There was some beautiful sunshine today so we spent most of the afternoon outside. We lit a fire in the fire pit (Jericho wanted to burn his sustainable house that he made for school) and Troy did the mowing, while I cut down the wisteria that grows over the side of the deck. It had pulled down all the wire it was growing on, so I’ve hacked it back to almost nothing – we’re going to redo the wire and hope it grows back! Assuming it does grow back we’ll try and keep a better handle on training it along the wire and posts, rather than letting it grow out of control and take over the deck in the wrong direction.
We bought giant campfire marshmallows and had them over the fire pit for afternoon tea. They were so good – we were totally gross and cooked them then ate the outside layer then cooked them again until they were all gone. It was really fun hanging outside with the kids, and then we had homemade pizza for tea. It was delicious, and really made it just an ideal weekend sort of day.
While Jericho was doing his guinea pigs’ house I swept the deck but that was basically a waste of time, it was so windy that all the sawdust just kept blowing back as soon as I’d swept it together.
We went to the toy store this morning too. Jericho and Soren have book week and a book parade in August and I told them we needed to think about their costumes now so that we’d have time to get something delivered from ebay if they needed accessories. As it is Soren wants to go as Peter from Narnia and Jericho wants to be Leif from the Deltora Quest books, so we went looking for swords. I’ve ordered Soren a crown from ebay and I’ve told Jericho I’ll sew him a cloak (ugh) so while there’s work to be done we’ve got it under control for now.
I told Jericho today that we were going to go to the doctor to get a mental health care plan done so we could get six free psychology sessions through Medicare. I’m not sure what I exactly expected him to say, but it probably wasn’t the, “We’re going to the doctor to get mental health care coupons???” that he did say. He really cracks me up sometimes.
After all my mad crocheting in secret so he’d have a birthday surprise, Jericho found out about it today! I texted a photo of it to Jean earlier in the week (after I’d done the head and neck) and then today he was texting her on my phone and scrolled up and saw it – I’m so annoyed with myself!
As for the llama itself, I ran out of yarn halfway through the fourth leg, and as of Friday I haven’t heard from Bendigo Woollen Mills that they’ve even posted me the other ball yet, so I’m not happy. I ordered it Monday night and they say ‘within five business days’ so they’re still within their own guidelines if it gets sent on Monday, but I’m not all that impressed with them. If I’d known they wouldn’t post it for a week I would have asked Ellen to go and buy some and send it to me- I didn’t ask her because I didn’t want to be demanding, but I’m sure she would have found time to go sooner than the seven days it’s going to take them to throw it in a postbag and in the mail. As it is I’ve crocheted the blanket, and I’m just going to have to hope that the yarn gets posted on Monday and delivered on Wednesday, because I’ve still go to crochet a leg, two ears and a tail and sew all those pieces on.
Troy and Soren went to the football today, so it was a pretty quiet day at home with the three older kids. It was really cold, so we just hung out inside. Emma, Jericho and Soren watched Avatar on dvd in the morning like they always do on the weekends, and then Nicholai and Jericho listened to music on Spotify for quite a while, which also seems to be turning into a regular occurrence. Soren and Troy made their lunch and left for the train station, and the rest of us ate lunch at home and watched some episodes of Roseanne. I went to the supermarket with Jericho later to buy things for tea, and I think I made his day by letting him sit in the front seat – he’ll be twelve in a week and that’s been the rule, but I was feeling generous today, ha ha ha.
I saw one of my blue tongue lizards today, although I’m not sure whether it was Orlando or Elizabeth. Luna was going crazy barking and trying to dig underneath their enclosure, and when I went to investigate I saw the lizard lying next to the wire. There must have been just enough sun to coax them out of hibernation for a stroll around – I never saw this happen with Godzilla but I know that it can. At least it proves that they haven’t just frozen to death in their little hibernation house, despite how cold it’s been.
I crocheted two llama legs today. I’m hoping I have enough yarn to crochet the other two, because although I ordered a new ball on Monday night it hasn’t been posted yet so I’m not going to get it until sometime next week. I love Bendigo Woollen Mills yarn, but they are not next-day-shippers and that’s sometimes a little frustrating. I am hoping I can get the legs crocheted out of the yarn I have, because then I can crochet the halter and blanket out of coloured yarn (which I also already have) while I wait for the new ball to finish off the tail and ears. I can’t stitch the legs on until I have crocheted all four of them (so I can space them correctly) and I don’t want to do the blanket until I can measure it against the completed body/legs. So we’ll see.
I’m continuing working on Jericho’s llama like I’m in my own little sweatshop. After what feels like a million episodes of Supernatural over the last three days I’ve finished the head and the body, so now I’ve got legs, ears, a tail and then blanket and bridle to go. I’m definitely going to need the extra ball of yarn I ordered just in case.
