284 – First day of Term 4

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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.

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198 – I’m not dead

Yes, it’s been ten days since my last post – partly because I’ve been avoiding you and partly because it’s been school holidays and I just kinda let everything slide…

So, how to begin – to catch you up or just fill in the gaps? Well you don’t need the minutiae of my days and frankly they are only interesting to me and mine – you know what school holidays with bored kids are like – you swing from moments of hysterical joy (oh my god the zoo for the third time I’m SO EXCITED! We have zoo passes – they are seriously the best xmas gift ever) to moments of pure hell (OH MY GOD WHY ARE WE AT THE ZOO AGAIN?!). The kids are randomly best friends and mortal enemies and those of us that normally work but have the pleasure of being at home with our little cherubs begin to remember and appreciate why we work in the first place.

The middle of the year holidays are extra special in our house because of all the birthdays. Mine, my Stepdad’s, my Mums and my eldest son (Mum and T are on the same day). This means that the grumpy Dutchman is extra grumpy and stressed because of the gift buying, the family time is extra intense and at some point I have to plan and run a birthday event for the child. Also this time round the Aussie Dutchies are here so it’s been cool to meet my youngest niece and hang with them briefly. Suffice to say that though I don’t tend to feel ‘rested’ at the end of the winter break.

Anyway – why have I been avoiding you? Did you notice that? Well. You know how I’m a stubborn biatch and I have been struggling with the sugar and shite? But really proud that I had managed to not drink? Sooooooo. This is awkward.

I’m just gonna come out and say it. I had a glass of wine (or two) on my birthday. Because it was MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY damnit and I was feeling old. I know. I know. But the plan that I had to go to a beach with the GD and the dog to watch the sunset didn’t pan out because I spent so long on the motorway driving home from dropping the lads off to be babysat. And there is less sugar in red wine that birthday cake. And all sorts of other bloody justifications. And because wine is so damned good.

I spent all day thinking about it. Swinging wildly between NO because I didn’t want to break my record and YES because it’s MY BIRTHDAY. I chose yes.

It was very nice to be out with the GD on an actual date (thanks Mum) just hanging out with each-other. We managed to not talk about the kids for ages. I was managing to keep the GD interested in me and not the bookshelf behind me (only just). So I had a grown up glass of wine and it was lovely.

And then I woke up in the morning and felt terrible. Not only did I have a headache from the wine that I’m not used to but I just felt so disappointed that I had broken the record. That I had let it go after 7 months of abstaining. And how was I going to blog about it!? The horror. I whinged to the GD and my bff and both told me to pull my head in; reminded me that I’m not an alcoholic and that the not-drinking was self imposed (that I’d broken every other self-imposed rule) and that I was a grown up who could celebrate her birthday like a bloody grown up. That was me told. So I stayed in bed watching Grace and Frankie until lunchtime (the kids were at Mums after all) and tried to get over myself.

I still feel a wee bit disappointed. I won’t be able to proudly boast ‘not for the whole YEAR’ now and sit back all smug when people look AMAZED at my fortitude but I am learning to live with it. Ha ha what a dick.

The holidays have been great though for family time and outdoorsy pursuits. I had a good go at being sugar-free for the first week and was dealing with the headaches and loading up on lots of veges like a good girl but tbh we knew that was going to go out the window for my birthday didn’t we? Am back on that wagon now though. As of tomorrow. I promise. Obvs no more wine too. I managed to go to school and get some much-needed marking done in between hanging with lads, and I have been getting my 10 – 12,000 steps in most days.

I still don’t feel that prepared for school though. I have that sick feeling in my stomach thinking about it. But that’s normal right? The plan is to food shop tomorrow for all the good stuff. To plan my lessons for the first three days of the week and to pack my lunches so I’m prepared for the sugar cravings.

Well laid plans. Here are some holiday pics,

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186 – Day one of Re-set

It’s the first official day of the holidays. I have been telling myself that I will quit sugar again properly once the holidays came, when I had time to go through the withdrawal shit all over again and could lie around being in pain (because it does suck that bad for the first week).

Also, I am SUPER tired, my period just started and I spent the day at school marking lacklustre work that does not AT ALL represent the enthusiasm that the class showed when they were actually in front of me.

My tummy hurts, my back hurts and my head is starting to hurt. I have spent all day replacing sugar with carrots and potatoes. No really – at 3pm the slump kicked in and I was following my eldest boy around in a daze (he came to school with me – my children NEVER stop talking – seriously) and all I could think about was how bad it was that I couldn’t go get a quick fix and then I remembered that I knew about one GF fish and chips place in Mt Eden – hot chips heaven. Scratched the itch! (My friend has given up sugar successfully using the Potatoes not Prozac plan and when you have a read through it makes sense – if you are thinking about it and Sarah Wilson and her bright shiny following don’t appeal check it out here www.radiantrecovery.com some good reading.)

