Monday 5th December 2016

One of the best things about the kids getting older is the way that our sense of humour seems to match up more. It’s the joy of creating your own people I guess, to a degree you get to shape what they find funny! We had the most hilarious conversation about the Twelve Days of Christmas song yesterday and then tonight we were watching A Muppet Christmas Carol (best Christmas movie ever) and I think everyone made some jokes that had everyone else laughing. It was so funny and it’s one of those times that I really love our family…it won’t be fart jokes forever!

We had our family Christmas party in Haddon yesterday, which was fun. The kids were great in the car and the drive was pretty easy, just long. It was good seeing all the family and the kids loved their Christmas presents and being able to play with their little cousins.

Well actually, Jericho and Soren were pretty miserable with hayfever. Soren’s never really had much of an issue before, but this year he’s rivalling Jericho with the weeping, itchy eyes and both of them had a bad time yesterday. I should probably keep some hayfever chewables in the car for such times – I know that the extremes of temperature make keeping medicine in the car a really poor storage choice, but having something on hand would be better than watching them suffer.

I didn’t get any really good photos yesterday either. I’m honestly starting to feel like it’s a waste of time for me to drag out my big camera, because I’m such a sucky photographer that it hardly seems woth it. I’m probably not really getting anything that I couldn’t take just as well on my phone.

The Christmas party just wiped me out though, even though it was hardly very strenuous! Then I didn’t sleep well last night anyway, so today was pretty much a write-off too. I mostly just crocheted and agonised.

Although the crocheting felt really productive, because I’m joining the granny squares to make the blanket. Ellen picked up two extra balls of black cotton for me at Bendigo Woollen Mills and gave it to me yesterday, so I was able to do the last one and a half borders I had left last night, and then today I’ve been piecing it all together. It looks great! I love crocheted blankets so much. I’m not the only one, Jericho told me it was “a marvellous object” and Troy has claimed it for himself, so at least there’s something I’m doing right at the moment.

Saturday 3rd December 2016

The chicken that made her way into the front yard the other day did it again, and this time she took another one with her! I wish I knew how they did it – we kind of assume that they must just jump/fly over the gate, although it does seem a bit odd.

I nearly ruined the elf-on-a-shelf last night in an effort to make his hands magnetic so we could attach him to more things around the house. Thank goodness for a stash of felt and a hot glue gun, that’s all I can really say about that.

We went through the booklists for Nicholai and Emmanuella tonight, since they have to be in this coming week. Emma still had most of her non-disposable stationery type things, but Nicholai did not. Plus, pretty much every textbook they need was a NEW EDITION 2017, so no second hand books either. I think it was only the English novel that Emma can use from Nicholai.

And that’s another thing, there’s only ONE novel on the booklist. Like…what is that? What kind of school am I sending them to where they’re only required to read ONE book in the whole year? Nicholai, in the advanced class, has two, which is still kind of appalling. I mean, I know they read poetry and short stories and things like that in class, but shouldn’t they have a novel a term?

Friday 2 December 2016

The elf on the shelf made a triumphant return this morning, riding the reindeer in the fireplace. He was a day late – apparently we got a “bad elf” in the elf on the shelf lottery, according to Jericho. The children forgave him though, they really have fun trying to find him every morning. Their favourite times are when Troy gets creative with it though – once the elf swapped all the baby Jesuses in the nativity sets and they found him sitting in a manger, and another time they found him sitting on the printer with photocopies of his face and little elfin butt.

I might have forgotten about the elf, but at least I was on top of stocking the advent calendar this year and Soren started that off last night. Between that, the decorations, and the Christmas party happening this weekend, it’s all seeming a bit close.

I’m looking forward to the Christmas party, although it’s meant to be hot and I have a total inferiority complex when it comes to my family, so who knows. We bought some snacks at Costco on Wednesday and we’ll get lunch on the way up.

And actually, all our family Christmas shopping is done so at least I can relax about that! I picked Troy up after I finished working yesterday, and we went to EB Games to collect the pre-ordered Pokemon Sun and Moon DSs that are for Jericho and Soren. We had traded in all our flybuys points for a giftcard, so we went to Big W and bought some books and pencils and dvds and a birthday present for Soren with that. We will still have to buy Kris Kringle presents for work, and something for my birthday (I want a Chromecast), but all the Santa presents are done. They’re in a box at Troy’s office, I’ll go in one morning and wrap them all and leave them there to be picked up on Christmas Eve.

Troy has to do our tax though. We have to pay for the high school children’s booklists by next week, and the primary school has gone mad and sent the fees invoice for next year home NOW, to be paid before the end of the year. A tax return would kind of help with that I think.

I was so tired after I taught and shopped yesterday. I was still tired this morning actually, so I took Troy to work, Jericho and Soren to school, the dog to get a haircut, and then came home and fell asleep. I thought I should get outside though, so I went and ate my lunch in the park and collected pokeballs, of which I was sadly depleted. I actually got new pokemon though, for the first time in ages – we finally evolved a Nidoking and caught about ten of an ugly thing called a Jynx, which had completely taken over the park. We’ve now caught 114 out of a possible 149.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

I rescued a turtle on the way home from school this morning. I nearly ran him over as he plodded his way across the highway near the chocolaterie, and so I felt compelled to go around the roundabout and go back for him. Lucky I did, since he was in line to be crushed by a truck when I snatched him up. I put him in the footwell of the car and took him to the pond, where he will hopefully live a long and happy life.

My car smelled so bad after that though. Actually, between the stinking turtle and the wet dog (I gave her a bath before we left for school) it was horrific – when I got home I rolled all the windows down and left it to air out in the driveway.

