"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Friday, 29 February 2008

Flat stanley,Fun shopping and Tears at teatime...

Flat Stanley had his first outing with us today.(we have been going out and forgetting him and when we have remembered Emily hasn't wanted to take him as she has been scared that he would get torn or lost)I know he could hardly contain himself today, we made him a special cardboard pouch so he would be safe and off we went to B&Q!!!!! You will have to click on the picture to see Stan as the wind was so strong Emily had him close to her and of course Dog(scruffy to his friends) had to be in the picture.
He came to Morrison's with us as well but all the excitement had quite worn him out so he decided to stay in his pouch.

I had planned to go to a local Animal World today but Milly was tired,due to the fact she was hyper last night and couldn't get to sleep so came down to finish listening to her story CD whilst I watched Masterchef,(brilliant)so she didn't want to go anywhere.....

So after a bit of this and a bit of that, mainly drawing, we had a bath and washed hairs and got ready to go for the shopping which we couldn't get out of as Alan needs some cement to be able to start a repair job on a fence post first thing in the morning. We had a great time, Milly was in good spirits and miraculously so was I!!!!
Good chat whilst we had lunch about blood diseases and anti coagulants used by Mosquito's when they bite amongst other things.Fun while trailing the aisles in Morrison's and back home for ten minute rest before picking up Milly's best friend for tea.They spent nearly an hour writing down the imaginary puppies they have and deciding on their names, then watched Bridge to Terabithia while eating tea.I had not realised it was a really sad film and walked in to check on them to find Milly in tears and her friend holding her hand and nearly in tears, so I sat and held both of them and nearly cried myself it was so moving.

Emily is now watching Ice road Truckers on five with Al. A friend had mentioned it to her at the food coop and he is soooo into it, he obviously did a good job selling it to her as she was keen to watch.

We stopped off at a neighbours house on our way home from Emily's friends house, they have a puppy who is a little boisterous and I saw her recently with a harness on and she seemed to have so much more control so I wanted to ask her where she had bought it as I had not seen one.Although Beauty is very good on the lead when she does lunge it would be good to have more control.We have used a gentle leader head collar but when she lunged it was still allowing her to get forward whereas this you can hold at her shoulders.She invited us in( Emily and friend in heaven, 9 cats and a very lively chocolate retriever) and showed it to us and then said I could borrow it as she wasn't able to take the dog out at present as she was in heat and she was so strong that even with the harness on they were scared she would pull her over so her husband took her out and didn't need the harness.How kind.Al and I tried to fit it tonight but couldn't see quite how it went, it looked so easy when she showed me on her dog!!!Try again tomorrow, having found the suppliers website and got instructions..

Thursday, 28 February 2008

The Recipe For lynn

3 parts Understanding

2 parts Courage

1 part Style

Splash of Laughter

Limit yourself to one serving. This cocktail is strong!

Found this over at Making it up

Thursday antics

Had a good day today. Went off to the food coop to help out this morning, we haven't been for a few weeks for various reasons so it was nice to be back.
Emily started the day by cracking her knee on the wooden floor trying to show her cartwheel off!!She can't do one but the other little girl there was doing a flip over she had perfected at gymnastics and I think Emily felt a tad jealous!! She cried and had to sit and rest her leg for some time, but did manage to hobble to the kitchen to get herself a couple of chocolate biscuits, these were obviously just the thing to help with a sore knee.....Once she had had a time to rest and two other children trying very hard to make her feel better she played really well with both children and when we had to leave it took a while to get away for lunch..

After a quick lunch whilst she started watching charlie and the chocolate factory we went off to my sisters.I left Emily and came back to sort out paperwork pay bills and do filing after I had my lunch. Took 2 hours, granted some of that was looking through the book people catalogue and ordering a few bits!!!

On to pick up Emily who was wearing a super skirt her and my sister had made by cutting down a denim skirt of my sisters and adding heart buttons and applique heart and flower. Emily did not want to put her fingers near the needle on the machine but had used the pedal and had perfected the speed and balance needed to keep the needle going whilst my sister guided it through.

On to a friends house for a play,well actually as her friend is older they tend to spend a lot of time playing music and talking about primeval/Mcfly/Dr who...
I had a good natter with my Friend .

Home to make chicken Korma for tea,Emily had requested this last week as I was doing the menus but when she came through and asked what was for tea said she would never have asked for it as she hates curry !! She is in such an opposite mood at present.Breathe in and let it go......I didn't rise to the bait and she did have a little taste and ate the nan bread then had some toast for supper before going off to bed with Al.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008


I managed to get time to do the beds today and it brought to mind the dilemma I had about tidying Oh that seems so long ago.I can't remember the last time I got worked up about things not getting done,oh wait yes I can,it was just last week,but in my defence I got over it quickly...

I think what helped the most was to see that 90% of the time there was only me who was bothered by the mess, I stopped acting like a martyr and changed my thought process.If I feel strongly I want to do a job or it is something that is offending me then I get on and do it without playing the no one cares but me record, because that is not true, they just have different thresholds to mess!! I let a lot of things go that once would of played on my mind and very often the bed never gets made and the upstairs looks like a bomb has hit. I still try to keep the rooms we are in most often clear and the organisation and storage has helped enormously with that.

With regard to Emily's bedtimes.We have not got to the stage where Emily goes to bed when she wants, there is no set bedtime for Emily and we ask what time she wants to go to bed which is usually anything between 6.30 and 9.00 she generally knows when she is tired and even when she has said she will stay up, she will ask us to take her up if she gets too tired.Emily's behaviour and ability to cope the next day suffer so much without sleep, so this is a half way house for us at present.

