Thursday 30th October 2014

Today was a very long day with craft- Catherine came early and left early, and Miffi came and left at the regular time. I did my Indo planning during this, but it was harder to do that while socialising than it otherwise is! I know I often make up my Indo worksheets during craft time, but usually I spend the morning planning what I’m going to do and I didn’t do that today. However. All got done in the end and I’ve made another couple of worksheets that I’ll be able to use in future years, so that’s good.

Apart from Indo planning and talking, I did a lot of washing and folding and sorting laundry. We’re going to Licola again this weekend so I wanted to make sure everyone had all their socks and undies in their drawers to be able to pack them!

Although I didn’t have to do/ supervise the packing for once. I had a psychologist appointment this evening so I left immediately after dinner and when I came home the children were all in bed and Troy had supervised them packing so that there were five bags all packed and piled in the kitchen. He also brought in the sleeping bags and pillows from the shed. Tomorrow we have to get the camping chairs, dog crate, toiletries, Emma’s birthday presents (and I’ll have to pack my bag) and then we can throw it all in the car.

I’m half looking forward to this weekend and half dreading it. The kids had a great time when we went last year and I’m sure they’ll love it again, so I’m looking forward to that part. I love watching them try different activities and new things and have fun. However, it IS a weekend with Troy’s whole family, so… I don’t know. Hopefully it will be okay. Adam won’t be there because he’s away at sea until next year, and Brett’s kids won’t be there because it’s their mum’s weekend, so it’ll be pretty different to last year anyway.

Wednesday 29th October 2014

Jericho brought me home a gift after swimming- a can of diet Coke with vanilla. He remembered me complaining about how I always seemed to find regular coke with vanilla and never diet coke, and so when he saw the vanilla diet coke at swimming he asked Grandma to buy it for me. I was so happy that he thought about me! (And I was very happy with my can of drink too, ha ha ha).

I went to the psychiatrist today. My mood has been pretty low, so she suggested increasing the Effexor by a half dose this week and then a full dose by two weeks. It was all kind of depressing. I don’t care that I have to take medication. I just hate the endless assessment and balancing of it, and I’m so tired of this roundabout. I just want to be good.

We talked a bit today about the difference between mood and functionality. My mood is low, but my functionality right now is very good. I’m doing everything I should be- work, taking care of the house and the kids, maintaining good relationships, doing my hobbies, getting outside, eating okay and even exercising (I’m going on the treadmill again). So that’s all good. I just wish it wasn’t so joyless.

I went shopping again today. I am so sick of spending money! But a pair of shorts that Emma bought last weekend still had the security tag attached so I got the receipt from Jean and took them back before my appointment this morning so they could remove it. This was done without any drama, and since I was already at the shopping centre I went to the toyshop and bought some more Schleich figures for Emma (they have the best selection I’ve ever seen!) and some little toy soldiers for Jericho and Soren.

Christmas is definitely getting well under control now. One night soon Troy and I will go through what we’ve found and make a list and see what we need to fill in the gaps, but I don’t actually think it will be too much more. Not for Emma and the two little boys anyway, Nicholai might be a different story.

I’m slightly concerned that Soren and Jericho are getting basically the same things for Christmas. They’re getting a big Lego set to share, a smaller lego set each, a bag of toy soldiers each and a book each. (At least, that’s what we’ve got them so far). I guess it’s kind of ‘the same but different’, but I hope they like them. I didn’t deliberately set out to do this, it’s just that they both like all the same things right now!

Tuesday 28th October 2014

The problem with buying big items at a giant, cavernous warehouse like Costco is that what looks big-but-reasonable in the store turns out to be what-the-fuck-were-you-thinking-huge when you get it home. I realised this today when I bought a big pillow pet from there to give to Emma for Christmas. This thing is ridiculous. It doesn’t even fit in a garbage bag, which is what I attempted to cover it with before I threw it up in the top of my wardrobe with the other Christmas gifts. Even more ridiculous is the fact that I actually hate pillow pets! Why the kids want to sleep on a manky old soft toy instead of a clean pillowcase is beyond me, but the three younger ones all do! However this giant thing I bought today is so soft that you just want to keep petting it, and Emma will love it.

Besides, I suppose it will make the pile of presents under the Christmas tree look really big, ha ha ha!

Obviously I went to Costco today. I forgot both the shopping list and the esky to put the frozen goods in, so it wasn’t a great start. However we usually buy a lot of the same things so I managed to get what we needed, throwing in the occasional bulk pack of lollies to make it good.

