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We went to the aquarium yesterday. A special birthday treat for Jericho, but of course everyone had a lovely time. The kids were fascinated, and I could have just sat there for hours watching I think, without ever getting bored. The penguins were hilariously adorable, and there were definitely some weird and ugly and bizarre looking creatures throughout the rest of the place.

Today has been quiet. Nicholai went to play at Morgan’s house, and Emma was picked up before lunch to go the football with Steve and Alex and Susan. Nicholai was just dropped off here (it’s about 3.30) but Emma won’t be back until tea time. Nicholai and Troy have spent a couple of hours on the Wii, playing the Lego Star Wars game Jericho got from Grandma and Pop for his birthday.

I went shopping to buy Nicholai a new lunchbag and drink bottle and sandwich keeper, since we don’t really have spares and all of his were destroyed in the bus fire. Of course it’s now the middle of the year and the selection was really pathetic, so that was kind of frustrating.

While I was there I also bought a few new pairs of pants for some boys. Jericho is the one who needs them as his are getting a bit small and skimpy, but the size above that is what Nicholai has been wearing. So I basically took all Nicholai’s pants and gave them to Jericho and bought new for Nicholai, and both of them can just roll the bottoms up if need be. Emma is pretty obviously taller than Nicholai now, and I’m starting to wonder when Jericho is going to catch up to him too. As it is Jericho is probably already broader than Nicholai, so although lengthwise Nicholai needs a size bigger, Jericho fills them out better. 
Aquarium photosCollapse )

Jul. 29th, 2011

The bus fire has been on all the news shows here. Of course with mobile phones and stuff there is video of the bus in flames and you can hear the noise of the windows bursting out or something...I am having retrospective panics just looking at it. I am so glad they are all okay!
Here is a video of it- http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/fire-ravages-school-bus-20110729-1i373.html?from=age_sb 
And another few photos. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/primary-school-students-escape-bus-blaze-at-fernshaw/story-fn7x8me2-1226104135609
I just think it's too much, you know? After the Black Saturday fires our kids are already so wary of any kind of out of control blaze. They know too much about how dangerous it can be, and this is just another layer of frightening experiences with fire.
I have to say, I never thought after Black Saturday and my ptsd therapy got me over that that I'd have to use the 'fires' tag in my livejournal again!


Happy birthday Jericho Stephen, my new five year old boy!

Today has been so full and chaotic and strange, I don’t even know how to think about it. I usually love to spend time on their birthdays remembering, thinking about the way that the everyday miracle of birth made me a mother. I love to remember my sweet babies, and marvel at how far they’ve come in their years. Usually birthdays make me happy and nostalgic and sentimental, but today real life intruded far too rudely for me to give much more than a quick nod to my memories.

Firstly, Jericho’s birthday has gone pretty well for him. He loved his presents- he got a couple of new Star Wars figures, his Civil War soldiers, dvd of the Clone Wars, and socks and singlets and undies and was thrilled with everything. Even the underwear was exciting for him, ha ha. I went to kinder duty for his birthday so he got to have me there to boss around and show off to, and had the group sing to him and then share in the birthday treats we took in.

However Jericho’s birthday was somewhat overshadowed by the fact that the bus Nicholai was travelling on to the skiing excursion caught fire. The kids were forced to evacuate, and the bus and all their belongings left on it were completely destroyed.

I haven’t got a clear story from Nicholai yet, but apparently after they’d been driving for less than half an hour a teacher noticed fire in the engine area and got the bus stopped and everyone off it. They were in an area with no mobile phone reception, so someone must have had to run up/down the mountain until they got a signal and called the CFA and the schools. I had a phone call at about quarter to ten to say that the kids were fine, but there had been a fire on the bus and they would be returning to school once a replacement bus got to them.

About twenty minutes later I got a phone call from my friend Catherine who had been listening to the radio and heard about a school bus fire and since she was pretty sure it would have been Nicholai’s bus (we were talking about it yesterday) she rang me to make sure I was handling it okay. She told me that on the radio it had said that all the kids stuff had been lost in the fire, so that made me think it was a bit more dramatic than I’d been assuming and I rang Troy again to tell him what Catherine had said and ask him to google it. He found a report right away that said that the cause of the fire wasn’t known, but everyone was fine although the bus had been completely destroyed and the road would be closed for a couple of hours until they could clear away the wreckage.

