Friday, 29 July 2011

First born.

Maya is lucky to have a great grandmother still alive, who is my grandmother on my mother's side.  What makes this even more special to me, is that my grandmother, my mother, Maya and I are all first born women.

So when Maya was born I decided that I wanted a picture taken of all four of us together.  My grandmother was 87 years old at the time and had lost her husband a few months prior.  So I wanted to get the photo done sooner rather than later.  But it was hard to organise all four of us together at the same time.  Until Maya's first birthday when all four of us came together.  But none of the photos turned out.

I had always meant to try again and then forgot all about it once my mother got sick.  But after my mother passed I lamented the fact that I never got the picture I wanted.

Then recently my aunt turned up with a picture of the four of us.  I had forgotten that we had all made it to my cousin's house warming together in December 2009.  And my aunt had captured the four of us together on her camera.

A copy of the photo now sits framed on my mantel.  Four generations of first born women.  And I can't even describe how grateful I am to have this picture.  This picture I sought because my grandmother was of advanced age and could pass any time. 

But it turned out I wasn't racing the clock for her passing but for my mothers instead.  And if I hadn't been trying to get a photo with my grandmother in it, I wouldn't have this photo with my mother in it.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Wallace and Gromit.

One of Maya's favourite shows is Wallace and Gromit.  It's about a guy (Wallace) and his dog (Gromit) and they get up to all kinds of adventures together.

So when the decision was made for Maya to have grommets, we realised that this was a word she was already familiar with, as the name of the dog Gromit.  What made the whole explanation even more complicated (amusing) was that her doctor's name is Wallis.

Can you imagine the images those words would conjure up in Maya's mind?

Saying "Maya Doctor Wallis is going to put grommets in your ears".

Might be heard as "Maya Wallace is going to put Gromit in your ears".

She'd probably be excited about seeing Wallace and Gromit but unsure about a dog in her ears.

We decided to call the surgeon by his first name and tell her that she was having tubes put in her ears.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

To minimise our ecological footprint we can reduce what we buy, reuse items where possible and recycle what can't be reused again.

One quick and easy change that can be made is to switch to recycled toilet paper.  It's a change Greg and I made many years ago but it seems this change isn't being adopted by the majority of Australians.  According to Wipe It Out,  95% of Australian's still buy non-recycled toilet paper.

Using non-recycled toilet paper means that trees are cut down to make those rolls.  Less trees means less homes for wildlife and affects climate change.

Recycled toilet paper is comfortable to use and comparable on cost.  And it is made from post-consumer waste, which protects more trees from being cut down.

From Zoos Victoria's Wipe for Wildlife campaign:
Things to look out for in a good recycled toilet paper product are:
  • Manufactured from 100% post-consumer waste
  • Made is Australia
  • Uses no harsh chemicals
Choice has also come up with a list of which toilet papers to buy in Australia, which you can find here.

And here's a little video to end off this post:

Wipe for Wildlife CSA from Zoos Victoria on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Ecological Footprint.

I have been thinking about doing a series on ways to reduce our environmental impact.  This is a topic I am extremely passionate about. 

I believe we are damaging our planet at an alarming rate but there are things we can do as individuals to reduce our impact.  And the more people who reduce their impact the more preservation will result.

This is my opinion and it is a strong opinion.  But it is backed up by current research and findings and I will present this research too.

Being so passionate about reducing my impact on our world means I find it so frustrating when others don't seem to have this same approach.  I wonder at times what's the point of me trying to make a difference if others aren't.  I'm not sure if others don't care or don't realise the impact or don't realise that there are many small changes that can be made that all add up.

I'm not saying I'm perfect.  There are still many changes I could (and want to) make to reduce my impact.  But there are some very easy changes that can be made quickly and I have made many of these changes.

Today I calculated my ecological footprint and my result was that it takes 4.1 global hectares of the Earth's productive area to support my lifestyle.  What this equates to is that if everyone lived like I do then we'd need 2.3 Earths to provide enough resource.  Yes I still have a way to go.  But according to EPA Victoria, the average Victorian needs 6.8 global hectares of land to sustain his or her lifestyle.  So I am doing better than the average Victorian.

If you'd like to calculate your ecological footprint you can use the same one I used: here  (requires Flash).  Or there are others on the web if you search for 'ecological footprint calculator'.

Monday, 11 July 2011


We're going on a family holiday in a couple of months and usually we leave our cat Cleo with my mother to look after, but obviously that's not an option this time.  So I started looking into catteries.  And I don't know much about them, because I've never used one before, but I came across one that just seems a little over the top to me.

A stay at this cattery includes a free massage for your cat, happy hour every day with treats and your cat can even watch some TV.

Check out the promo video

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Identifying colours.

One of Maya's favourite topics at the moment is colours.  She wants to know the names of colours as well as what colour things are.

I was feeling pretty confident about this particular topic.  I am good at naming colours.

"What colour is this?" Maya would ask, pointing to a red car.
"Red", I'd say.

"What colour is this?" Maya would ask, pointing to a green leaf.
"Green", I'd say.

Until Maya asked "What colour is this?", pointing to her nose.
"Oh ummm.. errrrr..  skin coloured??"

Is skin colour a colour?

And then there are all those shades of colours out there that are a combination of tones, like well "greeny, reddy, browny coloured" or "bluey, purpley, black coloured".

Hmm.. identifying colours is harder than I thought.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Whatcha doing?

There are still a lot of things Maya doesn't know or understand about the world.  She regularly asks questions to seek new information.  And currently she is very interested in what I or others around us are 'doing'.  But she will not just ask about new events.  She also asks about things she has seen many times before.  She even asks me what I am doing when it is completely obvious what I am doing.

Now a dinner conversation might go something like this:

Maya: "Whatcha doing?"
Me: "Eating dinner."
A few minutes later.
Maya: "Whatcha doing mummy?"
Me "I'm still eating dinner."
A few minutes later.
Maya "Whatcha doing?"
Me: *sigh*