Saturday 16 December 2017

I had a lovely relaxing day today. The weather was nice, everyone was in a good mood and there wasn’t anything in particular that we had to do…the best kind of weekend really. Troy took the boys to see the new Star Wars movie this morning, which Emma and I weren’t all that interested in. Emma did things on her phone (I know, shocking, I wouldn’t have thought it of her) and I arranged my lizards’ habitat with all their new enrichment items. I think they like their new environment. Well, they were hiding under the logs, that’s probably as much as I can hope for, they’re not exactly wagging their tails or anything.

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Friday 15 December 2017

Today is our wedding anniversary, and Troy and I both completely forgot. It wasn’t until Mum sent me a happy anniversary text that I realised what day it was, and then I was mortified. However Troy had totally forgotten it too, so all there was to do was just shrug and laugh it off.

It’s been sixteen years. That sounds so solid and serious, but it doesn’t feel that way at all. It still feels as light and easy and right as it did walking along the beach the day he proposed.

Jericho, Soren and I drove to Benita and Cam’s house after school, so we could go for a walk in their bush and collect some hollow logs or tree stumps to make a better natural environment for Orlando and Elizabeth. It was a nice walk, if a little warm, and we found some good pieces that the lizards will be able to hide under/ climb on. They haven’t been eating much, so hopefully giving them more places to hide and explore will help them settle.

Emma spent the day down the street with Oliver, who had Christmas shopping to do. She took the bus down and back, so that’s a nice, independent excursion for her. Nicholai spent the day in his room, but he did have to go out this evening to play cricket. His team actually won, and he scored two runs, so that was rather a success.

Thursday 14 December 2017

It was the last day of regular school for Nicholai and Emma today. They have an activities week next week, but that’s optional- I think it’s probably just available to keep them off the streets for a week. Emma is going to it, but Nicholai isn’t, so he’s now officially on holidays.

Nicholai had a year 9 dinner at La Porchetta tonight, so I dropped him off there and then picked him up later. I was hoping that Troy’s return from Yarra Glen would correspond with the dinner ending so he could pick Nicholai up, but traffic was bad and he was home later than usual.

Nicholai had a good time at dinner, although I think La Porchetta has got more expensive because I gave him twenty dollars and that was only enough for an entrée and a drink. Since this is the kind of thing his pocket money is supposed to cover I didn’t feel too guilty – it’s not my fault if he spent all his money buying cds.

I spent my day of solitude doing nothing, at least until the kids came home. It was lovely. Once the kids came home I drove Soren around to his friend’s house so that I could meet the mum and make sure that it was okay for Soren to just walk around there, but she wasn’t there. So I left him anyway (there was a 16 year old there) and then Jericho and I went and played Pokemon Go for a little while and bought what we needed to make lemonade scones. I’m so grateful to whoever told me about those, because they are delicious.

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Emma’s purplicious room.

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Tuesday 12 December 2017

I finished all the painting today. I feel like I ought to do some kind of huge celebration, but basically I’m just too tired and I didn’t actually get that good a paint finish on Emma’s room today so it’s all something of a let down.

Even so, I’ve finished painting my whole house!

(Okay, I didn’t paint the laundry or the pantry, but they don’t count.)

Tomorrow I will have to clean up all the painting supplies that are still piled up in the laundry, and hopefully scrape off the paint droplets and splashes that got spread about in there as well, when I was doing all the stirring and washing etc. Then we can just move on, in our freshly painted house, and start getting ready for Christmas.

Nicholai and Emma had the day off school today. In a surprisingly convenient coincidence, Emma also had an orthodontist appointment this morning. I took her to that, where she had her braces tightened and her rubber bands replaced- she chose alternating red and green elastics for Christmas, which kind of made me laugh but does look very festive. She and I played some Pokemon Go and then did some grocery shopping before we went home.

Emma spent most of her day off on her phone (wow, what a surprise) although she did spend some time baking biscuits. She found a recipe in one of her books for a cinnamon/sugar cookie, so we bought what we needed after the orthodontist and she did that on her own. The cookies were extremely thin and extremely hard, so although they were quite tasty poor Emma couldn’t really even eat any because of her newly tightened braces.

Nicholai spent most of the day in his room on his computer. He did talk to a friend in Tennessee over Skype for a while, which is unusually sociable for him, and then he had cricket training in the afternoon.

It’s funny, I was thinking how much Troy and I roll our eyes at him always hiding away in his room and never speaking to anyone in the family, and then I remembered way back when he started school, and I was so unbelievably happy that for six and a half hours, five days a week, someone else would have to listen to him talk! The idea that one day he would never come out of his room unless forced to and I could conceivably go a whole day only speaking a few sentences to him would have been inconceivable back then.

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Soren gave me this – I do not know what that face is, but this thing is so hilarious!

Monday 11 December 2017

We all went back to the usual school, work, and painting today. It will be the last week of this routine though – I am painting the last room in the house, and Nicholai and Emma finish school on Thursday. They also have tomorrow off, which seems kind of ridiculous, but they’re pretty happy with it! Jericho and Soren still have school like usual next week, while the high school runs voluntary ‘activity days’, which Nicholai has volunteered to avoid and Emma has volunteered to attend on three days.

We named the new lizards Orlando and Elizabeth today. As soon as this was decided Orlando bit me hard enough to draw blood, so I’m not sure he approves, but what are you going to do? Anyway, it was my fault he bit me, I was holding him too far back and he whipped his head around and latched onto my thumb- hurt like crazy actually, I have true empathy now for Soren when he was bitten by Sebastian!

