Here is my new wordpress journal link. http://feelingthesunfrombothsides.wordpr
Also Caitlinn, when you read this can you leave me a comment (it will be screened) with your email address? I love that you read and have been leaving me comments and I'd love to talk back but I don't have your email address!
It can be very frustrating dealing with a toddler when you have older children. I’m thinking specifically about keeping them away from inappropriate toys- yes, I’m talking about Soren and Lego! At five, Jericho is starting to be interested in Lego and capable of handling it which is a very good thing. However at two and a half Soren wants to play with everything his brother does and adores the little Lego people and the Lego car and the tiny house, but just doesn’t have the manual dexterity to play with them. Which means we’ve just spent the most frustrating half hour with him squawking every thirty seconds because the people have fallen off the car or the door has snapped off the house or the little person’s legs and head have detached from the body and he can’t put it back together again.
All the daycare paperwork is in for Soren now. He’s going to start this Friday, then miss a week as they take casual bookings and have filled up that day, and after that he’ll be on the permanent list.
I know he’ll enjoy himself there, and I think he’ll settle in fairly easily. He clearly remembered it when we were there today, as I was talking to the director about the paperwork and start dates he was babbling on about play doh and little cars. As soon as Claire suggested we stay for another play to help the settling in process Soren was trying to open the door and then just charged in and over to the play doh table where he sat down and started work. He spent quite a while there, and then I kind of pushed him to go outside so he could play out in the yard while I was there to be back up for him if he needed it. He did come crying to me at one point (someone had shut the gate to the swing area on him) but he was easily distracted by the sandpit and when they rang the bell for the kids to come inside he just moved with the group up onto the verandah and lined up at the door without even looking for me.
When I take him on Friday I will probably stay for a little while until he’s happy and playing, and then leave and come back just after they will have eaten lunch. I think expecting a sleep on his first day is expecting a lot and he may well resist that, and I’d rather not try and then have an upsetting experience for him on his first day. Better to just have a good morning and have him happy to go back next time.
I also have to say how cute it is hearing him say, “I go to cweche (crèche) myself! Pay with pay-doh! I big boy like Jer-cho!”
Speaking of big boy Jericho, he is very excited about going on his first excursion tomorrow. They’re going on a bus to visit one of the little local primary schools. It’s not his school so Jericho’s not all that interested in that bit, but “my first bus trip ever!” has really impressed him and he’s told several people about it. At least the bus inferno that Nicholai experienced recently hasn’t put Jericho off buses as a mode of transport!
I had another appointment with the social worker from the mental health team today. She’s really a lovely person, although I’m always sick with nerves before appointments and I do find them difficult. I’ve never been around anyone who listens so well and picks up the slightest little thing and asks for clarification. She’s quite skilled in that, we’ve spent three appointments together and she probably knows as much about me and my life as anyone outside my family does.
We’ve been talking a lot about my past and how the depression has manifested itself up until now, but today we started talking a bit more about where we go from here.
It’s hard, because up until now so much of my depression has been bound up in being pregnant, nursing, getting pregnant, having babies and sleep deprivation, but now our family dynamic is shifting towards having bigger kids and yet I’ve suddenly spiralled down into the worst darkness of my life. I need to stop just waiting for it to all go away. Instead I have to accept that there’s a monster in my mind and I’m going to have to fight it until I can tame it, even if that’s a lifelong task.
There’s so much to think about. This depression episode was so dark and so frightening that a big part of me would like to pretend that it just never happened. I do not want to connect the word suicidal with me. I think it’s dangerous, a different danger, to ignore it though. I need to make changes so that it doesn’t happen again, or so that the effects are ameliorated if it does. We survived it this time, but I have a daughter who has been badly frightened even if she doesn’t really understand why, and I feel like I’ve been broken. I’m holding myself together but with such emotional fragility that I don’t know what would happen if I fell again.
After a difficult weekend things felt a bit better today. The sunshine definitely helps. Not just because it lifts my mood a little, but because it means I can send Jericho and Soren outside to play and that improves their moods and interactions enormously. When they were outside today in their ‘ship’ (really the decorative tree with the weeping branches in the middle of the front yard) battling droids with their lightsabres they were almost friends.
They came out with me to feed the chickens and collect the eggs. The chickens are doing very well and we’re getting two or three eggs a day which is more than we need, so once we’ve used what we want I’ve been giving quite a few away.
For the past few weeks I’ve been taking care of the chickens on my own, sneaking out when no one is looking just so I can have some peace and quiet. (Actually, I’m going to get myself a folding chair so that I can sit down out there and watch them for a while on bad days, it’s quite soothing watching such stupid birds attack vegetable scraps). Today I was reminded about the other problem with taking the children out with me- they are desperately keen to collect and carry the eggs, but they are NOT careful with them. In fact the biggest problem seems to be that they’re so excited over getting two eggs that they smash them together in joy…and I do mean smash.
