Posts Tagged ‘character traits’

As most of my readers would know by now, I’m a mum with three young children. And as the type of person who always thinks long-term – well, when my eldest was just a few months old, I decided to go down the “rechargeable battery” journey.
So I splurged on a good quality recharger and a number of packets of green ‘Varta’ batteries, AA and AAA size.
Fast forward several years, and I’m still buying packets of rechargeable batteries whenever I see them on special while grocery shopping. I use them for everything; and now that we’ve finally joined the ranks of being Wii owners, we’re using batteries more than ever! Which is fine.
I was pretty stoked last week. I scored not one but two packets of 4 AA batteries (silver cases, not the green ones which I prefer) for only $4 each! I was a little bummed though, that when I got home and tried charging them, they wouldn’t charge. Hence my trip to BatteryWorld this week. And this is what I learned:
Varta batteries are made in both Germany and Malaysia. BatteryWorld don’t stock them anymore, because they couldn’t get the German-made ones.
The AA batteries I had bought last week should have held about a 1.2 charge. They were holding a charge of around 0.6 – which is pretty crappy, really. No wonder they weren’t charging!
I told the guy at the counter that when I charged a newly bought, silver cased Varta battery with one of my older, green cased Varta ones, they’d charge. When I tried charging two of the silver ones together, they wouldn’t.
His advice:
– charge batteries that you buy together, together. Don’t mix and match battery charging; as in, don’t charge batteries that you bought at different times, together, because they’ll have been manufactured in different places with different metals. They’ll have different levels of charge.
– When you charge batteries, they’ll both only charge to the lowest level of charge. So if you charge a good battery with a dud one, the good battery will only be charged to the level of the dud one. You weaken the good battery; and it’s very very very difficult to get the charge up again.

I also bought a new brand of batteries, on his recommendation. Eneloop. Write it down. Because not only were they bright, sparkly and multi-coloured (yes, I’m writing this with my tongue in my cheek here) but their 8 pack of AA batteries also had the BEST packaging I’ve ever seen on batteries (and no, I’m not being silly now – as as marketer, I was impressed with how customer-friendly their product packaging was) but what had me over-the-top impressed was the 2 D-size batteries I also tried to buy.

Because I didn’t end up buying D batteries. Instead, I bought D cases. Which fit AA-sized batteries.

Yes – that’s right. How incredibly AMAZING is this idea! You buy a D sized case, and slot a AA battery inside! When it runs out, just click it out and put a new AA sized battery in. How AWESOME!!!!!

So. I’m sold. Just thought I’d let you know!

 

Have a great day, dear readers!!!

— Ceridwyn

Hubby likes to sleep in. Fair enough – he has an extremely intense job, and he needs his recovery time.

I’m an early bird. I’ve never really enjoyed staying in bed when I could be up and doing stuff. (I go to bed late too, but that’s probably an insomnia thing…) I’m always up and about by 6. Often by 5.30 – and regularly, much earlier.

Our kids seem  to follow my ‘early rising’ habits, which Hubby doesn’t particularly appreciate. But it was funny, the conversation the other morning.

Hubby: “You slept in until after 6.30 this morning, [Miss 8]. Well done!”

Miss 8: “Yes, I’m learning. I like sleeping in! I try to sleep in until 7 o’clock on weekdays, but Mummy won’t let me!”

(It was at this point that I choked on my toast. I laughed, hard, for a long time. We have to leave for school before 7.30 if we’re going to get there on time – and getting them ready by 7.30 only happens when they all are out of bed by 6am.)

It was really a very very very funny moment!

I’ve blogged before about my TV watching habits. Well, on the recommendation of @joeyroo1, I watched Grimm last week. And again last night (taped from Wednesday night, when I was busy trying to get my bomb-site of a kitchen in some semblance of order). So. Grimm. Not bad, I must admit. Pretty witty in places too, which I wasn’t expecting! A lot darker than I’m used to, but I like the premise. Hopefully the storyline will get a little deeper though – the three episodes I’ve watched to date (this week’s was a double episode) have been rather similar, and I can see it getting old rather quickly, if it remains this repetitive. Not when you compare it to “Once Upon a Time”, which also started last week and which has quickly become my all-time favourite TV show. The script-writing is clever – to drag the ‘Snow White’ story into a second season, it would need to be! But even this show, with the introduction of Mulan and Lancelot in the second series, is becoming rather predictably far-fetched. I mean – how many extra characters do you need to add in here?!!