Over the months I have relaxed any restrictions on TV watching and just said yes more and have found her turning it off and doing other things when there is nothing of interest to her.In fact she had been watching very little TV for weeks now, some days 1/2 an hour on a morning whilst she comes round.. However the last few days have been a testing time for me as she has asked to watch TV a lot more and I have had a few times when I have wanted to say no but I haven't and will see how things go, I am sure it will even itself out again.The reason I managed to get upstairs to do the beds this morning was because she chose to watch Charlotte's web 1 and 2 .She didn't want to do anything else I suggested so I just got on with jobs.I could perhaps of watched with her and I do like the videos but I had seen them so many times I really couldn't sit through them again.

Food freedom is hard ,I have been saying yes more but I find it really difficult to allow her to have bread and jam as many times as she would have it and persuade her to have something else.Her diet is limited as she has so few things she will actually eat I feel perhaps I should loosen up even more and accept that initially she will eat a whole bar of chocolate or have jam and bread a lot but that as with the TV eventually she will not have anything to fight against and may try more foods.
Prior to going to school Emily would eat anything and it is only since she went to school that her diet became more and more restricted, so perhaps freedom would give her the control back.....

Monday, 25 February 2008

Plans go astray,dog hide and seek,and a Bratz disco

I started today early and was up by 7.15 I just missed Al, he leaves at 7.10 so he can be in work at 7.30 and then he can finish at 3.30, good old flexi time....
I woke feeling dreadful but got better as the morning went on and managed to get a lot of little jobs done before Emily came down at 9.00.

We had received Tarka the otter from Amazon and I asked if she wanted to watch it with me but she didn't want to watch in the sun room as the TV is quite small and it is better in the living room but I was going to be getting breakfast through here and would be able to watch as I prepared it, so said we would have to watch it later as I had never seen it, so she stomped off into the other room, she was tired and is under the weather so I let the behaviour go and sure enough she came in after about ten minutes and we put it on.It was beautiful, she adored Tarka and there was lots of giggles and ahhhs.We knew it was a sad ending but enjoyed it regardless.

I had lots of things on my mind to do together today, they included some science books to look through to see what took our fancy, making and decorating cookies, getting the Tye dye t'shirt done, a walk,amongst other things....

As is often the case these plans will carry over into another day.....

We sat down to do some thank you cards to Uncles and Aunts for Emily's birthday presents and got sidetracked by the golden compass jigsaw book Milly got from her friend for her birthday. Now Emily has a hard time with jigsaws so any time she shows an interest we go with it and she did it happily and with no frustration.

She looks a little downcast in the picture, that was because I had done something wrong can't think what on earth it was now!!!

After the jigsaw Milly spent some time with Beauty training her( part of the promise to daddy about taking on responsibility for her pets)she played hide and seek where she hides and I send Beauty off to find her and then she hid treats and got Beauty to come to her and sit before sending her off to search out the treats. She did really well and was calm and assertive, can't think who she was copying cos she did it miles better than me !!! We had a really good time.

After all the play, time for a cuddle together. Then instead of getting on with the thank you cards I was persuaded that we could have a little play first and then she would get right on and do the cards after that....

So upstairs we went into Bratz land. There was a disco going on and the band were all set up and waiting so I got into the zone and played for 40 minutes(no I wasn't counting every second!!)I have to say although it is not my favourite thing to play I made myself forget other things and just got into it and actually the time did go faster and I did kind of enjoy it.

After the play it was time to tackle the cards,I had some cards with open front's to put photo's in, so we took photos of her with the toy's she had bought with the money she had been given and sent them off to the relevant Aunts and Uncles.

As we were doing the cards and waiting for glue to dry etc Milly went on her blog and she set up a new one about her pets, snappily titled My Pets.Que lots of adoptions of animated animals, she choose the layout and header picture herself and did most of the work with a little reminder now and again from me.

As we were working we got talking about Brownies, she has decided not to go again.She said that the incident when she asked the girl to be her friend had sapped her confidence!!!It may seem trivial but I know that this was the last time she went to Brownies so I think it did have a big impact on her.She also said it was very like school, I tried to talk her through it but it was no good she had decided and it was not worth pushing it.I did think of going along and helping and I may put this to her but I am not sure if this would help as based on past experiences she would probably cling to me whenever she could. So now we have no clubs or lessons to go to.In some ways I knew this would happen, I have read of lot's of other children coming out of school and giving up clubs etc ,she is such a home body and just loves being at home with us.In time perhaps she will need more.Of course the socialization question will be asked but the interactions that went on for her were not fulfilling, so we will get our socialization some other way!!!She did say she would go to Drama as she is good at it(she definitely is my little drama Queen) and some of the other Home ed children go, but I think we will give it some time before making any other decisions.
I was thinking back and she started Rainbows and I stayed with her and she seemed to have a great time and mixed well but after one session did not want to go back,she stayed on at a couple of after school club activities because she had heard about the things they were doing, like learning the guitar amongst other things and again seemed to have a good time but stopped going after a few times.Oh well let's just see how things pan out...

At the wettest, coldest, windiest part of the afternoon we went out to clean Liz rabbit, it was done very very quickly.

With my renewed determination to healthier eating in mind,I too have started another blog.Do not expect great things, remember I am diluting already limited writing skills so this is not the most scintillating read!!! To be honest I am using it as a food diary and a record of how I feel, with advice I find along on the way on foods that assist in providing energy and or alleviate the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue and the Menopause.So if you like a gripping read!! head on over to A life worth living healthily

Sunday, 24 February 2008

blah blah blah

A slow start to the day although I was up at 6.30.

