Thursday, September 20, 2012

Germany is so far away :(

I know this is another post where I'm going to moan, groan, complain and vent, sorry!!!

Hubby leaves the house at 6pm tonight and will return at 7.30pm on Friday 28 September.  I know that compared to the women around the world with their hubby away at war, this should be a walk in the park and I should just zip my lip.  To all the women with men serving in the war zones, my heart truly goes out to you and you girls are so strong I would love to know how you cope. 

I have a huge sense of dread filling me at the moment.  The thought of being apart for this long and him being so far away concerns me deeply.  He tells me I am worrying over nothing and he will be fine,,,,,I know he will be, but I can't help but worry, that's just me.

Map courtesy of Wikipedia

The time difference sucks.  Germany is 8 hours behind us,,,,therefore when he gets back to his hotel at the end of the day, it will be the middle of the night here.  I will be talking to him, I realise this because I don't sleep when he isn't here anyway but I also know that talking on the phone isn't our thing.  For some reason I just can't hold a conversation on the phone, I need eye to eye contact, I hate phones (I know I'm weird like that lol).  Hubby is the same, whenever he goes away we struggle because we just can't seem to talk properly.  I don't know what it is.

Right now, I so desperately want to be back in my old house in Adelaide.  The place where I have family and friends that I can call on if needed.  Right now I feel a real sense of isolation.  I think I may have to go out and volunteer at something, somewhere when school holidays are over just so I can meet some people. 

I watch my youngest two boys and they do seem happy here.  Neither of them have made friends that they catch up with outside of school yet but they both have grown in confidence since being here.  They have just started this week, riding their bikes to school on their own.  I am the typical nervous Mum watching the clock at the end of the day of course but they seem so proud of themselves being able to do it on their own.  The school is only 1.3kms away and they have traffic lights to cross at so it is a much safer ride than the one we used to have in Adelaide which had a pretty major road to navigate and no crossing or lights (hence the reason they weren't allowed to ride on their own back there lol).  They are both riding their bikes each afternoon as well, they go down to the park and ride around it and come back.  I hope this doesn't stop.  It has been really nice to watch them blossom and grown in independence.

Okay it is time to put my big girl boots on and take a deep breath.  I know it will be okay and next Friday night will come and everything will be okay again but I am very worried that this amount of travel will only get worse not better.  This isn't what I came here for, not what we gave up our family as we knew it for.  We have always been one of those couples that are happiest when together, this job is tearing our family in so many different ways it just isn't fair. All I can do is sit and watch and see what happens with both the kids and this job.  I feel like life still has the pause button firmly paused, waiting for a resolution. 

I need to focus on my kids this week and work out some things to do that will keep them all happy.  Nights are easy enough as they all enjoy movie nights but the days are hard to fill in when they all like different things (always has been a problem).  Okay off to google some maps and work out some nearby places I can explore without getting hopelessly lost or the car dying on me when we are miles from home!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Just give me a break!!!!!!!!!!!

I haven't really mentioned much about Hubby's new job before.  It is with the same company but he is now the General Manager on a 6 month trial basis at least.  At the end of the 6 months if the big boss likes the job he has done he and hubby is happy with the job, the position will be his permanently (along with the pay rise that made hubby want the job in the first place), if not he will stay on his current pay but move to a sales rep job within the company instead.

I worried about him taking this job as I could see alot of travel.  Hubby said no there won't be, so I gave in and agreed that it will be "better" in the long run for us.  Well we have been here 8 weeks and in that time he has had 4 trips already,,,,,not bad for not much travel huh.  He had been in the job 1 week when he came home saying he had to leave the following afternoon for Sydney for the night and would be back on the Friday night.  This one got cancelled because the morning he was meant to leave was the day that my Mum passed away.

We got in a couple of weeks when we got back from the funeral with no travel.  Until  two weeks ago he came home Monday night to announce he would be leaving at 4am the following morning to go to Brisbane for 2 days and wouldn't be back until Wednesday night at about 9pm.

Last week he came home Monday night announcing another trip, this time to Perth.  He would be leaving at 4am the following morning and this time wouldn't arrive home until after midnight Wednesday night/Thursday morning. 

But the icing on the cake was when he came home on Friday night announcing he was going to Germany next Thursday.  He leaves Thursday afternoon on the 20th and won't be back until Friday night on the 28th!!! 

