Monday 31 July 2017

I baked a cake in our oven today, the first one since we’ve moved. It was definitely a bit crispier on the outside than cakes usually are, but since we all ate a warm piece with whipped cream for after-school snack this was actually really good. It might be a bit too dry by the time it’s in lunchboxes for recess tomorrow though- I guess we’ll wait and see.

I really feel that I need to do more cooking. Basically I take any chance to NOT cook, and that’s really not great. I need to get better about cooking a variety of dinners, and also go back to baking for school snacks rather than just buying all the time. It’s not my favourite thing to do, but I need to watch our money here and I don’t have a job- I need to do SOMETHING to contribute.

I tried to make Emma an orthodontist appointment today, which was not as simple as I had expected. The first place I called weren’t taking on any new patients, because their orthodontist was leaving. The second place wanted to know what kind of braces Emma had – I didn’t even know there were different types apart from invisalign and the regular metal kind that Emma has. So I had to call her old orthodontist to find out what she has (and just so that I have the info, she has innovation brackets which are a GAC product and a 022 slot, so whatever all that means) and then call the new orthodontist back. But they don’t use that kind, so although they offered to make an appointment and take a look, they might have to replace her hardware. This would be expensive and would be the absolute last resort, so I said I’d keep looking. The third place I called listed braces as one of their services on the website, but when I tried to make an appointment they said that they didn’t do it and I would need an orthodontist. The fourth place I called were happy to make an appointment, but they didn’t ask what kind of braces she had so we may discover that they’re not suitable either. Their closest available appointment was also three weeks away, but I thought I’d just take it and cross my fingers that it all works out.

I walked again this morning, which was good. Walking and cooking, that’s what I want to make myself do over the next couple of months. According to google maps it is 1.3km from our house to the primary school, so that’s 5.2km a day just walking to and from school. It’s pretty easy to just keep walking after I drop the boys at school.

Although after I came home from picking the kids up this afternoon I had the worst nosebleed. Half a box of tissues later I had blood on my computer and on my glasses…I don’t even know how that happened.

The kids were all a bit out of sorts today. No one really wanted to go to school, and they were a bit cranky when they got home too. There was no real reason for it, just one of those things. However they enjoyed their cake and cream for after school snack, and then Jericho and Soren jumped on the trampoline for a while and seemed a lot more cheerful by tea time. Hopefully they’ll sleep well and be ready to go tomorrow.

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Sunday 30 July 2017

UFC 124 was today, and with three championship fights on the card Troy and I decided we should go and watch. We were a little bit hesitant, as it can go all afternoon and we’ve never left the four kids home alone for so long before. But going to the pub to watch it here is only five minutes away from home, as opposed to the forty five minutes away we would have been when we went to watch it at the old house, and that made me feel a lot more comfortable. If anything actually DID happen (and really, my kids are pretty good and basically sensible so I have no reason to expect anything dreadful to occur) we could get home to deal with it. So we left the children with something for lunch and instructions to look out for each other, and headed off to the pub.

We hadn’t been there before, so we weren’t sure what it would be like. It was good though- smaller than our previous UFC watching bar, and no couch, but it had a few high tables and some regular tables and a few screens. We sat at a regular table but then someone sat at a high table and completely blocked my view, so we moved to a high table and I actually found that really comfortable for eating and watching and knitting. We had lunch and watched the fights – not the best fights ever, but honestly I don’t care that much, I just like being out with Troy.

I feel so prissy watching UFC though. I mean, I’m there, I’m watching and enjoying it, so clearly I must be as big a bogan as anyone. But I’m drinking diet coke and knitting, and there are hardly any girls that go and watch anyway, so I already feel a bit conspicuous (and not really in a good way). And then everyone around us swears like sailors and it’s all a bit off putting. I swear sometimes, and I don’t really have issue with other people swearing in moderation, but some of the stuff I heard today went beyond swearing to being kind of offensive.

I got a bit of good knitting done. I finished Luna’s sweater on Friday, so I went back to the pair of socks I started way back in January. I had made some mistakes and ended up ripping them out, having to go back to the toes before I could pick up the stitches again, and once all that happened I just shoved them back in the sock bag and ignored it until I could face it again. Today was that day, so I had to go round and straighten all the stiches and get them going in the right direction so I could keep knitting. They’re coming along quite nicely now, although it ended up being a really short fight night timewise and it was all pretty much over by three.

The kids had a lovely afternoon without us. They ate chips in rolls for lunch and then paid their poker chips, and when we got home Jericho and Soren were curled up in blankets watching new Ghostbusters – I think they’d like Troy and I to take off more often, frankly.

Saturday 29 July 2017

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My moonbaby turned eleven today. Eleven! My god, it just feels like my whole life is slipping away from me on a tide of birthday cakes for children who are all just getting so grown up.

Jericho had an awesome birthday though, and for him that’s a really big deal. We gave him a scooter, a lego pizza van and a tin of Pokemon cards, all of which made him very happy. Steve and Jean came up last night and Mum and Dad came this morning, so we had a barbecue lunch and a chocolate ripple cake for his birthday. It made him feel very special and loved, and it was also delicious, so everyone really won with that.

