290 Let the countdown begin.

I have two and a bit weeks to go until my big girls at school all go off for study leave. After that point my major jobs will be planning the year 13 stuff for the cohort, teaching my juniors for the remainder of the term, and planning and writing all of my courses for next year.

I can’t wait.

At the moment I feel like the only way to survive the next two and a bit weeks is to clone myself. As well as guiding the few keen Photography students I have safely to their due dates (this Friday and next Friday respectively) where they will hand in their Folio boards worth 12 and 14 credits, I also have a to-do list of things to tick off for the year 12’s so that things are in place for next year.

Add to that staying healthy – as in not dying of all the teacher diseases that get us at this time of the year – and eating healthy and it all feels a bit much sometimes. (Did I tell you I have a sty?!?! My first ever – someone at work told me eye health is linked with work so that makes sense – doesn’t make it suck less though).

One of the jobs I got ticked off today was collating the votes for Prefects next year. Counting votes, creating an excel doc and ranking them then in order of teacher/student highest votes etc. The list is a long as my arm and even the short list is way too many. The problem is that I want them all to be prefects of course, but only a lucky few can take the roles provided. So back to the staff for consultation and robust discussion (that’s where they get to tell me about the time that Wendy didn’t do her homework that one time in year 10 and how April always opens the door for them every time and that why she should be head girl). I’m joking – sort of – the reasoning behind the for and against any student are usually more valid and it is always good to hear the staff experience of teaching my girls because after all – most of my job is chasing up the naughties! The ‘good’ kids hardly ever step foot in my office.

I am aware that I refer to them as ‘my girls’ and I’m not even embarrassed. They do feel like mine after four years now of Deaning them. Even the Kahurangi girls who aren’t technically mine still feel like my girls because I have so often been their ‘back-up’ Dean. I guess I need a little distance – my bias is showing ha ha.

Lucky I didn’t have daughters eh? They’d have had too much competition!

But maybe they would have been quieter? I see photos of my friends lovely little ladies on insta and facetard and they are always doing things like reading and baking and hanging in cafes without having to be tied to the chair lest they lose control and wrestle their way across the length of the room. I am aware that there are girls in the world that are not readers or bakers or even quiet by any definition of the word. I am related to one and I Dean many. I am also aware that my friends don’t post images of their girls completely losing their shit because it’s bedtime or sitting on their sisters head because she called her a name or any of the other stuff that all children and siblings do.

Hell even I edit out the really bad stuff.

But that pink grass sure do look pinker and waaaaaaaaay more peaceful from over here in minecraft addicted/no inside voice/death metal singing/room destroying/crazy ape bonkers boys of my world. And I bet their houses are tidier.

This weekend the Grumpy Dutchman has read the signs all accurately and done his best to both prop me up and keep the lads away while I am trying to recover from the working week sufficiently to survive the next. He took the lads out and left me to binge on apples (bad for my gut but they were calling to me as all things that are bad for you do) and netflix on saturday afternoon, and today while I was counting votes for four hours they went to the park. He also whispers sweet nothings about how hot I am when I am feeling as wide as the side of the bus and suggests quickies at inappropriate times – like when I’m dishing up dinner or trying to drive the car or am similarly indisposed. It is helping.

I am also finding that running is helping – it’s something I can do on my own and all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other. It’s a really good time to clear shit out of my head too – have those imaginary conversations that need to be had (you know you have imaginary arguments in your head – don’t deny it) and sort out how I feel about stuff before it happens in real life.

And speaking of which – I think it’s time for a run. Arty and I had better hit the streets before I get roped in to helping with dinner… Shit he’s coming – I’m out!

284 – First day of Term 4

FullSizeRender

The first thing I did when I got to work today was to ring our local primary school to re-schedule my appointment to enrol our youngest son. We got the letter last term and I opened it and thought ‘Heaps of time, will think about that later’ and then suddenly it was later.  The school holidays were kinda like that. I had looked forward to them for so long – approximately 10 weeks of longing – and had made so many plans, and before I knew it they were over.

I always have a list of stuff I want to do in the holidays – sew, bake, op-shop, catch up with all my friends, sleep, read, visit the art gallery, spend quality time with my kids, ride my bike and generally have a life outside of school. It’s good to have goals. Even if you have no hope in hell of achieving them.