I kinda lost it.  This job was the job of an older guy who is actually past retirement age and has finally sidestepped to do consulting for them instead.  I really feel that this type of job is better suited to an older guy or a single guy rather than a family man. I thought I could deal with hit provided it didn't interfere with our time with the kids we have left behind.  Well look what has happened, the very first school holidays since our move!

The school term finishes this week.  We were meant to be heading back to Adelaide to pick up the other kids on Saturday morning and we were going to have them for the two weeks.  I was so upset.  It has taken us all weekend to re-organise the school holidays and I'm not at all pleased with the outcome but I just have to like it or lump it as its the best we could do.

Now we have organised with the help of my Ex (thank you!!) that my Ex will drive over next Sunday with my two older boys and then head back to Adelaide on Monday.  (I am having car troubles and I don't trust my car to make it all that way and I really don't want to break down in the middle of nowhere,,,,especially since I am also having mobile phone issues and am finding that to be less than reliable at the moment as well!).  My boys will stay here for the two weeks of the holidays,,,,,,they were a little disappointed that we will be a little limited for the first week due to my car but they really want to see the house and spend time with me anyway so just bumming around watching DVDs, walking the dogs and chatting will be okay for the first 5 days.

Then after hubby returns home on the Friday night, we will need to be up bright and early on the Saturday morning to head to Adelaide to pick up his two kids.  (I couldn't organise a way to get them here due to Mr12's Autism, it just wasn't possible and also due to the way he is with me, I really probably wouldn't have been able to manage him for 5 or so days by myself anyway, he would have totally freaked if hubby wasn't here!).  Sadly that means that Miss13 misses out too but she didn't want to travel on her own and it would have been yet another expense for us too.  So we will head back on Saturday, stay the night and then return back here on Sunday.  My older two boys will be staying here on their own on the weekend,,,,,,that will be interesting, just hoping they will be okay in the unfamiliar surroundings (I'm just a worry wort lol).

Hubby will work on Monday and Tuesday and then take Wednesday to Friday off so that we can take all the kids to the Melbourne Aquarium, the Zoo and the markets on the Friday before heading back to Adelaide on the Saturday and yet another return trip on the Sunday.

The shine has gone off the holidays for me.  I am really looking forward to having the kids but feel so disappointed that it has gone pear shaped.

The most upsetting part for me though is the travel for Hubby.  I am a born worrier and I just don't sleep much at all when he is away.  I am really worried about him going to the other side of the world, even though I know he will be fine, it just makes me so nervous.  I worry about things going wrong here and the fact that I still know no one here and have no one to turn to if something does go wrong.  I worry about something going wrong for/with him and him being on his own too.

The amount of travel he has been doing is really getting to me too.  I know people have jobs where they are travelling alot and I know plenty of wives don't mind it and some even like it, but that is just not me.  I love family time and I love the family unit being together.  It really stresses me when that unit is broken.  I know I sound absolutely neurotic but that is just me these days.  I think the whole moving house, leaving behind my family and friends, finding my way around a new State, my Mum's death and trying to deal with everything that has to be done with that and trying to settle these two kids in to their new school and desperately missing the other kids and stressing that my boys won't want to make the move here is all just piling up and all this travel has just pushed me to the edge.

So I am going back to the mantra....."I think I can, I think I can"

Thursday, September 13, 2012

This may take a while......Mundaneness of cleaning the grout

When Hubby and I looked at this house initially, we looked at the house itself.  How it would function with our family.  Whether we could change and adapt it to suit our needs.  How much work would it take to make it "home".  

Did we ever look at the grout lines of the tiles?  Nope, who does? lol.

Well now that we have been here a while, I have been looking.  For that matter I looked more closely at them the morning after we moved in.  They weren't pretty!  The house itself was pretty neat and tidy and clean.  The walls are not too bad.  I mean, yes they do need a repaint but considering this was a rental property that had been bought brand new and always been used as a rental over its short 6 years of life, it was pretty good.  We will get to the paint job,,,,,,eventually (heck it took 10 years for me to paint my last house lol and even then it only got done because we were selling it!).

