August 30, 2013

The last hurrah

Today is August 30th, which can only mean one thing - I have survived another August. Maybe it sounds too dramatic, but for me, that is exactly what it is. You see, you will probably won't remember, but I had lovely plans for this summer. And one by one they all fell through. All that I had left was survival. All I had left was the fact that time moves on. No matter what you do (or don't do), how good (or bad) your day was, how many things you still have on your todo list, time never stops.
I know, some of the people reading this will think I am being too dramatic. I don't know. Maybe I am. It will explain where both my kids got the drama-queen gene from. Truth be told, it's the forth time I've started this post. One was to sappy, one too angry, one too boring. I am not really sure where to go with it. Should I go with the sad / the guilt / the angry? I don't want any of those, I already wrote those. But than I am left all alone with happy. Happy??? that can't be true. There has to be someone else. Anyone?
So after a three hour break from writing (Candy Crush? No. I didn't play Candy Crush on the computer, iPhone and iPad. Of course not), I decided to do a summery of summer. Because it sounds funny in my head. And because I thought, maybe if I write about everything that happened here this last month, I wouldn't feel so much like a summer-failure.
Orli, Just Breathe - The Last Hurrah
On the blog front, 
* I wrote 12 posts (including this one), which is my record for one month, including my new favourite post, that somehow managed to sum up my summer before it really started - Positivity is Overrated.
* I wrote three guest posts, which were the first guest posts I have ever written! One for my new blogging friend Mrboosmum, who needed a pick-me-up while on her holiday (I think that is why she likes me. My life is always more crazy than hers); one for Suzanne of 3childrenandit who left on a holiday and was looking for a funny post about parenting, and one for Mum-Network about my photography obsession.
* I wrote a post about our life in Gibraltar, to support Gibraltar in a time where it is struggling against Spanish aggressiveness. It was my first current affair piece, and somehow it became my most read post ever, and is worth reading just for the lovely comments I got from all the people in Gibraltar who read it.
* I opened my first linky, Dreadful Days, which had 9 wonderful posts (okay so two of them are mine, but they are still great) about the moments and days that we all feel that we can't do it anymore, that the masks slip away, that we need a hug.
* I finally got around to doing my "blogging love" section of the blog, with all the blogs I love reading (ok, not all. I know I missed a few because of disorganisation and kids shouting in my ear. But it's a starting point).
* I participated in my first ever blog-meme. Of course I didn't do it right. When have I ever taken a straight question and actually answered it? (rhetorical question).
* I participated in Mumsnet "this is my child" campaign, with a photo of Yon and a post about invisible disabilities.
Orli, Just Breathe - The Last Hurrah
On the learning front,
* Ron read about nine books this summer, finished all his Bond 11+ and maths booklets, and learnt to play Sudoku. It wasn't easy.
* Yon, after a rocky start and lots of fears & guilt on my side, settled into the lunchtime study hour very nicely, and finished one maths booklet, and 3 writing ones (ok, he was more scribbling freely, but still). And also learned how to use the computer, with his special keyboard and mouse, and lastly - he learned how to read whole words, and how to write a few.
* We bought new shoes for the boys and made sure everyone has enough clothes to start the year. I can't wait to see my baby in school uniform (yes, there will be tears).
* We kept the kids bedtime, so will not have too much problem getting them back on tracks, and also stopped Yon's midday naps, so he is ready to go to school until 3:30pm.
* We started making the yearly nagging-schedule. Every year it's the same question (why, why, why do we have to change a teacher every year?!) - when should we start stalking Ron's teacher? When is the right time to start with the "but what about his extra work???" questions? I never know. But usually after the first half-term. And this year we have to add Yon to the list, and there we need to stalk the school head-teacher the children centre head-teacher, the school SENCO, the children centre SENCO, the outreach advisor and the teacher. Yes, we definitely need a schedule.
Orli, Just Breathe - The Last Hurrah
On the holiday-fun front,
* We took the kids to a dinosaur Mini Golf, which I can't emphasis enough how much I recommend.
* We went to a pick-your-own farm, to teach the kids food doesn't grow on Tesco shelves.
