Tuesday 26th July 2016

Pokemon Go really is somewhat addicting. I went to Bunnings to buy a new towel rail this morning and when I got there I turned the game on, just to add to the distance walked that allows us to hatch our eggs. I really meant to just turn the game on and then ignore it as I shopping…but Bunnings was full of Pokemon and I had to catch them all! I caught thirteen, and four unique ones for our Pokedex, which was an excellent haul. Jericho and Soren certainly approved of my efforts when I told them about it after school, but I can’t help feeling slightly ashamed of myself.

Apart from shopping this morning (I bought a towel rail and two cacti at Bunnings, and a phone charging cable and some cleaning wipes at Officeworks) I didn’t do a great deal through the day. I chatted online for a while when I was doing some planning, and worked on my socks for a little while too. It was pretty cold.

Jericho, Soren and I went on a Pokemon walk after school. We walked down to the main street and then along that and up to the park to get all the pokestops, collecting Pokemons along the way. We weren’t the only ones doing it, we saw a couple of pairs of older guys at the park and walking up and down the main street. It’s kind of funny, I obviously think it’s a fun game and it’s great for anyone to play, but two twenty year old guys slinking around the main street and the kids’ playground while being glued to their phones do like kind of shifty! Jericho and Soren are doing really well at sharing it too, I have to remind Jericho to give Soren turns but today they took it in turns to get the items at the pokestops and then took it in turns to catch any that appeared – it’s really nice to see them doing this game together and being kind to each other. We ended up walking up to the office just before five and walking home with Troy, which was nice for him.

I have to finish my planning tomorrow and go walking with Jean. We’re going to the lake, so hopefully the weather will cooperate, unlike last time when we got there and just had to turn around and come home.

I’m sorry I’m so boring about Pokemon Go at the moment. It’s just that apart from that I’ve been very tired and very cold – not much to write about there!

Monday 25 July 2016

It was a cold day today. Quite a lovely day for sitting inside and knitting, which is what I did! Less lovely for Troy, who is out playing hockey in weather that has gone from extremely cold to extremely cold plus raining.

I started the cable pattern on my Game of Thrones socks, after doing the toes on the weekend. It was a slow start – I love cables, but doing them on 2mm needles is very fiddly, and until I’ve worked enough for the cable pattern to become obvious I have to pay a lot of attention to what I’m doing. I am also using a pattern chart for the first time (I’ve only ever used a chart for colourwork, which is completely straightforward) and that is kind of different. I had to colour code it because the cable directions involve either three or four stitches, and since it’s a six strand braid the cable pattern squares are all right next to each other, so it was really confusing. Colour coding them have at least made it readable to me, so that’s a good start!

I really hope these socks work out. I chose two different colourways of Knitpicks Felici yarn to make a pair, inspired by the fire and ice references in Game of Thrones. One sock is made from the ‘Beyond the Wall’ yarn, which is all greys and pale ice blues, and the other is called ‘Sunset’ and is purple and gold and orange, so they really do seem to represent both sides!

The electrician came over again today and fixed the power to the shed. Luckily for us it didn’t require digging up the whole underground pipe it’s laid in – apparently you can tie the new cable to the old one and then use the old cable to just pull the new one through, which sounds fairly nifty. We’ll be able to plug our rodent deterrent back in now, and get rid of any rats or mice that have moved back in over the months that it wasn’t in use!

Jericho, Soren and I played more Pokemon Go today. I am such a sucker! But we discovered this morning that the reserve near the school is a Pokestop and a gym, so after I picked them up after school I said we could stop and grab the Pokestop items. In doing so we levelled up to level 5 and can now access the gyms, so I then had to let them do a battle. We were completely smashed, I think our top rated Pokemon had 119 combat points and the Pokemon we were fighting had over a thousand, so we were utterly crushed. The boys didn’t mind, they were just excited that they’d had a battle. We stopped at the lawn place to grab the items from that Pokestop, and then they caught some Pokemons outside IGA. The glitchiness of the game can be frustrating (it crashed out a couple of times while we were at the gym, and then it froze up completely when we were at IGA and couldn’t be restarted at all) but the boys are having fun with it. I’m actually enjoying doing it with them too – I have to admit I was pretty sceptical about the game in the beginning, but I think it’s really cleverly done and I like that it’s something we can easily do together.

