Thursday 22 February 2018

Well, I think that’s hockey done for our family. Troy was home to take care of it, but it was the usual moaning and drama and carrying on – Jericho hates getting his hair brushed, Emma wanted to stay home and do her homework…at one point Troy looked at me and said, “I know what you mean now.” They all eventually left, but apparently once they got there Emma just sat down and cried and refused to train, so that was a complete and utter waste of time. I am just furiously angry honestly. Emma is great 99% of the time, but that 1% of the time where she sulks and behaves like a two year old just infuriate me.

Well, whatever. I’m not going through this shit every week, so even though it feels like rewarding her appalling behaviour she doesn’t have to play. Jericho trained and had fun I think, but frankly I will be surprised if he continues to play if Emma doesn’t, so that’s probably it.

I am just so sick of my kids’ whining. Today, it feels like that’s all they do, and it’s always about the same damn things. Doing the dishes, putting out the recycling, picking up after themselves, doing homework, whatever we’re having for dinner/snack/breakfast/lunch, and brushing/tying up hair. Every. Single. Day.

Soren also cries about being tired, but I don’t think he can help that. So while I’m not cross with him for doing it, it still happens all the time and just adds to the overall feeling of me crumbling under their endless demands.

Seriously, today I feel like giving up completely. Nothing is ever good enough, no one is ever appreciative, and no matter what I do someone is always moaning and bitching at me, so why bother?

Then of course I hate myself for being like this, because this is what being a parent is and that’s the job I signed up for. Kids are completely self-centred, that’s just what kids are. It’s not like I expect real gratitude or anything, but it would be nice to just occasionally feel like they are able to acknowledge the fact that I am not here solely to be their servant, and that just because they don’t like something doesn’t mean it is all my fault. I really wish they would learn that sometimes, there are things that you just have to live with, and no amount of moaning and whining and carrying on will make any difference so you may as well STOP DOING IT.

I don’t know. Basically tonight it all feels like failure.

Apart from everything I hate tonight…today was rainy, I did more gardening, I drove Nicholai to and from his group, I took Emma to Officeworks to buy a pin board and sticky notes, I bought a new guinea pig house so the stinky things can be moved outside, I bought tickets for Troy and Nicholai to go and see the Greenday musical for Nicholai’s birthday (this is a surprise), I went to the supermarket, I did the laundry. Blah blah blah…I should probably stop writing this now, as I certainly have nothing very nice to say.

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Wednesday 21 February 2018

It’s only six days until Nicholai’s 16th birthday and I don’t know what to get him for a present! I feel like it should be something special…but what?

For his birthday he wanted to have some friends around to watch a dvd and have snacks and maybe play on the x-box…it didn’t seem like much to ask, but we’ve got one person coming. It’s so hard – he does have some friends, but I think a lot of his socialisation is online, and it has been difficult for him to gather people to actually come and hang out with him.

I wish I could make his birthday be exactly the way he wants it to be.

I felt like I was productive today, although I think it was probably just that I did things that have an obvious result. I went to Bunnings and brought mulch and spread it out along the side fence, and then I kept sawing things down. It probably sounds like I’m turning the yard into a wasteland, but a lot of the pruning and sawing is just taking branches or extra trunks away from trees that have grown up from shrubs and shaping them up a bit. All this clearing is making our yard feel bigger too, which is a nice bonus that I hadn’t really expected.

I did some more knitting too, although my hands were a little bit sore after the gardening so it didn’t last too long. I’m doing a diagonal blanket, where you start with the corner and just increase each row until you’re halfway through the yarn you have (or decide that the triangle you’ve knitted is big enough to be half a blanket) and then decrease back to a corner. I’ve knitted far enough now that the rows are getting pretty long, so progress feels a lot slower than it did when I was increasing from a three stitch corner, but it’s looking nice.

In the afternoon I cleared off the sideboard thing and the tables beside my chair and the couch. It’s amazing the amount of stuff that winds up piled on surfaces that don’t need clearing off daily! It’s the kind of job that’s really easy to ignore, so getting it done always feels satisfying.

