You are familiar with the expression "wrench in the works", yes? Excuse me while I run with an analogy here.
Over the past several weeks (months, actually), we've been experiencing not so much a wrench in the works (that would shut everything down), but rather a seemingly endless stream of random nuts and bolts being tossed into the gears. They jam things up, cause the gears to grind, break a few cogs here and there, and generally make life flow less smoothly.
The biggest one is a change in jobs for Markus, within the company and current location. He prefers I not share about his job in this space, so I won't go into detail, but there has been a change that has caused a ripple effect in our well-oiled machine here at home. He used to work like a crazy man from before 7am (sometimes well before) so he could be home by 4:30 in the afternoon. He did this so he could spend time with the girls, playing, cycling, whatever fun stuff could be squeezed in to about an hour before dinnertime. They loved it, and without knowing the time on the clock, they could feel when it was time for him to be home. They would watch the door, listen to cars coming down the street, and wait in excited anticipation of their favorite playmate. I loved it too. I could tidy up, have a cuppa to recoup and refresh a bit, and make dinner in peace while knowing my kids (all three of them) were happy as clams. This is gone now. His new job doesn't have the leeway (yet) to allow him to leave at the earlier time, so he stays for breakfast instead and comes home in time for (or sometimes after) dinner. Evening playtime (and downtime) has been cut out. He comes home tired and they are over-hungry for his attention. Squabbles and tantrums ensue. Markus's tension levels are higher, though he is a champ for leaving work at work in every way he can. I am a tension barometer, though, so I feel it and my tension goes sky-high. The girls feel it in both of us and go nuts...which makes us nuts and well...we're all adjusting. We know it will normalize after a while, so there's no point in being drama queens about it.
Other little issues have been Stephanie's sleep (or lack thereof) and now her reversal of potty-training. For weeks, her sleep was an issue. After over a year of her being a champion, angelic sleeper, she was waking early early early (5am is against my religion). The earlier she awoke, the later she fell asleep. Soon, she was in a cycle of overtired that interfered with naps. It was a challenge. Now, winter is upon us and the house is a meatlocker (15 degrees C, 59 degrees F in the bathroom...the only room that has an indoor thermometer for some reason). We suspect that this has caused our three-months-long-fully-potty-trained girl to have no desire to expose her cute little bum for love or money, and she is refusing to use the toilet. Man, has that girl increased my laundry duty of late! These aren't accidents. She can hold it til she bursts (I know, because I set her--with great objections being registered--on the toilet at regular intervals to little result). She really doesn't want to sit on the potty right now; she tells me every time that it's too cold. Today, she peed in the coin compartment in the car while I chatted with a friend. Sigh. At least it was sunny and warm in that spot, yes? Joy. Sometimes, I feel one whizz away from the nuthouse.
Friday is the end of term for Ellie at school. Winter break of two and a half weeks will start, and it doesn't come too soon. Ellie is FRIED. She starts wailing most days the minute I pick her up from school. She wails at high volume intermittently for various reasons throughout each and every day. It's exhausting (and not a little maddening), but we know it's because she's exhausted. She needs a break, and it's coming. We look forward to this time off for her. We need some time off for all of us.
Being in the remote location as we are, obvious holidays (like school being out) are bad times to get away... because EVERYONE tries to get away and they mostly get away to the same places (the closest places). Prices go sky-high and crowds shift from Perth to Margaret River or Bali. With this in mind, we tend to buck the trend and stay home for school holidays. We plan our trips off-season, and we're currently looking into a vacation for early August. Things are slowly falling into place for that, and we're starting to get very excited! We won't be going back to Bali (overrun by Europeans on their summer holidays), but we've found someplace new to us that is also quite fabulous and not too far away. Hooray for holidays!
Anyway, I just wanted you to know why I've fallen off the radar. Who wants to read about how stressed and tense and crazy I am, especially when recording it makes it seem far worse than it really is? Yes, we've been experiencing some bumps along our normally smooth road, but that makes us appreciate how smooth the road has been here thus far. We are all healthy (thank the Lord!), and our little family is a happy, close-knit little bunch. Our weeks are soooo long, but the weekends feel so short as we have lots of fun with each other and soak up the time away from the external stuff that drives us mad. Life is still good. It's just more tiring than it was, leaving me less time than ever to blog or email or call or whatever communication form required because really, the energy just isn't there. It will be again. Please don't feel slighted. Our thoughts are with you. Our hearts are with you. We still love and miss our friends and family far away. We're just clinging to the little energized sane moments and making the most of them right now. We'll be back on track soon, I promise.