June 30, 2004


When we got married 10 years ago, no-one ever mentioned at the wedding that it might not last. We went to a few weddings around that time, and no-one ever mentioned that it might not last. But every one, I was wondering, will it? And given the national divorce rate, a surprising number of these marriages have lasted.

At the bro's wedding, which was held in a catholic church and Cducted by a priest, the possibility that this marriage might not last was commented on. It was also spoken of at the reception. It wasn't maudlin, it was an acceptance of the reality that marriages do not always last. It was good to acknowledge that.

A great, but obvious truth was expounded. Marriages last if you don't leave. It would be a shallow relationship if you lived with someone for more than six months and didn't feel like walking away at some stage. No matter how perfectly you are matched, if you are two people then at some stage you will differ over something that at least one of you Csiders important. That might make you angry, frustrated, infuriated, and you might then Csider leaving.

People I have spoken to about this always got married intending to stay together for the long haul. I don't think all of them realised how hard that would be. But the ones that are still together are together at least in part, because they have chosen to stay. Not necessarily because they wanted to at the time.

(The exception to this is abuse - I would never countenance anyone sticking round to be abused in any way.)

Posted by Toni at 12:52 PM | Comments (7)

June 29, 2004


We went to Tokoroa for my brother's wedding in the weekend. It was a long drive, particularly going up as H did not really sleep, just dozed, and we did the whole thing in one hit. It was nice to get there, but then the motel was pretty dingy. Everyone else was going out to a restaurant and we were not invited. Which was pretty stink, made R pretty cranky and me teary. Too tired. And the thought of spending the night in our sad little unit on our own while everyone else went out for a meal was, shall we say, disappointing. We got through it.

Wedding day dawned dull and gray, but by 3 pm was bright and sunny. The brother polished up well, and the bride wore a very flattering and practical ensemble that involved a long line and lined wool coat. It was a really well organised wedding in that we were not left to our own devices for hours while they had their photos done, the reception venue started serving little scottish pies and booze half and hour after the ceremony was over. That worked very well, and meant we got a chance to talk to lots of people, not just the ones we were sitting by. Baby was great, and was captured by baby nappers almost immediately and stayed there till the formal meal was served. A hundred and thrity two people to the reception, great food. Speeches involved quite a lot of references to Tokoroa, and how unusual it was that the wedding was being held there. By the end of the speeches, it seemed like Tokoroa was a total dive, and it ain't that bad. No different from a lot of small towns in NZ.

Next day we drove to Waiouru to visit friends. Shit it was COLD, both in Waiouru and Taupo, where we had lunch. They are moving to Blenheim in December, it will be a really nice change!

Then we charged home - it was only a four day trip, but it was still great to get home!

Posted by Toni at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2004


Have had a surprising amount of stuff for h - I thought with him being a seCd baby and another boy as well, that there would be no presents. But in fact we have had an embarrassing amount of stuff, and he will be a very well dressed boy for a while yet. Must Write Thank You Cards.

Parents bought me a beautiful hand made address book back from Italy. Am transferring addresses into it - Ma would like it to get the patina of use, and it is too lovely not to see regularly.

Both grandchildren charming the olds, feeling like a reasonable parent!

Posted by Toni at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2004


The parental ones are somewhere in Wellington, and we are waiting for them to arrive here. The sprog has been put in clean clothes, the floors are clean and the dog is recently washed. So we are ready. Oh yeah, we also have a cake and a slice in the tins (home baking, you can't GET readier than that). Next weekend my brother marries in Tokoroa at a Catholic church. That whole sentence is kind of hard to believe. Brother, marry, Tokoroa and Catholic are not a collection of words I ever thought to Cnect in such a straightforward way. Should be a fun do, the bride used to work for the All Blacks, and so there are a collection of rugby players coming, who no doubt know how to party. I will have bubs so won't be staying too late or drinking too much, but it should be a great night anyway.

Leaving Friday, so you'll hear from me again...

Posted by Toni at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2004

To buy

We have no spare money to buy anything, but that doesn't stop us from buying. There are shirts to buy so that I can feed the sprat without freezing. Nifty design, and they are comfortable and styley to wear compared to my usual baby feeding clobber. There is food to buy, and face goo, and blazer rades for hubby which are horrifically expensive, and toys and petrol. It is all far too much, and exceeds income significantly...

Csumerism - I don't like the idea, and resist it pretty well due to the brainwashing of Flylady who is anti-clutter, and due to the fact I don't run into that many advertisements. We don't have tv, don't get the paper very often, and listen to National Radio. I notice when I do watch tv, I feel much more like going out shopping. Those ads are powerful things. Csumerism is a chance to waste the earth's resources on things that we don't need, and which generally end up in the rubbish eventually, thereby using more resources to deal with the waste. (You'd think with beliefs like that I would vote Green - I don't, and I won't as I am pro-GE, which doesn't mesh with the Greens at all.)

Posted by Toni at 03:33 PM | Comments (1)

June 17, 2004


Got lots of thesis (for me) done today - feel much better and less like the PhD is the impossible dream.

