Saturday 30 September 2017

Richmond won the football grand final today. While I hardly even watched any of it and am not generally interested in football anyway, I always associate Richmond with Grandpa and so I felt like I was happy on his behalf that they won.

Without Nicholai at home (he’s still at Steve and Jean’s house) we didn’t actually have anyone who was super keen to watch the football, so we went out during it. In our suburban estate the streets were kind of packed with parked cars at various houses where people were obviously having grand final parties, but down town was practically deserted.

We went to the library so that Emma could change over the books she borrowed the other day. Jericho borrowed a couple of extra and so did Soren, Troy and I just sat in library chairs and talked and played word games on my phone and enjoyed the lovely peaceful library atmosphere.

Bunnings was our next stop, for tent pegs to peg down the guinea pig’s outside playpen and a long extension cord that will allow the electric hedge trimmer to reach the hedges out the front.

We also looked at paint, since I am thinking that once the kids go back to school I should start in on painting our house. I really want it to be done, but it’s going to take forever – if I start at the beginning of fourth term I might be done by Christmas. I’m slightly nervous about having so much wall space to paint though. I like painting, but I don’t know if I’ll like having to do that much of it! I’m also worried about how my wrists and elbows will stand up to the work, since the last time I painted (the bathroom and the kitchen wall, just before we moved) was pretty painful, but I haven’t really been having trouble with them recently so perhaps that was just a flare and I’ll be okay.

Emma, Jericho and Soren were with us, and they looked at paint for their rooms too. Emma wants the exact same purple that she had in her old room, Jericho wants green, and Soren wants blue. I’ll do their rooms last, so they’ve still got a while to change their minds if they want to.

After that we went to JB hi fi so Troy could buy a magnet thing to mount his phone in his new car (he uses google maps on his commute, to avoid traffic), and then to the supermarket and then home.

Troy and I are watching UFC through their website tonight, we’ve signed up for a free trial. We watched the first ever one last week, and now we’re on to #2. It’s so weird to see them wearing the outfits from their various disciplines, and doing stuff that’s now against the rules like hair pulling and kicking downed opponents and hanging off the cage! The clothes are actually pretty funny, the last dude was wearing karate pants and while they were grappling the ref had to keep running over and pulling them up over the guy’s ass so that he wasn’t showing his bare butt to the crowd.

Friday 29 September 2017

Troy has allergies and was snoring like a chainsaw last night. I had to go and sleep on the couch – at this rate we will end up in separate bedrooms one day. I am so tired, and he’s still miserable and wiping his nose every five minutes, so I think tonight is going to be just as good. Yay.

Although we went and collected Troy’s new car this morning, so that was something to make him happy when he’s not feeling well! He and I drove to the dealership first thing this morning and signed the last bits of paperwork and picked up the keys, then Troy took me for a quick spin around the block so that I could appreciate it before he drove it back and I drove the van. It’s nice, it’s a white sedan (which is my basic car classification…Troy would be sad that I don’t notice the details!) and it’s going to make his long commute times a little easier on him.

It was the grand final public holiday today. I still think it’s the dumbest reason in the world to have a public holiday (it’s not even like they play the game today! This is just a day to go and buy pies and beer so you can watch it tomorrow) but I’m not going to complain about having Troy home and not working.

I sold the old washing machine on Gumtree today, after listing it a few days ago. That felt like a nice little bonus, and it will combine with the $150 cash back offer on the new washing machine to offset the cost of that a little bit. It was an easy sale, someone messaged to ask if it was still available and if I’d take $200. I countered with $230, they agreed and came and picked it up less than an hour later. They were nice – she told me her washing machine broke this morning, she has two teenage sons, so it was immediate replacement time.

It also means it is out of the garage, which is a plus. Troy drove the ute back here on Thursday and when his parents bring Nicholai back and visit on Sunday they will put the clothes dryer on the back of it and take it with them, so that will be gone too. That opens up a little space in the garage that we can then use to put some more order into that space…honestly, I can’t see how we can ever possibly clear it out enough to put even one car in there, but Troy has hopes and I’d like to get rid of more stuff, so we’ll see.