I DID manage to sleep a bit extra, get some marking done and sort some stuff for school. I managed to go for a couple of good runs, eat well mostly and me and the kids didn’t kill each-other. I am sad we didn’t manage to bike ride because the weather was beautiful but master 4 has requested that we ‘learn him’ to bike ride on the weekend so we are closer to getting back out there soon.

But inevitably I blinked and suddenly it was Monday and I was getting up at sparrows fart for work and hustling the kids out of bed and in to clothes.

Bam. Gone.

Kind of like my days as a parent of pre-schoolers. How did I get so old that both of my children are primary school aged? My eldest already talks like a teenager and I have to bribe him with internet access to get him to do anything. And now my little lad is starting school. He turns five in a month and he is SO ready. It is SO weird.

IMG_4064

262

So when I left you I was feeling very tired and grumpy and bonding with similarly fed up polar bears on the television in my delirium.

The next night the Grumpy Dutchman went to sleep on the couch mid beer. His half a bottle of beer fell over ON TO THE COUCH and, sadly, my laptop in the night. The GD was in disgrace for a while.

My laptop has been working on and off throughout the week. Sometimes it stops and makes loud whirring noises like it’s going to take off. We leave it alone at those times. It so happens that the computer is working currently but is in hot demand – my eight year old has been suffering this week from serious withdrawal symptoms. He’s been forced to play LEGO and ride his bike with me and play with/torture his brother regularly. It’s been awful for him.

I have been running regularly and I am remembering why I love it – it is REALLY nice to be out and about round the neighbourhood at sunrise – just me and my dog and sometimes the eldest lad on his bike. I really like it when he comes. I tell you what though – it is taking all of my motivation to get out of bed to do it and I have a permanent red face and frizzy hair from it too. Of course I havent run this weekend because….. well because I didn’t want to get out of bed early when it was full of warm cuddly people. And we actually went out on Saturday night!

My mum has had to go overseas to take my Grandad to see his family and because of clashing dates she gave us her tickets to see TOSCA (the Opera). I have never been to an Opera before and initially I said ‘nah’ when Mum offered us the tickets – not really my cup of tea – but the GD thought it would be fun so we went along last night with no real idea of what to expect.

I didn’t know what to wear so I wore a silk dress, with high-heeled boots and jeans. Yup, me and the nineties went to the opera. The GD wore a suit (with chucks) and looked quite dashing. It turned out I was in the mid range of dressed up – I saw one man in shorts and sneakers and there were a number of fur-coat/diamond combos too. We drove around panicking for twenty minutes because all of the rest of Auckland was looking for a park too and then made a mad dash in the rain and got in just in time. Well, the sets were amazing. The voices were amazing and I very much enjoyed the bit at the end of the first act where everybody sang. The subtitles helped a lot as I don’t speak Italian. It was quite funny to hear the long dramatic singing bits and to realise that they were saying things like ‘I could have sworn I put my hat down here – some bastard has moved it, this always happens when I’m running late’ type stuff.

The GD had a different experience. Mostly he slept. I kept noticing him drifting off out of the corner of my eye and would jab him in the ribs. I couldn’t tell if the posh person sitting on the other side of him was annoyed or thought it was funny. It wasn’t so bad – until he started snoring of course. Yup. But it was nice to be out!

It’s been a long-term and we have one week to go. I am not sure it is possible to get more tired than I am but I guess I am going to find out. If I get another turn on the computer I’ll let you know.

255 – Mama bears unite

I’m watching a nature doco about polar bears with the smallest child. The mother polar bear is trying to secure a meal for her cubs by stalking a nearby sea lion. She tells the cubs to stay on the ice and sets off stealthily to get the seal. She lowers herself backwards in to the water so as not to make a splash – something unusual says the narrator – she is an intelligent and cunning predator. She emerges far enough away to sight the sea lion and plan her attack. She sinks below the surface and heads towards her sleeping target. It has no idea it is about to be the evening meal.

Meanwhile her cubs have gotten restless. They are wrestling in the background. One of them realises that Mum is out of sight and starts to follow – disobeying Mums orders to stay put. Soon both babies are following Mum. Mum sinks below the surface and they panic. Both stumble clumsily in to the water after her.