Well, not with Nicholai, because he is a teenager and thus does nothing but sneer at things other people enjoy. (Apart from sport, which he follows with the fervour you’d normally associate with evangelical Christianity or something). He is driving me mad with his obnoxious hipster attitude! Everything that anyone who isn’t him gets excited about or interested in seems to be worthy of scorn. Just because it’s enjoyed by the masses doesn’t mean it’s garbage! Yes, people are often idiots, but sometimes the things that are popular are popular because they’re fun! Like Pokemon Go! Stop judging everything, especially things you have never actually experienced! Aarjghsljs!!

 

Sunday 24th July 2016

I am so tired. This has really felt like a full-on weekend, even if half of it was just about catching Pokemon!

Everyone who follows him on Facebook knows that the other day Nicholai announced his retirement from football. Today was the last home game for the season, and potentially Nicholai’s last game on his home ground (although that depends a bit on how they go in the finals) so he was completely emotional about the whole thing. Troy was on gate duty, so he and Nicholai went down to the oval early to do that, and although Nicholai headed off to find his teammates he also came back to Troy in the gate shed needing hugs and reassurance. Troy told me he actually started the game on the bench because he was too emotional about things to play!

I was there for the last half. It wasn’t a bad game I guess, and Nicholai’s team won, which makes it pretty much a certainty that they’ll be in the finals. Nicholai gave a motivating speech in the huddle at three quarter time, which made me smile – he’s so unintentionally funny at times. At the end of the game all the other kids were throwing water on him and cheering him as he led the team off the field. The coach gave him the game day medal in the rooms afterwards, and made a little speech about what a champion he is, and the way that he’s “given his heart and soul to the club” for the past five years or so.

It was awesome and funny and it just makes my heart hurt in a good way…it’s another one of those days when I’ve been able to look at him and see how brilliantly he lives his own life and how much a part of this wider world he is, and just think…autism can bite me. I mean, look at him. Look at how hard he has tried with this game, how much he’s worked at being part of a team, and the way that he has absolutely shone in the eyes of all the coaches and trainers and even the other players. He just does these things that no one could have ever predicted he would, and he does them in a way that is always so inimitably his own, and I love that. The world has been good to my Nicholai.

Despite all that, and despite the fact that I think playing football has been very good for Nicholai, I’m pretty glad he made the decision to quit at the end of this season. I planted the seed of this at the start of the season, saying that I thought he might not be able to play next year in the under 16s, because he was so much smaller than the others and I was afraid he would get crushed. He didn’t much like the idea at the time, but it’s obviously been in his mind over the season and he made the choice himself that it was time. In all honesty, I didn’t want him playing under 16s, even though he has filled out some over the year. His skills have never been up to that of the other players, and that gap is getting bigger and more dangerous for him as he gets older. In the faster and harder game of the next age bracket I really just think he would get hurt. He’s not skilled enough to engage on the same level, and not really skilled enough to accurately read the play and get out of the way either, so chances of him getting knocked out and run over were a bit too high for my liking.

I took the other three kids for a walk at the wetlands so they could try and catch Pokemon, but it was not a good hunting ground. Neither was the footy oval, as they walked around it while waiting for Nicholai’s game to finish. We then made them all accompany us to Costco, so really they were not in the best of moods! However Costco was a Pokestop, so there was at least that. While all the walking might not have given them opportunity to catch any Pokemons, the distance did add up in regards to hatching their egg so they were happy with that.

It was early to bed and straight to sleep for all of them tonight. I’m wrestling with the dilemma of whether to go to bed really early, or stay up and watch Expendables 3 with Troy. Sleep versus a movie with Kellan AND Ronda?

Saturday 23rd July 2016

My advice for someone who decides to try and be the fun mum and download Pokemon Go for her offspring to play? Perhaps don’t rely on it for navigation in a strange area – because if you do it might freeze up and refuse to work, and then you will potentially walk in the wrong direction and possibly wind up lost, and the child who is supposed to be having fun may begin crying and dragging his feet in misery, and you could possibly have to end up calling your husband for rescue.

See if your Pokemon are any good to you then!

