Tuesday 12 December 2017

I finished all the painting today. I feel like I ought to do some kind of huge celebration, but basically I’m just too tired and I didn’t actually get that good a paint finish on Emma’s room today so it’s all something of a let down.

Even so, I’ve finished painting my whole house!

(Okay, I didn’t paint the laundry or the pantry, but they don’t count.)

Tomorrow I will have to clean up all the painting supplies that are still piled up in the laundry, and hopefully scrape off the paint droplets and splashes that got spread about in there as well, when I was doing all the stirring and washing etc. Then we can just move on, in our freshly painted house, and start getting ready for Christmas.

Nicholai and Emma had the day off school today. In a surprisingly convenient coincidence, Emma also had an orthodontist appointment this morning. I took her to that, where she had her braces tightened and her rubber bands replaced- she chose alternating red and green elastics for Christmas, which kind of made me laugh but does look very festive. She and I played some Pokemon Go and then did some grocery shopping before we went home.

Emma spent most of her day off on her phone (wow, what a surprise) although she did spend some time baking biscuits. She found a recipe in one of her books for a cinnamon/sugar cookie, so we bought what we needed after the orthodontist and she did that on her own. The cookies were extremely thin and extremely hard, so although they were quite tasty poor Emma couldn’t really even eat any because of her newly tightened braces.

Nicholai spent most of the day in his room on his computer. He did talk to a friend in Tennessee over Skype for a while, which is unusually sociable for him, and then he had cricket training in the afternoon.

It’s funny, I was thinking how much Troy and I roll our eyes at him always hiding away in his room and never speaking to anyone in the family, and then I remembered way back when he started school, and I was so unbelievably happy that for six and a half hours, five days a week, someone else would have to listen to him talk! The idea that one day he would never come out of his room unless forced to and I could conceivably go a whole day only speaking a few sentences to him would have been inconceivable back then.

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Soren gave me this – I do not know what that face is, but this thing is so hilarious!

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Monday 11 December 2017

We all went back to the usual school, work, and painting today. It will be the last week of this routine though – I am painting the last room in the house, and Nicholai and Emma finish school on Thursday. They also have tomorrow off, which seems kind of ridiculous, but they’re pretty happy with it! Jericho and Soren still have school like usual next week, while the high school runs voluntary ‘activity days’, which Nicholai has volunteered to avoid and Emma has volunteered to attend on three days.

We named the new lizards Orlando and Elizabeth today. As soon as this was decided Orlando bit me hard enough to draw blood, so I’m not sure he approves, but what are you going to do? Anyway, it was my fault he bit me, I was holding him too far back and he whipped his head around and latched onto my thumb- hurt like crazy actually, I have true empathy now for Soren when he was bitten by Sebastian!

Soren came with me to the supermarket and Bunnings this afternoon, which was lovely. I have to admit that his whining and carrying on is really hard for me to deal with – I mean, today he got home from school and asked if he could have an icy pole and I said no because I’d baked a cake for afternoon tea, he literally collapsed against the wall moaning, “Awwwww….” Like dude, it’s not like I love baking here! Anyway, there’s been way too much whining lately so I was actually a little doubtful when he said he’d come shopping with me (insert feelings of horrible guilt) but we really had such a nice time together. We talked about school, and then we played some Pokemon Go and talked about Christmas. I had initially only gone to the supermarket for tea things, but since we were having fun together we went to Bunnings too (for fake turf for the lizard) and it was really just lovely. He always was rather delightful to take on errands when it was just he and I…he’s grown up so much since then, but he’s still my Scooby baby.

Who is going to be in GRADE FOUR next year, can I just say…Jericho will be in Grade Six, Emma in Year Nine and Nicholai in Year Ten, so they are all just getting SO GROWN UP!!!!

Sunday 10 December 2017

We set up the lizards’ outdoor enclosure today, and it’s great for them. The enclosure I bought was originally designed as a rabbit run, without a floor in it, so we had to add a mesh bottom to it to make sure the blue tongues couldn’t get out. We bought a roll of bird proof mesh at Bunnings and staple gunned it to the bottom of the frame and it was all good. At the moment they have a water dish, food dish, a couple of rocks, an ice cream container hibernation hut, and Sebastian’s hiding log in there with them. They will need a second hibernation hut (better get to eating that ice cream, ha ha ha) and I’ll have to go to Benita’s and look for some good hollow logs or interesting chunks of wood out in their bush, to give the enclosure a few more hiding spots and make it a bit more interesting.

I don’t know how the new lizards feel about it. The first thing the boy did when we put them in there was climb straight up the side wall to escape, so who knows. I hope it doesn’t take them long to adjust to being outside and dealing with natural temperature zones – it’s meant to be pretty hot this week though, so that will ease them into it nicely. They both ate a snail today, which is excellent, although they certainly didn’t know what to do with one when I first put the snail into their tank. Both the lizards stood their and licked it and then the snail crawled onto the lizard’s head and down his back and up the wall to escape!