Jericho had Naomi over after school, and I helped a very tearful Soren do some maths homework. Emma worked on her maths- they are doing graphs and she is fed up with them. Last week they were doing box plots, which is a type of graph that I swear I have never even heard of before, although once I said that Emma, Nicholai and Troy all ganged up on me and made me listen to their lecture on what they were.

Poor Soren has come out of bed crying and sweating a couple of times already tonight- I don’t know how to help him. I really feel that there’s something not quite right, but I don’t know what to do about it. We already went to the doctor and she tested him for all the obvious things, and I don’t have any new info about what’s going on with him that might prompt a different idea for diagnosis. It’s hard to feel stuck in this wait and see position, even though I think it’s probably the only thing we can really do right now.

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Nemesis just brought in another mouse. I don’t know where he’s finding them, but he basically brings his kill in (or live prisoner in the case of the mouse) and hides under the kitchen table with it, making a horrible yowling noise until we get up and rattle the kitchen chairs and yell at him. At this point he runs back outside and we lock the catflap so he can’t bring it back inside to eat.

I spent three hours with an excruciating headache this evening. The kind of hurts so much it makes you throw up headache – it really came out of nowhere and panadol didn’t even seem to touch it. I found some panadeine forte (why did I have that?) in the bottom of the medicine box and that knocked it out at last, but damn it was a shitty end to the day.

Troy’s down at the office today, so it was a quiet day at home for me. I dropped Jericho and Soren at school since I had to go to the supermarket for dinner stuff, and then came home. I did some writing in the morning, and went outside and worked in the backyard in the afternoon. I filled up the green waste bin that had been emptied earlier in the morning, and then went back to piling stuff up on the concrete by the tank. I’ve been clearing along the side fence and I’m nearly up to the shed, so that’s some good progress.

Jericho came outside with me for a bit after school. We found an old tin bucket lost in the overgrown part of the garden I’m clearing and he wanted to plant something in it, so we picked one of the succulents that was outgrowing its pot and repotted it in this bucket. We also pulled out this metal tub thing that was leaning against the shed, and managed to roll the smallest rock in the yard from the garden bed onto the grass. Unfortunately then I couldn’t actually roll it across the yard, but at least it’s a start. I’m sure between Troy and Cam’s muscle and Nicholai’s knowledge of physics (levers and stuff are physics?) we should be able to build pride rock.

Soren had a friend come over after school. They played Yu-gi-oh and Soren showed him his stuff, and then they jumped on the trampoline and played in Soren’s room. Soren did ask to use the DS at one point but I said no – I’m always a bit unsure of what to do about screens when they have friends over, because I want the friends to have fun and want to come back, but I also don’t want them just staring at screens all afternoon.

Soren always goes to bed on his own, but he usually asks Troy to ‘say goodnight to me on my bed’ so Troy will go out later and give him a kiss and make sure he’s all covered. Today he asked me, so I went into his room and gave him a hug, kind of leaning on him. After I kissed him I asked if there was anything else I could do for him, and he said, “You could not hug me so hard…you’re like a trash compactor.”

Monday 19 February 2018

It’s really windy right now, and even though it’s not that cold it kind of feels like winter. I am definitely not complaining, since I am not exactly a summer girl!

Today was pretty relaxing. It was wet so I drove the kids to school and then went and picked up some prescriptions. Gosh, if I manage to get off all the psych meds and only need the metformin and the thyroid meds I’ll save us a fortune. And even the thyroid stuff, I seem to need less than I did six months ago, so who knows how that will end up.

I did a bit of writing and knitting today. I like the quiet of Mondays after having the whole family home on the weekends. Especially after Saturday being such a big deal with Nicholai, it was nice to just sit quietly for a while today.

I took the boys to the library after school. Emma stayed home to do her maths homework- she is working really hard in this advanced maths class and I am so proud of her. She’s never been confident in maths, but being asked to be in this class was a big boost for her and she’s really putting in the effort to make it work. It’s so good. Confidence has always been Emma’s stumbling block, and I love how she just keeps getting stronger and more sure of herself as she gets older.

