Wednesday, 30 January 2013

All quiet

Its very quiet here today. The kids are at Mum's - Tony and I both had commitments last night (he had Masters Baseball, transferred from Monday night as that was a Public Holiday) and I had a Regional Meeting for ABA (Australian Breastfeeding Association). So Mum came and picked up the kids yesterday afternoon and Tony and I will go up after he finishes work this afternoon and have tea up there tonight and come home hopefully late enough for some of them to fall asleep on the way home.

I am appreciating the time here by myself to get a lot of cleaning/tidying/organising done before Tony's 40th Birthday Party in 2 1/2 weeks. I figure if I can get most of the background cleaning and tidying done today while there are few interruptions, then I can easily do a surface clean in the days before the party and it won't be too stressful. We've got lots on over both the next 2 weekends so there's little weekend time to get organised - great that I can get a good chunk done today.

I'm missing the kids though - the vineyard guys are putting nets on the vines to protect them from the birds now that the grapes are ripe, and I keep wanting to call the kids out to look at where they are up to. Lots of little things have happened this morning that I would normally have commented on and it reminded me of how much interaction we all have, even when they are playing on their own and I'm doing something else. I like sharing my thoughts and experiences with them and having them share theirs with me. 

I know they'll be having a great time at Grandma's, and I am grateful for some time to myself (and being able to listen to music of my own choice), and I'll also be very glad to see them again and have a noisy, busy house again tomorrow.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Social days then rest

The end of last week was very busy for us socially. Wednesday we had a park day - our regular Homeschool park day, as well as organising to meet some of Caitlin's other friends there - and other families we know were at the park as well, so we probably played/chatted with 6 or 7 families we already knew, and met a few more. Liam made friends with a girl from Diamond Creek and they played together for hours, mainly in the sandpit. Caitlin spent most of her time on her scooter and/or bike, and Millie played in the sandpit, on the roundabout or climbing on the equipment, and had a big swing at the end. We had a quick visit to the library then went up to R's for more of a play and came home very tired.

Thursday we went in to North Melbourne to see Caitlin's friend N, and my friend B (N's Mum) and were there all day - all 6 kids played together so well and B and I had a great catch up. The big girls played dress ups for about 5 hours and produced some beautiful costumes and stories to go with them. Liam made 2 magnificent cars from a construction set they had - if I can figure out how to get photos off my phone I'll post a photo here. After dragging ourselves away in the very late afternoon, we got some fish and chips (eventually - I took a while to find the place I was looking for) and met Fi and James and Fi's friend Jacq for a picnic in the park near Fi's place. It was still warm but not too hot by that point, perfect for having tea then a play on the playground, and some races around the oval on scooters and bikes. Millie has got the hang of her scooter although she does a lot of foot action for not a lot of rolling so it takes her a while to get anywhere. She loves having it though and can go long distances.

We took it very easy on Friday morning although I was feeling a tad anxious again with the hot northerly winds and high temperature. We went to The Full Pantry to stock up on our bulk foods (and lots and lots of lollies) then to my friend S's place for Liam to meet her son N and for the boys to have a game of chess. It was great to hear a 5 and 6 year old earnestly discussing strategy and taking the game very seriously. Caitlin was again worshipped by D, who is 2, and insisted on dragging her around the house to play with him. A swim was most welcomed by all and Liam in flippers and snorkel was able to swim even in the deep end without any anxiety. There were a lot of games played, some more dress ups and then everyone wound down a little in front of a Batman cartoon. The temperature had dropped by the time we headed home and we had a quiet evening, the kids and Tony watched Avatar on TV.

Yesterday we really needed to do as little as possible as we were all exhausted from 3 big days in a row. Avatar was watched again, and some more TV, a few word and number games, playing with animals, lots of resting. Everyone seems more level and calm today, and energy seems to have been restored. Tony has been to get our replacement iPad after the smashed screen got progressively worse so I'm currently trying to restore the backup and everyone is looking forward to being able to play with it again. Off to the park with Liam's friend J later this afternoon then Mum and Dad are coming for tea as a late birthday celebration for Dad.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Hot hot hot

Its hot again today, althought I think the temperature is dropping now, below 30 degrees, and our area is actually due to have a coolish day tomorrow. A lot of places are staying hot for several more days though and the fire danger is pretty high everywhere. I've been keeping an eye on the fire news which sometimes makes me feel calmer because there's nothing nearby here, and other times causes me to feel quite anxious because it brings back all the memories of how it felt in 2009. 

I know I was very anxious leading up to last Friday when we had Extreme fire danger, and thought I'd calmed down since then. I'm very weary though and today I've been a little less patient with the kids than I'd like - especially getting everyone in the car to take the kitten to get his vaccinations (something about doctors (vet) appointments that make me get cranky rather than fun as I'm trying to coax everyone out the door. Maybe I should make the appointments at times when Millie doesn't have to come). So perhaps the heat and the threat of fire danger is keeping me on edge a bit more than I had realised.

I'm pleased I took Liam with me to the vet though, he got to see what she was doing. Stripes (the kitten) had 4 people holding him down while the vet did his checkup, not sure if that made it more or less stressful for him!

On the way home we stopped at a fruit and veg place that I love and the kids selected a lot of fruit - they've been eating fruit salad all afternoon. I replenished my veggie drawer as well, and Liam bought me some beautiful yellow and orange roses.