I spent a while on the phone to the Family Assistance Office this morning, getting Soren registered with a CRN and setting up our childcare benefit. I’ve filled in all the forms and will try and drop them in at the daycare tomorrow. I must remember to either photocopy his immunisation pages from his health centre book, or try and find his immunisation certificate because they’ll need that too, but after that he’ll be all ready to go. Well, apart from me labelling all his clothes and freaking out about my baby growing up…just the standard stuff.
I hate government dealing with government departments though. In some ways it’s worse on the phone because they just keep putting you on hold and making you talk to robots, but at least when I’m on the phone the children are just causing chaos at home instead of running rampant in the family assistance office. Although I suppose isn’t that part of the point of organising this stuff today and putting Soren in daycare- then I can do things like visit the Family Assistance Office unencumbered?
I also cleaned Emma and Jericho’s bedroom, in a futile search for a library book Emma has lost. I’m actually really annoyed about it, because a) it’s not the first library book she’s lost and if she followed my library book care system it wouldn’t have happened, b) she borrowed and lost a book we already OWNED! and c) they are going to charge me almost $38 dollars to replace a paperback book which is a complete rip off.
I’ve signed up for a Wordpress blog too. I don’t know what I’m doing about my livejournal and this new blog, but it seemed like a good idea at the time and it was kind of fun (although frustrating) fiddling about with all the settings. It’s certainly looking pretty, although I don’t know if it’s working properly yet. I’m going to keep experimenting with it and see how I like it before I make any decisions about anything.
Soren took a turn keeping Troy and I up last night. In the end I climbed into his bed to ‘make warm and cosy’ as he begged me to, and then didn’t wake up until morning. I’m so tired. Please children, sleep tonight and let your mama rest.
Troy took the three little kids to their swimming lessons and I took Nicholai to Auskick this morning. I talked to Dad and then Elle on the phone while I waited, and froze because I’d had a shower just before we left and hadn’t dried my hair so it was like an ice hat on my head.
Today has just been a nothing kind of day. I tried to nap but kept getting disturbed, the children did childlike things, and I wondered if it’s possible to drag myself out of this hole. I can see the sunshine, but I just don’t know how to get myself up there.
I played the Sims 3 a lot. I’m finding it an escape, my little digital Sims world, and I’m now on to the fourth generation of my family. The kids like to sit beside me and tell me what to do with the Sims and they all seem to have their favourite characters that I’ve made.
I’m also going through my photos on my computer because I have printed out no photos all year. Considering how many photos I actually take, going through them to select ones I want to print is a very long and drawn out process. Although it’s fun too, so see what we’ve been doing all year. I’m amazed at how much Soren’s hair has grown!
I vacuumed the house this afternoon. The one thing I can say about letting your housework disintegrate to the level I had is that you really notice when you finally attend to it. It’s so much better. At least until Soren tips all the puzzles over the floor, which he just did. Thanks little buddy.
Today was a hard day. Probably because I was tired after an appointment with Rosemary last night, and then Jericho keeping us up in the middle of the night. He was coughing a lot and complaining that he had a sore ear, although he did eventually take some Panadol and go back to sleep. I suppose (now that I think about it) that he was probably tired today too, and maybe that’s why he was so difficult.
I changed all the kids’ bedding today, and cleaned Soren’s old car seat so it’s ready to hand on to Ellen next time I see her. It doesn’t really sound like much, but it counts as a very successful day for me right now. I am always amazed by how much dirt comes out of a reasonably clean looking car seat though!
I also had to spend close to an hour and a half in the car driving over to collect Nicholai from camp bus, then driving over to school to collect Emma and then back home again. At least Soren had a nice nap.
Nicholai had such a good time at camp! The teachers told me he was fabulous and did really well. I sometimes feel like an idiot for being so worried about preparing him for things like this and making so much effort to ensure things run as smoothly as possible, but then he goes and rocks it and I’m so glad we did. He came home very tired and very uncommunicative about what he actually did while he was away (all he’d talk about was the upcoming football matches this weekend) but I’m just so happy that he had fun. He also came home with souvenirs- a olde time newspaper and two signs, and an old fashioned carved walking stick, ha ha ha.
I love craft Thursdays. Not that any of us did anything that really qualifies as ‘craft’ today- Catherine wrapped up a pass-the-parcel for her daughter’s birthday party, Miffi looked at a magazine, and I looked through the Ikea catalogue online and obsessed about buying furniture. There was lots of talking though, and I think we all needed that.
