179 – brain dribble

I can’t think of anything to write. I’m on an end of term high where I lurch from manically cheerful, rushing about the classroom, grinning widely at students, playing inappropriate music (accidentally) and practically skipping up the stairs – to the other end of the spectrum – slack-jawed, glassy-eyed, zombie breath; staring at whatever screen is occupying my attention at whatever moment. I tried to look at my rolls this evening and the red squares all swam together and danced across the screen. Then I followed my poor office buddy out to the car babbling like a fucking perky brook about fucking perky rubbish. Then I got in the car and drove on autopilot to the stupidmarket like a very stylish robot. You know it.

You know what I was thinking about?

What song I would like played at my funeral. Which is weird considering the song on my stereo was ‘Insane in the brain’ by Cypress Hill (yeah that’s right, old school as and I know most of the words – you can just see me white lady rapping can’t you?). Not exactly a funeral song. I have a LOT of trouble pinning this shit down.

The GD has a whole list of songs that he would like played at his funeral and because I have always figured he’d die first (seriously – he smokes, he never exercises and he is WAY too cocky about shit – it’s inevitable) I have never put much thought in to it. He has picked great songs too, Mark Lanegan features heavily. (click on the blue name Mum then the song will play in a new window)

Also there are too many songs to mention. Aren’t there? Because you have your current funeral fave which you may not love in 50 years. And then there are the classics. Bette Midler features heavily I believe. And you want to pick something that really sums you up but doesn’t leave yourfriends and family totally gutted. They need to be uplifted and thinking something along the lines of ‘fuck yeah that Kathleen was a cool chick, we had a good laugh’ type of shit. Or whatever little old ladies think to themselves at funerals (I plan on getting to be old and eccentric so naturally my mourners will all be little old folks too).

It’s a tricky one.

Wild horses is a good one. Have you got any good funeral songs on your list?

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177

Me to Master 7 ‘I love you’.
Mstr 7 ‘I hate you.’
Me ‘That’s not nice but I love you anyway.’
Mstr 7 ‘Nah I love you.’ ‘I love you more than you love me,’
Me ‘I would love you no matter what.’
Mstr 7 ‘Even if I punched you in the Vagina?’
Me …..
Mstr 7 ….
Me ‘I would love you still but I don’t have to like you.’
Mstr 7 ‘Fair enough’

It’s the end of the Term. You’d be surprised how many ‘Punch you in the vagina’ kinda conversations I am having at the moment. Everyone who comes to my office has the tired haunted look of someone who either a. has a lot of work Due in a few days or b. has whole classes of assessments coming their way and a million reports to write. On Friday I spent three hours in the morning talking to girls who had been wagging some classes to get assessments done for other classes. ALL of them promised they’d be in ALL of their classes for the rest of the Term (5.6 days). About half of them left at lunchtime. They’re not even sorry. I’m not even mad.

The little Dutchmen are exhausted, they are touchy and random and manic. Ten minutes ago Master 4 was laughing hysterically for no reason on the TV lounge room – now he is crying like his heart is breaking on the couch because it is bedtime. I am blogging because I am a heartless bitch apparently. Actually according to BUZZfeed I am not even a tiny little bit of a Bitch. So there.

Today we took the lads for a big ramble round the neighbourhood, chatting variously about upcoming birthday plans (me and the eldest child are cancerians) and equal opportunity bike gang membership. The family mission is to try to get the littlest lad to ride his bike. He prefers to ride on the back of mine – and even then complains of tired legs! He’s not the one hauling an extra 20 kilos around!

The course that I did at the beginning of last week – Restorative Justice – was really positive and it filled my head up with ideas both for my teaching practice and Deaning. Exhausting and inspiring at the same time. It is so good to be a learner occasionally and not always the teacher.

It is time for me to try to convince the smallest lad to go to sleep. He is trying to convince me he isn’t tired but I won’t be fooled. In the meantime here is a cat who is really happy that America has now made same-sex marriage legal in every state. Go those guys. Love and let Love man.

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173

Do the steps on your fitbit still count if they are the steps you take to the kitchen to get more snacks?

Does your dog lie on the floor at your feet looking at you while doing the most evil dog farts you have ever smelled? My dog does. Half an hour ago he woke himself up with a really loud one and ran out of the room embarrassed. He slunk back in when he thought I wasn’t watching and is now happily farting away in his sleep again in front of the heater. It wouldn’t be so bad if his ass wasn’t on my foot.