As well as doing the lizard enclosure, Troy mowed and cut back some of the blackberry bush that is beginning to take over the little shed out in the backyard. He also made us seafood pasta for dinner, so he was really extremely productive today. Not so much the rest of us! Jericho went to a birthday party at Inflatable World, so he had a good day. The other kids just did their usual weekend thing – school is winding down for the year, and they are all pretty tired of it all I think.

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Saturday 9 December 2017

I got my lizards today! I feel like Lisa Simpson – “I am the lizard queen!”

I ended up getting them from a reptile/aquarium store in Boronia, so it was absolutely ages away. Honestly though, I didn’t even mind. It was just Troy and I, and the car is always a good place to talk, so the long drive didn’t actually seem all that long. I also took my knitting and got a bit done on my socks which we were driving. I started these socks in JANUARY, so frankly it’s a bit of a disgrace that they’re still on my needles. But I had to restart them after making a mistake which was very off-putting, and then I was distracted making crocheted blankets and baby sweaters and scarves so the socks were really just neglected. Painting the house has taken priority over knitting, so with my hands being sore from painting I haven’t done any knitting for quite a long time. I really want to finish these socks before I hit the anniversary of starting them…we need to go on a few more long drives I think.

I got a male and a female lizard, and they’re pretty easy to tell apart when they’re compared directly. The boy’s head is almost triangular in shape, while the girl’s is a narrower. (Comparing them to Sebastian, I actually think ‘he’ is a girl too, so I don’t know if he will be renamed!) My new ones are under a year old so they won’t breed this season, but if we hibernate them over winter we should be good for some babies next summer. The man who sold them to us said that they’re both pretty big for their ages, the boy lizard’s dad was a northern who was over 60cm long so he could get rather enormous. We’ll have to see- it’s going to be so interesting to watch them grow and then hopefully have some babies.

Nicholai had cricket this morning, but apparently his team was terrible and lost by about a hundred runs or something. Nicholai didn’t seem too upset by this- he got to bowl, and when he batted he didn’t get any runs but he didn’t get out either.

While Nicholai and Troy were gone at cricket, Benita came over with the kids. I have not seen her as often this term (because of the painting…it’s always the painting) so it was really nice to just hang out for a while. Dempsey, who is still so mischievous and adorable I can’t stand it, brought a carrot with him to give the guinea pigs and was so excited about it. As soon as he saw me he started waving the carrot in the air and shrieking, “Guinea pig (or the way he says it, which is kind of like ‘ghee pig!’)” and “Carrot!” and when he came inside he ran straight to their cage to give it to them.

We’ve put a latch on the back living room so he can’t get in there and eat the boys’ Lego, which feels a bit mean, but he’ll grow out of this stage soon enough. At least we brought the guinea pig cage out so he could watch them whenever he wanted to (and Jericho pulled one out for him to pet) and the weather was nice enough for the kids to play on the trampoline.

Sullivan bought his beyblades and Pokemon cards and he and Soren did some battles and trading. It was funny actually, after they’d gone Jericho picked up a Pokemon card from the table and said, “Did Sullivan leave this here?” and Soren said no, that he’d traded him for it. Jericho was incredibly indignant about this, “But I need this card!”…guess you should have come out of your room and played with your cousin then, kiddo!

Soren also had to have a hold of Alby- he loves babies. He would have been a good big brother, it’s really a pity that he is the youngest.

Troy and I do the whole Elf on the Shelf thing. We don’t go nuts, we mostly just move him to a different place each night (when we remember!) and the kids find him in the morning, but occasionally Troy gets creative. Last night he built a Lego arena and filled it with Lego men and weapons, with Arthur Pixel (that’s what our elf is called) like some maniacal emperor overlord…it’s quite frightening actually.

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Jericho’s green room

Friday 8 December 2017

Jericho’s room is all painted green now. It still smells pretty strongly of paint so he’s spending tonight in Soren’s room, but he’ll be back in it tomorrow. It looks good- the beige really was kind of drab and dismal for kids’ rooms, and the colours make it look a lot more cheerful.

We watched Edward Scissorhands tonight. Last time we went to the library Jericho borrowed a book called ‘101 Movies to Watch Before You Grow Up’, and has been going through it. He’s seen lots of the movies on the list (lots of Disney and Pixar ones) and has started making a list of the ones he hasn’t seen but would like to. The Princess Bride was one, and we borrowed that from Benita and watched it last weekend. Edward Scissorhands was another, and so when I saw it at Kmart yesterday for $9 I bought it. The kids really liked it, and I enjoyed watching it again. It’s pretty fun rewatching movies from my childhood with the kids and getting their take on it. I think I’ll have to get Jericho to write down his list and see what else we can find.

