Archive for the ‘snort’ Category

Overwhelmed.

July 11, 2013

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I’m sorry I haven’t written. In a way, this challenge of walking thirty minutes a day is taking over. It sounds silly, but I have a quick rest in the evenings, then walk, then write about walking. Then, blessed sleep. So I am over on the Facebook page I mentioned in the last entry. Please come like it because I think I am hitting the point where i need lots of encouragement! Drop a comment here if you can’t find it. And if you are on there, leave a message on the wall telling me who you are and I’ll befriend you from my real Facebook account.

The next thing?

Snort broke his collarbone today. I don’t have too much energy left after today, so perhaps I will write more tomorrow, but wtf. Poor kid. He’s totally happy and mostly fine, and was SO HAPPY he got to have x rays. It was like all his Disneyland dreams came true. You’ve never seen someone more geeked about a trip to the hospital.

He wasn’t so pleased when it happened, and thank god my friend Lauren was there. He was hurting so much he didn’t want to walk, so he got to ride in Jazz’s pushchair back to the car. But that’s it for now. More soon. Hope you are all well…

I miss you.

Why do I bother buying a calendar?

June 10, 2013

Well, you know, I thought they needed one on one time. That’s why I made the plans I did, you know. It all started so well.

Last September, Coconut started gym and Snort, football (he wanted basketball but it doesn’t really exist here. And another note, ‘football’ in this context is the same as ‘soccer.’) For two terms things went well, Coco’s broken arm notwithstanding. Then at the end of the second term, Snort just said with finality one day, ‘I don’t want to go to football. I am finished with football.’ So we skipped the last two weeks and you know, he has never asked to go back. Doesn’t ever even mention it.

Coco has held steady with gym. She has never requested to stop attending or said she would prefer something else, though to be fair I haven’t necessarily offered as I didn’t see the reason in an arbitrary switch.

This morning, Snort says,’I don’t want to go to gym anymore. I don’t like gym or football!’

It transpires that he is very happy to go along to Coco’s session with her – because she has been there a year, we have made friends, we have a picnic party in the playground afterwards, etc. He has been along to her sessions and prefers it.

This means they lose their one on one time, both with me and their Nana. I think both slots of time are important, but …well. I don’t know. Snort said he wanted to go to Nana’s with Coco this morning. I took her aside and quietly asked if she wanted to go on her own or if she wanted Snort to come. With no hesitation she said she wanted him.

We are certainly in a season of intense play – the two of them create fabulous imaginary worlds and live in them, together most of the time. They bounce off each other. Both love and cherish their outside friendships, but no one ‘gets’ either of them like each other. So I guess it makes sense they want to be together.

I guess I roll with it. I think Snort has really begged off gym this morning as he has just hatched a baby dinosaur (don’t ask, just trust me that he has) and wanted to play dinosaurs more than he wanted to jump, run, and flip. Fair enough. He does love gym and is happy and excited the whole time we are there, so today is probably a one off.

We will see how next week goes, though if this Friday is a normal Friday, I imagine he will want to stay in her class. This sort of sucks for me, because it is difficult to take them both on my own. So Mil needs to come along. But Fridays are MY friendship time, too. Two of my favourite friends bring their children along to the Friday sessions, and afterward in the park we hang out/play with the kids together. The dynamic changes when Mil is there. She is lovely, but gets nervous with people and just talks….a lot….and it’s hard to hang out with our normal vibe. Impossible, really.

We had this good Mon/Fri thing going, then chicken pox and various appointments have screwed the last two months over. I think we officially call it summer, relax about it, and then see where we are next September. It is an interesting one as they would be starting school then, and all of the classes and groups (home ed ones aside!) for their age group move to the after school hours…..except gym. They have the option to move up a class, which neither wants to do, or stay where they are now. Because of their age – they’d be the youngest in their class, starting full time school only days after turning four! – we MAY be able to sneak into preschool times/classes for another year, but generally their peer group has been a bit older than them and I don’t know how keen they would be on being the oldest in the group. All stuff to think about.

Casual non-racism that could sound racist to the casual observer.

June 7, 2013

It’s always nice when your son notices a niqab properly for the first time and loudly says, ‘What’s wrong with her throat?’ because he thinks the woman is wrapped in bandages. Or when two other Muslim families are at the playground with us, and because of our new fascination with languages other than English, he then says in his factual tone, ‘Some people speak other languages. It sounds like this: gooBEgooblahdedahmemahheHAW.’

And let’s not forget your daughter. Three times in her life she has said a variation of, ‘I don’t like that girl. Her vest is furry.’ AKA. I don’t like a new person because of whatever difference there is between us. It’s not that she doesn’t really like them or is terrified of differences, but rather she doesn’t feel like socialising so must invent a reason to dislike someone. Once, a girl in a furry vest. Once, a boy with a bloody nose. Once, at the top of her lungs, ‘I don’t like that boy. He’s black.’ Did the ground fucking swallow me whole?!

Generally I love being taken by surprise by their quirky observations of the world and the people in it, but on these rare occasions the surprise is more akin to suddenly having a tonne of ice dropped on your prostrate, naked body.

Incidentally, trying to explain a niqab/hijab to a three year old who has never heard of any sort of god or formal religion is a real treat.

Chicken pox 2.0

May 29, 2013

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So far, chicken pox 2.0 looks a lot like the original version. Namely, the entire upstairs hallway is covered in sheets, blankets, and pillows – a giant ‘dog bed’ with plenty of soft toy ‘puppies’ to care for and play with.

