Thursday 19 September 2019

A shared family calendar only works when people WRITE THINGS DOWN IN IT. Informing me the night before that ‘oh by the way I have a saxophone concert tomorrow night’ is not exactly the way it’s supposed to go.

Why yes, I went to another band concert tonight!

Afterwards Jericho said again that he thinks he might play next year. I must confess I am sceptical about this, as the amount of time he spends complaining about the saxophone and telling me how much he hates carrying it around and practising seems to far outweigh the amount of time he spends actually enjoying it. And he literally never practices it either. So while we would actually really love for him to keep playing it and would be really happy to support him doing that for another year, we did tell him that if he wants to play he has to commit to practising it regularly. More will be expected of him playing for a second year and he’ll have to give it some real time in order to improve.

I really want to go on this holiday. I’m sure once it’s happening it will be fun and I will enjoy it. But preparing to go? I’m not enjoying this at all. It’s just so stressful and there are so many fiddly little details that I want to get sorted. And I know that most of it is just me letting my neurotic anxiousness get carried away and I’m being stupid about it, but it’s quite difficult to push past it.



Tuesday 17 September 2019

Benita came over today to receive instructions on how to look after our pets while we’re away. It’s not going to be particularly difficult (probably a bit annoying to have to come over so frequently) but now she knows where everything is kept.

After we talked about that I went to the plumbing store with her while she chose tapware/ toilet/ sink for her new en suite bathroom. It was just being on The Block. Except it actually wasn’t like being on The Block at all, because no one was throwing around the words ‘luxe’ or ‘high end’ and Benita wants apparently unfashionable tapware, ha ha ha. It was actually really fun – I can’t wait to see her new house extension when it’s all done. Hearing her talk about it makes me all nostalgic for my Yarra Glen house though, because we did the extension on that and I really loved it.

For the rest of my day I did the housework and did some grocery shopping. I bought enough cat food and cat litter to last while we’re away, and I went to the chemist and filled my prescriptions.

I also got three of the four children to load books onto their Kindles in preparation for the holiday. I’m taking my computer with me anyway (I will need to be able to dump photos onto it from the cards, and write my journal) so if someone gets desperate they can add books while we’re away, but I’d rather they didn’t need to.

Sunday 15 September 2019

We bought our holiday toiletries and first aid supplies today. Also cereal and milk and several litres of the distilled water that Troy needs for his CPAP machine. We have also realised that we’ll need to take an extension cord because he has to sleep with that and there is no guarantee that there’ll be an accessibly placed power point by his bed every night. I know we have a van, but I’m starting to be mildly concerned that with all the stuff we have to take we’ll practically need a trailer.

Although the shopping was absolutely mortifying because I forgot to put proper shoes on before I left the house and didn’t realise until we got to the shopping centre that I was still wearing my Uggs. I was also wearing leggings, which made the giant furry ugg boots look REALLY obvious – I was like the world’s biggest bogan and I was so embarrassed.

Jericho had friends over today, so they spent the afternoon out in the back room playing on the Switch and shouting. Why are children so loud?


Saturday 14 September 2019

Well, I wrote all that about work last time and then went and had a horrible day and wanted to quit all over again! So clearly I’m still a work in a progress!

We went shopping for some holiday supplies today. While we’re obviously going to have access to shops while we’re travelling, we’re aware that things are likely to be more expensive as we go along so we thought it might be a good idea to take along some snacks that we can get for cheap here and that will be okay to keep in the car– we went to the cannery and NQR and bought a couple of boxes of diced and pureed fruit, muesli and nut bars, two minute noodles, breakfast biscuits etc. We’ve put it in a plastic crate to put in the back of the van and it looks like an absolutely insane amount of food, but really we’re six people and I imagine it will go quite quickly once we get down to it. We also bought a slab of bottled water, so having something to eat and drink wherever we’re up to in the drive is taken care of.

We bought a few other bits and pieces too. New notebooks for each of the kids (for writing and drawing in the car or whatever) and clip on book lights for them so when they’re sharing rooms they can read when they wake up without waking everyone else up. Toothbrushes. One of those giant stripy plastic bags to put our washing in and a plastic container to hold laundry detergent to take with us.

We cleaned the cars this afternoon. Well, mostly Troy cleaned the cars – Soren helped him for a bit with the outside washing and I helped him a bit with the inside cleaning, but mostly it was Troy. Obviously driving through the Australian desert is going to turn out car filthy again very quickly, but at least we’re starting off clean and the inside of it is not filled with old receipts and random bits of crap and stickiness stuck in the cup holders.

I have a list of things still to buy, although it’s mainly things that I will get at the supermarket and chemist. Then the rather massive task of actually packing the bags and loading everything into the car…it’s a LOT of stuff.

I’m getting excited though. This time next week… I can’t wait! The kids are getting excited too I think. It’s going to be good.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

I have definitely appreciated my days off this week. Especially today, when I lay out on my deck in the sun and read my book and started writing holiday lists and felt all toasty and relaxed. I wish I didn’t have to go back to work tomorrow.

To be fair, work is not as bad as it was. I mean, I’m not crying all the time anymore and I’m more capable with various aspects of the process. I still need Troy’s help all the time, but at least I can usually work independently for a little while in between asking him to help me. I don’t enjoy it (and if I won the lotto tomorrow I’d quit immediately) but it’s not exactly making me miserable anymore so that’s good. And the reality is, this is the way it has to be – we need the money and this job is workable with the other things going on in my life, so I’m committed to making it work.

