Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Out of the mouths of babes ...

Bradley came down to my room this morning and said to me through the ensuite door, very seriously, "Mum, we need to replace Dad."

Curious as to the reason behind this sudden pronouncement, I asked him why.

His equally serious response?

"Because he's a pre-1980's gas appliance."

Love it!

(There's a campaign on TV at the moment telling people they have to replace their pre-1980's gas appliances due to some upcoming changes to the gas supply. He's just taken that idea and run with it. Love the way his mind works!)

Monday, 26 July 2010

The boys have changed their names ...

They have all taken to calling everyone Captain something-or-other so now we have:
  • Captain Buzzkill (Alex),
  • Captain Obvious (either Drew or Brad) and
  • Captain Awesome (either Drew or Brad again)

I have asked when the next round of promotions is due because I think Major Awesome and Major Pain-in-the-butt sound more impressive but I just got pitying looks and a slow, sad shake of the head.

Obviously I'm Captain Fail-to-get-the-point-of-this-game.

At least I made it to Captain!!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

The first step is admitting you have a problem ...

The last couple of weeks, which just happened to have been school holidays, have been crammed full of exciting activities like weeding, cleaning out Peter's garage, de-crappifying (yes it's a word 'cos I said so!) most of the rooms in the house and just generally making the house resemble something liveable and appealing, rather than the post-apocalyptic nightmare it was before.

As a result, I have had lots of time to think while performing these not-exactly-mentally-challenging tasks and have come to the conclusion that, as much as I try to deny it, I too am a hoarder. I have been calling Peter a hoarder for years, with very good reason (car magazines from the 1980's anyone?), but have finally come to the realisation that he has rubbed off on me and not just in that way, so get your minds out of the gutter!

I have managed to fill the council wheelie bin in less than 30 minutes with my frantic efforts to reduce the amount of stuff I will have to pack (and yes, it is me that will have to pack as Peter is still working away). The main problem is that I tend to get carried away and fill the bin within 24 hours of it being emptied and then have to spend the next week telling the children to stop creating kitchen waste as there's nowhere to put it!

On a side note, do you know anyone who really enjoys packing to move? If so, they have more problems than me .. yay someone weirder than I am! .. and can you please send them my way?

The children aren't too happy with my new-found de-cluttering skills and have been found surreptitiously sifting through the top layers trying to 'rescue' items they deem to be of extreme value. I feel bad for all of two nanoseconds before encouraging them, in the nicest possible way (snort!) which can probably be heard at least ten streets away, to "put that back right now mister, unless you want to join it!" They couldn't really join it as there's no room for another scrap of paper, let alone a rapidly growing, increasingly hairy teenager or his slightly smaller siblings, but the threat does sound slightly impressive and has worked so far.

As the kind of child who regularly rearranged my room, had my books organised 'library fashion' and who purged 'stuff' on a very regular basis, I am really struggling with the boys' keep-it-just-in-case mindsets. We have found things like a scrap of paper with a hand-written Yu-Gi-Oh game score from more than two years ago, broken elastic bands, bent paper clips, dead batteries, pencils sharpened down to be so small even Tom Thumb would have been able to use them, empty chip packets from before the last packaging change three years ago and various other assorted 'things' that have to be kept .. just in case. Thank goodness they're back at school because now I can get into their rooms with no interference and I have yet to have any of them ask me "where's my ... ?"

I shall have to get them to admit their hoarding issues so we can get some help .. hopefully a bulk discount at the local shrink! While I'm working on that little problem, I'd best go and finish some of the million other things to be done before the house officially hits the market on the tenth of August. Real estate agents can be soooo particular about things .. who says you need to finish painting a half-painted wall?

Or make the beds?

Or weed the gardens?

Or de-crappify the carports?

Or mop the floors?

Oh, potential buyers do. Best be off then .... lots to do!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Woohoo .. the finance is approved!

Now we're in more debt .. oh yay!!

Seriously though, it's great news 'cos it means we're one step closer to moving into the home we have all had some input into. Peter will have his hhuuugggeee garage, I will have my central kitchen, practical linen cupboard and pantry, rooms that aren't traffic areas, lots of storage space and heaps more. Even the boys have put forward several ideas for the new place we're building; some of which have been accepted and more which have not. At least they're helping!

Now we just have to:

  • pick colours for tiles, roofing materials, bricks, bench tops and walls,
  • work out where all the lights and power points are going (and then add more .. can never have too many power points!),
  • deal with inevitable hiccups in building process
  • sort out reticulation and landscaping
  • paint everything
  • actually move in.

