March 31, 2005

Revealing the house

Went up to see our house. Its not quite like I remember it, but you shouldn't take that as being a bad thing. I just thought it was in different proportions than it is, and that is partly due to the zoom used by the agent who took the photos on the web. /the front yard is bigger and the pool is bigger too! And the garage is bigger, but the front room is smaller, and the master bedroom is smaller. But we are very happy with it. The fancy plaster ceilings are in more rooms, and there is a stained glass window neither of us saw and anyway, we like what we bought. So now it is two weeks to moving...

I'm taking regular deep breaths!

Posted by Toni at 07:21 PM | Comments (221)

March 28, 2005

Gone shopping

c has come back from the farm with Bryn's pirate shirt. Bryn created this masterpiece with a perfectly good striped shirt and a pair of scissors. c wants one of his own, but doesn't have a suitable shirt - it apparently Must Be Striped, and preferably in the same colours as Bryn's.

I'm a boring old fart, who values her money, and won't buy him a brand new shirt to chop holes in so he can look like a pirate. So we went to Save mart, where the clothes from the charity bins end up being re-sold. I have a friend, who is a university researcher and has a pretty good income, and is addicted to Save Mart. She made me go there when l lived in Canterbury, and lo, there are wonderous bargains to be had there. I bought this fantastically cut jacket for the son, apparently brand new from France, covered in black and white sheep on a scarlet background for SEVEN DOLLARS. I have bought several things for myself and the kids, and it is SO CHEEP.[sic]

Seemed like the perfect place to buy clothes to cut up. And you'd think, when you were buying something that you planned to mutilate before wearing, and then planned to wear on expeditions that involve mud, lots and lots of mud, and cow pooh, and so forth, that ANY OLD SHIRT WOULD DO.

Not so.

They had a whole warehouse of clothes, and there was nothing that could be cut up and worn. But he did choose a real cool purple shirt with a white hibiscus print (read Hawiian) that he is wearing. Without cutting. And seCd hand boxer shorts. And I got the baby a pair of overalls, red and covered in stars, and made by JK for four dollars. And a flower vase. And we just busted a ten buck note.

That Save Mart, it ain't mecca, but it sure is good.


This entry was going to be about pediatric medicine, as h went to the hospital last night, but he is fine now, no thanks to the hospital mob. Fortunately the doc who sent us there gave us some antibiotics, and it is the only different thing I have done in the last 24 hours as opposed to the past week. And today was the first day in three days that he has eaten solids, crawled or smiled. Viral, my ass.

Pediatric medicine seems a very inexact science, even to the doctors that practice it. I discovered this reading Cn's notes when he was in hospital for a week, and Cfirmed it in Cversations I had with the staff that week. Everything I have learnt supports the theory that half the time, they don't know why what they do works, but it does. And they and we appreciate that.

Posted by Toni at 08:18 PM | Comments (2)

March 25, 2005

Blog party

Last night I went to the first party I have been to since before h was born. It was good. It was Giffy's birthday, and you know, being such a lovely person herself, I wasn't even slightly surprised that she has got a whole mob of lovely people that turned out to enjoy her birthday.

As I was crossing Taranaki Street to go into the bar, I thought to myself, I know NO-ONE here, not even Giffy! I mean, I've read her blog , I've emailed her, I've even delivered plants to where she works, but we have never actually met. Not long ago I probably wouldn't have gone to a party where I didn't know anyone. Last night though, I just laughed to myself, and reckoned that I was bound to meet someone new! People have told me before that I am Cfident, and as I settle more into who I am, the Cfidence that they see is settling deeper into myself. So I am becoming myself from the outside in.

And it was great to meet so many people that I have seen commenting or writing blogs. Everyone looked pretty positive when I said I was at home, raising babies, but relieved in a way when the PhD was mentioned. Easier to Cverse! After all, every PhD is individual, but raising babies has certain things in common to all babies. Still unique, but the same. And so many people said nice things about my dress, and my figure, I think I will go to more parties, so that my ego may swell. One friend told me I have a rubber ball ego, untroubled by criticism (while she described hers as a soap bubble). Enough parties and my ego will resemble a beach ball. Boing!

There were a lot of geeks of various descriptions at the party. And it was very noticeable that they were not proud of being geeks. I'm not sure why, the way the world is going it is not the meek who will inherit, its the geeks. Be proud, the non-geeks are jealous, cos they can't even reboot their own computer.

Got home and bubs was running a temperature of 39.3 centigrade, so rang Healthline. That's a good service, folks. And the advice was drug him with pamol, and everybody should get some sleep. Good advice, as he was happy today, and well enough.

Today I got some extra sleep in the afternoon, but overall it was a surprisingly good day with the family, Csidering the combinations of colds, tiredness and demanding natures.