Be that as it may, I was thinking about Grimm as I fell asleep last night. And something occurred to me. They mentioned that “Marie”, the protagonist’s Aunt and ‘mentor’ in the area of ‘fighting evil creatures’ was a Librarian. Which makes sense, in that she needed to research the huge variety of evil creatures, in order to know how to kill them; and then pass this wealth of knowledge onto her nephew. And so yes, research and keeper of information, seems to go hand in hand with the occupation of Librarian. So far, so good. But you add her moonlighting (haha) as a sword-weilding killer of evil fantasy creatures, and then her character becomes enviable. I mean – who *wouldn’t* want to be that kind of a secret hero? That’s what all the comic books told us when we were kids, right? That to be good, and fight evil, and protect the innocent who were unfortunate enough to not have any super-powers… that’s what we’re all brought up on, right? So here she is, a little old Librarian, all the more pitiable because she’s little, and (apparently) frail, because she’s dying of cancer and keeps slipping into and out of comas at the most inconvenient of times, so that her nephew who is new to all this killing werewolves etc has to turn to  a ‘good’ werewolf for help, and then she calls on super-human strength to wield swords, daggers etc and overpower people trying to kill her, and kill them instead. I mean – how cool is that?!!

And it occurred to me that I – me – am studying to be a Librarian. Yes, now that my Application for Advanced Standing was approved just a few weeks back, now I have just two courses and my 100 hours Prac to do, and I’ll be fully qualified to stand behind the desk in a Library and help people. By day. And maybe be a superhero by night.

Hopefully I won’t end up frail and weak, dying of cancer. Maybe I’ll be a Librarian like Superman’s mum was, or along the lines of Batgirl?! Or maybe I’ll just getthe qualification and keep on keeping on with Bloxham Marketing, and be a SuperHero marketer?!! Whatever happens, I guess, remains to be seen. Which do *you* think I should opt for?

Image credited to IMDb at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1830617/

That’s how my life feels right now. It’s just so jam-packed… and I love it! Okay – I’m up again, on my computer, posting at 5.52 am, after settling Mr 3 at 2.48am and again at 3.52am, and then deciding to just stay up because I’ve got so much to do anyway…

So the weekend before last, Hubby and I spent Saturday together. No kids. (Yes, this is actually rare enough that it rates a mention. Sad, really…!) and we visited IKEA. We’ve been married almost 18 years, and only now am I learning that his dislike of ‘clutter’ means that he dislikes bookshelves. He prefers furniture with doors – cupboards, wardrobes, buffets, etc etc). Rather a revelation for a wife who loves books (yes, @jobeaz, the physical variety! I haven’t really warmed to the whole idea of eBooks yet!) and who has lots and lots… and lots of them.

Never mind; I’m adaptable. So I started planning how to ‘de-clutter’ (without spending too much money, of course!) and this meant that yesterday was furniture-moving day. I re-worked the girl’s bedroom (Miss 7 got the shock of her life when she got home from school!), Mr 3’s bedroom, our bedroom, the dining room, and have started on the lounge room. This Saturday will see two large pieces of lounge room furniture moved to my in-laws, to make room for the new TV/entertainment unit (not yet purchased, but it’ll be coming from IKEA) and the new lounge (again, not yet ordered, but this will be from Fantastic Furniture because I really like their ‘storage’ lounges) – oh, and the orientation of the furniture in the lounge will also change 90%. So it’ll be (eventually) like a whole new house. (And maybe that’s why it’s been over 15 years since I visited IKEA!)

So that was yesterday. On the work front, I discovered last night that a tweet I sent got retweeted by three people.

One of these accounts has over 19,000 followers! And a reply tweet I got form another of these people (in South Africa, by the way) said that she loved my link; and that her friends were currently sharing it around on Facebook. So how COOL is social media!!!