The sea lion is alerted by the noise and dives in to the water getting away without much effort. Mum emerges baffled at exactly the right spot to find no sea lion. You can see her swearing in polar bear as she looks around and realises her kids have fucked it up for her. Again.

I have a lot of empathy for Mama bear today.

We started off ok. Mum+Son run around the neighbourhood in the grey dawn light. Chocolate smoothies for everyone on our return – yay! The GD went to work (sucks to be working on the weekend poor him) and I resolved to do some house work with the two lads in tow. Oh how naive I am. You’d think I would know by now – after all I have known these kids all their lives. We had a hell of a day.

I decided to deal with the mountains of washing that had piled up around the house like driftwood after a particularly violent storm. Mostly to avoid the dishes to be honest. I took the computer away from the lads and banned them from torturing the fur children and they settled in to LEGO land heaven. For about half an hour. The rest of the day was the reason that Mummy wants to drink.

One of my children makes noise ALL OF THE TIME. While I am writing this he is sitting on the couch supposedly watching the Polar bear documentary but actually he is just making noise. Humming and wriggling and throwing things and kicking and singing and just generally making FUCKING NOISE ALL DAY. He has followed me around making noise at me all day. Add to this his brothers unerring talent of winding him up and you get short sharp tearful fights as well.

More than once I have shouted. I have tried bribing them with a walk to get ice-cream – which of course they tried to claim when the job was not even vaguely attempted let alone finished. I have made grand sweeping threats ‘If you don’t do this I will lock you out the back until your father gets home’ ‘You will NEVER be allowed to have friends over again’ ‘DO YOU WANT TO GO LIVE AT THE NAUGHTY BOYS HOME?’. They know such a place doesn’t exist.

They don’t fear me. All day we battled.

And I folded washing, I hung washing up to dry, I sorted the ‘special’ pile in my room (you know – where you put your favourites that you have on high rotation?). I even sorted out two bags of clothes and bags and sunnies to go and live somewhere else. I folded and sorted and folded and sorted. And I shouted and bribed and cuddled and wiped tears off faces and inspected war wounds.

I had to stop writing because the youngest was leaping on and off the couch (after being asked multiple times not to of course) and he had banged his shin quite badly on the edge fo the couch. Cue many tears.

I actually can’t wait for work tomorrow.

That’s a lie but I am having fantasies of running away for the weekend. I would even take the grumpy Dutchman with me if he promised to put away his LEGO the first time he was asked and left me to go to the toilet in peace.

254 – I actually WENT for a run!

Not on Thursday morning as planned. Oh no. I slept in that day. And. it. was. good. But last night I went to bed at 7.30pm. Yes that’s right. I am a big Nana-pants and I actually went to bed before my children last night. In fact the youngest spied me in bed and I had to barricade myself in and refuse entry otherwise I would have had yet another night of NO sleep.

Thursday night I was pushed out of bed by the three Dutchmen and went to the couch where I thought I might get some sleep. It was not to be so. Apparently my body is exactly the right place to stage an all out cat war if you need to. All night baby-cat was launching attacks on Mollycat and Mollycat was growling like a fucking doberman. It was also the night the heavens opened right over our house. Rain, children and cats – I’m sorry Mummy did you want to sleep? Really?

Anyway, an early bedtime last night proved to be exactly what I needed to leap out of bed this morning to run around the neighbourhood with my two lads – one furry the other on a bike. It was REALLY Good! It was so nice to be running along chattering with my little lad, talking about nothing and everything, him complaining about the cold (He needs ‘glubs’ tomorrow morning) and my knee lasting the distance ok.  – hopefully we will go again.

IMG_3462  IMG_3465  IMG_3468

The rest of the day has gone well too. I took the lads plus one to the zoo to meet with a friend and her two little people and we had a lovely stroll following the kids around – what an amazing day! Cold but sunny – Spring is coming!

IMG_3471

So apart from an emergency trip up to Orewa this evening to see Nana (I got the call that she was threatening to self -harm but she had just run out of chocolate and was panicking – I’ve got to take after someone!) It has been a really good day.

I feel like I am on track for my new short and long term goals. They are a whole new post on their own though, stay tuned…

252 promises promises

Evening, yes, yes it is. Another day has passed and no I did not run with my dog this morning. I woke up and rolled over to the alarm, said some rude words and turned the bloody thing off. I am no saint.

