Thursday 31 August 2017

One thing I don’t really understand in this suburban estate landscape I now live in is the obsession with car washing. Every time there is even a hint of sunshine, all these people appear and start scrubbing and polishing their cars in the driveway. It’s not even like your car gets that dirty driving around these streets!

It’s probably obvious, but it was a lovely sunny day today. When I walked to school in the afternoon to pick up the children I didn’t even have to wear my jumper, which I don’t think has happened since we moved here. The day did start with a lot of ice though, when I went looking for Soren to tell him to put his school shoes on and grab his bag ready to go this morning he was out the front eating a chunk of ice he’d broken off the car window.

I made lemonade scones today, after someone recommended them – perhaps Ellen? I can’t remember. Anyway, I was very glad I tried them because they were amazingly light and fluffy. They tasted fine too, although I admit the scone is basically a jam and cream delivery system to me…it was good jam and real cream though, so basically the whole enterprise was a success. (Except for Nicholai, who is a bizarre creature who doesn’t like scones, so he had Turkish bread and cheese instead).

I also learned at tea time that Nicholai doesn’t like the movie Edward Scissorhands. I was looking at the options he has for his gothic literature assignment, and one of them he had circled was comparing and contrasting Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Edward Scissorhands – I asked how he could do that if he had never seen Edward Scissorhands and he said that he was doing something different, because although the class had watched Edward Scissorhands he had sat out. This made no sense to me, but when pressed Nicholai looked genuinely ill and said he just couldn’t handle watching it! So everyone else watched it while he sat out in the corridor and read a book! He is squeamish about the strangest things.

Although when I told this story to Troy (who got back later, he was at the office today) he pointed out that the one other movie that freaked Nicholai out beyond reason was Coraline, so apparently Tim Burton is channelling Nicholai’s nightmares.

As well as the scones I also baked a banana cake today, so I was really rather domestic.

The kids and I also went shopping for a fathers’ day present for Troy this afternoon. They were really great actually, we had fun getting a gift and then spent ages reading all the jokey fathers’ day cards and laughing. Sometimes it’s really just fun to hang out with them – I like this age.

Wednesday 30 August 2017

I didn’t write yesterday because I had basically nothing to say. I am literally the most boring person I know.

I am really only writing tonight because Troy is not here to talk to and I’m feeling pretty bleak. The kids have been at their new schools for six weeks now and quite settled into their new routine, but Soren is not very happy and that just tears me apart. He’s always just been our cheerful Scooby boy who goes happily along with things, and now he’s not and I don’t know what to do about it.

There is no specific problem that is upsetting him. He has kids he plays with at school, so he’s not being excluded or isolated. He’s very smart, so schoolwork is not a problem and I know that he enjoys a lot of his classes – walking home from school we always talk about what they did during the day and he is always happy and keen to tell me about things he has learned or done. I really think he is making the best of the situation he is in, but he misses his old friends and his old school and his old teacher and sometimes he just feels really sad about that.

It’s so hard not being able to do anything though! All I can do is listen to him and empathise, and gently encourage him to think about the good things about being here. And give him as many hugs and cuddles as he needs, even if that is very awkwardly done while he is crying and we’re walking to school…oh, my heart.

I just feel so terrible for moving him. None of the reasons we moved here benefit him now at all! I’ve basically just made his life worse, even if it does come with his own room.

So I was all heavy hearted about Soren, and then after school while we were waiting for Nicholai and Emma, Jericho started peering really intently at my hair. I asked him if I had something stuck in my hair or what, and he said, “No, I’m just looking because it’s really grey!” Seriously, kid?!?!?!?

Monday 28 August 2017

I love the rubber plant Ellen gave me for my surprise birthday. However this does leave me all angsty about the health of it, since I desperately want it to thrive! I check its water and carry it outside for some sunshine time and then bring it back inside so it doesn’t freeze…I sincerely hope that it feels my concern and strengthens its will to live, since it has dropped two leaves already.

We were too slow to leave this morning, so I had to drive to get the boys to school on time. I went in to pay for Soren’s swimming lessons, since it is the grade 3s turn for that in a couple of weeks.

I came home and talked to Ellen for a bit, then cleaned a lot – our house is always much dirtier after the weekend. I am also doing a lot more cleaning in general I think, since I always feel bad about slacking off in the housekeeping department while Troy is working away in the front room. Although I guess I don’t feel too bad, because it didn’t stop me sitting down and knitting while watching the rest of American Horror Story Roanoke this afternoon.

Roanoke is the last season I have on dvd (I think they are filming season 7 now) so I’ll have to find something else to watch while I do my knitting now. American Horror Story has been good to watch – there was a lot of variation in quality over six seasons, but this last one was one of the good ones.

Sunday 27th August 2017

The new washing machine is giant. I can fit in the whole laundry basket full of clothes! It also plays jaunty little tunes when it’s starting and finishing a cycle – it sounds so friendly. Admittedly the eco-cotton-wash-cycle I used for it took over FOUR HOURS, but if I just continue to do loads over night it shouldn’t be a problem. The dryer is really big too, and just so quiet compared to the jet engine noise of the old one! We can actually keep in the laundry instead of exiling it to the garage for noisiness.

We decided to stack them in the laundry, so I had to run back down to the Good Guys this morning to buy a mat to go in between them. They were delivered and installed mid-morning, and definitely make my laundry look a little bit more space aged.

