Friday, 31 August 2012

Thank you :)

I just wanted to write a quick one to say thank you to everyone who's showing me support after revealling that I have depression. I saw my Doctor today and she has given me the number for the CBT team, so hopefully that'll help.

It really makes a difference knowing I'm not alone and that others have been through it too, and are still, and it did make me think of how many mums that are affected in the same way, so many mothers feeling isolated and unsupported. I wasn't sure about mentioning it, but it seems it was a good idea and I'm glad I did now, I actually had an OK day today :)

It's been completely mad though, still haven't got everything ready, but there's still tomorrow morning to come yet, and I did get to have a very cool chat to a guy with a Harris Hawk! He told me how he takes her out hunting, walks 6 to 8 miles a day with her!

 The beautiful Harris Hawk :)

Back next week!!

Some Home Truths

I'm doing a quick blog this morning as I have tonnes to do and want to try and get an early night, if at all possible...
I've been struggling a bit lately, I feel a bit weird sharing this, but those who know me, know me, and those who don't, don't.
I've realised that I'm suffering from depression again, from not having any help or support from anyone ever since I had my first child, and all the struggles we've been through, I've not had any help, because my family are either too far away or just not really that interested, and I always shut myself off from everyone.
I know the depression isn't because I am weak, or not good enough, but because I'm trying to do everything all by myself, and obviously, I'm going to run into problems there.
This is all to do with getting myself sorted, what I mentioned in an earlier blog. I was kind of in denial about the depression, I'm excellent at hiding it. but the truth started creeping up on me, and I guess thats got to be a good thing, because now I can get some help.
I also don't feel that I can tell my family about it, because I know the first thing they'll say is "it's because you don't get a break from the kids, they need to go back to school" and I know that isn't true at all, but people not fully understanding of home education just see it like that. The first thing most people say when you tell them you're home educating is "Idon't know how you do it" being with the children all the time, they mean. Like these parents just want to get rid of their kids as soon as possible, like spending a long time with their own children is some kind of torture! But I never had a close family growing up, I felt sooo alone the whole time, and now I LOVE having  my family around me! and I want to get as much of it as I can before they all go off into the big wide world. It seriously ISN'T my children making me depressed!! If anything, they cheer me up, they are all so sweet when I'm upset or sad and they give me hugs and try to cheer me up!

Anyway, enough about me.

We're going on holiday TOMORROW! The kids nan came round last night and gave them a £20 note to spend! Jamie spent the rest of the evening kissing hers! she also bought 2 wipe clean times table flash card sets, which they both were trying out last night, Alex gets confused with multiplying and adding, he started off good then went back to adding,  but I'm sure he'll get there soon.
So we'll be packing and loading the car today, my mum is coming over to collect the rabbit and hamster and there is a lot of excitement, they keep stealing all the snacks that I bought for the journey!

OK, I'd better get on with it, at least today I only have the holiday to concentrate on, and it's sunny, it should be a better day :)

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

2 days to go....

There are two days until we go on holiday and our washing machine has packed up!
I've already got the childrens clothes all packed but left mine and Davids clothes til last to do :(

Nevermind, I'm sure it'll all be ok in the end.......

We are going to north Wales and today I booked tickets to go on the Snowdon mountain railway, which I'm really looking forward to - I would prefer to climb it properly but with a 2 year old, I think I'll just do that another time!

I'm trying really hard not to get stressed out about getting everything ready, but it's all down to me to do it all and my head isn't always screwed on properly!!

The last 3 days Alex and Jamie have been playing Skylanders! I'm not at all bothered because after all their fighting and bickering they've been doing, it's so lovely to see them working together as a team! They've been really working hard together, they've got to the last level, from starting from scratch again, in 3 days!

We also went and took advantage of the 'back to school' sales and bought a load of notebooks (proper paper ones)  and some colouring pens and they've doen some really good drawings of Skylanders, Jamies drawings have really improved in the last couple of weeks, I'll stick some pics on tomorrow, they've left their notebooks in the car and I really can't be bothered to go and get them right now!

Alex had his last speech therapy for this time and he can make all the sounds separately, but has difficulty combining sounds, especially consonants, not sure how much he'll be able to improve but I'll help him all I can.

I've decided to go ahead with the assessment for him in september, after talking to him about it, he seemed completely ok with it. Something made me sad though, earlier I was going through some of his speech therapy home work and i had to say a statement, and he had to tell me if it was true or not, like 'pigs can read', the last one was a bit of a fun, it was 'i am clever' and Alex said that it wasn't right and that he wasn't clever! I'm so sad that he doesn't think he's clever, from all of his difficulties it must get him down a fair bit.
Yesterday really made me see how it affects him too. We had two of Jamies friends round and went to the local museum which is closing down in two weeks. By the time we got there, Alex was not in a happy mood. I also had a bit of an argument with the lady at the reception! Alex, Jamie and her friends were looking at the little toys they have for sale by the counter, I gave them £1 to spend - they're only little toys - and they were looking at them to see what they wanted to buy - as you do- when the lady got all bothered and told me that the children mustn't 'play with the toys in case they get broken'! I just wasn't going to have that at all! Anyway...she was being very helpful after I explained in a very assertive way that they were only looking and had every right to look at them.
But Alex was complaining about EVERYTHING! He was really not having a good time :(
He was really depressed, everything he did was rubbish apparently, and he even brought up that Jamies picture she did last night was better than his, and this went on and on the whole time, and when I mentioned about a HE group that we supposed to be going to in the afternoon, he nearly started crying! So we gave it a miss, and after being home and playing Skylanders and going on the trampoline - and Jamies friends had gone home - he cheered up again. But I'm wondering if it was being with Jamie and her friends that got him down, i dont know, but I didn't realise he had such a low self-esteem, so i'll have to try and boost him up a bit.

Alex putting camouflaged creatures back in their hiding places at the museum

 Jamie doing some games on the museums computer, way too easy apparently...

Amelia playing with the crayons...nice builders bum Amelia!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Dungeons and Dragons and Skylanders.

