Wednesday 7th October 2015

Jericho and Soren started swimming lessons again today. Jericho’s taken the past two terms off because of hockey, and Soren took last term off because Steve and Jean’s holiday meant that they’d be away for over half of it, and they’re the ones who take him. Both the boys were pretty excited to be going back to the pool and also, it has to be admitted, pretty excited to get the good bakery snack that Grandma always buys for them.

I had a psychiatrist appointment today. I’m in a bipolar depressive phase, she said, which wasn’t exactly a surprise. I haven’t been sad, but my motivation is non-existent and all I want to do is sleep. Truthfully on the school holidays I pretty much slept for thirteen hours every night, and even then I only got out of bed because I felt guilty, not because I felt rested. Now that we’ve gone back to school I have to get up in order to take the children to school, and it’s killing me.

As depressed as I might have been when I went in to the appointment, it was the kind of appointment where I was twenty times more depressed when I came out. We’re fiddling with the medication again, and we spent a lot of time talking about options there. She said while she’s absolutely confident in the bipolar diagnosis, apparently treating me is a little bit challenging. I haven’t responded to some of the medication the way she would like, so we’re going to have to just keep on trying different ones. I’m glad there are still options to try, but I’m so goddamn tired and thinking about having to do anything, even just changing medications and monitoring their effects, seems monumental.

And then I had to come home and do my planning for tomorrow. There were tears. I do not know how on earth I’m going to teach tomorrow, I really don’t, but I suppose I will just have to pull myself together and do it.

Emma has a gap between her two front teeth now. It is amazing how much those braces have moved her teeth in just six weeks, her front teeth used to overlap each other at an angle and now they’re straight with a gap in between them. Her canines aren’t in place yet, but there has been enough movement of the rest of her teeth to see the gaps where the canines will hopefully fit in soon. It’s actually really cool now to look at the plaster mould of her original mouth and see how different her teeth are. I guess she’s getting her money’s worth out of all this orthodontic treatment.

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Ikea trip today. Troy’s mum has decided that in her retirement she is going to scan all her photos to digital, and so she needed a desk to undertake this project on. Since it was going to be hot today she thought that instead of getting back to walking the Warburton trail she and I could go to Ikea instead. I was hardly likely to object- I love looking round Ikea. It doesn’t even matter if I buy anything or not. Although of course I always do buy something…who can walk through Ikea and not be tempted into picking up something? So I bought a roll of paper, a shelf to go in the kids’ toilet, and a corner suction shelf to go in my shower.

I took the van back to Peter the mechanic today. It’s been working okay, but he wasn’t entirely happy with it. After having it all day today he’s still not entirely happy with it, but I don’t really understand why. It means Troy and I have to talk and do some thinking. We’ve been working on a plan where we would trade in Troy’s car on a new Jeep, but that may not be the best plan if the van is going to start having trouble. We need to look at our options, whether that’s still get the Jeep, get a new van, get something else or just stay as we are.

Monday 5 October 2015

Back to school today. Jericho and Soren were up, dressed, had breakfast and had made their lunch by 7.30. You’d think that would mean all would go smoothly, but no. As soon as I said it was time to go there was all kinds of drama about dog poo on shoes and broken shoelaces and then, most uncharacteristically, Soren just sat down on the step and sobbed that he didn’t want to go to school. It was quite heartbreaking actually. But I gave him a big hug for a little while and eventually he blew his nose and went out to the car.

I didn’t do anything all day. I just wanted quiet, and no one around to talk or need things or whatever else. It was really nice.

I picked the kids up after school and it was straight back into the usual asking for playdates and snacks and complaining about homework! But they all enjoyed their first day back, so that was really good.