Saturday 17 February 2017

Nicholai made his tv debut today, and I have to say that my boy is amazing! He is beautiful and intelligent and articulate, and I am so, so proud.

It all went really smoothly. Troy and I drove down to the ABC studios in Southbank with him, called our contact from outside the building and she came and let us right in. We went to the green room, where Nicholai had his make up done (which was basically just powdering him so that he wasn’t too shiny) and I signed release forms, and then when it was his turn we went into the studio with him.

The start was severely awkward though- they wanted to start with him dancing and doing poses, which was just…not going to happen. I mean, it was never going to happen at any time, but when he was as nervous and out of his element as he was at that moment they had absolutely zero chance of even getting anything usable. They realised this and moved on to the interview, which went pretty well. He was really anxious at the start and you could tell, but as he kept talking you could see him relax more and he did a really good job. His answers were interesting and sometimes funny, and although he struggled with eye contact he looked good.

We were watching him on a monitor, and it was so hard to see him so nervous and anxious at the start. But watching him work through it and really come back into himself and even enjoy the process a little bit just made my heart hurt in such a good way. He is amazing! People always say that about him, but I always think they don’t mean it in quite the same way I do. Because they didn’t see him all those years ago and they don’t know how much harder he has had to work to become this amazing person that he is. I am so proud of who he is, but also beyond proud of the sometimes very rough road he’s had to walk to get here.

He doesn’t let me tell him anymore, he gets embarrassed and he thinks I’m being sappy and sentimental and he doesn’t want to hear it…but damn it little bear, you’re amazing and I love you.

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Out the front, before we went in.

 

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Nicholai was kind of behind that wall, those are the cameras and lights focused on him. 

 

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This is the monitor that we were watching him on.

Friday 16 February 2018

Jericho is reading Volume 4 of the Sesame Street Library, and I would have to say that I’ve already got my money’s worth from the joy he has had from the first three books, ha ha ha. He thinks they are hilarious, although he questions some of the artwork- he just said to me, “Oh look, Prairie Dawn is a bus driver in this book…but she still looks dead inside.”

I am recovering at the moment- I just had to yank a tiny stick out of my finger. Seriously the most traumatic gardening injury I’ve ever had! I was moving some of the branches and felt like I hit my finger on something, and when I looked there was what looked like a little chunk of stick stuck to my skin. I attempted to flick it off and realised that it was actually stuck IN my skin, so I pinched it between my fingers and pulled it. I withdrew a few millimetres of stick, and then realised with horror that it wasn’t enough – that there was still enough stick left in me that it wasn’t budging. Of course this sent my fainting reflex into high drive so Troy had to grab me and guide me over to lie down on the deck couch, while he then went off to find some tweezers or pliers or something. I guess I was not thinking very clearly, but I somehow managed to get enough of a grip on the splinter that I could yank it out – I had about two centimetres of a teeny stick embedded under the skin of my finger! Two centimetres sounds tiny, but when the space between my knuckles is only about three centimetres long having a spike from an apple tree driven in there is pretty awful. However it slid in and out so neatly that I only have this tiny little puncture wound, completely out of step with how traumatising this whole incident was!

Despite the fact that I’ve just written half a page about gardening related trauma, I didn’t even spend much time out there today! I went and tidied up one tree this afternoon (which did involve sawing off a branch much bigger than anything I’ve sawed through before) and then I went out this evening to move the branches I didn’t move earlier over to the big pile, since Troy was loading some of that onto the ute, and that’s when I hurt myself.

Troy’s parents are coming to stay tonight, so I did a lot of cleaning to make my house look nice – this house is really pretty big when you vacuum it all at one time (or most of it) rather than just doing rooms here and there, but it looks good once it’s done.

I did some knitting too, on a new blanket I started yesterday. I’m using the yarn I bought from the op shop, which is some of the nicest acrylic I’ve ever knitted with. It’s a yellowish cream, the colour of butter really, thick and super soft and it has a lovely sheen to it. I’m doing a basic corner to corner diagonal knit blanket in rows of stockinette and reverse stockinette, so textured stripes, and I already love it.