Jericho and Soren had a walkathon and a mini-fete at school today and had a great time. They had to walk for two hours, and then the fete was after that. We gave them each ten dollars to spend, which was plenty apparently – as Soren gleefully told me, “It was all dirt cheap!” They bought lemonade and ice cream and cupcakes, and came home with a couple of little Pokemon toys, so it was a good day.

There was a note from school saying that parents were welcome to come and walk with their children during the walkathon and support the mini-fete, but when I thought about it I was kind of startled to realise that both Jericho and Soren are old enough that they would really prefer to just go round with their friends. So I stayed home and painted.

I forgot to write this yesterday, but when I was leaving to take Jericho shopping I told Emma we were going and that she had to look after Soren if he needed anything. Soren had followed me into her room and he said, “You’re my babysitter!” Since he’s been reading the Babysitters Club books I asked him whether she was Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne or Stacey. Soren shook his head sadly and said, “No, she’s from the Babysitters Agency…she doesn’t pay any attention to her charges.” This totally cracked me up, and then Emma was pretending to be offended and I said, “Shut up Liz Lewis” and she cracked up too. I don’t know, the whole thing was such a funny little joke, and I’m so tickled by Soren reading the BSC anyway, it was lovely.

Also in connection with yesterday Troy has sorted out all the insurance stuff for my stupid parking accident, although we won’t get the van fixed until February because the panel beaters is pretty booked up, what with holidays and all.

And Emma apologised for being such a brat about eating the peas and I apologised for yelling. I said that she’s a big girl and needs to be responsible about taking care of her health by eating properly and she agreed and said she would try, so that was good. She’s such a sweet girl, and she really is getting so mature…was quite a shock to see her behaving like a two year old again!

Nicholai got 100% on his maths exam. He also voluntarily came and sat in Jericho’s room while I was painting and talked to me for about five minutes, which is unusual enough to be worth remarking on.

I’ve found a pair of lizards to buy, after much searching around. I’m going to pick them up tomorrow- yay.

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Luna has found a new place to curl up- on the Santa sacks under the tree. 

Thursday 7 December 2017

I hit another car in the Stocklands’ carpark today. Scraped their back corner and my front corner- I feel like such shit. There was a teen girl in the car at the time, who probably thought I was some kind of crazy person as I knocked on the window, no doubt looking wild eyed and horrified, but fortunately the owner of the car returned almost right away. Anyway, she was understanding about it and it will all get worked out, but it’s just another episode of me being a disgrace.

It’s things like this that make me never want to leave my house.

I had Jericho with me, since we were going shopping to buy a birthday gift for a party that he has been invited to on Sunday. Last time I hit another car I also had Jericho with me, so perhaps he is a curse. Anyway, he wanted to buy one of those pop vinyl figures for his friend and we managed to find the exact one he was after so that part of the trip was a success.

And then at tea Emma refused to eat any peas and I yelled at her, which I do feel bad about, but at the same time….you are fourteen, not three! After everything else today, the last thing I felt like I could deal with was a teenager behaving a toddler.

 

Wednesday 6 December 2017

I finished Soren’s blue room today, with NO paint left at all – second coat was kind of skimpy in places actually. But it looks lovely. Soren is so happy with it, it was really cute to see him. When we first moved here and he got his own room I think he was not really all that certain that he wanted it to be honest, he quite enjoyed sharing with Jericho and having someone to talk to at night. But he’s got used to it now and being able to choose the colour himself has made him even happier with it.

I’m happy with how it turned out, and also happy that I discovered how much spare space he has on his bookshelf because now I can move a bunch of books from the living room into his room, and have somewhere to put the bag of my books that were returned to me on the weekend! We really don’t have enough bookshelf space. If I choose carefully, perhaps having some different books in his room will encourage Soren to read something new.

I am going to get a pair of blue tongues for my birthday and breed them. I’ve got an outdoor enclosure for them, so it’s just a matter of finding a couple of lizards, but it is proving slightly more difficult than I thought! The problem is that they are quite hard to sex, so finding a confirmed male or female is not really simple. We don’t know what Sebastian is either. So I spent a bit of time today finding pet stores that sell reptiles, and will just have to keep looking.

The kids are all good. Nicholai had exams yesterday and today, but was pretty relaxed about it. He wouldn’t really have any reason to be nervous of course, but it’s nice that he was confident. Emma and Jericho played hockey tonight, for once without there being any carrying on or drama before I took them – thank goodness. I’m so over that. I really want Troy to change his overnight so he’ll be here for training next year, but I’m not all that confident it will happen.

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