Day 5-13 of 100 – #100day project

Day 5 of 100 – Monday 6 March 2023 – 08:00 am

Yesterday we had a visit from Nana, Papa and Aunty Kim to our new home, and they couldn’t get over how much more space we have here. I never felt we had a small house before, but moving here with a bit of extra space, a backyard (instead of a courtyard), a reserve on one side and lots of storage – all gives that feeling of more space. It’s one of the things that I loved about this house when we saw it and love that it that it aligns with my word for the year – SPACE.

For February’s OLW project the challenge was to create a manifesto. I haven’t had a lot of spare time to put into it, but kept seeing other people using CANVA to get some pretty cool results, so thought I would give it a go and then print it for my journal. Being a learner, I chose a poster option, which now I find is a large size, which I can’t seem to work out how to make in into an A5 as it looks like I have to upgrade from the free option to amend the size. So that is sitting in limbo at the moment, but I will hopefully be able to create something to share soon.

Day 6 of 100 – Tuesday 7 March 2023 – 2300

A late post today, and I didn’t finish yesterday ‘s. I got sidetracked and started reworking my manifesto (which still isn’t quite finished). I really want to try and do these posts in the morning – but I was going to golf today and getting up earlier than I already had to didn’t appeal. Last night Phil and I went across to the golf warehouse in Ellerslie and I bought an new driver and golf shoes . I have been using a hand-me down driver given to me by a friend, for many years, so it is a huge treat to go and purchase one.

At the driving range/shop I tried 2 different drivers, and hit both really straight. Amazing technology they use, where you hit the ball into a simulator and it measures the speed, angle, height etc. Both the clubs I tried were pretty similar, and distance of them both was not a lot more than my current club, but we decided to buy the XX10 and I took it out today for the first time.

The first 9 holes with it, were a bit all over the place, I scored 58 for 9, after losing 3 balls off the tee – fired into the hazard or lost off the fairway. By the 2nd half, I had started to get used to it and scored 46. A total of 104 in the end, with 7 points on the back 9 (which we did first) and 19 on the front 9. I think it will give me quite a bit more distance which will help on the par 4s and 5s.

Phil was out tonight so I watched a movie called Happiest Season with Kristen Stewart. It was light and predictable, but I have started to reach a point that I have watched all of the romcom type movies on netflix and at the moment don’t have any regular series, so I think I will be taking a wee break from NETFLIX watching for a while.

Mitch went to school yesterday and today, and his boil seems to be reducing, so it looks like the antibiotic is working.

Day 7 of 100 – Wednesday 8 March 2023 – 0754

Trying to write this as Mitchell has his vest this morning, so it will be an interrupted write.

In the early hours of this morning, a truck carrying chemicals exploded at the on ramp to the motorway near our home. Evidently, it was loud and several houses were evacuated. I slept right through it, didn’t hear a thing! Instead, had a weird dream where I was dressing up a pig using paint, so that it could be put to sleep – then the owners couldn’t part with the pig. The dream was a lot more involved than that but that is the gist of it.

Day 8 of 100 – Thursday 9 March 2023 – 0754

I did get interrupted yesterday, and never got back. Today feels like groundhog day, right down to the time I have sat at the computer – exactly 07:54 am again. Today, however, I have been up since 5 am as we had no outside carer last night. It was the first Quiz night for the year and as we didn’t have a caregiver, we took Mitchell with us to the Blacksmith Pub. He did pretty well and ate 2 desserts for entertainment. Not quite the way you are supposed to use food, but as concentration isn’t Mitchell’s strength and he loves ice cream, we adopted food as a strategy to buy some time. So, I stayed with him for half of the Quiz before bringing him home and leaving Phil, Holly and Neil to continue. Their final score was 84, but once again we let ourselves down with the Ponderous Puzzle. I don’t know why we find them so difficult.

Our life is always a series of logistics built around Mitchell’s care, going out as a family can be difficult and getting ready to go is like thinking of every contingency. Last night, it meant giving Mitchell his medicines slightly ahead of schedule, we normally run a 7 am, 3 pm, 7 pm routine, so as quiz started at 7 pm, we didn’t want to be sitting in the pub giving his meds via an NG.

Yesterday, it ended up taking me one and a half hours to drive to Mitchell’s school due to the chemical spill. It normally takes 6 or 7 minutes. The chemical spill and fire was a major one causing the motorway between Papakura and Takanini to be closed for about 10 hours. People took around 3 hours to get from Waiuku or Onewhero to Papakura. It was chaos. I remember years ago when a truck carrying paint overturned on the harbour bridge and there was a similar fiasco, the traffic just basically couldn’t move. A true test of patience and thankfully Mitchell rode in the car with me without complaining at all.

The house feels very different without Holly her full time, but it is lovely that she still wants to come home on Wednesday night for Quiz night – it has been our tradition for the 3 of us for around 4 years now, and even if we don’t make it every week it is good to have that common tradition continuing while she lives in Auckland.

Today is the day for me to decide whether I will accept a new job with Disability Connect and hand in my notice at Hartleys. It’s a big decision. I will have been with Hartleys 4 years in May, right through the pandemic and now out the other side. When I started there, I imagined I would be there until Holly finished high school, which was the end of 2021. Now almost another 18 months on I am still there and I no longer have the need to be working late nights and Sunday’s to oppose Phil’s working hours. My choices for employment have always revolved around what works for our family, and by working on a Sunday and doing a late night in retail, this meant that Phil would be home when I was at work. Except for Mondays, when we both worked – but originally we had a carer for Mitchell who always worked Monday and was stable and reliable so I could also work that day. As you will read in my daily ramblings this is no longer the case.