I also lost a chicken today, or at least I thought I did. When I went out to lock them in the coop for the night only two of them followed me in, so I shut the door and went searching. (I really think these chickens are far too sassy, what with their independent spirits…the last batch of chickens just followed me into the coop every afternoon, and there was none of this undignified chase-and-catch rubbish that I’m stuck with now). Anyway, I found the third chicken and threw her in, but the fourth one was nowhere to be seen. I walked all around the backyard rattling the bucket of scraps and calling “Here chicken, come on little birdie” (like it would actually answer or something, lol) and eventually had to ask Jericho and Soren to come out and help me search under bushes and under the house. We were pretty much stumped when we heard “bwaaark” and then we found the chicken looking at us through the gate from the front driveway! I still have no idea how she found her way out to the front, so I can’t do anything to prevent it happening again. Just have to hope she doesn’t do it again!

I cleaned my desk and went Christmas shopping with Jean today, so that was a little bit productive. She wanted to buy all the kids a book for Christmas, and I went along as advisor. It’s a pretty easy job with my kids really, they all like to read so it’s not hard to find something. Nicholai’s getting the new Matthew Reilly book, Emma is getting the screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Jericho is getting a new Rick Riordan book (Magnus Chase) and Soren is getting a Treehouse book.

Nicholai’s science situation was worse than I thought – out of a necessary 15 tasks he had completed 3. So yeah…really bad. However he spoke to his teacher about what he has to do and he did work on it at lunchtime and tonight after school, so hopefully he will get enough done. I’m really not happy with him about it, but at the moment we’re just focussing on him doing what he needs to do this time and we’ll think about how to prevent this from happening again afterwards.

Tuesday 29th November 2016

It’s so hard being a small boy sometimes. I’ve just put two of them to bed, one of them exhausted and cranky and one of them exhausted and weepy. Tomorrow can’t come fast enough.

Troy, Jericho, Soren and I went to Costco tonight, for shopping and dinner. Nicholai and Emma stayed home and fed themselves baked beans and two-minute noodles. Nicholai also messaged us (Troy and I separately) about ten times, unable to handle the uncertainty of “we’ll be home around 8.”

I’m at a bit of a loss with that boy actually. We had an email from his science teacher today and he’s handed in less than half of the work required to pass the class. Considering it’s apparently due by Friday, that’s a problem. And really, I just don’t understand why, and Nicholai is not offering any illumination on the issue. He’s more than capable – has he deliberately not bothered, done it but not handed it in, just genuinely let it get out of hand accidently…what? With cricket training and shopping we didn’t really get much of a chance to talk about it, so I hope by tomorrow he’s come up with an explanation and a plan for getting it done.

I’m a little frustrated that we’re only hearing about it now though. The school uses that Compass school/parent/student online interface, and it’s supposed to have all their work requirements listed so that parents can check it to see how their kid is doing. We DO check that regularly, but none of the science assignments have been entered onto it so we had no idea that he was so behind. Anyway, we’ll have more of a talk with him tomorrow, although I really have no idea what to say to help motivate him. I think next year we’re going to have to be a bit more active in making him use his planner to help organise himself – he’s going to be in year 9 and there will probably be some higher expectations in regards to homework and assignments.

Monday 28th November 2016

Happy birthday Troy! He had a good day, despite me not remembering about it until last night. He had cake at work, and then he and I and the kids all went out for tea at the pub, followed by cake at home. So, it was all nice in th end.

Going out for tea was pretty good. I don’t even know the last time we went to the pub with the kids. Troy’s mum and dad used to take us out to lunch at the pub a lot when Nicholai was little, but since that time it’s been a pretty rare treat honestly. We were the first ones there for dinner, but it was really busy by the time we left. The food was great, and it was really nice going somewhere local since we could just walk there and then walk home.

I had a pretty good day all round really. Since there’s nothing I can currently do on my teacher project I didn’t have that weighing me down, so I did a lot of cleaning and stuff that has been neglected at home. I crocheted a bit and determined that I absolutely do NOT have enough black yarn to finish it off, so I called Ellen and asked her to bring me some extra on the weekend. (Which is so totally convenient, it’s amazing.) The weather was lovely today too, so I went to the park for an hour before I had to be at school and played Pokemon Go. They’re having a double points thing going on for Thanksgiving so we’ve been catching and evolving everything, and today I finally got up to level 25. I know, such an achievement!

Sunday 27 November 2016

Tomorrow is Troy’s birthday and I forgot all about it. I am the WORST PERSON EVER. He does so much for me and is so lovely, and I can’t even remember his birthday! Ugh, I feel so bad. And of course I made the kids write out a card, and I can run out in the morning and buy a gift, but it does not change the fact that I suck.

Today was pretty low key. I went to IGA (twice, Troy’s birthday is not the only thing I forgot) but apart from that we just stayed home. The kids had lots of poker chips because they didn’t use any yesterday, so they were happy playing on the Wii and the computer. Jericho and Soren both asked Troy to play with them, so that was nice.

I watched Traffic Cops and crocheted for a while. I’ve finished the coloured part of the granny squares and I’m doing two rounds of black on each one before I join it all together. It’s going to look great, although I’m starting to wonder if the two balls of black I bought is going to be enough – I might have to ask Ellen to buy me some more and bring it to the Christmas party after all.

I feel so sad tonight. I think it’s just the time of year – I always think that I like Christmas (and I do) but I also find the weeks leading up to it leave me an anxiety riddled mess. There is so much to do and too much to worry about, and I spend the whole month prior to Christmas feeling like I’m on the brink of catastrophe. I don’t think the teacher project has helped my state of mind this year either.

I cut Charles the guinea pig’s hair today. With it being so long it gets all matted, so I periodically snip it. He doesn’t like it, so today I suggested Jericho wrap him up into a burrito to make it easier. It did make it easier, and actually the guinea pig liked it so much that even when I was done he stayed in a burrito.