Yes, Coco came out in spots yesterday, exactly 14 days after Snort’s spots appeared. With him, the first spots to appear caused massive scabs – some of which are still on him! Most scabs are gone, though, and I’m hoping all the pink marks will be fading soon. Coco is a sneaky scratcher. She’s not on antihistamine for hayfever, and she’s itchier in general, so she’s managing to find the blisters and rip them open. I’ve told her she’ll need oral meds if she continues, though I dread it as convincing her to try Calamine lotion has been a real treat.

This time around I’m hoping people come over, and we are willing to travel. If you need pox or have already had it and want to play, come on over. As long as you don’t mind naked kids or completely trashed houses. I didn’t invite anyone round last time, though welcomed another home edder from Country A who asked if she could come. And today, exactly 14 days after their visit, her unvaccinated kid has spots. This shit is pretty contagious – when they were here, Snort just jumped on his bed and ran around like a crazy hyena. Still wowed Coco managed to miss getting it from our friend, but we knew if she didn’t get it from Snort she had superhero blood, as she actually kissed each of his individual spots to make him get better.

Grody.

Her spots are not as big or angry as his were, her blisters still tiny, but hers are more spread out and I think she has many more than he did at this stage. He was scabbed over the Friday after he got them, so maybe this will be our last few days of confinement. We had his, then went to Luvdom and had a great time with my sister, and got pox again the day we were back. It has been a long stretch…..but lovely. Luckily neither kid (thus far) has been ill at all, or even itchy really, though it is still early days in CocoPox land.

However, you know I’m a bit tired and ready for human contact when I’m throwing on a DVD at 8:30 am so I can stay in bed with the kids! After weeks of reading the book again and again, they lost their Lady and the Tramp virginity today. We bought a few DVDs knowing the pox was coming, and the trick for me is to not break out the remaining two today, as we will be in the house the rest of the week. Still, Peanuts has a siren call I am finding hard to refuse.

The Great Pumpkin! The little raggedy Christmas tree! The little girl with the red hair!

Okay. I guess I will get dressed and brush three sets of teeth now. Buhbye, folks.

Chicken pox is my beer.

May 20, 2013

Yes, you read that right. Chicken pox is my beer. It makes me lose my inhibitions and live an awesome life.

We are naked in the front garden, running around in wild circles, waving at neighbours, making a nest for our Angry Birds. We are dancing unabashedly to the Moto Moto song, singing along that we like them big and chunky.

We are running up to the bath, empty two litre bottles (from my new sparkling water addiction, as I have not had Diet Coke in months now. Sob.) in hand, and that bathroom echoes laughter and science and splashes. Pouring into big bottles, hitting them on the sides to make water erupt upwards, working together to hang out, music pumping in the air.

We are on a pirate ship, Snort’s new-to-him bed, looking at maps and searching for treasure. We are wearing our pajamas to the drive thru, just to get out of the house and get a treat.

It’s silly, really. There is no reason every day cannot be like four days of holiday time. We have no school, no work, and no obligations that can’t be skipped. But for me, I think the chicken pox gives me a permission slip to just live like we want, with none of my guilt attached. It is a glorious reminder of all that unschooling/autonomous education/life can be, if only I relax and just let go now and then. When we follow the sun, when our days stretch before us with nowhere to go but here, we find new and exhilarating ways to fill the time.

We cut straws and stick the pieces in playdoh to make Angry Birds. We read books and nap in the afternoon to the soundtrack of Phineas and Ferb. We sit in the garden and look at ants, we call people up just to say hello, we trace out the spots on his body¬† like he’s a dalmatian or the night sky, covered in a thousand stars.

This first round of chicken pox brought joy and peace to my life.

You’d never know he was ill. Snort was his normal self, just covered in spots. Two nights were hell on earth, but the rest of the time was a welcome break from what has increasingly become an overflowing schedule. Now we are in limbo, waiting for the second outbreak of The Pox to hit our house. I don’t think it will be as relaxed or illness-free, somehow, mainly because Coconut is a very itchy child in general.

But I will not forget the lessons I’ve relearned from this first bout.

This week will be a reminder that we don’t HAVE to do anything. We CHOOSE to do things.

I’ve felt so overwhelmed by the amount of invitations to various playdates lately that I’ve literally stopped responding to texts and messages. I will get back to them all, but never did I imagine a life where we would have more social commitments than all those ‘socialised’ school children. ;) My friends remind me I am a part of this family, of this journey, and if it is too much for me, then I deserve a say. I am grateful for all the people we know, all the choices of activities we have. I never thought it would happen like this, so quickly, and I am delighted and surprised by it.

But I am also grateful for last week, for that one hiatus where no one expected to see us, where we had nothing but time and everything to do with it.

Weekly roundup 27 April – 3 May

May 7, 2013

Writing this a week and a half after the start! Wish me luck.

Saturday:

In the morning we went over to a friend’s house for a chicken pox playdate. The baby brother of one of Snort’s football friends has it, so we will see if the party if successful in a few weeks, I guess.

They had stuffed Angry Birds toys, so even if they don’t get all poxy, at least they had that joy.

We went out for family lunch, then spent the afternoon deep in the woods. Kept walking till we hit the river, and much gleeful (and scary, for me, as the banks were so high and steep!) rock throwing into the water.

Sunday:

I have no recollection of this day. I think I was achey from yesterday so spent much of the day resting. TMD no doubt did amazing crafts with the kids, and garden playing, but I guess this day is proof of why it’s best to update the log daily. I have no memory.