Went to another childcare to check it out today, and it seemed really good. They pushed all my buttons about communicating with parents, though I suspect we will never find anything as good as the childcare at Lincoln. We are just going to have to cope with our standards coming down. Dangnabbit.

Have either got shocking instant hayfever from something, or have a huge cold coming. Will know tomorrow. Don't know which to hope for!

Posted by Toni at 07:48 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2004


The sprat has decided that the only way to sleep is a) on a person or b) on his tummy. We get lectured repeatedly on the dangers of letting your baby sleep on his/her tummy. They are ten times more likely to die of Sudden Infant Death syndrome on their stomach than on their backs. On the other hand if they won't sleep they are also ten times more likely to be irritating to their parents. What I am to do ? And his sleeping on people/me really interferes with my need to do other things, like write, clean, cook and move.

So yesterday when hubby came home he almost had the baby tossed to him while I shot out of the house into the wind and rain in order to MOVE. I'd been a baby mattress for far too much of my day. It felt absolutely fabulous to be outside, moving, and away from the kid. The only break I have had today is while he has been on his tummy on the couch. Plunkett would not be impressed...

Pizza and chocolate pudding for tea - sounds like a ghastly combination to me!, but it selling well here!

Thesis progress is neglible. Bugger.

Posted by Toni at 05:45 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2004

Not quite fitting in

Went into town today to show off the sprog to the work colleagues, and have coffee with Tim (Hi Tim). Great discovery of the weekend was that I could fit into normal clothes (not the whole wardrobe, but enough). So today I wore: (bear with me, this is going somewhere without brackets!) black boots, black opaque stockings, a long straight black skirt, black close fitting top, black cardigan, black coat. And silver jewellery. I looked like a great number of the other people out walking around Wellington - black! But there was an important accessory I had with me that just didn't fit in. A pushchair. And though I felt great about wearing 'normal' clothes again, and my self esteem got a boost from that, I felt like some kind of imposter, dressed the part but not part of the scene. Next time I go in, perhaps I will have got to the point where I can fit in my jeans - they will fit with the pushchair. And I'll look like what I am, a visitor to the business/government world of the city.

There are a lot of people out there who are bloody nice - they say very encouraging things to mothers of new babies. It actually helps me, makes me feel more positive about what I am doing, like taking the kid out, and breastfeeding, and putting wooly garments on H.

Now, I am pretty lucky in lots of things, and one of them is that I have a 'normal' body, whatever that might mean. One of the implications is that I am able to walk up stairs, over kerbs, and to run if I need to. But with a pushchair, I am in effect temporarily disabled/differently abled. And the thing I notice is that amazing number of stairs there are in town. Even getting into and out of the train station is not straight forward. To get in I either bump the kid round like badly packed luggage on a flight to the Antartic up the front stairs, or navigate carefully to find the ramp into the subway. It must take up a fair bit of brain power just working out how to get into some of the buildings in Wellington if you are in a wheelchair. And the worst aspect of the whole thing is that new buildings are no better than old ones. There is a hotel on the West Coast called the Last Resort that has been built to be fully accessible. It is enormously relaxing to be able to walk everywhere without having to keep an eye out for stairs, and to walk up to door knowing they would open before you rather than into you. If I ever build my own house, I'd like to make it wheelchair accessible, because it felt so safe for me on my feet...

Posted by Toni at 07:46 PM | Comments (1)

June 11, 2004


Love food. Love it!

My ideal Saturday morning is spent puttering around in the kitchen baking stuff and cooking lunch. I have a collection of cooking books and like looking through them.

Baby can't tell the difference between tired and hungry. When in doubt he assumes he is hungry. Once he has eaten everything I have to offer he becomes hysterical, which makes him even harder to get to sleep. So we have one of us determined to eat eat eat, and the other of us (me) wishing to sleep sleep sleep, and neither of us is happy. Cos neither of us gets no satisfaction.

When I was living at home we had this kind of ritual of eating tea/dinner together. It was supposed to be a time to talk and be a happy family, but it never was all that relaxed. Pa would be interrogating us on our school day, and if you said the wrong thing, you'd get the lecture treatment. So it always felt much safer to say nothing. And I can remember some pretty silent meals! I suspect that one of the ways Pa went wrong was in not talking much about his own day, it was all about the kids and getting information from them. I've inherited this longing for big happy family meals at the table, but I plan to be very careful not to drag information out of the kids, but to try and make it more of a give and take. We were always taught to thank the cook, and to say excuse me when we left the table before the meal was over. Blimey though, when the 4 yr old is tired, letting him eat in front of the dvd is a hell of a lot easier. Ma always made good food, if the atmosphere at the table wasn't the best, the victuals were always top notch...

Posted by Toni at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2004

Boring at home

Have you noticed that there is not much going on in NZ politics at present? News commentors like R Brown have a lot more to say about american politics than ours. I think perhaps Brash has decided to take a week or two of silence as a chance to shut up about nuclear ships seeing as he ballsed that one up, and Helen is keen on quiet. After all with 4.4% unemployment (even if that number is not the 'truth'), and the eComy still good with high house prices and most things moving along nicely, silence gives the public a chance to think their lot in life is okay.