Thursday 15 February 2018

I had a good day today. It did not get off to a very auspicious start, as getting the kids out the door and into the car was bizarrely difficult. Normally they just get themselves ready and head off pretty easily to walk to school, so you’d think me driving them would make it all go even more smoothly but such was not the case.

I drove them so I could go to the post office and pick up a package and return the dvds to the library. We borrowed The Martian (which we all watched last Friday) and The Stanford Prison Experiment (which Troy and I watched on Tuesday) – both of them were really good, although that prison experiment is so disturbing that the movie wasn’t really happy fun times to watch or anything, just very interesting.

While I was out I went to four op shops as well- the one near Officeworks, and three along Howitt Street. I have been meaning to check them out, and since I had cash from selling the boxes I thought it might be a good day. It was pretty fun, and now I know what sort of stuff they have and what their prices are like for the future. You never know how op shopping will go, but I did well today.

I got five pairs of jeans that will either fit boys now or fit boys in the future- when they’re either brand new or practically unworn and cost under $5 it seems sensible to buy them when I find them and keep them until someone grows into them. Especially Soren- the way he destroys pants is unreal. I used to just assume it was because he was third in line for them and of course they were going to fall apart eventually, but even new pants don’t last.

I got lucky with dvds too- the first two seasons of Glee, the first season of Scrubs, and Stand by Me. I also bought 9 balls of yarn for $8 (a lemon/cream baby acrylic), a David Walliams book for Soren and Jericho, a ceramic planter, and the complete Sesame Street Library. We actually do have the Sesame Street Library, but it’s the set that my family had when we were little and it’s all falling apart, so when I found all fifteen books in basically immaculate condition for $1 each I couldn’t stop myself from buying replacements.

Backyard work continued in the afternoon. I sorted out the opposite side of the deck and cut down some self-sown fruit trees, which I have to say is a very awkward job. It’s really amazing how many things there are in a backyard to chop up when you go looking for them.

Hockey training started tonight for Jericho and Emma, which was a little bit difficult. It’s so hard- both of them enjoy playing but don’t really like training, and are somewhat conflicted about whether they want to play this season or not. So I’m in the awkward position of not knowing whether to push them or not- do you make them do things they’re not enthusiastic about (but don’t mind doing once it gets going) because it’s good for them? It’s hard too because I’m not into competitive team sports at all so I’m very sympathetic with them not wanting to do it! I DO think having an activity outside school/ home is really good for them and has a lot of benefits, and Troy is very keen that they do something, so it seems that the answer is yes at the moment.

Anyway, I said at the end of last season that I was not dealing with hockey training on my own (and today really confirmed that) but Troy is changing his days from next week and will be able to take them. I think it will work better that way, as he can join in with them to warm up and having him around should help them connect with the club a bit more. I hope so.

Troy is also thinking about playing for the club, which I think is a good idea- he really likes hockey and I’m sure having an activity will be good for him too. Going by today the men train after the kids, so he can take Em and Jericho and I’ll go and pick them up while he stays and trains.

I thought I lost the dog last night. I was ready to go to bed, but when I called her she didn’t come. I went through every single room in the house calling her, called her out the back door, even called her out the front door although there was no way she could have got out there! Eventually I grabbed the torch and went out to search the backyard, half braced to find her dead under a tree, that’s how concerned I was that she hadn’t come to her name…and I found her staring at a hole in the ground by the shed. I yelled at her to go inside into her bed and she trotted off towards the house, but when I got inside it turned out that she’d only pretended to go inside and had really run right back to staring down the hole in the ground! Honestly, between all the barking at non existent birds in trees and now staring down a hole in the ground I’m wondering if she’s getting dementia or something.

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Jericho after hockey training- he actually wore his hair in a big ponytail and looked lovely. 

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I took this photo today to show Benita- one of Nemesis’ preferred places to sleep is jammed in between the overlap of the trampoline netting.