Late afternoon I had a very bad SPD relapse indeed. Couldn’t walk or even roll over in bed.

Monday:

Kids went to Nana’s as I needed a day of total rest for my pelvis.

No idea what they did, aside from going playmobil shopping. Apparently lots of little stones were brought in from outside, and a beautiful garden was created from stones, blue paper for water.

Tuesday:

We were supposed to go to the pirate pool with Grampy, but I was still sore and he was a bit ill, so we stayed in. Kids had fun helping him do some gardening, reading loads of books, playing in the front garden, talking to neighbours, etc. I spent some time in bed and can only imagine it was his hour of babysitting which meant he couldn’t stop sleeping in the afternoon. Whoops.

Snort and Grampy did walk up to the chip shop, while Coco and I set up a nice picnic in the front garden. Lovely, relaxed day.

Wednesday:

Met up with Lauren and Jazz at a city farm first thing in the morning. The kids were entranced by the baby goats, cows, etc. Another home ed friend, let’s call her Activist, and her daughter Rambles, also met us. We walked through an amazing area to an outdoor stay and play. The kids were ENTRANCED by compost toilets. Like beyond in love, especially with sprinkling sawdust down the hole.

This place reminded me of camp, and was a total hippy fest. Even danced around a maypole, which was extra special as it was Beltane! Everything was great right until Snort’s face started swelling up and he broke out into a crazy rash. We beat a hasty retreat. We went back to the farm’s playground with Jazz and Lauren, and after they left we ended up staying all day. Loads of sand, awesome tunnels, and opportunities for independence in a smallish playground. Snort was nude except for pants. Every child was jealous of him.

When we eventually returned home, the kids played out in the front garden. I think this is the day we had a picnic dinner? Not sure

Thursday:

Met up with our mini home ed group, as is our Thursday wont. Us, Artiste, Catgirl along with Driver and her children Roman and Octonaut. We went to a large aground/park we’d never been to before. Loads of zip line fun, picnic time, sand play, trampolining, etc. The others left mis afternoon, and we stayed the rest of the day. Much like yesterday, it felt like a perfect holiday day. I wanted to go explore the neighbouring cemetery, but we decided to wait till another day as my pelvis was grumbling.

Kids rolled down some pretty big hills, then we headed back to the car. Stopped at a garden centre we always mean to go to on the way home. Came to a unanimous decision that we need a chiminea when money permits, as long as someone strong is around to carry it into the garden! Had snack in the cafe then headed home.

Read books outside in the front garden – Slinky Malinky and Hairy McClary are current faves, along with Room on the Broom.

Friday:

No words can describe how fucked up this day was. Took both kids to my as we had to miss it on Monday. Had promises from Artiste and ….shit, does Chuckles’ mum have a nickname? Maybe Drama, as that is what she studies…..Drama to help out, as gym is fucking tricky with more than one child.

Sure enough, he fell on the trampoline and injured his knee. He couldn’t weight bear or stop crying, and even his robot lady of a coach was concerned. I cuddled him most of the session (when I wasn’t dosing him up with antihistamine for another swelling face, fuck you hayfever), which actually ended up okay for Coconut as she disconnected herself from me and went off with Artiste and Catgirl.

Afterwards myself, Artiste, Drama, and children en masse went for our usual picnic at the playground. It was awesome, except for all the poop disasters I can’t write more fully about because my kids will hate me one day if I do. But let’s just say that neither kid ever had an accident in public, ever, but when a certain child refuses to poop for a week, eventually it’s going to come out no matter how badly you try to keep it in.

There were a host of other mundane disasters this day, which is why at two o’clock when I got a text from Activist inviting us to a barbecue at her house, I threw in the towel and we headed home. Because as TMD said, we were likely to add scalds to our list of injuries.

Played out in the front garden all afternoon.

Your dinosaur bone is connected to your….

April 30, 2013

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Weekly roundup 20 April

April 27, 2013

I’m writing Saturday through Thursday today on Friday. You’re about to be treated to a stunning example of how bad my memory is.

Saturday:

TMD still felt a bit rough, so we kept today low key. Snort went for a haircut, we bought some bread at the baker’s, and we went to a charity shop. Scored a giant Tupperware of weird little toys (littlest pet shop?) for a tenner. Came home, dragged a blanket out to the garden, and the kids played outside with the Tupperware toys for hours. Had both lunch and dinner outside. Was gloriously hot, and therefore the virgin wearing of the new Spiderman Crocs.

We also watched some of the marathon, followed by rapid channel switching when we saw some gymnastics championships were also on. Cue manic gymnastics ‘shows’ in the lounge.

Sunday:

Wickedly awesome. We have a medieval barn near us, and they were hosting a spring festival. We saw an old fashioned cider press, and the older guys near it were so pleased to have two children show an interest. They told us all about apples being pressed, where the juice was stored, etc. kids played old fashioned skittles and beanbag toss games, looked at vintage motorbikes and cars, and bought some chocolate cake to take home(yum) and their first marshmallows (both were disgusted by them)….and organic ice cream to be consumed while watching a ferrier at work. Learned about horseshoes – why horses have them, how they are put on, etc. Also taste tested cheeses and i discovered a passion for spring onion and sundried tomato cheddar. Amazing.

There were vintage tractors outside and Coco spent ages on lots of them, shifting gears and totally in her own tractor driving world.