At about 12.30 I got a phone call from school to tell me that they were all back and had been ‘debriefed’ and talked about it with their teachers and the other kids. They said that the kids had been asked what they wanted to do and Nicholai wanted to come home, so I went up to get him. I picked up Emma too, at first just because I really didn’t want to have to go back to school again later, but as it turns out she was more upset about the whole thing than Nicholai was even though she was safe back at school the whole time. When she saw me in the playground she ran up to me and gave me a fierce hug and started telling me somewhat frantically about the bus fire. I saw her teacher to tell her I was taking Emma and she told me that she thought it was a good idea, and that when the news had come through the school Emma had been very frightened and upset. I guess Emma has the knowledge and the imagination that all the what-ifs of this scenario might feel very real and scary to her.

So I had all four of them home this afternoon, playing on the Wii and the computer and fighting and playing like usual. Nicholai’s not traumatised in the least, although the fact that he no longer has a Bulldogs backpack or pair of tracksuit pants does upset him. He lost his backpack, the tracksuit pants, jumper, tshirt and socks that were in it, as well as his drink bottle, lunch bag and the Tupperware containers that had his food in them. Fortunately he was wearing his ski overalls and his hat, coat, gloves and skiing goggles, so they’re all still intact! Not that it matters, the school insurance will cover anything lost, and I’m just so thankful that they are all okay. Not just from the fire either, I saw the photos of where they had to stop and they were on a mountain road so it’s not even like there was a grass verge for the kids to stand on and wait, they were really lucky that they didn’t have a car come along and run someone down.

It’s really not a good time for something like this to happen. I am surviving, but that’s about the best that can be said.

Nicholai was on this bus!
He is fine, and found the whole thing more of an interesting adventure than anything. Although the loss of his Bulldogs backpack and tracksuit pants he does view as a tragedy.
Emma was more upset than he was. She told me it was the best and worst school day ever- worst day "because I almost lost my brother! But best day because we got extended playtime!"

Thursday, 28 July 2011.

It’s Jericho’s birthday tomorrow. He’s going to be five years old. Five years ago I was watching High School Musical for the first time, belly stretched huge with baby, and feeling my body twinge and shift and hoping it was time. I remember it so clearly, that last day with Jericho on the inside, feeling like my whole world was shrinking down to just me and this baby and the journey we were about to undertake together. Five years ago the only thing I could think about was waiting. Whenever you’re ready, sweet moonbaby.

Five years ago I went into labour and spent thirteen hours working harder than I ever had in my life to bring my baby into my arms. Five years ago that chunky baby with his linebacker shoulders and the rolls of chub on his thighs was birthed in a final immense rush onto the bed and I was able to scoop him up and hold him close. Hey there moonbaby. Hello Jericho. Five years ago I held my moonbaby and looked outside on to a grey afternoon and saw his rainbow.

Five years on from that last moment of pregnancy, that moment of vast and endless potential, he has become who is he. Defiantly, fiercely Jericho. My beautiful, smart, loving, imaginative, creative, impossible, heartbreaking Jericho. I hope he has a wonderful birthday tomorrow. I hope he feels the truth of how special and amazing he is, and how very much loved he is.

Despite everything, I do love this Jericho of mine. How could I not, when today while we were waiting in line at the supermarket he was examining his own body and said quite thoughtfully, “I am made up of a lot of components, aren’t I?”


Jul. 27th, 2011

   Monday, 25 July 2011
       I took photos for a day in the life again today. I haven’t done one for this month yet, and in fact when I got my camera out to take photos at Jesse’s birthday yesterday I realised I’ve hardly taken any photos this month at all. It’s a sign of how sad I am really, I can’t remember the last time I went so long without taking photos just for fun. Today’s ditl really hasn’t turned out all that inspired, but at least I did it. Credit for trying?

Although there are quite a few funny photos. Soren has begun wearing a pair of Harry Potter glasses and he just looks hilarious in them. I don’t know why, Jericho always just looked kind of cute and studious, but Soren makes me laugh every time I look at him in them. Not to mention when they were playing dress ups and he insisted I help him put on this delightful black leather vest which draped over him like a robe, and he started swinging his glitter wand/lightsabre around and telling me he was “Obi Obi”, which is what he calls Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars!

I spent a lot of the day investigating and agonising over a new carseat for Soren. I rang Australian customs and was told by a very helpful man that they wouldn’t stop a carseat coming through to me if I had one shipped here. I got a few recommendations from livejournal on what to look at, and then Troy and I calculated how much it would cost to rent a US postal address and have them ship it to us, since Amazon won’t deliver carseats internationally. Only to then find out that there is actually ONE seat available here that doesn’t have a weight limit on the harness section, and that I can go to Baby Bunting and buy one tomorrow if I want.

