Friday 13 October 2017

Why is my reaction to feeling like a somewhat useless person who contributes nothing to society to sit in my chair all day watching Dance Moms and crocheting hanging plant baskets?

I don’t know – I suppose I finished two baskets? And I like them much better than the first one I did, so tomorrow I’m going to rip that all out and do it again.

Anyway, apart from watching tv I did the housework, then walked the kids home from school and went to the library. We went to the one over at the Wendouree shopping centre, to see what it was like – it’s a lot smaller that the main Ballarat library, obviously, but the kids all found books really easily and they had a vast selection of dvds so I’m sure we’ll go back there. At least it’s free to park at the shopping centre, unlike almost everywhere else here.

I don’t think we have any real plans for the weekend. Troy thought that he might take the little boys to EB Games so they can look (they wanted to go today after the library, but we had to just get tea and leave) and we might go and look for an outdoor table. Amart furniture (which is where we got our couches from) are having a 20% off sale on outdoor furniture, and when you want to buy a table 20% represents quite a lot of money. An outdoor dining setting is the last thing on our list of things we needed for this new house, so it will be good to sort it out.

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Thursday 12 October 2017

The kids and I had to go to the supermarket on the way home this afternoon and I said they could choose an individual snack, like they used to get every Friday. (A chocolate bar or Mentos or Tic Tacs or whatever). Jericho said, “That’s one of the things I miss most about Dixons Creek, getting good snacks on a Friday. That and my friends…and I’ve made new friends here, but I can’t make new snacks!”

I spent so much money on school clothes today, even though half of it was second hand. Emma remembered to find out about the second hand uniform shop and texted me at lunch time to say that it was open, so I rushed down there so I could make her try things on before the bell rang. It was a lucky that we were able to do it then, because Lowes (which has the uniforms for the high school) was having a 20% off day so I wanted to get what I could second hand and then get anything else cheaper. At it turned out I was able to get two summer dresses and a school rugby jumper for PE at the second hand shop, all priced roughly around half of new items. The school has only recently introduced shirts with an embroidered logo so they didn’t have any second hand, so I had to go to the shop to get Nicholai three short sleeved shirts. I don’t mind that much buying new for Nicholai, as they will be handed down to Jericho and Soren in time. I also had to buy specific socks for the school (grey with school colours stripe for Nicholai, white with school coloured socks for Emma), and eight pairs of those really added up. I also collected the shorts that I ordered from Target for the primary school boys, so I think they’re all set for summer uniforms.

There were snails everywhere on the walk to school this morning. Sebastian the lizard is fond of them, so Jericho and Soren have decided we should collect them and keep them in a container to be fed to him…this does sound rather gruesome, especially when we found a tiny snail and I said we could call him Junior and raise him, and Sorne said, “Yes, raise him for death!”

Nicholai went go-karting with his LGBT group this afternoon. They’ve been out to eat, they’ve been bowling and played laser tag and now gone go-karting – I quite want to join myself.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

There has been so much rain tonight! It’s been quite cosy inside just listening to it, although it is also a little bit lonely because Troy isn’t here. It’s funny how I had to get used to him being around all the time when he started working from home, and now it feels weird when he’s not here.

It was a pretty quiet day today. I went into school with Soren this morning, so he could take in Sebastian to show his class. It was interesting to see his classroom and the other kids and his teacher. They do a whole singing routine when they’re calling the roll! Soren gave a lovely little talk about his lizard and passed him around so that everyone could touch him and have a close look.

I baked some jam drop biscuits this afternoon. I can cook three trays in the over at a time, and the first batch turned out pretty well. I then filled up another tray and put it in the oven, but I guess the oven was hotter or a single tray cooks quicker, because they got a bit burned. The kids were brutally honest about the burned ones not being that good, but they enjoyed the rest of them and said that I should make them again.

Tuesday 10 October 2017

Jericho can be so funny. As we were walking to school he told me that the vines on our deck are starting to flower. I said that I had seen them yesterday, and that I thought they were looking beautiful. He sniffed at me and then said dolefully, “Well, I suppose for people not troubled by hayfever they are.”

Although considering how much Jericho complains about it and how much Troy’s hayfever makes him snore, I would say that actually I am extremely troubled by hayfever.

Emma had an orthodontist appointment this morning. It was the first time that this orthodontist has actually adjusted her braces, but it went smoothly and Emma said they weren’t too bad. She picked purple for the bands, and seemed quite pleased to have colours again.