So far I feel good – I have a cup of white tea in front of me instead of choccie biscuits and the sugar cravings are real but I feel in control of them. I spent a lovely day hanging with my eldest – me marking and him taking the dog on adventures round the school, him watching endless Minecraft videos until I wouldn’t let him anymore and generally being 5 days away from eight and full of energy and excitement for his birthday. I made a really yummy dinner (potatoes featured heavily) and I have found the best new show to watch on Netflix – have you seen Grace and Frankie? It is so good. Lots of feels.

Anyhoo – I am buggered and my tea is getting cold so I’m off to bed. Day two tomorrow. Feeling positive peeps!

Day 99 – school holiday hell

It speaks to the state of your parenting when you go to a Psych ward – with actual unwell people in it – and the most out of control people there are your children. And no matter how delicately a threat I posed or delicious the bribe I offered they blithely ignored me and my distress at their wild animal antics. Luckily the birthday grrl – Nana – was completely oblivious and the only person who noticed their antics was the wide-eyed, quiet, perfectly behaved 10 year old – my cousins daughter – who clearly had not seen anything quite like them. That’s right – I was so grumpy that I allowed myself to be shamed (in my head) by a perfectly lovely child. Who was behaving perfectly. And not at all like an animal.

Nana didn’t notice of course. Mostly she just wanted to tell us how much her birthday had sucked so far and how she couldn’t eat the birthday cake that Mum had thoughtfully provided. (A big thanks to Mum for not getting a GF one – she normally would bust her ass trying to find something I could eat but this time she was too busy and it was perfect because if it was GF I would have EATEN IT ALL).

Conversation went round in circles with Nana in the middle ‘Has everyone had a piece of cake?’ Yes Nana. ‘I’ll have my piece tomorrow because I’m unwell’ we know Nana. ‘Have the boys had a piece of cake?’ Yes Nana (Boys look hopeful at their great Nana). ‘It’s my birthday and I’ve had a sore tummy all day, it’s not fair’ We know Nana that truly sucks. ‘Has everyone had a piece of cake?’. Yes Nana. ‘Your mother got me this beautiful necklace…. am I wearing it Kathleen?’. Yes Nana it’s lovely. ‘Do the boys want a piece of cake?’ ‘Has anyone seen my necklace?’ And so on. It was good to see her. She has been allowed out of the 24 hour watch bit and is now allowed to mingle with the others. She usually waits until one of the other women or men walk past and says in a stage whisper ‘It’s so sad Kathleen, They are all so bad in here – really doolally’. I’m not sure she is making many friends to be honest. But she might be out soon on good behaviour.

The school holidays used to be such a wonderful time for me when I was a young, childless teacher. I could lie in bed, be kissed on the forehead by an envious grumpy Dutchman as he left for work and then spend my days slothing about, taking photos, watching shit TV, op-shopping and catching up with my grrlfriends. Ah the good old days.

Not so now I am a mother. I have one child in school so guess what? He’s on holiday with me. And the other one is old enough now to notice when his brother gets to stay with Mummy so I have to let him stay home more during the hols.

I like my kids. Really I do. They are both bright and inquisitive and opinionated and totally rock and roll. They are the best little team a mother could ask for. In small doses. And not so much together as separately – special ‘Mummy and me’ time is good. We have a great time when they are not competing for anything. Yesterday the seven year old and I had a lovely time doing errands and talking about nothing. I learned an awful lot about computer games I will never play. And if I think about it – I had both of them on Tuesday and we went to the zoo and it was lovely. So it is possible I will admit but in small doses.

Today I just gave up. When we got home from the hospital I just let them do what they wanted. They built a fort for the kitten. They forced the kitten to ‘enjoy’ it. I rescued the kitten so they went to the TV lounge and wrestled. I shouted ‘Get OFF your brothers head!’ more than once. They threw themselves around the music lounge in an attempt to get the dog to wrestle with them. They played the drums. Briefly. They helped themselves to food and milk. They followed me out on to the road to speak to a friend and dragged the kitten up and down the street to meet the neighbours. They nearly fell asleep in the car when I played my Terry Pratchett audio book with the express purpose of getting them to sleep. Damnit.

I mostly craved sugar and tried really hard to ignore it. I was grumpy and impatient. I threatened to give the kitten to someone nice. I tried to bribe them with delicious treats which they declined. I gave up and pulled out the classic ‘When your father gets home he will hear about this!’. They didn’t care. You’ve got to admire that kind of confidence really. I gave up parenting and retreated to my bed. I painted my nails. I read a trashy magazine. I read the first chapter of my Willpower book (it says to only read a chapter a week and try to do the ‘experiments’). This week I am meant to try to ‘be in the moment and notice my breath’ for five minutes a day. HA! I’d like to be in any moment and have the energy to notice my breath at all. I’ve always been a shit breather.

Tomorrow the smallest child will go to daycare, and the eldest will come with me to work. I will put him in front of a computer and he will happily get screen stoned while I mark assessments and panic about un-written assessments for next term. But at least I will be distracted my body aches, headaches and sugar cravings.

Knowing I did (all) of this to myself doesn’t make it any more fun.