Wednesday 21 August 2019

Soren just lost another tooth. How does he have any teeth left to fall out? Every time I think we must be done with the whole tooth fairy caper he comes out with another loose tooth and I have to go scrounging round for a $2 coin.

Nicholai had a physics excursion today, so I had to get up early to have him at the station in time to catch a 7.30 train to Melbourne. This involved getting up early, but the upside of that was that I came home and did all the vacuuming before I had to drive the other three kids to school (It was raining by then – today’s weather has been insane with being bright sun for five minutes before it’s grey and rainy and then back to sunshine and back again…) Anyway, Nicholai went to an ice rink and did curling and then went go-karting. Force and motion, I guess? He was given a work booklet to complete for this excursion, so there must be some physics point to it. They also played laser tag and arcade games at the go-kart place and he ate a kebab for lunch, so he really had a good day.

My day was quiet. No work, so just housework and aloneness. I’m always so torn- I love the quiet and not being stressed by work, but I miss Troy. And doing all the housework is never exactly fun.

The chickens have laid so many eggs that we were able to have French toast for tea…how the times have changed.

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Tuesday 20 August 2019

If I had bought a shoe factory instead of having children, I would be a millionaire by now. Although if I hadn’t had children, I probably wouldn’t be quite as aware of how lucrative shoes for them are.

Obviously we went shoe shopping today. Jericho came home from school with a shoe basically in two pieces, so it was unavoidable. Since I was going I went around and inspected the other kids’ shoes, and Nicholai and Emma both needed new school shoes too, and Nicholai needed a new pair of sneakers as well. His work shoes are on the way out, but I figured buying four pairs was enough. Nicholai didn’t want to come shopping so he tried to convince me that his shoes could “last a bit longer”…I said I was buying shoes today and didn’t want to have to go again in two days so he was coming too. I didn’t want to leave Soren home alone so I ended up with all four of them traipsing through Big W with me. It wasn’t too bad though, since they’re old enough to look for their own shoe sizes, put them on and walk/shuffle around and decide whether they fit. Plus, it was mostly school shoes and they can only be one type of shoe so they didn’t even have to choose anything.

I was feeling pleased with how easily the shopping trip had gone, and then the rest of the afternoon went completely haywire. I got home to find a dead bird in pieces in the house – in the pantry, on the rug, and under the table. So I had to crawl around picking up wings and bones, vacuuming up feathers and cleaning up gore. So gross. Then Emma came up to me with “Mum, my head has been itchy, can you look at it?” And as it turns out…yes, we’ve got lice. (Which…isn’t she too old for lice?!?!?! She’s in high school!) So there wasn’t any other option but to deal with that immediately. After extensive experience I keep lice shampoo in the medicine box so at least I didn’t have to run out to the chemist, but treating Emma’s hair takes forever. It’s like a metre long and so thick it’s ridiculous. Got that done, then had to clean up all the lice treatment that had dripped onto the floor, and then to top it all off the cat pooped in the laundry again and I had to clean that up. Needless to say, after all that tea was a little bit late tonight.

Troy bought me a surprise gift, and my heated throw was delivered today. It’s an electric blanket that I can just tuck around me while I’m sitting in my chair! After the freezing cold winter I’ve been struggling through this is like the most thoughtful gift that ever was.

Sunday 18 August 2019

Two more eggs laid today – our chickens have clearly just been switched back on. It’s really a very surprising development. The only explanation I can come up with is that they originally stopped laying because they were going through a moult (the last eggs they laid were right at the end of February, Nicholai’s birthday I’m pretty sure), and then the moult finished in the dead of winter and it was too cold and the days were too short to kick start them again. None of our other chickens every stopped laying in winter but I have heard that it can be an issue. And maybe this super cold Ballarat winter is bad for chickens? Perhaps it has been the longer days that have inspired them back to productivity.

Troy took Nicholai to the open day at Victoria University today. Uni is obviously the logical progression for Nicholai once he finishes high school, but I think he has kind of a hard time actually visualising what it’s like. He doesn’t have to choose a course and apply for another year, but we thought it was a good idea for him to go to a couple of open days this year so he could get an idea about what’s out there and start thinking about what he might want. We told him to pick at least two unis and we’d take him to their days, even if he doesn’t particularly want to go there it’s really just about looking at options and giving him something to compare. The Ballarat Uni open day is next weekend and he’ll go to that one too, as that’s a much more likely one for him to actually apply to.

(And just writing this…how can I have a child who is thinking about university?!?!?! I know applying is still over a year away, but dear god I just can’t believe we’re here at this point!)