I will boot camp tomorrow morning because there are people who will notice if I’m not there. I will run with Arty on Saturday morning. I’ve promised myself.

I need to be more like Forrest

giphy

251 – Wednesday weigh day

Oh faaaaaark. I am one tired mother. Last night we had academic pathway interviews at school and I didn’t get home until after eight, this morning bounced out of bed (more like staggered) and was at boot camp by 6am. Add to that no sugar or coffee or dairy this week and I am a fucking zombie. I keep having to apologise to peeps this week as I yawn IN THEIR FACE while they are trying to impart vital information in my direction.

And you know how I was feeling bleurgh following those PMT thingys? Well one of the feelings that was lingering was the weight gain. I was feeling distinctly ‘pregnant’ and round which wasn’t fun and everyone I talked to said that I didn’t look any different – but remember my fave item of clothing at the moment is the silk sack. So anyway I bought a set of scales. I feel a bit ashamed to admit it.

I really wanted to subscribe to the whole ‘ Your body is not a number, feel good and be happy and ‘the weight will fall off’ blah blah blah. Stress and all that obsessive weighing being bad for your state of mind I totally get it. BUT the reality is that weight does NOT EVER fall off me. Some people lose weight when they are stressed – I am the opposite. I always have to work for it. I always have to watch my output (exercise) and input (food) and in order to stay comfy I need to be in a constant state of vigilance. Sounds tiring huh? Well it is actually. And the bloody GD is the opposite – he has to make sure he is eating ENOUGH because he does get too skinny – poor us huh. Worlds smallest violin.

I really wanted to believe that if I did yoga and ate what ‘my body wanted’ and did all that zen shit that I would find a natural ‘healthy weight’. Big FAT fail.

We know I failed at the yoga – who has time?!? I don’t have time. I am still boot camping, and I had to stop running for my poor old knee but I am going to try to work it up slowly (and carefully) back to being able to run 5 kms every second day.

And that PMT stuff definitely fucked with me.

So I bought scales. This morning before boot camp I stood on them. And then (think american teenager voice) I LITERALLY DIED.

I haven’t weighed myself since February, and it was a BIG shock. I am not going to tell you because numbers are boring but it was enough to have me tying my shoes on quick smart and running out the door for boot camp. I had grilled chicken and steamed veg for dinner and I have a goal motherfuckers.

I wish I could say that I feel invigorated but I think at the moment it’s a grit your teeth and go in hard type situation. I am shattered but I know that’s the sugar withdrawal and I will feel better in a couple of weeks. Someone remind me of this please in a week when I think I am dying?

You know, when one of my year 12’s greeted me at the door today with ‘Miss have you GAINED?’ (loud voice) a little part of me wanted to smack her. But it’s all motivation eh? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?

248 – Dad’s Day and NWA

Last night, for her belated birthday, my bff and I went to see ‘Straight outta Compton’ at the movies after a lovely (gluten free) Thai meal at our local place in Pt Chev. I did not grow up listening to NWA or similar – I was far more bogan than that – I was in to G’N’R and the long-haired men of metal (do you remember Axl Roses’ white bicycle shorts? what was I thinking?).

No, I have come to appreciate Dr Dre and his cronies as an older, more mature woman. It’s way more appropriate now that I’m old and responsible and have small children that I drive around listening to ‘Fuck the Police’ and other such classics. ‘Hey Miss – guess what my Mummy’s favourite song is?’ I can just picture my boy’s teachers face on Monday.

Because I am late to the scene I didn’t really know who I was looking at (Of course I knew who Dre and Ice Cube were duh) but I was a bit hazy on the rest tbh. FYI the young man who plays MC Ren in the movie is a gorgeous actor called Aldis Hodge – I think I have a new celebrity crush. Luckily my friend grew up a really big fan of NWA and she helped me out throughout the movie when I got confused. I am sure the rest of the folks in the cinema didn’t mind at all…

I know the story is flawed; That it doesn’t include the bits where Dre beat the crap out of a couple of women and a few things have been written criticising it for this. It’s no surprise that it was left out though is it? After all, it was just about the women. Excuse me – I think my cynicism is showing. Also I wasn’t surprised, but was saddened and revolted by the awful racist violence from the american police towards black men and women – highlighted by the Rodney King killing in the movie – but echoed again and again by events in our news in 2015. Shit hasn’t changed man. This blog post isn’t about that but it’s worth mentioning every time.

