Monday 22 September 2014

I had the joy of Ikea flatpacks today. And the non-joy of the pain in my thumb from using that hard little allen key to screw it all together.

We went to Ikea yesterday and bought two lamps and a metal table thing that we’re going to use just inside the back door to put cat food on the top and shoes on the two shelves. The lamps were for my study (a floor lamp to read by in the armchair) and a floor lamp for Jericho and Soren’s room since their ceiling light is so dim they’re practically playing in the dark in there. It wasn’t a bad trip, especially considering it was a Sunday afternoon- it was crowded but we only had Emma and Soren which made it much easier to navigate.

Nicholai and Jericho weren’t with us because they went with Steve to the VFL grand final. Footscray were playing, and since they’re the reserves team for Nicholai’s beloved Bulldogs he really wanted to see it. They both had a good time, made even better when Footscray won at the end of a close game. Nice for Nick to see his team take victory for once!

Today was the first weekday of the holidays. As always, I am just astounded by how LOUD my kids are! Seriously, they played together really well today (generally speaking) but they do it all at maximum volume and it just makes my head ring! I keep thinking they’re fighting, but they’re all just yelling at each other for fun. They played a game of Monopoly this morning (even Soren, that was a little surprising) and used up all their poker chips on electronics in the afternoon. Nicholai made up a soccer league and planned out the draw, and Emma and Jericho and Soren all played in a mud puddle that smelled like a bog. It was gross.

I made the Ikea stuff and baked a cake and did some writing and refereed the children. The usual stuff. Quite frankly I’m thinking it’s going to be bedtime very soon for some children. Or many children, ha ha ha.


Saturday 20 September 2014

Jericho spent part of today hobbling around using the rainbow, glitter filled baton as a cane and peering through Harry Potter glasses while he called himself Professor Pinstall. I have no idea where this character came from, but he was completely hilarious. His voice, his face, his sticking out neck and hunched over back…it was so completely well done. Perhaps he should become an actor?

Professor Pinstall was probably the highlight of my day really, although it wasn’t a bad day. Just a little bit boring? Troy had to work this morning, so it was just the kids and I at first. Troy came home only long enough to collect Emma and take her away to her riding lesson, and then after lunch Steve picked up Nicholai and took him to his football presentation day, so it was just Jericho and Soren and I for a while.

Emma’s riding lesson went well apparently- she was very happy because she “nearly fell off but managed to get back up on the saddle!” Since she seems to take after me in the falling off ponies sense (ie it happens a lot!) this is a good result for her! She rode Caprice again which makes a big difference, as Caprice is clearly a much easier horse to ride than some of the others she’s tried. Jean thought she might get Caprice back home for the summer holidays which would be good, I think Emma would like that.

Emma and Troy came home with afternoon tea and the dvd of Mr Peabody and Sherman, which the kids watched once Nicholai came back home. They all liked it a lot (actually, I liked it too, what I saw of it) and were quiet and happy and not arguing for a couple of hours, which is always nice.

They’ve all gone to bed now, and Troy is currently channel hopping through about four movies…which kind of drives me nuts, but I don’t actually want to watch any of the movies enough to insist he stay on one, so here we are!

I went back to the psychologist last night. It turned out it has been three months since I saw her last, which is longer than I thought. And yes, in case you had any doubts, avoidance is obviously one of my most used strategies for dealing with my psychological issues! As I’ve said, the more I don’t want to go the more I’m actually avoiding something hard to deal with, so the more important it is that I actually pull myself together and go.

I hope that we can get somewhere this time. I do think the medication is working to keep me stable enough and undepressed enough that I can actually start dealing with some of my issues and making changes that will have a positive impact on my life. I can’t change my brain chemistry, but I know there are ways in which my thought processes and inner beliefs hurt my attempts to live an emotionally stable life. Dealing with that won’t change the fact that I have this mental illness, but it might help me cope with it better.

Professor Pinstall’s assistant.

Thursday 18 September 2014

I’m really not having a great week. I don’t even now why- just very anxious and jittery and kind of more sad and tearful than I have been. I don’t think it’s anything dreadful, just some regular blahness, but it’s not fun.

Nicholai and Emma were supposed to be playing football today, with me driving them to the oval at 10am. I took Jericho and Soren to school at the regular time and then went home for half an hour, then right as we were heading out the door we had a call from the school to say that the football was cancelled. So I just drove the two of them to school instead.

I had craft this afternoon. I printed out food bingo cards until the printer ran out of ink and then laminated them. They look so good! I was quite disappointed that I didn’t have enough ink to finish them off, but I’ll do the rest another day. I’m not teaching again until next term, so even if I want to use them first lesson back I’ve still got lots of time.