The best thing about this place was the old fashioned engines and smaller machines. Kids loved it, especially Snort. Saw electricity generated, grain being ground, etc etc. Lots of them were steam powered and has Snort’s major love, pipes, so it was fascinating to see how they worked and the water being spit out.

I don’t recall the afternoon. I think we were out in the garden again, though it was not sunny or warm. Brr.

Monday:

Snort had gym this morning. There were like 6,000 kids there and it was vaguely unpleasant. If this wasn’t a fluke, we may consider other options. He really wants to join Coco’s class, and she is open to that, but I’m not sure. I think he had more instruction on the beam today, and the coach attempted a half hearted, ‘Hey, while you’re jumping on the trampoline, can you do circles with your arms?’ He was like, ‘No.’ Ha.

After we drove to collect Coco and then went over to Snort’s boy-crush’s house, a friend from his old football class. What shall I call this kid. Wonderboy. So Wonderboy, my two, and Shorty spent all afternoon running free. I’m noticing a change in the flavour of play dates, for sure, and I don’t know if it is that kids are ageing, or because these particular kids know each other well. The adults are left alone most of the time while the kids play. Wonderboy’s outdoor trampoline had a big pull over Coco, and Snort fell hard for his Spiderman soft toy.

Tuesday:

Best. Day. Ever.

Started with Snort’s dream, a trip to the post office to collect missed parcels with Grampy. He is very into ‘our whole family’ doing things together, and delights in having relatives around. Much talk about when my parents are coming, and when we will next see his Auntie. I mentioned to Grampy that I wanted to go out into nature somewhere – it was so sunny and beautifully warm. He’s all, hey, I’ll show you something.

And hell if FIVE MINUTES FROM OUR HOUSE isn’t a giant corridor of woodlands, with paths spidering off in every direction. Lots of hills, scary drop offs, apparently a river (!), and flowers exploding everywhere. I am never as happy as I am in the woods. I want to go here every day. I want to get rich and buy a big chunk of forest and live there. One of the best years of my life was giving alone at camp in the off season – five hundred acres of woods and only little old me there. It was amazing, except at night when I thought axe murderers lurked behind every tree.

We then dropped Grampy at home and went to, uh, a place with lots of horses and donkeys and playgrounds and magic. They both groomed a donkey, I gently brought up the subject of riding horses again (don’t ask), they spent ages in the giant outdoor sandpit, the soft play, etc etc. we bumped into TWO families from his old football class, and hung out with one for a long time. We also bumped into another home ed family that we see everywhere we go. They seem awesomely nice but I cannot remember the mum’s name. Clearly I need to ask her. I keep wanting to call her Nori, but I think that is the seaweed you make sushi from? They are vegan and she once talked me through how to make sushi, it sounds easy and delicious, I still have not tried it.

Side note: this home ed thing is socialising ME. I have to get over myself and ask people for phone numbers all the time. I’ve never done this in a dating way as I’m a serial monogamist and people have always approached me, and I’ve always been someone to have a small but very close circle of friends. So this faux hitting on families is a new experience and going well!

We tried to make this recipe for one minute chocolate mug cake. It was not a success. Ha. Instead we invested cheese and veggie sausage tacos and had dinner in the garden.

When TMD came home we all played in the garden awhile. Bubbles are a constant delight to the children.

Wednesday:

I wanted today to be an at home day. Those hills and treacherous, yet beautiful, hours in the woods were like a full body workout. All my muscles hurt. So why I allowed the kids to talk me into taking them to soft play, I don’t fucking know. We were there almost all bloody day until I called uncle and begged to go home. They made lots of little friends of all ages, including some adults who Snort utterly charmed, and it was nice, but damn. Sore muscles!

Really noteable thing for me is Snort’s determination. The kids were in the toddler area, and one of them decided they were pirate and the ball pit was the sea. So they dived for treasure, which was balls. Treasure was thrown out of the pit today’s me, who was the land. Snort eventually determined he would empty the ball pit and worked like a fiend. I felt a bit of uncomfortable social pressure because, shit, ball pits are not ‘supposed’ to be emptied, but we knew we would clear up afterward and I was not going to quash him. Soon other kids came to help. Soon older kids (in school uniforms) came to tell him off and immediately try to tidy. It was an interesting dynamic and gave me much to observe.

Think more garden time in the afternoon, largely consisting of me sitting in a comfy chair inside and counting down for them to have horse races. Yeah.

Thursday:

Okay. Second best day ever.

We started a pottery class for home educated kids this morning. Was amazing! Coco was pleased there was a ‘teacher,’ and I was pleased he said this would be a self-directed learning experience. He was on hand to offer helpful techniques and answer questions, didn’t talk down to the kids, let the, use sharp knives which mine loved, and was just chilled. Lots of familiar faces, and lots of new faces. Look forward to the next session very much!

Afterward we walked to a nearby square for a picnic with Catgirl, and a new mum and her two slightly older boys joined us. Snort and these two kids were like fucking hooligans (aka like every home educated kid in a park, when did he get so old?!), brandishing sticks and chasing pigeons while screaming with abandon. I found myself totally immersed in chatting with the adults, only having to occasionally check on him. Then our other friends we see every week, let’s see, we shall call the kids …I don’t know….came. The older boy, who struggles with aggression, shoved Snort really hard into the ground. Sigh. This happens every time we see these people, and Snort in general is so sensitive he often falls prey to this sort of thing. Whereas the boy tried to shove Coco, who shifted her body weight away and gave him such a cautious, menacing look he stopped dead in his tracks. Snort in generally is very joyful and trusting and open, and can’t understand why anyone would purposely do anything to hurt someone. Coco is more guarded with new people or people that she knows can be rough.

