Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Motherhood Pride

Sun dog
It is written that pride comes before a fall. This kind of pride, however, translates as a celebration of achievements - not haughty arrogance!

I’m proud of having a little baby daughter who will have a brother or sister in a few months. The journey of parenthood is the one I am most proud of. It is the greatest and most rewarding challenge, and a realization of my full potential as a mother. Children are the greatest treasure of life.

I have also just finished the biggest academic achievement of my life – a PhD in physiology and hormones. This has been a lot of effort both before after my first was born. There were a lot of difficulties, but with understanding supervisors and supportive colleagues I have been able to complete this work. But please, just call me Ursula J

I’m so lucky to have a husband who cares so much about his family. And to have a mum , dad, and sisters who provide a stoic team of support. I am also blessed with an unusual assortment of friends each unique and diverse. So many different countries, so many different beliefs – but one thing is clear, they are all really good people and I’m proud to know them.

Lastly but not least, I’m so happy to have written and illustrated my first children’s picture book which has been dedicated to my children. I’m proud to have sisters (including a twin) who share my enthusiasm for writing and drawing amongst other things. These are some things I’m most proud of.

Would anyone like to share your mother’s pride?

Monday, 19 March 2012

Tuatara – a modern aged dinosaur

Exclusive to New Zealand, Tuatara are the sole survivors of an ancient order of reptiles existent at the time of the dinosaurs millions of years ago. Although looking similar on the outside, tuatara are completely distinct from lizards, but share the ability to ‘lose’ their tails when under attach. The tail then regenerates. They also have a primitive light-sensitive‘third’ eye on the top of their heads which is only apparent in hatchlings – thereafter this gets covered by scales. Tuatara take 15 years (±5) to mature to adulthood. After the male and female join, the eggs take 1 to 1.25 years to be laid, and a further 12 -15 months to hatch. Tuatara are active at temperatures as low as 4ยบC which is much cooler then most other reptiles can tolerate. These reptiles are approximately 45-65 cm long depending on gender, and can live to over 100 years. Pretty amazing. I saw one in Sydney’s Toronga Zoo (pictured).

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Books for young brains

Like a good teacher, an inspirational book is just what will make kids want to learn. I like books that are eduational, they teach something about life and the world, and show how to behave in ways I would want my kids to act. Positive fun stories to engage attention, promote good sleep, or encourage learning about how things work. One of the aspects of life in my book (Crystal's Gallant Adventures: The Mountain Pass Back to Valley Flats) is about having a meaningful role in society. This is shown by the books illustrations, which do not interfere with but rather enhance the story. Many problems stem from people not feeling they have a meaningful part to play in life. Thus it is important, at a young age, to nurture purpose and the diverse roles people can have in society.