What is it about challenges that makes us want to rise to them? Is it the thoughts of bettering ourselves? Is it that we have a measurable amount of achievement? Or is it, in a more public challenge, that we have an audience to try to impress?
Whatever the reason, I wondered if everyone is like me, once the challenge is over. Case in point: #blogjune. Here, on this blog, I attempted to post an entry on every day in June. For the most part, I was successful in meeting this challenge. In addition to blogging daily, I also wanted to try and blog before 10am. I wasn’t always successful at this, however I was pretty proud at how many times I *did* manage to!

And overall, in the whole #blogjune challenge, I think I only missed one day. And seeing as I caught that day up, on the following day, and I also posted an extra one on the “100 books meme” that inspired me, I feel as though I achieved in this challenge far better than I had hoped for. Especially when you compare it to last year’s #blogjune challenge, where I missed  about a dozen days, and decided to try and catch them all up, right at the end of the month!
However… that was then, this is now. The blogging challenge finished last Saturday. And, in this public arena, it is now obvious that I haven’t posted on here since then. So, what is it about the ‘challenge’, that makes us want to rise to it? Why could I blog daily every day for 30 days, and yet as soon as the challenge finished, find myself too busy to continue the habit? It’s a bit sad, really. (And thanks for the nudge, @joeyroo1, for even getting this one posted!)

Today is the last day of June. Today I’m finishing this #blogjune challenge, where I’ve tried diligently to blog every day. This was my second attempt at #blogjune, and I’m proud to say that I was a lot more consistent this year!

So, according to my calendar, I am one year older. I wonder however, whether or not it’s possible to measure if I am one year wiser?!

I certainly had a lot of new experiences this year. Since my last #blogjune, I have (in chronological-ish order):
Studied an elective outside the LIS sphere. I didn’t like it.
– Added six new clients to my new “Bloxham Marketing” business.
– Started, and finished, gymnastics lessons for Miss 7.
– Started, and have continued with, swimming lessons for Miss 7.
– Used the #blog12daysxmas challenge to start blogging regularly again.
Read so many Jane Austen novels that I initiated the #blog5daysAustenese challenge… and had four brave fellow bloggers join me in the journey!
Presented a 3 hour digital marketing presentation live on LEQ TV.
Plucked up enough courage to see if Mr 3 was autistic.
Had my daughter’s eyes tested, and sure enough Miss 7 now wears glasses for reading.
– Supported a good friend who was doctoring in New Guinea. We’d meet each other daily, online, and hold each other accountable in our Christian walks.

– Scored a HD in INN530 Online Information Services, courtesy of the truly wonderful @katiedatwork (still can’t believe that one. SOOOOOOOOOO majorly STOKED!!!!!!)

So… older? Yes. That bit’s inevitable. Wiser? I’m not so sure. I certainly hope so, though! And here ends the #blogjune challenge for another year. I wonder what will happen between this one and the 2013 version? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Thanks for sharing this journey with me, dear readers. Your support is far more of an encouragement than you could ever know. You guys rock!!!

So for my day 17 #blogjune last night, I posted a question. Thanks for the responses! Yes, it was tricky without context – I had deliberately given none, so as to not bias your answers. But here ’tis…

A couple of nights ago, Hubby and I were talking about our children, and their emerging personalities. I mentioned that Miss 4 was cruisy (in comparison to Miss 7 and Mr 3) and that she took after him. I think he got a little offended at my summation of his character, as he immediately retorted, “Cruisy?!! I’m not cruisy!!!”

I explained further. “In comparison to me, I mean. Compared to me, you’re cruisy.”

“Compared to you, Ceridwyn, Road Runner is cruisy!” was his immediate reply. At which I laughed uncontrollably, because although I knew that I was a pretty intense person when it came to doing stuff – a lot of stuff – in a short amount of time (hey – I’ve only got one life; I want to cram in as much as possible and live it to its fullest!) I didn’t think that I was so full-on that I made Road Runner look crusiy!

So, yes, my immediate thought was ‘hey – that’s cool! Yeh, I like that; that’s a pretty apt description of me!”

However… I’ve since related the story to some IRL friends. And they agreed with him; but unlike me, they weren’t laughing uncontrollably when they heard it. And that made me realise that Hubby hadn’t either. And that made me ask him, “Did you mean that as a compliment? Or was it actually an insult? Or an indictment on me?” His answer, “Ceridwyn, you over-think things!” wasn’t entirely satisfactory, and what was worse was knowing that it’d probably be the last answer I’d get from him on the topic. Hence my question to you all yesterday.

