New knowledge and Missed Events.

We’ve enjoyed a few more days in lately. Some of them admittedly have been down to my disorganisation! I’m usually a pretty organised person when it comes to getting to events but in the past week we’ve managed to miss our film festival showing and a planned day out to the Manchester Science Festival. I feel a bit annoyed with myself as they were both important events in our Home Ed calendar. Despite booking the film a month or so ago and having it written on the calendar I only remembered we should have been there several hours after it finished! So we didn’t get to enjoy the ‘Earth’ documentary on the cinema screen. 😦 Today I’d planned for us to go to a ‘Planetary Odyssey’ which is part of the Manchester Science Festival. The excuse for this one is possibly even worse – there was too much house work to do. 😦 We’re going on holiday in a few days and I just can’t bear coming home to enormous mountains of laundry and beds that really need changing. The washing up pile had become so huge that we actually couldn’t eat lunch until I cleared it! So although it’s a bit of a rubbish theme for a Home Ed blog I think the theme of the week has to be disorganisation!! I hope I’m not alone and can find some solidarity with other Home Ed parents out there!

So what did we manage to do? I did remember to take them to Wood School. A is still really happy about being able to go on Thursdays now. This weekend I did an introductory course in NVC (Non Violent Communication). The teachers at Wood School use this form of communication, so the parents with children who attend were invited first to the course. I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. The kids went to stay with my very good friend who has looked after Jessy on and off since he was about 4. They had a Halloween show and fireworks display to look forward to. I really enjoyed the two day course. It was taught by Penny Vine. (http://www.pennyvine.com/index.htm) She was wonderfully down to Earth and has a whole hoard of children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren so her experience is vast. I was pleasantly surprised that NVC seems to be a bit more flexible than I’d imagined and really can be used in any situation. Some of it was revisiting old ideas I have learned from parenting books over the years. I’ve felt the need to abandon a lot of my old ideas since realising that Jessy often needs a different approach that is more clear and structured with less complicated language. The course gave me hope that I can mix some of my old ideas with an approach that suits Jessy which felt so relieving and reassuring. I’ve already felt calmer and more thoughtful, although I’m under no illusions that it will turn me into a sudden saint!!

My friend picked me up with the kids and after making a quick stir fry at home we headed to our local park which had a fair and fireworks display. We’ve been lucky as it’s usually on in the first week on November when we’ll be away, but it’s early this year. The kids enjoyed some rides and I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t hear a single complaint about the fact the rides cost double this time but I gave them the same amount of money so they only got half the rides. A has been afraid of fireworks ever since she can remember but we were pleased to discover that this year she didn’t feel frightened anymore and she happily watched the display.

On the ghost train

On the ghost train

VIP ride!

VIP ride!

This week is half term so there was no Wood School yesterday. The kids were very interested in the cards I brought back from the NVC course. They show feelings and needs, with the idea being that our feelings are linked to a need or needs that are being met or unmet. So for example if you are enjoying time with friends you could find the feeling card for ‘Happy’ and the need card for ‘companionship’. The children’s pack is illustrated and uses simpler words. The teacher suggested that Jessy might find them useful. He struggles a lot to articulate his feelings verbally and even when he does I think it is often inaccurate. Children who find this hard, often find a visual aid useful. He did use the cards to tell me how he was feeling and which need he felt was being met. A was fascinated by them and we worked with them for about an hour. Here are some examples using the cards:

NVC children's cards

NVC children’s cards

A has also continued with her hamster projects. She’s very excited about her plans to build her own cage. We’ve had a few tricky moments with her struggling with the concept of needing to modify designs to suit your own purposes as she became very determined to copy the plan she’d seen to the letter. I think she is beginning to understand that we need to make a few changes (such as adding a lid because we have two cats and we don’t want the hamster to get eaten!) and gradually relaxing into the idea that a project often involves changes along the way. We visited the local pet shop to stock up on supplies and have a little look at the animals. The lady who runs the pet shop gave A some spare bars from bird cages to use in her projects. I’m wondering what she’ll create with them!

Today Jessy helped me to change all the bed covers. Usually I have a very sore back after doing the three beds and my back has got worse recently with being pregnant. He was a really big help which meant I wasn’t in nearly so much pain afterwards. We looked up ‘Barbados’ on the map and A proved she has more geographical knowledge than I do as I didn’t have a clue where to look but she found it using what she already knew.

