August 31, 2004

Just keeping up

Am getting very little time for the thesis. h is going onto a very alert phase, and is awake for far too much of the day. When c is here I don't even turn the computer on. At home I am online for much of the day, checking stuff. Now I just do about 30 mins a day. I've cut the blogs down to about 3, as the parents pay by the hour, and I have so little time left to thesis let alone read other blogs. Thesis is progressing so Very Slowly, its depressing.

Gonna go be depressed for a while now. Looking forward to reading more when I get back to Wellington. Ma and Pa are being great though and helping heaps with the kids. I am really grateful to them to have the chance to be here and not being superwoman at home.

Posted by Toni at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2004

working together

Four year olds, and mine in particular are damn hard work.They want to be in charge of everything. they talk always. They ask really dumb questions, really clever questions and ask what the time is Cstantly. Just in case there is a break in the Cversation, they also can ask the same question repeatedly, even when they can recite the answer they know they are going to get. My own four year old drives me mad! But this morning I was playing follow the leader when we met gran in the garden, and we sortof evolved into a working party and ended up with four of us working hard for a while putting mulch on the garden. It was so good to work with c as part of a team rather than as a very grumpy adversary.

Hubby leaves the country tomorrow for three weeks in Dubai. Happy birthday to him for yesterday and happy anniversary to us for today. And I think after about 6 versions happy successful graph to me as well.

Posted by Toni at 09:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2004

Medals for everyone?

I guess I lack the kind of patriotism that gets excited when an individual from my country wins a medal at the Olympics. I don't feel any credit when someone who has not received any kind of monetary, personal or physical support from me succeeds.

Better finish this thesis and get some credit of my own!

Posted by Toni at 09:26 PM | Comments (1)

August 25, 2004

Georgia on my mind

We got photos of the wee neice today. She has a lovely face. It amazes me how complete she is, 7 weeks prem and although she is half the size that h was when he was born she has all the necessary fingers and toes. Today she has been attempting to breastfeed! I didn't know they would even try at that age.

I realised on Sunday that the focus for Georgia is quite different than we had for h. When he was born I tried to make life as reassuring for him as I could. There was lots of cuddling and holding, feeding on demand, talking and more holding. Everything was done to make him feel safe. So he slept with me and on me and others, and was not left alone!
Georgia spends most of her days in an incubator, and the focus is on survival. They hold her and touch her as much as they can, but if she gets too cold then I guess she could die. She lies alone in the incubator for most of the days. It is the best thing they can do, but it would sure go against my mothering tendencies. I wonder what Georgia thinks about it?

Posted by Toni at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2004

While I was gone...

I am now in the family home with the parental ones. Getting here was not too much of an adventure, though the weekend before I came was exceptionally busy. I am now an Aunty to Georgia Grace Taylor, who weighs just four pounds and is cute. I was surprised at the cute - being that small I expected her to be ugly. She doesn't have baby plum going but the face is definitely cute. She will be in hospital for a while, but is doing incredibly well.

I had a party to celebrate being married for 10 years. This is the first party I think I have ever organised for myself, and it went fine. Enough people came that I did not feel like a social reject, and the food was all Csumed. And the kids did not destroy the party!

I flew on an aeroplane with my children and that went fine. We are here now, the weather is good and this is the worst computer setup I have ever tried to type on.

So don't mind me if I keep it short for the next three weeks...

Posted by Toni at 08:41 PM | Comments (1)

August 19, 2004

Bloody numbers

've been tidying up a data sheet of 1321 lines. It makes my eyes sag checking all these bloody numbers.

h is, according to Plunket, a completely average baby. He is on the 50% line on the graphs for head circumference, height and weight. When I said he was completely average, the nurse reckoned he was in perfect proportion. They must do some kind of course in tact, politically correct things to say, and compliments. No-one in the baby professions ever looks at a baby and says, "Oh, perhaps he will be better looking when he gets older!". That I've heard of anyway... they probably wouldn't succeed in the baby professions!, and wouldn't stay long.