Catgirl, Artiste, and us decided to head over to the science museum, and on the way we bumped into another home ed family we know. Had a quick, nice chat. (Also, the quiet joy of always seeing people we know, feeling we belong, it is nice.)

Science museum was deeply awesome. They had a new exhibit with giant Lego blocks, hard hats, diggers, and construction jackets. Saw ANOTHER home ed family there, and I spent ages chatting with the mum because her kid has severe allergies as well. Going to meet up with them soon. Again, it hit me how old the kids seem because they were able to play and run around to find Catgirl and I trusted them. That simple act of trusting my children pays off hugely.

Snort had a devastating moment. He’d been working with a group of about nine year old boys on a school trip to construct an absolutely massive house, and was totally captivated with it. Of course, once it was built the older boys knocked it down. He cried so hard and so noisily that staff came over to make sure he wasn’t hurt. My sweet boy.

We spent hours there, loosely doing our own thing and then joining back with Catgirl. Had a big talk with the kids about blood – red blood travelling through the body to feed it, then turning blue when the air is used up, so it travels back to the lungs for more. This was really mainly Coco and me, so imagine my surprise when TMD came home and Snort gave her a big explanation about the blood, and he had all the concepts right and was so enthusiastic. Also had a good look at the brains, saw blood being pumped through our veins (Snort remembered the word ‘veins’ from a few weeks ago!), made giant bubbles, and Coco made another stop animation movie. She concentrates hard when doing these movies, loves taking the pictures, and is generally more interested in the process of creation than the final project. She’s amazing.

Snort was very interested in the movie set lighting controls (a famous series of shows and movies are made here in the city, and they donated some stuff to the museum).

Again, we could have stayed here all day and basically did, but I was achey. Unfortunately we missed seeing Jazz…..I thought of inviting ourselves to her house but thought that would make me an ass. Little did I realise that Lauren had texted to invite us. Whoops. Hope to see them soon!

Late afternoon we watched 101 Dalmatians for the first time. We all enjoyed it. It was literally the first tv/DVD they’d seen all week. Guess they overdosed on it when they were ill!

Friday:

Kids made a giant ‘bed’ filling the entire upstairs hallway while I was in the shower. They took care of their babies for a long time, then gradually wandering downstairs. I stayed upstairs listening to the radio and writing this post (bliss) and came downstairs to an elaborate toy layout. No wonder they’d been so quiet. Every small toy they owned was neatly laid out on the floor in a giant area. If you’re my fb friend you may have seen the pic!

Snort has been carrying around a picture his friend Walnut made, so we decided to make some pictures for Walnut (Aussie’s boy) as we decided we quite like mailing things to people. Coco picked Halloween stickers and therefore followed a bizarre conversation I never expected with a three year old, whereby I explained Frankenstein and vampires (which she was particularly interested in), along with candy corn and ghosts stuck in bottles. I helped the kids write their names on their respective pictures, and they were SO CHUFFED.

Ten minutes later and Coco is using a blue circular laundry basket as a pool. Bunny is under her shirt. She proceeds to climb into the pool, have a water birth, and then put Bunny straight to her chest with a cloth over Bunny. Can you guess what sort of YouTube videos we have been watching lately? Ha.

At gym the coach wanted to see Coconut on the balance beam. She froze when the coach held her hand and backed off. She agreed to do it with me holding her hand and coach watching – interesting as Coco always does the middle of the big beam by herself but wouldn’t with the coach watching. Yet she was confident enough to run up to her and ask her what a piece of equipment did. We then talked about how Coco loves handstands, and the coach showed her a great thick pole to put her feet up against to help her balance. She absolutely refused to try it, and from then in just wanted to sit. Coco is definitely a perfectionist and I found the whole thing interesting, and also from a schooling point of view I wonder what it would have done to her self esteem.

Catgirl randomly said to Coco while at gym, ‘I love you!’ This is a pretty big deal and I’m happy the kids are fostering a close friendship with her.

After gym, Catgirl and Artiste, Chuckles and Actor, and Coco and myself went across the street to the playground for a picnic and a run around. I texted another home ed mum who we had happily ran into before gym, and she came over to join us. Snort’s footie friends invited us to the zoo this afternoon, but I’m just not feeling it and Artiste and Actor were like my booster club, encouraging me to remember that this journey involves me and I’m not a martyr. They are correct!

Instead the kids played together inside for quite some time, before we spilled into the garden. snort was bottomless. Neither kid had a sweatshirt on. I was wearing a sweater and a scarf. Our internal temperatures do not match up. They pretended they were angry birds for quite some time, and I was drafted into being a bad piggy who got chased around. We had dinner outside, and then I brought music outside and we gave quite an elaborate dance show to anyone who happened to be overlooking our garden. Keeping it classy. We also read graphic novels/comic books. Ironman, of course. Snort loved it. Coco was more interested in some new medical apps I downloaded, kids ones where you pretend to be the doctor for animals or babies. Though she also loves one for medical students that has detailed pics of the body.

Weekly roundup 13 – 19 April 2013

April 20, 2013

Saturday:

Well, it was Coco’s turn for the high fever. And TMD got sick as well. Snort was a bit chirpier, but we were all definitely unwell. Handy as we had booked non refundable hotel rooms for the weekend, as we were supposed to be going to see family. Oh well. That’s all that can really be said, because most of the day was spent lying listlessly and watching tv. Again.