I’m not teaching tomorrow because the kids have Jump Rope for Heart. Which I’ve failed to organise sponsorship for- I’m just so stressed by the constant stream of demands for money from the school that have been going on all year now! I mean, today the kids came home asking about the sponsorship money for tomorrow’s skipping, then they told me they have to take a gold coin donation to wear football colours, and Jericho and Soren both had permission forms and money requests for the swimming program, which is $120 each. All this after we’ve done all those jars and I paid $100 last week for four wristbands so the kids can go on rides at the school fete in October, and they paid a gold coin donation for wearing casual clothes and watching an ice bucket challenge last week as well.

I realise the school is not asking for money constantly to persecute me. It’s all for a good cause, and I like that the children are getting involved in social causes and learning to think about other people. They’ll have fun at the fete, and of course swimming lessons are great for them. But it’s still a lot and it still freaks me out right now!

I’m going to stay and watch the skipping tomorrow. It will be good to see the kids do it and they’ll like having me there to watch. Not just my kids either actually – when I was there to pick up the kids after school today several other stray children asked me about doing Indonesian tomorrow and when I said we wouldn’t because they’d be skipping, but I’d stay and watch them skip instead, they were all delighted.

I also have an appointment with the psychologist, which I am dreading. I haven’t been to see her for about two months probably- the last session ended with me in tears and refusing to talk to her (basically) and I failed to make an appointment as I left. So I’ve just been avoiding the issue for quite a long time now! However I’ve done the right thing and made an appointment for tomorrow, even though I didn’t want to. Although as I was joking with Catherine during craft today, probably the more you don’t want to go the more you need to go.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

We got the dogs back today. Troy and Jean put up some temporary fencing last night so the backyard is secure and safe for them. I picked up Luna on my way to school so she could come with me, and then the kids and I picked up Pedro on the way home.

Poor Pedro seems kind of exhausted and extra rickety after his little holiday. I guess keeping up with the other dogs and going on a long walk was a bit too much for the old man. There was no way he was going to be able to get in the car under his own steam- he got his front half up and then he would have fallen if he didn’t have the car floor holding him up under his belly I just had to grab his back legs and kind of lift them up and shovel him along the floor at the same time.

Luna went berserk when she saw me. She has definitely missed us- missed being allowed inside and sleeping on her armchair anyway! No, I don’t think she liked spending most of the day without human company while Steve and Jean were at work. She was probably as tired as Pedro, she slept for two hours at school and then came home and slept the rest of the afternoon away.

I had a psychiatrist appointment this morning. Nothing too exciting- just a check in to see how it’s all going. My next appointment is in six weeks rather than four though, so that’s a step forward. I’m keeping my current medication as is, since I’ve been pretty stable, but I’m adding the contraceptive pill back in. I stopped taking it at the start of this whole mess because I wasn’t using it to prevent pregnancy and the psych wanted to eliminate the possibility of that affecting my mood. But I was on it for my skin, and my skin is so bad now I’m embarrassed to go out in public. Not to mention that I can’t stop picking at it, which is just making a bad mess worse. Anyway, I’m going to go back on it and see how things go- fingers crossed it’s only positive things.

I came home long enough to get lunch after that appointment and then collected Luna on my way up to the school. Jericho’s class do a presentation at the end of term where the kids are able to show off some of their work and share what they’ve been learning over the term. I’ve never been to one though- first term I was too depressed to leave the house and then last term it was on a Friday and I was teaching – and Jericho was desperate that I come to this one. He is definitely our child who needs the most individual attention and gets the most validation from something being solely about him. I was really glad to go though- I really am interested in what the kids are learning and I like seeing them get a chance to put themselves forward with a performance and get some applause and appreciation for the work they put in.

Admittedly today’s presentation was a little long. They joined with the grade 3s, and the whole thing took two hours. It’s a long time to be sitting on a child-sized hard brown chair! I don’t mind watching all the other kids though. I know them all from teaching them of course, and it’s good to see them doing some different things. Although of course I like watching my own kids best! Jericho did a powerpoint presentation about walruses with Lily, and then the two of them did a science experiment about the human heart that involved a cup, a balloon and two straws and they performed beautifully.

Monday 15 September 2014

I had one of those days today where I just felt so bored and fed up with doing the same housework over and over again! Washing the same clothes, the same Tupperware, the same child losing school jumpers again, vacuuming up the same mess from Luna chewing things…mostly they’re the things you deal with without even thinking about it because they happen so regularly, but today it felt like a lot.