The tiles have become an obsession to be lately.  With 2 dogs and 3 cats calling this home with us, you can imagine the amount of fluff and fur that I sweep up each day.  Add to that the amount of rain we have had and our back yard swampiness, we have also had mud getting tracked in courtesy of the greyhound mainly (she enjoys nothing more than using the backyard as her racetrack!).  I have placed one of our flattened packing boxes just inside the sliding door where the animals come in and out, this seems to be picking up majority of the mud from her feet at least.  But it is because of these constant mopping events that I seem to be doing daily at the moment, that the grout is really beginning to annoy me.  It just looks grotty and disgusting.

So today I got down on hands and knees with a strong bleach solution and began scrubbing the grout lines with an old toothbrush.  The difference was amazing.  While it didn't take long really, it really isn't my idea of fun and the novelty of clean grout wore off pretty fast lol.  But I am telling myself that if I just dedicated about half an hour a day to the task, I will end up with a much cleaner looking floor in,,,,,,oh I don't know,,,,,,a couple of years time??? lol.

This is supposed to be about the same colour as the skirting boards!

I couldn't believe the difference in colour,,,,,now of course I can't leave it like that lol, I have to keep going!

This going to take a while

A looong while......

The kitchen area will be neverending I think, it is going to be a regular on my "to do" list

Then of course we have the laundry,,,,,,,complete with cat litter tray, another regular spot to do

The ensuite isn't as bad as the rest but still needs work

Kids bathroom/toilet,,,,not a pretty sight either up close

I never had to scrub my grout in the old house.  It was grey grout and it camoflauged things fantastically.  Mopping alone seemed to keep it really clean.  This is a light beige colour and seems to show everything!

Oh well, back to spending quality time with my new best friend the toothbrush.......

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Our weekend roundup in pictures......

This past weekend saw us head into the city to explore a little.  We decided to brave it and catch the train.  We live at the end of the line for the Metro train system so we figured at least we couldn't get lost as we were heading into the city which is the end of the line and then we just had to stay on the train on the way home until the end of the line also, just perfect for me and my hopeless sense of direction in a new area lol.  The trip into the city takes just over an hour,,,,,,over double the time that it used to take to catch the train in to Adelaide from our old house!  But at the end of the day, we don't "need" to go to the city on a regular basis so it doesn't really matter,,,,,,,,I just hope the kids don't end up with jobs in the city, they would hate that commute each day!

Just getting on the train proved interesting in itself.  The woman at the train station cashier office was Indian and I couldn't understand a word she was saying and Hubby got left to deal with our ticketing issues.  She was less than helpful to newcomers to the state thats for sure.  Eventually we worked out that we had to buy a Myki card each (this is a new ticketing system they have introduced).  A Myki card is just like a credit/ATM card.  You buy the card ($6 for adults and $3 for children per card), then you load money onto them.  So we paid out the $18 for the cards and then went over to the Myki machine to load $10 onto each card (so much for this being a cheap day out!).  This card works out so much cheaper in the long run.  A ticket into the city would have cost us $11.90 for a day trip if we just bought a normal ticket, per adult.  This way the cost was $3.30 each (this is a weekend rate) so it is a heck of a lot cheaper. We now won't have to pay next time we travel as we had the $10 loaded onto each card.  Over here you don't have to do anything when you get on the train, the ticket machines are actually at the stations.  You press your Myki card onto the machine as you enter the train station and then again as you go out.  I have no idea if we got charged right though as Mr12 had issues with his card when we were trying to get out of the Melbourne station and then Hubby forgot to scan all 4 cards as we left our station when we got home, he only scanned 1.  I guess next time we will see whether or not we ended up getting charged correctly.

Anyway we had a wander around the city, going down the Bourke Street Mall and surrounding streets.  It sure felt strange to walk down a mall area that had trams going down the middle of it.  I am so used to Rundle Mall in Adelaide that has no vehicles whatsoever lol, I kept telling the boys to stop and don't forget to check for trams as they were wandering back and forth!  Also another thing to get used to is the busyness that is Melbourne.  Adelaide is such a little country town by comparison to this hustle and bustle city.  I didn't like going to the city in Adelaide when it was busy so I hate to think how I would go in Melbourne on a week day lol.  There is no way on earth that I will ever bring the car into Melbourne myself.  Box turns are the way you turn right here and to be honest, they scare the crap out of me lol.