Around 9.30 Emily phoned her friend in the village to see if she could come round and play for a while and we got two for the price of one as her younger sister came as well.
After they had gone we had a quick lunch and headed off to go to the kennels where Beauty will be staying whilst we are on Holiday and to exchange a dancing Barbie that Emily had spent some of her birthday money on yesterday. It was supposed to dance with her but didn't!!!

The kennels were fine and the staff are knowledgeable,so Beauty and Socks (cat) will be well looked after whilst we are away. Just got to arrange a Rabbit sitter now!!!
The barbie was exchanged for two Bratz and Milly played happily with them when we got home whilst I made tea and Al walked Beauty.

Emily has had a bad cough for some time now.On Thursday the doctor prescribed antibiotics for a suspected chest infection but we are trying Homeopathic remedies first as we usually have success and don't need to use the antibiotics.However she is under the weather and tired but is in hyper mode rather than quiet and subdued.She can't sit still and is loud and silly.I have found it difficult this evening and we have had a few words......

I finished reading Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn and I like the ideas in it, have not been able to put them into practice yet and will probably need to re read it, he does say it is not possible to change overnight and that awareness is a good start.I am aware that today I have not parented unconditionally and hope I have what it takes to do so in the future!!!!!

My little darling has just been in to say good night,she read a little of this post and has titled it for me, out of the mouths of babes!!!!!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Quick catch up

Having two days not having to do anything has been just what I needed. I got up to see to Beauty both mornings so Al could have a lie in, but after that he took over and I just had to relax. I have had detox days before when I make and drink fresh juices but I found it really hard this time not so much in the detox effects but the lack of food!!!.
I enjoyed a wonderful hour and a half on Thursday afternoon courtesy of a lady called Reswana. I had reflexology then a full body massage with some bits of Bowen technique to help with my lower back pain.I have never felt so relaxed for ages and will have to try to find funds from somewhere to go more regularly.

Whilst I was in the clinic Alan and Emily had decided to take Beauty to the park as she had behaved so well last time he had taken her.This time however she was a nightmare barking and growling at every dog in sight.To be fair they did let her off at one point when they thought there were no other dogs around but she spotted one and went haring off but did come back when called, took her some time but at least she came back!!! I think the difference was that she had been left in the car for a short time while they had done some shopping and that must have got her wound up and would account for her behaviour.So still some way to go before we can fully enjoy the walks in the park.We will just have to keep going for short walks there and get her confidence up.

The rest of the day I rested and snoozed.Yesterday Al and Emily went off around 10am and I got to watch some daytime TV and generally just veg out!!! I snoozed for a couple of hours in the afternoon whilst Al and Emily played. By 6.00 I was starving and was glad to have some real food and then when Emily came home from her friends we read and then had an early night and I slept some more!!!

Today has been a cleaning day for us all and Emily and I tackled upstairs and managed to get her room done together without falling out!! She said she loves having a tidy room it's just the process of getting one that she doesn't like!!

After a quick lunch we went to see The Water Horse
Loved the Movie, it had stunning scenery and the story told by an old man in a pub was magical.
It had some predictable elements to it and if you liked ET I would guess you would enjoy this but overall it had us hooked, the acting was good and the Water horse was wonderfully created.

Back home and Milly watched some TV and I set about preparing turkey escalopes done in Parmesan breadcrumbs and a creme fraiche and sweet chili sauce on the side, with baby baked pots , spinach , broccoli .Milly had everything bar the spinach and sauce so we have another thing she will eat, must ensure not to make it too often though or it will end up on the "hated" list..

Today I have started off well with breakfast and lunch being very healthy and had a couple of juices as well. I had some M and M's at the cinema and could probably have had less at tea time but overall I have done well and will build on that over the coming weeks.That's the plan any how!!!!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Keeping on track...

I have had a day where I really did not want to do anything,I got up and browsed and after breakfast Milly and I sat together in the dining room ,her on her DS and me on here.I had no inclination to suggest anything else just in case she took me up on it !!!!

I then got ready and cleaned up whilst Milly played.I was feeling really tired and then found out the reason why, I have my first period in over three months and I could of cheered ,I have never been so glad to get one. I have had constant PMT symptoms over the three months and was sure on numerous occasions that all the pain I was getting meant one was on its way but it never happened, just hope that now it has arrived I can get back to normal,well what I call normal LOL.

I have also decided to change some things to help with the Menopause symptoms and hope to get a kick start on Thusday. Alan is taking two days off to be with Emily and I am going to do two detox days where I will just have Juices.If the past is anything to go by I will probably have a day with a severe bad head and aches and pains then I should feel much better the second day.After that I will change my diet as I have got back to eating too much unhealthy food and will have to go through a couple of weeks of cravings but then it will get easier. I am going to see a therapist on Thursday afternoon,she does Reiki, reflexology plus various massages ,and Bowen technique not sure which treatment to have yet but will have a good chat and see what fits best.

Milly and I cleaned Liz rabbit out this afternoon and then Milly went on the trampoline whilst I sat and had a cuppa, I also attempted to read Alfie Kohn Unconditional Parenting but Milly was chatting away and I gave it up and sat in the sun and talked about our daemons with her.

She had decided this morning not to go to Brownies and after initially suggesting she should go I backed down and accepted she was feeling under the weather, she had had a lot of excitement over the last few days and was tired. She asked to go in the bath at 6.00 and I read The Blitz and after the bath we read a little more but she was happy to turn the light out at 7.15 and was asleep within minutes just as well she hadn't gone to Brownies.