My IRL friends, although agreeing with Hubby, had not necessarily thought of it as a compliment – but rather, took it as a warning that I should probably stop “burning the candle at both ends”. Online responses tended to lean towards the ‘Yep; it’s a compliment”. I think I’d prefer to side with the latter. LOL!

So anyway, that’s my take on it. I’m an intense person who travels through her life at a million miles an hour. And that can be a good thing – but I need to remember than others choose to not do this, and that’s okay. Which is REALLY important to remember when I’m travelling through life with an autistic Mr 3!

CC Image courtesy mark_gilmour at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mark_gilmour/5473967864/

My post yesterday was about how Mr 3, my autistic son, sees the world differently. I shared a few examples – making a seesaw out of train tracks, playing both controls of a two-player playstation game, because his big sister was at school, and using the ‘word’ instead of the ‘picture’ to match cards in a Speech Therapy ‘game’.

I had a bit of response to this post – I apparently was nominated for ‘The Sunshine Award‘ (not that I know how this all works! But I’m extremely flattered, nonetheless! Thanks, butimbeautiful!); and on twitter I caused @jobeaz to *sniff* at what she thought was a ‘beautiful post’ and @gigglesigh to make the comment ‘different minds open your eyes to new things… new experiences’.

Her tweet made me stop and think. Yes, that’s so true. And I replied to this effect, hinting that I hadn’t always felt this way.

And then I thought that I’d like to explore this idea further in a blog post. So here ’tis.

I have always been a perfectionist. I’m smart, okay. Smart enough to realise that that last sentence sounds remarkably conceited, and I’ve just lost all but maybe two of my readers. But I’ll continue anyway, because I want to nut this out in my own head, and sometimes that’s easiest when I’m typing. So anyway…

Yes, I’m a perfectionist. I’m bossy. I know that I can get things done, and they’ll probably get done pretty well – if they get done *my* way. And Ghylene’s tweet made me realise that, you know what? I’m actually not entirely comfortable with “new things… new experiences”. I want things to be the best they can be, because I’m a perfectionist, and for that to happen, I need to be in control of it. Yes, I’m probably one of the biggest control freaks that you have ever met. Yes, I like ‘new things… new experiences’… but only on *my* terms.

So to *suddenly* (haha) have an autistic son has really thrown my world out-of-kilter. Suddenly I’m not in control – and, worse still, I’m aware of this fact. Suddenly I have a little body in my life who does things unexpectedly; and although the things that he does may often be those that society deems as ‘not appropriate’ (i.e. banshee screams accompanying tantrums where he loses any semblance of self-control) – reacting to these things as I would react to any other ‘normal’ child, by assuming that they are engaging in intentional misbehaviour, is also wrong. Because his reactions, although these may be ‘abnormal’ by   my / our / society’s standards? These reactions *are* normal for him. And that has been a difficult adjustment for my 37 year old brain to make.

A few months ago, when Mr 3 was officially diagnosed and I was on the biggest emotional roller coaster I’d ever been on, I was overwhelmed with the support I received from many, many, many, online friends. One such, sent me a link to a blog post written by another mum whose son had recently been diagnosed with autism. She wrote about how her life had substantially changed, overnight, without warning. She described it as planning a holiday to one country, (I think it was Greece?) but had ended up in another (Italy? from memory…). And how it took a huge amount of adjustment, but then she was able to reflect on the beauty that lay in the new path she’d found herself on.

I think that slowly, I’m starting to appreciate some aspects of my new path. It’s taking a while. I cry – like when Miss 7 identifies a storybook character as autistic – from the very first page – and she’s right (Wrong Way, a book about three duckings and their mother who tries to cope) – like when Mr 3 finally says ‘Bye, bye, Mummy”, in context, and gets it sounding almost recognisable, and I realise that he is just so darn far behind his peers because he’s almost 3 1/2 and children who’ve just turned 2 can speak more intelligibly – like right now, when I’m writing, thinking of my beautiful little boy and how I love him so much and want to protect him from all the crap that life can dish out…

Anyway, I just wanted to get that out there. I’m a perfectionist, and a control freak, and I need to change all that. Hopefully,  prayerfully, day by day, I am…

Focussed

Posted: June 3, 2012 in #blogjune
Tags: , , , ,

There’s no doubt about it, Mr 3 can get focussed. Very, very focussed. For the past couple of days it’s been our Thomas the Tank Engine set that’s captured his attention. Prior to this, it was the PS2, and before these, it was my iPod.
When he focusses, he gets absorbed. Completely consumed by the task before him.