Having two fillings done this week before I depart this merry scene to stay with my parents. Have decided the most painful part is the sore jaw from having my mouth open for half an hour, closely followed by the pain of handing over the card to pay for it. Big numbers.

Posted by Toni at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

August 18, 2004

Wee tiny adventure

Went into town today to visit the sis-in-law, who is in hospital with high blood pressure caused by baby. Did think weather was a bit rough on the way down the road - was right. Nearly didn't make it home up the Hutt, but them Ctractors, they really know how to clear a slip. was stunned by how fast some people feel safe driving at on a dangerous road. Kept left myself, and let'em go. Hope wind has died down when I go on the aeroplane next week.

Not feeling motivated about doing anything at the moment. So have no other news...

Posted by Toni at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2004

The year in review

Went in to work today for my performance review. It appears that I don't have to worry about whether I will be getting a performance bonus. Whether I get a promotion is another thing altogether. The criteria for promotion seem to be vague in the extreme, and as everyone else in the job I am doing is planning to leave, I am guessing they haven't bothered to ask... I still don't know if I will return, I'm guessing not if something better comes up.

But that is the status of going to your job every day, isn't it?

Posted by Toni at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2004

Pathetic thinking patterns

I just don't get what the problem is with this civil union thing. I'm one of these white-middle-class-with-kids people that is supposed to be threatened by this change, and actually, I don't care so much. It just seems nice that other kinds of couples will have some formal way of stating that they ARE a couple. As I understand it the legal rights of coupledom got Cferred with the changes to the De Facto property act that was enacted last year, so the only change is that same sex couples and heterosexual couples that don't like the historical and religious baggage that comes with marriage can register themselves. What is the issue? How does this threaten marriage? If you don't like marriage now you don't have to do it, and you can still live together.

Oh well, perhaps I've just missed another plot...

Posted by Toni at 01:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 12, 2004

Unbearable niceness of people

Went down to get the groceries this morning. There is a checkout supervisor down there who loves babies, therefore she loves h. She likes the fact she has seen him most weeks since he was three weeks old. She also like the fact I will let her keep h while I do the shopping. If she gets busy she pages me and I go retrieve him.

Today for the first time in a while he was awake when I went to the shop, so she got to hang onto him (we let him sleep in peace in the trolley if thats what is his agenda today). So I did a really lightening shop, got everything except one pack of biscuits before I got paged.

I think she wasn't so much wanting to give him back as show off the fact he was falling asleep in her arms!, so I got my biscuits, and went to pay. Whereupon I got that sinking feeling of where the fuck is my card?. I'd left it at home after doing some internet shopping. So She Paid For My Groceries. I was totally overwhelmed.

I went back to give her back her money, and she wasn't there so I have left the money with someone else. When she asked who I should say the money was from I told her "Well, my name is Toni, but she knows me as h's mum." And this ladies eyes lit up with recognition! I'm losing my identity, I'm becoming known as h's mum.

On a completely different track, this made me laugh, repeatedly, out loud.

Posted by Toni at 02:57 PM | Comments (0)

August 11, 2004

False expectations

I've been engaged on something of a bread mission. I've made huge foccacia's which have been easy to sell, everyone likes them. I've been making white bread which has risen to the sky (stably) and has been great for sandwiches and absolutely fabulous for toast. It has a degree of substance without weight they don't make in commercial white bread. I've made some brown bread which had rather too much substance. I think the toilet pan has survived, but it was a close run thing. And I've been working on the Holy Grain/Grail/Crumb whatever, which for me is French Bread. It requires overnight rising, rising at ROOM TEMPERATURE (which I think is substantially warmer than the present ambient temperatures). It takes time and planning. My first attempt didn't rise, so I used an old trick and activated the yeast before using (sounds flash, just means I mix it in sugary water before adding to the dough, I use some of the bread ingredients to make it so it doesn't change proportions). This time it rose much better, but it still isn't what I was expecting. I'm expecting a very light loaf, with a very even texture and a mild taste. I'm getting a slightly golden loaf, which a moist and firm texture, and an interesting slightly fermented taste. I've eaten this stuff with butter, and it is damn good, maa'm, damn good. But is it French Bread? I know they have been arguing about bread in France, and that the light as air supermarket bread has been getting trashed, but is what I am making the real thing??, or do I have further changes to make? Perhaps adding gluten will give that smoother finer crumb I associate with what I have been told is French bread, here at the bottom of the Pacific, a long way from France.

