Thursday 28 August 2014

I love listening to my kids talk about SRI (the religious education they do at school). I’m interested in what they’re learning, but I also find their reactions to it quite amusing at times. And very different to what I know from my own childhood, since we went to church from early on and I went to a Catholic primary school until grade 4 and then to a Catholic high school. My children on the other hand are absolute heathens really.

Today Soren started it off when he announced to the car in general, “It’s not fair that we only ever learn about God and not Jesus!” I looked at him in the mirror and said that he must learn about Jesus too, and he just shook his head and said crisply, “No Jesus. Only God.”

The others told him he’d get to Jesus after a while, and then Jericho tried to explain to him who Jesus was. And the Bible according to Jericho? “Jesus was a man and God was his dad and gave him powers.” Now I think Soren believes Jesus belongs in the Avengers or something.

It honestly does make me laugh, although I actually wish they had (or will have) a more comprehensive religious education. Not for their souls, but because the influence of Christianity on the Western world just cannot be overemphasised and so much art and literature and just general knowledge is based on elements of it. I realise you can get through life perfectly well without that background religious knowledge, but it’s a really interesting viewpoint to look at things from.

SRI is also opt-in only now at primary schools across the state. At least at our school most of the kids now don’t do it, which is something I don’t really understand. Why would you deny your kids an opportunity to learn about something? The program is really not there to tell the kids what to believe. I’ve read the books they use, and mostly they read some Bible stories and talk about what message they get from that and how that relates to their own life. The messages are always about things like being nice to people and being honest and working together, which seems pretty good to me.

They learn about the key figures in the Bible too- Soren told me they talked about Moses today. “He ran away from Ancient Egypt and then saw a random fire that God set. Then God was in it and he talked to Moses and he needed to take his shoes off and block his eyes.” I asked him why he took his shoes off and Soren said “Because it’s polite?”

But maybe I’m the odd parent out, because my kids would have done it no matter what religion it was based around. The thing with SRI is that schools must offer it, but what religion it is based upon varies according to what teachers they have to teach it (members of that church in the community with appropriate training). We have a Christian teacher because that’s all that there is here, but in areas with a more varied population you might get a Jewish person or a Muslim or whatever.

Jericho’s school jumper has turned up! It’s been missing for months, and I have no idea where it went while it was AWOL, but it’s back. Right as winter is winding down and the weather is warming up though!

Today was good. I felt so much better than yesterday! I was able to do all my Indo planning for tomorrow and get it photocopied so I’m good to go. I would have thought I would be recycling more lessons by now, but I’m not really. I think part of it is while I’m redoing some of the topics, I’m doing them with a different age group so I have to change the way the material is being presented and worked. I don’t really mind though, not now when I’m feeling generally good. And I do get to recycle some of the previous lessons, so that’s just like a bonus.

Speaking of me being sick yesterday, it freaked Emma out. I knew that having Grandma show up at school to pick them up because “Mum’s sick” would scare her, but there was nothing I could do about it. She was so anxious, and even though I was totally back to normal this morning I think she asked me about four times if I was okay before I dropped her off at school. It makes me feel bad that for her the idea that her mother is sick means that mum’s turned into a headcase again. Poor girl. It isn’t something we can change though, unfortunately. Time and maturity will help I guess.

Although some counselling will help, and that isn’t happening at the moment. I can’t remember if I wrote about this or not, but she met with the first person who was leaving, just to gauge her reaction and give her an idea of what it’s about. That was fine, and then I spoke to that psychologist’s replacement and Emma saw her once too. However she’s called me and she’s left the job (already? Wonder what happened there?) so Emma’s file will be given to someone else who will be in touch. So I’m not exactly thrilled with all that, but it’s pretty much out of my hands.

I should go back to my psychologist too really. The last time I saw her was horrible and I was so messy and miserable at the end of it that I forgot to make the next appointment, and I’ve just never quite got around to calling and making another one. Just add it to the list of things I’m still avoiding doing!

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Today was horrible. I realised when I got out of bed and couldn’t even walk straight that I’d forgotten to take my medicine yesterday. I took today’s dosage immediately, but it didn’t matter- I was already screwed. It just causes such a disconnect between what my eyes are seeing and what I’m feeling and what my body is doing to respond to all of that. I was dizzy and reeling and spent hours lying on the couch feeling like I was going to throw up with motion sickness because I just felt like the whole word was tilting and spinning in turns.

Almost worse than the physical symptoms of withdrawal from the meds is the way it does my mind in too. I cried and cried, and I wanted to either rage or withdraw completely. I can’t control my thoughts when everything is so screwed up, not the speed of them or the direction they take me in. It just…really sucks.

The meds I took this morning are working, and hopefully after tomorrow’s dosage I’ll feel normal again. It’s the Effexor that does this I think- it’s generally considered the worst to miss. It explains why I felt so blah yesterday though. Should it happen again I really must pay better attention to what I’m telling myself.

I felt so bad today that I basically did nothing. Troy took the kids to school and Troy’s mum bought them home again. I went on the computer until I couldn’t look at the screen anymore and then I lay down and watched multiple episodes of True Blood without moving. Really exciting.

