Saturday 30 June 2018

We went out to Lazy Moe’s for breakfast today, to celebrate having lived in our house a year. The breakfast was delicious, but the servings are so insanely enormous that no one finished, it’s ridiculous.

Technically we moved in on July 1st, but Nicholai is staying over with Steve and Jean tonight and Emma has a friend sleeping over here, so we thought we should go today instead, when we could do it as a whole family. This did involve waking up before I was really ready for it, and going outside in an extremely cold morning, but it was really fun and I’m glad we did it.

Nicholai has gone to Yarra Glen because the football club has invited him to go and commentate on some junior matches that they’re filming tomorrow. Nicholai thought it would be fun, and when they said they’d pay him actual money he couldn’t say yes quickly enough. We took him to the train station and he was going to make his way to Lilydale and then Steve or Jean would pick him up and take him back to their place. They’ll drop him off at the oval tomorrow morning and then he’ll catch the train back tomorrow afternoon. I hope he has fun – he was pretty excited about the whole idea and I think it’s pretty cool that someone thought of him to do it in the first place.

It was really cold and wet today, and apart from going out for breakfast I didn’t really do anything. Emma’s friend came over this afternoon, and Jericho and Soren played on their devices and jumped outside on the trampoline when it wasn’t raining, and then watched a movie this afternoon. Troy went and fiddled about in the garage for a while, which was probably the only productive thing anyone did all day.


Friday 29 June 2018

It was the last day of term 2 today, so we’re all on holidays for the next two weeks. Jericho and Soren finished at 1.30 and were home for lunch, and Nicholai and Emma finished at 2.30.

Jericho and Soren had house spirit games today, which seemed to be a whole lot of non-competitive activities. Jericho ran a drawing activity which he said was okay, and Soren did a few different things – mostly he came home rolling his eyes that he was forced to dance. I don’t know why he objected, since he was voluntarily dancing at a disco on Wednesday, but he just sounded so hilariously appalled when he was telling me about today.

I also have to say that while I was disappointed that they were assigned to the blue house when we moved (after all the kids always being in green house before, even back to Troy and I being in green house in primary school) it is so much easier to find blue clothes to wear for house activities! Jericho and Soren both have blue t-shirts and jumpers so were actually able to head off to school dressed in house colours that were also appropriate for the weather.

Soren had to finish cleaning up his room after school today, and after much moaning and carrying on I told him that if he just hurried up and did it then they would probably be able to have some electronics time. Well, his room was miraculously tidied up and vacuumed within about twenty minutes after that…amazing what a bit of motivation will do.

My stomach was hurting again today. I’ve had a few niggly pains over the past couple of days, but this morning it hurt so much when I got up to run that I only make it a couple of minutes before I couldn’t keep going. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as when I ended up in the ER, but it wasn’t fun and it remained uncomfortable all day.

I think I need to find a new doctor clinic to go to though. I really like the doctor I’ve been seeing, but the wait time for her next available appointment is eleven days. I booked the appointment, but that’s a pretty big delay when there’s a problem. I don’t mind waiting for an appointment to see a doctor that I like and trust and have built up a relationship with (thinking in terms of things like pap smears or regular psych reviews, that are planned in advance and aren’t really time sensitive) but I also want to be able to see a doctor at the same practice within a day or two when something crops up, and I can’t do that at this place.

Thursday 28 June 2018

I met with Jericho’s teacher yesterday. She’s lovely, and we had a good chat. She’s seen a lot of evidence of his negativity and low self-esteem and agrees that it seems to be causing him some issues. The school psychologist is on leave until next term, but she’s emailing her to let her know what we talked about and get her take on it. To be honest though, I’m not all that confident that the psychologist will be able to work with him, since they are always overworked and Jericho doesn’t have any serious behavioural/ mental health issues that would make this a priority. If we have to go through the GP for a mental health plan and see someone outside school we’ll do that, but we may as well at least see if we can work through the school first. Even if we have to go outside she might be able to recommend someone anyway.