Tonight and last night I did the bedtime thang alone with Coconut, as TMD stayed down with Snort. Coconut liked the one on one time, we had baths together, cuddled till she fell asleep, etc. Was really nice.

Till about eleven pm, when hell cracked open. Cue two very confused and uncomfortable hours where both children are alternating earth shattering screaming, requesting apple juice, and somehow we all ended up together in the lounge. Of course the kids got the couches, TMD was on the floor, and I was sitting upright wrapped in a sleeping bag until I escaped upstairs. Awesome.

I couldn’t sleep most of the night because I found out our friends from our last home, who have a set of twins six months younger than ours, well…both of the parents have cancer. It makes me very anxious to think about it. Very. So I will stop writing now.

Sunday:

Snort much better. Coco still unwell and fevered. Odd for her because I swear I don’t think she has ever had a fever. I think this is the flu. Again, not much can be said about today except that Snort wanted to have some fun, but was trapped in by the rest of us. He and TMD did go on a mercy mission to buy bananas and chocolate bourbons, but again, lots of everyone laying around, wanting an adult to lean on.

Had a post bathtime discussion with Coconut where she clarified she wants to learn to read now, and was keen for me to teach her. Uh, okay. I thought she was coming on really well anyway, probably ‘advanced’ for her age, though we don’t place much stock in that, and I sort of didn’t think ‘teaching’ was going to be required. Well, whatever. I anticipate staying in again tomorrow so people can continue to mend, and if we don’t all go batshit stir crazy, perhaps she’ll be reading Shakespeare by nightfall. Wish me luck! Ha.

Monday:

Woe is me, etc etc. Kids much chirpier and playing, but still spouting snot and coughs and gag induced vomiting over fever medicine. TV is finally blessedly off, though, as they are no long limpets on the couch. I guess that’s a good thing. I still feel like a limpet, though.

Um, writing this next bit Tuesday night. Yesterday is a blur. I had a great hour and a half in the morning where I actually did some stuff around the house, played with the kids, and soldiered on pretending I was Ma Ingalls. I even whipped out sharpies and index cards and started labelling the hell out of everything we own in the ‘learn to read’ quest, ably helped by children scribbling pictures on paper and sticking them everywhere with blue tac.

The next thing you know, it’s evening and I have a migraine and everything is shit again.

This is the day I finally understood the phrase ‘touched out.’

Tuesday:

Every single night since The Sickness has been hell. Imagine my delight when I woke up at 8 am. I was very confused because normally I have to be up by 7, but…

TMD stayed home from work today and spent the day in a coma in bed. Coconut still has bright red cheeks and can’t stop coughing. Snort is dripping snot but appears to have finally semi-mastered blowing his nose. He also is totally covered in a rash I’ve never seen before. Luckily, we had a pre-booked doctor appointment, so my crazy out of control worry and diarrhoea only had to last twenty minutes before we found out it is viral rash.

My crazy self may have also mentioned to the doctor that Dr Google may have suggested that one of my kids’ constantly itchy bum and crazy personality for the last couple of weeks may be worms, and she was like, well, it’s really fucking common. So is dry skin. So keep the area round the ass lubricated, and hey, let’s treat you all for worms just in case.

This is the day I learned that liquid worming medicine for humans in ‘white banana’ flavour tastes just like banana flavoured Runts, my favourite childhood candy. It was so awesome I wanted to drink the whole bottle.

(It tasted so good I am sharing this gross bit of our lives on here because it made it bearable. In reality, I don’t think this kid has worms but wouldn’t it be great if they DID and this one small spoonful of awesomeness could cure them?)

Snort has not dropped another centile and is, in fact, holding steady at his new shorter centile, somewhere below 50 percent. Coconut holds rock steady at somewhere between the 9th and 25th. You’d have thought I was short. I’m not. I’m tall for a woman, the sperm donor was 6 foot. My parents are both very tall, my sister is a giant (about an inch taller than me, though she claims more) TMD says this is my grandmother’s genes coming through.

I honestly remember nothing about the morning before our 11:40 doctor’s appointment. Genuine giant hole in my recall. At the appointment I ripped a leg muscle by, oh, standing up. So my memory of this afternoon is icing my leg, massaging myself with Arnica, grimacing over (unrelated) sore boobs, and lying still on the couch while the mostly recovered children are acting like wild animals. Snort informs us,’I am all better now. I’m ready for adventures. Swimming pool adventures, outside adventures, even riding in the car adventures.’

I also asked what they’d like to do when they grow up.

Coconut: Be a doctor.

Snort: Be Spiderman! I want to have webs, to have little buttons to push to make webs.

Okay then.

Wednesday:

TMD home sick again after a night of hacking her lungs out and helping children who are also doing so. The air is perfumed with Vicks.

Still, we had a nice family chat this morning. In the autumn we are going abroad with my family, to Italy for a short break, and we were talking about who was going, how we’d get there, etc. We also starting learning the Italian for ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘hello,’ ‘goodbye,’ and ‘ice cream.’ Obviously the phrase ‘ice cream, please’ garnered much interest, and a talk about what sort of gelato they plan to have. As always, she wants chocolate, he wants ‘white.’ I think their minds will be blown by the gelato displays there.

A few days back we started looking at a guide book of the city we will be in. I think this Italy flavoured learning will probably loosely carry on, reaching fever pitch excitement just before the trip. Still, September is a long time away! We shall see.