We had Emily's best friend in the car with us yesterday and on the way home from the party she started speaking to Emily in french, it was fairly basic stuff but she did it very well and confidently.Now over the last few weeks I have not had any wobbles about education and what Emily may be missing out on by not going to school but that gave me one last night!!! I foolishly began comparing them and had to stop myself and give myself a good talking to.These doubts just come out of left field when you least expect and attack any insecurities.I have mulled it over today,I got over it and got back on track. If Milly wants to learn a language it will happen when she is ready, so far any attempt however subtle to engage in anything to do with another language has been blocked but that goes for anything to do with maths or anything else she is just not interested in.The things she finds interesting she does and gets enjoyment from as well as knowledge.
We are working hard to ensure Emily is free and happy and I believe that in the long run a childhood filled with love ,freedom ,and happiness will pay dividends in adulthood.

It is easier to fill an adults knowledge and academic holes than it is to fill emotional or spiritual ones

Not sure who wrote that but it is part of a quote I have on my wall in the dining room ,specifically put there for times like this......

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Pirates, Party's, Pet behaviour.

I have been trying for far too long to get a picture of a pirate(first choice was Johnny Depp) on here and this is all I can come up with!!! It should wave about but at this point doesn't seem to be,maybe when I publish post? If you are at all interested you could try clicking on it if it isn't moving.....

The reason for requiring a pirate picture?
It was Milly's party at a local pirate attraction.It all went off really well.When we got there Milly was dressed up in a pirate outfit and the other children got eye patches and a gold hoop earring, the venue provided two staff to take them on a treasure trail around the exhibition which is all about the Rum trade,slaves and pirate ghosts,then on to the vault for food and games and dancing.We all followed on and then chatted whilst the children enjoyed the party.I took the camera but true to form forgot to actually take it out of my bag.....

I was pretty glad I didn't have to do anything today,I was shattered.We had a lovely family get together yesterday, We started the preperations on Friday by making a huge pan of bolognese sauce which after a couple of hours cooking really slowly was thick and delicious, and we spent a good part of yesterday cleaning up the aftermath of the sleepover and ensuring we had enough chairs, knives, forks, etc for twelve people, I always tend to leave this till the last minute but luckily my sister just lives in the next village so can help out if we are stuck.We used to regularly host party's with lot's of folk and lot's of children, I do love to feed people but somehow over the last couple of years we have got out of the habit.The food was a success and we had a good laugh and Milly was very lucky and got some lovely presents and lots of money, some of which we are going to try and get into her building society account. Emily finds saving a hard concept to get her head around, she is very much a live for today kind of girl and money burns a hole in her pocket, although to be fair she had saved £50.00 from her christmas presents and put it towards the DS lite and games we bought her for her birthday, so maybe a new trend in money management!!!!The guests had all gone by 7.30 and Milly and I took the opportunity to have an early night.

Alan and Emily have gone up to bed and I was just going to do a quick post but got sidetracked by the pirate photo. It is freezing now so the heating must of knocked off.I will venture out with Beauty for her last toilet break and then hit the sack. Just a note on Beauty, Alan has been letting her off the lead over the last week or so and I don't want to jinx things but it seems she may have turned a corner and she has been coming back when called(not from the corner she turned you understand!!) and although she has been interested in the dogs she could see in the distance in the park she didn't run off after them.She has also gone past most dogs without lunging and barking so we feel all our hard work is paying off!!! Fingers, legs, toes, everything crossed!!!!

Friday, 15 February 2008

Sleepover and uninvited guests!!

Part one of birhtday celebrations completed.
Sleepover went off very well.Three girlies had a great time,lots of chocolate, lots of chat, lots of giggles, lots of secret whispers,not a lot of sleep!!!!

They ate tea whilst watching a DVD.Meanwhile Alan and I turned the dining room into a disco with a disco light and a string of heart lights to go with the heart theme, heart confetti, sweets and chocs and U tube for a chioce of songs. They were very excited. They weren't keen on me joining them to dance can't think why!!! They did ask me in to join them at one stage to put on the glitter tatoos I had bought for them.Then they were up and down stairs all evening alternating between Milly's room where the beds were and the dining room.We had intended to do some games if things faltered at all but they happily chatted and danced so we left them to it.

Into bed for 10.45...popped in to ask them to keep the noise down at 12.00...I fell asleep around 1.00 when I hadn't heard them for a while....Al prodded me awake at 2.15 to tell me they were still awake and giggling,I went through and got them settled, they had been telling ghost stories, I turned the lights off and went back to bed.I heard them moving around shortly after and then things went quiet so I dozed off again.They woke at 8.15 and I found out they had all slept together on the two mattresses on the floor and had been awake until 3.30 listening to the sounds of the house and imagining ghosts.....

They all played and chatted until the two girls were picked up by their mums at around 11.00 am.The house looked like a bomb had hit, I had managed to get some of it put straight but had intended to have a quiet afternoon watching a film with Emily.As we sat down to lunch one of the girls mum rang to say that she had just got back from the doctors, A had had a rash and they had assumed it was excema but it was in fact Scabies.A nasty infectious little mite.....
So a massive washing session of all the bedding, quilts will go to be cleaned and Emily was bathed and hair washed with Tea tree oil and Lavender oil in the water.It is possible she will not get it but we will have to wait and see.So the afternoon flew by in a flurry of activity and searching on line for natural treatments, then A was back to play and have tea on the usual Friday get together. They have been quite remarkable throughout the day considering the late night and have been in good spirits. Emily is having to sleep with me in our bed as all the other beds had been used last night and Al is sleeping on the sofa bed in the living room.Apparently the mites die after 48 hours off a host so we will be safe to use the mattress's after that.The schools and nusery's this family go to are having real problems with reinfestation of nits and obviously now scabies.These things can't be helped and we will just have to take the precautions and hope for the best.My other friend whose daughter was here last night was of the same mind and when I told her was very calm about it.Nothing much we can do to change things now.

