Tuesday 22 July 2014

I shopped for Jericho’s birthday this morning. He asked for some action figures, so I went over to Knox to try Toys’r’us. They have a range of soldier playsets that I’m sure he’ll like, so I bought two of the smaller ones that have four soldiers each (plus assorted weaponry and dog tags) and a larger playset that has a troop carrier and some more soldiers. Honestly I feel like I’m raising him to be a contract killer with all these military themed toys, but hopefully he’ll grow up to be a civilised person. I did buy him a fishbowl and two robot fish to go with his war-monger toys, so maybe that will encourage a spirit of zen calmness in him.

Jericho can be quite funny at times. It’s all in the delivery- he can be quite deadpan and serious, or inject just the right amount of astonishment into his voice. The other night at tea Soren was complaining about his food, and Jericho just turned to him and said, “Respect the rice!” very sternly…so sternly that Soren immediately shut up, ha ha ha! Later on we were watching tv and something happened on the ad that made Jericho turn to me with his eyebrows raised as he said very seriously, “That is wrong on so many levels.”

I also spoke to Emma’s teacher today. She explained about how upset Emma got while they were doing the autobiography assignment, although both of us agreed it wasn’t the project that was the issue. We talked about other times she’s been upset, which have tended to revolve around times she’s finding her work difficult or something like that. Apparently when they were doing the pre-Naplan practice tests Emma got practically perfect scores, but was distraught about the one question she got wrong. Never mind that some of the other kids had half the questions wrong, and that they went through all the answers on the board and the kids were told multiple times that this was just for practise. Poor little perfectionist child…this is not a good way to be.

Her teacher talked to Emma when she got so upset with the autobiography the other day, but in the end Emma was just too upset to talk. When the teacher asked her if she could maybe write about it Emma nodded, and so that’s what they did.

Sometimes I just feel sad and stupid and I feel like there’s something wrong with me and I can’t explain it but it happens. And I don’t know why, and it makes me really sad, like I don’t belong anywhere and it’s strange and that’s why I sometimes feel sad and sometimes I can’t explain things so I feel stupid and sad.

So that’s my sweet, muddled little daughter who doesn’t know how amazing she is, and it crushes me.

Monday 21st July 2014

The computer problem is temporarily managed. I’ve spent hours backing up my files from the crappy new computer on to the external hard drive, and now I’m using my old computer to write my journal and surf the internet. This computer has an extremely noisy fan (that doesn’t actually work- it just makes noise) and the keyboard is heating up enough to make the skin on my wrist red and sore where it rests on it. I remember why I got the new one.

A more permanent solution is on the horizon. I’m getting a Mac. The crappy one will go back to the manufacturer and we’ll either get our money back or they’ll fix it and we’ll keep it for Emma. Fingers crossed that this actually IS a good solution. I’ve heard good things about Macs, both using them and their general toughness, and I have come to love my iphone, but I’ve still not used an Apple computer in a looooong time. As in, I used to use an Apple2E back in primary school! So I’m just hoping it’s all okay and that I like using it.

I felt good this morning. Talked to Rachelle, then did lots of vacuuming and laundry sorting and general tidying up. I haven’t been good about these things lately, and it was definitely showing. So that was all good, and then I went to school to collect the children.

It’s Emma. Nicholai’s teacher caught me as I went into their classroom and asked if she could have a word. She said she wanted to talk to me, but it wasn’t really something she wanted to have to talk to me about…this is never what you want to hear! And then she told me that there’s been something going on at school with Emma. Lots of tears, and for no apparent reason. She’s been telling her teacher, when asked, that she’s sad for no reason, that she just feels sad often. There’s nothing going on, she’s getting on well with her friends, her schoolwork is fine, but she keeps crying at school. Today they were working on their autobiographies, and apparently Emma just broke down and sobbed. Which is…not Emma. She’s been really excited about doing this autobiography, she actually took her cast from when she broke her arm and we printed out some photos of her with it on (she was only two then, and SO cute!) and yet now she’s crying about it.

Listening to all this, I just felt like someone had hit me. Seriously? Emma? She’s been fine at home lately. She plays with the others, and while there are lots of flouncy little growing up girl sort of moments, there are lots of good moments too, where she talks to us and tells us things, which is something she didn’t always do. I just was not expecting this from her, not now.

Heather (Nick’s teacher) said that they’re keeping an eye on her and doing what they can to encourage her and help her. She said it may be nothing, just some growing pains as she starts going through puberty, but that given everything else, depression is something we’re going to have to keep in mind for her. She wanted to tell me what was happening at school (I get the impression that this isn’t just a one off thing) and see if anything was happening at home.