I also went to the doctor to get a referral for the psychologist and a new prescription. I have an appointment at the psychiatrist tomorrow but I didn’t have a pill for tonight or tomorrow morning and I can’t just miss them.

Jericho gets to do a project on a subject of his own choice. He chose to do a powerpoint presentation on puffer fish. I really don’t know. But now I do know that there are 101 types of puffer fish and the largest one is referred to as ‘the big puffer’.

Sunday 26 October 2014

Back to hockey today for Emma, Jericho and Soren. They are all doing so well with it, even Soren who didn’t do it last term seems to have remembered some of his skills. Since Nicholai doesn’t have Sunday sport now that football’s finished (cricket plays on Saturdays) we could all go which was nice. I took some photos and Troy played some hockey with the children and Nicholai walked the dog and read his ereader on the sidelines.

We were home for lunch and then the children traded in their poker chips for electronics time. Well, those who had any of their poker chips left did- Nicholai has started using all his up on Friday and Saturday and then just roaming around bored on Sundays.

Jericho was happy because his friend Rylan came over for a play, and the two of them got to hang out undisturbed because Troy took the other three kids shoe shopping.

Yes, once again we’re in the buy-all-the-shoes mode! Troy took them to the Rivers store in Ringwood because he’d been looking at their website and they had some good shoes for kids, and if they’re the same quality as the Rivers shoes that Troy has owned then they should last a while. The three boys all got a pair of sandals for the warmer weather that’s already hitting us, and Emma got a pair of Crocs for the same reason. She also got new sneakers because hers were falling apart and a pair of light leather shoes for wearing with her dresses and skirts, because you can’t really wear sneakers with everything. Soren really needs new school shoes but I don’t think we’re going to be able to find any at this time of year- I’m pretty sure that tomorrow I’ll just have to go to Big W and buy him a pair of sneakers to wear for the remainder of the school year. Then we’ll have to teach him to tie shoelaces over summer before we buy him a new pair of school shoes for next year.

Emma also went shopping yesterday, with Grandma and Pop and her cousin Alex. Their birthdays are six weeks apart so they always go shopping and get to choose some new clothes. I love seeing what she chooses, even when it’s stuff that I would NEVER have bought for her. This year she chose a dress that’s basically a giant picture of a tiger in the jungle, http://www.pumpkinpatch.com.au/flatshot/S4GL80048/col/WHITE/listing/280160/categorypath/girl/girl/ a red playsuit with white polka dots, some denim shorts and a grey singlet top with cats printed on it and MEOW written across the front. She also got a headband with a giant flower on it (to go with her new haircut) and two hairclips with cats on them. She was very happy with all this, and it’s so cute to see her so excited.

She interviewed me about my school days for her homework. I typed up my answers on the computer, and she corrected me for using ‘and’ too many times and told me I needed to make more use of commas!

Friday 24 October 2014

It was a hair cutting day today. Emma and I had an appointment at the hairdresser’s after school. Mine is just around my shoulders and she cut the side fringe back into it, and Emma had a good ten inches lopped off the bottom of hers. It’s just below her shoulders now- she looks really cute and I can’t wait to see what it looks like after she’s washed it and it’s settled a bit more.

Troy cut Jericho’s hair with the clippers once we all got home too. This came about because when I cut Troy’s hair with the clippers yesterday I asked all the boys if they’d want theirs done too. Jericho, for some reason I’m not really sure of, said we could clipper his hair if we hosed him off instead of making him have a bath. It was too late to do that yesterday, but that’s exactly what happened today! Troy clippered his hair on the back porch and then we took him down into the yard and hosed him down- he thought it was hilariously good fun. And he’s now got a short and easily maintained hairstyle for summer, so I’m going to encourage him to keep it for a while. His hair is so thick, it must be cooler to have it super short during the hot weather.

I taught today which, as always, had its good and bad moments. It seemed to go quickly though, which was good!

I saw Martine, the psychologist, and spoke to her after she’d spoken to Emma. She doesn’t tell me specifically what Emma says of course, but we talk in general terms about what’s worrying her and Martine tells me how she’s approaching things. She said today that Emma’s a very sensitive child and is easily upset talking about things, but she seems very comfortable sharing with Martine and they’re working on some concrete actions and goals.