I spent a long time working on my crocheted hanging plant pot today, and finally finished it while watching the block. It took a LOT longer and a lot more yarn than I had anticipated, and I don’t know if I’m entirely happy with the result. I could just be so sick of the sight of it that I can’t really judge though, so maybe tomorrow I’ll appreciate it more.

We fed Sebastian the lizard some snails today and he nommed them down like a true predator. He certainly has a good appetite – he eats a lot more than Godzilla ever did. We used to feed him every couple of days and even then he didn’t really rush for the food. Sebastian perks up his head and starts tasting the air to see what you’re giving him as soon as you open the lid, and we feed him every day.

Troy is currently drilling a hole in the built in entertainment unit under the tv, so we can pass cords through it to the power points that are inside the cupboard. I am so pleased that soon there will no longer such a tangled web of cords there (we have the tv, the chromecast, the dvd player, the record player and the soundbar there). It’s such a stupid thing to even bother me, but it did and so I’m so happy that Troy is fixing it!

 

Monday 9 October 2017

It was back into the school routine today, and it immediately feels like the holidays didn’t even happen.

The kids were all happy to go back. Nicholai and Emma walked, and then I drove the little boys so that I could drop them off and go straight down to the uniform shop. Term 4 is ‘no hat, no play’ so I wanted to make sure to have hats for them as soon as possible. I was going to name the hats and drop them off on my way home, but I wasn’t sure they would fit so I didn’t do it in the end. This was wise, as it turns out, since Jericho didn’t like the fit of his hat and we had to go and exchange his this afternoon.

Troy and I went to pick up our missed package deliveries on his lunchbreak. One of them was from Spotlight – the new blinds and curtains we need – and the other one was my new phone. So I spent the rest of the afternoon in frustrating efforts to set up my new phone. I eventually managed to get it all done, but my god it was infuriating. I’m sure it’s meant to be simple, but it absolutely is not. The new phone is the same as the old one, but the colour looks so bright and vivid in comparison to the old one’s replacement screen, it looks weird. I think Nicholai wants my old phone, and I guess if he’s prepared to put up with it periodically going crazy on him he can have it.

While we were out, Troy and I went to the cannery to see what we could get. They had milk for 75 cents a litre, and cheap juice and canned fruit, so we got some good things. It’s one thing I like about living here in Ballarat – everything is in a relatively small geographical area so shopping around for good deals at different stores is really not a big deal. Considering how much milk the children go through, any saving on that will add up…I now understand on a personal level why my mother in law brought a cow when her boys got older!

We also bought a slab of “Spagosaurus”, which is tinned spaghetti shaped like dinosaurs. Jericho will love it.

I felt a bit unhinged today, to be honest. I don’t know, I was expecting to have a relaxing day but I just didn’t feel it – I completely overreacted to the difficulties of setting up my phone, and nearly started crying when I was talking about friends with Jericho as we drove to the uniform shop. I cleaned the bathroom and baked a banana cake and folded mountains of laundry, but still had an anxiety meltdown about not getting anything done. I need more sleep. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.

Sunday 8th October 2017

Today was the last day of the school holidays, so we took the children to Lazy Moe’s for breakfast to celebrate. (If celebrate is the right word, none of them are particularly enthused about their return to school.) They all ate pancakes, I had waffles, and Troy had a breakfast burger thing and hash browns. Nicholai and Soren didn’t finish all of their pancakes, but Emma and Jericho vowed that Lazy Moe would not defeat them and ate them to the bitter end.

Jericho’s 10 year old photo book was ready to be picked up from Big W, so once we’d finished breakfast we drove down there. I also wanted to look if they had green school shorts for the two primary school boys, since they usually have a small selection of basic school clothes, but I was out of luck – blue and black, but no green. The photo book turned out well though – Jericho liked it, in particular the fact that I’d put photos of his guinea pigs and Pokemon Go in there. It’s interesting to see the change in his hair over that year – it went from a regular short boy’s haircut to being collar length, it obviously grows at a healthy rate.