I am so tired as the end of term approaches and I am eating badly as a result. Drinking (too much) coffee. Being awful to the kids. Feeling guilty about that. You know the drill.

The good news is that we have 8 days until school holidays.

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171 – Ham hocks and green lentil soup

YUM.

It has been a good weekend. We caught up with a good friend out in the rainy hills of Huia. Snaffled one of her children away for the night to play with ours. Is it just our kid who turns in to a complete dork when they have friends over? Master 7 gets all hysterical and turns his younger brother in to a target for pranks and general fun. We all camped in the lounge – fur children and all – watching animated movies until the lads were all asleep, and the grown ups could sneak off to our bed. This morning we took the boys plus dog up the mountain to have a run around in the rain and then we headed home so I could get dinner started.

I love slow cooking meat on a rainy wintery weekend. The house fills up with warmth and the delicious smells and you know you can relax and do stuff. While dinner was cooking I managed to proofread reports, hang with the kids – and we still had time to head up the hill to visit Nana this afternoon.

Anyway – this recipe was so delicious that I didn’t have time to get a photo – it was eaten up so fast! I got it from bite.co.nz and because our slow cooker is broken I just did it on the stovetop in a big saucepan.

Ingredients;

1.8 kgs Ham hocks
2 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
1 Leek, white part only, well washed and finely sliced
1 stick Celery, strings lightly removed with a vegetable peeler and cut into 1cm dice
1 Bay leaf, few sprigs fresh thyme and a few parsley stalks, tied with string
1 Ltr Chicken stock, hot
1 can Chopped tomatoes, 400g, in juice
½ cup Green lentils

Method;

  1. Soak the hock in cold water overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the slow cooker for 20 minutes.
  3. Drain hock and place in a large saucepan. Just cover with fresh cold water. Bring to the boil, drain again and rinse. Set aside.
  4. Place the carrots, leek, celery, herbs and hock in the slow-cooker. Pour in the hot stock and cover with the lid.
  5. Cook on high for 2 hours. After 2 hours, add the tomatoes and lentils. Cook for a further 2 hours.
  6. Remove the hock to a chopping board and when cool enough to handle remove all the skin and bone. Shred the meat and return to the slow-cooker. Remove herbs and taste for seasoning.
  7. Ladle into warm soup bowls and serve with bread and butter.

It was SO yummy – I highly recommend it!

Tomorrow I am starting a 3 day course called ‘Restorative Justice in schools’. I am really looking forward to having three days to LEARN stuff and chat with other Deans. I have no doubt you’ll hear about it!

No photos of soup but here are some of the fam on the mountain;

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170 – Grey area

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The biggest trend for Hair in 2015? ‘Granny chic’. That’s right. Beautiful young women all around the world are purposefully bleaching their hair out and then having it dyed all shades of slate/silver/grey/pewter – sometimes tinted with lilac or palest pink or baby blue. But mostly Grey. And I LOVE it.

I think it looks AMAZING.

This trend mocks me. It laughs at me and my years of home dye jobs. I have been dying my hair various shades – but mostly black – since I was 12 years old. Ironically I have been going grey since I was about 12 years old. My brother is completely salt and pepper and he is two years younger than me.

Going grey has never bothered me before. I have never felt old because of it – it started happening before I even knew what ‘old’ felt like and dying my hair has been no problem because I was born with dead straight mousey brown hair. My natural hair seems to work better for someone called ‘Cathy’ who works in a library and wears a lot of brown. Not that I have anything against Librarians. Don’t get me wrong. But if you want to be friends with me you will never call me Cathy.  At least not more than once.

I dye my hair blue black. I’m caught in the trap. I went to a hairdresser once and asked them about bleaching my hair out – I thought I’d try platinum blonde you know? Bring out my inner Marilyn? (Of course I’d have to find some boobs as well to really channel Marilyn but whatever). They took a hair sample to see. It melted.

I could never bleach and dye my hair grey (it would have to be instant because I have no patience) because my hair would MELT. And you know what? It’s cool to have beautiful long grey/lilac tinted hair when you are in your early twenties and your skin is smooth and clear and your youth makes it obvious that your hair colour is a CHOICE. But when you have two kids, and more ‘laugh lines’ than ever and are on the other side of 30…

So I dye my hair blue black every 6-8 weeks or so. I admire the beautiful grey haired beauties of the interwebs from afar. And I try to pretend that I am not 3 years and 19 days away from 40.

