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Not quiet on the !schooling front

posted on: Saturday, 9 July 2011 @ 11:30pm in

[minor pseudonymising edits during Drupal to hugo migration for all the good that will do now]

I just haven’t been writing about it.

Last week, 6yo drew a picture of Venom from Spiderman with black whiteboard marker on paper, including sounding out the name and checking with JJ after writing it out.

Venom drawn with black whiteboard marker on paper

This week just gone has been crazy.


Stay home day. Started off fine. I opted to sleep in (ie stay in the nice warm bed snuggled up with the nice warm kids until they woke up). As I was “sleeping in” I heard JJ and Housemate leaving for work. Or attempting to leave for work. JJ’s car made sputtering noises instead of starting.

I’m not sure what they were trying to do to get it started but I think it involved boiling water at one stage. I told them to take my car and sort it out later.

When they get home from work, they attempted to push the wagon to the driveway so they could jump start it from my car. JJ’s car got snagged on a tree root and could not roll over it. Discussed other ideas for getting my car close enough to jump start it, then he decided he would change the spark plugs. Went and got spark plugs, then hit up teh interwebz to see what he needed to do to go about changing them in this particular car.

Apparently getting to the bit where the spark plugs was involved removing about 90% of the car. So job for the weekend.

Which of course meant they were stealing my car for the week.


No Hub for us seeing as we had no car, so I said I would take the kids somewhere. They chose the museum (or “newseum” as 4yo would have it, “useum” if you ask 6yo). I completely failed at getting them out of bed in the morning, but we went and had a nice afternoon out at the museum.

They’re calling the area PICA, the museum, the art gallery and the library are in “Perth Cultural Centre” and it’s been done up really nicely. The water garden was very pretty:

Water garden at the Perth Cultural Centre

There was a community garden not too far away, or “urban orchard” as they are calling it. I didn’t actually notice it was veges and herbs and fruit trees in the first passing, just acknowledged there were many planter tanks with plants in them. Nice spot to play and chill. I needed to get money out of an ATM to feed my obviously malnourished and starving children who hadn’t had anything to eat for the entirety of the previous 5 minutes, so we went for a hike into Northbridge. It was a good thing we did as we found these benches on the way back with what wood they were made of carved into them, the scientific name, an Aboriginal word for it and the English word for it.

Learning the differences between djara and jarrah

I read the words to the kids and explained they were all names of the tree the wood had come from. 6yo then started explaining the differences between “DJARA” and “JARRAH” to 4yo.

Half of the museum was being refurbished when we went, so fortunately the Discovery Centre kept the kids occupied for quite a while. The kids loved going through the drawers and finding out what was inside, and discussing anything they found interesting. They took a few photos (or asked me to take photos) of things that interested them, such as this wasp nest which was taken by 6yo:

Wasp nest and wasp display at WA Museum

There were some stick insects that really did look like sticks, especially when dead, in the stick insect drawer. We discussed how we thought Tali might react if he mistook one of those for a stick and chewed it up. Some of them were as big as the sticks the puppy likes to teethe on.

Stick insect display WA Museum

2yo was fascinated by the egg display. “EGGY! EGGY! EGGY!”

Egg display WA museum

After watching Indiana Jones movies 6yo was quite fascinated seeing some of the “old” stuff from the movies such as the spectacles, barbed wire, compasses, watches and other things in real life.

WA Museum old army stuff

The flintlocks were also a fascination.

Flintlocks at WA Museum

There had been a school group or two in the Discovery Centre when we first trekked in there. They were gone after we’d poked around for a little while so we headed over to the tables where they had been as 6yo had seen some puzzles that he wanted to try out. On the way we distracted by a pink-haired girl carting around a snake named Wilma. Then the kids got distracted by the dinosaurs.

Playing with dinosaur toys at the WA Museum Discovery Centre

We then moved onto the rest of the museum, which included looking at space rocks, prehistoric rocks and “EGGY!” of epic proportions.

Space rocks and prehistoric rocks at WA Museum
Giant egg at WA Museum


I said to 4yo “Show me the dinosaur Bu!” and she randomly struck a pose while doing so.

Dinosaur skeletons WA Museum

Outside roughly in the middle of the “Cultural Centre” there is this concentric circles thing painted on the path. There are different coloured lines that extend outward from it. I don’t know what they’re for but the kids had fun following the lines. The pink one leads to the train station and the green one goes to the museum.

They were playing a game I couldn’t quite fathom here.

Coloured concentric circles Perth Cultural Centre

The only problem was as I’d had to entertain a toddler who is useless at entertaining himself all morning and then spent the day out, I ended up working late.