I didn’t know if Kmart had school clothes, but since there is a new Kmart opened at a new shopping centre, we thought we might as well check it out. I was completely sidetracked by the Kaisercraft store that’s there as well though. It’s got scrapbooking and papercraft stuff, as well as candles and gifts. They had the D-ring scrapbook albums that I thought I might want to replace my falling apart post-bound albums with, so I bought one to see how it was. They’re too expensive to replace all of my albums with at once, but I guess I can an album every now and then and do it over the next couple of years. At least then the scrapbooks can be looked at; as it is most of them lose pages or threaten to drop their covers if they’re handled without extreme care.

As it turned out, Kmart had no school clothes so we went to Woolworths and bought some bread for lunch and then came home. I have ordered shorts from Target online, and I will have to go to the primary school uniform shop for short sleeved t-shirts and hats, and the high school uniform shop for summer dresses and short sleeved shirts. They also will all need new school socks, since you can see their socks in summer uniforms.

Troy did some organising in the garage in the afternoon. I have to give him credit – he wants to park his car in there and he just keeps chipping away at the mess. I just look at it and despair, so he’s obviously got more mental fortitude than I do.

I want a couple of hanging baskets out on the deck, however I also decided I wanted them to look like crocheted hanging baskets. So I bought the basic wire and coconut lined hanging basket and have spent this evening freeform crocheting a hanging basket…I’m about a third of the way through, and the jury is still out as to how this is going to look in the end. I think my yarn is not really chunky enough, so I’m doing chains and then crocheting over them to make them thicker. It’s effective, but it takes a long time and is using up a lot more yarn than I initially thought it would. So we’ll see.

Saturday 7 October 2017

We’re back at home, and I’m really looking forward to going to sleep in my own bed. Sorry mum and dad, but that bed at your house is just not all that comfortable!

Although Troy slept on the trundle in with Jericho and Soren last night, so at least I didn’t have the snoring to contend with.

It was a good day today. Since Hamilton to Ballarat is a lot shorter drive than Hamilton to Yarra Glen, we were able to do something in the morning before we left, rather than having to devote the whole day to driving. Since Penshurst was having a spring market in their hall we decided we might as well go there as anywhere, and drove over.

It was a little market, so we looked at everything and then said yes when the kids asked if we could go on a horse and coach ride. That was lovely- mum and dad and the kids rode inside the coach and Troy and I rode up on the seat at the back, so it was just like we were on a date, except for the kids being able to spy on us through a flap in the coach, ha ha ha. Being outside in the sunshine was good, and a stagecoach offers a really good vantage point for being able to check out all the houses and yards, which I always enjoy doing.

Back at the market everyone got a fried spiral potato on a stick. I had never seen such a thing, but they were so good! The kids were super impressed – when we did good thing/bad thing at the dinner table every single one of them said their good thing for today was the potato on a stick.

There was a second hand bookshop just down the street that we visited too. I was disappointed by the lack of pony books (in a shop that really looked like it should have had some) but apart from that I kind of loved it – it was just crowded everywhere with books on shelves and in piles and in suitcases and boxes. It made me wish again that I could have a second hand book shop of my own, although I have to admit I would probably struggle to actually SELL books and not want to keep them all for myself.

Speaking of second hand books, the Babysitters Club graphic novels I bought at the Mill Market the other day have paid for themselves in entertainment value already. Not just for me – I took them to Hamilton and I read them all there, Emma read them all before we left, and all the boys read them in the car on the way home. Even Nicholai admitted, “They’re not that bad,” which from our misanthropic teenager is saying a lot.

We got home around 4, and the children unpacked the car with great efficiency. Mostly because they wanted to go on their devices, rather than because they are just naturally helpful, but I’ll take it.

The light-fitting adaptor we’ve been waiting on was in the mailbox when we got home, so after I’d unpacked and put washing on, I set up Sebastian’s new enclosure. It’s a lot bigger than his other one, so he’s got more room to move around and there’s space for a basking rock and a hollow tree tunnel and another chunk of wood he can climb on or climb under. It looks good, and he seemed quite happy exploring his new home.

Troy and I are watching old-school UFC tonight. It’s UFC #3 (for context, the UFC event this weekend is #216, and #3 is from 1994) and it has been really interesting to see what it evolved from. This third event is the first one in which the ref has the power to stop the fight, which pretty obviously grew out of a couple of awful fights in event #2, and we’re watching them do a whole lot of stuff that they’re no longer allowed to do, like grab the fence and pull hair and head butt each other. I mean, UFC is still kind of awful and extremely violent, but it’s not as bad as it was!

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Deep fried potato spirals on a stick.