I will leave you for today with a few piccies that we snapped while out and about.  Don't ask me where precisely we were at the time, I know the river views were taken near Federation Square but other than that I'm clueless lol (Hubby used his phone to find our way back to the train station cuz we had no idea where we were!!).  While there though, we were successful in finding the lolly shop Suga which was great.  We got there just as they started to make a batch of their raspberry lollies, it was awesome for the kids to see just how these lollies are made,,,,,,,of course we had to buy some lollies to bring home with us too :-)

Outside the State Library

There are elephant statues everywhere to celebrate the Melbourne Zoo's 150th birthday, these will be auctioned off eventually

I just have to have a ride on one of these horse and carts one day

My kind of motor bike!

The kids were amazed at how long the train was, back in Adelaide you may get 2 carriages if you were lucky lol

While I still don't like Melbourne and it still looks kind of grotty, I do understand why people love it also.  It does have a beauty about it and it does feel alive here.  Whether or not I ever come to love the place, well that will have to be seen but for the moment we happy to just explore.  That is one thing I am liking is the fact that there is so much to see and do over here compared to SA, especially with kids.  I know we are only new to the city but we have a huge list of things we want to see and places we want to explore further and it is a city of contrasts, from beaches to forest areas to snow.  We have decided that each weekend we will explore something new, this could take a while.  At least it is keeping the kids interested lol.  Stay tuned, each week I will be sharing our weekend's exploration results :-)

Monday, September 10, 2012

That Sinking Feeling......

Today was supposed to be kinda upbeat and sharing some pics that we took yesterday but this morning I struck a problem or two.  The first being that the pics we took yesterday are all on my hubby's work phone,,,,,,with him at work (that teaches me for leaving behind my phone AND my camera yesterday!) and the second being my mood is kind of glum today.

You know that feeling you get that things aren't going to turn out as you had planned, that is the one that I have.  You see, on the weekend we Skyped with my Ex and my two older boys in Adelaide.  As usual all 4 kids had little to say and the Ex and I just filled one another in on all the goings on with the kids etc.  He also informed me that he is enjoying having the boys with him and "might like to keep them".  Conversations lately have led me to the realisation that he won't be coming here to live.  I think he mainly said that he would, so I wouldn't feel so bad about moving here, and taking his boys away from him.  It seems like it is all going to be too hard for him now.  I mean, I don't blame him, why should he have to uproot his life just because my new Hubby got a job shift?  I get it I really do, add to that, the fact that his whole family is in Adelaide too.  BUT.....I desperately miss my boys and I really, really want them here with me.  Before they moved in with their Dad, their dad had said to me that he didn't know if he would cope, having been 7 years without having kids with him full time.  But he is enjoying having Mr17 and Mr15 with him.  The boys are enjoying being there too, I can see that.  Mr15 is due to come here in December, once the school year finishes and he is supposedly moving in with us then.  I am beginning to think he may not.  I know he doesn't want to move away from his friends and his soccer team (I understand this too).  Another reason for him wanting to stay is that he finds his younger brothers annoying as they do nothing but argue, which of course then I have to deal with and I get grumpy about it.  Living with his Dad must be bliss in comparison.  Mr17, well I have always had my doubts as to whether he would move here if his Dad didn't, and I truly don't think he will.

The way I am feeling at the moment is just like a part of me isn't here.  I can't seem to enjoy myself and give my all to this house and our new life because the kids aren't here.  I miss the stepkids too.  I miss the house full of kids every second weekend, I am even missing the not so fun stuff with Mr12 with Autism.  I am eagerly awaiting the school holidays so we can have them all here for 12 days but know that at the end we have to go through the heart wrenching goodbyes again.

I said to Hubby last night that this house doesn't feel like home and I can't make it feel like home with only the two kids here.  Our family has been torn apart and I can't fix it, I'm a Mum, I fix things and this is something I can't fix and it is so hard.  It is very hard to remain upbeat and not make Hubby feel like the big bad wolf in all of this.  He hates to see me upset because he does feel like it is all his fault but he remains adamant that this is where he needs to be "for our family", I on the other hand just cannot see that when half of our family is interstate and not with us for most of the time.