So a party that ended up with more guests than were initially invited but a good one non the less.Part two tomorrow when the family come round for a meal.Maybe lot's of air kissing and not too many hugs just in case!!!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Harbour walks and party prep.

Yesterday we had a very lazy morning, Emily was listening to a story CD and I was pottering ,I couldn't be bothered to do anything and really didn't feel like going out but I am so glad we did. We had a great afternoon out with friends at the local aquarium .We had lunch then went in to what was a very busy aquarium.I usually much prefer to go when the schools are off but we coped!!! Then it was on to the big play park and as we were all leaving Emily asked if we could walk around the harbour so we said our goodbyes and had a lovely walk in the sunshine watching the fishing boats and Milly was chatting away. We got talking about our one year anniversary (Home Ed) and I asked what she would like for a gift to mark it and had expected her to ask for a soft toy but after thinking for a short while she said she would like a mouse,a live one!!! Well all the way round the harbour she talked about the mouse, it was named and a cage was filled with all the things it would need. She would save up all her money to buy the things needed and she would look after it herself. Now this is where it all sounds so familiar, first the Rabbit ,then the cat, then the dog, now the mouse!! I wasn't sure the man who appears to get left with most of the looking after would be willing to add another animal to the menagerie,however she took this on the chin and said she would prove to him she would take a larger part in looking after them and then he could decide if she could have one.We are going to try and find someone who actually has a mouse as I have a feeling if she sees one she may change her mind....

Today Milly was supposed to be tidying her bedroom floor ready to get two mattresses down for the sleepover. She did a little whilst I got on with something else and then we ended up falling out yet again about it.Won't bore you with the details suffice to say one day I will handle things better!!!

We made up and headed off shopping and things between us were much better we had a great time looking for things for the party bags and then went off for lunch at Mcdonalds, not usually a choice she makes but the free gift was a small dog toy hence the attraction.Then off food shopping. Back home to fill party bags and then she had a good bounce with Al on the trampoline.It is good now the weather is getting better,last year she spent hours and hours bouncing and playing on the trampoline and climbing frame. My favourite thing was when she made them into a wagon complete with reigns and covered area for the back of the wagon,Little house on the praire was being read at the time....

It is going to be a long night for us tomorrow. I have got them some face packs and coloured hair mouse and glitter spray and they are going to have a pamper session and get glammed up. Alan is setting up a surprise disco in the dining room and we have a heart theme obviously.So lots of heart lights and confetti with love heart sweets ,plus a disco ball.Should be good fun for them as they can use the Cd player but also U Tube on the PC, so a good range of music for them.I hope they tire themselves out and get to bed at a reasonable hour, although I would say the chances are slim!!!!

Monday, 11 February 2008

One year on,Unschooling,radical unschooling or just living and learning

It is just over a year since we set out on our unschooling journey, and what a ride it has been!!

In that time we have grown in so many ways and the exciting thing is I know there is more to come.

I have been thinking a lot about unschooling,and radical unschooling and have decided that putting a label on what we are doing is not helping.

What we are doing is somewhere between the two camps .In time we may find ourselves more in the radical unschooling area but equally we may find that we are still somewhere between the two. It may be that radical unschooling for all it's appeal may not work for us.I want to get to a place where I can feel comfortable that we as a family are doing what is best for us and that may not have a label.

I can see how we have developed over this last year, I feel so much more comfortable with the approach we are taking.Emily's growth has been immense.

Over time the anxiety I have had over TV time has eased as I began saying yes more and she began to choose to switch it off and do other things . Emily being in control of what and when and how she learns is absolutely the best thing for her.Over the year as I let go of the expectation of what learning looks like and what constitutes learning ,I have seen her learning and growing .As we move into our second year I can see a difference in her. She is starting to take an interest in things and research info, now at this time it may be about finding Animal pictures or TV shows like Primevil and Dr who or pop group Mcfly but the process is in place and as time goes on I see it expanding to the other things that interest her whatever they may be.Why wouldn't it ? There is no pressure on her to do anything other than what interests her and as time goes on she will stop seeing things as "School" subjects and see them just as things she is interested in.

I think my growth has been slower,although I have still learned along the way.I have learnt not to take the knock backs to suggestions I make of things to do as the proof that she will never want to do anything I offer up and have just kept on offering and had a wonderful time when those suggestions have been taken up.I have learnt that knowledge does not have to be gained in concentrated sessions, bits and peices come together to form a bigger picture.I have learnt how important play is to Emily and I am even more keenly aware of the lulls when she appears to be doing nothing but is in fact assimilating knowledge. I think I have hindered myself by putting too much emphasis on the direction we are going in and not just enjoying the journey and accepting change as it happens when it feels right. My own work over the coming months has to do with adopting a more mindful approach to life in general but in my relationship with Emily in particular, I want to adopt more
peaceful parenting methods Over the last year I have found renewed strength to stand out from the crowd because of my beliefs,In the future, so long as what we are doing is not infringing on any one else's freedom, I want to continue to be able to make a decision based on my own beliefs and boundaries and not because I fear what others may think. Now that would be some growth for me!!!!

I went up to have a meditation tape this afternoon whilst my Mum and Dad were her looking after Emily and I got all settled down and the Cd player stopped working.I was miffed but couldn't be bothered going down for more batteries so I got out my little meditation book by White eagle and just flicked through the pages until it felt right to stop and the first sentence on the reading and meditation was "Do not be confused by words or the opinions of others"and further on in the reading "The power which comes to you in the secret chamber of your heart is the power which will feed you and help you to perceive the truth of life"
We are trusting that Emily will learn what she needs to and we are living and loving life.Along the way things will evolve and change,we will know what feels right for us.We don't need labels on what we are doing it can get confusing.