Posted by Toni at 07:36 PM | Comments (3)

March 23, 2005


I was coming back from lower Hutt today and heard an interview on National Radio by Wayne Mowat. It was some young guy who grew up in West Auckland, and was told by his teachers that he would never amount to much. And by the time he was seventeen he was in prison. He got out on a diversion scheme, and at that time decided that he was going to go away from the gangs and drugs, and make something of himself. He worked in a factory for a while, and then decided to go to teachers college. At his interview, he was asked what he would do if he did not get in, and he replied "I'll see you again next year". And they let him in. He got a scholarship, and got his degree. Got involved in sign language, did the translators course, worked for the deaf association and is now teaching in an intermediate school. I found his story inspiring. And that line about if you don't let me in this year, I'll just apply again till I get in, that level of determination is awesome.

But I did wonder if I had taught him! And if I had said he wouldn't amount to much. I hope not...

I was in a school today briefly, delivering some plants, and all the classes sounded so busy in a very productive way. Except for the very quiet classes. My room frequently rocked, a lot too much, but we got lots done. I would like more sound proofing round my perfect classroom so we could stop whispering.

Had a phone Cference with the supervisors, and it is very noticeable which one is doing more work on my behalf. He's a great leader, that supervisor of mine.

Posted by Toni at 07:52 PM | Comments (1137)

March 22, 2005

Snot everywhere

Yup, h is still productive. What's a bit distressing is that I seem to have picked it up too. Dangnabbit. He now has diarrohea and vomiting, and has to have that pediolyte stuff so he doesn't get too dehydrated. Hopefully I'll stick to issues resolved with tissues.

even though he has a cold he is determined not to be having a bad life. So tonight when he had a bath, he learnt a new trick. He was trying to get something off the shelf above the end of the bath, and when he got it he sort of fell down or slid. I laughed at him, so he decided he wasn't scared. And started to deliberately half crawl up the sloping end of the bath then slide back down. It was funny. Eventually he slid right over and went down so his head got wet, and he decided that was funny too. c hated hurting himself, so was very cautious. h seems a lot more gung-ho, and I think is going to give me some proper worry. But he doesn't crawl over the edge of the bed or the front step, so is also showing signs of sense.

We had sushi tonight - c has invented nutella sushi. Don't ask!

I went to the t coll library and found many books on teaching (i've never seen them before) and classroom management. I could learn a lot! I have an interview for a job that doesn't exist yet. And I will have to buy a skirt to wear to it, as I am losing so much weight at the moment. My jeans are held on with a belt and not much else. Must be the breast feeding, cos I am eating plenty. But it better stop soon, or I'll be naked in public by accident!!! Actually, I can't decide if I like it or not. But I noticed a collection of posters for women's magazines, and I think of the six posters maybe (and I MEAN maybe) one didn't have a lead article on losing weight. As a gender, it appears we are obsessed with being thinner, and i guess this is why I feel ambivalent about my weight loss. I'm seeing Shona this weekend, she'll tell me if I am too skinny, and i can trust her opinion. She just looks at people in the same way she looks at horses, dogs, cattle and cats. Only Ccerned about visual lines and health, not fashion.

Posted by Toni at 07:39 PM | Comments (2)

March 21, 2005

The airport was closed due to fog, my brain follows suit

Today, in a fit of responsible parenting I kept h home as he had a cold, and I didn't think he would really enjoy childcare, and would also be highly Ctagious. He'll still be Ctagious tomorrow, but I don't care any more. Unless he seems really very sick tomorrow, in which case the thesis hits the back burner yet again.

But last night R solved a big mystery about @risk and how to put in peculiar or specific distributions. In statistics, suddenly I need the artist page. Then I can draw any distribution I like to any size I like and the program will develop a formula to describe it and shove it into excel. Excellent, duude. So i made some pretty wierd distributions and ran the model again, and it works. Dude - fantastic.

Tonight we had Irish stew by candle light. Baby wants those candles, yes he doess, he wantsss them. He likes Irish stew to, while the elder son does not.

The library is just brimming with fascinating books, and the hardest part is limiting myself to only as many as I can carry. I am having a bit of a house binge, with a lot of renovation and restoration books, as well as books on architecture styles and various architects too. FLW, mmm.

R is going to be able to get our army payment towards accomodation and food while we are moving in advance - hooray. Money won't be impossible. And also we got the perfect credit card bill today - we owe nothing. Perfect.

I just recently found out what RTFM means, and it keeps ringing around my head. I'm a manual reader, and I wish more people would RTFM instead of asking me. (Doesn't that sound grumpy!)

Posted by Toni at 07:37 PM | Comments (2)

March 20, 2005

I have a theme song

Its an old song and it goes

Do you know where you're going to?
Do you like the things that life has shown you?
Where are you going to? Do you know?