When I realised we weren’t going to make it out to the Science Festival we decided to carve pumpkins instead. We had a hilarious journey home from the shop yesterday. I told the kids they could choose any pumpkin as long as they could carry it home themselves. A picked a huge one! Jessy picked one a little smaller, but proportional to his size, his was possibly even larger! Luckily they both found it very funny as they struggled and found places to stop and rest and tried not to drop them. They both got the giggles which made it even harder to hold on to them and by the time we got home we were all laughing!

Pumpkin hilarity!

Pumpkin hilarity!

This was the first year when both the kids designed and carved the pumpkins completely themselves. Jessy needed a little help scooping out all the pips and strings. He had great fun trying though and a good sense of humour about how little he managed to get out despite trying hard! A threw herself into the messy business and despite much face pulling seemed to enjoy it!

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I gave a few suggestions on how to create an outline but other than that the designs and carving were done with no help at all. A carved Jiji the cat from Kiki’s Delivery Service and Jessy carved a skull. We were all very pleased and impressed by the results:

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We’ve put them out on our porch. We’re going away for a week the day after Halloween so I’m terribly sorry but there will be no blog next week as I will be sunning my self on a Barbados beach! Woo hoo!!

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Wicked and the baby.

We missed our fortnightly Home Ed Adventure Playground group this week. I rarely miss it but it was for a very good reason; we went to see ‘Wicked’ the musical which is showing at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. We ended up with very good seats. We were up in the Gods in the second row and it was a little difficult to see with the taller people in front of us. Ten minutes into the show, all four people in front of us got up and left and didn’t come back! I felt a little guilty for our fortune in case a family tragedy had occurred! I tried to tell myself it was hopefully something nice like someone having a baby. Have I ever mentioned that I over think things sometimes? The show was brilliant and kept the children completely enthralled from start to finish. I fell into the trap of spending almost as much on merchandise as I had on the show, but the large book looked beautiful and really captured Jessy’s interest and we had to have the soundtrack to sing along at home. It’s livened up the washing up!

The stage curtain.

The stage curtain.

Waiting for the show to begin and munching sweets.

Waiting for the show to begin and munching sweets.

On Thursday I decided to undertake a creative project. Ths kids have chosen their Halloween costumes for this year. Jessy wants to be ‘The Phantom’ from ‘Phantom of the Opera’. I’m surprised I haven’t written more about Phantom as it’s been a firm favourite of Jessy’s lately. He often listens to the soundtrack whilst following the lyrics and we frequently hear his enthusiastic operatic renditions from the shower! A wants to be Kiki the witch from a lovely anime film called ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’. She has a black cat called Gigi who A really wanted to complete the outfit. You can buy toys of him but they cost a lot and thake a long time to come from abroad so I decided to make one. I headed to my favourite local shop ‘The Big Discount Store’ as I have a theory that you can find pretty much anything you want in there. I wanted something cheap made out of black material and came out with two balaclavas feeling like a wannabe Bank Robber. In fact I even felt the need to say at the counter ‘I’m making my niece a cat’ to alleviate any potential suspicions of bank robbery! It took a little longer than I’d hoped but by 10pm that night I had created this. A was very happy with him too.

Gigi the cat

Gigi the cat

We had a busy Saturday. We took A to Stagecoach on the train. While we waited for the train home Jessy did some spontaneous ‘out and about’ maths. He worked out how many holes were in a seat by counting the number in the length and width and multiplying them. When he counted to check his answer, the number was different and he worked out he’d made a mistake in the initial counting. He then used multiplication again to work out how many holes were in the whole row of seats – there were 400! We then tried a little division to get back to the answer of how many were on one seat.

How many holes?

How many holes?

Jessy’s Nana dropped A off at Piccadilly station after Stagecoach so we could head to a birthday party. It was another nice little party at home with games and treats. Inbetween the games about 15 children piled on and off a huge beanbag in a small room and all seemed to have fun. Jessy ate a balanced party food dinner of chocolate biscuits, chocolate cake and chocolate spread rolls! On the way home we saw a beautiful rainbow. It’s rare to see the whole huge arc in bright colours and we were all quite excited!