Today was quite different from yesterday. Yesterday, Alex and Jamie were arguing a lot, Jamie was so obviously completely bored that she had resorted to trying to wind everyone up as much as possible. We couldn't even go out, well, we could've had a walk round the block, if we'd got our acts together, but I didn't have the car again(the same every weekend). I eventually suggested to Jamie that she do some maths, which she did! for a bit anyway. Alex was playing Skylanders a lot, he's completely sussed reading 4 figure numbers now.
For me, half of the day was spent sorting Alex's room out.....what a mess it was! again!!
Yeah, so yesterday wasn't much fun.
Today, when we still didn't have the car, Jamie and Alex haven't been fighting at all!! They've been playing together nicely!
Earlier, Alex found the Dungeons and Dragons game I bought from a charity shop about 2 years ago and we decided we'd have a go. It took ages for me to figure out how to play it, how to set it all up and sort all the cards out. I was sure Alex was going to get bored and go off and do something else, but he stuck with it, but we needed more players and Jamie wasn't in the mood. But I really think we'll have fun playing that in future, Alex loved all the spells and potions and baddies.
Also, Alex and I acted out the story 'Not Now Bernard'. It's one of Alex's favourite stories. That was quite good fun :)
It was Jamies turn to play Skylanders today, for most of the day.

I'm having a little dilemma at the moment. I've finally recieved an appointment for Alex's assessment for Aspergers at the CDC. But now I'm wondering whether to go through it or not. Since taking him out of school, most of his anxieties have disappeared and his confidence has grown. Part of me doesn't want to put him through it all, I'm worried that it'll make him think there's something wrong with him. But on the otherhand, I'm pretty sure, if he were to be put back into a school situation, he'd be back the way he was before, and maybe I'd be able to get some help in the future.
Hmmmm...I think I'll talk to Alex, see how he feels about it.

I have now got 4 days to get everything ready for the holiday!!! just starting to panic slightly.........

Also forget to mention that we thought Jamies Rabbit was going to die! on Friday she was not looking well, had stopped eating and rabbits stomachs just shut down when they stop eating, we were really worried about her, couldn't get an appointment friday, saturday morning she was still alive, thankfully, and Jamie and I took her to the vets, and after the vet checked her over, she was given an injection to get her stomach working again, and some pain killers. We actually met a home educating family in the waiting room, I can spot them a mile off now!! Anyway, yesterday, the rabbit - Fluffy, is back to her usual self! so glad, we've not had much luck with pets! Jamie was so grown up the whole time, really looked after Fluffy well.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Growth Spurt

I'm learning SOOO much at the moment!

After my talk with my friend the other day about radical unschooling, and also chatting with another friend online about it, I'm realising that we are already doing radical unschooling without realising it! my children have been doing it for ages and I have been kind of fighting it, but now I'm coming to accept it.

They've been getting to sleep around 10 each night, after playing or watching a DVD in their rooms, and they wake up at around 8 in the morning, and thats enough sleep for them! So I'm not going to get stressed out thinking that they should be sleeping in the evenings, and just let them get on with it, as long as they're not too noisy and they let me and David have a rest!

It's the same for Amelia, she gets 2-3 hours sleep during the day, and then she can go to sleep at bedtime when she wants and she gets enough sleep too! We don't mind Amelia being downstairs in the evenings sometimes because she's so cute :)
I used to try to get them to go to bed at 7.30, in the hope they would be asleep by 8.30!!!! now, i just try to get them upstairs by half 8 and they put themselves to bed when they want to!

Someone told me today something that really makes sense - they'll sleep when they're tired and eat when they're hungry - it's as simple as that.

When it comes to daytime, I try to show them all the options, and i offer my advice, and my words of experience, Alex will listen to me and take my advice most of the time, but Jamie will not be told what to do and consistently makes her own mistakes, to the point that the other day when we were leaving the park, Jamie was insistent that she not wear any shoes when we walked all the way home - probably over a mile! -  I decided, after talking to her, explaining how much of a bad idea it was, that there was no point in having a massive argument about it, and let her do it.  Alex tried to copy her, but I told him that he really needed to wear his shoes, explained why and he put them on, no hassle. I could tell Jamie's feet were a bit sore by the time we got home, hopefully she'll know next time. She does that kind of thing all the time! She will not be told what to do. Of course I have to put my foot down sometimes, and she knows when i mean business, but I let her make her own mistakes a lot.

I really can't get Alex to do ANYTHING that he doesn't want to do (but he listens to reason more than Jamie does!), so I've sort of been forced into autonomous! I would personally love to have a bit of structure  because the constant chaos stresses me out quite a bit, but they just wont have it, so I'm going to have to learn to let it go.
I'm sure some other parents think that my children are way out of control, and that I should reel them in a bit, but i like to let them fly around! I put a lot of trust in them, and they are really good with stuff that a lot of children haven't had the chance with, and other people panic or worry that they'll get into trouble.

It sounds like i just let my wild children be wild! and i do, to a point, but they are happy, safe, fed, clothed and most importantly, loved :) and they are really well behaved most of the time ;)

So basically, as a parent doing it autonomously, we are the guardians, and daily life is mostly led by the child/children, except when grown up stuff needs doing, or on those rare occasions, when the parent wants to do something!

I'm still trying to get my head around it properly, a friend of mine told me to forget the word 'should', so I'm just going to try and just go with the flow, rather than try and fight it, I don't have to be in control of everything.

Here's a few pics of some of the stuff we've been up to :)

 Alex wanted to be a superhero :)

Amelia at The Dell

A bit of fun on the way home from the park

update on the caterpillars in our veggie patch,
it's a good job I grew all that cabbage for them.........

Friday, 24 August 2012

who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

The boredom is setting in. Not with me, with Alex and Jamie. In true autonomous style, I've been getting on with my own thing(mostly preparing for the holiday!) and letting them decide what they want to do, and they've been watching WAAAYYYY too much spongebob!! it really is on a lot! I've been really tempted to just walk in and turn it off! but I'm kind of doing an experiment to see what's going to happen, and they've started getting bored! When they say to me "I'm bored" I'll suggest things to them, but they don't want to do anything I suggest, it reminded me of the days when I had time to get bored and I sometimes felt bored but not necessarily wanted to do anything, it was a more of a restless feeling...I did even suggest they stop watching spongebob for a while, and they did for a bit, and they played outside, then about half an hour later, spongebob goes on again......