I find this so difficult, but I do really like Martine. She definitely seems to understand Emma and her approach is very slow and gentle and based a lot on art and creativity. She said that they don’t just sit there and talk- they made a ‘worry tree’ and have been drawing a lot of things to illustrate feelings, and even when they are just talking they were decorating butterflies with textas. She said today that it’s going to take a while though. Emma’s feeling pretty fragile, and there’s a lot that we need to do to build up her confidence and resilience.

I guess I just kind of hate that so much of it is my fault. I totally understand that there’s nothing I could have done that would change this, and that really we shielded the kids as much as we could and probably better than a lot of people in the same situation would have been able to…but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck.

Thursday 23 October 2014

I just had a somewhat frustrating reading session with Soren. Nothing too terrible honestly, the child is learning to read at a steady pace, but he keeps completely ignoring the words printed in front of him and just makes stuff up. I know that all kids do that to an extent, but he seems to be taking it to an extreme. And not because he can’t read the words either, just because he can’t be bothered actually looking at them. Maybe he needs glasses or something.

I think I just feel guilty about his reading. I can’t help thinking that it’s because I was so depressed and completely checked out of his schooling that he’s not learning to read as quickly and easily as the others did. I mean, he really didn’t get the reinforcement and practice at home that kids need for quite a long chunk of time this year. I also feel bad that maybe it’s just because he’s the fourth child and we’re too slack now.

Then of course I read what I’m writing and just roll my eyes at myself, because Soren’s reading is perfectly fine! He does need practice, but he’s not falling behind or anything. This isn’t something I need to be overly concerned about. Just keep on doing his readers with him and go back to practising his rainbow words and wait for it all to click for him.

I did all my Indo prep today. I’m getting a bit quicker at whipping up some worksheet activities! The preps are still doing food and I thought I’d mix it up by introducing some animals to them, so I’ve got a page with animals down one side and foods down the other and they’ll have to draw a line connecting the animal to its food. Grade 1s are going to make up word searches with their animal words and then swap them around to do them, Grade 2s are still doing food so we’re doing an unscramble the word, Grade 3s are doing prepositions (which they will have forgotten, we’ll go over them again and then they can draw and illustrate them in their books).

For grade 4-6 I thought I’d introduce them to google translate. I want them to see that learning a language is about so much more than just direct translations of words- you need to understand the different meanings and nuances of words and sentences to make it flow. Google translate is awesome, but if they think they need never learn a language because they can just translate everything via that then they’re going to have to think again. What I’ll get them to do is just type a little paragraph into it in English, have it translated to Indonesian, then cut and paste it and translate it back to English and see what they get. They can try writing in different styles or about different topics and see what comes up. I think they’ll find it interesting, and it’s a pretty good point for them to make. Since their computers are limited I guess they’ll do that in pairs, and the other kids can play bingo while they wait for a turn.

I went on the treadmill today. I know, I was shocked too. Really, I’m kind of surprised the thing still works after aeons of neglect, but it does. So I guess I’m back to trying to get some actual, quantifiable exercise into my life. I have no great hopes for success, but that’s no reason not to try again.

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

It was quite hot today, and I didn’t like it at all. I don’t think it’s a good sign for summer that we’re having hot days now.

I slept in today. I actually forgot to take my medicine until really late last night, and so Troy thought maybe I should just sleep in and he got his mother to take the kids to school. I was quite grateful for it- basically I think that I need a few extra hours of catch up sleep every week if it’s at all possible so that I can function, so god bless Troy for making it possible.

I didn’t do too much with my day, honestly. The usual house stuff, some writing, some thinking about my Indo classes for Friday. Another episode of True Blood. I’m nearly finished season six, and I know it was apparently wildly hated but to be quite honest I’ve found vamp camp and the return of Sarah Newlin to be extremely entertaining. I don’t really care about Sookie and her vampire fairy lover and all, but I love all the Jessica and Pam and Eric and Jason storylines going on. Not that anyone is that interested in my opinion of True Blood.

The three younger kids had swimming again today. That’s going well, Jericho told me he is very good at sidestroke now. He and Emma were also very tired because they’re in the same class and they were the only two in it today so the teacher worked them hard! It meant Nicholai and I were the only ones at home this afternoon so he talked to me about cricket a lot, which was as exciting as you can imagine!

I need to get it together. I’m being kind of lazy and just drifting along and periodically panicking about all the things I need to do, which isn’t a constructive way to live. I need to think about this and get myself going again.