Saturday, 18 August 2012

Are they 'too young' to play chess?

Image from here
Nugget and Doo Dah like a game of chess. They were taught by a friend, helped along by a "Chess for Beginners" book. It is a favourite rainy day activity for them to lock horns over the black and white board.

We were at the library last week, exchanging books and idling away some time. Nugget spotted the over-sized chess board in the corner. His eyes lit up, he grabbed Doo Dah by the hand and they headed over to it for a game.

There was a little old woman sitting in a chair by the board. She was reading her latest find and looked to have settled in for the afternoon.

As I approached the boys at the chess board, arms laden with children's books, the lady was busily telling the boys that the chess board was for adults. "You're too young to play", she proclaimed.

Nugget's face dropped, but he stated "We play all the time. We know the rules. We play properly".

She wasn't convinced. "No", she said. "This board is for grown-ups".

I jumped in, reassuring her that I would supervise their game. The board was safe in their hands.

She humphed, looked on for a couple of turns, and then retreated to another chair in the library.

Nugget whipped Doo Dah's butt, but both boys had a fantastic time playing "big people"chess with great big chess pieces.

Did we encounter a case of ageism? Or just patch protection? Do you or yours enjoy a game of chess?

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Tackling the diastasis recti

Image from here. Not my tummy but I can relate.
I wrote a post once about the state of my stomach after my pregnancies. For those of you new to this blog, I had three pregnancies in quick succession, the last of which resulted in twins weighing 3.24kg and 3.36kgs. I have been stretched to billy-o but unfortunately, I haven't managed to spring back.

One of the things on my 52in52 list* was to investigate what I can do about the gaping hole in the middle of my stomach aka diastasis recti. It doesn't cause me pain per se but extreme discomfort and a high ick factor when I watch the progress of my lunch through my intestines. Not normal.
I got a referral to see a public hospital plastic surgeon and I had my appointment last week. He acknowledged that, yes I do have a medical issue (7cm separation with large umbilicial hernia), that yes it does need to be remedied with surgery, but no they probably can't do it in the public hospital system.

I understand that my need for surgery is not as pressing as much of the other work that they do to help people with life-threatening cancers, burns etc. I really do. I knew that it was a long shot, but I have to say it kind of sucks to know that you need to save thousands of dollars, just to have yourself put back together.

The surgeon is taking my case (including lovely photos) to the Head of Plastics for his consideration. I might be one of the lucky ones who is 'bad enough' to get help in the public hospital system (cross your fingers for me). But it begs the question: what will I do if I am not?

Have you had surgery to remedy diastasis recti? Know someone else who did? How did you manage to get it done?

*Incidentally, I am currently re-working this to a 101 in 1001 list as I have managed to complete 38 items on my list and not the rest...

Monday, 6 August 2012

I can totally live without...

Canoe sprinting. Image from here
I have been making a list of things I can totally live without.

Walking from the edge of the Antarctica to the South pole and back a la Cas and Jonesy is high on the list. Assisted or not assisted, I don't need to deal with blizzards, freezing temperatures and endless white. Snow of any persuasion is not my idea of fun. Kudos to the boys who did it. I won't be challenging their record. Ever.

Their other adventure 'across the ditch', from Australia to New Zealand, isn't rating with me either. Although I love to paddle, the "sleeping" in a tiny boat, a victim of the ocean storms and navigating my way with no landmarks to assist, makes this an absolute never, ever for me.

Then there is cave diving. I would scuba dive, but I am not turned on by the thought of diving into a confined space that is dark and unknown. Call it claustrophobia, but tight spaces are not a selling point for me, especially when I need to suck on a pipe to breath. No sirree. Not for me.

The last thing recently added to this list is canoe sprinting. I just watched it on the Olympics and it looks unbearably uncomfortable. Hunched over a short oar, while kneeling in a narrow vessel spells trouble to me. Good luck to those who like the sport. I won't be joining the fraternity.

So tell me, what would make your list of things you can totally live without trying?

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Protecting your mattresses

Image from here
We lost another single bed mattress last week. A victim of one too many bodily fluid spills. The poor thing had started growing mould in protest. I took one look and deemed it a WHS hazard and it went on the scrap heap.

All in all that rogue wee has cost us almost $500!

We had to buy a new mattress, of course. The camping mat has been lots of fun for a few nights, but I wouldn't be much of a Mum if I let my child sleep on the floor for the rest of his life, would I?

We got a 'bunkmate' mattress. It is lighter than the average mattress but still has springs, which will at least overcome the issue of making the top bunk. Bunks are great space savers but they are a nightmare to manage.

I haggled with the saleslady over the $45 delivery fee (we live less than 3km from the store), but she got me back by insisting that I get a new mattress protector for the new mattress. Mattress 'protectors' have cost me a cot mattress in the past due to sweaty gits sleeping, sweating and 'wetting' the mattress enough to mould it up*. She promises this one will be different, but we will see...

I then forked out $200 on 'Brolly sheets', enough for all the kids' beds. I am over toilet training. It feels like it will never end.

How do you protect your children's mattresses?

* And just in case you think I am not washing the sheets enough, my own bed has a 15 year old mattress that is completely mold free, but due for replacement due to age.


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Do you 'flu vac?

Image from here

I am all for public health. I get that immunizing our children is probably a good thing for the community, even though it isn't necessarily the best thing for the individual.

And the human papilloma anti-viral, now available to boys? Well, that just makes sense. I am sure the incidence of cancers of the nether regions will reduce directly as a result.

What I don't get is this 'flu vac for all thing. I catch public transport. I hear the coughs and splutters every day. We are surrounded by sick people. They share the love. I sure don'tlike it, but I get it.

But why would a healthy young (ish) person get a 'flu vac? We get free 'flu vaccinations at work (one of the MANY perks of working for the government; that and QUALITY technology circa 2004 but I digress)...It protects you from only one of the many strains of influenza (and not particularly well if  my colleagues are a random sample).

Just use a handkerchief or tissue if you making sweet love with a virus. And wash your hands. You know, after the toilet, when you eat, when you attend to a sick child. That is your best defense in my opinion. And get rid of all those anti-bacterial products you clean your house with while you are at it. There's nothing like a few household germs to build your immune system.

'Flu vacs are for the very young and the very old. The rest of us need to look after our general health and stay at home if we are inflicted.

Bring on Spring. The orchestra of coughing on the trains is doing my head in.
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