 I'm wondering if they are coming to a turning point, and soon they will get fed up with the TV.......please!!

I got two new books  I thought they might like, Usbourns lift the flap, inside the body, and how things work, but I think theres too many books in this house, Alex came over to see what was in the box when they arrived, all excited "whats inside mum?.......oh.....just books......." They are really nice books as well, maybe one day they'll have a look through them.

we went to my step nans house yesterday to do some gardening for her, and I've started noticing that I'm not having to tell them off recently, they've been really good! They even did some gardening too, wanted paying for it though! Jamie has been really grown up, she's being such a good big sister, and helping me out lots. She's been quite motherly to little Amelia, sometimes a bit too motherly, but it's quite sweet.

Jamie actually said yesterday that she doesn't feel like she's been learning anything lately. I explained to her that it was the summer holidays, and that her and Alex are getting used to eachother being all the time, and she also might need a bit of time to get used to not being at school, but she said that she wanted to learn science, so I said that when we get back from holiday, we'll start 'learning' again.

Alex has been doing ok, he still loves looking for bugs, he's been playing Skylanders again recently, and he loves collecting money and buying new power-ups and trying to figure out how much money he needs to get the power-ups, so it's all about numbers for him which he really likes. I'd love to get another game thats very number orientated, but not too obviously trying to teach him anything!

We went to a home ed meet-up yesterday, it was quite a good turn out really, I think there were at least 6 different families not including mine, it was really nice having a chat with them, if not brief as a lot of us had to keep rushing off after little ones! I'm not sure if any of the children actually got together because it was quite busy at the park they kind of got lost among the crowds. Soon it'll be all ours day...oh

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

BATS!!! (also some of opinion based statements that you might not agree with - but this is my blog so there!)

A mega quickie tonight, we've not long got back from a late evening walk in the woods to watch loads of bats flying around! They are soooo cute!

Earlier we met up with a lady I met on a home ed forum, she's down visiting her mum and we met up and she is a lovely lady with 2 lovely children.(In fact all of the people I have met through home education have been such lovely people!) She is completely autonomous, not just with education but everything, and it's really interesting learning about the different approaches to bringing up a family, I think I'm on  my way to being completely autonomous, I don't know how far I'll actually go! But it made me think that all the home educating families have there own unique way of doing it, the way that suits them and their children, that makes me see another reason why home education works so well because at school it's not catered to the individual at all.

My friend also mentioned that she went to HESFES which is a week long festival for home ed families, and she said it was brilliant, and she said that she went into a area where there were lots of teenagers, and she was kind of expecting them to be full of attitude, but there was none! They were even all making sure the younger children were ok and had enough room. We talked about where this typical teenager attitude comes from and we both agreed that must have something to do with school and that your typical school kid gets to a point where they just want to rebel because they've been boxed in so much - I know, I was one of those typical teenagers!

I know there are tonnes of schooled children that are loved to bits by their families, I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about being held back, creatively and not being able to follow their own dreams because they're too busy following orders.

How different the world could be if all children were able to grow into proper happy free thinking individuals rather than constantly being told what to do and forced into trying to fit in somewhere.........

Monday, 20 August 2012

Gardening, Art, Science, Music, Maths, Cooking and other things

OK, today, I decided that I'd takes little notes of the activities that took place today because I cannot rely on my memory and wanted to put in my blog just how much they get up to, but even though I got some of it written down it's still not all of it!

I was supposed to be catching up on the housework today but didn't really get much done!
I've really noticed how physically active the children are, they've got the trampoline which is in almost constant use, the swings which have been wrapped over the top so they're really short and the top bar is being climbed over, and the slide which is used for all sorts of and the paddling pool, and our chin-up bar in the living room is very popular (except when people are trying to walk through the door!) It really made me realise that if they were in a classroom all day being made to sit down most of the time, I can really see that it would drive them a bit mad! It also made me think about what to do in the winter - maybe get more chin-up bars!!

Anyway.....this morning after messing about for a bit in the garden Jamie came in and decided that she'd play with the big keyboard that we've only just got a new lead for, I got a sheet music book out and showed her how to read music - writing the keys underneath and I wrote them on the keys too so she could play a song.
Alex and Amelia had a go too, had lots of fun making very strange sounds.

Then, back out in the garden, we found a grasshopper had fallen into the paddling pool and drowned, Jamie wanted to bury it, but I suggested that we look at it under Jamies microscope and we spent quite a while studying it. After a while Jamie wanted to go outside and study the mosquito larvae that's living in my temporary pond (bucket) with my lily in. She studied how they move around - did a very funny impression of one- and she saw how they breath - through a little tube on there bottoms! and later on she decided that she'd try and kill them with chemicals!! I explained that that was NOT a good idea and why, and I explained that the best way is to find out what creature eats them, and encourage them to live near by (she hasn't got round to that bit yet)

Then I made a fruit smoothie/milkshake ( 4 bananas, wheatgerm and maple syrup, YUM) and we had three different 4 sized glasses, Alex and Jamie wanted to have exactly the same amount, so we did a few experiments about volumes and how we could make sure we all had the same amount.

We did a bit of gardening because Alex wanted to get the little step ladder out for Amelia, to see of she get up on to the trampoline by herself, but the steps were in the bushes - put there before the plants all grew up, so Alex had to pull them out and trim them back.

Alex and Jamie had a long discussion about how many seconds, minutes and hours are in a day. I showed them how to work it out, then Jamie got the calculator out and realised how much easier it was!

Jamie told me EVERYTHING that happened in her book she read the other day, the one that took her a couple of hours to read. I did wonder once that she was reading so fast that she couldn't possibly be actually taking it in, but she remembers EVERYTHING! I should maybe help her learn to summerise, it was great hearing her recount all the details, but I hadn't banked on being caught for half an hour!