Here is a picture af a little girl who is very much enjoying being in her PJ's at 4 in the afternoon bouncing with gay abandon on her trampoline with not a care in the world

Sunday, 10 February 2008

A day of rest...

A day of rest today...

I was up at 7 to see to Beauty and Milly came down around 8 and whilst she watched TV I read a few blogs and then made us all bacon butties.

We pottered around this morning,Milly went to listen to her story CD in her room and Al took Beauty for a good long walk. I cleaned round and spent time doing some paperwork and a bit of shopping on line .

When Al came back I nipped back to bed and snuggled down to have a Meditation.When I get over tired I find it difficult to settle to a meditation as my mind is over active and I have some really good guided visulisation tapes from a place called Meditainment I don't have to work at all and I was whisked away to a log cabin in the woods with the sounds of a crackling fire, bliss....

I then promptly fell asleep for a couple of hours,Emily had gone to her friends Party and Alan was watching the rugby .I had lunch and have spent the day having a long soak and pottering around.

Alan has just gone to pick her up so the house will soon be full of tales about the Party at the climbing wall.We will then watch Dancing on Ice (Milly is not always keen but I love it)Milly and Al will then watch Wild at heart which Milly really does love.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Thinking things through.

Your Brain is Green

Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance.

You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver.

You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

I wish I'd had a little balance today!!

Sometime ago Emily had said she wanted to go on a trip with Brownies ,we talked about the fact she would be going on a bus and she would be out for most of the day, everything was good, I booked her place and paid the money.

Over the last week or so she has been having a few wobbles,she thought her best friend would be going but isn't, she doesn't know any of the other girls very well so that was a big problem for her. She also has a problem about travelling as she worries a lot (to the point of a phobia) about not being able to go to the toilet when she wants to. It can be quite extreme and once when we were in France on holiday I had to go to the bathroom 7 or 8 times when we were in a cafe in a village we were visiting.It was a small place with a lot of locals sitting having lunch they must have wondered what the heck was going on, we did get some funny looks!!! On our first day at Flamingo land with my sister and Nephew we spent more time walking back and forth to the loos than we did in any que and on occasion had to leave the que to go in search of one as she would begin to panic she would need to go while we were on a ride. It happens on most trips but she seems to be better when she knows a place or the initial few days of a holiday are over.

Any how last night she was a little nervous but we had a chat and it all seemed fine.Then this morning she did not want to go.Alan and I tried to talk her through her fears and then I am sad to say mentioned the money that it had cost and the fact that another little girl could have taken her place,we tried to cajole her into going, there was no way we were going to force her but we were frustrated that this was happening again, eventually her choice was not to go.

I know that if she had just given it a chance she would have got through the short journey and had a great day , perhaps being able to make friends with the other girls she doesn't know very well. When she came home from Brownies last Monday Alan asked how it had gone and she said Oh good and bad and then started to cry.It seems they had been playing a game and Emily and another girl had been out and had sat at the side together and I think they had been talking and Emily had asked the girl if she would be her friend ,Emily said she didn't hear the girls answer fully she as got up to go to her group of friends,but thought she heard her say, no I have lots of friends already. Emily is so sensitive and it broke her heart that she didn't want to be friends with her.

I have felt really mixed emotions all day.I felt helpless and wanted to make everything right for her but know that I can't and shouldn't, this is something she will get through on her own, and my job is to be there to support her.I was angry about the money we had lost again,things are tight and we can't keep throwing it away.Most of all I wasn't happy that I had tried to coerce her into going instead of just accepting her reasons as being valid and allowing her to make a decision without making her feel bad.I am dissapointed I hoped I had moved on and would of handled it better.

I will learn from this experience,in future I will help her to see the positives but accept and not get frustrated when a situation proves to hard for her to cope with, even if I can see the benefits for her if she could just give it a go.I will stop blaming myself for having done something wrong in raising her and accept that this is Emily and she will do things in her own time when she is able to......

Friday, 8 February 2008

Twists and turns

I started this morning early as I got up to see to Beauty.I had a cuppa and managed a couple of blogs before Milly came down.It is her best friends Birthday and she wanted to phone her before she went off to school so she could sing happy birthday.She couldn't sleep last night and came down a couple of times complaining of being unnwell so it was about 10.15 before she got off to sleep.I had expected her to be a tad grumpy but she was just so happy and excited for Amy.

We started off the morning with the intention of getting the tie dye t'shirt done and to work through some science experiments.We sat at the table and Milly decided she just wanted to do a picture of Sorrel and I read The Hunger as she drew. She then decided that she would collate all her Sorrel info that she had produced and we ended up some hours later with a folder of work she and I did on the PC containing certificates of passage through London,certificates to verify who she was,paperwork to show she was now plague free,all done with official royal stamps and in different fonts, some money, I could not find a site to show examples of old paper money so we made some up and drew the kings head on, she made a badge for Sorrel to wear to let others know she was plague free and we sealed some of the important papers with a wax seal.All the time we were chatting and amongst many other things, she was telling me bits about Charles the second.

As we were on the computer we noticed in the documents a story we started ages ago and added a little to it and the printed,photographed and blogged it then laminated it to finish.Pictures and the story are here She also answered some comments she had on her blog and did it all herself with no help for spelling and was not unhappy even though she knew she had made some mistakes so her confidence is really high .I love to listen to her sounding out the words and then looking at the word she has come up with and can see is not right and she will try again.