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Under the rainbow

Under the rainbow

In stead of party bags the kids all won crafty presents during the games. Jessy got some ‘create your own puzzles’ and A got a cat mask and a flower pot. She painted the cat mask to look like her cat at home.

Party crafts

Party crafts

Sunday was mostly taken up by pet care. I did the cat litter, A cleaned out her hamster Kovu and Jessy cleaned out the millipedes. The kids helped each other out to have company and make the jobs easier.

The millipedes enjoying some sunshine at clean out time.

The millipedes enjoying some sunshine at clean out time.

A very much enjoys researching new and interesting possibilities for her hamster. This week she discovered a recipe for a hamster omlette and some hamster treats. She made the omlette herself one evening. It had carrot and parsley in it and when we taste tested it, it was delicious! She shared it out between Kovu and Jessy’s gerbil Alicia.

Hamster omlette

Hamster omlette

Alicia the gerbil

Alicia the gerbil

We also gave the treats a go which involved making a simple pastry with added peanut butter and using a bit of fruit puree as a filling. Ours were mango treats. They were quite tasty too and the animals enjoyed them. It was a good chance to practice some measuring with A as I’ve noticed she seems to have very little understanding of measurements and it’s always easier to pick things up when applying them in real life. This week she’s discovered the difference between cm and inches when she wanted to get a sense of how large a hamster toy was and we had a look on a tape measure. Making the treats involved measuring some water in ml which I pointed out for her on the jug.

A making the treats

A making the treats

Adding the filling

Adding the filling

Sealing the treats

Sealing the treats

The finished treats

The finished treats

Kovu with his home made treat

Kovu with his home made treat

Today was an exciting (and slightly nerveracking) day for me as I had my pregnancy anomaly scan. It’s usually done at about 20 weeks and I’m only just over 18 weeks so the baby was quite small for the sonographer and she didn’t see everything she wanted to see so I’m going back in a few weeks. What she did see was fine though. I was quite amused that my baby was lying face down with it’s legs quite stretched out kicking about and waving its little fists! Despite our attempts at tipping the chair and rolling me over it was quite content to remain faceplanted so we didn’t get to see its face, but it was lovely to see a proper little person wriggling around in there! The photo isn’t very clear but the head is on the left, you can see the curve of the spine at the top and the belly at the bottom, the legs are bent with the knees pointing down and you can see its little foot at the end. 🙂

Faceplanted baby!

Faceplanted baby!

That’s it for this week. Everyone’s comments are enjoyed and welcome always!

Monster Babies & Contented Calf

We’ve had some exciting arrivals this week (not quite as exciting as the real live people arrivals we had last week though!) Jessy and A have been eagerly awaiting the special commission of monster babies they put in with Ames Likes Toast (https://www.facebook.com/ameslikestoast?fref=ts) As they were made to order it’s taken a few weeks but judging by the squeals of excitement followed by hours of play they were worth the wait!

The new babies

The new babies

Dexter, Mertle, Frank, James, Jess, Rufus, Alfie and Seb.

Dexter, Mertle, Frank, James, Jess, Rufus, Alfie and Seb.

Continuing the letter writing theme, both Jessy and A sat down to write thank you letters for the new babies. A included a comic in hers. She was very excited when, in a few days time, a picture of her letter appeared on the Ames Likes Toast Facebook page! Unfortunately Jessy’s letter hasn’t arrived yet. It’s a real shame, but we’re hoping it might turn up late. They’ve been writing so many letters that I’ve stopped checking the envelopes. I also allow them to go on their own to the nearest post box as it only takes a couple of minutes and they only have to cross side streets, so they quite frequently rush off to post things I haven’t seen. Jessy used to check the address with me, as although he can be careful with his writing, it can sometimes to be difficult to read and we’ve talked about how that can cause problems with letters reaching their destination.

Writing more letters mean that the children have also started to receive letters. They want to keep them safe so they’ve made letter boxes to store them in. Jessy made his on one of their visits to Dennis’s house. It’s very shiny and I love the hearts and ribbon. 🙂

Jessy's letter box.

Jessy’s letter box.