Day in the Life –

A look back, to the first (I think!) Day in the Life day I ever did, 9th November 2006, at which time Jericho was a bit over three months old, Emma had just turned 3, and Nicholai was 5.

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If you want to look back some more, you can look here http://feelingthesunfrombothsides.wordpress.com/category/day-in-the-life/ which is the day in the life tag for my journal. Some of the older ones are privacy locked, but I’ll unlock them. It’s so crazy too look back at and see what we were doing and it blows my mind how much the kids have grown!

 

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Troy and I just had a sad and tragic dinner. The children ate pasta earlier, and then Troy went down the street and bought us some Thai so we could eat together. Sounds lovely, right? Not quite, since the restaurant forgot to put the rice in. Okay, we can live with that, we figured it would be just as easy to do some quickly in the microwave as to go and chase it up. This turned out to be a big mistake, as we somehow managed to burn the rice to such an extent that it melted the microwave bowl. So now I’m sitting here with no rice, and freezing cold because we have to have all the doors open!

Although I have to say that I’m not hungry, even without the rice. I had samosas and naan and they were both delicious and filled me up.

Today was a bit blah. Nothing went wrong, but it was a little dull and I was a bit meh. I don’t know if maybe I should start making a plan for the week, or something like that that will prompt me to actually do things a bit more. I’m getting some things done, but there are so many more that need my attention! Maybe having a plan will help me until I get back into the groove. I used to be pretty good at just looking around and picking a job and getting stuck into it, but I seem to spend more time looking vaguely around and wondering what I should do and considering how to achieve anything than I do actually getting down to it and doing something.

I’ve really got nothing else to say. Kids are good, Troy is good, I’m good…that’s about it for today.

Monday 25 August 2014

Seriously, getting my kids out of the door in the morning is an uphill battle. It can be like herding donkeys when the children get recalcitrant, and even when they’re trying to do the right thing it just takes them forever. They start making their lunches and stop in the middle of it to pet the dog, or dance, or yell at each other, or something. Then they get dressed but forget about socks, and they’ll brush their teeth but not think to wash their faces. When I finally get them booted out the door they then just stand around on the driveway chatting instead of just opening the car door and getting in!

I keep thinking it will get better, but this has been the general morning routine since Nicholai started school six and a half years ago so I should probably give that hope up by now. Especially since we still have six and a half years before Nicholai finishes school, and twelve and a half years before Soren does- that’s a long time to be waiting for improvement!

We got a big envelope of stuff from the high school today. Uniform lists and language preference forms and bus forms (that neither Troy nor I can understand!) and a bunch of other stuff.

Hilariously, Jericho was listening to Troy telling me the uniform requirements and obviously felt it was a bit more spiffy than what he wears to primary school because he said in a very yearning way, “I wish I could go there…but unfortunately I am only in grade two.”

He cracks me up. I forgot to write this but it was so funny I don’t want to forget it. After school on Friday I was talking to Jericho about school and asking him how it all went. He told me it had been a little bit annoying, because at lunchtime everyone in his class decided to play tiggy and he didn’t want to play. “I’m too smart to enjoy tiggy,” he said. (Although I do question that…what does smartness have to do with enjoying playing chase?) I asked him what he did instead, and he sighed and said, “I talked to a bird.” I laughed a lot, imagining him gazing up into the sky and giving a philosophical monologue to random birds flying overhead. Turns out he actually sat on the picnic table with Merv the cockatiel in his cage and chatted to him.

Today was a kind of slow day for me. Troy had to go to a seminar in Hawthorn so he had to leave early and I had to get the kids ready for school (hence the above rant about that). I had a bath and I did my usual dishes and laundry and tidying up and vacuuming, but I also spent a lot of time chatting online which was good.

I handed in all the jars for the community fair lucky jar fundraiser that we’ve put together. There were eighteen in the end, some filled with lollipops, some filled with highlighters and mechanical pencils (thank you Costco bulk buys) some filled with little crocheted toys, one with Lego erasers and one with rainbow loom bands. I feel that we’ve done our duty, and now I won’t have to put up with eighteen glass jars cluttering up my kitchen bench.

Nicholai had an extra football training tonight. I think that’s a bit ridiculous to be honest- they’re an under twelve team and the finals are hardly so high pressure that their regular twice a week training would be inadequate. It’s not like it’s really going to affect the outcome.

While he was at training I sat down with Emma, Jericho and Soren and my computer, and showed them a whole bunch of photos from when they were little. We ended up looking at the day in the life days that I photographed, and they loved it. When I was doing it I’d take over 100 photos in a day, so there were just millions of them looking dopey and funny and doing regular stuff and crying, which they all thought was hilarious. It cracked me up the way Jericho and Soren were so mortified by any bare bottom pictures at the same time as they couldn’t stop laughing at them. It made me so glad I took all those photos, and think maybe I should do it again one day. It would be a great contrast- the first day in the life I ever did was in 2008. During 2010 I did one a month for a year, so there are so many from that year and that’s what we were looking at today.

