2nd night

We made so much progress yesterday. Nick was a lot more settled. Still grizzly at times but he slept and we even got some smiles. Last night he fell asleep while we were having a late dinner. We weren’t expecting him to stay asleep but decided to come upstairs and lay down to rest…. He went down in his crib, I didn’t even get him undressed. I lay down and gave Ryan a cuddle and settled down to watch an episode of our program on Netflix and next thing I knew it was 6:30 am and nick was waking up for a bum change and feeding.
We got him undressed as he was wet and gave him boot off time. I fed him and Ryan massaged coconut oil into his feet and legs and back of his knees. He fell back to sleep. After 20 minutes we were able to put his boots back on and Ryan clicked the bar in while Nick was feeding and it didn’t even disturb him. He fell back to sleep and is still snoozing now! 20140813_080225

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First night in b&b

We had a very unsettled night. I thought we were going to get lucky at first as nick seemed happy to fall asleep on his front as usual…. but it was not to be. It was a disturbed restless nap with a lot of wriggling till he woke up and I found he had almost completely got the boot off!

In the end I propped myself up on a v pillow and slept with him on my chest. He woke several times but we at least got some rest.
This morning nick did manage a smile at me, I let him have 20 minutes boots off time during which I played with him and massaged his legs and feet. He was still quite content when His boots went back on and was able to sit in his high chair and even fell asleep.
He has fed and fallen back to sleep again now. Playing it hour by hour at the momenìt.

The next step

Little nick got his boots and bar today. He is very unsettled! He has cried himself to sleep several times and woken up screaming. I am trying to reassure myself that he has shared a couple of smiles, had a couple of feeds and had a bum change so he is not in too much discomfort, it will just take some getting used to.
We are not totally free from casts though. The future is unknown. We go back on friday and this week we are purely seeing how we go. It may be that he needs to go back into cast, it may turn out that his tenotomy needs to be repeated. There is so much uncertainty with this treatment.
It is awful seeing my baby so uncomfortable.

People can say to me “he won’t remember it”…. no but I will!
People can say “it will all be worth it”…. yes I know that, but actually at the moment that doesn’t stop it being hard.
I am allowed to feel upset, anxious and angry… I am allowed to have a little cry …. I am allowed to hate talipes!
None of that will stop us getting through this. We will, somehow.

Skin to skin and learning when the mood takes us.

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Firstly I wanted to write about my ponderings regarding Skin to Skin contact. When I was pregnant with Nick I read an awful lot about the importance of skin to skin. Even now i see it advised all the time as a way to soothe baby, a way to boost milk supply and a way to nurse a baby feeling unwell. I read amazing things about our bodies ability to regulate its temperature according to the needs of our babies and i find it fascinating. However, something that i feel has been over looked somewhat is the importance of daddy skin to skin.

As soon as Nick was born i had stated that i wanted Ryan to be topless for his first cuddle as well, and he was. He still has skin to skin cuddles every morning and every evening. When Ryan gave Nick his first bottle he did so topless. Nick and Ryan have an amazing bond and I loved seeing Ryan give him a bath for the first time yesterday.

Actually, even Josh has had skin to skin cuddles with Nick! It is such an important part of development and not one that should be reserved just for mums.

 

As a family we are starting to get used to the idea of learning when the mood takes us. We spent some time discussing the equator, world temperatures, time zones and the international date line this week. The topic wasnt planned, it just came up in conversation. Josh was interested so we blew up our inflatable globe and looked at thew world map wall chart.

Alana and Joshua also enjoyed a fun opportunity to learn about canals and locks when we were playing and paddling our feet and skimming stones in a river when a boat approached a lock on the nearby canal. Both children enjoyed helping to open and close the lock and watching the water levels change. Once again, a learning opportunity that was not planned but was greatly enjoyed.

We have managed to get some national geographic activity boxes at a reduced price this week. They about black bears and contain information fact cards and a cuddly bear that you have to stuff and sew yourself. We are looking forward to doing some sewing and learning a little about the black bears, why they are endangered, where their natural habitat is etc….

 

This week also sees the celebration of world breastfeeding week in our home. So i will largely be nursing in public and sharing boobie pics in a bid to raise awareness and increase acceptance for the most natural thing in the world.

I am forever amazed at my bodies ability to nourish myself and my baby, and cant help but feel somewhat smug and proud of myself when we weigh Nick between casts and see how much weight he has put on ūüėÄ

Why this path?

People ask me, why have I removed both Alana and Josh from school. They can understand why I removed Josh given the issues with the school but don’t understand why I also allowed Alana to leave school. Well basically the answer is simple. Alana was not happy! Her confidence was notably in shreds. She was not looking after herself physically and emotionally was a mess. She was so wrapped up in the thought that she “can’t do it” that she wasn’t even trying when she could! And her attitude towards me and Josh was dreadful!
I hated school, I was bullied and the situation still affects my anxiety today, I never did a full week and dropped out altogether in yr 9…. I wasn’t home ed but even so this year I have gained my bsc hons health and social care…. While working and raising my children. I felt a hypocrite making her go in.
I felt it was unfair to allow Josh to stay at home genuinely believing I was doing the best for him yet to still make Alana go to school. What kind of mother would I be if I had done that really? I want to be the kind of mum who does what is best for her children, all of her children! And for us that is being and learning at home and spending time together.
I know I made the right decision, Alana has sparked a natural interest in the world wars and has created some wonderful poetry by her own choice. She has also mastered long division and multi digit multiplication.
Josh has redeveloped a love of learning….. as he now sees learning as different from work!
More to the point I get to spend time with my favourite people and I love it! I have booked up some holidays knowing that I don’t have to worry about term time and it’s great!
Nick has been sleeping until 9 ish so it’s great to not have to wake him up and rush him about. I imagine I will appreciate that so much more once he goes into boots and bars as who knows how much rest we will get then.
I am liking having the freedom and flexibility to respond to each of my children’s individual needs and interests and generally being the best mum that I can be.