They both helped me chop up vegetables for the dinner, until a big argument broke out....

I'm actually getting somewhere with Jamie regarding her attitude, we had another big argument last night, and she wasn't backing down as usual - she gets so rude and says such horrible things and thinks its ok to hurt people and get revenge, but we got to a non- shouting stage and we actually talked properly and reached the same conclusion. And today, after she beat the cr*p out of Alex because he ran off with something of hers, after she was arguing that she had every right to do that, and me not backing down at all without getting angry myself, she calmed down A LOT quicker and properly apologised!! normally she wouldn't even realise she was in the wrong! So hopefully, it's starting to get through to her that she can't hurt people.

Alex did some drawings, he tried to draw Tree Fu Tom, got frustrated with it, then he watched 'Get Sguiggling' and drew some cool pictures :)

OK. that's all I jotted down, theres still a lot more that happened, but I'd be here all night doing this if I typed it all down!

I'm going to go outside now and see if I can see the International Space Station pass over! :)

Sunday, 19 August 2012


I spent all day today being HOT!
Didn't actually do anything, again, I'm not complaining though because it was nice just mooching around, paddling in the paddling pool, and trying to stay cool.

There was not a lot going on during the main part of the day, me and Alex went to the supermarket to grab a few bits, I couldn't help myself buy a couple of  English and Maths 7-9 year olds homework books, just in case the need arises...
We cashed up a BIG jar of coins that their nan had given us a few weeks ago, a few of them were returned because they were foreign, Jamie and Alex found them interesting, some from the Bahamas, Spain, Poland, Ireland and France.

We had a barbeque, I actually bought some chicken drumsticks to have with it, the first time I've bought meat for us since becoming 'mostly vegetarian', you know what? it wasn't as fantastic as I remembered. Amelia LOVED the corn on the cob! We tried some quorn burgers which were actually surprisingly nicer than beef burgers!

After eating, it was Jamie's idea to take crazy action photos of both of them jumping off the swing and doing somersaults on the trampoline :)

 This one looks like Alex is being beamed up by aliens!


Then after that Alex and Jamie played in the embers of the barbeque with sticks, Dad started the fire again with some cardboard and they messed around with the fire for a bit. When the fire was eventually put out, Jamie decided that she was going to make her own fire....luckily it was time for them to go in, but Jamie is quite determined to continue the fire building tomorrow.....

 I have no idea what I'm doing tomorrow,or the day after that, I'm sure theres stuff happening but I just cannot for the life of me remember, I forgot to take my evil focus pills today......... maybe I should go and actually buy a calender from somewhere!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Taking Stock

Amelia is having her nap, Alex and Jamie are watching Mr Bean so I thought I'd take this quite moment to write my blog now, in the evening it's all very rushed and I'm constantly being interrupted and I never write the things I really want to.

The last few days I've been quite thoughtful. There's a big change going on in my life. I'm realising that I need to get my own head straight if I'm going to do things properly. I need to sort some things out from my past that were never dealt with, and I need to start feeling better about myself, and happy with myself, because I'm not at the moment. I have a vision of how I want my life to be, how I know it can be, I just need to take certain steps to get there.

I did feel reluctant to explain all this in my blog, because it's a blog about home education, I thought my feelings would be irrelevant, but then it occurred to me that being the mum, the main person responsible for my children, how I'm feeling is relevant because I need to be in the right place to help my children be in the right place, and to be able to gauge whats going on with them. Also, all parents whether they send their children to school or not will all have times in their lives where they need to put themselves first for a while.

So I've been taking stock of everything. Lately I've been spending too much time stressing out and worrying about things and feeling rubbish,  it's still the summer holidays, and we're still de-schooling, so I'm going to sort myself out for a bit.

I've also noticed after having my partner here today, how much things have changed since taking both of them out of school. I am much less controlling of the children these days, I'm seeing everything in a different perspective, it's ALL learning now, everything they do is learning. If it's something that they want to do, then I'll do my best to let them do it, because that's 'where it's at', if you know what I mean (not when it's impractical, too dangerous or will upset anyone else)  I'm really seeing that I used to say 'no' a lot more and I don't really know why.

It's SOOO hot today! I'm going to have to stop doing this blog now because my laptop appears to be over-heating!! Just got time to stick a photo on, Jamie took some temperature readings with out thermometer earlier -

28 degrees in the shade!!

Friday, 17 August 2012

cushion camps and lavender

Yay! its friday and my partner hasn't got to work this weekend!!!

We had such a lazy day today! I did think about going out......but it never actually happened.
I got all the sofa cushions off the sofa and after using them to make a mountain, an obstacle course and a hurdle, he made a big camp out of them. Then, after one of the dogs snuck in there while he wasn't looking, Alex said it stank of dog, so he went and got some lavender form the front garden and put some inside his camp to make it smell nice again. Then he decided to get some more lavender and rub it all over our rug and sofa, which I thought was a brilliant idea because having two dogs, a hamster and a toddler(nappies) and being allergic to all those horrible air freshners, the house can be a little wafty - I have just bought a reed diffuser after seeing it being recommended, hopefully it'll work!

Jamie has been writing a diary of all the things that she's been up to. It's interesting seeing the things that she remembers(she likes me to read it too). She said that she would like to learn to read music, which is something that we can do together, I know some from memory but have to work out the rest from the ones I know, so we can learn together. She's also shown quite a lot of interest in coins and the dates they were made and working out how old they are, I remember when I was little my mum used to have a little metal post box full of old coins, some from different countries, I used to love looking through them, it's funny how Jamie is doing a lot of the things that I did when I was young.

Jamies book came today, she's been reading this series of books called 'Something Wickedly Weird' by Chris Mould, she's read 3 from the library, and we ordered one from Amazon which arrived today, Jamie was so excited she took it straight upstairs and read the whole thing!

I've quite enjoyed my lazy day today, spent some time just messing around with the kids. I took the dogs out this evening, got blisters on my feet but it was a really nice walk.

I have no idea what we'll be doing this weekend, but it'll be nice to go out and do something together for once.