Mum and Dad gave him Mariokart for his DS, which was again a big hit. Steve and Jean gave him money, and Great Nana also gave him money, so he took all that (plus a bit of pocket money) and went shopping this afternoon. Soren also emptied out his money box and came along to buy something too. Shopping with the children can be somewhat fraught, but it went so well this afternoon. We went to EB games and they both chose a DS game- Soren got a Legend of Zelda one and Jericho chose a Pokemon one.

In Kmart they found this stuff called Stickbot, that has posable figures and a green background ‘stage’ that’s designed to make stop-motion animations with. Considering how much time the two of them have actually spent making stop-motion animations already, this line of toys was practically made for them. They actually pooled their money and were able to buy a couple of sets, so they have five figures, the green ‘studio’ so that they can do green screen things with it, a stand for a phone, and a collection of different weapons and hairpieces that can be put on the figures. I was so pleased with them shopping cooperatively and getting along so well, and I think they’re going to have a lot of fun with that.

Jericho’s choice of birthday tea was spaghetti bolognaise. Nicholai was thrilled, ha ha ha! I don’t love it either, but everyone else was pretty happy with it.

Really, I’m just so happy that Jericho had a good day. He’s such a good kid and yet has so much trouble with his anxiety- he really needs these days where he can be happy.

Eleven years…my giant baby is becoming such a big kid! I love his creativity and his intelligence, his wicked sense of humour and his way of clowning around. I love his individuality, and I admire so much how hard he tries in everything he does. You’re amazing Jericho Stephen- having you was one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I can’t imagine a life without you.

(And Photobucket – which is where I usually pull the old photos from – is holding all my old photos hostage, so I don’t have a photo of baby Jericho on my current computer for this post. But I did find this, his little wee baby hand holding my finger when he was only a couple of days old…he is so beautiful.)

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Thursday 27 July 2017

Troy came home today. Actually, Troy came home later than expected today after having to go to an appointment at the office in the morning, and with a phone with a dead battery that went straight to message bank when I tried to call him to see what he was doing. So of course by the time he got home I was convinced he’d been in some terrible accident and I was mentally organising my life as a widow and feeling guilty about moving to Ballarat in the first place. Maybe just a tiny overreaction?

I had a good morning though, at least until I spiralled into paranoia about Troy’s untimely demise! I went with Jericho and Soren to school and then kept walking. For some reason we only have to walk a third of the distance to hatch eggs or for our buddy to find candies, and so with walking to and from school every day we had run out of eggs. So I walked up to the arch and collected two eggs from the pokestop and then walked a different way home. Jericho and Soren were very happy that I’d collected a couple of eggs, as they are very much enjoying hatching them walking to and from school. It’s kind of funny actually, when the game is about to hatch an egg you see the egg on the screen with the word Oh? over it, so now when we’re walking all I have to say is “Oh?” and the kids immediately crowd around my phone to see what we get. Anyway, the walk was good- I should do it more often.

Emma and Jericho had hockey training again tonight. Troy took them so he could talk to people about what we need to do for them to play, which turns out to be not that much. They actually have a bye this weekend so they won’t play right away anyway, and we can’t buy them uniforms because they get them screen-printed in lots of 20 and won’t do that again until next season. They have a couple of spare shirts that they’ll be able to borrow, and they just have dark blue shorts/skorts and maroon socks with that, so we can buy those anyway. Jericho seemed happier about the whole hockey situation tonight, although whether that was because training was more fun for him or because Troy bought him and Emma hot chocolates from Maccas on the way home.

Soren had a hard day today though. He cried as soon as he saw me after school, because he had to write a letter to his teacher for homework and he had only tonight to do it. He did it without any drama once he got home (he’s a good writer and it wasn’t a long letter) but he’s just so tired. He cried later about wishing he could go back to his old school- he misses his old friends and his old teacher. My poor baby. I knew that he hadn’t really found any particular friends yet, but he hasn’t seemed unhappy about it until tonight. We just gave him lots of hugs, and talked about the birthday party he is going to next weekend, and how well he’s doing with all the changes. I hope he sleeps well tonight and feels better tomorrow, I don’t like knowing he’s so sad.

Wednesday 26th July 2017

Why is everything I want so expensive? And why do I want so much stuff in the first place? I just bought a HOUSE, I shouldn’t be suddenly so obsessed with buying more stuff!

Although I think a new clothes dryer is a legitimate want. Ours is so loud that it’s been banished to the garage, but it’s still loud enough to interfere with tv watching and hearing people in another room. It is also going practically all day at this point, so the noise almost never stops. I just want some peace and quiet.

I went out to Benita and Cam’s this morning, and had a lovely long snuggle with Alby. There is nothing sweeter than a silky soft wee baby head.