Not long ago, I would say things like I would never go back teaching. They just couldn't pay enough to make me risk that kind of stress again. I would never risk getting that thin again (I lose weight when I am not coping with my life). And this weekend i got two letters from principals who would like to interview me, and this made me happy.

So why am I interested in going back teaching?

Well, I like teaching, in the classroom, with a bunch of kids. I am a natural show off, and prefer to be the center of attention like that. It is part of being a Ctrol freak. I like teachers, on the whole. There are a whole bunch of people that teach that have opinions like mine, expressed in similar ways. They are people with similar goals to me, and I feel very comfortable with most teachers. And I love it when I explain something and the person/s that i have taught understand what i have explained, and now they can do something new or know something new.

Things i hated about teaching were the crappy situations students got into which I couldn't fix, like rape and being beaten. I really don't like white trash kids, who seem to think the world owes them something ie a living, just beacuse they are white. I DO NOT want to teach horticulture - you get the dregs of the intellectual scrap heap, and are then expected to issue them with knives, clubs, spears and secateurs. I also got cranky about adminstration, but I think being a beauracrat will have healed that one.

Besides, what other job gives you 3 months holiday a year? And the money isn't awful!

It still surprises me where I find myself...

Posted by Toni at 07:59 PM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2005


I was reading this over at No Right Turn, and as i scanned down the list i wondered who of these politicians are divorced, who is related to 'illegitimate' children, or gays, or any of the other groups they think should be discriminated against. Perhaps Mr Brash should Csider introducing legislation that prevents any of these 'unclean' people from holding the office of Prime Minister. After all, then we wouldn't be led by a degenerate - which I think Don Brash is rapidly becoming, though in a different way than he would define it. Its a kind of sick thinking when you start to think of other people as not as good as yourself, its the kind of thinking you need to be able to start a war...

Posted by Toni at 07:53 AM | Comments (179)

March 17, 2005

library effect

Both me and the husband, and also the senior son are chronic book fiends. So when new books come to the house, there are grumpy people being ignored, and happy people reading books. We try very hard to ignore our family responsibilities as we read about whatever took my fancy. As I am the one that gets to choose most weeks.

At present we have about 20 books out, and I think all of them are about houses, one way or another. Guess what is on our minds...

Posted by Toni at 06:23 PM | Comments (186)

March 15, 2005

Bloody hell is farm language

We are getting told off regularly at the moment by the senior son, as we are using 'farm language' and that is not okay. it is amazing how often it sneaks out, even when I am not grumpy.

We have had a whole lotta bills lately, and have been writing and sending cheques like money Cfetti. i went to the website yesterday and the chickens have come home to roost. We now don't have the right amount for our deposit. And we only have two pays to get it. Shit, shit shit. That's farm language, for those who didn't know.

I sent off four letters to schools today requesting employment. We wished all the letters luck, and sent them fast post, cos that is lucky. For NZPost anyway. If I get a job real quick, there will be happy farm language, and I'll do it away from the senior son so I don't have to apologise.

Did you know I'm now qualified to teach primary school kids? Who knew? And that bringing up the kids counts for teaching experience? Wierdsville.

Posted by Toni at 06:42 PM | Comments (212)

March 10, 2005


Here is the paper you heard all about when I was writing it, and me and the supervisor were talking at cross purposes... It doesn't look like it was as much hard work as it was. (And all sentences like that previous one were edited out, thank goodness.)

Posted by Toni at 02:11 PM | Comments (4)

I am SUCH a nerd

the thesis has 8 chapters (or will have). And number seven is the modelling one, where I do stuff with numbers to make biological predictions. The other chapters have all been classic experimental chapters where there are a number of plants, and they are subjected to hand pollinations or Ctrolled pollinations or left in the field for unCtrolled pollinations, or there have been seeds planted, and seedlings counted. Classic classic plant science. And all that science has bored me to tears. Mostly. And writing the results has scared me, cos I don't really understand until I have a graph and can see what is going on.

The modelling chapter was scarey to think about, but now I am doing it and it is the sexiest thing ever. NO PLANTS. Just me, 30 000 numbers and a computer.

I never knew i liked maths so much. Mind you, if anything goes wrong, I run quickly to the expert! So I like it, even though I am not all that good at it. Who knew?

Posted by Toni at 08:48 AM | Comments (188)

March 08, 2005


Sometimes advertising cuts right into the bones of a world issue. Check out this one on land mines.