A word keeps creeping into my mind, a word that is GROWING slowly but surely, nipping at my toes.........

a l l o t m e n t

We haven't been there for AGES and I'm pretty sure the weeds are about 20 foot high now. I would love so much to get it sorted, but I just haven't got around to it this year, besides the fact that Amelia will be disappearing off to the far corner with Jamie and Alex looking for lizards in the compost heaps...she's still a little too young to watch out for brambles and stinging nettles. But I'd really like to get it sorted this autumn.

Anyway, I'm off to have a glass of wine - or two, and I'll be back sunday :)

Alex in his camp :)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Water Boatmen and Burnt Chocolate

I should just about squeeze this one in tonight!

I've just got back from walking the dogs over the fields, did some good power walking up the hills, it felt good, last night I swam 30 laps in the pool, nearly killed me!

I've been trying to have easy days this week, it's not really happened, although today was kind of easy.
We went pond dipping at Wymondly wood yesterday with one of Jamies best friends, Jamie managed to scoop up a water boatman (or 3) and we excitedly put it straight into our tub of water to have a look, then almost immediately recoiled because it looked quite horrible close up! We weren't expecting it to look so creepy! Alex was trying to pick it up with his fingers with all of us yelling at him to stop! We also had some freshwater shrimp too. Then we decided to go to the common and see what lives in the little streams there. We found more shrimp and some water snails. Jamie, Alex and Jamies friend were calling and making echoes into a drain that goes under the field, all the way over to the otherside, and talking with one on each side of the field.

Yesterday afternoon, while I was having my tea break upstairs, I heard a lot of activity going on, then heard Alex say that he'd burnt his mouth, so then I wondered what was going on and went down to find Jamie in the kitchen with some burnt chocolate in a saucepan! I noticed straight away that she looked embarrassed and annoyed with herself, so instead of telling her off for using the hob on her own, without asking, I just told her that she needed to have it in a bowl above some boiling water, and helped her and Alex make some rice crispie cakes. We were watching masterchef while we were waiting for The Simpsons to come on and Jamie said that she would like to do some cooking, that she'd like to make a meal all by herself, so I said that I'd show her how to make a meal tomorrow.

Alex had another speech therapy session yesterday, he's finally being moved on to his next sounds! He's mastered B, P, D, T, G and C, now he's on R. It's really good that he's making progress.

Alex made a change machine like the ones you get in supermarkets, out of lego, his dad came home late from work (again) and helped him finish it off. Alex painted 2 alphabet paintings today, without any help from me, he was determined to do it on his own.

I've been hearing them both playing quite nicely together lately, they still fight, but it's not so much and they try to compromise now. They've both been doing lots of bug hunting in the garden, been finding loads in the veggie patch, I knew I'd never get to eat any of that cabbage, it's covered in caterpillars, but the kids love seeing them get fatter and fatter.

I'll add photos to this post tomorrow, and add any other bits that I remember :)

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Young and Old

ooh it's half 8 and i've sat down already! sounds too good to be true, I'm sure something is about to make me get up any second.....

Yesterday it was my Grans funeral. It was my partners first day off in about 2 months and we all went.
The service was really nice. I didn't really know my Gran that well, well, I didn't all the time I was growing up, then about a year before she became ill we started to talk to each other and was surprised to find that I had more in common with her than my mum! So I am quite sad that I didn't get chance to get to know her better. During the service the Lady spoke of what my Gran was like growing up and what she did during the war, how she met my Grandad(who died a few years ago) and all the things she was interested in. She said she went to Africa to the Ganges and how she loved the people there and how they lived. I wish I had known her.
During the service, Jamie was really grown up and was trying to make sure Amelia was quiet and that Alex was standing/sitting when he was supposed to. I explained to Alex before hand what was going to be happening, about the coffin etc. Halfway through a speech Alex said rather loudly "when are they going to open the box?" !!! that was quite erm....awkward...Amelia was being very happy and jolly, it was a weird mix between young and old, happiness and sadness all at once, I found it quite difficult. My mum got up to say a lovely poem, Amelia was amazed watching her.

Afterwards we went back to my grans/aunts house. My gran used to live in a big house on the farm and my aunts bungalow was built on the land, then a few years ago an articulated lorry crashed into my Grans house and while it was being rebuilt, my Gran and Grandad stayed at my aunts bungalow, but then my Grandad died and my Gran couldn't face going back into the big old house on her own, so she stayed with my aunt.
My aunt has horse riding stables there, I used to go horse riding every week for years when I was younger. Alex, Jamie and their cousin Milo had loads of fun jumping and climbing over the hay bales in the barn, we looked around the stables and saw the horses, and they played football and rugby in the field.  It was quite a nice day, and a bit of a relief for my mum I think.

Today I've been trying to take it easy after yesterday pottering around and saving myself for tomorrow which is going to be really busy, yep, I double booked again...

It has been a very creative day for Alex and Jamie, painting and sticking and glitter.

Jamie and her best friends
Alex's 2nd stripey triangle - this time with glitter
 Jamie's picture of Finn and Jake from 'Adventure time'
Alex's version of Finn and Jake, and the Snow King :)

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sunday Funday

I am sooo unfit!

We went to the tennis courts this evening, we skipped dinner altogether, took some sarnies and snacks, roller skates, football, tennis rackets and Alex's skateboard and had loads of fun. Me and my partner are SO rubbish at tennis! Jamie had a go and after quite a few failed attempts she started getting the ball over the net and did really well. She's also doing really well on her roller skates too, all that wandering around the house in them has paid off and she can now roll along quite confidently.
Alex was doing well on his skateboard, getting the hang of it more, this has been his only chance to have a proper go on it. He also had a go at tennis, insisted on doing over the arm serving! He's not too bad :)
I've really wrenched my shoulder from roller skating, I was giving Alex a race to see who could get to the corner of the court first only I forgot I couldn't just stop easily, crashed into the fence at a funny angle pulling my shoulder out a bit, that gonna be sore tomorrow....
But I realised I want to be a lot fitter than I am, so I'm gonna have to start doing something. A friend of mine thinks I should join a local Roller Derby team.....I am seriously contemplating it, just wondering whether I can squeeze it into my already hectic life!