I don’t know. I don’t believe that Jericho is clinically depressed at this point, but the red flags are waving and he worries me. We’ve got six months before the big high school transition and puberty is looming – I want to do everything we can to set him up with the tools and skills he will need to live his happiest life.

I cleaned the intake filter on the central heating today, and it is clearly something that should have been done sooner – there was like an inch of dust felted onto it, and now that it’s gone the whole thing is working so much more quietly. I mean, I was having to turn the tv right up to hear it over the roar of it, and now you need to be standing near to it to hear it. It all came about kind of accidentally too, I banged into the grate and when I went to fix it we were fiddling with it, which is the only reason that the idea of dust in it even occurred to me.

I’ve also finished packing away the Lego. The boys were not thrilled by this at the time (actually, I’m pretty glad that I wasn’t at home when Jericho discovered my treachery) but they’ve already started talking about what they might want to build on the holidays so I think it was the right thing to do. We don’t have any real plans for the holidays at the moment, so having all the Lego available and space to build will probably be good.

It was a cleaning kind of day I guess. After two weeks of telling Soren he was going to have to clean his room, but leaving it up to him as to when he did it, I finally told him today he had to just go and do it whether he wanted to or not. Good lord he makes some heavy work out of it! He spends most of his time that he’s supposed to be picking things up sitting on the floor and playing with what he finds, and then moans because he’s “been cleaning my room for hours and it’s still not done!” Anyway, he didn’t finish it so I guess he’ll have to pack up the rest tomorrow after school – they finish at 1.30 for the holidays so he’ll have plenty of time.

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Troy was in the city again today for a tax seminar. They do this at the beginning of every financial year, to go over any changes to the rules or whatever, so he got up early and took the train down. It really doesn’t take much longer to go from Ballarat than it did to go from Yarra Glen.

Emma is in the middle of friend drama at school, and it makes me wish we lived in the olden days of no internet. These things are so much more dramatic and brutal when there are a whole lot of online group chats and messages and face timing going on.

I also wished today that we had not facilitated my children ending up with so much Lego! Keeping it organised and accessible is just an impossible task. Jericho and Soren never want to break down anything they’ve built or pack away bits that they’re not using, so they’ve pretty much reached a point at which they have no space to actually build anything else or even play with what they’ve made. Not to mention that the bits all keep managing to fall onto the floor and drift all around the living room and drive me insane. I started trying to pack it away today, just to clear off the table so they can use it during the holidays, but I just don’t know how to go about it. I think I’m going to just have to put aside anything that they’ve actually constructed, and then tip everything else into a Trofast container and they can sort it out if they want to and start over again. It’s a crappy job though, I worked on it for a while and it looks like all I did was make the mess worse to be honest.

Not much else going on really. Nicholai went to bed early because he’s planning on getting up to watch Australia’s game in the World Cup tonight. He’s got school tomorrow but I said he could get up anyway, if he’s tired he’ll just have to deal with it.

I’m going to see Jericho’s teacher tomorrow, which I’m a bit anxious about – hopefully it’s all good and she has some ideas or insight.

Monday 25 June 2018

I had parent-teacher-student interviews with Jericho and Soren today. They finished school at lunchtime, came home and ate some toast, and then we went back to school so we could meet with their teachers.

Soren had been able to choose three things to show me, and he’d picked his handwriting book, a maths test that he got a great result on, and his brochure about the Murray-Darling basin. He’s doing so well. Really his teacher just said how much he enjoys having him in the class because he’s such a good worker and can always be relied on to listen and do what he’s asked to, and he said that he likes that Soren is getting a little bit more confident about speaking out. I said that we were really proud of him; that he always does his homework and reads a lot at home and that we think he has a great attitude towards school.

Jericho had also chosen things to show me (his prime minister project, his improvements in some testing results between the start of the year and the middle of the year, and his project on wind energy) and had written down some goals he wanted to work towards in his learning, so we looked at those things. His teacher is really happy with his progress and results, as well as his behaviour. Jericho said that he’s trying to speak up more and share his writing, and she said she has noticed and hopes he keeps doing that because it’s good. She said he needs more confidence in his own abilities, because he’s smart and can be a leader with the other kids.