It’s funny how utterly grateful I am about this. It was a lot of money, and I just feel so lucky that we could do this. We are pretty frugal in general I think, but for a long time that was just a total necessity and didn’t mean we ended up with any savings! Now being sensible with money is still necessary, but it also means that occasionally we are able to buy something good. And high quality laundry appliances that will make my life easier (and save us significant amounts on our water and energy bills) are definitely good. I feel so grateful for Troy, who provides all this and has never made me feel like it is anything but a joint effort.

I still don’t know what I am going to do about work. Try and pick up some CRT days maybe – I am honestly not enthusiastic about this, but it seems like a moral failing if I don’t work when I am able. Although I have also been considering doing some volunteer work. Committing regular time to something outside the house would be good for me I think – it could be interesting, and I’m sure talking to people I’m not related to couldn’t do any harm either.

Saturday 26 August 2017

We had a lovely visit with mum and dad overnight, and then with Benita and her children here too this morning. I appreciate the space in this house a lot when we have eight kids and five adults here and it doesn’t seem too crowded. There’s enough places to sit at around the kitchen and living area, and the kids were in and out since the weather was okay. It was good to have a chance to catch up with the family. (And cuddle Alby – I am such a baby hog these days.)

Although every time there is a small child here I become aware of how many buttons and knobs there are on appliances and stuff in our house, and how careful you have to be with small children and animals. Our animals are really good, but they’re still animals – Luna will lick the baby and Dempsey’s finger got in between a carrot and Amadeus’ teeth and that didn’t end well. But it’s not too hard and it’s so fun to see them enjoying things that my kids enjoy/ did enjoy – they loved the trampoline today, and Winnie played dress-ups in my wedding dress and Emma’s princess tiara which was so lovely and cute!

We had a quick lunch at home with Mum and Dad and then they went off to Specsavers and Troy and I went to the Good Guys to look at laundry appliances. Nicholai elected to come with us, which was somewhat surprising, but he was just trying to fill in his day without electronics so he will have more time tomorrow. Anyway, it turned out to be a great day to go shopping for appliances because they had 10% off all washing machines and dryers, and given the cost of them that’s a big saving- it was enough to pay for about half the stick vacuum we also bought (which was also on special- we were so lucky). The washer and dryer will be delivered tomorrow, so I am currently draining the water out of the old washing machine so we can move it. Does anyone know anyone who wants a washing machine? I can’t remember how old it is, but it’s a 7.5kg front loader and it works fine – I’m only getting a new one because I want something bigger, and the new one has an 11kg load limit, which is huge!

IMG_3488

Soren loves the baby. When i was holding him Soren was practically sitting in my lap so he could keep leaning over and kissing him and patting his head, until I eventually gave in and let him hold him by himself. We were talking today about how our families match and Soren and Alby are the two babies, which Soren thinks is kind of hilarious.

IMG_3490

Dempsey’s love for Jericho’s guinea pigs is so cute and funny. Even getting his finger nipped by Amadeus as he was eating a carrot didn’t put him off really.

IMG_3495

Queen Winter, playing dress ups in my wedding dress (notice orange clothes peg holding the back together so it didn’t fall off!) – she actually worked out how to hold up the massively long skirt so she could walk around regally- it was quite impressive.

Friday 25th August 2017

It was the book week parade for the primary school boys today. Soren went as Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Jericho went as Poseidon, god of the sea (at least if Poseidon wears Hawaiian shirts). They looked so cute, and both of them had a good day.

Someone went into Troy’s car last night and riffled through everything and stole all the gold coins! They didn’t exactly break in, since the car was not locked, but it’s still kind of creepy. We found out when we got in the car at lunch time and the things from the glovebox and centre console were lying on the front seats, and then we saw all the gold coins (of which there weren’t even that many!) were gone. They left the silver coins though, so obviously they spit on our spare change.

Troy and I went down the street today to fix up our loan and offset account. It’s all in order now, which means Troy can begin to look for his new car. I would say that that will be fun for him, except that I think the real fun for him is thinking about cars and reading about cars and trying to decide on the perfect car, so once he actually goes and BUYS something then his hobby loses a lot of its charm.

Mum and Dad are coming to stay tonight. Really they are just using us as a hotel, so they can go to an optometrist appointment tomorrow, but at least it’s a visit. Apart from that, I don’t know that we have any great plans for the weekend – perhaps shopping for appliances?

IMG_3483

Thursday 24 August 2017

I made a golden ticket for Charlie Bucket and covered a devil’s pitchfork in tinfoil to make it a trident for Poseidon today, so we are ready for the book week parade tomorrow. Neither of these tasks took very long, which was nice after the hours I spent cutting and tying and braiding yarn to make a beard last year.

I went for a proper long walk this morning. I’ve found a few walks that I can do where there is space for Luna to have a run off the lead. They’re not official off-leash areas, but it’s a giant park space with no one around, so I think we’re okay. All the walking is sadly having no effect on my weight, but Luna is really looking quite svelte.

I talked to Jean for a bit too. I’m going to go down next week and help her pack up Great Nana’s place, since she is moving to her new home on Monday. She needs more care now and can’t live alone, so she has taken a place at the same home that two of her sisters and her brother-in-law live in. They really are a very long-lived family. Jean said that when I am helping her pack I have to look through everything for money, as she has already found $3000 tucked away in envelopes and in the fridge.

I made scones today, for the first time in our new house. They were pretty good and actually rose while being cooked…I really like our oven here, I have had much greater success with baking and roasting than at our previous house. We keep making potatoes for dinner, just because they’re so good after being baked in this oven.