Friday 22 September 2017

It was the last day of term today, although we’re not having the best start to the holidays. I was called up to school yesterday afternoon because Soren had thrown up on the playground, so I brought him home and he threw up periodically from then until bedtime. At first I thought my nausea was just because cleaning up after Soren was so disgusting (he puked into a bucket, but I had to empty it and rinse it out for him, and he also had ‘sick poop’, as he so delicately put it) but no…a couple of hours later I was lying on my bed with my head in a bucket too.

It was the first time where Troy being at work so far has away has really had a negative impact. I couldn’t move too far from the bathroom, but Emma had gone to a friend’s house after school and I was supposed to pick her up and take her to hockey training, which was just not going to happen. Even if I’d called Troy and asked him to come home early the first time I’d thrown up, he was still two and half hours away and that was no use to me at all. In the end I texted Emma and told her she’d just have to walk home and skip hockey training, and I just kept helping Soren when he needed it and throwing up myself after that.

At least the big kids can be somewhat self sufficient if the occasion calls for it though, and were able to just go into the pantry and make themselves all noodles or spaghetti or whatever for their dinner, all without any assistance from me. This scenario, of me being sick and Troy being at work, was actually one of the things we talked about when we were considering this move, and the kids being older is really what makes it possible. Since they can take care of themselves with some oversight, we can manage even if Troy is unable to swoop in and take over when we’d like.

Soren went to bed and slept all night, so he felt a lot better today. I was sick later into the night, and then spent the rest of it sweating and shivering and my whole body aching too much to go to sleep, so although the vomiting stopped I still didn’t feel great. I was half expecting someone else to be sick, but the other kids and Troy were all still good.

For whatever reason Nicholai had yesterday and today off school, and Emma had today off, so with Soren staying home sick Jericho was the only one getting dressed and heading off to school this morning. He made no secret of his displeasure over this fact – in fact he was quite beside himself over the thought that the others were going to stay home and play on the computer (which Soren wasn’t even going to do, you don’t get electronic time on sick days!) or get something that he wouldn’t get. But rules are rules and off he went. It was the last day of term though, so he finished at 1.30 and they had activities all day anyway, so it wasn’t like he was being sent off to the salt mines.

Soren gradually ate more as the day went on, and perked up a lot. He watched a dvd and did some drawing, and made a cubbyhouse out of cardboard for Sebastian the lizard. He also moaned about not being allowed to play on the ipad and being bored, which doesn’t bode well for the holidays.

I spent most of the day just lying around doing absolutely nothing. I assembled two chairs this afternoon (I got all the staining done yesterday, before I was struck down), but then I had to go and lie down and rest. It was lovely to be sitting outside for a bit though, the weather was so beautiful here today – we actually turned off our heating and opened up the glass doors to the deck and just had the screen dors for some fresh air.

Emma has spent the last two days being a social butterfly – she texted me yesterday to ask if she could go to some guy’s house after school with a bunch of friends, which we said she could. She had a lot of fun, and then he texted her today and invited her to come back over, so she spent most of the day off being sociable. It’s all very sudden though – this is the first really independent teenage socialising for any of my children, and I guess it’s kind of caught me on the hop. Troy and I are going to have to talk with each other, and then with the kids, about what our rules are going to be, and what we expect from the children.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

I spent a lot of time staining chair pieces today. It’s very hard to do it smoothly and not have any drips or uneven patches – I don’t think that furniture finishing is really a likely career option for me. But the pieces that have the recommended three coats on them look reasonably close to the colour of the table, so that’s good.

Jericho took the lizard to school this morning to show his class. The other kids thought it was great, they all asked questions and wanted to look at him and touch him. It was funny actually, it’s the first thing that’s made me really notice the difference between this new suburban school and our old country school. While the kids at our old school all loved to see animals, they were a bit more blasé about things like blue tongues since they all saw them around occasionally. I mean, there was one living under the deck by the prep room for a couple of years that was always out sunbaking on the asphalt! Here there were quite a lot of kids who had never seen one so close up, since they don’t really hang out in suburbia.

I went to the doctor today, to talk about my blood tests. I have wondered if my recent tiredness could be because I needed an increase in the thyroid meds, but in fact the opposite is true – I am taking too much and have to reduce it. So I’ll do that for the next month and then retest and see where I’m at.

I really hate going to the doctor. It’s always something. At least this time it’s pretty minor I guess.


Tuesday 19 September 2017

Today I finally packed up all the cardboard that was piled up on the deck and took it to Benita’s place for her burning heap. This is not the cardboard moving boxes (which are all still stacked up behind the couch) but all the cardboard boxes and packaging from the trampoline and the couches. There was so much of it, I had to fold down the two back seats of the van to get it all in, and even then I had to slam the boot hard to squash it enough to fit. Cardboard will burn down pretty quickly, but that much of it should give a temporarily spectacular bonfire.