Mr17 finishes year 12 soon and will be entering the big wide world.  He will be looking for full time employment.  Once he has a full time job I will never see him.  He won't even be able to come over for school holidays.  He also has a girlfriend and I know that if that gets more serious, the last thing he will want to do in his holidays is to come and spend time with his Mum!

Moving away from my kids was never on my "to do list" of life.  Kids are meant to move away from their parents not the other way around.  Parents are supposed to be there for their kids.  I love being there for my kids.  I miss having a conversation and a laugh with my kids.  I feel like my 3 times a week phone call with them is nothing.  The conversation is strained and all one sided, if I don't hold the conversation up there is none.  I know this is just how they are on the phone, they always have been but it still hurts because I come off the phone feeling like they don't particularly care.  Mr15 said he doesn't miss me last night.  I know he didn't mean that to be hurtful, he just isn't (as he said) an emotional person and he just goes with the flow and settles in with whatever is going on.  As long as he has his friends, his xbox, his soccer and food, life is good.

I'm sorry for the sooky-la-la post this morning.  I'm not after sympathy I just needed to get if off my chest.  No one seems to get where I am coming from at the moment.  I think everything has just caught up with me today and I needed to vent.

Tomorrow will be better.....

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fathers Day of a different kind for us

Well yesterday was Fathers Day, our first spent as a split apart blended family (lol sounds weird but that is what it is).  Our first main event celebration day that we have spent living without two thirds of our children.  It felt weird to me, really weird.  I didn't like it and I know that if it is still like this on Mother's Day next year I will find it extremely tough going.

Hubby awoke to a cooked breakfast of grilled tomato, bacon, eggs and toast,,,complete with a coffee of course.  Mr12 and Mr10 were in charge of the eggs, toast and coffee.  They did a brilliant job with majority of the eggs managing to stay intact lol.


Hubby received a surprise card and gift voucher from my older two boys which I was really pleased about.  I had no idea that they had planned anything and I am so happy that they thought to do something to help make the day special :-)

I was very disappointed though that Hubby's kids sent nothing, not even a card.  I have always organised the Fathers Day presents from his kids in the past, but thought that since we are now interstate that their Mum would have at least organised for them to send Hubby a card, but nope, not a thing :( .  I had contemplated sending blank cards over to them to sign and then send a prestamped envelope with it so they could send them back but I knew that the chance of them getting posted back here was pretty remote.  Miss13 finally sent a "happy fathers day" text through at about 10.30am but that was it.  No phone call or anything else.  I truly am beginning to feel that life like this when it comes to Hubby's kids at least, is going to be all give and nothing will ever come in return.

After a leisurely morning at home enjoying breakfast and a few little presents we made our way to the Caribbean Gardens Markets.  I had been here as a kid when we had been visiting my brother who was living in Melbourne at the time and loved it.  It wasn't quite as great as I remember but it is still a lovely place to come.  The markets are large with about 1000 stalls apparently and the variety of things you can buy here was really impressive.  Then you have large grassy areas and decent size play ground complete with a couple of old army tanks for the kids to climb on.  Of course, you also have rides that cost money too lol.  Mr10 went on the cars, he loves these things!!  Then we went for a ride on the chairlift.  I don't particularly like chairlifts as I hate heights but I sucked it up in the spirit of the day lol (this particular chairlift also went over a lake which made me extra nervous!).  They have a jungle cruise and a train ride also, which we will go on next time we come.  Overall it was a lovely day out, especially so because the weather was beautiful!





To top it off they had a competition running for Fathers Day with the chance to win a ticket to the Sandown 500 V8 Supercars and can you believe it? We actually won lol.  I never win anything and just about fell over when my name was called out!!

Of course, it is only one ticket so now we will have to buy another ticket, but still it is a ticket for the full 3 days plus the paddock pass so it is valued about about $112 or so.  We are thinking of maybe just buying a ticket to either Saturday or Sunday and taking the kids (kids are free with an adult ticket).  A one day pass is about $72 I think so we may have to splurge and buy a ticket, it would seem silly not to take advantage of our winnings.

Overall I think Hubby had a nice day.  He didn't say anything but I know that he was feeling it being away from his kids.  He knows that I am missing the kids immensely so he doesn't like to say anything as he is still feeling like this whole move was his fault......which it was lol but I do understand his reasoning, even if I still struggle with it all.  Lucky I love him, thats what I keep saying!!