And that is after we/I:

  • finish painting this house ready for sale,
  • finish throwing out all the accumulated junk,
  • finish getting rid of excess furniture (anyone need a student desk with hutch/ set of wall units/ extra desks?)
  • sell the house
  • find a rental
  • move into said rental
  • find a job
  • work at said job without killing anyone, least of all self or children
  • survive living in said rental whilst running around like a headless chook organising everything for the new house

Remind me again why we're doing this?

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Andrew wants to die a slow painful death ...

or maybe that's just my interpretation of the way he keeps reminding me of my, in his opinion, extremely advanced age.

Example one:

"I'll help you set up your sewing machine Mum. I know how to thread them and everything."

"OK but be careful. My machine is a bit different from the ones at school."

"You're telling me! Wow, this thing is ancient! Does it plug in or do you have to pedal it?"

Example two:

"Mum, did you watch this program when you were my age?"

"No darling. It wasn't around then."

"Oh. What did you watch?"

"Whatever my parents wanted to watch because we only had one TV."

"Oh. Were you guys like poor or something?"

"No darling. We just had one lounge room and that's where the TV was."

"One lounge room and one TV? I'm so glad I didn't live in the olden days!"

Example three:

"Mum did you have electricity when you were little or did you have to use candles for lights and go to bed when it got dark?"

"Yes we had electricity and we only used candles when it wasn't working .. same as we do now."

"Wow! Electricity really has been around for a long time hasn't it?"

After delivering these little gems, he usually looks at me with an innocent face before registering my reaction, then running for the relative safety of his room before I come over all weak and decrepit and start demanding my dinner at 4 o'clock in the afternoon with "it had better be mushed up so my poor old teeth can take it sonny boy" added for good measure.

Now I know why my mother always looked so upset when I asked her about what type of dinosaur she rode to school.

Kids .. gotta love 'em (I think it's a law!)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

I have no idea what I'm doing here so I'm just going to ramble for a while ...

I'm feeling the urge to update this little ol' blog but can't think of anything interesting to update it with. And by 'update', I mean write something wonderfully witty or at least faintly funny (shows how sad things are at the moment, I'm resorting to alliteration to satisfy my OCDness!) As nothing is presenting itself for inspection, I'll just have to resort to giving you the rundown on school holidays so far ...

Saturday/Sunday: Now I know lots of people don't regard Saturdays and Sundays as part of the school holidays, as they are days we would normally be responsible for our own offspring. I do count them because of the slight major attitude change that takes place at the final siren on the last day of school. It seems to change the children into some sort of otherwordly creatures .. a kind of a cross between a sloth and a locust .. you know, something that wants to lie around all day yet still manages to consume every food-like item in your kitchen, seemingly by osmosis as they don't appear to move, all the while complaining that there's nothing to eat.

So now we have that clear, Saturday and Sunday went almost exactly as expected for the first days of the holidays .. minor skirmishes as they re-established the pecking order of the home, then all out warfare for control of the TV remote.

Monday was better as there was a small amount of extra oestrogen, in the form of Debbie's daughter Amy, to help ease the testosterone overload. They all played (relatively) well together with no blood, broken bones or trips to the emergency room and I even got some biscuits made for me! Actually they weren't specifically for me but my house, my kitchen, my ingredients, therefore my biscuits! Seems fair to me...

Today, I managed to drag myself bounce joyfully out of bed, get dressed before 8am and was writing an appointment I had just remembered on the calendar, when I noticed that the boys had a dentist appointment at 9am. Figuring I still had plenty of time, I woke Alex for the first time and sent the other 2 to have breakfast and give their teeth an extra good brushing.

At 8:30am, I woke Alex again telling him we were leaving in 10 minutes and that he had to be up and dressed with his teeth brushed properly. We finally left at 8:50am and arrived in plenty of time after freezing ourselves half to death in the car. (Don't you hate it when the car trip is not long enough to heat the engine and therefore the heater doesn't work?)

Got the dentist over and done with (nobody needs any fillings .. yay!) then decided that seeing as we were already all dressed and out of the house, we may as well do a couple of things on my to-do list.

