

I know she was okay shortly after I left – because phoebe arrived. As soon as she got there, hunter stopped short and ran off to play. But what the hell is going to happen tomorrow when phoebe is not there?

I have such mixed emotions about all of this. When she’s screaming and telling me she hates me and kicking I just want to tear my hair out. And then I feel so worried about her. And I wonder what I am doing so wrong.

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Cancel that

So it turns out the wiring is there. It’s under the gyprock. In every other spot, there’s been a hole made in the gyprock and the wired pulled through, but not in the bathroom. Why? I don’t know. But anyway, now I feel stupid, but it’s hardly the first time.

A tiler came around this afternoon to look at what needs doing and I got a quote from him to tile the family room and the kitchen as well. These weren’t part of the original renovation plan but they need doing so when we bought the tiles we got enough for the whole lot. We didn’t expect to do the other rooms for a while, but the tiler gave me a pretty good price so I’ve told him to go ahead.

He’s starting tomorrow!

Anyone wanna help us move a huge fridge, a stove, a giant cupboard and a dining suite?

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Somebody stop me before I kill the builder

It’s been a while since I griped about our builder. In fact, he gave Hunter a birthday present last week and I had been thinking he’s not so bad after all.

But since that day, pretty much no work has been done here. The waterproofer came to apply a waterproof membrane in the living area and bathroom – took about half an hour – and that’s it. Everything else is as it was two weeks ago. It’s incredibly frustrating because all that’s left for the builder to do is the install the architraves and skirting, tile the bathroom and install the fittings, and hang a couple of doors. It should be one or two days work at most, and then the electrician could come through and put in the lights and fans and we’d be done.

But that’s not actually what has me really riled today. Today I went into the new bathroom just checking it out, thinking about where things would be and I thought, “hmm, is the light switch going to be inside or outside the room?”. So I looked for the wiring. No wiring for the switch.

I look up. No wiring for a light.

No light in the bathroom! Are you $&*((%$ kidding me??

The wiring was done before the walls were gyprocked and before the ceilings went in. They’re going to have to have holes knocked in them (or worse) to rectify this.

And I already know the builder’s going to blame it on me. I can recall a conversation where he asked if we were having one of those light/fan/heater combos in that bathroom. I said no, we’d just be having an ordinary light (the bathroom’s tiny, we didn’t think it needed the other things). I’ll bet he only listened up to “no” and figured, okay, no light in the bathroom.

I am really, really ready for this to be over!!

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In the news again

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,24683658-5013404,00.html

They hardly used any of my comments, which is good, because I was at work and they caught me on the hop and I didn’t say anything comprehensible, really. They also took pics – not sure if they made the paper version but I am thinking not. Pity, because I think she got some cute ones of the kids.

ETA I just googled to see if the story in The Australian ran anywhere else. Doesn’t seem like it did but I did come across this

https://www.cbmw.org/Blog/Posts/Groups-Advocate-Mutiny-on-Gods-Good-Design

Unfortunately, there’s no way to leave a comment. The feedback link is for email and I really don’t feel like getting into a personal conversation with that guy.

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Partied out

Hunter’s birthday party was on Saturday night so we spent the week prior trying to get the back yard and house into some semblance of order. It took some stern conversation with the builder to get the skip full of building work debris removed, and leigh and her father painted themselves stupid trying to get the external walls done, but by the time Saturday rolled around, everything was looking pretty good.

We always hold Hunter’s birthday parties in the evening in case we get a scorcher of a day, but the weather was actually cool-ish, though not too cold. So, all up, a good night for a party.

Everyone dressed up as ordered, which was fun. We had bunnies and clowns and pirates and nurses and cowboys and princesses. In fact, I think Hunter was the only girl not dressed as a princess, though she was in a nurse’s outfit so it’s not like we did spectacularly well in terms of casting off the shackles of gender stereotypes. I was a very pink butterfly so I am guilty, too – though leigh’s tree was decidedly androgynous and Hugo refused to wear his cowboy hat unless he could also carry Nanna’s sparkly wand.

It was a very mixed crowd, with family, playgroup friends, friends we’ve known for years and some newly discovered friends, too. The gifts ranged from a hanging ornament hand made by poor women in peru to a very sparkly Bratz doll (Aunty Anna and Nanna apparently exchanged a look of delight when that one was opened, having both been banned from purchasing same over the years). Actually, Hunter got many, many gifts and we’re grateful for all of them. We gave her a scooter, which we thought she’d love riding around the yard. So far, she prefers to ‘ride’ for about three seconds before faking a dramatic fall and calling for an ambulance – every single time – but at least she likes it.

Anyway, I think the party went well on the whole. We had planned to do some face painting or maybe a treasure hunt but we didn’t get around to either. The kids were having a good time running around together. Hunter and her friend Khye had got hold of Pirate Danny’s sword and pistol and I tell ya, I’ve never seen Hunter take such delight in a toy before.

Hunter did have a couple of little meltdowns. She’d been doing really well but over the past few weeks she seems to be back to getting overwhelmed very easily – topic for another day. She had a good night, those little hiccups aside, so I am happy.

Poor Hugo was wrecked early on and I ended up putting him to bed before we even got up to presents and cake. He was just beyond the point of no return, crying and rubbing his little eyes, so I took him in and I think he was relieved.

After everyone left, Hunter asked if she could stay up late since it was party night. I informed her that it was actually already two hours past her bedtime and she replied, “yay! up two hours late!” before going to bed with no argument.

Here’s Nurse Nancy and her brother, the Cowboy Fairy

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And here’s one of the cake. It looked way better in my imagination but my lack of actual creative talent stepped in and stopped it reaching its potential. Tasted good, though!

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