168

I’ve had three nights in a row of this;

How to get a better nights sleep

It’s amazing how many knees and elbows two small boys have. And the HEAT they generate! Neither sleeps with the blanket on them, they kick it off constantly, and because I have to be in the middle or they fight I end up freezing. Or swimming in a pool of sweat because they are pressed up against me like little human heaters. Either way I am AWAKE. ALL night.

Because the youngest child is waking up so early at the moment – like seriously early – he sits up at 4am and I have to talk him back to sleep because otherwise he gets up to watch DVD’s – he is falling asleep on the couch by about 6pm. And because he’s going to sleep on the couch at about 6pm – he’s waking up really early – like 4am. It’s a vicious circle.

I spend all night taking lads to the loo, throwing fighting cats out of the room and trying to go to sleep in different spots (like the couch or the bottom bunk or the foot of the bed longways) but the boys have this sixth sense where they can pinpoint the EXACT moment when I am just beginning to fall asleep again and they appear beside me asking to climb in to where I have moved to. Mostly I am already awake when the youngest wakes up at 4am.

I am incapable of coherent thought. It’s like someone filled my head with pink fluffies. All I can do is obsess about Miss Crabb pants and coffee.

Seriously how cool are these pants?

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Doesn’t matter. I can’t afford them. But you know what they say. Actually I can’t remember what they say because my brain is not braining. But I do know that’s its Friday tomorrow. Fuck yeah.

167

I have had one of those days where you go ‘oh yeah that’s what I do’.

It started with a sick feeling in my gut because that was what I had to do today – define what I do as a Dean at the Board of Trustees meeting this evening. It felt like a big deal – and I didn’t quite know where to start which is why I was starting the day of the meeting having not done my homework. All of the Deans presented – we all had to explain our focus for the cohort and then what we do well and what our challenges are and how the could BOT help us. It’s one of those things where you have to really think – what the hell do I do all day?! And although I think we did a really good job of starting to outline the job – inevitably I left feeling like I hadn’t really covered it all.

For example, today I taught for most of the day and two of those classes I hadn’t met before so it was teacher-talk heavy. I prepped for them in my five minute breaks between classes. As I was driving to school I got three texts from students booking out my ‘free’ period for the day – each student with different concerns. When I arrived at my office to start these appointments I got a phone call to say that I had an irate parent at the front desk who had arrived without an appointment and wanted to meet with me now. I managed to put him off for half an hour so I could meet with the students but it meant working through lunch again and no prep for the next class. I spent my last period of the day helping a student write a victim impact statement for a court appearance she has coming up that she was feeling really nervous about.

After school I started writing the report for the BOT. Our part of the meeting went from 5:30 to 7pm and then I headed home. Master 4 had gone to sleep already and Master 7 wasn’t far off. The grumpy Dutchman had made delicious dinner and it was slowly going cold on the bench.

This is not a pity post. This is my job – and for the most part I really enjoy it. It does suck on the odd occasion when I get home and the lads are asleep but that doesn’t happen very often.

Mostly this post is to remind myself of my day so that I can fully appreciate that the sugar cravings – that are so bad I am contemplating going out to the dairy – are simply a result of exhaustion and a need for bed. I need to change into my jammies and go crawl in to bed between my snoring little laddies so I can get up tomorrow good to go again. Tomorrow will be quieter.

Tomorrow is hump day all over again – where are the weeks going?!

166 – default position

Are you the default too? Do you know what I mean?

Example; This weekend there was an event that the grumpy Dutchman and I had planned to go to together. We were quite excited about going out together for the first time in a long time. I had my outfit all planned out and everything (totes most important bit) and I had practised in my head saying ‘No I’m not pregnant, just not drinking’ and sneaking out for coffee as I got more tired (because I am a Nana and past 9pm is waaaaaay late for me). But our babysitters (The GD’s folks) couldn’t do it for us in the end and we couldn’t afford both a babysitter and the gig. (you feel my pain I know you do). Sad face.

Should have been the end of it right? Stink buzz we can’t go out. Damned kids ruining our social lives all the time.