And I like having the money I’m bringing in. It’s such a weight off my mind. It’s not that I don’t worry about money now (I definitely don’t make that much!) but there is enough to cover necessities without triggering real anxiety. I’m really excited about our holiday too, and the idea that if there are special things we want we can save up for it. Ultimately I’d rather be knitting and writing than working but, as I tell the children, life isn’t always exactly what we want and we just have to make the best of it and that includes work.


Sunday 8th September 2019

I swear, there is nothing like sewing rage – I think dealing with a sewing machine brings out otherwise undisturbed depths of frustration and fury when things go wrong. Mainly I avoid this by not sewing anymore, but sometimes it can’t be helped! I had two jobs to do today, and managed to break three sewing machine needles and nearly have my head spin around with rage even though they weren’t even big jobs!

Basically I had to take in the waistband of the pair of $3 jeans Emma found on a clearance rack yesterday (they are size 16, when she’s really a 12 or 14, but were so cheap she wanted them and it’s (theoretically) easy enough to sew a fold into the waistband on each hip to shrink it by a couple of inches), and also sew a felt star onto the front of a t-shirt for Soren. The star was actually sticky backed felt that we cut into a star shape and stuck on the front of the t-shirt for him to wear it as a costume to the birthday party the other weekend – originally we thought it would just peel off once the party was done. This turned out to not be the case, as it was a lot stickier than we thought, and Soren liked it so much that I said I’d reinforce it with stitching and he could wear it until it falls apart (I really don’t think the felt is particularly sturdy). So these things should have been really simple, but everything went wrong and it took forever and I could have just torn my hair out in a sewing tantrum.

I did some more shopping today, this time for me. When I was visiting Benita yesterday she was wearing leggings that had a pocket in them that would fit a phone, and I wanted some so she told me where she bought them and I went there with Troy today. I bought a couple of pairs – now that I’m thinking about it I should probably have tried them on, but instead I bought them and just hope they’ll fit. I can take them back if they don’t.

While we were there I also saw a pair of short denim overalls which I bought for Emma, since she has wanted a pair for a long time and has never been able to find them. I used to have a pair of short denim overalls when I was her exact age, so I find it quite bizarre that she also wants some…it’s very weird! I’m going to keep them for her birthday, since that’s less than two months away. (I will also keep the receipt, in case the desire for short denim overalls has worn off…I am hopelessly out of style so I genuinely have no idea – I think she still wants them but who really knows).

We also went to Sanity and bought the newest seasons of Outlander and Orange is the New Black. I think after our holiday we might consider getting Netflix – we have NBN now so our internet speed is better, and we do love watching tv so it might be worth it.

There was also grocery shopping, but that’s a bit more mundane – we go to the supermarket nearly every day. I’d like to be more organised and go less often, but the kids eat a lot of bread and I struggle to plan meals ahead (despite out lovely meal planning system) so it tends to be a lot of short trips rather than fewer, larger ones.

The weather was really cold and rainy today though, so I got to spend ages all snuggled up with my heated throw and it was lovely!

Saturday 7 September 2019

More holiday preparations this morning. This time it was dragging all the children out shopping so that they could get what they’ll need to take away with us – mostly more shorts/ t-shirts (I’m not going to be doing laundry every day, so they need extra outfits), bathers (a couple of places we’re staying have pools), and comfortable sneakers for doing a lot of walking. You would have thought this was a torture worse than death the way Nicholai and Jericho carried on. Soren didn’t want to go either, but at least he picked sneakers, shorts and bathers without making a fuss and didn’t make me want to leave him on a shelf there. Anyway, we got all the things we went for. I still have a click-and-collect order in with Target, but once I’m able to pick that up the kids will be basically ready to pack their bags.

I think we should probably make some lists though, to help keep us organised with all the packing. The kids will pack their own bags, but a clothes list would probably be a good idea so that no one forgets anything. (The way someone always seems to forget socks or pyjamas or whatever). We should probably also do a list of other stuff that we’ll need to remember to pack, like chargers for electronics/ camera batteries/Kindles, all my crochet stuff, the cameras and card readers, notebooks and pens, sunhats, maybe a board game and Uno cards. There’ll be another list of things that we still have to buy to take with us (like toiletries and snacks and sunscreen and medicine and basic first aid and laundry detergent etc etc etc).

While we were shopping we also had to go and get a replacement globe for the lizard enclosure. Months ago Mr Raditch’s lamp blew out, so we put him in with Sebastian. This was meant to be temporary, but they were living in perfect harmony and so we just ended up keeping them together. However yesterday morning Soren came and told me that Mr Raditch had a scratch on his head. He did, but it didn’t look serious and we didn’t know if he’d just scratched it on the logs or something so we left it. Then later in the day I checked on him again when I was doing their food and I saw that along with the scratch on his head he also had a small injury on his tail and a few places on his body where his scales looked like he’d been mauled about a bit. None of this looked too terrible, I’m sure he’ll be fine, but it must have been Sebastian that did it and so we had to separate them. Our plan was for Mr Raditch to become an outside lizard this summer, but it’s still too early to just throw him out into the crazy spring weather so that will have to wait a month or two. It’s disappointing though – he and Sebastian seemed to be getting along so well.

I took Nicholai out to Benita and Cam’s this afternoon, to watch the football with Sullivan. Sullivan has become a Bulldogs fan this year and they were playing in the elimination final today, so Nicholai thought it might be fun to watch it with him. I think it was good, although we were only there until half time as Cam was having a bonfire and that was rather more exciting in the end than a game of football in which the Bulldogs were eventually crushed.

And just for a bit of perspective on how long it’s been, the last time we went on a proper family holiday was in April 2012. My kids were this big…