OK, here's a few of the other activities Alex and Jamie have been getting up to this weekend - they made their own bubble liquid out of shampoo and water, then decided to make bubble print paintings, which after using lots of paint and even food colouring it still didn't come out right for some reason.We went into town and I got some more books for them and a rocket and mini aeroplane kit, tested that out in the livingroom and lost one straight away. We went to the library, I just sat and let Jamie browse and Amelia run around, after moaning for a bit, Alex actually started looking at some books and chose some to take home, then they went into the adult non-fiction area and they chose a few books about rocks, fossils, minerals and gems. We've left Alex's fluffy owl there so we've gotta go back to get it tomorrow - I went racing back into town, running all over looking for it, got home and then phoned the library and it was there! why I didn't think to phone them first is a mystery..... We went into a supermarket and used their change machine thing, we had a whole load of coppers and 5 and 10p's given to us, we took a small amount of it and Jamie and Alex managed to get £4.30 each out of it, Alex bought some giant pirate balloons and a moshi monster build -it clay moshling thing, Jamie bought 2 my little pony blind bags. She got really annoyed when of them was one she had already got, I hope soon she will learn that they are a bit of a waste of money.
There's been a lot of camp building, playing with my guitar- I've actually learnt to play one song! it's really boring - Ode to Joy....but it's a start! Jamie has been making up songs on the guitar too.
Last night, Jamie went to bed to read her new book from the library and we were talking about a book I got for Amelia, it's a 'twinkle twinkle little star' book(Amelia has been trying to sing along to it), we were talking about the song and we came to the conclusion that the song may not be about a star, but about a baby, and I thought that was really nice, I'd not thought of it like that until then. Alex did some reading too! on his own, in his room!! Not even to get a sweet!!! Thats the first time thats happened! Alex had another party for his favorite toys, he made birthday cards and wrote in them himself.
They held a funeral for a dead worm today......
Talking of funerals, my grans funeral is tomorrow afternoon, I'm not really looking forward to that, it's the first family funeral for ages, and the closest family member I've known to die, it's going to be weird.

 The books I got

The little aeroplane and rocket kit
Jamies bubble mixture

The cabbage white eggs and tiny caterpillars
(as mentioned in a previous post)
Me, Jamie and Amelia in the distance messing around 
at the tennis courts
 There's been a whole loads of other stuff too but that's all I can remember at the moment :)

Friday, 10 August 2012

Feeling Frazzled :/

OK, I'm not doing a proper one tonight, and maybe not tomorrow either, but definitely on sunday because I've got loads to tell, but tonight I've only just sat down and it's just gone nine and I want an evening to relax for once!!
I'm realising that I don't get nearly enough time for myself still, I only managed to take the dogs out once, I didn't get to go swimming, and I haven't even been getting my usual half hour tea break during the day! I'm feeling slightly nuts, and I don't make a very good mum at all when I'm not getting enough time for myself.
It's a bit annoying that I don't have anyone that can help me out, but I've had a good chat with Alex and Jamie about my time, not about 'mummy' time, but about HELEN time, because I'm not just a mum, I'm a person with my own interests and needs just like them.
So I've not planned anything for next week - apart from one home ed meet up, and we're going to my grans funeral :( - but I'm not seeing anyone, or going anywhere further than my local park. I'm going to have some serious down time.

So until sunday, have a good weekend folks! xx

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Another Hectic Day!

just a quickie tonight as I'm really tired, Alex and Jamie have only just gone off to bed because Jamie decided that she 'misses learning' and set about trying to find out as much as possible about insects. She and Alex drew pictures of bugs and Jamie got our book about insects we've got and started learning about silverfish and bristletails. They look quite weird, and they learned quite a few new words.

This morning we went to our step-grans house, I cut her grass and the children looked for bugs and played hide and seek and ate ice creams. Jamie spotted that the pigeon that was sitting on a nest in the apple tree last time had now been replaced by a very odd looking baby pigeon.

After leaving great step nans house, we grabbed some chips and went to the park to eat them. We had a quick game of basketball and Alex actually scored a basket!! Jamie wasn't impressed......

Then after Amelia had a little sleep, we met up with a friend at the local aqua park, it was really busy. We had a really good time though, we stayed for ages and at about 5.30pm, most people had gone off for dinner and we had another splash around. Jamie made 3 new friends :)

OK, I'm going to go and crash now, PHEW!!

p.s. I'm trying my hardest not to arrange to do ANYTHING with ANYBODY....I want a quiet week!!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Asthma, nature and speech therapy

Today didn't get off to a good start. I have asthma and my inhaler had run out the day before and during the night my asthma was bad, so in the morning I struggled to get the children ready, get to the doctors, wait for an emergency prescription, then get the children back into the car, get to the chemist, wait for my the time I was walking back to the car I was so worn out from trying to breathe I was dragging my feet. After I'd had my inhaler, although I could breathe a bit better, I felt completely wiped out.

Never-the-less I still had things to do. Jamies friend came over and we all went for a nature walk in Wymondly woods again. Keeping the same mind-set I had from taking Amelia swimming, I let them lead the way, let them go at their own pace, stopping whenever and wherever they wanted, I was in no rush and it was really nice and relaxing. We saw loads of water boatmen in the pond, a water beetle and some other little creatures creeping along the bottom, we decided that next time we'll do some pond dipping to have a closer look. There was some kind of bird of prey flying overhead, couldn't quite see it properly through the trees but we could hear it calling. The children made a little camp with some branches, did a lot of climbing and found lots of cinnabar caterpillars.
 Having fun in the woods

After dropping Jamies friend back off, we came home for some lunch then Jamie was back out again with another friend, her friends mum offered to have her because Alex has started having some speech therapy sessions again. During the session Alex was saying his two sounds very nicely, they were the ones that he'd been working on last time. He did everything that was asked of him, but he was really making me laugh because they use games to get him to say the sounds, and this time he was given some wooden building blocks to gradually build up a tower everytime he got a sound right, but Alex kept getting distracted with arranging his blocks in a nice shape or rows getting them ready to play the game! she also got pop-up-pirate out for one of the games and Alex was no longer bothered about saying the sounds right, he just made a mission of trying to get the pirate to pop up then screaming really loudly when it did! When it was time to go he insisted that he build a castle that exactly matched the picture on the box so the poor lady was waiting to go home - it'd already gone 15 over the time we were supposed to go - so I took a picture of the building for Alex so that we could pack it away and let the lady go home!