I was going to go to the open day with them but Soren had been invited to a birthday party and we weren’t sure if we’d be back in time to get him there so I stayed behind. (Correct choice, as it turns out – there was traffic and they didn’t get back). Jericho, Soren and I went to Petstock in the morning to buy sawdust for the guinea pig hutch and then went to the supermarket. Soren’s party was just around the corner, but it was pouring with rain by the time we had to leave so I drove him, although I did walk around to pick him up when it was finished.

I watched the Brady Bunch movie sequel this afternoon and did some knitting. I finished the back of my cardigan and sewed the shoulder seams. I’ve still got two sleeves and a hood to knit so it’s nowhere near finished, and I’m not sure that the fit of it is going to be what I wanted either so I’m feeling pretty discouraged. I really wanted it to be longer than the other version of this cardigan I knitted years ago and DID knit it to be longer, but as the finished knitted fabric is relaxing it’s kind of shortening a bit and I’m not overly thrilled with that. It’s too early to really judge, so I’m just going to have to keep knitting and cross my fingers that it works out okay in the end. The amount of money and time I’ve put it into is too much to waste by giving up!

After watching all seasons of the Brady Bunch tv show the kids saw enough of it to get into it too. They think it’s really funny and will probably go back and watch the episodes they missed when I was watching it without them. However was it really hilarious is their appreciation of Greg Brady’s ‘Beanstalk’ song – Jericho keeps looking at me and saying, completely deadpan, “Clowns never laughed before…” and then Soren or Emma will chime in with, “Beanstalks never grew, ponies never ran before…” and I have to finish off with a yodelling kind of, “Til I met you!” Anyway, we attempted to find this song on Spotify, but although it doesn’t exist there we DID find five albums of Brady Bunch classics, including “Time to Change”. So tonight I put this on and Troy and I tormented the children by singing and dancing around the kitchen to ‘It’s a Sunshine Day’. It’s so funny to tease them sometimes.

Back to work tomorrow. Ugh. But I suppose I haven’t cried at work for the past couple of weeks so that’s good? I don’t have any files for tomorrow, so unless the annual distribution statements come through it looks like I’ll be having a long and unexciting day working on filing electronic statements in the DMS.

Saturday 17 August 2019

Our chickens are laying eggs! After taking a six month break, in the past couple of weeks they have laid some random eggs here and there, and then nothing again. But today I went out there and there were EIGHT eggs, which means they have laid two a day for the past four days! I do not know why they stopped laying eggs and now I have no idea what has prompted them to start laying eggs again -maybe it was all the threats of death? Whatever the reason, I’m just hopeful that we’re going to continue to get eggs from them for a while!

Mum and Dad came for lunch today and then went and watched Soren play basketball. His team had another loss, but as I say every single week they actually play a lot better than the score line would indicate.

Although one weird thing about basketball is that it has made me realise that Soren is actually (at least at this point in his life) quite tall. He’s the tallest kid on his team, and usually taller than most of the kids on the other team too. He’s ten in an under 12 team, so the other kids have to be at least his age or a year older, so perhaps he is actually going to be tall? I don’t know why this surprises me, but it does!

Troy and I had to sit Soren down yesterday and have a serious talk with him about the way he’s been somewhat evasive or sneaky lately. He’s not exactly telling lies, but he is certainly…structuring the truth a little bit! Just not telling us things, or telling us things in a way that makes it seem like something else – that kind of thing. Like with his hair, saying that the hairbands ‘broke’…well yes, they did break, but they broke because he pulled on them until they did so only he’s not sharing that part of it! Then yesterday he asked us if he could go for a bike ride and we said yes, but what he didn’t say was that he was planning a bike ride not just around the neighbourhood, but to Aldi to buy something. (Which he then attempted to sneak into the house by hiding it in his pocket). It wasn’t a huge deal exactly, but it’s also not the sort of behaviour we want to encourage in him. As we said to him, we know he hasn’t been lying exactly but he also hasn’t been completely honest and that’s a problem. And if he doesn’t want to tell us something (like going to Aldi for example) because he thinks we’re going to say no, then maybe he shouldn’t be doing it!

Really, I probably would have said no to going to Aldi – it’s actually quite a good bike ride for him and I didn’t have any problem with him buying something, but he has to cross Learmonth Street and there’s no pedestrian crossing. At that time of night (it was late afternoon, starting to get dark and traffic starting to get heavy) I don’t think that it’s quite safe for him and his level of both street crossing and bike riding experience. But I would have explained to him why I didn’t want him to, and I would have offered to take him to Aldi today.