The worst part about this disastrous foray into the world of Pokemon Go? We only caught ONE Pokemon!

Really, I have to say it was a pretty dreadful introduction to the game. I went with Troy to Jericho’s hockey, my idea being that while Jericho played, Soren and I would go for a walk and he could catch some Pokemon and have a little play with the game. I thought this might work well because then Soren would actually get a turn without Jericho continually telling him what to do and snatching the phone out of his hands (general issue we’ve been having lately – Jericho has a tendency to treat Soren like his personal servant), and then in the afternoon we could go for a walk around town and Jericho could have a turn.

So once Jericho’s game started, Soren and I started the game and walked off. I thought there would be Pokemon scattered everywhere, but we actually had to walk quite a way before one appeared. We caught him though, so we thought we were off to a good start! There was a gym marked on our map so we walked towards that, but we weren’t experienced enough to do anything there, and despite hearing that there were often stray Pokemons to be found near gyms, there wasn’t anything. But we could see a Pokestop marked on our map from there, so we walked over to that and got three Pokeballs and an egg. This is when it all went down hill, because despite leaves flying up right under our little character’s feet, which should have meant a Pokemon was there, nothing happened. So we turned off the game and restarted it…except it wouldn’t start. And so we did not have a handy electronic map guiding me back to the hockey field. And instead of walking back the way we had come, we walked a different way. And walked, and walked, and walked… Eventually we hit a primary school and a road where I knew where I was and roughly where I had to go to get back to the hockey, so although by this point Soren had kind of started crying I thought we’d be okay. Except that they were doing some kind of earthworks and the way we needed to walk was completely blocked off! I gave up then – walking around the earthworks would have been a really long way round, and I just didn’t think I could drag Soren along that long. It had already been over an hour. So we walked back to the primary school and sat in the playground and I called Troy. The hockey game had just finished so, after laughing at my predicament a little bit, he told me to sit down and relax and he’d come and get us. Soren cheered right up then and had fun on the playground while we waited, so it all ended fairly nicely, although I couldn’t believe we’d done all that for ONE lousy Pokemon!

I was ready to give up on the game, quite frankly, but as we were driving home it suddenly started working again and there was a Pokemon right there on my lap in the car! So I caught him and then caught two more almost instantly at the petrol station.

I was just…I walked for over an hour for ONE, and then I sat in my car and caught three in a row???

This afternoon we went for a walk around town here so that Jericho could have a turn. This was much more enjoyable and successful – we caught a couple just on the footpath and then there were three Pokestops in the park and more Pokemon there, and then we caught a couple in IGA too as we bought what we needed for tea. There were several Pokestops in the main street too, so they visited those on the walk home. Apart from walking home in the rain, it was a lot more fun than this morning’s trek! Jericho and Soren even managed to share all the catching of Pokemon and the collecting of goods at the Pokestops, and they were really excited about finding the different Pokemon that they know from their cards.

Friday 22nd July 2016

Another Friday night with Emma and Troy out at her hockey game, and me and the boys at home. After several days in a row of nice weather the cold and rain moved in again today, so it’s looking pretty miserable out there for her tonight. Fingers crossed they get a win.

I stayed at school this morning to help out with their artist in residence program. They have a lady coming in on Fridays to work with the kids doing some puppet making and puppetry activities, and it’s sounded quite interesting. I mentioned that I might like to stay (especially given the importance of puppetry in Indonesia, it could be interesting and relevant) and Hayley immediately organised for her class and Kylie’s class to go one after the other, so I can stay from the start of school to recess and join in with Jericho’s and then Soren’s class. So I did that today, although they weren’t actually making puppets so it wasn’t as good as last week was apparently! I think Jericho and Soren like me being there, and I actually like spending time with all the kids I teach when I’m just kind of casually helping out. It’s interesting to see them in a different context. I think the puppetry goes on all term, although I’m not sure of that.

The rest of the day was pretty ordinary. I don’t know, I’m not writing this here because I want everyone to get concerned and ring me up (really, please don’t do that), but I am not feeling as steady and stable recently. I’m getting completely enraged about stuff that shouldn’t be bothering me to anything like that degree, and then getting all edgy and anxious, and it’s just…not good. I feel like control is slipping and I don’t like it. I have a psychiatrist appointment coming up in a couple of weeks, so I guess I need to do what I can to make it through until then.