Jericho enjoyed it exceptionally. They’re doing a unit of work on “expressing our feelings” and he said at first he thought it sounded really boring but they’re going to get to do lots of plays, so now he’s excited. He’s such a ham. He also learned how to draw llamas today, so he was thrilled with that. They’re his favourite animal. In fact, his computer background has a picture of a llama that has a unicorn horn photoshopped onto its forehead, a rainbow behind it, and says underneath “you’ll never be as fabulous as a llamacorn.”

Emma’s hockey clinic yesterday went well. She said it was really fun, and sounded pretty enthusiastic about it. It was taken by some of the Hockeyroos players, and they did some skills training as well as talking about how they came to play for Australia, and some of the tournaments and competitions they’d played in. I’m really glad she got to go and have some fun and see some girls who are strong and successful in their field.

Saturday 3 October 2015

I don’t understand why people hate Crocs so much. I recognise that they are possibly some of the ugliest footwear in existence, but isn’t that more than made up for by how comfortable they are? They’re aerated, the little nubby things massage your feet, they hide gross toes, they never smell and they can just be rinsed clean. I did see a thing on the internet the other day that had a picture of Crocs and it said “See the little holes? That’s where your dignity leaks out” which made me laugh though. However, until I can find a pair of shoes that offer me the benefits of Crocs I’m going to continue to wear them unfashionably.

The subject of footwear really only came up because our weather over the past day or so has been quite warm, and it is reminding me of all the reasons I hate summer. Which basically boil down too one thing- I hate the heat. I’m a fat, blobby sort of person who sweats a lot and wears Crocs when it’s hot…summer offers me nothing.

It’s been funny to see the kids pulling out all their summer gear though. They all look so much bigger than last year! They’re all big kids now, none of them have that round, chunky leg thing happening under their shorts. They’re all long and lean. None of their summer pyjamas fit, so we passed along what is still in good enough shape for the next child, and then yesterday afternoon Troy and I went shopping for what we needed to fill in the gaps. Eighty something dollars later the kids have summer pyjamas!

We went shopping without them because all the kids were over at Steve and Jean’s house. They came back from their holiday during the week so they were keen to see the kids again. They invited them over for a play in the afternoon, and then Troy and I went over after our shopping and we had a barbecue dinner with them. I looked at all the photos- six weeks in Central and Western Australia and they saw some amazingly beautiful things! It really stuns me sometimes to look at pictures of the outback and think that it’s the same country that I’m living in here, with all the green vineyards and big trees.

Going out to dinner as a whole family was possible because we finally got our car back yesterday! Peter (the mechanic) is not completely happy with it because it is still making a noise, but he said the noise could be something or it could be nothing and he can’t tell- we’re supposed to drive the car around for a few days (but not any kind of huge drive) and then take it back to him for further evaluation. I don’t know, I no longer trust the car but I’m glad we’ve got it back! I just hope that this isn’t the beginning of the end and we’ll continue to have a string of things go wrong with it. It’s around nine years old (we bought it when Jericho was a baby) and has done a lot of kilometres (238000km) just because of all our regular driving and then regular trips up and back from Hamilton, so who knows.

Today was the Grand Final, which was really only of great concern to Nicholai. Since he couldn’t live the tradition of watching it at my mum and dad’s place he got himself invited over to his other grandparents’ house instead. He took his footy record and marked down all the goals and behinds, and I’m sure found Steve and Jean a much more receptive audience for his thoughts and insights on the game than Troy and I would have been. We actually did have the game on at home, but we weren’t really paying that much attention.

Tomorrow Emma has a hockey clinic taken by some players from the Hockeyroos, but that’s about all we’ve got planned.

Wednesday 30th September 2015

Most annoying phrase of the holidays? “I’m hungry but I don’t like X, Y or Z.” When X, Y or Z are the only available snack choices. My children are ridiculously picky. An apple is an apple! I mean, it’s okay to have preferences with your fruit, but when all the red apples are gone you can’t just turn your nose up at the green ones!