Then we went and bought some new DVD's as they were getting so fed up with the old ones, Amelia was tearing around the supermarket, she just wants to run all the time! Got back home and then I did all the dinner and clearing up and getting ready for bed routine and now I am SHATTERED!!! I was supposed to go swimming with a friend, but I think it would've quite possibly killed me!

I'm off, til next time.......

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


I've just got back from walking the dogs in the rain...on my own! That's the first time I've walked them for ages, my partner usually takes them out on his bike for a run in the mornings, but I've decided to kill two birds, well three birds with one stone - get fitter, get some me time and the dogs get another walk. Lulu (one of our dogs) is really pleased with me because she wont stop licking me and snuzzling me while I'm trying to type this!
Jamie and Alex were not pleased that I wanted to go out on my own, Jamie was crying, saying that it wasn't fair and that "we do things together, that's what families do" she said. I'm sure she'll get used to it, I was only out for half an hour!

This morning we went swimming and it was a complete success! Jamie and Alex were soooo well behaved, I thought they were going to go crazy over the top with excitement but they were OK. My mum came with us. Amelia, it being her first time swimming absolutely LOVED it. She didn't have any armbands or anything and I let her do it all in her own time, I didn't just pick her up and take her into the water, I let her play around along the edge, she went in and out whenever she wanted, she eventually went a bit deeper, and after going in and out a few times, she went down the little slide a few times, then wanted to go deeper again and I showed her how she can float on her back, and on her front, and the second she said no, I let her get in the shallows again. I didn't get any swimming done at all, but that was OK because I want her to be completely confident in the water. I could see other parents taking their toddlers in for the first time, some of them took them straight into the deeper bit and I could see that the toddler was really scared.
It really made me think about how important it is to let children do things in their own time, without being pushed or forced. I could see how easily it is for a child to be put off something for a long time.

Alex took his swim-fin off after a while and was splashing around in the water having lots of fun, Jamie remembered how to swim underwater, she can do it very well, I just wish she would try and keep her head above the water!! When we got out it was starting to get really packed, especially the changing room but even though it was so busy, Jamie and Alex got dry and dressed without a hitch and Amelia was as happy as anything! I was really surprised, when we used to come before, it was so stressful with them both needing me to dry them and help them get dressed!

After spending a fortune in the cafe we came home, and I was just really pleased that it all went to plan, I can't wait to go during school time when it'll be a lot cheaper and less busy :)

Later on they were digging in the garden, said they were going to dig to Australia, which made Jamie ask again why people on the otherside of the world don't keep falling off,  so I tried to explain it a bit differently, and she then asked why does everything get pulled to the centre of the earth, so  I said that when she wants to, she can watch 'wonders of the solar system', that would explain it quite nicely.

I was also quite pleased to see Alex playing with Kiba, our other dog. He's hated our dogs for quite a while, says that we should just rid of them, but today he was throwing a ball for Kiba, and Kiba was being very good and dropping the ball and sitting nicely each time. Alex even went and gave him some dog biscuits as a reward for being so good!

Jamie has been reading 'James and the Giant Peach'. I bought a load of books from the charity shop the other day, amongst others there are 'The Secret Seven', a childrens version of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein', 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer', and 'the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'. So far they have been ignored, I'm pretty sure that if either of them see that I might want them to read something, they won't even contemplate it.........I'll have to get better at strewing! (for some UK home edders -I'm sorry to mention Sandra Dodd!!)

So thats another day done, this one was much nicer than the last one ;)

Monday, 6 August 2012

Manic Monday

What a crazy day... for me anyway.
A man from the housing association, not a very friendly man, had made an appointment with me to inspect the house this afternoon at 1pm. After all the sorting and clearing yesterday I did (and pulling a muscle in my arm putting really heavy boxes into the loft), the house was a complete mess, so I had to get the whole lot done to a reasonable standard by 1pm........with three young children was quite a job. Also to makes things worse, guys were coming round in the morning to see if they can sort out the problems with my soak-away - it floods every time it rains, and Jamies friend was coming over in the afternoon. Luckily, all Jamie did ALL DAY was watch 'puppy in my pocket' on youtube!! she only stopped watching it when her friend turned up at 2.30pm! She still had her pajamas on!! But it meant that her and Alex were not fighting, so I wasn't too bothered, Alex played nicely on his own mostly, he did a cool painting, made a robot out of bits of cardboard, he made a party day for Amelia, he made a huge pass the parcel present! And he washed his windows!
Alex was going to make more of these
and make a collage
The robot :)

I just cleaned and tidied and put away, and you know what? the guy never turned up.................................

The guys came to look at the soak-away, they said they're going to have to come back and dig a big hole in my garden to find out whats wrong :( I hope it's nothing too major!

When Jamies friend was here, they all ended up in the paddling pool with their clothes on! And later on after dinner we watched a storm cloud go around our house, somebody got a downpour, it just missed us!

And that's about it for today, tomorrow though, is a whole different thing, we've got swimming first thing, Amelias first time, and THIS time, my mum is coming with me.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

clearing out

I had another slight wobble again. I was getting stressed out thinking that I'm not doing enough with the kids. On top of the stress of continuing my massive clear up job of the house after I came off the rails with the whole end of school business, and then that week of summer we had......anyway, I feel like I can get back into it now, I don't have to worry about the kids, they are having fun, I don't need to be doing anything with them except help them achieve what they want to do. Jamie is getting school out of her system, Alex is having to adjust to his routine being changed. He's not sure if he's very happy at the moment, he is having fun, but I can tell that he's unsettled. I'm going to maybe have to help him get some of his old routines up and running again.