I had my own exciting arrival. An old friend from Uni has written a book of wonderful recipes designed to increase breastmilk production. She has a website and a blog at http://www.contentedcalf.com I’ve had my eye on the book ever since it was first published and always intended to get a copy once I was pregnant. I was excited when it arrived along with a cute babygro.

The Contented Calf Cookbook.

The Contented Calf Cookbook.

My mouth was literally watering while I read the recipes and it’s so comforting to think that by eating delicious food I could help my milk supply. I had a lot of problems with breastfeeding last time around. It’s so important to me that I persevered through some very very trying times but it has left me anxious, and anything I can do to help myself out this time around is very welcome. I have a good friend who has agreed to cook me up the recipes to put in my freezer before the baby is born. Luckily all the recipes are designed to freeze well!

At the weekend we went to a friend’s Pirate party. Even I took the chance to dress up. It was one of those lovely simple parties, with simple games and time to play and a bouncy castle. In my experience these parties tend to work the best and they all had a good time. Jessy won Musical Bumps! We’d had to get a couple of buses to get there and when we arrived back in Manchester City Centre, A remembered the large music shop we’d noticed and asked if we could go in. She enjoyed browsing the pianos and keyboards and looking at the music books. She tried out a few little tunes.

A trying out a tune from the Disney songs book.

A trying out a tune from the Disney songs book.

Jessy has never shown much interest in learning to play music so he entertained himself by trying to pull faces before I could take a picture. He succeeded!

Oooh-arrrgh, look at me tongue!

Oooh-arrrgh, look at me tongue!

Mondays have suddenly got very busy for A. She has Wood School, then her and Jessy do Martial Arts, then straight afterwards she has Scouts. This was her first week at Scouts. She really enjoyed it and came back excited about a Caving Trip they have planned for next month which will also earn her her first badge. The busy day is made much easier now that their friend does Martial Arts too which means they get a lift back from Wood School. We enjoyed sitting down to dinner with friends again. They introduced us to something fun, where each person shares the best part of their day, the worst part of their day and the funniest part of their day. We had some good laughs! We had more good news today that A can also start Thursday Wood School as from this week. A is really happy about this and it will make things easier for me too as I now have my two free days again.

I got out for afternoon tea with friends at the gorgeous Richmond Tea Rooms. (http://www.richmondtearooms.com/) Cake with friends is always a good way to recharge the batteries! The kids weren’t with me today as I had an antenatal appointment and Dennis took them out, and then to Circus Skills so I ended up with a day to myself. Today was taken up with washing up and lying in bed with a headache though! The kids came home enthusiastic about walking the tightrope! That’s all for this week.

An exciting visit for everyone!

Hello again! The day after I wrote my last blog was very exciting. Years ago I used to be part of a lovely parenting forum called “I want my Mum’. When it closed down several of us became friends on Facebook and I ended up chatting to a lovely Mum called Clare. We began talking on the phone and found that we could happily spend hours wittering away. We’ve been hoping to meet up for years now but one thing and another got in the way and it never happened. Until Wednesday! She drove up with her two daughters aged 9 and 5 and we planned to spend the day together with the possibility of them sleeping over if the kids got on well. We were both so pleased with how well they got on. We eased the way for them with a bit of ‘giant Minecraft’ (playing Minecraft on our 60” TV) which always goes down well with fans! I think they spend the next two days jumping on and off our giant bean bag whilst singing loudly. They were all very happy, not counting the occasional heart aches of a left out or roughly handled 5 year old which Clare always handled with a lovely sensitivity. I always really appreciate being around thoughtful and kind parents. With the children occupied Clare and I were free to talk and talk and talk and .. well… talk! I’d forgotten to plan extra food into my shopping but luckily I had enough sausages to go round and made a big bundle of mash with lashings of gravy and runner beans and everyone was happy. Well almost everyone – there has to be one child who rejects the greens but I won’t tell who! 😉 The kids decided they all wanted to squeeze into Jessy’s room, so we rolled out the sleeping bags and let them get away with giggling and wriggling for an hour or so before insisting on some peace! Clare and I clearly hadn’t talked enough because we carried on for several more hours until I finally had to call it quits and go to bed at gone 1am!

We meet at last!

We meet at last!

Jessy with new friends.

Jessy with new friends.