Anyway, it was not a particularly fun conversation to have with him. He got upset – not because he thought we were being unfair, but because I think he was feeling a bit guilty about the whole thing. It’s can be a really delicate balance to get across how unacceptable the behaviour is and how seriously we take dishonesty, without making him feel like he’s been a terrible person. I don’t know if I got it right, but we tried.

Although I think part of what made it feel odd was that it was Soren – I truly wouldn’t have really expected this of him.

Wednesday 14 August 2019

I haven’t written for a few days, but I just don’t have anything much to say. I’ve been really tired, it’s been freezing cold, nothing particularly noteworthy has been happening.

Soren has swimming at school this week, which he’s not overly enthusiastic about but also not super reluctant about either. We do keep arguing about his hair – that’s probably the most dramatic thing going on right now. He’s growing his hair and it’s driving me berserk having it just hang in his face all the time. He’s going to get a crooked back from constantly walking around with his head tilted to the side or he’ll wind up with a lazy eye from lack of use (since it’s always covered in hair and he never actually uses it to see with) and need to wear a patch to correct it. Anyway, I don’t object to him growing his hair long (this has been going on all year) but this term we made the rule that he has to somehow keep it back out of his face for school. I have given him options for this, but apparently ALL the headbands (three different types) were ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘keep falling out’ so I said it had to be small ponytails. So far I’ve also used THREE different types of hair bands, all of which ‘keep falling out’ or ‘break’. I’m in an absolute teeth grinding rage about this because it’s basically a load of crap. I mean, I’ve had long hair for a long time. My sisters and friends had long hair. I’ve managed Emma’s long hair all her life. I’ve managed SOREN’S long hair for years when he was little! And I’m sorry, but hair elastics do not just consistently burst off your head every single day! Maybe I’d believe ONE kind of hairband doesn’t work with his hair, but not THREE different kinds PLUS headbands!

Mostly I think I’m enraged that he is literally lying to my face.

Anyway, swimming is the rest of this week so I’ll probably just leave it for the next two days, and then he has next week to either follow the rules or he’s getting a haircut. I cannot tolerate the lying. And we have been reasonable about this, but hair up for school has always been the rule and if he’s going to have long hair then it’s a rule for him too.

But really, I don’t understand it. If you hate brushing your hair, hate stying your hair, and don’t want to have a ponytail…then why do you want LONG hair?? Why not have short hair and just save all the trouble???

Even Nicholai has reached a point of compromise with his terrible hair! He wears a headband and the hair is out of his eyes and we’re all happy!

I am sounding completely unhinged here, I know. I’m trying. But aargh this is so annoying!

Friday 9 August 2019

I have just had to shut the dog in her crate because she WOULD NOT STOP barking at half a stale panini that’s sitting in the guinea pig hutch and it was driving me to the edge of breakdown. The panini was leftover from the other day and as hard as a rock, so I gave it to the guinea pig this afternoon. He has nibbled all the seeds off the top and gnawed half of it up before he got tired of it, but now Luna appears desperate to eat what’s left of it. God, sometimes I wonder why I ever want pets.

Wednesday 7 August 2019

I’ve had a relaxing two days off work and my cold is improving, so that’s been good. I’m still crazy tired, but will just have to keep trundling on. After going to the doctor a couple of weeks ago I’ve increased my iron supplement and I am hoping that my levels of that will build up soon and might help me feel a bit better too.

(Although I have to say that Aldi had their 1000 thread count cotton sheets on sale again today and I bought a set, brought them home and washed and dried and put them on and now I can’t wait to go to bed tonight! We have one set of these Aldi sheets already that I love so much that I basically strip the bed, wash and dry the sheets, and then remake the bed with them so they’re the only sheets we ever use – will be nice to have a second set now).

Emma had her Year 11 course selection interview today, so she didn’t have any classes and only had to go to school for the interview. She’s already made her decisions, so today was really about getting it checked off and sorting out any problems. She’s had trouble enrolling in her VET course (the hospitality- kitchen operations one) and we were able to speak to someone about that and it should be online by tomorrow. Since she is going to do a Year 12 maths subject she has to get two teachers to sign off that she’s good to do that, and we were able to get her maths teacher to do that while we were there. She’ll get someone else tomorrow and then drop that form off, and hopefully the VET subject will have been sorted out too. It all felt a lot more complicated than it needed to be I think.

Maybe I’m just having too many feelings about my kids being so big. Emma’s doing a year 12 subject? Nicholai is also choosing subject because he has literally ONE MORE YEAR of high school. One more year of school! He’s talking about moving out! All they ever do is lurk moodily and teenager-like in their bedrooms! We own this big house and most of the time I feel like I’m in it practically by myself! (Okay, if we had a smaller house then they wouldn’t have their own rooms to mooch around in so constantly, so who knows).