20120603-053205.jpg
Train in each hand, puzzling out his next move, that’s my boy! And yes, that sounds about right for any 3 year old boy too, right? Well, yes. And I love that.
The trouble is, just five minutes after this photo was taken, we had to head out shopping. And it was his reaction to this turn of events that wasn’t ‘about right’ for any 3 year old boy. Yes, he had a tantrum. Yes, he screamed in frustration and kicked his train track and broke it into several pieces. Yes, he thrashed against me, who had picked him up and was attempting to hold him tight and calm him down.

Yes, all of which (it could be argued) is also fairly typical for any 3 year old boy. But it was the sheer strength (and length!) of such reactions that, had anyone who didn’t know my little cherub, been within earshot of my house at that time, they would have thought, “That’s not normal. There’s something wrong with that kid.” And it’s that, which concerns me. Not their thoughts – but the fact that they had them. The fact that he has such huge tantrums which are out of character for what society says is ‘normal’ – but completely in character for a little autistic boy who sees the world differently to ‘normal’.  And when circumstances occur that cause a mismatch between our view of the wold and his, then he’s going to let you know about it, darn it!

You see, he was happy playing with Thomas. Figuring out his next move, train in each hand. Completely and utterly absorbed. And he wanted to remain this way until *he* had finished; until *he* had decided that it was time to take a break. Having parents come and tell him that no, it was time to go *now* just didn’t fit with his view of ‘the way the world should work’. So he communicated his frustrations the only way that he knew how. Helping him to see that wrecking his train track wasn’t the best choice to make – because we wouldn’t be gone forever, and he could keep playing once we got back – was difficult. But I managed it, and once he understood that we’d be back fairly soon, he was more than happy to go and put on his sandals (and hat! Don’t forget the hat!) and hop into the car. It was just that initial lack of understanding that caused the problem.

And that’s my concern. Because at the moment, he’s three. But ‘turn around twice’ and he’ll be five, ready to head to school, and how on earth is his Prep teacher meant to handle such tantrums?

The way I see it, I have a small window of opportunity – just eighteen months, or thereabouts – to teach him resilience. To teach him that his view of  the world, although completely valid, is not the only one; and that others are equally valid. To teach him how to react – how to behave – when his viewpoint collides with others. To teach him the protocols which the world considers ‘acceptable’; ‘normal’ even – although I’ve come to realise that there really *isn’t* any such thing as ‘normal’.

And at the same time; I want to enjoy his ability to focus whole-heartedly. Have a great day, dear readers!

The past couple of nights I’ve had around 6 hours sleep (each night) and I am feeling SO much more refreshed each morning! Yeah, I know, 6 hours isn’t enough – but I actually tried last night to get more, but my body wouldn’t let me – I was wide awake at 4.41 and itching to get up and start my day. But I’m sure that my body will get ‘into the habit’ of having more sleep again… hopefully soon!
On a different note, it got me thinking about ‘habits’, which ones we deliberately try to cultivate, and the types of habits that just accumulate in our lives, so slowly that we don’t even notice that they’re forming until they’re rock solid and difficult to move.
Insomnia is a medical condition which I often say that I have. I don’t know if that’s actually true or not, as I’ve never been medically diagnosed with it. Maybe it’s just a habit I’ve formed. I just seem to have lots to get done during the day, and so am up late at night. Or instead, I’ll get up early the following morning, or at other times I’ll wake up during the night, work for a few hours, then go back to bed again. I don’t know if that’s insomnia or not. But I just know that it’s pointless to lie in bed when my brain is racing, planning how to tackle all ‘the things that need to be done’. If I get up, write them down (or actually start working on them) then my brain shuts up quicker and I can get back to sleep. Sound familiar? Or is that just me?
Other ‘habits’ that I know I should probably do something about? Sarcasm. Negativity. Perfectionism. Procrastination. But I’m going to indulge in some of that last one now, and leave dealing with the others until another blog post. LOL!
Have a great day, readers!