* We saw at least one movie every day, including Monsters University, Despicable Me 2 and The Smurfs 2 (I cried at the end of the Smurfs. Really emotional movie).
* Hidai & Ron went to Arsenal Members Day, which after they've been there for about 6 hours, Ron concluded with a "we did almost everything. It was ok".
* We took the kids to Ikea. It actually was fun for them. Less for the employee who needed to tidy up all the beds. We also got an explanation from Ron about "the olden days" when they used a blackboard in class...
*We (ok Hidai, but I am still taking credit) played air-hockey and taught the kids how to play pool.
* We took the kids food shopping. Well, as I do most of my food-shopping online it is a treat for everyone to go to any supermarket, but mostly to Golders Green, or as we fondly call it "Pitta land".
* We went to a food market. We usually don't do that because it is not fit for a Yon, but we've had some of Hidai's family visiting so we went with them. We saw a pirate ship, and got real Baklava. If you've never ate real Baklava, please do. it's heaven with a pistachio.
*We took the kids on a bus tour to parts unknown in London. Ok, so we had to drop off some papers somewhere, but we still called it an adventure (and took them to Yon's heaven - the store on top of the Rainforest Cafe, and bought them McDonalds).
Orli, Just Breathe - The Last Hurrah
Travelling in style
On other fronts,
* I did 3,000 loads of laundry (no, apparently being on holiday does not mean you wear less clothes-per-day).
* We dealt with enough bureaucracy this month (on all fronts - health, finance, immigration) to kill an elephant. Or at the very least bore it to death.
* We sold our gym membership, because we figured - if we haven't used it in 6 months, the least we could do is stop paying for it.
* Ron has moved to the realm of big-mac meals in McDonald's. Bye bye happy-meal.
* Ron has announced me to be "an embarrassment". Just because I did a little victory dance in the house. I took it well. Sure, it was to be expected. So I just told him I will bring some of his baby pictures to show around the school on his first day. Or I can dance. Or both. He did not take it well.
*We finally got Sky to send a technician to fix our internet. Seeing how it took them "only" three weeks, I count this one as an achievement.
* I beat eBay, who overcharged me and wouldn't back off and admit their mistake. In fact they blamed me and threatened me and closed my account. I wrote 20 emails (or more), 3 public Facebook messages, and a few private ones, and they caved. I won my small war against internet bullies.
* Football season has started. Rather badly for Arsenal, which means rather badly for me.
* In spite of some worries, kids have not turned into iPads thenselves
On the not killing anyone front,
* I am happy to report that all kids, parents, and house plants are still here.
Orli, Just Breathe - The Last Hurrah
And as this weekend is dedicated to "get the house ready for normalcy and grandparents visit", we decided Bank Holiday monday was the time for one last fun-day-outing, or "the last hurrah" as my friend Laura called it, so we took the kids to Kew-Gardens, to see the IncrEdibles (how do you call it? Features? Exhibition?). If you haven't been, its very recommended, they show you plants that you didn't know are edible, and there are also a giant pineapple, carrots to jump on and mushroom to hide under. We've been trying to go there for a few weeks, but every time we declared it Kew-Gardens day, it rained. Luckily this Monday was lovely (after it rained most of Saturday & Sunday), and we managed to survive the hour on the tube and get there. I am not a big nature fan, I have to admit (I know, a shocker) and parks and such are not my cup of tea (never ask me what I think about camping), but the kids love it, they can run around, the IncrEdibles things were magnificent and Yon could touch things. Taking Yon to places where he can actually touch things and we don't have to run after him continuously saying "NOOOOOOO! Don't touch this!!!!" is always a treat for us, and a rare one at that. The gardens themselves, if you haven't been, are gorgeous and picturesque and full of people, and are definitely worth a visit (and no, nobody paid me to say that. Unfortunately).
We finished the day with some pizza and a rare night of TV watching and no work.
Orli, Just Breathe - The Last Hurrah

Orli, Just Breathe - The Last Hurrah
That's it people. My summer summery. I do feel slightly less like the worse mother ever after all this. And Ron found this post hilarious, so I have that. I thought about printing t-shirts "August survivor" and selling them on the blog, but then I remembered - hey, we already have those. They are white, and button-up, and go with grey trousers - school shirts! If you survive August you get to go to school!!!
And maybe I will get to go to Starbucks.

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