I don’t know what to say about it. I can’t fathom watching my sweet girlie Emmanuella fighting with the same monster that lives in my mind.

I’m going to talk to her teacher tomorrow, and see what she has to say since she is more involved with Emma’s day to day school life. Maybe she’ll say something that can help me understand this.

I’ll talk to Emma after that. It worries me that maybe she hasn’t said anything at home because she feels as though she can’t say anything, that because I’m the way I am she feels that she has to act happy even when she doesn’t feel it. I want to make sure that she knows that she can talk to me, or Troy, at any time about anything. I can’t promise that I won’t be upset by difficult things, but I will always pull it together for her if she needs me. I also want her to know that if she wants to talk about things at home but doesn’t want to talk to me and Troy then we can sort something out with that too. Maybe she would feel comfortable talking to her teacher (who she loves) or we could find her a counsellor if that’s what she wants.

It’s not a disaster. I mean, we’re not in any kind of crisis and she isn’t either. If she is going to have issues with being depressed as she gets older, at least we’ll be aware of it early and be able to work out ways to keep her safe and healthy as she grows. She has so much going for her, so much potential, and so many people who love her and care about her.

But despite all this…oh god, my heart. My beautiful baby girl.

And just because I was talking about it, here are the photos she took to school for her broken arm show and tell- I still look at them and can’t believe how little she was to go through that. And then I look at me and think about the fact that she did this when Jericho was four days old and I just shake my head.

Jean took this one when Emma was unconscious and getting the plaster on- I didn’t even know she took it until later.

That sling was a doll sling I’d made her, since I had one for Jericho, but it came in handy for her arm.

And that’s Emma with the bear they gave her in the hospital, which she named Brave bear.

Sunday 20 July 2014

I hate this computer so much. I can’t even begin to tell you what a piece of shit it is, but of course because I am always complaining I will probably rant and rave about it for a while. I threw an absolute shit fit over it today, and something has to be done. I’ve only had this thing for six months, and I am just about ready to smash it to bits with a hammer. It’s NEVER worked properly, but the things that are wrong with it have always been random and difficult to explain. It’s slow, for one thing- slow to open things, slow to change between tasks (even between two word documents, or two webpages open in different tabs), slow to save documents and photos. But even this slowness is not consistent and varies- some days it’s not that noticeable. It also sometimes gives up on doing things halfway through- I’m used to having to refresh practically everything to get websites to load fully. Not to mention the way that every time I actually shut it down and restart it the web browsers no longer work and it also periodically refuses to let me do anything on the internet even though it tells me we are connected and it should be working.

I know, I know…why didn’t I take it back sooner? At first I thought it was just me, that it was because it was new and I never like new things, and I was getting used to windows 8 and all that. I thought that maybe I was just being picky, or stupid, because I really don’t know that much about computers and maybe it was all normal. It was just kind of gremlin stuff too- it seemed likely that sending it in to be fixed would just have them do a factory reset and I’d lose all my programs and they’d say it worked fine, and then it would still do the same thing. Also we bought it online, so it’s not like I can take it back to a store and talk to a person, I have to post it back and just….ugh.

However yesterday I tried to install the Sims on it (not that I had very high hopes of this slow machine being able to play it) and at first it tried, but after an hour or so the installation failed. I retried, and it failed a second time. Then today when Troy went to have a look at it, the dvd drive refused to read the disk at all and just kept spitting it out. It also spat out any other disks we tried to put in.

So that is ENOUGH. I’m going to have to transfer all my files to the external hard drive (which will take freaking hours and hours because of this goddamn slow piece of junk) and then I’ll send it back to the demons who created it and see if they can fix it.

While it’s being fixed I’ll try and use my old computer, the one that this one replaced. It was replaced because the fan was broken and it kept overheating and burning my hands while I was typing and then giving me the blue screen of death and dying for a few hours until it cooled down. However it is winter now, so if I don’t turn the heater on and use it during the day when it’s cold I think we’ll be okay.

Either that or I’m going to get Troy to redraw on our home loan and I’ll spend two grand on a Macbook Pro which is INSANE but I am literally that mad and fed up with technology that I’ll do it. And for someone as generally tight fisted as me that’s a pretty big deal.

And now I’ve spent an entire page bitching about my computer and out in the world people are starving. I am a terrible person. Ugh.

Anyway….until I started in on this computer crap, this has been a nice weekend! Yesterday Troy had to go to the office in the morning, which wasn’t actually that great. Really we have it good with his job, considering it’s only five minutes away, but during the next couple of months he’s going to have appointments on two Saturdays a month. Yesterday went okay though, I slept in for a bit and then did the dishes and chatted with Twilight Girl online.