The kids and I played a few apps, then spent the bulk of the morning cleaning the kitchen. Coconut is always the first to volunteer to help and is so keen, and Snort joined her. I’m on a mission to get things back on track, and it was great to have help.

We then spent a big hunk of time reading together on the couch, followed by pursuing Coconut’s idea to make glasses like the character in one of the books. She did all the cutting herself while I held the paper. They look totally fierce. She is fierce.

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Snort’s nose dripping is slowing. Coco is still coughing a lot, and both cheeks are bright red. She is also walking the tightrope between low and high fever. We begged off meeting with friends today and tomorrow, and I think that was a solid choice.

The kids played in their rooms awhile, then TMD woke up and played with them. Both my leg muscles on the outside of my thighs are very painful, so it was a relief! I then started getting another wicked headache so came upstairs. I immediately passed out and woke at six, when I discover TMD had watched two Toy Story movies with our recovering kiddos. The kids also spent some ti,e sticking oddly shaped sequin things (a leaping stag, wth) onto card with glitter pens. They also all rescued a butterfly (?) in the garden, and planted more chili pepper seeds in empty butter containers. Snort’s previous batch haven’t grown at all. Coco’s tomatoes are doing okay. And the cool potato experiment we have going, allowing us to see the roots and develop of potatoes, is smashing! Will probably detail this in another post as I bet some of you would like to try it.

Snort is desperate for us to go out and buy Kinder Eggs. He has set up all his cars on the landing upstairs and wants to make a video for YouTube like the ones he watches. Maybe tomorrow will be his lucky day.

Thursday:

Begged off home ed meet up. Coco had a raging temperature in the night and was very unsettled. She is obviously getting better, but on the other hand that fever and the coughing shows she still needs rest. Snort is gutted. He said, ‘Oh, man, please. I want to go on an adventure. Please.’ Adventure is our word for basically everything we do, and considering we haven’t left the house except for the doctor since last Wednesday, we are totally overdue an adventure. I just don’t think today is the day.

Played a few apps, Snort played wildly with his homemade Angry Birds toys, we watched a bit of Toy Story 2. Coco played with our red and white dry lentils in a box filled with some Cars guys. She’s now playing with a toy dog she’s calling Snoopy and taking him to the vet.

Coco then asked to lay down with me. We agreed we’d eat first – her and Snort played like maniacs while I cooked lunch. Then she asked for a cuddle and snuggle. Next thing I know, she’s asleep in my bed. This kid has not slept during the day in almost two years. She’s poorly. So I go hang out with Snort, who also passes out. I enjoy the breeze through the windows, the time to read, and then she wakes up screaming in pain. She’s obviously got another ear infection, on top of everything else. That poor fucking kid. I ran down here to get pain meds and the thermometer, as she’s covered in sweat and raging hot, but she passed back out before I got back upstairs. Add this to Snort’s horrible crackly breathing, and the crazy mom in me wouldn’t be surprised if we end up in hospital.

I jinxed it all. I made a joking comment to TMD this morning like, ‘Man, she will need a nap today after the hell of last night. But I know she won’t sleep. Hell, if she did I’d know to call an ambulance.’ Nice, huh.

And TMD said to me this morning, ‘We are so lucky he’s on his inhalers daily. Otherwise he’d be admitted to hospital with this thing.’ And after days of clear breathing, brotha needs rescue inhalers and sounds like I’ve sounded on days I could barely breathe.

Now that I’ve got that all out, I’m sure they will both be fine. I’m also sure we will be cancelling gymnastics tomorrow.

Okay, post nap they were noticeably better. We still essentially hung out in my bed and watched movies. A bit of reading. Coco went to sleep as normal, and Snort was up till all hours due to the gigantic nap.

Highlight of the day was TMD bringing home Kinder Egg knockoffs with mini superheroes inside. Seriously dope. Yes, I said it. Snort’s dreams came true because we made a video of him and Coconut and the beloved eggs against a backdrop of cars. He watched his video a lot. I’d show it to you, but we discovered too late he was bottomless and this ain’t that kind of blog.

Friday:

Went to Nana’s, which was possibly too much as Coco spent much of the day in her tired zone, where she constantly gets hurt and then cries. Once home, Snort kept falling asleep sitting up and I experienced hell trying to keep him awake. Fun day, though.

We did lots of free play, drew pictures, chased bubbles in Nana’s garden, and unravelled a ball of red wool multiple times and spun a giant web in the lounge, then pretended to be bank robbers and stepped around/under them. I also invented a wicked game – well, bastardised an existing one. Have you ever done that team building exercise where you write your name at the top of a paper then hand it round….everyone writes a nice comment then folds it over so no one can see what they’ve written. I did that but with sight words, lots of names that are important to us, emotion words, random words, etc. The folding meant they only had one word to focus on at a time, but at the end a sheet of about ten words to pick words from. Sounds lame but was totally fun. I swear.

Only other noteable from this day is that we have been talking about right and left for a few weeks. As we got into the car, I made a crack about wondering if I would remember how to get to Nana’s house since it had been so long since we’d been there. Cue two kids who gave me perfect directions. ‘You’re going to turn left here at the shops.’ ‘Right! Turn right here! No, I mean the next street!’ Was cool.

Weekly roundup 6 – 12 April 2013

April 14, 2013

Saturday:

TMD was supposed to write this weekend’s stuff. Considering it is the end of the following weekend and we are all sick, let’s keep it simple. The only thing I remember from this day is that she took them to a city farm in a nearby city. Apparently lots of fun in the natural playground, fake drums being played, feet propped on fences, etc.