We’re still having a kind of dilemma though. The Australian seat has the advantage of being legal to use here, available immediately, and we would have a warranty that we could use if something doesn’t work properly or breaks or whatever. Disadvantage of that seat is that it costs one hundred dollars more than the cost of the other seat plus shipping, and that’s quite a significant amount. Importing a seat from overseas would save us money, but we’d have to wait for shipping (which we assume would be several weeks with sea mail), would be using a non approved seat, and if something was broken or didn’t work properly the shipping costs would make returning it and getting a replacement just about impossible. I do adore my chunky, snuggly little monkey, but it would be a lot simpler if he was a bit more on the lighter side!

I realised today though that in the nine and a half years we’ve had kids we’ve bought two convertible seats, one forward facing seat, one harness to booster seat, two high backed boosters and two cushion boosters. Plus hired the baby bucket seat for Soren. So whatever we buy this time is absolutely going to be the last damn carseat I need!

Troy’s brother Brett rang him today and asked him to be a groomsman in his next wedding, which is going to be in November. Because getting married four months after you separated from your first wife seems like such a good idea? There is so much I could say about this, but I just don’t have the energy to even think about such fuckery. Suffice to say I really dislike Troy’s brother and the idea of having to put up with another wedding of his just makes me want to punch someone. Preferably him. Or maybe the person who is foolish enough to marry him…what IS she thinking?


Tuesday, 26 July 2011.

I solved our carseat issues today with the purchase of a Maxi Rider AHR. Pretty resentfully I must say, as it cost $430 which I consider is an absolutely obscene amount of money to be forced to spend with no other options. Well, the overseas carseat option, but in the end the deciding factor against that was not the legality (or otherwise) of it, but just that if something broke on it or didn’t work properly we would just be screwed.

The seat we bought even built in speakers with a jack coming out to attach to your ipod or whatever. It’s madness, I don’t even have an ipod myself, let alone my carseat riding toddler needing one! Although I suppose people do have such things for their kids. As Nicholai is constantly reminding me I am mean and don’t buy them things that everyone else gets to have, like ipods and Nintendo DS consoles and their own rooms and exciting holidays.  

It was an awful shopping trip as well. I knew what I wanted and was as quick as I could be, but Soren and Jericho were seriously behaving as if they’d been raised by wolves. Everyone else in the store had either pregnant bellies or small infants sitting angelically in prams and kept giving me that whole ‘MY kid will NEVER behave like that’ side eye.

Because I’m a glutton for punishment (or because I had already driven to Ringwood and it was on the way back) I then took them into Anaconda to buy some ski gloves for Nicholai to take on the ski trip he’s going on this Friday. They behaved no better, so there was quite a bit of grinding of teeth and frustration as I drove them home.

The gloves fit Nicholai nicely though, so I’m glad we got them. He’s going on this trip with school, it’s just a day trip up to Lake Mountain, and he’s super excited. He’s going to have so much fun. There will be enough snow to ski, and I’m really quite jealous myself because I’ve never been skiing! 

Happy birthday to my nephew Jesse! His birthday is actually tomorrow, but we had a lunch for him today. It was a long drive there and back, but the lunch was yummy and I’m glad we went. The kids had fun, and it was good to see some of my family again. Jesse was turning two and was adorably excited about his birthday, it was so cute!

My kids were pretty good. They watched a movie on the way up and actually waited for their lunches to be very nicely. Nicholai is just Mr Sociable when we’re out in those kinds of situations, he will approach anyone and just start talking. It’s a bit hit and miss as to how well this is received, admittedly, but at least by being interested in AFL he can talk footy and that’s pretty generally popular among men. He also interrogated all of Craig’s family as to their names and birthdates and relationships, then wrote it all down so he could add it to his family tree and extend it out in a different direction. Emma played outside with the little kids and sat inside doing some colouring part of the time too and was just not a problem at all, she really is an absolute treasure to take out in public most of the time. Soren was just Soren, he takes a little while to adjust to having so many other small children around but after awhile it doesn’t stop him. I also love how much he adores my dad, it’s wonderful to watch his face light up when he sees his Pa and have him run over for a hug. Jericho was not too bad- not great but not horrible.

It’s hard sometimes, I’m very self conscious about the way he behaves. I mean today there was a good example when his lunch was served- it was the pasta carbonara he ordered but the instant he looked at it he just about lost his shit, because it had things in it he didn’t recognise and didn’t like. He didn’t start screaming (thank god for small mercies) but there was hysterical, frantic whining and crying while Troy and I tried to get through to him that it was food he liked, if he’d only taste it. The only way we could calm him down was for Troy to grab his bowl and pick through it and eat all the things he didn’t want, and then show him that they were gone.