We went to a favourite plant nursery of mine (wholesale prices for much larger/healthier plants than at the local hardware store) and got a load of plants to try and make the house look a bit more presentable for sale. Then it was on to Spotlight (fabric/craft/haberdashery store) for some curtain material for the ensuite, bathroom and toilet (again with the 'more presentable' thing). Just happened to find myself in the scrapbooking section after buying the curtain material .. not at all sure how that happened! .. and spotted a border punch I've been trying to find for a while. Treated my self and then treated the boys at McDonald's for lunch as they had behaved themselves beautifully all morning.

After finishing lunch I felt all inspired to get outside, despite the cold (still only 12 degrees according to the radio news), so of course I dragged the boys along with me. They helped me weed, shift excess dirt and plant most of the new plants. The ones that weren't planted have been given a lovely drink of wetta-soil and placed in the sun for some warmth. Now all I have to do is get some mulch to keep the weeds away and it will look lovely.

Now I think I should spend the rest of the afternoon trying to find my sewing machine and dig through the deep dark recesses of my mind for the ability to use it, so that I can honestly say I have done something towards selling the house. Though exactly how a toilet curtain is going to sell the house I'm not sure but .. meh .. it sounded impressive just for a second!

Hope you're all surviving the school holidays!!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Oh yay .. it's school holidays!

19 days of fun-filled, full-on, in-my-face time with the boys (I'll leave it up to you to determine whether I'm being sarcastic or not!) and it all started so well ...

I had, when in a state of mind most people call insanity, offered to have a friend's two boys over yesterday afternoon after work/school to entertain play with my three boys. Then a different friend rang and asked if I could have her daughter for the afternoon as she had an appointment. No worries said I breezily and made appropriate arrangements for food and drink, causing the lady behind me in the supermarket queue to ask if I was a scout leader or something. After assuring her that the quantity of snacks was only for six children, she launched into protracted praise of mothers with more than the standard 2.4 children and congratulated me on bucking the trend. It was quite sad to see her face when I informed her that only 3 of the children were mine and that the other 3 were 'blow-ins' for the day.

The mother of the two boys came and collected them at 5:30pm after only a few instances of raised voices and threats of bodily harm (which I stopped making when I realised the neighbours were listening!) and then settled in to enjoy a lovely chat with the second friend (we'll call her Debbie .. Hi Deb!) over an extremely healthy dinner.

During the afternoon/evening, there had been some conspiring amongst the children and after some cute puppy-dog-eye looks, Andrew ended up spending the night at Debbie's house. I arranged to collect him at around 9:30am and went off to bed at a relatively decent hour for a great night's sleep and sleep-in the next morning.

After a bit of a mad panic to get out of my clown pants pyjamas, I went on my way to collect Drew, leaving the other two at home with strict instructions to stack the dishwasher before I returned, knowing full well that it would probably still be sitting there emptier than my bank account at Christmas time when I finally deigned to re-appear. A girl has to have dreams, right?

Anyway, I collected Andrew and headed to Kmart to attempt to lay-by some items for Christmas (mission accomplished), checked out the clothes sale at Miller's (nothing caught my eye enough to make me buy it) and then headed for home to make the children work spend some quality time with the children outside in the backyard.

Alex managed to start the lawnmower and mow the lawn; Bradley and I swept the patio area and got rid of some things things that had just been hanging around and Andrew pulled some weeds and helped Alex with the emptying of the lawnmower catcher. Very productive effort with a lovely result .. the patio and backyard look much better. Everyone worked well together with very few arguments discussions as to the merits of particular methodologies.

After finishing up, I told the boys the rest of the afternoon was theirs and set them free. Of course they all immediately headed back inside (I think I'm raising vampires!) and to the comfort of their electronic entertainment.

Things then took a turn for the worse when Alex tripped over his laptop computer, which was on the floor in the TV room after being told repeatedly not to leave it there, and has now broken it beyond any sense of redemption I could offer. The only thing that would have kept him away from his brothers, yet still occupied, has now gone to laptop heaven.

He has spent the last half an hour crying and throwing himself very dramatically onto his bed (silent movie heroines have nothing on this kid and his over acting abilities!) but is now laughing maniacally at something his brothers are doing .. one extreme to the other in ten seconds flat .. welcome to my world!

So now, as I sit here listening to the replacement washing machine trying to remodel my house by knocking out a few walls, I am in a bit of a quandary:

Do I attempt to have his laptop fixed to save my sanity over the next 18 days or do I let him suffer this natural consequence?

Do I spend money on getting the laptop fixed or on Valium and other sedatives to get us all through the next 18 days?

Or do I just give up and go chocolate myself to death?

Hmmmmm? Which option people? Let me know what you think ... please??!!