It feels quite odd watching Benita with all her little ones though- like a little window into my past, when I had small ones at home. It is also funny that it makes me both incredibly nostalgic for that time, and also incredibly relieved that it’s over and my kids are so much more self sufficient! I mean, I was there for about two hours and in that time Benita and/or Cam had to feed Alby twice, change his nappy, change Dempsey, serve snacks, pick up textas about three times, read some books with Winnie, stop Dempsey playing with the washing machine and the dryer, stop Dempsey drawing on things or eating the textas, pick up a bunch of play food, send Winnie to her room for kicking Dempsey off a chair, comfort Dempsey (okay, I did that- he’s irresistible), and just listen and encourage and answer a million questions. It’s nuts. I suppose I did it for years, but it’s quite eye opening to watch someone else do it.

In contrast, I met my children after school and we all walked home, talking about what they learned at school. At home they all put their lunch containers in the box to be washed, their lunchboxes away in the pantry, their school bags away in their rooms. If they need to go to the toilet, they do so without needing any help with it. Jericho and Soren put the recycling out. The ones who had homework did it, also without my help. Children jumped on the trampoline without needing supervision. While I made tea, one of them ran the bath then they all got in and out and into pyjamas. They put their washing away. We ate tea, then Nicholai and Emma finished loading the dishwasher while Jericho and Soren brushed their teeth. Everyone sat down and read to themselves, then Jericho and Soren said goodnight and went to bed. Admittedly this was an exceptionally smooth afternoon and evening (no fighting, homework was simple and didn’t take too long, they’d had good days at school, the weather was good for outside play, no one objected to what we were having for tea) but even so the day-to-day things are really so much easier than when they were little!

I guess it’s hard in different ways though, with different things to worry about as they get older. And every stage has its own rewards- I don’t want to miss any of it.

Tuesday 25 July 2017

I had to rip out several centimetres of the dog sweater I’m knitting today, which was frustrating. I’d decreased too much and too quickly, so it wasn’t fitting very well. I was tempted to just shrug and continue on, but I’m trying to make a good, Luna-sized sweater here that I can replicate to make others in future, so I thought it would save work in the long run to redo it now.

Unfortunately Luna does not particularly enjoy trying on sweaters that are on two circular needles and have three balls of yarn trailing off them. I have to bribe her with treats and then she stands all hunched and miserable while I wrestle her into it, contemplate what I’ve done, and pull it all off again. I make sure to give her lots of pats and more treats once the sweater try-on is done, but I hope the sweater is finished soon…she’s starting to avoid me.

I moved all the flattened moving boxes out of Troy’s office and on to the deck today. His office still looks like we’ve just moved in, and I don’t like it- I don’t have to spend any time there, but it’s the first thing you see when you walk into the house and I want it unpacked. His desk has arrived now, so once he’s back on Thursday he doesn’t really have any reason not to sort it out properly. Also, his parents are staying on Friday night (so they can go and watch Emma and Jericho play hockey at the crack of dawn on Saturday, and then be here for Jericho’s birthday lunch) and they’ll have to sleep in there, so it needs to be organised.

I will say that I didn’t exactly want the moving boxes out on the deck either, but they have to go somewhere and there is no space in the disaster zone that is our garage. (I have no idea what we are going to do with the crap that is shoved in there- it’s a double garage and now we’ve basically got a little path to the clothes dryer and a little path to the guinea pig supplies and then piles of boxes everywhere else). Anyway, I have stacked up the boxes behind my antique sofa and they can stay there for the time being. I just really want this whole feeling of being unsettled to end.

Monday 24 July 2017

I built a desk and knitted a lot of a dog sweater today so it felt fairly productive. Although I have to admit that most of this productivity occurred whilst sitting on my ass watching Orange is the New Black at the same time.

Troy left for the office before I was up this morning, and won’t be back until Thursday. I really don’t like this. He said this should be the last week of this, but then he also told me that one of his partner’s husbands broke his ankle and needs surgery. So if that keeps his partner out of the office for a while, I’m feeling a little bleak about Troy potentially having to pick up the slack. But we’ll see.

At least with him coming back earlier on Thursday he’ll be able to take Emma and Jericho to hockey training and sort out their teams and uniforms and everything else. Hockey has always been Troy’s department, so I’m glad he’ll be back to take that on. I also don’t want to be on my own with that one right now because Jericho did not enjoy hockey training last week, and I think has decided that he won’t make friends on the team and it’s all horrible and he doesn’t want to do it. It’s one of those cases where I think the best thing to do is push him past his reluctance, because he has always made friends and enjoyed hockey in the past, but it’s not necessarily the easiest thing.

We had beautiful weather today, and walking the kids home from school this afternoon was lovely. Even Nicholai walked with us, and talked like a reasonable person when I asked him a question about his day. The walking to and from school is something I really like about living here- I think it’s good for everyone. (Well, apart from Emma’s feet, which are having trouble adjusting to her new school shoes).

Our new trampoline is going well. Soren was on it before and after school, and was so happy and relaxed afterwards. He’s such a funny little dude sometimes.

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