What I really need is to go on an investigative trip to Paris and check out what the French call baguette. Sounds as good a reason for the trip as any I have come up with. Now I have the motivation, all I need is the airfare...

Posted by Toni at 01:07 PM | Comments (2)

August 09, 2004


Words can hang like solid objects in the air. Building blocks of strong relationships, missiles loaming over the careful Cstructions, gifts. OOS of the tongue doesn't seem to happen - no tendons perhaps?

The definition of a thesis is that it is an argument, a statement, a place to stand and defend. Your written book is a statement of your thesis, your oral (or voce) is the defense. If no-one can find a chink in your amour, you don't have to do an oral. This has happened two times in my department. One of those students had the same supervisor as me. He assures me I will have to do an oral.

I haven't finished my thesis, but I have a feeling of wanting to run away rather than mount a defense today. But I did finish my Lit review when I said I would. I was allowed to use c's special mat at the table. He wouldn't applaud me though.

Posted by Toni at 07:58 PM | Comments (0)

Hair of the dog

We are baby-sitting a labrador for the next three days. I am in awe of how much hair this dog has in her possession and how much of it she is willing to share with our house on an hourly basis. It cascades from her in a shower of golden irritant when she rises from her rest, and when she walks. She has been here three hours, and the rug looks pretty bloody hairy already...

I am seriously Csidering returning to teaching - quick - someone tell me I am insane, why, and Cvince me that the money and the hours are not worth the stress!

We spent the weekend socialising and a quick outbreak of cleaning. the smallest sprog has a throat infection, the larger one has bad verbal diarrhea at the moment. We enjoyed the weekend anyway!

Posted by Toni at 11:15 AM | Comments (3)

August 05, 2004


having your boss try to fire you, or move you to a new group that doesn't want you or have work for you, because you have a 'relationship' with your line manager...

Glad it ain't happening to me.

Imagine ringing up an old work colleague to ask how you are going in a job application round, before the appointment is made, and when you haven't bothered to Ctact that work colleague in the previous 12 months...

Glad I haven't made that mistake in this tiny town.

Imagine having to set deadlines for your supervisor, just so they get round to doing what needs to be done...

Got me there! Its a delicate balance between motivation and straight out nagging. I think I'm getting close to the line.

Posted by Toni at 03:15 PM | Comments (0)

August 04, 2004

Everything I wanted

Back from the farm, where Shona has everything I thought I wanted when I was about 20. There is money, a farm, enough distance from town that they don't go in there very often. There are children, horses, cows, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens. There is a happy stable relationship. There are lots of cats and dogs.

And I'm not jealous much. One day when we were talking about where we have ended up in our lives, and where we had wanted to go, and where we thought we would actually end up, Shona said something that has stuck in my mind.

She said:"Everything you have you have earned. Everything I have has been earned by someone else."

You see, they didn't have the money to buy everything they have, they were given the money from a family trust of Rhy's family. So Shona hasn't Ctributed a hell of a lot. Sure, she has raised the kids, and worked damn hard with milking the goats, making the clothes, doing the cooking and all that, but all the lifestyle stuff that we were talking about has come about because of what Rhys has done, and his family. So Shona doesn't feel like she has Ctributed much in the way of earnings...

What R and I have is all paid for by us. It may not be worth even a smidgeon of the farm, but we did it all by ourselves, which gives a feeling of pride and ownership. Of acheivement. It is good when we remember that.

We would still like to have a farm though, dangnabbit! Anyone want to give us a couple of million??

Posted by Toni at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)