I suspect things are likely to come a little unstuck for labour in the eComy soonish with house prices bound to sink in the future, the dollar up and the fuel prices astronomical.

Got lots of administration stuff done last night - you know, writing cheques, filling out forms and filing household stuff. The table has returned from trees to wood, and if it ain't careful I might polish it while it is clear!

Oh, and a very funny entry from the yeti dated June 9 - he doesn't seem to have an archive system on his blog...

Posted by Toni at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2004

Progress absolute

My little bro just called in for a flying visit - we don't get on all that well, so I am thrilled that he would even think of calling in.

Have made some progress on the thesis, so am feeling good about self.

Have relatives coming to visit this weekend. With the extra people round, I might get some gardening done.

Bread machine is doing its thing - mmm hot bread.

Even the knitting is inching along (centimering along will never work as a word).

Posted by Toni at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2004

Queen's birthday

If we became a republic would we then lose this long weekend? Or would we keep the holiday and give it a new name? Perhaps it could be given an honest name like Desperately Needed Long Weekend? Perhaps it would be the President's Birthday weekend. Or we could have another National Day, and call it New Zealand Day - that would suit my husband...

Do Not run out of catfood during a long weekend. Everyone will regret it.

C weed during nappy changes about 3 times over 3 years. This new kid can do it every nappy change, and it is costing us time and money in wet clothes. I never changed baby 1 this many times in 24 hours for any reason.

Buying disposable pads to soak up excess milk (which I have LOTS of) has made me very much happier. I no longer have a perpetually damp chest.

I know nothing about Ronald Reagan, so have no comment to make at the occaision of his death - George Dubbya will not have such a silent send off.

Thesis time...

Posted by Toni at 12:45 PM | Comments (1)

June 04, 2004


No, No, I'm meant to be at home radiating peace and earth mother smug satisfaction with having produced a wee scrap of humanity (also known as a baby).

But in fact I am waging a war - I am trying not to be subsumed into motherhood to the deteriment of my mental health. I am trying to keep some space for my other son, for my husband, for my thesis and keeping house. And the only way to do that is to alternately attack and defend against the scrap. He has been programmed to think he is the center of the universe, he really doesn't know the rest of us are here. So if he is hungry, whatever you are doing be damned, he is hungry and wants that fixed right now. But it has to be balanced - it ain't right for him to be ignored, abandoned, or even made to wait too long. balancing, balancing.

I'm thinking learning balance is actually what I mean by growing up - and I am still waiting/trying to grow up. Much to my mother's amazement. She says "You have two children, of course you are a grown-up".

Posted by Toni at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2004

Breaking news

Last night, the scrap slept from 10.30 to 1.30, and then from 2.30 to 5.30. I count that as only waking once!!! I feel good, with 2 long cycle sleeps to my name. I know 5.30 is a pretty early start to the day, but as I went back to sleep from 7.30 till 9 on the couch it has worked out to a pretty normal sleep equivalent. Bloody fast training response...

Training kids - well I can't claim huge success, but it has been with babies a matter of not responding to certain stimuli from the baby. So I don't feed the scrap every half hour like he wants, and then he doesn't bother trying it. The longer breaks make him hungry, so he learns to feed in depth rather than snack. So I get what I want which is better feeding happening less often. The downside is listening to your lovely beautiful baby screaming in despair, and having to make yourself ignore them. You feel incredible guilt, and are inclined to wonder about your fitness to be a parent...

But I get over that. Quickly.

Posted by Toni at 12:51 PM | Comments (1)

June 02, 2004

On the couch being a bed

All I seem to have done all day is sit on the couch providing regular snacks and real meals to the scrap, and then becoming a comfy bed. It sounds so idyllic to lie round and do nothing until you are actually being stopped from getting up and doing anything. Even toilet breaks are tricky.

Gonna get into baby training big time! This kids wants and needs must be adjusted. But first he is getting some sleep training.

Posted by Toni at 08:15 PM | Comments (1)

June 01, 2004

a quick note without capitals (mostly)

h was born on thursday with no major complications (apart from me stopping being able to breathe easily!) last week. he was 3.76 kg or 8.3 pounds, has hair, and was a brilliant beetroot colour. completely different from the navy blue colour of c when he was born. looked a lot like my grandad at first, as he was a little overcooked and was like a little old man. he is a pretty laid back baby most of the day but becomes a nasty fiend at 2 in the morning.

i'm off to bed to prepare for the next round of 2 in the morning. my boobs are really REALLY sore and tight but once this goes down which should in theory be tomorrow i will be well on the way to having floor access, and feeling much more comfortable. all the stomach exercises i did while pregnant have worked pretty well and the tummy is retreating to its usual place more quickly than last time.

be warned, there may be a post describing the rather incredible journey of the past week coming up, and then again we may just proceed onwards without doing the backstorey. Heh!

Posted by Toni at 08:48 PM | Comments (4)