The next afternoon all the children were swapping addresses and promising to be Pen Pals and I felt sad to see them go. It’s especially lovely when someone who already seemed lovely turns out to be even lovelier in real life – and that’s a lot of loveliness! Jessy missed Wood School which I wouldn’t usually do, but as I have no idea when Clare and the girls might be able to visit again as they’re not local, and Jessy was so keen to stay home and play I let him do just that!

By the evening I think all the excitement had got to me and I had an awful head ache. I decided that a walk in the fresh air would do me good, a take away probably wouldn’t, but it would mean I didn’t have to cook with an awful headache so we headed off in the rain to browse the local take aways of which there are many! The kids had been so busy playing they hadn’t even got dressed yet. I give almost complete freedom when it comes to clothing choices, however, I draw the line at pyjamas in public. I find it interesting where our own personal lines on these kind of things lie. My son has been out in pink polka dresses, pumpkin costumes with shades, he’s been Dorothy and Superman and all sorts, but for some reason pyjamas are my personal limit! He didn’t want to get dressed so he decided to cover up – with a dalek costume. He now fit my criteria for acceptable public attire so off we went!

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He made a lot of people smile on our brief trip out! We watched another Tribe documentary while we ate burgers, chicken and chips. When I give up on cooking I also tend to give up on eating at the dining table! This episode was quite different from the others, following a nomadic Mongolian Tribe. It looked like a hard life in the cold and snow. A particularly liked how the young children rode in crates stuffed with blankets attached to the horses and said she wished she could try it. On Monday, she managed to not only replace the arrow she lost last week but make several new ones to go with her bow.

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On Friday A arranged to go and play music with her friend Stan. He’s been learning guitar, largely self taught with some guidance from his Mum, and he recently got a Bass too. A is very keen on playing her keyboard, so they got together to play and compose some tunes. Jessy was going to stay behind with me, but when Dennis arrived he changed his mind and ran off to get in the taxi in his pyjamas. I almost avoided him being out in his pyjamas this week! Jessy came home with potatoes picked from the garden which I cooked and made into mash to go with our casserole. Jessy was very excited that Dennis and co. had grown them, he had ‘picked’ them (his words) and I had cooked them. A real team effort! They were delicious! A went to spend some time with her Mum and I didn’t see her until late Saturday night.

After dinner Jessy and I had to rush to pack his bag for Cubs Camp. This one was an Activity Camp where they did canoeing, climbing, abseiling, rifle shooting, back woods cooking and archery. It seemed like a lot to fit in in two days!

I had a free evening on Saturday which coincided with a ‘Womb Yoga’ event a friend had told me about. I felt a bit nervous at the last minute going on my own to a place I’d never been to before to do something new, but I plucked up my courage and went. I was so glad I did. It was a beautiful evening and felt very nurturing. Uma, the lady who ran the session was so welcoming, not just to me but to my unborn baby too. I was the only pregnant woman there and she even included my baby in the welcoming ceremony. The part that touched me the most was when we were doing a practice to transfer energy from the heart into the womb and then back up into the heart. Uma explained that when you are pregnant you also have a heart within your womb, so the energy goes from heart to heart as well as from heart to womb. It was a wonderful way to connect with my baby. You can read more about Womb Yoga here: http://www.wombyoga.org/about/

It was just A and I in the house on Sunday. A had brought her PLay Mobil toys from home as she’d like to sell them on EBay. We spent quite a bit of time talking about the different stages of selling something. She began by sorting out all the different sets and checking to see which bits need a clean. It was Jessy and A’s friend’s birthday party in the afternoon so we went to find some presents for her. We were happy with what we found and came home to wrap them. There was nearly a disaster when I was wrapping and wondered why I kept getting whiffs of cat wee. One of the cats (no doubt Naughty Nimbus!) had weed on the wrapping paper!! Luckily I hadn’t actually wrapped it around the present yet and we had just bought some spare paper!

I’d arranged a lift for A to and from the party as I had to stay home to pick up Jessy from Cubs Camp. He came back full of very enthusiastic stories about all the activities he’d done and told me exactly which order he did them all in. He had to work it out in reverse order first which he said was easier! He’d lost his spending money (I found it in his bag) but a kind friend had given him a couple of pounds. He’s managed to buy enough sweets with that so I think it worked out for the best!