Soren came with me to the supermarket and Bunnings this afternoon, which was lovely. I have to admit that his whining and carrying on is really hard for me to deal with – I mean, today he got home from school and asked if he could have an icy pole and I said no because I’d baked a cake for afternoon tea, he literally collapsed against the wall moaning, “Awwwww….” Like dude, it’s not like I love baking here! Anyway, there’s been way too much whining lately so I was actually a little doubtful when he said he’d come shopping with me (insert feelings of horrible guilt) but we really had such a nice time together. We talked about school, and then we played some Pokemon Go and talked about Christmas. I had initially only gone to the supermarket for tea things, but since we were having fun together we went to Bunnings too (for fake turf for the lizard) and it was really just lovely. He always was rather delightful to take on errands when it was just he and I…he’s grown up so much since then, but he’s still my Scooby baby.

Who is going to be in GRADE FOUR next year, can I just say…Jericho will be in Grade Six, Emma in Year Nine and Nicholai in Year Ten, so they are all just getting SO GROWN UP!!!!

Sunday 10 December 2017

We set up the lizards’ outdoor enclosure today, and it’s great for them. The enclosure I bought was originally designed as a rabbit run, without a floor in it, so we had to add a mesh bottom to it to make sure the blue tongues couldn’t get out. We bought a roll of bird proof mesh at Bunnings and staple gunned it to the bottom of the frame and it was all good. At the moment they have a water dish, food dish, a couple of rocks, an ice cream container hibernation hut, and Sebastian’s hiding log in there with them. They will need a second hibernation hut (better get to eating that ice cream, ha ha ha) and I’ll have to go to Benita’s and look for some good hollow logs or interesting chunks of wood out in their bush, to give the enclosure a few more hiding spots and make it a bit more interesting.

I don’t know how the new lizards feel about it. The first thing the boy did when we put them in there was climb straight up the side wall to escape, so who knows. I hope it doesn’t take them long to adjust to being outside and dealing with natural temperature zones – it’s meant to be pretty hot this week though, so that will ease them into it nicely. They both ate a snail today, which is excellent, although they certainly didn’t know what to do with one when I first put the snail into their tank. Both the lizards stood their and licked it and then the snail crawled onto the lizard’s head and down his back and up the wall to escape!

As well as doing the lizard enclosure, Troy mowed and cut back some of the blackberry bush that is beginning to take over the little shed out in the backyard. He also made us seafood pasta for dinner, so he was really extremely productive today. Not so much the rest of us! Jericho went to a birthday party at Inflatable World, so he had a good day. The other kids just did their usual weekend thing – school is winding down for the year, and they are all pretty tired of it all I think.

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Saturday 9 December 2017

I got my lizards today! I feel like Lisa Simpson – “I am the lizard queen!”

I ended up getting them from a reptile/aquarium store in Boronia, so it was absolutely ages away. Honestly though, I didn’t even mind. It was just Troy and I, and the car is always a good place to talk, so the long drive didn’t actually seem all that long. I also took my knitting and got a bit done on my socks which we were driving. I started these socks in JANUARY, so frankly it’s a bit of a disgrace that they’re still on my needles. But I had to restart them after making a mistake which was very off-putting, and then I was distracted making crocheted blankets and baby sweaters and scarves so the socks were really just neglected. Painting the house has taken priority over knitting, so with my hands being sore from painting I haven’t done any knitting for quite a long time. I really want to finish these socks before I hit the anniversary of starting them…we need to go on a few more long drives I think.

I got a male and a female lizard, and they’re pretty easy to tell apart when they’re compared directly. The boy’s head is almost triangular in shape, while the girl’s is a narrower. (Comparing them to Sebastian, I actually think ‘he’ is a girl too, so I don’t know if he will be renamed!) My new ones are under a year old so they won’t breed this season, but if we hibernate them over winter we should be good for some babies next summer. The man who sold them to us said that they’re both pretty big for their ages, the boy lizard’s dad was a northern who was over 60cm long so he could get rather enormous. We’ll have to see- it’s going to be so interesting to watch them grow and then hopefully have some babies.

Nicholai had cricket this morning, but apparently his team was terrible and lost by about a hundred runs or something. Nicholai didn’t seem too upset by this- he got to bowl, and when he batted he didn’t get any runs but he didn’t get out either.

While Nicholai and Troy were gone at cricket, Benita came over with the kids. I have not seen her as often this term (because of the painting…it’s always the painting) so it was really nice to just hang out for a while. Dempsey, who is still so mischievous and adorable I can’t stand it, brought a carrot with him to give the guinea pigs and was so excited about it. As soon as he saw me he started waving the carrot in the air and shrieking, “Guinea pig (or the way he says it, which is kind of like ‘ghee pig!’)” and “Carrot!” and when he came inside he ran straight to their cage to give it to them.

We’ve put a latch on the back living room so he can’t get in there and eat the boys’ Lego, which feels a bit mean, but he’ll grow out of this stage soon enough. At least we brought the guinea pig cage out so he could watch them whenever he wanted to (and Jericho pulled one out for him to pet) and the weather was nice enough for the kids to play on the trampoline.

Sullivan bought his beyblades and Pokemon cards and he and Soren did some battles and trading. It was funny actually, after they’d gone Jericho picked up a Pokemon card from the table and said, “Did Sullivan leave this here?” and Soren said no, that he’d traded him for it. Jericho was incredibly indignant about this, “But I need this card!”…guess you should have come out of your room and played with your cousin then, kiddo!

Soren also had to have a hold of Alby- he loves babies. He would have been a good big brother, it’s really a pity that he is the youngest.

Troy and I do the whole Elf on the Shelf thing. We don’t go nuts, we mostly just move him to a different place each night (when we remember!) and the kids find him in the morning, but occasionally Troy gets creative. Last night he built a Lego arena and filled it with Lego men and weapons, with Arthur Pixel (that’s what our elf is called) like some maniacal emperor overlord…it’s quite frightening actually.

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Jericho’s green room