Our new washing machine arrived around midday, and I’m so glad we paid for the delivery service- they bought it in and then unpacked it and took out the bolts that are in it for transport, levelled the little legs, and packed up all the packaging and took it away (all in about eight minutes). They also took the old machine away with them too, so we’re all done.

At least when you get a new washing machine you get to use it right away, because of all the washing you didn’t do when the old one was broken! So far I’m very impressed with the new one because it’s cut the washing time about in half- I admit to being slightly sceptical as to how it can wash as well when it takes half the time, but I’m willing to go with it and see.

Today Troy took Emma and Jericho to their hockey. Soren and Luna dog went too, and Troy said Soren was quite happy watching instead of participating. He played with his stick and a ball a bit on his own, took Luna for a couple of walks around the field and climbed on some rocks and basically had a nice, Soren time in his own little world. Emma and Jericho enjoyed their hockey, which was good.

I took Nicholai to football, which I’ve barely done at all this season. It was good though, I just sat in the car and read for the hour before his game, and then read during all the quarters he was on the bench. I watched the last quarter and took some photos, and then Nicholai’s team won. This was a “crucial match” for them, as he’d told me repeatedly beforehand, so he was thrilled, and there really is very little in life that is quite as happy as a happy Nicholai.

Nicholai did really make me laugh this morning. He was watching tv while I was doing the dishes, and then he said to me, quite seriously, “I’m just wondering a bit about what car insurance I might buy when the time comes.” It was just hilarious- he’s twelve and can’t drive, for one, but also what boy worries about what car insurance they’ll buy instead of what car they’ll buy?!?!

We all went to Costco this afternoon. We didn’t need anything too exciting, mostly just the same things we always need. I had thought it might not be so crowded late on a Sunday afternoon but I was wrong. Even so the kids were good and we got around the place without drama, although the children were disappointed by the lack of free samples.

Tonight’s been filled with computer rage and despair (seriously, some emotion instead of the numbness is probably a good sign, but this level of out of control fury is slightly alarming, to be quite honest) but now I’m eating jellybeans and watching Dexter with Troy, so it’s all good. It’s work for Troy and school for the kids tomorrow, so we’ll see how it’s all going then.

Friday 18 July 2014

Our new washing machine is being delivered tomorrow. We elected to get it delivered because that includes them putting it where it has to go and taking the old one away. They just called and said they’ll come between 12 and 2 in the afternoon, so I’ll be able to do all the stockpiled washing tomorrow afternoon. Jean did another load for us on Wednesday night, so it will only be a couple of days worth, but that’s still quite a bit.

I taught today, which left me completely wiped out. It was a transition day, so the kinder kids were there and I taught several of the groups in different classrooms, and then had to do a second session with the preps so that the prep teacher still got her half hour classroom release time. It’s a busy few hours and it’s fun, but it just crushes me.

I didn’t take Luna to school with me today, and all the children were very disappointed. It was certainly easier without her, I have to admit, but I’ll probably take her again next week. I didn’t take her today because she played out in the backyard in the morning and her paws were caked in mud, and also because I knew I would have the two sessions with the preps and I have a hard enough time controlling them without having Luna in there to distract them. There are also getting to be so many dogs at the school that I’m not sure if Luna is just one dog too many!

I hate this time of year, with the new financial year and Troy being so busy at work. He has lots more appointments, so he’s never available if I try and call him, and then he comes home so worn out and tired. He’s also going to have to work two Saturdays a month for the next couple of months, which I only found out this evening- I was so tired and over everything that this news made me cry, which was a bit pathetic. Really it’s not too bad, he’ll work in the morning and then buy lunch and bring it home for us.

Nicholai tells me he has a ‘crucial game’ on Sunday for football. I’m not entirely sure what this means, but I wished him luck. He’s so funny sometimes. He’s been obsessed with the world cup, and I’m guessing he’ll probably move on to the Commonwealth games next. Although he did also inform me the other day that he was going to choose an English football team to follow- after looking at hundreds of choices (there are apparently hundreds to choose from??) he’s decided he’ll support Leicester City. I’m sure they should be pleased with this.

Emma and Jericho have decided that they’ll do the next Hook into Hockey sessions. I’m glad, I know they enjoyed it and I think it’s good for them to have that kind of activity to do. Soren decided he didn’t want to do it. It’s his choice, but I really hope I don’t end up regretting it because he’ll just have to go along and watch the others sometimes (or go the footy, and we did explain this to him) and he might get bored and whiny. But we’ll see- he’ll probably have a good time playing around on his own, or with the dog if she’s there. Anyway, that starts on Sunday so we won’t have to wait long.

