Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cinema love

I went to the movies last week and saw "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

It was an amazing, moving and thoroughly captivating film that I cannot say enough good things about. I have read a lot of bad press about this film despite it's Oscar nomination. It made me feel something. I cried. I think I may have actually made an audible sob at one point. And I could have watched it for another hour.

Last night I watched the Academy Awards and Mum and I started talking about our favorite films.

I love cinema. I love that there are a million genres to please a million people. I love that movies divide people and spark discussion. And I like to know what movies other people love.

My favorite movies are Pulp Fiction, The Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, The Silence Of The Lambs, Se7en, The Breakfast Club and probably Happy Gilmore. But it's hard to pick favorites. What of The Harry Potter movies? Philadelphia? Flying High? The Shining? American History X? Fight Club? One Flew Over The Cuckoos nest? Bridesmaids?

I'm sure if I sit here for another 20 minutes I could come up with a bunch more movies that are awesome.

But I want to know.

What's your favorite movie?

Monday, February 20, 2012


We're here! We made it to the Gold Coast, my hometown, to visit my folks without a drama.
Sure the plane ride was a little amusing. There is always a moment of realization that the adult to child ratio is way out just before I board a plane with the three girls on my own. And my carry on bag is always way overpacked with assorted foods and drawing supplies to keep the kiddos occupied.

But Harper calling out "Let's just. Fucking. Go." at the top of her lungs, complete hands thrown in the air, as we were waiting to take off, was unexpected. As was her telling the lovely flight attendant who said hello to her that she didn't like her. And I guess I thought that she might want to keep her clothes on for the flight.

But it was pretty easy. If not a little surprising.

Our time here so far has been just lovely. Mum has already cooked me a chocolate cheesecake and my Dad brings the washing in. I've finally met my beautiful niece who is 7 months old and my kiddos have been playing with their cousins like no time at all has passed. And the gorgeous warm weather and copious food and hours of playing has made for happily tired kids.

  Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Even if we are up before 6AM.

I have made some plans with some of my old crew and I plan to spend a fair whack of time down at the beach. I hope my Melbourne raised kids can move past seeing sand as a constant sense of displeasure. I'm pretty sure their love of the water will be the winner.

Life is good.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Grammar snobbery

It seems that every time I turn on the computer that someone is retweeting a douchebag who has said something like this

"you had me at your knowledge of the difference between your and you're LOL ROFLOCTOPUS"

I mean that is so hilarious because only good people with kind hearts who contribute to society are grammatically correct at all times right?

The internet is not just for people who use twitter as a platform for their half finished novel or someone doing their PHD in "something that will never get me a job" or hipsters who make fun of everyone.

By all means have good grammar and use spellcheck. GO NUTS. But please stop looking down your noses at someone for whom these things are not high on their list of what's important.

Ooh touchy touchy you say? Why do I care?

I happen to be married to a fantastic man who is a great husband, amazing father and brings home a lot more bacon than most uni graduates. He is funny, kind and generous.

But I would say that he might *gasp* misplace an apostrophe from time to time and his spelling isn't great. I take offense that some people might like to joke that he is some kind of second class citizen because he didn't get an A+ in English class.

Grammar snobbery isn't cool internet.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

5 reasons I don't hit my kids

I've blogged about hitting kids before but the subject has been in the media lately and I have been surprised and saddened by the number of people who still think that hitting (and I won't downgrade the word to smacking or spanking-I'm calling a spade a spade) a child is OK. I'm even more disappointed that there are so many advocates of hitting kids as a regular way of control.

I'm still hopeful that hitting kids will go the way of husbands hitting their wives as a form of punishment. Very frowned upon and illegal. And marriage has gone on without husbands having their "right to punish and teach" taken away.

Here are my top 5 reasons why I don't hit my kids

1-using fear of physical pain to get someone to comply is not my idea of how people should be treated. It's not something that we do to adults and it's not something I do to my kids

2-the word "discipline" actually means "to teach" so I take every opportunity to talk to my kids about issues that come up or fears for their safety I might have rather than making arbitrary lines in the sand and using punishment when they are crossed. We have had the "running onto the road" situation and my genuine fear and discussion about why you need to stay close when there are cars got the point across.

