Yikes! It's been a long time since I posted.
This post is going to be a mishmash- more of what's been going on personally for me.
The kids are on school holidays until February 8th and the holidays are over. So, Claire is back at work and Mick is back at work. The kids HATE vacation care. That's essentially day care and is not with their friends so they really don't want to go to it. It also costs money so that's another strike against it.
Thus, I have been watching the kids during the week for the past two weeks. We have them during the week and then Claire takes them Friday night, Saturday, and part of Sunday. So I am staying busy during the day. I've been able to talk to a few people, but no time to do a blog. Not that I don't have things to blog about because I do!
Hmm where to start? How about the neighbor kids? I've talked about Reese and Jay before. There have been more developments that I haven't mentioned yet though! Here's my thoughts about them...I think their mom is busy with their 8 month old brother and she doesn't pay any attention to what they do or where they are. I think she probably prefers it when they are out of the house. Now I have no idea what her life is like. I know her hubby is gone all during the week because he drives trucks. My thesis and proposed dissertation covered this type of separation and its effects on both partners. So I do have a little understanding of having to run a household by yourself and what that does to partners. I am trying to cut her some slack. ;)
Yet, since the boys started coming over, they've broken fishing poles, lost some of the parts to Mick's old cameras (we found them later!), destroyed the bottom playroom, have hit Em in the eye with nerf bullets, have gone into Emily and Eddie's rooms when they weren't allowed. Emily has gotten hit in the face with a door, Eddie has nearly gotten pushed down the stairs. Money has gone missing, both from Eddie's room and from my purse. A Christmas gift in an envelope for Mick went missing. They've opened a package that was addressed to the previous tenants (which we only found later in the playroom stuffed behind a couch). They have zero respect for rules, zero respect for other people's stuff. The icing on the cake came this week however.
Reese and Jay came by to play with Eddie this week and they took all of his play guns outside (we'd banished them outside and told them they couldn't play in the house since they didn't respect our rules or our things). I checked up on them and saw them standing on the sidewalk in front of our house. I yelled at Eddie because we have a rule that he can't go past a line on the driveway unless Mick or I are with him. So Eddie came back and was standing on our driveway. Em asked me for a glass of cordial (kind of like kool aid) and I went into the kitchen. As I was walking back, I see the police stopped outside our house. I went outside and they were pulling away. The boys looked toward the house and saw me and instantly knew they were in trouble. Apparently the police knew Reese and he's been "told off" before. They warned the boys that they would be fined $800 each if they kept pretending to shoot at passing cars. Nice. Fantastic. I talked to Eddie about it and he told me Reese is the bad one and Jay really isn't bad. They'd already broken two rules before the police came by so I was done. I told Eddie to come in for lunch and sent the boys home. Jay came back and asked if they could play here while Eddie ate. I said no and sent them home again and told them they were not allowed to come back for the day. Reese wanted to know why and I told him they had three strikes- they broke a rule outside, they were touching items we'd asked them not to touch, and they had the police stop by to chastise and warn them.
Later that afternoon, we went out to the pool. We have an inflatable pool that we set up in the front yard (which has more space and is flatter). The kids were in and Mick and I were watching them. We watched Reese and his mom and the baby get into their car and drive away. Jay, the 8 year old, was on his bike but just sat there watching us in the pool. So there we were. Normally I would have invited Jay to come over...but he and Reese have gotten out their slip n slide and the kids have stood there and watched them play wistfully. Plus, Mick reminded me that Jay was not my responsibility.
So I am now torn between feeling bad for the boys and not wanting them around Eddie. When Eddie is around them, he gets taken advantage of because he's younger and smaller. He wants to prove himself and acts tougher and bigger than he is. He broke out the fly screen of a window in our rental house and was throwing plums at Reese. And Emily hates it when Jay and Reese are around. We banned them from her room first, and they haven't respected that. She sticks to me like glue when they are around and hates it when Reese tries to tickle her (she and Eddie both say he tickles too hard, not in inappropriate spots or anything). So that tells me that the less time Eddie and Em are around Reese and Jay, the better.
Luckily, the boys are supposed to be moving in a few weeks. I am hoping that by the time I get back, they will be out! Maybe a younger boy and a girl will move in. I can always hope!
The next topic- Visas. Wow...lots and lots of requirements, and very costly. I have 32 pages of information to fill out- the basic info, information about my family, information about Mick and his family, numerous statements about my relationship with Mick to complete. Then, I have to provide proof of my citizenship, proof of Mick's citizenship, evidence of our relationship (our lease maybe? joint bank account?) and evidence of our relationship from the past 18 months. I have to provide 4 recent pics of me and Mick has to provide 2 of him. We have to have 2 Aussie citizens write statements about our relationship and prove that we've been together (and we have to prove those two are Aussie citizens). Mick has to provide work statements and tax statements to sponsor me. I may have to have Bruce be a kind of co-sponsor who says he will help support me or pay for any fines I incur (speeding tickets? not sure) while not an Aussie citizen. I have to provide medical records and history and they assess whether I am a health risk. I have to have a physical, get chest x-rays, and take an HIV test. I have to have a character assessment (police background check) and interview. And all these documents have to be certified copies (i.e. notarized).
After all this is done, my application will be reviewed. If approved, I will have a temporary partner visa for 2 years. After 2 years, they will reassess our relationship and application. If we are still together and Mick and I have been able to provide for ourselves, then they will again look at my character and health and will assess me for permanent visa status. While I have a temporary visa, I will get a Medicaid card and will have access to health care. I won't have to leave every 3 months. At that point, though we may not be married, the Aussie gov't will see us as such.
It's a lengthy process and involves a lot of people and money and time. It can take 5 to 10 months to have a temporary visa once the application is lodged. It's a tough process. And once that is approved, I can work! After I fill out my provisional license application and pay that money too. lol, seeing a pattern? Yeah. Me too. Money and paperwork. Lots and lots of it.
I have pics of the kids swimming in the pool and I want to post those, but I think I will make a separate post for that. I still have many topics I'd like to cover...but I'll get there. :)