I woke up this morning after a later night than usual, having had one long rap music video dream (in it I could dance to hip hop and did not stand out AT ALL as a white girl from NZ – I was as hard core as) and rolled over to my three Dutchman all crammed in to the bed. Happy Fathers day to the grumpy Dutchman.

Somehow I managed to convince him to get up and make me coffee. Let’s just say I used all my feminine wiles. We had gotten confused and thought Fathers day was last Sunday so the friday before that the GD had ordered his present online – it’s a  record of course – and it hadn’t arrived yet. Not great – but the lads and I went out yesterday and got thoughtful cards and chocolate shaped like a record. Win!

IMG_3428

Can you tell which one is from me? We had lovely visits with the grandies – the Dutch elders and my Dad and Dianne, and all of the Dads were appreciated. Yay for Dads.

The GD is a great dad (of course – if he was a loser he wouldn’t be allowed to live in my house) he is affectionate with the lads, he teaches them about music and encourages critical thought. He reads to them and takes them for bike rides and when I’m not at home he makes them dinners with noooooo greens in them whatsoever (a small childs dream dinner). He even learned their birthdays and now doesn’t have to check his phone when he takes them to the doctor.

We are lucky to have him and we appreciate him every day – we don’t need an official day to tell us to. But it does help his record collection!

241 Things are looking up

I have no real anything to write about but am trying to get back in to a rhythm so let’s give it a go; After a hard-core week of catching up with stuff at work, trying to wrangle teenage grrls and feeling like a GIANT whale thanks to some bloody pills my bloody useless doctor gave me – I am actually feeling pretty good.

We were down to sometimes none and mostly one child for most of the weekend. It was quite good to have time to clean the house and the mental space to be able to read a book but I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t make the most of it. Saturday was GREY. I always hate grey days. The bleakness of the sky. The ‘meh’ of mother nature. And it’s all glarey and reflecty in my eyes and I have to squint. Bleh.

Unfortunately I am not the only one affected by the grey skies. The Grumpy Dutchman outdid himself. The oldest child was at his friends house getting screen stoned on minecraft and the youngest was having his first only-child-sleepover at Oma and Opas and I was stuck at home with the grumpiest Dutchman you can imagine. So we sulked in adjoining rooms. I read a book. He listened to records. At one point we slept on the couch – not talking or touching – each with a cat on our chest. And I spent the day feeling like a fucking whale.

Which I have isolated to one thing. My useless doctor gave me a pill to take to ‘help’ with my PMT. (Which I am not convinced is not just me being old and tired and it being winter). It’s called Premula and is meant to be all natural and hippy-approved. Well. I asked about side effects – none said he. I said really? Not believing him because no womb no opinion. Well, said he, you might have a few PMT-y type symptoms for the first few weeks but they’ll settle down. Noone gets them though you’ll be fine.

Hang on a second. One of the side effects of the pill I am taking to stop PMT symptoms might be that I have PMT symptoms for the first few weeks?

And how. For the last few weeks I have been feeling progressively more ‘pregnanty’. For the men – the three or so of you who read this occasionally – this means sore boobs, swollen belly and vaguely and randomly horny. But I assure you it’s mostly sore and fat. It was getting so bad that even my tent dresses weren’t making me feel good – just like I had escaped off a camp ground.

Obviously I stopped taking them and am waiting for the ‘side effects’ to start wearing off. I’ll just have to go back to being a normal bitch once a month.

In other news – NACHOS are the best comfort food for this weather. We have had them two nights in a row because they are popular with little children – no visible veges you see – and I like mine spiceky. Also free veges are the best veges. We went up to Mums place and loaded up from her garden this afternoon – it is really good to have the little lads in the garden picking the food – it meant that the oldest was way keener to have carrot in his homemade sushi because they came out of Nana’s gardens and he had helped pick them!

Anyway, it was a good weekend in the end, I got to ride my bike, have a special lazy lie in this morning with my eldest boy playing computer games and reading and I’m having a GREAT hair day. So.

Have a great week peeps, I hope August was good to you – I for one am glad it will be over by Tuesday.

IMG_3293   IMG_3297         IMG_3310   IMG_3341