Before lunch it was time for us both to have a bath and wash hair so I got in first whilst she played on the landing and we chatted about all sorts of things.We discussed slaves and babies being born and skin to skin contact with Mummy amongst other topics.I never cease to be amazed at the twists and turns a conversation can take,a little like our day had done.

After lunch we had a couple of games of cards and I finished reading The Hunger whilst she pottered on the PC .I cried at the end of the book,I cried at The voyage on the Titanicwhen we read that a while ago as well,I am particularly sensitive it seems.

A cuddle and reading to Al before getting ready to go to her best friends house for a play and tea.I walked her round to meet her off the school bus and met a friend I hadn't seen for a while who also has ME and she told me of a lymphatic drainage massage treatment she had been on and how she is bounding with energy. It is something I am going to look into as bounding sounds good to me!!!!

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Sickness, Sorrel,and simple pleasures.

Alan has been off work today.He was a love and got up to let Beauty out this morning and then went back to bed after feeding her.It is normally 6.00am when he is getting up and going out for a walk so if she gets left much after 7.00am she can have an accident.

Emily has a new friend called Sorrel who is a plague victim and has been around all morning as we have been getting ready, she came shopping with us and to the hospital and the dentists!! As we sat down to lunch in Morrisons she said, what should we talk about mummy, ah I know Sorrel,I then (due to tiredness and a minor blip in the tact department)said Oh let's not, let's talk about something else.She was ok at the time but has since told Alan on the walk this afternoon that she feels I have been very detatched from her today she knows I am a little grumpy because I am tired but she was very upset when I blanked Sorrel as she is her second best friend in the world!!Some grovelling to do I feel.I do love the imagination that she uses in these manifestations but they can be quite tiring or is that just me been a bad, exausted, fed up mother. The latter I feel!!!

It wasn't the Pediatrician today , I got muddled it was ENT (Milly had Glue ear and the tonsil problem causing the sleep apnoea) her hearing is slightly under par but he feels (as I do) that she is growing out of it and there will be no need to have grommets fitted again.I would not have had them done again even if he had felt it was necessary.We had them fitted in the first place because she was having difficulty at school hearing the teachers etc and it also affects childrens behaviour quite significantly when the hearing is reduced.The reasons we had them fitted in the first place are not valid any more.

On to the dentist's and a little decay in her molar which will require a temporary filling and a referral to the orthadontist as she will need to wear a brace at some time and he wanted an opinion on if it would be best to do it now or wait a while.She has very large teeth and they are going to overlap and her front teeth don't quite touch top and bottom.Obviously due to dummy sucking but is not as bad as it could be.She has no problem about wearing a brace.

We waited over an hour at the hospital and had to dash to the dentist in another town and then waited over half an hour at the dentists and got caught in traffic so didn't make it to recorder.Emily was very happy but I was miffed thats another £6.00 down the drain.She has decided not to go back next term and it would serve no purpose to force her.The money we save each week can be used on an outing instead.

As we had time to fill in between lunch and the hospital appointment we went to the libray and chose a few story CD'S and a story book about a plague victim.Milly than chose books for me to read to her.They were picture books and one was called I love it when you smile. I read it and was watching her face as we went through the very simple story and she absolutely loved it and at one point towards the end she grabbed my hand with excitement at what was about to happen in this really lovely simple story and her face was a picture. I love that she can read(listen to Cd)and understand the complexities of a Phillip Pullman story and yet still get immense enjoyment from a simple picture book.

Have joined the Early years webring tonight, I hadn't tried before as we have passed the early years stage but it seems it will accept us. I have had a brief look around the blogs there but need to find time to have a better look.I have had the Home ed uk blog ring one on here since the 10th Dec and as yet it is still not approved . Is it likely I have done something wrong even though the sign is here? Could you let me know if you have any idea about these things....

My spellchecker has not been working and I have got fed up looking things up so I apologise for what may be numerous mistakes.

For no other reason than they serve as a reminder of how lucky we are to live in this part of the world some pics that Alan and Emily took on a recent walk.

Emily has a good eye for a photo and as with everything else that she does these are taken with little planning or hesitation but she seems to get a good shot every time.

Alan obviously took this one although he must have had a problem finding her with that camoflage on !!!!

Click on this to enlarge it, it was getting dark as she took this one and it has a really interesting effect, it almost looks like a painting..

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Odd mood ,odd socks.....

The game of Caddoo did nothing to lift my mood last night, Emily was also in a tired mood and was very difficult and stroppy so we clashed a little!!! Luckily Al was on hand to referee...
Another strange low energy day today.We had a quiet start to the day and finished the tye dye socks.Milly loves them because they come up to her knees.Even ankle socks have to be pulled/stretched up as high as they can go.Her other thing at the moment is wearing odd socks ,not sure if this is a fashion statement or just the fact that they are all loose in her drawer and it is easier just to grab any old sock!!Any how these will fit both criteria....

We had our local Home Ed group meeting. Emily had a good run around and is gradually easing into the group( only been a year, takes her a while bless her) and then a few off us went off to my friends where the children were able to continue playing.

When we got home Alan was curled up in bed with a fever and shivering.He had said last night he felt as though he was coming down with something and had managed to last through the morning but had to come home at lunch time.