So frustrating, even more so because he’s nearly five and should be past this kind of tantrum. But he’s not, and we have this kind of crap go on multiple times every day. Of course when we’re out too we have to try and pacify him more than we would at home, because if we are hardline about things then we may as well just turn around and go home immediately, because once something sets him off it’s nearly impossible to bring him back to an even keel. And if I left a place every time he threw a fit? We would, quite literally, never leave our house.

However the other side of him behaving like that in front of other people is that they see what I’m talking about, and having someone agree with me that he’s difficult is just so validating. Today Elle saw his little lunchtime fit, and a few other moments and commented to me that he really was very emotional. Hearing that eases the guilt I feel for complaining about him so much, and makes me feel less hopeless for not being able to manage.

The flipside of him being so overly emotional though, is that on the occasion that he’s actually happy, he has joy enough to light up a room and it’s wonderful to see. At the end of lunch today Mum and Dad gave Jericho his birthday present from them, a Lego space shuttle, and he was thrilled. Just so happy with it, he was grinning away and showing everyone at the party his amazing present. He held it with his arms wrapped around it the whole two and a half hour long drive home. He wanted to build it the minute we reached home, but by then it was bath time and tea time and bed time. I’ve told him I’ll help him put it together tomorrow after kinder…let’s hope the thing has detailed instructions.

Pictures from todayCollapse )

Ootchy Mootchy cat is limping again, on the same foot as last time. It’s exactly two weeks since the vet gave him his antibiotic injection that he said would last two weeks. I guess it worked well enough to stop his bite infection from spreading, but not well enough to eliminate it completely? Either way I guess first thing Monday morning will involve a call to the vet, and another $150 out of my bank account. Poor kitty.

Today was pretty quiet. Troy took the three younger kids to their swimming lessons this morning since his parents are away, and I took Nicholai to Auskick. It was so muddy out there on the oval! Once everyone was home from their sporting pursuits we bathed kids and washed everyone’s hair, and then the kids pretty much entertained themselves for the rest of the day. Troy did the grocery shopping and I went and got some wrapping paper and a birthday card for Jericho. He’ll be five on Friday and he’s counting down the sleeps now.

We’re going out to lunch with some of my family tomorrow, for Jesse’s second birthday. It will be nice to see them again and hang out for a while.
After all, don't we all look like a fun bunch to hang out with?

That's Benita, Eamon, Lee and me across the back, and Ellen and Rhiannon in the front.


Emma just flounced out to her room for bed after screaming at Troy and I, “You just don’t understand me! I hate you!” because we wouldn’t let her stay up any later to read Harry Potter. Oh dear, the travails of being a seven year old girl.

Troy and I went and saw Harry Potter last night. It’s sad to think it’s the last movie- I remember going to see the Philosopher’s Stone with Troy when I was pregnant with Nicholai and now he’s wanting to go and see the final instalment himself! I thought the movie was stunning, I was so caught up in it I forgot about being tired and really just loved it. Troy really enjoyed it too and we both think it was a brilliant way to end it all.

I had a psychologist appointment today. I probably talked less than I ever have with her, since as soon as she asked how I was I started crying and then spent the next fifteen minutes in tears, only able to communicate by shaking or nodding my head or making unintelligible mumbles. Lovely. Anyway, after a while we talked for a bit and then she rang through to the clinic and organised for me to go down and see the doctor so he could refer me for an in depth psychiatric assessment.

Rosemary thinks this is the best way to go for now, not so much because there’s more going on than basic depression and anxiety, but because I need someone to prescribe and manage medication and my current doctor is not really doing a great job. Fair enough, he’s a GP and OB/GYN and while I liked him for taking care of my pregnancies because he was so hands off, his approach to mental health medication seems to be take this, and if it doesn’t really work then take some more.

He gave me a prescription for something to help me sleep though. At the moment it’s taking me two or three hours to go to sleep, and once I add that to Soren waking me up a couple of times a night and then waking up for good at 6am, I’m a bit demented with lack of sleep. Hope this will help.

I hope something helps. Anything really. Drugs or psychiatrists or whatever they decide they can do for me. Something has to change.

Apart from me being a crying misery today…not much has been going on really! I went to Spotlight with the little boys yesterday and bought some replacement beads to make Soren a new necklace, which made him very happy. I also bought each of them a sparkly glitter filled stick that Jericho decided was a wand and Soren decided was his light sabre. He’s been calling himself Anakin and wielding it with reckless force ever since. He also keeps trying to get Jericho to join him in his game and take on the role of ‘Obi Obi’, ha ha ha.



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