This weekend, my partner has been working again and I've been trying to sort out all of the piles of boxes and bags of stuff thats been accumulating over the years, especially because someone's coming to inspect the boiler tomorrow and loads of boxes were piled on front of it, so that's given me a boot up the bum to get it all sorted. I even sorted out the space under the stairs! got a tonne of kids clothes to get rid of and a car full of stuff to take to the dump :)

Jamie and Alex have been making camps, Alex still wants it to be christmas, he's got his own christmas tree in his room now. They went to see their great aunt and nana today, and I actually had some time to myself!! Alex did some more bug hunting, Jamie helped do some gardening. They bought back from their great Aunts a huge bag and jar full of 1p's,2p's and 5p's and they spent quite a while counting them all out, and Alex was weighing some on our scales. We watched some olympics, played hide and seek, Jamie made up a board game using moshi monster stickers, Alex set up shop again. They've been on their roller skates, playing on my guitar, in the paddling pool, and of course, lots of trampolining.

Saturday we went onto town when all the shops were closing. It was really nice and not very busy. We got some chips and sat at the benches to eat them. Jamie realised that she wanted some tomato sauce and I was surprised when her and Alex just walked 100 metres down the road back to the chip shop on their own to get some sauce! It must've been going to the park at grandads on their own has given them a bit of confidence!

I'm going to try and relax a bit now, doing this blog helps in lots of ways. It helps me to see what they have actually been doing, I know there's a whole load of other stuff they did but I just can't remember it now, my rubbish memory, but this blog also helps me to remember a bit more because I really have to think about it. It also helps to keep me focused on my children and what they're up to. for example, it didn't occur to me that I could try and get some of Alex's routines back for him until I sat down to do this blog, during the day and up until 9pm I'm rushing around all over the place, with no time to really think.

OK, that's it. I'm going to have some choccy!

Friday, 3 August 2012

friday at last....

Just a quickie tonight as it's FRIDAY! WOOP WOOP!!
Alex has been quite wobbly today, not sure why, maybe it's because it's been so hectic these last few days. He's been getting upset about lots of things, wanting things to be perfect. He got upset because Jamie had more christmas cards than him, because Jamie didn't wrap up his presents the way he wanted, and basically because it just wasn't actually christmas. He went to play skylanders but spent most of the time changing his avatar on the xbox. We went to the park at lunchtime and had a picnic - as planned in the chart yesterday.

Alex has been on the trampoline counting and counting, he said he counted to 1100! He did some digging in the garden, they got the paddling pool out again, they set up camp on the trampoline and said they would sleep outside tonight......only thing is, Alex always gets so over excited he can't stop himself from winding Jamie up that it always ends in tears, usually Alex's.

I had a conversation with Jamie earlier because we saw on the news about a girl who was murdered by her own parents(!) and I explained to Jamie about what happens when someone goes to court, and about solicitors and jury's and sentencing. She thought that the parents should be killed if they killed their daughter, so we discussed how fair would it be to commit a murder because of a murder...

The whole house is a complete mess again so I think it's time for another sort out. I noticed that I couldn't find hardly any of Alex's clothes, I checked in his toy box and he's tipped out all of his jigsaws in there,(after I sorted them all out the other week) they're all mixed up with his junior machano, his magnetix stuff and a load of lego and various other stuff along with his clothes...........

Right, thats it's for now, I'll be back sunday.........

Alex's Christmas tree :)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

A Hectic Two Days

It's Christmas eve here tonight. Alex was looking under the stairs for his roller skates when he found the Christmas decorations (that should've been put in the loft 7 months ago...) and decided that he'd decorate his room with them and declare it's Christmas eve! He's even wrapped up himself some pressies!

Me and Jamie have just been sorting out what we're going to be doing over the weekend, Jamie wanted it as a document on the laptop so we could print it out, so she typed it out as we discussed what we wanted to do, she's getting very good at typing now :)

Jamie has spent most of the last 2 days on her roller skates, she even wore them to visit her great step-nan! Great step-nan gave us all an ice cream, at 10 in the morning! We don't see her very often so I didn't mind too much.

This morning we went to Grandads, I needed to cut his hedge. It was the first time in ages since Grandad has seen Jamie as she's normally been at school. He made us pancakes with ice cream! (yes, ice cream again! but who could say no?) While I was getting ripped to pieces by the hawthorn/brambles/rose/stinging nettle hedge, Alex and Jamie remembered that there's a park right close to grandads house and asked if they could go. Grandad has a really bad back so we both said that they could go by themselves - it's a very quiet village and the park is on the other side of grandads garden - Jamie was reluctant to go, they've never been anywhere on their own before, but Alex was well up for it and talked her into it. When they got the park we could hear them from the garden and shouted hello. After about 15 minutes they came back, playing hide and seek. While they were gone something occurred to me.....I was worrying about them never having any time away from me, but of course they will. They will be old enough soon to do things on their own, maybe Alex a bit longer, but it wont be long til Jamie will be able to just walk round to her friends house on her own, or pop to the corner shop, I know that'll bring it's own worries, but I forget sometimes that they're actually still growing!

They went back to the park a couple more times on their own before we left, Jamie got over her nerves in the end :)

Yesterday was crazy. Not only had a home ed nature walk meet-up been changed from Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon due to rain, but I had double booked the morning! I had  arranged to visit the kids great step-nan, AND arranged for Jamies friend to come over! But I managed to squeeze it all in, and the Nature walk was so nice, well worth the rushing around to get there. We went to Mardley Heath, never been there before or even knew about it and I'm so glad my friend came up with the event, I'll definitely be going back again. And I was so pleased to see Alex actually playing and having fun with the other boys on the rope swing!
Lovely Mardley Heath Nature Reserve

Then in the evening, I had arranged to meet up and go swimming with someone that I'd only met online! She's a really cool lady and I had a really good time, although my sinuses are still feeling weird from all the pool water that went up my nose whilst doing lots of underwater roly polies :)