We were supposed to go grocery shopping, but there was a case of serious morning fail (big kids must have had a growth spurt, 4yo is usually easy to rouse but she would not get out of bed, and 6yo is hard to rouse and would also not get out of bed) added to JJ responding “Stuff” after I asked him what we needed from the shops. I chose to et him and Housemate do the grocery shopping after work as Housemate also wanted some things and I didn’t have a clue what those might be.

Seeing as I wasn’t going to be doing the grocery shopping after all I decided to head over to JB HiFi to check out tablets. We’ll be heading out to Christmas Island at the end of the year. JJ and I will be travelling separately in the name of saving money on cheap fares. He will be heading down on a Saturday after his last day of work and I will be heading down with the three kids the Thursday before. I made the executive decision to at some stage buy the kids tablets and load them up with game and educational apps and movies in an attempt to keep them quietly occupied for 5 hours on the plane. We had a play with the Acer Iconia A500 and 6yo decided he wanted that one. 4yo chose a Motorola Xoom. I said no. Though of course when we went to the Apple shop to see what they could do for us, 6yo decided he wanted an iPad.

JJ assures me there will be more tablets than we could poke a stick at coming out soon and I’m quite happy to get some no-name brand BUT I need to have a play around with them first to make sure the UX doesn’t suck, which is why I’m horribly biased toward whatever I can find in any given shop.

For now I’ve tentatively decided on a pair of Acer Iconia A500s from JB HiFi after my next lot of pay from work and after paying Mum back for the money she loaned me so I could book mine and the kids’ flight. JJ says they’re cheaper on evilBay.

Anyway, I ended up working late again.


Morning, I harrassed the kids out of bed and took them most of the way to work to support a friend in a small rally outwide the Woodside building. Later we headed up to the Cultural Centre with the intention of visiting the art gallery.

The kids were really active so we decided they should run around and play and burn off some energy in the community garden urban orchard thing before we went in. We never made it in as suddenly it was 2:40pm, they had to run to avoid a parking ticket and we had to get home so 6yo could rest up before Auskick training.

6yo got half an hour rest before JJ and Housemate came home and I dragged 6yo off to Auskick, picking up our neighbours enroute. There was a vast attitude improvement from 6yo which I was hoping would stick but which unfortunately fell apart again on Saturday morning when he was supposed to go for his game. Still he did his best at training, and when the coach gave them a drink break I somehow managed to forget I was carrying his water bottle in my cargo pocket and went back to the car to get it with him following. He ended up curling up in a hole in the ground to go to sleep.

I thought he was being deliberately obnoxious and left him to it. Ten minutes later I realised that my boy who finds it physically impossible to stand still for longer than a second unless watching tv or playing games (and even then every few minutes requires at least 5 minutes solid of jumping on the couch or fidgeting or screaming in the face of one of his siblings and then getting upset when he gets yelled at) hadn’t moved. I went back over there and he wasn’t asleep but he told me he was “sooooooo tired”.

I let him sit out of training, though he did stagger to the club building with us to pick up cookie dough.

Because I hadn’t really worked much on my work days, I did a tiny bit of hacking. Mum had sent me money to book flights to Christmas Island for myself and the kids so I booked our flight online.


I went to work. Had a quick chat to Mum and Sprat and found out that Mum thought for some reason that I worked 16hrs per fortnight rather than 16hrs per week so that’s what she’d been billing for. All this time I had been checking the invoices and I’d seen 16hrs and invoicing fortnightly and the discrepancy did not occur to me.

Mum sorted it out with the invoice I was due to send in, and I have no idea what the business guy said to whoever is supposed to be paying me but I had money from the last three invoices in my account by that night. I stayed up way too late but booked JJ’s flight to Christmas Island.


6yo had a meltdown and refused to play his game of Auskick. We’ve been having serious attitude issues with him cracking it if asked to pause his games or movies due to having to go out for whatever reason. We told him if he was unable to curb we were going to ban it. He has been unable to curb (yes we’ve been trying various strategies to help curb) so JJ today banned the tv and I told him he wasn’t allowed to watch or play on days where we knew we were going to be busy, but could after the known/planned activity. 4yo regulates perfectly fine and will stop when asked with little to no fuss.

6yo spent the day typing sentences in Notepad on his laptop (ZAK HAD MILK. IT JUMPT. TEA AND COFEE.), playing Reading Eggs and Neopets, and then wandered off to play with Lego and build train tracks.

4yo wandered in from watching My Little Pony and played Reading Eggs She went through Map 2 and the quiz unassisted, passed the first time and happily informed me she is now on Map 3. I have decided she is dangerous.

I’m hoping I can haul my arse out of bed early enough tomorrow morning to get a decent stretch of 3d done. We’ve got friends coming over tomorrow afternoon! Quite happy about that and much less happy about wage slavery that takes up so much time and makes visits to and from friends stupidly few and far between.