I quickly got changed and took Beauty out for a walk.Al has been taking her as I have found it difficult to hold her when she lunges now that she is so much bigger.I was so tired and was really on edge.We passed one other dog on the other side of the road and she was very good and we managed to get past without the barking and lunging. On the way back home we saw a dog in the distance and we were in a country lane with no escape Oh no!! Thankfully the dog went running back to its owner who had just stopped their car in the lane and it got back in the car,so again I didn't have to fight to keep hold of her whilst she lunged.
Home safe and sound and a quick tea for me and Em and then we played for a while in her room.We discussed her bedtime and she said she wanted to go to bed then and got ready whilst I did her water bottle and I left Al reading to her so I could get cleaned up. He has come down to watch the footy and said she is fast asleep. I am glad she needed an early night.
I am going to watch Masterchef and have an early night as well I think. We would normally go to the food coop in the village hall in the morning but have decided to give it a miss as we have a busy afternoon with a visit to the hospital to see the Peadiatrician then onto the dentist and then Recorder lesson.Milly wants to tye dye the t shirt she got in the kit so we will do that in the morning and then head out to lunch before the Hospital app.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

A short post......

Not much to report today and I'm in a bit of a funny mood tonight and can't seem to focus on anything so will not bore you with a load of twaddle,oh sorry thats what I normally give you!!! Well tonight would be even worse twaddle.....

Have been to the hairdressers today so at least the hair is in good order. Milly did another canvas today and then answered the lovely ladies who had left comments on her blog( can I just say a big thank you ,she loves to log on and find out she has comments) and so lots of reading and writing.I put on a learn french CD as she was painting and she just started singing in tune with the music "this is boring oh so boring what is boring in french" so I took the hint!!!!!

I feel so fed up today.Is there something to do with the position of the moon or something cos I have read a few blogs now where people are feeling the same?

Milly is going on a day trip with Brownies on Saturday and then out to a party for her best friend on Sunday so we will have free time!!!! What in gods name do you do when you have no child about???? Only joking I know what to do...

Yes I have a full day shopping and planning for Emily's birhtday sleepover, family party and friends party that are happening next week.
Sunday I may just take the opportunity to sleep all afternoon, to get prepared for all that activity.

I will go and do the washing up now and then a game of caddoo in the hope that may just rouse me from my S***** mood.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Manic monday

I will never again fall into the trap of thinking Emily does not need ideas of things to do, even if she appears to be fully occupied.

For ages now I have been wondering how much input she needs from me.The conclusion I have come to is that there is no set answer as some days she is quite happy doing what she does and really doesn't want to do the things I suggest, however other days it seems she is happy enough to do her own thing yet will gladly get involved in activities I suggest.Today was such a day.

After a bit of Tv this morning we made Pancakes(she loves them and as it is pancake day tomorrow they were on her mind) she has syrup and chocolate spread and rolls two pancakes together and eats with her hands, chocolate and syrup oozing out.

It was then time for Milly to go for a little play upstairs whilst I got straightened up in the kitchen .She came down for something and in passing I mentioned about the tie dye kit and she wanted to do it stright away so we set about it.The mixing of the dye was a lengthly process and I was surprised to still have her attention at the end of it.We had had a slight acting/make up artist, interval whilst the red dye was used as a bottle of blood in conjunction with a knife and "massive wound on her arm".

We had a bit of a technical problem with the bottle the dye was in and so in between trying to get the bleeping dye to come out of the bleeping sqeezy bottle she made Avatars, she has become quite an expert at transfering them onto a word document.After a day with her older friend on saturday she came back with a love of Mcfly and Danny in particular so the Avatars are versions of the band with girlfriends in various outfits.
Eventualy we ended up with two socks with dye on in plastic bags to leave for 24/48 hours so will share results then!!!

Immediately after finishing them it was onto an avatar lesson for me with lots of reading and spelling needed from Milly and I was more than happy to sit a while, then onto Ed city.She had a go at one she really hates where the word is shown and you have to remember the spelling,she gave up after getting very frustrated although since last time I played it with her she must have had a go on her own and adapted it to help herself as she had started to write the answer down before it was taken off so she did not have to actualy remember it, not cheating just a smart move I thought!!Club pengiun then needed some attention as some puffles may have been dying!!

I made us some lunch.At the moment she loves Pannini toasted with ham and cheese, this love may last for a week or a month who knows but she wolfed them down today.

I mentioned that we hadn't done any painting for a while and would she like to paint a canvass " oh I would love to ,I love painting so much",this from the girl who swore blind (just last week it was, I think)I don't like using paints!!!!!

It's a skyscraper Emily thinks Great Nana's new nursing home is going to look like.Milly wasn't happy with a part of it so painted the car park on the left out on later, She is wearing a swim siut because as we were dealing with inks earlier she took her clothes off and then decided a swimsiut would be better than just knickers!!!

I had left a window art kit on the table a couple of days earlier but she had not been keen to do it.As I turned my back to put the paintbrushes in the sink she had torn it open and was ready to do a suncatcher.She had a short break whilst doing it to go and play for a while ,here is the finished article.

Time to prep for tea, and Emily got ready for Al coming home as she wanted to go for a walk with him and Beauty. She came back from the walk telling me that she was Edmund Hilary and Dad was sherbert!!! They had gone up a very steep hill going out of the village and She can sometimes dawdle here but Al had got her talking about mountains and challenges and Edmund Hilary and she had started to call him Sherbert....

Tea for Milly as Al had a cuppa and I took time to have a meditation.It is the first one for ages but I am determined to find the time somewhere as I know it can help enormously,well alongside looking after myself in other ways too, such as not overeating all the wrong things,but thats an issue I really have to tackle when my mind is in the right place !!!On to Brownies for Emily and She will be back any time now.Emily has also spent time with me putting pictures on her blog so there are more to see over there if you would like to.Here.
What a day!! Any suggestion I made was taken up.This may not happen all the time and perhaps not every suggestion I make will be taken up but it has cetainly reinforced the fact that I should just keep offering