Wednesday 16 July 2014

We’ve decided to buy a new washing machine. We’ve ordered it online (through the Good Guys) and will have it delivered because they’ll install it and take away the old one. Hopefully this will all be done soon, because although Troy’s mum took another basket of washing home with her tonight I feel a bit guilty having her do my laundry. Although all she has to do is wash it and then she puts it clean and wet back into the basket and brings it back to me to hang up on the clothes rail or run through the dryer, so it’s not too excessive.

The kids were crazy tonight. We’re certainly seeing more and more flashes of snarky teenage Emma at times- the girl has some attitude. She’ll be eleven on her next birthday and she’s really starting to grow up in a lot of different ways. Although I must admit, as she and Jericho and Soren were playing and making stupid jokes and being idiots it wasn’t her maturity that was her most obvious characteristic!

I had a pretty quiet day at home today. I’m doing some writing, which is good, and mooching around a lot, which is bad. I really need to get up and do more and try and feel better that way. Although it is very frustrating to know what I need to do, but then really struggle to actually have the energy to DO it.

Tuesday 15th July 2014

We’ve still made no decision on the future of the washing machine. Troy’s mum offered to do a load or two of washing for us so she came by after work and picked up a basket. It’s very kind of her, I was going to go by their house tomorrow and pretend it was a Laundromat, but this way it will be washed and hung up by the fire to dry tonight and tomorrow I can just go and fold it.

God, I sound obsessed. But I was having trouble keeping up with all the laundry generated by six people and the winter weather as it was, now that I don’t even have a washing machine it’s just piling up.

Nicholai cheerfully told me that he’d wear his clothes for two days at a time and not have a shower if it helped…thanks kiddo.

The kids all had a good day at school and came out happy when I picked them up. We managed to walk out of the school and over to the car without any fighting, but as soon as they tried to get in and I asked that they help each other sort out the seatbelts it was World War 3.

We discussed the sexism of the video game industry and some of the problematic depictions of girls in games on the way home from school. I have to admit that Nicholai kind of rolls his eyes at me sometimes when I get going, but as I said to him today I want to raise him to be a good man who is aware of, and cares about, these kind of issues. I also said to him that I am genuinely interested in what he has to say about these things- he has a very unique mind and way of looking about things and I would be interested in what he comes up with should he turn his thoughts to social issues. (Besides, the child reads the Herald Sun newspaper- damn it but I’ve got to beat that right wing, populist shit out of him sometime!)

I don’t talk down to Nicholai because he has the vocabulary to understand me, even if he doesn’t necessarily have the life experience to fully understand the wider implications, but I do modify the message for the little kids. It was funny today, because to bring it to their level we were talking about how many girl characters versus boy characters there were in the Wii games they play. It’s a ridiculously skewed ratio, but in talking about it I realises that it’s something that Jericho and Soren have never even really noticed. And that right there is why we have to talk about this and why it matters to me- they’re five and seven years old and they’re already being subtly told that gaming is for boys, that it’s boys who do the actions and make the stories. Conversely, girls are being told the opposite. I can’t change that, but at least I can make them aware that it’s there and something to think about.

We could all talk in the car because I had to drive Troy’s car to pick them up, so we were all squished into that. I dropped the van off for a service this morning and it wasn’t back yet. There was nothing much wrong with the car, fortunately- just the regular sort of wear and tear you’d expect with the age of the car and the way we drive. It was good taking it for a service though, it was way overdue for one and because I took it to the mechanic I had to walk home, so I got some outside exercise in today too.

Monday 14 July 2014

The washing machine broke today. Of all the appliances, it had to be the washing machine. We need to decide if we’re going to try and have it repaired or if we’ll just go and buy a new one. It’s hard to decide when we wouldn’t even have a ballpark cost for repairs until we got someone out to look at it, which in itself will probably cost $100 or more.

The school holidays are over now, and the children all went back to school today. They were happy to go and all seemed happy with their days when I brought them home, which was good. I spent most of the day (when not stressing about washing and laundry) watching Supernatural episodes and enjoying the quiet. It was good.

Troy made something called Hamburg Vegetable Chowder for dinner this evening. He got the recipe out of the Pressure Cooker book his mother had back in the 70’s. I am usually really good about eating the same things that I make the kids eat, but I couldn’t even face this tonight. I mean mince, and rice, and vegetables all squidgy in the pressure cooker? No thanks. I had to have a bath to give me an excuse to avoid it.