But somehow…. The GD went to the gig anyway. Because the fact that WE couldn’t get a babysitter didn’t mean that WE didn’t have to stay home apparently. Somehow all it meant was that I couldn’t go out because I needed to be at home with the little Dutchmen. And that sucks balls. Now, the GD will justify his attending the event to you if you ask him about it by saying that he had volunteered to be the pizza boy for the bands so he needed to go. Which, you know, is bullshit because pizza places have their own delivery boys to do that for them…

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And to add insult to injury I had to cook dinner for the children too, and like, parent them and shit. Grumpy mockingbirdgrrl.

It reminds me of when the kids were babies and I was the ‘default holder of the babies’. I distinctly remember this one time needing to go to the toilet when holding baby – so I handed baby to the GD and went to the bathroom – the GD followed me to the bathroom and stood there while I weed and waited to hand baby back. I realise that I had the boobs – you couldn’t miss them I was like a dairy cow – but I also needed to not hold babies for a few hours a day and this wasn’t really a thing. I think too that this is the norm for most Mums.

Don’t get me wrong – It’s not like the GD doesn’t do ‘his fair share’. And ‘his fair share’ is such a bullshit term because he parents his children. He does it well and he does it more than me during the week because I work longer hours usually. It’s not an issue of equality at all in our house. But I still don’t like being the default.

I been mithering on it since Saturday night. I was SO looking forward to going out, and I was SO disappointed that I didn’t get to go but that he did. Right now the most social I get is boot camp. Between family on the weekends and work in the evenings and it getting darker earlier I feel quite hemmed in. I need a movie date or something. A reason to wear some of my fabulous shoes ha ha

Anyway. Now that I’ve had a whinge I can get over it.

Which will be good news to all the boys in the house!

163 – red red wine

Finishing a hard week at work with your legs in the air while a stranger chats with you about the weather; elbows deep in your lady parts and asking whether you are planning to have any more children because the ‘equipment stills looks good!’ is not, ladies and gentlemen, very rock and roll. But it is necessary to stay healthy so we put up with the awkward-ness in order to know we don’t have cancer.

Nevertheless you do kinda feel like someone should buy you a big glass of wine afterwards. Actually – send me over the bottle.

I admit to driving home having a serious conversation with myself about my resolution to not drink for the year in order to help my gut heal. I had a lot of questions for myself. If I could eat sugar/dairy/have coffee – what was the difference? That’s a good question I told myself. What is the difference?

I don’t know. But I do know that I’m stubborn. I know that this has become a point of pride – and I’ve told a bunch of folks that I’ll have a drink with them next year…

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161 – Hump day happiness

Last night I accidentally shared my blog post to my Deaning cohorts facebook page. What a dick! And I didn’t notice until ONE OF MY STUDENTS ‘LIKED’ IT. Oh My God. I panicked immediately and deleted the post, and then promptly emailed the student because she’s cool and I needed to explain my ‘ghost post’. She had read it and liked it (phew) and thought it was hilarious that I had posted on the wrong page – but like I said she’s cool and I am not too worried that she will start cyber-stalking me or anything. Ha ha – like I’m that interesting – whatever miss! I am so thankful it wasn’t one of my more ‘sweary’ ones. But it did give me a good reminder that my posts are public and anyone – current students included – can read them. I am not sure how I feel about my students ‘reading me’…

But anyway, I deleted it and was all good and even though T had said that she thought the post was really interesting and that her peers would like to read it – because it is about school after all – I wasn’t tempted to repost deliberately ha ha. It didn’t even occur to me that anyone else had read it because T was the only one who had ‘liked’ it. Until I got back from lunch today to find an envelope under my door;

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And inside was a lovely ‘not sucky uppy at all’ (her words) letter from another one of my girls who had read the post and wanted to tell me how much she appreciated what I did for them all as Dean and stuff. I got all feely. I may have even had tears because I’m a big pussy. It was handwritten and everything. Do you know how rare it is for your average teenager to hold a pen? Let alone to know what to do with it? Pretty special guys.

It was one of a number of events that meant that Wednesday was totally worth getting out of bed for. It was in the top two of the top events – the other fantastic thing? Master Fours’ parent teacher night. His teachers LOVE his stinky little not-washed-often-enough-but-hey-it’s-good-for-his-immune-system ass. He is totally choice. Top of the class. Writing his name and studying bugs and leading enquiry. Colour me the proudest mum in town.

Add to the above a green smoothie from Kokako, a cool ass class with my year 9’s, catching up on various Deaning jobs, checking in with some of my mentees, a vigorous bootcamp session that included BOXING yay! and rediscovering a fave lippie and you can consider today a win.