Sunday 24 August 2014

It’s the end of another weekend. It really felt like a weekend- the weather was beautiful and the kids were kind of all over the place and really noisy. Not necessarily in a bad way, just in a noisy way. They’re pretty good at filling their own time on the weekends really.

I’ll be glad to just hang out at home on my own tomorrow though. Jericho was home on Thursday, then on Friday I worked. I drove to the train station after work and picked up Alyssa and then we went and picked up the kids.

It was good having Alyssa here. At least it was good after I stopped stressing out about having a guest and failing miserably at hostessing duties! I don’t drink hot drinks so I never think to offer them to anyone else, even though pretty much the whole world drinks tea and coffee and kind of expects to be offered them. It’s stupid for me to get worked up about it though- all my friends who come know just to tell me they’re putting on the kettle and to go and do it! And really, since Alyssa and I have now been friends for fourteen years (I knew her before I knew Troy- she introduced us! It’s because of her that I’m married!) I know that I don’t have to worry about doing the ‘right’ thing.

It was lovely to see her, since we haven’t caught up for ages. I got to see all her craft projects, which are interesting because they’re so varied. I just kind of do one thing until it’s finished, but Alyssa has lots of stuff on the go and does a lot of different types of craft.

Alyssa also finds the kids amusing, and so she hangs out with them too. I especially like that she makes an effort with Emma- Jericho and Nicholai are both completely confident at demanding attention when they want it, and Soren is at an age when he likes a little bit of acknowledgement but he likes to get most of his validation from the family. Emma would like attention but doesn’t seem to feel confident in pushing herself forward, but Alyssa knows that and is good at drawing her out. They made a cheesecake on Sunday morning, which didn’t quite work out (condensed milk and evaporated milk are not the same thing!)…but it was still pretty good. A bit sweeter and softer than a regular cheesecake, but we ate it for afternoon tea and no one was complaining. Emma was really happy about spending time with Alyssa and the cooking, and since it’s not like anything she cooks ever works out that well (apart from cakes, she’s got them down) it wasn’t as though she cared that it wasn’t quite correct.

Alyssa stayed over on Friday night, so late Saturday afternoon we put everyone in the car and drove to Ringwood. Troy’s mum and dad were coming back from the city so we met them in the railway station car park and swapped cars. Steve and Jean took the children back to their house for a sleepover in the van, and Troy and I kept their car. Alyssa hopped on a train back home and Troy and I walked over to Eastland and went to the movies. We saw The Inbetweeners 2 which was really pretty funny. I always feel like I shouldn’t laugh, because the characters are so horrible and the humour is so embarrassing, but I can’t help myself. I loved the show, and the movies are really fun. This one was set in Australia too, so some of the Australia jokes were good.

Today Emma and Jericho had hockey in the morning. It was another handover situation- since the kids had had a sleepover Steve took them to hockey for the start time, and then Troy went and collected Jean, Soren and Nicholai and drove to hockey for the finish time. Jean and Steve then went off shopping with Zach and Troy bought all the kids home.

Nicholai had no football today. They’ll play in a final next week- I really hope they win and go on to the grand final, because Nicholai would LOVE playing in a premiership team and I honestly don’t know how many more years of playing football he’s got in him. He’s talked about getting to fifty games (next year, apparently) and then he thinks that might be it. He’d play to the end of the season, but maybe not after that. I think he’s becoming more aware of the skill gap, and possibly more intimidated playing as the other kids just seem to get bigger and bigger. He would still want to be involved in the club though- I can see him taking on coaching as he gets older (maybe) or at least assisting and doing runner and boundary umpiring and then maybe actual umpiring. It all sounds so boring to me, but if he wants to do it and it makes him happy I suppose we’ll just continue to drive him around and encourage him to stick with something that he loves so much.

Thursday 21 August 2014

I love the way the kids want to help with my Indonesian lesson planning. Last week it was Emma sitting by my side and instructing me on what to do, and today Jericho really wanted to help so he cut up all the printouts of different foods that I’m going to use with the preps tomorrow.

Jericho could help me because he was at home sick today. Although saying ‘sick’ isn’t very indicative of him because, although he threw up about five times in two hours this morning, by 10am he was out in the yard and bouncing on the trampoline. So for the rest of the day he just wanted to eat and have me keep him company.

I had craft this afternoon, and for the first time in I don’t know how long we actually all did craft. Miffi did some paper craft and Catherine cross stitched and I did some crochet on another little thing to go in the jars. It was a good afternoon, although we did have to be a little circumspect in what we talked about with Jericho’s big ears in the lounge room.

Tomorrow the kids are doing Daffodil Day at school and they have to wear yellow, possibly the most difficult colour in the rainbow to dress in. Emma has a yellow jumper with Spongebob on it that she got yesterday (her teacher asked if we wanted some hand-me-downs from her daughter, and Emma was super excited by this) so that’s convenient. The boys I think are going to have to wear the hockey singlets since that’s the only other items of yellow clothing we have.

I’m teaching tomorrow, although it’s a transition day and several of the 5/6 kids will be gone on a basketball thing so it will be a messy sort of day. But really- when is it not?