Jericho and Soren helped me load it all in the van, so I dropped them at school and then went to Ben’s. We went for a walk through their bush looking for suitable rocks/ hollow logs for Sebastian the lizard’s habitat – they live in an ideal environment for blue tongues, so we found a couple of good bits pretty quickly, and then went and unloaded the cardboard before we went back inside. Alby had a nap, and Winnie serenaded me with some delightful renditions of the Frozen soundtrack and Hakuna Matata.

Dempsey was my best buddy today, he climbed onto my lap several times and I even got to squish and tickle him – I found the non-verbal toddler era with my own kids quite tough, but there is no denying that it’s also one of the most fun and snuggly and hilarious phases that kids go through. Although I don’t know about calling Dempsey ‘non-verbal’, since he was talking quite a bit today. He’s hard to understand, but he was pointing to things and telling me what they were, and he can answer basic questions – kind of neat actually, just to see the change in his skills since we moved in.

I have to admit that the reason I finally got around to shifting all that cardboard was not because I was being particularly houseproud, but because I needed the space back on the deck. I’m staining the pieces of the Ikea chairs before I assemble them, and that’s quite a lot of pieces that need to be laid out on undercover on the deck to dry. I’ve actually never stained timber before, so doing the first coat today was kind of interesting. The instructions say to do three coats, so it’s going to take a while – there are a lot of individual pieces of wood in six dining chairs. I just hope that it all looks okay at the end, that the stain is the right colour and that the style of the chairs doesn’t look too weird with the table.

The boys are having a lovely time with Sebastian. Although this evening he crawled up Soren’s pyjama sleeve and Soren couldn’t even get him out, so we had to do an extraction mission.

Monday 18 September 2017

Today was another day when I was too tired to do nearly anything I had planned to do. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and since I had to drive the children to school (Emma made a castle diorama and it was too big for her to walk with) I thought I could drop them off and then go and walk around the lake. But when it came down to it, there was just no way. I came home and put the tray table together that I bought at Ikea – someone had messed up though, and I had two packets of all the hardware and no packet containing the straps required! Fortunately it was only the straps though, and a quick trip to Spotlight and some cotton tape purchased and I was able to finish it up. By the time I’d done some cleaning up, some laundry, and eaten lunch, I was pretty much done and I went and had a nap. Troy let me sleep and walked up to school to collect the children, so I didn’t wake up until they all got back (all wet, since they’d had to walk in the rain.)

Troy headed off to hockey after tea, since their win last week put them in the grandfinal this week. However, happily I’m not being abandoned – the game is being played at the State Hockey Centre in Parkville, so it’s only a little bit longer for Troy to turn around and drive back home than it would be to drive across town to his mum and dad’s place. Hopefully the weather clears up a bit by the time he has to play, and of course I hope he wins!

I am considering that it might be time to change my shampoo and conditioner. I’m rolling my eyes at this being a big deal to me, but I have been using Pantene shampoo and conditioner for almost sixteen years! I wanted nice hair for my wedding, so I took the fourteen day challenge (it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen) and then was never able to go back. However since we moved my hair has been crap, kind of greasy and grungy feeling, with way too much electric frizz going on around the edges. I’m guessing it is because the water is different, but whatever the reason I don’t like it.






Emma and her castle

Sunday 17 September 2017

We added a blue tongue lizard to the household today. He came via Gumtree and we have named him Sebastian.

My kids are so hilariously oblivious though! We drove to Hopper’s Crossing to get the critter, and so late afternoon I told the kids to put shoes on because we had to go and pick something up. We had been driving for an HOUR before Emma actually thought to ask, “Hey, what are we actually doing?”

The kids asked who the lizard was for, and I said that he’s for everyone, but especially for Soren, because he’s been a bit sad since we moved and we’re really proud of how grown up he is and how hard he’s been working to adjust and make the best of things here at his new house and school. When I said that Soren just burst into tears and threw himself into my arms, my poor sweet baby! He cheered up pretty quickly though. We said he could pick the name and he chose my suggestion of Sebastian and held him in the little plastic carry box all the way home in the car.

I don’t expect a lizard to magically make everything better for Soren, but it will be something good thing he has here. He was very attached to Godzilla and we promised him we would try and get another when he escaped, so now seemed like a good time to do it.

Soren has taken the longest time to feel settled here, which surprised me, but he’s really getting there. He likes school and he likes this house, and he’s making some friends at school. With the nicer weather this weekend he also spent a few hours outside on the trampoline, and that seems to do him the world of good. He’s going to be fine.

Saturday 16 September 2017

I had a fun and successful trip to Ikea and Costco with Benita and Alby yesterday. We put Alby’s seat in my van (easier than moving three seats out of Benita’s van) and then I drove – my satnav system seemed a little bit confused with all those tangled city roads and bridges and tunnels and highways, but we got to Ikea without too much trouble.

It was a lovely stroll around Ikea- Benita and I both have the Ikea app on our phones with shopping lists already prepared, which made it really easy to find everything we wanted. Although, there is the Ikea trap of all the things that you don’t know you want until you see them. I was not too bad with impulse purchases though- I bought a plant stand and a bamboo tablet stand (which I really want to put recipes on while I cook). Apart from that I got the chairs, tray table, Trofast buckets and lap desk that I went for, and Benita found what she wanted too.