Thursday 28 September 2017

I woke up early today so I could take Nicholai to catch a 9.18am train, but I’m glad I was up anyway because the doorbell rang at 8.30 with a courier service delivering a rug for Troy’s office. At least this way I was already showered and dressed.

The rug is a pretty traditional looking design, but slightly more turquoise than I thought it would be – I was expecting something of a duller blue. I don’t know, I suppose I have to hope that it either fades a bit or else I just get used to it!

I took Nicholai to the train without any drama, and then came home and hung out with Jericho and Soren for a bit. They helped me unroll the new rug and we all lay on it for a while to help flatten it out while we talked. Then they kept going through the photos on my phone (which is something we started the other day) until they got back to the first photo, which was of a long haired Soren in 2014.

Their friends arrived within ten minutes of each other, and they both trotted away to show off their rooms and pets and whatever else. Soren and his friend played chess, which Soren won – I guess all his practising by himself paid off. I made lunch and they all ate and then spent the rest of the afternoon rotating through the computer, the Wii, the DS and the trampoline.

It went really well, which kind of surprised me, since I was basically braced for al whole lot of banshee screaming and arguing…perhaps they’re old enough now that it just works better? It is probably also partly due to having the space we have here in this house, because they’re just not on top of each other. Either way, it was actually a really nice, easy afternoon watching them have fun and occasionally handing out food and drinks, and I would be happy for them to come back anytime. It shouldn’t be hard either, because they don’t live far away. Soren’s friend is within walking distance (it’s between our house and the school), and Jericho’s friend would be a long walk, but probably okay to do on a bike or scooter.

You know, once we get our kids riding bikes…I swear to god, this is such an issue. Looking back I don’t see how we could have actually got them learning when they were little (we gave it a good try at one point, but not so much success) but living here bikes would be SO useful for them, and yet they’re all rather ambivalent about the whole concept.

We got a little metal pet playpen today, so the guinea pigs spent the afternoon outside eating grass and enjoying a bit of sun and breeze. It will be good for them to have some space and outside time, because they live in a pretty small cage indoors, and they can keep the grass down.


Wednesday 27 September 2017

We’re having some lovely weather for these holidays. Admittedly the kids spend every moment that they’re allowed to inside in front of screens, but at least they can go outside on the trampoline when they’re done.

We went to the central Ballarat library yesterday, and all got library cards. It’s such a nice library! I love libraries, I didn’t even borrow but just kind of walking around in there made me happy. They have quite a lot of activities, one of which is a book club for Emma and another one that Soren and Jericho might like to do with robotic Legos, so that could be something that we try and do next term.

I texted Jericho’s and Soren’s friends’ parents today and have arranged to have two extra kids here tomorrow. That’s going to mean an extremely loud day (primary school aged kids are NOT quiet), but it also means that they will both be occupied with a friend and no one will be pushing in someone’s else’s friend time.

Although Nicholai won’t be here tomorrow. I’m driving him to the train station, as he’s going to Steve and Jean’s house to clean out their gutters and watch the grand final. Not that he’s particularly problematic on the holidays – basically he spend the whole day skulking about in his room and comes out five times a day for meals and snacks (where he also takes the opportunity to needle the others, but I won’t go there now).

I baked some Anzac biscuits today, but they were a sad disappointment. Some of them were very overcooked, and even the ones that were cooked okay weren’t that good. I think I’ll try again with a different recipe next time.

I don’t know what else is going on. Not much really- I’ve been kind of blah so it’s everything seems very dull and bland.

Monday 25 September 2017

As soon as I woke up today (which was late, I slept in) Jericho was jumping up and down to show me his surprise. He led me out to the back living room, where he had cleaned the whole thing, entirely voluntarily, and completely by himself. I was amazed, both that he’d just gone and done it and that he did such a great job! I mean, it was a disaster out there, it hadn’t really been organised and tidied properly for a couple of months. Jericho put all the Lego back in the Trofast boxes, picked up and reshelved a whole bunch of books, and arranged all the consoles and games away in the cupboards and on the shelf. I took advantage of this sudden stage of neatness and went and vacuumed in there, so it’s really looking pretty nice.