Now we are down to one carer, who works 4 nights per week. Over the last 2 months since we have had no-one for Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights it has meant either Phil or I have to be awake overnight with Mitchell. As I work Sunday, and we also have no weekend day carer it means we have to staff Mitchell’s care ourselves from 7 am on Saturday until 7 pm on the Monday. If you stay awake at night, you can’t then care for Mitchell in the daytime, so Phil can’t do both Saturday and Sunday nights, if he has to also work the Sunday daytime. Therein lies our reality. Our solution so far, has been a pattern of:

7 am to 8 pm Saturday – Phil and I look after Mitchell together

8 pm to 10 pm Saturday – Me, while Phil has a brief sleep for 1-2 hours

10 pm to 5 am – Phil awake with Mitchell, while I sleep for 7 hours

5 am to 11 am – Me with Mitchell, while Phil sleeps for 6 hours

11 am to 7 pm – Phil with Mitch, while I go to work 12 to 6 pm

7 pm to 8 pm – shared time together with Mitchell, while we have dinner

8 pm to 10 pm – Me with Mitch, while Phil has a brief sleep for 1-2 hours

10 pm – 5 am – Phil with Mitchell, while I sleep for 7 hours

5 am to 9 am – Me with Mitchell, take him to school at 9 am, Phil sleeps until about 11 or12.

9 am to 2.30 pm – Mitch at school, I am at work from 11 am to 6 pm

2.30 pm – 7 pm – Phil picks up Mitch from school and does dinner, bath etc and I get home at 6.30 pm.

7 pm – Our overnight carer arrives.

This is the plan, which gives both of us around 7 hours sleep each day, but this doesn’t always happen if you don’t get to sleep quickly in your allotted time, or Mitchell happens to act out and need both of us at the same time. This is our reality, on how we spend our weekend. Last week, due to sickness and annual leave this pattern went for 5 days in a row, as we had no carers at night or in the day, and Mitchell was home from school both Tuesday and Wednesday as he was unwell. This interrupted our pattern too, as because we couldn’t raise Mitchell to go to school in the day, we had to just carry on around the clock. Mitchell’s sleep patterns are often erratic, so a day shift, can be like a night shift and vice versa.

Sometimes, I berate myself for not getting stuff done, and then I look at what we do and realise that we do a lot. It’s just that it isn’t recognised as work.

Day 13 of 100 – Tuesday 14 March 2023 – 07:23 am (Day 9 of writing)

And just like that 4 days fell by the wayside. I went to work on Thursday and was contacted by Wilson Home to check on Mitchell’s medications for his stay this past weekend. I was pleasantly surprised to find he had a stay that we didn’t know about. While it would mean canceling Sherlie’s Friday night shift, it also meant that a weekend we expected to be up all day and night was no longer happening.

Mitch went off to school Friday, and Mum came over for lunch. We picked up MItch and took him to Wilson Home and came home to an ’empty house’. I think this is maybe the first time Phil and I have been alone for a couple of nights without both Holly and Mitchell. The house was eerily quiet. It was really strange, as usually when Mitchell is away it is still the three of us – but this time we had no renovating to do (what has taken up the last year), no children to look after, no commitments, and I had no work as I had taken the weekend off because we were going to be on duty all weekend. It actually felt like respite – a chance to recharge and get ready for the next week.

We both played golf on Saturday, watched a couple of episodes of Full Swing – awesome Netflix docuseries about pro golfers. Sunday, we carried on doing some jobs around the house, it is getting closer to having everything in place. It’s 3 weeks now since we shifted, but it just takes time to put things in places where they ‘belong’ rather than just away. Also, need a couple of different items for storage, as now I can not put up shelves for my scrap storage or for books, we are going to need somewhere to store these things. Plus we still haven’t got the cars inside the garage, as a few things in there to sort. Slow progress, but it is happening.

Feeling good about our choice to move though, as we have more space and with 2 living areas it feels like we have a bit more separate space from caregivers (when we get them). đŸ™‚

Last week I did end up resigning from Hartleys, and will start work for Disability Connect on 27 March – 3 days per week. Its about the same total hours as I have been doing, but no weekends or nights, which will feel different. At this stage I have said I can stay on as a casual, as possibly doing an odd late night or Saturday could work and I want to save as much as possible for our trip in June – which is now booked!

It will be 7 years since we both travelled overseas together. Phil has travelled a lot for work up until the last 3 years of Covid, and I have been away to Australia a couple of times, with Mum and Holly, but not together since my 50th birthday trip to Fiji. We are heading to Singapore for 2 nights, and 6 nights in Huahin, 1 night in Bangkok for a masters golf tournament. Need to get fit and get practising!! A great incentive to stay on my Dr Libby programme and to do yoga and walk more often. Very exciting.

There has been zero creating going on around here – but yesterday I managed to find the floor in the spare bedroom, aka the office or scraproom, where my crafting goodies now await me. I have missed creating for nearly 2 months and am ready to get back into it. I did however complete a couple of pages for the wanderlust course in January. This year their is an emphasis on specific products for a period of time and the first one was pastels – something I have, but hadn’t used much.

Week ONE – with Kasia Avery, was using a paint/pastel background and sharing your word for the year.

Week TWO – with Melissa Fink was using Texture and creating a landscape.

Week THREE – with Jeanne Oliver was working on emotions and feelings, using dry pastel and linseed oil. Unfortunately, I didn’t have linseed oil, but still played along with a couple of the other ideas she shared.

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