Anyway, despite that little whinge today was a good day. The kids and I went to the Sanctuary in the morning, which was an absolute pleasure. The kids can be so fun and funny to hang around with, and we got to see some good things. Unfortunately the World of Parrots was in quarantine so we didn’t get to go in and feed the parrots, but when we were in the Woodland Birds aviary a volunteer was there with mealworms that the kids fed to those birds.

We stayed just through the morning, which is really long enough to wear everyone out a bit, and then bought some rolls for lunch on the way home. The kids must have been tired because the afternoon was pretty quiet, everyone just doing whatever.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

This is the most boring school holiday ever. I don’t know, maybe it’s not having the car making me feel trapped at home, maybe it’s just me having a down time, but I feel like it’s all a complete blank. The kids have been okay at home, but I feel like I’m really short-changing them. Maybe I can try and think of something to do tomorrow.

The kids are not unhappy at home though. They play around with toys that they don’t really look at during the term, jump on the trampoline, read a lot, and then after lunch they spend their poker chips on playing on the computer and the Wii. They also like to watch each other play, which is something I think would be boring but isn’t boring for them at all. Nicholai spends a lot of time making maps and charts and graphs and reading his atlas and his fact books. Emma reads and listens to music, and has pulled out her little pet shops once or twice, which she hasn’t done for a long time. Jericho has the most difficulty finding things to occupy himself with, but he’s reading the Harry Potter books again which he loves. Soren spent ages today walking around with the little camera and taking photos, and he is also to happy spend time colouring in and drawing. He’s probably the most self-sufficient in terms of entertaining himself, which I’ve always thought was kind of interesting considering he’s the youngest and has always had others around.

Apart from hanging out with the kids I’ve done a bit of knitting, playing around on the computer, chatting online, just wandering and doing a bit of housework. The children watched a bit of MASH with me while I was knitting today. I have no idea why it appeals to them, but apart from Emma they all seem to love watching MASH. I’m currently suffering from a bad case of writer’s block and haven’t got anything I’m writing, which is unpleasant. With nothing to write I’m getting a lot of reading done I suppose. I don’t know, it’s all just very random and all over the place at the moment.

Sunday 27 September 2015

We did some more work on the library today, and it’s mostly done! All the alphabetising was done, so we finished re-shelving the non-alphabetical books (non fiction and the really old ones), and then shelved a bunch of jigsaw puzzles that have ended up out there. We’ve dismantled the bed and replaced it with the futon too, which was the last big task. There are still three big piles of picture books that we don’t have shelves for, and a plastic crate full of soft toys and some other stuff that is kind of junking the place up, but I don’t really know what to do with that. We also have the rug that Benita gave us to go out there, but it is still in the back of the van and thus stranded at the mechanic’s, so we couldn’t exactly put that down. Anyway, it’s not exactly the library of my dreams yet, but we’re getting there.

The rest of the weekend has been filled up with just ordinary weekend things really. We kept thinking we should do something, and then remembering that we didn’t have a car that fits everyone in so we couldn’t!

Troy and I did go to Costco yesterday, with the two little boys. Nicholai and Emma both wanted to stay home, so that worked out. It was the easiest Costco trip we’ve ever had- I don’t know if this was because we only had two children, or because it was sample Saturday and Soren and Jericho managed to eat ten samples. I don’t know know, I try and feed them something new and they’re as suspicious as if I routinely give them poison, but put it in a little white patty pan and call it a Costco sample and they’ll eat anything. I’m always disgusted by people at Costco though- how rude is it for grown adults to reach over small children who are already waiting and snatch up the little samples?

We watched a couple of movies and I did some knitting and crocheting. Knitting is still my cardigan (I’ve finished the back and one sleeve, and have begun on the left front) and I’ve crocheted another two Christmas stockings for the advent calendar. Six down, eighteen left to go.

Troy’s going to work tomorrow. He was supposed to have it off, because we should have just been coming home from Hamilton, but he thought he might as well go in and save his days for some other time. I don’t know what the kids and I will do.