And so the school holidays continue. Each day I get up with high expectations of what I will achieve. I will do no less than three loads of washing. I will cook some gourmet feast for dinner that I haven't before. I will play for 2 hours straight with my children. I will spend no more than 20 minutes at a time on the computer, reading blogs and adding to mine.
And then, suddenly, it's 10.30am and I'm still in my pyjamas, the crumbs from my morning toast scattered over my top. The kid's breakfast dishes are still on the table and the washing machine remains empty. It doesn't get any better from there.
I just can't seem to get motivated. It's like the holidays hit, and I'm so tired from all the running around, I can do no more. Ah, well.
And the weather isn't helping. It rains. And rains. And rains. We spend more time indoors. (Oh, yay...) The Nintendo Wii becomes my new bestfriend. The 7yr old and 5yr old are hooked. They create many Mii's (players that you can create to look like yourself or others). They create one for each member of the family, some that have "naughty" names like Poo Poo and Lady Baby and Bum, and then they decide to make one called Jesus. My 7yr old wonders out loud what he would look like. My 5 yr old replies, "It doesn't matter what Jesus looks like. It's who he is". Ah, yes. The Catholic school education is kicking in.
They decide on white clothes and long, flowing hair for Jesus (he looks remarkably like what we assume Jesus looked like). They then make God. A bald-headed man. Hmmm, interesting. After a couple of days, they have eighty Mii's in total, and there's the whole family, Poo Poo, Lady Baby and Bum wandering around on the screen with the Father and The Son. Impressive.
During this time, my 7yr old has also become a "tennis pro" on the Wii. (As I said before, it rained...a LOT.) I decide to take him on in a match or two (the laundry can wait). I lose miserably. In fact, I fail to win even a single game. But I do beat him in bowling. YES!
On one particularly rainy night, Hubby decides it's too cold and wet for the dog to sleep outside in his kennel. "But he's a dog," I protest. "An an-i-mal." Hubby insists, and so the dog's mattress is laid out on the bedroom floor. During the night, I hear the sound of the dog's nails on the wooden floors. I panic. I shove Hubby in the back and with a hint of urgency in my voice I say, "I think the dog's trying to wee!" (You can't blame me, after what happened to our dining room table leg last week.) Hubby jumps up and follows him around and then he's back to bed. The dog is back on the mattress. Has he deposited another wee on the floor somewhere? I'm too tired to look, too tired to ask. I just hope not, and I'm back off to sleep. (I find out later he hasn't - he's probably just disorientated, or messing with my mind.)
We eventually get a break in the weather and we head to the local park with the dog. The boys gather sticks to build some sort of shelter on some nearby steps. I wait for someone to announce they've poked their brother's eye out. Fortunately, it doesn't happen. It's sunny, but still cold. Not what you expect weather in October to be like.
On a car trip to the drive-through dry cleaners (woo-hoo! Now we're talkin'), my 2yr old starts to sing along to the Pink song, Funhouse. Except his version is: "It used to be a poo poo house." The big boys laugh riotously, until their little brother announces, "Boys...don't be silly now."
Friday arrives, and with my 2yr old safely ensconced at daycare (and no doubt teaching his peers his new song), I attempt a trip to the city to meet Hubby for morning tea with the big boys. A 40 minute catch up turns in to a 3 hour ordeal. It rains, the roads are busy, and then parking is a nightmare. At first, I think I've hit the jackpot. I find a parking bay close to Hubby's office. But then I realise it's a loading zone. So is every other parking space I find after that. Does loading your children in and out of the car count? Probably not.
Finally, after collecting Hubby, we park in an underground carpark, resigning ourselves to paying some exorbitant fee for doing so. Now my visit costs $15 for 30 minutes of quality family time. I then drive on to the local shopping centre to treat the boys to Maccas (seeing that the 7yr old missed out the week before after his fall).
The weekend arrives. We decide to view some more homes to add to our limited knowledge on the local property market. I like doing it, but I keep seeing homes I want to move in to...NOW. I walk through these homes, dreaming of welcoming my friends for long, lazy lunches on balconies with district views and spending afternoons swimming in the pool with the kids. Then reality sets in. I attend an auction (for research purposes only, I keep my arms firmly by my side). The house is passed in...almost one million dollars above our price range. Ouch. I think our house will do just fine for now, thank you very much.
On Sunday we venture off for a bbq at a friend of Hubby's. But before we do, we have some lunch. Hubby and I decide to make chilli mussels with the leftover mussels from the previous night's paella. Hubby, much better than what I am at throwing something together without a detailed recipe in hand, whips it up, and soon I am in food heaven, eating my delicious meal. The meal reminds me of the early days of our relationship when we'd share a big bowl of said meal with crusty bread and a bottle of wine, before venturing out on the town with friends. Ah, those were the days.
Just as I'm thinking this, I pick up a mussel and go to wedge it open. It slips, splashing the accompanying tomato sauce all over me. Reminiscing is over. I change my top, but I have no other pants I can wear to the bbq, so I wipe my jeans and spray perfume over them to hide the fishy smell. I'm not sure I've achieved exactly that, but we head off anyway. I can always blame the smell on the kids, I decide.
Even though I'll have no problem doing so, I'm not excited about making small talk for a few hours with people I don't know. But then I meet everyone and they're all friendly and relaxed.
The boys are excited to see our hosts have a swing set. They immediately race up the sandstone steps to reach it. I immediately cringe at the thought of them falling up or down said steps and continuously call out for them to "SLOW DOWN!" (At one point, my 7yr old is caught running up them with his arms stretched out behind him. Hubby asks said 7yr old what he thinks will happen if he falls? Not waiting for his reply, he says, "You'll fall flat on your face and either break your nose or knock your teeth out." My 7yr old, unmoved by Hubby's warning, and obviously not fazed by his trip to the hospital the week before, replies, "But having my arms like that makes me run faster." And crash faster too, no doubt.
We are there less than ten minutes when we hear screaming and crying from the 2yr old. I race up the sandstone steps towards him, taking two at a time. Yep, setting a good example for my kids is thrown out the window when crying is involved. On reaching my son, I notice a large graze on both his forehead and nose. It doesn't look good. Explanations from the 5yr old and 7yr old do not shed any light on what has just happened, but my guess is a run in with the moving swing. We use a cold flannel to clean him up with, and our host offers an ice pack. Yet another example of my lack of mothering skills - we'd be using a packet of frozen peas in the same situation at our house. After five minutes, our 2yr old, battered and bruised, has recovered, and he runs off to give the swing another go. Great.
I settle down to some delicious food and a chat. There's a little too much bike talk going on at first (they are all keen cyclists, like my husband), but the host has a very cute 10 month old baby, and soon talk turns to parenting.
I'm asked about the different personalities of my boys. I describe our 5 yr old as "...relaxed. Nothing really worries him. He goes with the flow and is thoughtful of others", which is true. And then as we're leaving, Hubby asks him to switch off his Nintendo DS to say goodbye, and he suddenly loses it and starts kicking Hubby. I am appalled, embarrassed and angry all at once! I tell him off and then look up sheepishly and say, "Kids. They know how to make liars out of you, don't they?" I want to get out of there as quickly as possible.
On our return, the kids are sent quickly to bed. It's the first early night in...about a week. I can't do much else. The last few days have been exhausting. I laze on the couch and watch Australian Idol, followed by Rove. Heaven.
Until next time...