 

In other news, I did get Joshs school report and the headteacher had been unable to resist writing a comment. Stating that he had several incidences with other children due to him messing around and being physical. Well that stirred up yet more anger from me. I am pushing through a formal complaint. I have written to ofsted and our local mp. I did write her a letter as well and took legal advice when doing so.   I am determined to get her to acknowledge her failings and to send Josh a written apology for all he had to endure at her school.

 

Nick had his tenotomy on Friday. ¬†It was pretty traumatic and made that bit worse by a slipped cast on Monday. ¬†Apparently he just has the right shaped little foot that makes him high risk for slips. This was our 2nd slipped cast. So we were back to Stanmore to get it changed again. Hopefully we can just keep going and get him to the next stage….. then the challenge of boots and bars will begin.

Not just Home ed

Nick had his 8 week check and first jabs. I felt bad for him and he is very unhappy, had 2 jabs in one leg due to his cast ūüė¶ I declined the rotavirus, I was lucky that they didn’t even question my decision. I decided that given that it is a live vaccine for a stomach bug we wouldn’t be having it for two reasons. 1) A live vaccine would bring the bug into our home. Something that my family could do without. Especially as we use cloth bums! would be a nightmare!

2) PROTECTION AGAINST A STOMACH BUG? REALLY? I know how to treat and care for tummy bugs, I know how to prevent dehydration, I had 2 other children before this vaccine was invented and both got over tummy bugs pretty well….. not something that really needs to be vaccinated against imo.

We were able to visit stockwood park and see their alien invasion exhibition. Alana and Josh both completed the activity sheets. On return home Alana and Grandad made pate then Alana was able to write down step by step instructions detailing what they did.  Both Alana and Josh also used water colours to paint their own aliens and label their parts.

I received a message regarding head teachers comments on another childs school report, clearly making digs at home education stating the importance of learning in the classroom and relationships with children. Its a pity that at that school “relationships with other children” clearly includes getting beaten up while teachers stand around and do nothing.

It got me wondering if I would get Joshs report, or if the head would make any comments on it if I do…… I wonder what if anything I would say or do? what do I hope to gain from pushing my complaints?¬†

I know that I do not want other children suffering the way Josh did, but he is already happier and more confident sooooo…… isn’t that my priority?

I wonder if there was¬† some way I could promote home education. It seems so many parents think about it but lack the legal knowledge or the confidence to take that step. I think I will compile a list of 10 things about home ed I wish I had learnt sooner…… hmmmmmm…..

1) Legally children DO NOT have to attend school. They do have to receive full time education that meets their age/ability/needs.

2) You DONT HAVE TO follow curriculum, children learn  better when they are leading the learning around what interests them.

3) You DONT HAVE TO follow a strict lesson / term time. Learning opportunities come up all hours of the day and night!

4) Taking time out to deschool is fine, and in many cases recommended. School can be traumatic for children, it can take time to recover from that and to rediscover a natural curiosity and love of learning.

5) You owe the school and local authority nothing immediately, you don’t haveto explain yourself to the school and its fine to tell the local authority that you plan to deschool for x amount of months before putting any sort of plan in place.¬†

6) There is no reason for any social services involvement, you are doing nothing wrong.

7) You don’t need to be a qualified teacher or know it all…… we are parents, we are supporting our childs learning from the day they are born. There is no one better qualified to act with our childs best interests at heart……and anything we don’t already know we can learn with our children. Thisis actually brilliant, my children get to see me enjoying learning as well!! There is a huge range of resources available for any given topic!

8) Children don’t need school to socialise! Its simple! there are clubs, friends, other home educators etc….. home education support groups organise get togethers, trips and workshops.

9)¬†Trips , days out at low rates…. merlin attractions have a lower rate for home educators and you don’t have to tackle big long queues for rides…. oh and low rate term time holidays!!

10) Exams are not legally compulsory…. and if you and your children do want to go down the exam route there is no set legal that they must sit them by! You can apply to colleges etc, maybe have to pay a fee for the exam but it is perfectly do-able.

monday

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Yesterday was spent at Wendover woods where we built dens….. One even went so far as to include a roof that held weight so had 2 levels and was spacious enough to fit 7 people inside.
We did am assault course timed to make it a race and generally had a bit of a run about.

Today I had an early trip to Stanmore for nicks cast to be changed. He doesn’t like it. He was happy having his morning bath with me and we tried him with the jacuzzi bubbles, he seemed very content and we were able to stay in the bath soaking the cast long enough to crack it. But once at stanmore he was very grumpy. I guess it’s the heat. Or maybe because after his cast slipped last week he was given 4 days without one and now doesn’t like it, I am not sure but he screamed a lot! He wouldn’t even be comforted with boob!

This afternoon Alana and Josh found a wild plum tree and were able to fill a plastic bag with fruit. We then made wild plum jam…. While it was cooking we read about the first world war.
All round was a very good day.