Sunday:

More angry birds were made, potatoes, chilli peppers, and tomatoes planted.

Monday:

Kids played superheroes together for aaaaaaaages, before we headed off to the gym. Grampy came along as gym sessions are intense and really require one adult per child, especially if your children are prone to breaking bones. Both kids got loads more individual instruction today than ever – both on the beam and both on the trampoline. The coach spent ages with Snort trying to help him learn the start of a seat drop on the trampoline (she’s all, one big jump, then fall on your bum, legs out and toes pointed. Bless her.) Eventually Coco got a turn and when asked, ‘Do you want to try dropping down onto your bum like your brother?’ and she just did it, like no big deal, yo. I think the coach was more into her today because she didn’t have Bunny, and they did bond last session. Snort sucked her over to the beam because he was just merrily racing along the full size beam on his own. Ha.

We then met up with Chuckles (Coco’s friend from her Friday gym class) and her mum (who I love! We are like the naughty kids in the back of the classroom) at a new park. Kids had ice cream – wtf it is still so cold – went on the swings, hijacked Chuckles’ scooter, played on steps, but largely ran around chasing each other with large sticks. Also a little bout of hide and seek, where I hid behind the ice cream van and had to shout shit like ‘You’ll never find me! Hahahahahah!’ at the top of my lungs to give them a clue because I apparently am too good of a hider.

Came home, kids played out with Grampy for a bit, we did a massive tidy, then Coconut helped me make dinner.

Tuesday:

Today was not what I ‘planned’…..which was either staying in, swimming in the afternoon, or a possible haircut for Snort and trip to the library.

Instead we took their Grampy to what we refer to as ‘Jungle Ball Place.’ They’ve called soft plays ‘ball places’ since they were babies, and so they remain. Spent all morning and a big chunk of the afternoon there, and the first couple of hours they played with this other little boy and girl, and invented this big game of counting then sliding down the bumpy stairs, and gathered quite a crowd of kids to them. Other than that, normal soft play stuff, really.

Came home and Coco played outside with Grampy for a bit while Snort wrapped up in a blanket and watched them. They watched ten minutes of Mr Ben with Grampy, then…I honestly have no recollection of what we did. Before the ball place, though, we had a chili pepper tasting session, and then the kids played some iPad games with Grampy.

My pelvis was pretty amazingly sore after soft play, so at four we came up to my bed and watched the Phineas and Ferb movie (how much do I adore it, let me count the ways) and ate popcorn.

Wednesday:

Left fairly early in the morning as we were planning on trying out a new dance group with Jazz and Lauren. The kids were happy to see Jazz, especially when Coconut spotted them across the street as we were getting out of the car. Her voice was all high pitched and excited. Dancing was fun, it was a dinosaur theme. Coconut and Snort were by far the oldest there. It didn’t seem to bother them, and in some ways they were the only ones actually interacting with the teacher. I think we would definitely go again, particularly as the younger age group combined with the relaxed attitude of the teacher meant it was very kid friendly. Afterwards Jazz, Coco, and Snort ran wildly around the big open space, also enticing other children, or made us tea in the play area. We all had lunch.

In the afternoon we were to the free soft play otherwise known as Toys R Us. As long as we go in with the expectation that we are not buying anything, the kids are happy to browse and play. We also wandered round two other shops because it was sort of warm and we were having fun.

Came home and the kids mostly played together. I find that if I sit down with a book they will let me be, but if I sit down with the iPad they will always join me. Consequently I managed to finish a book yesterday!

Their games were varied and complex and I admit I missed most of them during my read-a-thon. They did let me play with the Bananagrams letters with them, where we we looked for various letters, spelled out names, and arranged them into a giant boat.

Thursday:

We were supposed to meet up with Artiste and Other Lady and kids for our Thursday mini HE meet, but I felt so exhausted in the morning it was overwhelming to move from the lounge to the kitchen. I also had this feeling the kids were going to get sick, and so I begged off.

The only thing I remember from this day was lots of lying in bed I was so tired! The postman delivered our new trilogy and we made popcorn. Therefore, the main learning lessons of the day included that Madagascar 1 is good for about thirty minutes then it gets boring, Madagascar 3 is terrifying beyond all fucking belief and should NEVER be watched by anyone (or at least the first ten minutes are. I don’t know about it beyond the crying, quivering ten minutes mark),and Madagascar 2 is just right. It is the Goldilocks of movies and can be watched over and over, especially if you have had a mocha just to stay awake while lying in bed.

They also discovered two old jewellery boxes and I was too listless to stop them, so the final playing of the movie featured every piece of jewellery I own being spread over the bed. Snort wore about nine necklaces.

Friday:

Snort had a high, high fever and lay comatose most of the morning as he’d been up since five. I cancelled my dentists’ appointment I’ve been waiting for for five weeks (!) because I didn’t want to leave him. Add in some Snortie vomiting, some me accidentally losing consciousness a couple of times, and then being trapped under a heavy three year old who was sleeping stretched out on my body….and you get a seriously cranky Coconut. Snort had about one good hour, and he and Coco played, much to her joy.

addendum

Coconut used to call Snort ‘Daddy Dog’ and I had forgotten about it, till she resurrected it this week on a couple of occasions. It’s changed to ‘Snort Dog.’ Am I the only one who just heard a voice in her head go, Snort Doggy Dooooo-ooh-ooog.


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