I went and looked at the daycare centre this morning. Troy came along too, and Soren and Jericho. It was a pretty good set up really. It’s like a really open house, with the huge space divided into smaller areas. They have two big areas that are for all ages, then a space that is specifically for kids over age three, and a space that is only for the under threes. Outside is the same way with the yard fenced into smaller areas to help keep the kids under control and give both big and little kids spaces of their own. On the inside the space is divided up by walls that are low enough that even Soren can see over them, and outside the fence dividers are all chain link or metal so it’s see-through, and all of this makes it seem pretty nice and open. They also generally have an indoor/outdoor set up so the kids can choose where they play and when, so although they were all inside when we looked (rainy day again and early morning so they didn’t have the undercover outdoor areas set up) it generally won’t seem too crowded.
I also have to say that I suspect Soren is going to adjust to it all just fine. I told him before we went that we were going to look at a crèche where he might go and have a play sometimes, so it would be like a special kinder for him. I wasn’t sure that he had really understood what I was getting at, but when we walked in and one of the staff members came up and said hi and kind of asked that ‘what do we have here?’ question in the kids’ direction, Soren ran right up to her and exclaimed, “This for me! I Soren! Dat Jericho, my brudder!” He wasn’t phased by the noise in the room (which to be honest was the downside of that whole giant room/ low wall divider thing- it was LOUD) and just trundled off to play in the little kitchen and with the little cars. He was playing with the play doh when we finished talking with the director and was not in fact all that keen to leave.
I’m going to fill in the paperwork over the weekend and start him next Friday I guess. Probably half a day and pick him up before naptime to start him off, but I’m thinking that once he’s settled in I’ll probably drop him off after kinder and school drop off and then pick him up after I pick up the school kids, so around four o’clock. We’ll have to see how he goes though, that would be a long day for him. I think I just have to wait and do what works for him and I, and be glad that I have the flexibility to that.
We have heard no word from school camp, which in this case is a good thing! I’m assuming it means Nicholai is having a lovely time and we’ll hear about it when we pick him up tomorrow.
- Current Mood: thoughtful
Quite a busy and draining day today. The usual morning chaos (what on earth is it with all that screeching and running and taking half an hour to change into clothes that the children do???) and then Troy drove Emma to school while the two little boys and I drove Nicholai to a different school to catch the bus to camp.
I can’t believe he’s old enough to go away on school camp! He’s been so excited about it, even last year when he talked about going into the senior classroom he would talk about going away on camp. I’m not as stressed about it as I thought I’d be honestly. I really think he’s going to have a great time. His teacher has talked with him about what he can expect and what plans he could have in place for any time he might start getting overwhelmed or feeling too worked up, and so I know that he’s going to be able to have some downtime if he needs it. It also helps that he’s going on camp up near where my sister lives and I’ve given her name and number to the teachers to keep with his emergency info, so that if it all falls apart and he wants to leave then she can go and pick him up. Not that I expect them to need that- he’s going to come home on Friday exhausted (and probably wearing the same socks that he left in) and overstimulated, but with lots of tales to tell and a whole lot of pride that he did it.
I also have to say I can’t believe how long it takes to load some grades 3 and 4 kids and their luggage into a bus!
Soren and Jericho and I went to the library after we’d finally waved Nicholai goodbye. It was actually a really nice library trip, Jericho selected five books without any drama at all and Soren actually managed to play with the lego alongside another child which is pretty good for him. Really, at the moment any trip/ activity/ fifteen minute time period that we get through without one or both of them screaming and carrying on is a good thing.
I had another appointment with Liz this afternoon. She gave me her card, so now I know that she’s actually a senior social work clinician with the primary mental health team. Whatever that is. Anyway, that was an hour and a half of talking that was very hard and draining and left me with a giant headache, a pile of new information and a bunch of new questions and things to think about/look at/ investigate. I don’t know. I’m in a pretty different emotional place than I was when I saw her last week, but it’s still not a very good place. Getting there, getting there, I suppose I can just say that.
I’m going to go and look at the local daycare tomorrow, with a view to sending Soren one day a week. It seems like such a strange idea, but if it works out I think it could be good for both me and him.
Nicholai getting in the car with all his camp gear...aargh, such a big boy I have now!
- Current Mood: stressed
It's amazing what a couple of days of sunshine will do at this time of year. It's back to rain and cold again today, but at least there's something pretty to look at out in the yard.
It's been a while since I've written in this journal. I've been feeling pretty bad and just wasn't finding words. The depression I've been dealing with for about ten years just about buried me and I've been in crisis mode. I don't know how to talk about what's been happening really. But I am getting help from various quarters, and today I'm feeling a little bit more okay, and I guess I'm starting to feel hopeful that things will get better.
And just so this isn't all depressing for me, here is a picture of my little Jedi Soren. This is his favourite thing to do at the moment, dress up in this delightful leather vest (that I believe belonged to my dad back in the 70s) and brandish his light sabre around, pretending to be 'Obi Obi'. He's a treasure, my baby little one.