3-It hurts. I don't want the trust and love in our relationship to be undermined by me hurting them when I don't get my way or when I am angry. I try to model appropriate ways of showing that I'm angry or frustrated or feel overwhelmed. I don't always succeed but then I feel no shame in apologizing and having a "do-over" of the situation.

4-I don't know what the magic age is when hitting becomes not acceptable. Adults don't hit each other and I'm pretty sure parents are frowned upon when they hit their teenagers so what age to stop? 5? 10? I find it sad that kids are never "too small" to be hit.

5-I don't demand or value compliance. Sure, some days I would like to just say "because I sad so" and have stuff happen. But the truth is that I want my kids to think for themselves and to do things that are age appropriate without fear. Of course boundaries and no-win situations come up-they will naturally even if there is not a list of "smackable offenses"- but we deal with these one at a time, talking and teaching and being respectful all the way.

Here are a couple of good articles if you want to read more

Ten Reasons never To Hit Your Kids by The Natural Child Project
Spanking- A Shortcut To Nowhere by Penelope Leach
How Can You Look Me In The Eye at Demand Euphoria

I know this post might open a bit of a can of worms and I ask that we all be respectful. I WILL NOT get into specific "what if?" scenarios because I don;t have a pre planned dogma of dealing with situations.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Super easy tomato pasta sauce

Summer in my circle of friends means dealing with the glut of tomatoes that we all seem to end up with.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

My kids LOVE a tomato based pasta sauce and it's one of those meals I can confidently say will get eaten every time I make it. I had a heap of basil about to bolt to seed and bought a braid of garlic from the farmers market that was just begging to be added to the tomatoes so we could have my bolognaiseish sauce. Again.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Chop the tomatoes and add some torn up basil and a few cloves of garlic. Crush them a bit first. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and mix it all around. Put in a medium oven for at least an hour. Take it out and stir it from time to time.

After an hour and a big stir mine looked like this.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

I then got to use my blender, for which I have an unnatural love. After whizzing it I noticed that there were a lot of seeds-which means it might be poison if you are one of my kids who hate seeds/lumps/pips.

So I strained it through a sieve. Pushing it through with a spoon.
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

If you had any idea how to can or preserve stuff-which is on my "to learn" list. It would be a great project to make a few jars at a time and seal to use later. Mind is in the fridge waiting to be made into tonight's dinner!
Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Friday, February 3, 2012

In spite of

Think of these two phrases "because of" or "in spite of". In light of a few recent events and articles I'd like to see these turned on their heads.

The tragic death of a mother from a cardiac arrest following a planned homebirth has drawn a lot of criticism. It actually makes me feel sick that vultures in the media have not allowed the family of this woman some space and respect as they grieve-as they would a hospital birthing family.

They say it is "because of" her decision to birth at home that her life was put at risk. I beg to differ. I would say that IN SPITE OF the skilled care she received from her homebirth midwives and IN SPITE OF the fact that they clearly made a very informed choice a terrible tragedy occurred.
When these sad occurrences happen in hospital it is always "in spite of" them being there. 

There has been some media attention for home education too. Most of it has been positive-but the comments. NEVER READ THE COMMENTS. I get so pissed when every little flaw in a child is blamed on the fact that they don't go to school. If a child attends school and is a bully or ends up in the unemployment line it is always assumed to be "in spite of" the fact they attended school. And if a home educated child is introverted or crap at math is it assumed to be "because of" the fact that they are not part of the school system.
Again, I beg to differ. Many home educated kids are introverted or crap at english/math/science. JUST AS THEY ARE IN SCHOOL. Institutionalizing kids does not change their strengths,weaknesses and personality traits.

Sometimes there is no blame. There is no "because of" to fall back on. Sometimes in spite of all the decisions you make for your family things just are the way they are. Good, bad and otherwise.
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