Increasing my run speed to 7km/h has been harder than I thought – I am definitely feeling it in my legs the rest of the day. It’s probably not surprising, considering that I probably only increased it to 6.8 the week before the school holidays and then slacked off for a week and a half. If I look at it that way then it’s probably a reasonably hefty jump in the challenge factor, and I shouldn’t feel discouraged by how hard it is.
There’s really not a lot else to write about at the moment. I think the kids are mostly glad to be back at school – Nicholai always does better when he has more structure to his days and more to occupy himself, and Soren has had a happy few days. He is still sometimes having trouble going to sleep at night, but it seems to be less often, maybe once or twice a week instead of three or four times, so that’s a good thing.
Back to school today, so the house seemed a lot bigger and quieter with no children in it. I did some cleaning, to make up for all the cleaning I didn’t do on the holidays, and then spent hours watching Supernatural and crocheting Jericho’s llama.
I don’t know why I always think of crocheted toys as being quick things to make, because if they’re not tiny they take as long as anything else does with yarn crafts! Although the fur stitch on this llama (which requires ten chain stitches per single crochet in the front loops, then single crochets in the back loops, then another row of single crochets) really does make it exceptionally time consuming. It looks amazing though – even as I’m working my fingers to the bone on it its dopey face kind of makes want to laugh.
I also got up and ran on the treadmill again this morning, after not doing it for most of the school holidays. Ugh. I knew it would suck so I thought I might as well just go the whole hog and make it suck even more by increasing my speed to 7km/h. I did twenty minutes running and walked before and after, so it wasn’t too bad. I’ll just have to get into it, and now that I’m running at that speed it means I should eventually be able to do a 5k run in about 45 minutes (I think) which seems like a respectable goal. Of course the most I’ve ever run for is four kilometres, and I’ve only ever done that once, so I’m still a long way from that so-called respectable goal.
The kids all seemed fairly happy with their first days back at school today, which was nice. Jericho and Soren both have student teachers in their classrooms this week, and Soren had another new kid in his class – they’ve got 29 kids now which I think is an appalling ratio, but what can you do about it?
We were back at Sovereign Hill when they opened this morning, and had a much better visit with a more manageable crowd. There seemed to be a few other people going in with tickets for a second day, so maybe we were not the only ones who found last night a bit out of control.
We went straight down to the creek for some gold panning, although it was about 4 degrees and so it didn’t last very long before people’s fingers started freezing. We went on the mine tour after that, which is something that I’d never done – you can’t do it with toddlers or babies in carriers, and I guess for a number of previous visits we’ve had both. Anyway, it was pretty well done with the voice overs so I’m glad we did even (even though the older kids have done it when they went there on camp). After that we went to the lolly shop and then sat in the theatre to watch a pantomime and eat lollies. We met Mum and Dad after that and did a bit more wandering around through the shops and the bowling saloon, and then realised that time was getting away from us and it was time to go so we could make it to Alby’s birthday.
Troy and I took the kids to Maccas on the way, and then spent an hour or two out at the Martin house for Alby’s first birthday party – I can’t believe that little baby is already a year old. I don’t know, between big baby Alby and little baby Rosie (who I got to snuggle while she was asleep for a little bit) I was all just like “Babies!!!” and heart eyes.
However then I came home and my own children all made their own dinner without needing any help from me, so perhaps I’m better off at the stage we’re in now.
I could never have another baby anyway. Even if I had a million dollars and a different physical body I do not have the emotional fortitude to do that again. I don’t even have the emotional fortitude to cope with leaving my house the way I have done this weekend – when trips to Sovereign Hill and first birthday afternoon teas are difficult I think I may as well just give up, honestly.
We went to the Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill tonight and it was utter madness. The crowd was insane, it was too busy and crowded to actually see anything or even get into the shops and buy lollies. And really, what sort of trip is it to Sovereign Hill when it doesn’t involve red lollies?
Having said that, we did get to watch two little miniature donkeys play fighting and biting and chasing each other all over their tiny paddock, and that was adorable. And the lights were so pretty and the ‘snow’ was beautiful that it ended well. Our tickets will also allow us entry tomorrow, so we might go back in the morning and actually get to look at things which would be good.
I don’t know, I don’t want to sound like a moaning soccer mom who’s shitty that she doesn’t get it all her own way! But it cost us $220 to just walk through the gate and for that much money I kind of want to be able to at least experience the place – if they had said when we went to buy the tickets that the crowd level means we wouldn’t be able to go into any shops or houses and I’d have to wait half an hour in a toilet queue we would have just given it up and kept our money for another day.
However as I said, the lights and the snow really was beautiful and I loved that part, and it was nice to (even pretty briefly) catch up with Mum and Dad and Benita and family and Eamon and family.