Posted by Toni at 09:42 AM | Comments (198)

March 07, 2005


Each night we cook food, of varying kinds. Sometimes it is stuff we want to eat, we being the adults. Other times it is stuff c wants to eat. Sometimes we luck in and whatever we have cooked is eaten at a reasonable speed by everyone. Sometimes, like tonight, we luck out and there is a huge row about eating dinner. Tonight R completely lost his rag, and screamed to try and get the kid to eat his dinner. It is stressful and unpleasant. Sometimes we just seem to be nagging and it is the only topic at the table - c's eating. He will eat most anything if there is a bribe on offer, the most suitable bribe being anything sweet. Ice-cream is the favourite, but anything sweet is good, even fruit. Which you'd think, being healthy would not work as a bribe. Tonight after we had eaten (h eats whatever is put in front of him) we did dishes and I gave h dessert as he had eaten everything and still seemed hungry. I gave h a bath. c was still getting round to eating anything. So I told him he had 5 more minutes, at which time the bell on the stove would ring and I would give his dinner to the dog. Suddenly he ate the lot. But EVERY NIGHT. By god, I'm tired of it, and I'm tired of tomorrow night's battle before it even begins.


On a happier note R found one of my old paintings in the garage, and even though it is not finished, I like it. It's nice to find my old stuff, and not cringe!

And the thesis made some decent progress today.

Posted by Toni at 06:25 PM | Comments (1)

March 05, 2005

Trying something else

Went off to t coll course today and had a reasonable time. The kindergarten next door got a bonus as R amused himself and the boys by joining into their working bee. They shovelled lots of sand into the sand pit. It worked for R as someone else with baby toys from the kindy looked after the baby while another child played with Cn, and he had some adult company as well. So everybody won. The course moved onto the cirriculum today. I know have enough literature to develop some work units and the internet as well to steal them from. So all good. I also found out there are other teachers that think the time they spent at t coll was the most boring waste of time they were involved in ever. I AM NOT ALONE.

And R has bought me home one of those ergonomic keyboards to try for a bit. This is the first typing I have tried on it and I don't know if it is going to help yet. After a whole week i will either feel better or worse, and that will indeed tell me what I want to know.

I am starting to get really excited about the new house. We got assessed by the moving company on Friday for how much space we will take up. So it is getting closer. I'm starting to imagine what it will be like living in such a big house. So exciting.

Posted by Toni at 05:14 PM | Comments (386)

March 03, 2005

Model of behaviour

I've been working on my model and it seems to be going really well. I don't know about the numbers that are coming out at the end, they seem a tad generous, but the inputs are getting tighter. I have reduced the number of numbers going in and have found some really odd mistakes. It is a good thing I am doing this run in another program as it has made me 'own' the whole formula thing instead of accepting it verbatim (if you accept numbers and formula verbatim, it seems too wordy a word for numbers). So anyway, i've been working and thinking really hard, and feel good about it.

My arms hurt a lot though. This computer set up is awful, and is NO GOOD. The sooner I finish this book the better because then this desk will be leisure and not work, and my arms will get to do something else during the day.

I've been spending more time with the puppy. We walk down to childcare in the mornings and she comes with me and h, and then spends the day with me. She is also back to going on gratuitous car rides, which she loves. She likes to sit in the baby seat (when h isn't there) and look out the window. And sleep in the car seat while we go and do whatever we have to.

Today that included looking at leadlight windows. There are a lot of beautiful bits of glass out there to turn into even more beautiful pictures. New Hobby, here I come!

Posted by Toni at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2005

An outbreak of spaniels

Or perhaps better described as the spaniels are breaking out?

Yesterday I played host to two springer spaniels while their owner came home to rescue me. And I must be a nice person to visit, because Patch came back to visit again today.

The neighbour and I were speculating as to how they got out, and were just looking at the fence when Patch sailed over it. "That'll be how", we wisely said to each other.

I wonder if it will be three days in a row, and whether I get Patch, Cindy or both tomorrow. Well are they named springer spaniels...

Posted by Toni at 07:01 PM | Comments (1)

Walking into exhaustion

Walked all the way to Plunket, not that far. Walked from Plunket to Childcare, A Very Long Way. Walked from childcare to home. Not that far. But add it all up and it came to asking R to pick up h from childcare as I wasn't up to walking there again.

Bubs weighs 8.6 kg, and I carried him a lot of the above journey. He is now below average, and we are going to try to remember to feed him more often. But not so much that it matters. Its probably just that he is busy.

Course last night TOO waffly. But I suspect you couldn't explain NCEA without a degree of waffling, its not all that straightforward.

Printer rather sick. Dangnabbit.

Worked out why I am not actually writing letters seeking a job - what if I get turned down? Then my problems are big. So I'm not writing then I don't know and then I can pretend there is hope. See the dumb mind work. Because if I do write and get a job then things will be better. And if I don't get a job, at least I know. But without a printer, I'm stymied anyway.

Dumb mind.

Posted by Toni at 12:23 PM | Comments (188)