I downloaded Pokemon Go onto my phone tonight. (Which precipitated a bout of nearly uncontrollable rage when the stupid thing didn’t work!) I was a bit hesitant, since it seems like the kind of thing that is destined to end in tears, although whether from me or the boys, I’m not sure! But Jericho and Soren have loved Pokemon for a long time, and even though they didn’t ask for it I knew they’d be really happy and excited to play it. So I downloaded it tonight and we got it set up so that it’s all ready for us to have a play with it tomorrow and see how they like it

Emma has signed up on the Pottermore website and been sorted, and she’s a Hufflepuff.

Wednesday 20th July 2016

I really do love Jericho’s way of thinking. He was telling me, on the way home from school, that they had sexual education today and they had to draw a picture of themselves now, and themselves in ten years. Soren asked him if he drew himself with stubble and big muscles in the future. Jericho said that they were more looking at what they are thinking about now and what they would be thinking about in ten years. He said he drew himself now with a thought cloud that had Pokemon and llamas and a hockey stick and school. He said he drew himself in ten years with a thought cloud that had a hockey stick in it, some dollar signs, and a llama with a rope halter on it “because that’s how I make money, by walking people’s llamas. Oh, and I also have a moustache in ten years.” I love him.

I am finding the world so hard to deal with at the moment. I just about had a breakdown this morning over the stupidity of other parents not using the drop-off zone at school correctly! Seriously people – it’s not hard! The clue is in the name…drop-off…it means drop off your kid! It doesn’t mean park there and walk into the school! It doesn’t mean get out there and leap out of the car to act as your kid’s personal chauffeur and valet, opening and closing their door and putting their bag on their back! If your kid needs your help, then you park in the carpark and help, you don’t get in the drop off lane and hold everyone else up! I spent seven years parking the car to let the kids out, because I didn’t have kids that could undo their seatbelts, get out of the car, and then shut the door unassisted. So now that I can I want to make use of this lovely drop-off lane and not get held up!

Ugh, I don’t know. Then tonight I was at hockey and listening to some other parents near me talking and it was just excruciating. I mean, mocking some poor kid with Aspergers who goes to their kids’ school? Then slagging off the specialist teachers for copying and pasting school reports. Then gossiping and bitching about other school parents. (And this was a man and a woman, fwiw) It just depressed me – is this what people are like?

I had craft today, which was nice though. I coloured in some posters for the Indonesian room and we talked a bit. I’m working on the green baby blanket I was knitting for KOGO again, which has been ignored while I was doing the sock knitting. The green blanket is going to take ages, but I honestly don’t care. It’s for donation, it’s not like there’s a deadline.

The children had an awards assembly at the high school yesterday. Nicholai won an award for ‘Outstanding Attendance’, because he hasn’t missed a day. For some reason this made me laugh so much.

Tuesday 19 July 2016

After putting up with leaky taps and dodgy electricity in the shed for months, we woke up to no lights in the house this morning and were therefore forced to act like grown ups and hire tradespeople to come to our house. The plumber came and replaced two taps and then left. The electrician came and fixed the electricity issue in the house but said that the shed problem was probably due to a fault in the line that runs from house to shed. Unfortunately, fixing that is probably going to require digging, so not something that could be dealt with today.

I hate house repairs, which is probably pretty obvious when you consider how long it always takes me to actually get around to doing anything for a non-emergency issue. When Jericho came home from school and I told him about all the repairs he asked me, “Were you starting to feel like the Hecks (from the tv show The Middle) since nothing in our house ever works properly?”

He obviously has low expectations of us though. He got himself a drink out of the new mixer tap in the kitchen, which turned off without leaking and needing to be turned to an extremely precise location to minimise the drips, and said to me in great tones of surprise, “Wow, this new tap really is quite functional.” Not good or anything, he’s just impressed that it’s “functional”!

Not much else happened today. I went and bought food for the guinea pigs and the dog, and then came home to do housework and wait for tradies. You would really think we had twelve cats with the amount of cat fur I vacuumed up today, but it’s just Ootchy, who scatters fur around the house like it’s confetti.