I was up at the school a little early this afternoon, so I got to see the kids practising their skipping for Friday’s Jump Rope for Heart. It was so good, I’m so impressed with how they’ve improved! It’s funny to see though. Jericho skips so solemnly. He doesn’t look unhappy, I think he enjoys it, but he frowns like skipping is serious business. Emma is pretty good, she skips like girls that age do- like it’s totally natural. Nicholai can do a regular forward skip, but he looks like it’s an effort and he can’t do anything else. Soren is just flat out hilarious. He skips from the shoulder, keeping his arms straight and swinging them way over his head and way out in front of him at a million miles an hour. He then kind of bends forward as he jumps, watching the rope so he can leap over it, but then he forgets to actually keep skipping, so his hand stop down at his hips and the rope just flies up and whacks him the back of the head. Then he stops and starts this all over again. It was adorable, and every time he saw me watching I’d give him the thumbs up sign and he’d smile so big. He’s so proud of himself for being a big school kid!

We’re trying to chase up what’s happening with the fence, and the dogs are staying at Steve and Jean’s house in the meantime. I miss having my puppies! Troy had to take Luna’s sweaters over there tonight, because she was shaved today and she was too cold having to stay outside, and he said she went mad when he got there. She clearly misses us. Unsurprisingly, since Jean doesn’t let her inside to sleep on the heating vents, which is what she does here! Pedro is much more laid back- I know he likes us but he’s quite familiar with their place and he knows he’ll be coming home.

My favourite flowers in my yard.

There are heaps of these spiders in the yard. They’re quite small, you don’t see them until you’re looking closely at the plants, but I love the way the patterns on the body look like a scary face.

And my Ootchy Mootchy cat.

Sunday 14 September 2014

We had two escapees today. My hopes that the dogs wouldn’t discover that the fallen down fence would allow them to get out of our yard were dashed this afternoon, when a girl knocked on our front door to ask if we had lost two dogs, a big one and a little one. Troy went after them and brought them home, and then I shoved them in the car and drove them over to Steve and Jean’s house. Luna had to be there tomorrow morning for her haircut anyway, but they’re not really a problem to have overnight. Troy will call the real estate agent tomorrow and ask about the quotes for the fence and what the timeline is looking like for that. If it’s going to be soon then the dogs might just stay with Steve and Jean for a few days, and if it’s going to be longer than that we’ll have to try and do something to block the gap- probably just tack up some chicken wire or something.

The dogs escaping was probably the only excitement for the day, ha ha ha. Jericho went to his friend’s house this morning, and although Troy and I had talked about going to Ikea we decided that we probably didn’t have time to get all the way to Springvale, through Ikea and home again before Jericho was returned. So we just stayed home, which was nice anyway.

I did some computing and some writing and played the Sims with Emma helping me for a long time (she likes to help me decorate the Sim’s bedrooms and decide what they should eat and who they should be friends with).

I also went out into the garden and poisoned everything that shouldn’t be there. It will take a week or so to work, but then I can redo the poison on anything that survived today’s apocalypse and mulch over all the dead stuff. I usually only think about mulching the garden once summer starts and it all dries out- I’m hoping that I can do it early this year and have it all well settled for summer so that the plants (hopefully) fare okay in the heat. I’ve pruned back enough plants that the green waste bin is stuffed full, but it will be emptied tomorrow and then I can do the other couple of plants that need it. The cypress near the door is overgrown so that it’s awkward to walk around, and the bush I planted outside Jericho and Soren’s room has grown right up to the roof and is kind of waving around the power line. I really wish I knew what I did with that bush- it’s grown about ten times better than anything else I’ve planted ever has. The lemon tree is the biggest disappointment- everyone I know has huge lemon trees that produce so much fruit they can’t ever use it, and I just have this little spindly thing that’s barely grown in the three years (possibly more?) since I planted it. I think I need to get some more seaweed plant food and actually give it to it on a regular basis and see if that helps.

Oh dear…so many plans. And I don’t even like gardening.

Speaking of the garden though, Nicholai mowed the front yard with the push mower today. Yes, I know…bizarre! I really don’t know what prompted this. I mean, I know he has made a ’91 things to do in the 91 days of Spring’ list (although he hasn’t yet thought up 91 activities) and mowing the lawn was on it, but I have no idea why he added such a thing to his list. But the grass is shorter than it was, so I’m not going to complain.

Soren cracks me up. Yesterday at the Sanctuary we were asking the kids about their plans for the future. Nicholai wants to be a sports statistician or journalist, Emma wants to be an author and illustrator, and Jericho decided he had no plans as yet.

Soren on the other hand told me seriously, “Well, I have some ideas. I might like to be a policeman or a criminal. But right now I’m focussing on becoming a game maker.”