The rest of the day went pretty smoothly. I think the kids were probably in to Troy a little more than would be ideal, but it’s also probably less distracting than having co-workers coming in to ask him things and needing his help? Maybe?

I made chocolate chip cookies earlier, and they worked out so well – they rose and cooked evenly and tasted delicious. It makes such a difference having a good oven.

Sunday 24 September 2017

Jericho told me at tea time tonight that if he has a son he’s going to call him Vasco, after the explorer Vasco de Gama. It cracked me up – I’d never heard of this explorer until Jericho learned about him at school, but he’s fascinated by him.

Emma’s friend Oliver came over today, so we got to meet him. He seems okay, as teenage boys go I guess. They spent most of the time playing on the Wii and doing whatever it is they do on Emma’s phone all day.

It’s good to meet the kids’ friends and at least have some idea about them – it’s definitely a weird feeling when they get old enough that they organise their own social life and you don’t really know the people involved. Troy and I are having a bit of a rethink about the tech rules and how that relates to having people over, because I would much prefer that the kids have their friends here sometimes rather than always trotting off somewhere with permanent internet and game access! Ugh, it’s all really hard actually, there’s no precedent for Troy and I to follow in working all this out.

Although with Troy working at home, having a bunch of kids around might not be ideal. They were certainly loud today.

I have to admit I’m not overly excited about the prospect of these coming holidays. The kids are in something of a difficult phase, and I’m not feeling all that inspired to deal with it. We shall have to see how we go.

Great Nana is back in hospital, with her kidney’s not working properly. It’s hard to know what to wish for her – I guess I suppose I hope she is comfortable, whichever way things go. Her sister has died too, the one with dementia, but at least Nana got to see her since they moved into the same nursing home.

Thinking about being that old, and losing so many people that I love, scares the shit out of me to be honest. I mean, the alternative is dying young, and I don’t want that either! I guess by the time it happens you’re ready for it and you just deal with everything because there’s no other choice. Oh, I don’t know, this is stupid – I feel like an old lady half the time anyway, but Nana has fifty years on me…I probably don’t have to worry about it yet.

Saturday 23 September 2017

Troy bought a car today! It’s a Hyundai i40, and to be honest I don’t even know what that is, but he is happy with it. It was one of the types he had on his list from the start, so he found one online and then went down today to check it out. He liked it and it fit in the budget, so he signed the papers and came home to transfer the money online. I think he said it will be ready to collect around Tuesday, so we’ll have to drive down and get it in a few days. I’m really happy he got something he likes.

I slept for twelve hours straight without even stirring last night– I didn’t even wake up with the 4am alarm for my thyroid medication, which has never happened – and woke up feeling so much better. Of course I then had to spend a while doing catch up with the laundry and general mess that got ignored during the last couple of sick days, but it got done and it’s nice to feel back to normal again.

I finished putting together all the Ikea dining chairs today, which I am relieved about as I was totally sick of dealing with them and having pieces of them spread all over the deck. Stylistically they don’t really match the table, but the colour match of the stain turned out better than I expected, so overall I’m happy with them.

We are enjoying better internet throughout the house now, after the electrician came on Friday morning and re-connected the phone line to the point in the kitchen. It had been connected, but just come loose so it was a really easy fix. Unfortunately it turns out that the kids’ computer in the back living room is actually kind of broken, and even better internet can’t fix that. We’ll have to work out what we want to do about that – we’re a year away from 3 out of 4 kids having their own laptop (Jericho will get one for high school) so I don’t know if that will change what we want in a communal computer. Although I have to give props to the computer, we bought it from Aldi and the passcode on it is 2010, so we’ve had it for at least seven years…I think we’ve probably got our money’s worth out of that one.