Then she sent him out of the room and brought up to me that Naomi had told her about Jericho being depressed, and I said I knew about that. She said that she told the AP (psychologist?) and they had made a note about it but hadn’t pursued anything because they hadn’t seen any specific evidence of actual depression, although she has been keeping a closer look out. I said that I didn’t think he was necessarily clinically depressed, but he’s at risk of mental health issues, is extremely negative about everything and highly anxious, and that this has pretty much been an issue for most of his life. We were on a ten-minute time limit for this interview and she was already running late, so I asked if she thought we should make another time for a more in depth talk and she said yes, so we’re going to do that. It would be really good if she had some ideas about how to help him, because he worries me a lot and as hard as I’m trying I don’t feel like I’m able to make anything better with him.

Emma did a Write-A-Book-In-A-Day activity today. I had to drop her off at school by 8am and pick her up at 8pm, and they spent the intervening twelve hours in the library writing and illustrating a book in groups. It sounds like such a fun activity, and she was so happy when she came home- she had a great day and already said she wants to do it again next year.

Nicholai has found an old ipod, put music on it, and given it to Jericho. This is so unusually thoughtful of him – I mean, I’m sure he’s highly motivated by just trying to get Jericho to like what he likes, but he also gave a lot of consideration to what might appeal to him. For some weird reason Nicholai has decided that Jericho is going to be an emo teenager (well, okay, it’s not totally out of left field) and I guess he feels that this needs some musical accompaniment.

Saturday 23rd June 2018

We had an early start to get to the Yarra Valley for the Shortest Lunch today. We left the dog at Troy’s parents (she was most unhappy about being shut up in the yard with the two big dogs and left alone!) and we went and had apple pies at Yering Farm, dumplings/ fish and chips/ cheesecake at Elmswood Estate, and then pancakes at Five Oaks. It was all so delicious! All the places had live music too, which was nice.

It’s funny how different and yet the same it is every year – this is the seventeenth year in a row that we’ve done this! Most of the wineries involved now are over off the Warburton Highway rather than Dixon’s Creek/ Steels Creek/ Yarra Glen like it used to be, and there were fewer taking part. Some really good food though, and I like that a lot of places now give you a couple of choices. Basically it’s just a really nice, fun and relaxing day.













Friday 22 June 2018

I visited Benita today. She was home with Alby and Dempsey and was doing some baking for a weaving workshop she is running, so mostly I just lounged against the fire guard and watched her work, ha ha ha. I also took about five trips down to Dempsey’s bedroom so he could show me his big boy bed, which he is evidently extremely proud of!

I brought her electric keyboard home with me, so that Nicholai has the ability to fulfil his musical dreams. Well, complete his school assignment anyway. He’s started trying to figure it out, and Jericho and Soren have also spent ages ‘performing’ for me…I hope the novelty wears off for them soon, quite honestly. Although I just checked with Nicholai and he said it has a headphone jack so I think it might have to be something played only to themselves!

Jericho has gone to bed, but he just came out with a pair of wind up chattering teeth on feet that he bought at an auction at school and put them on the side table. He told me he didn’t want it in his room while he was going to sleep, because he keeps thinking it’s about to start chattering at him – I have to admit, I laughed. They’re hilarious.

We got school reports for Jericho and Soren today and they were excellent. I’m so proud of them – they really work hard and behave well at school and they deserve the good results they’re getting.

Emma got her maths exam marks today and got 92%, so she should be absolutely happy with that. She got 68% for her English/Humanities which kind of surprised me – I guess when she told me she did badly she actually did have trouble with it. Not that 68 is terrible at all, but it’s not what she would normally expect of herself in that area.

I finished Soren’s fingerless mitts this afternoon, so he’ll be able to wear them this weekend. It’s the Shortest Lunch and it’s meant to be cold and rainy, so he’s going to need them!