Senior son has recently been to his first sleepover birthday party. There were 3 recent release videos, McD's for dinner and cake and pancakes for breakfast. I was terrifically impressed with the organisation of this family. But not ambitious.
So when Senior Son's birthday rolled around this past weekend, we made our normal style of invitations on the computer (we put different pictures on everyone's invitation so they are personalised) and had 5 kids round for food and play for three hours. I insisted that we shop for the numbers coming rather than the whole of the school (R does tend to over-cater a little bit). I didn't want any junk food leftovers. We didn't organise any party games, but I think that next year we should.
Everyone arrived on time, and played okay for a bit. Then one kid was getting disappointed because he couldn't organise any soccer, so we went out and started playing with him, and the others joined in, so everyone was happy without us having to do anything more than get involved. The one kid kicked the ball into the kitchen window! Bummer. There was glass EVERYWHERE. Including lots on the cake. Took quite a bit of cleaning, and I cut the top of the cake off, because I have heard bad stories of what happens if you get little bits of glass in your stomach. So we carried on. The kid that kicked the ball through the window though - that kid also kicked the ball into the face of the bub. Poor guy - he certainly didn't mean it either time.
All the food was eaten. The godmother stayed on for pizza. Excellent presents were received. The parent of the window breaker has offered to pay for all of the replacement, but I'm only letting him go halves. We survived and no shouting was involved. Overall, a perfect party.
For the first time since we were married, and before R did not go to any ANZAC day ceremonies. Its quite a milestone - for years after we got together I felt the army came first in his affections and actions, but that is fast disappearing. Next year he might go but will not have any right to wear uniform. It is a huge change in his life, getting out of a lifestyle he has lived for 20 years, and at times it has been family, friends, and a job to him.
I did some painting yesterday, and put some of the top coat on some french doors in the porch. This has been interesting - it has changed the look of the walls to closer to the colour that I originally wanted. I thought they were too light, but it seems I won't know whether the colours work until I have tried them all. The job is going well, so I am looking forward to putting the second top coat on and having a look then.
I have been doing the reading for a professional development course and last night started the writing. We have to produce a 1000 word essay and the hardest part is going to be staying in the word limit. A thousand words is not long, especially after the thesis which was so very many thousands of words long, and there was no limit on size! There is a thesis in Canterbury which is 25 pages long, and that passed, and there is one at Lincoln which is two enormous volumes long, and that passed too. Size doesn't count for a PhD!
Having Wednesday off has been a good way to start the term, the shock to the system is diluted.
Not long ago I bought (another buy story - there's a pattern here that needs breaking) a smug rider bike seat for H. Yesterday we were able to use it to take him to his caregiver's because it didn't matter when we got there. No pressure, so no worries about taking the bike with C on his bike as well. H loves his new seat, sitting up between my arms so he can help with the steering and see what is going on. Yesterday when I picked him up in the car I got the big wailly performance, because he would rather be on the bike.
Today I took him on the bike again, and C came with us with no wailing of his own about getting left behind or having to walk over roads. And Margaret kept BOTH OF THE BOYS. So I came home alone, and was able to play the guitar and hang the washing with out any interruptions/helpers. Then I got to get my hair cut and bike back to get them. I appreciate so much the times when the kids are busy somewhere else and I get to feel more like Toni and less like Mum.
This afternoon we went up to visit the neighbours and he has kept both the kids so they could watch Robots. They were both totally engrossed. As he said himself, I got to walk in and collect some apples and leave some kids! So I'm home alone again - and about to get the washing. Some parts of Mumness don't go away that quickly.
We came back yesterday from a proper holiday at Torrent Bay in the Abel Tasman National Park. We actually stopped and didn't do anything. It was perfect. It is a long time since we actually stopped. Sometimes on holiday we seem to be just as pressured and busy as when we are working. We are rushing to get somewhere, and then rushing to get back. At Torrent Bay there is no electricity and no roads, so we got there by boat and had no reason to rush round and do anything after we arrived. We want to do more of this kind of holiday.
I've done one whole heap of washing since getting home. With no electricity there are no washing machines but there is still a lot of dirt. I'm getting on top of it now, but the weather hasn't been all that helpful today.
I've checked our bank accounts and we are suddenly impoverished so my fantastic lifestyle of see-it-like-it-buy-it is over again. Still, I have the toys to prove it, which is better than having nothing to show for it. We should be able to fix the situation fairly quickly compared to the slow slog of the past, but it will still hurt leaving things in shops.
There appears to be quite a lot of stuff that needs to get done. there are phone calls to make, and students to catch up with, there are things to mark, and I need to take the axolotyl home for the holidays and get him a new filter. And I had better take the plants home too or they will die. Not a good look for a biology teacher.
I'm feeling pretty good though even though it is the end of term. Most teachers seem to be pretty tired and very keen to have a break, but I don't feel so desparate to stop. Mind you the holidays don't look like a chance to kick back, more like I'm going to be busy doing different things. But still busy. One thing is going to a back which I am not sure if it has any electricity. Quite possibly not. And now I want to take the guitar with me. My fingers are So Sore from playing the steel strings, and I don't want to lose my callus development and have to start again. But I don't think we have any chance of having enough room to take a guitar. And I don't have a case!