Alby was no trouble at all. He is becoming more and more smiley and responsive, which is adorable. I love spending time with a little baby again, and I feel really lucky that we’ve moved close enough to some of my family that I can be part of my nephews and niece’s lives.

We finished at Ikea and loaded up the van while it absolutely bucketed down rain. Driving through this torrential downpour to Docklands Costco was nerve wracking for me; I had the satnav to tell me where to go, but that close to the city the roads have multiple lanes and specific turning lanes, so I would have had enough trouble even without rain so hard it obscured road markings and other cars!

Costco was awesome, as always, and Benita was suitably impressed by free samples and the giant sized goods available. I’ve never been to the Docklands Costco before, so that was a little bit weird – it was almost the same as Ringwood, but just enough tiny differences to throw me off. It might be the last time I shop at Costco. It’s not a difficult drive from Ballarat, but it’s long enough that I don’t know if it would really be worth it just for groceries. I will certainly miss Costco muffins and buying 64 rolls of toilet paper at a time though.

Today has been a nice weekend day. I slept in pretty late, which always gets the weekend off to a good start (I was SO tired at the end of the day yesterday). Troy and I went out to do a bit of shopping – we needed some groceries, some data cables and some stain and varnish to finish the bare pine chairs I bought at Ikea yesterday. It wasn’t exciting shopping really, but it’s always nice to hang out with Troy. And I’m still close enough to having small children and never being able to run errands without it being a giant chore and production, that being able to go out alone still seems like an amazing privilege.

I put the new Ikea plant stand together this afternoon. I had to get Troy to help me with the drill, which is unusual for Ikea stuff – usually it goes together without too much trouble, but getting the screws through the metal was too hard for me. But we got it together and I think it looks good, although it will look better when my plants get over the shock of being moved to icy Ballarat and begin to look healthy again.

There was a bit of frustration this afternoon though. Yesterday we had the electrician come over to do the work that we wanted on fixing a couple of broken downlights and installing some cabling and new data points. We got him to install some network ports and power points high up on the kitchen wall, because we want to mount the modem and stuff there as it’s more central for wifi to work throughout the whole house. We chose this place because there was a phone jack there, but today when Troy went to connect everything, we discovered that the phone point is not even connected! So now we have to have someone out AGAIN to fix that.

Although it is very fortunate that we had the electrician out and he was up in the roof, because he discovered that part of our evaporative cooling ductwork had come adrift. This would have severely hampered its effectiveness once we started to use it, but since we’ve never had it before we probably would have just assumed it was crap, rather than broken! At least now we know and will fix it.

I don’t think we have any particular plans for tomorrow. Honestly I really just like this lazy weekend phase we’re in at the moment.

Thursday 14 September 2017

I made pikelets today, which made me think of Grandma and how she used to call them pike-e-lets, with three syllables. While probably not really up to Grandma’s pikelet standards, mine worked out quite well and the children ate them very appreciatively for after school snack. They will take the leftovers for recess tomorrow.

After watching Alyssa win Hard Quiz yesterday, I’m now watching it again because Jericho and Soren wanted to see it too. Jericho commented that he keeps hearing her laugh, and Nicholai said, “Yes, it’s Alyssa on tv but she’s acting just like she does in real life.” Which pretty much sums it up really.

I walked for quite a while this morning. I came across a stray dog while I was walking, and considering it was a golden retriever wearing a coat I was not scared of it, so when it started running out on to the road I thought I should try and catch it. However my good intentions were thwarted when it took one look at Luna and I and ran away, so in the end I just had to hope that it’s red coat would make it obvious enough to avoid being hit by a car if it ran out on to the road again.

When we got home I gave Luna a bath since she was pretty wet and muddy. I used the laundry sink, which I have now decided (based on the water all over me, the laundry bench and the laundry floor) is not big enough to bathe a dog. Luna then spent the rest of the day lying on the floor in front of the portable heater Troy uses in his office.

Ever since we’ve been thinking about getting Soren another lizard I’ve been keeping an eye on reptile enclosures on Gumtree, and yesterday I found one that was only in Sebastopol, so I messaged and then went and picked it up last night. It was cheap, so it’s not in excellent condition, but it’s okay and will do for now. It was pretty filthy and smelled horrendous though, so I took to it with a scrubbing brush and some hot water with a bit of bleach this afternoon which improved it a bit. Now we just need a lizard to put in it – I’m sure Gumtree will provide. We collected the enclosure last night after the boys were in bed, and they paid no attention to me heading out to the garage with cleaning supplies this afternoon, so it’s going to be quite the surprise I think.

Emma had hockey training tonight for a summer competition that she’s going to play in. Troy took her, and stayed to have a hit with Soren while she trained. I got to stay home with Jericho and Nicholai…when Troy came home I went and lay down in my room in the dark watching stupid Instagram stories and crying from sheer despair.

However I have a trip to Ikea and Costco planned for tomorrow, so that’s something to look forward to. And now all the children are in bed and Troy and I are going to watch Game of Thrones, so the evening should end in a fairly relaxed sort of way.