Today we went back to Circus Skills. A was quite anxious about doing the trapeze again, but today they focused on juggling and spinning plates instead. Jessy struggled at first, but with a little extra focus and reminders to concentrate he got the hang of it in the end! We currently have a loose gerbil in the living room and I’m hoping someone manages to catch her before the kids go to bed as she keeps making me jump! I’ll leave you with a lovely bunch of flowers my sister sent me. I call them my ‘Dragon Flowers’ (they are actually Gladioli). The colours look a lot more fiery in real life.

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Tribes and Trapeze

I have so much more energy this week which is great. The horrid exhaustion has gone along with the permanent nausea and I feel as if I’m nesting. Unfortunately for the kids I think it means I’m even more of a nag about housework than usual! So what have we been uo to this week? I recently bought a box set of the ‘Tribe’ documentary series aired on BBC a few years ago. I really enjoyed it at the time and was reminded of it when Jessy and I looked at pictures of Tribal tattoos. It has a 15 rating which I wouldn’t usually consider letting him watch. However, having seen the series before I felt it would be appropriate as long as I watched them with him to explain anything he didn’t understand. There is a lot of violence in many of the Tribes featured and many people live naked which I believe is the reason for the high rating. It’s a world away from a violent 15 rated film containing nudity though! Both Jessy and A have really enjoyed them. They’ve both been most squeamish about the blood letting and blood drinking in a couple of the episodes.

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On Monday they went to Wood School feeling inspired by the programmes to try making some arrows and fighting sticks like the ones they had seen. I mentioned it to one of their teachers who said she was sure they could facilitate that. A came home with a very impressive bow and arrow she had made, that worked wonderfully. Unfortunately she lost the arrow while playing with it in some bushes before we even got home. Apparently the arrows have to be made from very straight strong sticks which can be hard to find but I’m hopeful she’ll be able to make a replacement next week.

At home the children have done a lot of letter writing. Jessy often writes letters to people he’s close to and has an ongoing letter dialogue with Dennis who we see regularly. His letters are very often Hogwarts inspired, detailing term start dates and who might be enrolling at the school. A decided that she would like a Pen Pal and I felt sure that other Home Ed kids would probably enjoy that too so I put up a message on one of the Home Ed Facebook groups I’m on. We got a reply within less than a minute from the Mum of a girl who is the same age and has many of the same interests. Interestingly, she also goes to school at the moment so they will have that in common too once A goes back. A was so pleased to have a new Pen Pal she wrote a letter before she even knew her name! The wax sealing stamps have been hugely popular this week again and they’ve gone through almost two whole sticks!

Letter for a new Pen Pal.

Letter for a new Pen Pal.

The renewed popularity of the wax stamps has meant that they’ve wanted to turn the gas hob on and off many times a day which has been a good opportunity to give reminders about doing it safely and sensibly. A can be very cautious, but she’s gone from being quite scared and flustered to being able to light the gas ring calmly and confidently. I’m pleased as I think a calm confidence is safer than being flustered and uncertain. We also extended the theme to give A the opportunity to practice striking a match and lighting a candle. Again, she was keen to try but very nervous at first. I let them gain some confidence by burning a few matches over a sink of water to ensure it was safe. I think they would have gone through the box but I wanted to be clear that whilst knowing how to use a match safely for useful purposes is important, they are not to be played with simply for the fun of it.

The crocheted monster game is still going strong and this week they decided to make robot staff for the little world the monsters live in. Since Jessy was very young it has been quite common for him to leave new things untouched on a shelf for up to a year before taking an interest. He was given a robot craft kit for Christmas last year and has shown no interest in it until he suddenly took it down from his bookshelf and built lots. He shared them with A as she had used her kit a while ago and shared hers with other friends. They made some cute and quirky little robots.

Robot staff.

Robot staff.

The Harry Potter theme is still a constant in the background in our house. A has been very excited to finally finish reading ‘The Philosopher’s Stone’ and Jessy is steaming ahead towards the end of ‘Order of the Phoenix’. They have watched a couple of the films this week. They developed a habit of watching a film in the mornings when I was so tired out in my first trimester. I relaxed the ‘no screens’ rule in the mornings as I needed the rest and they needed some compensation! We all love films and I don’t really object to them watching a film either. This week they have been inspired to make their own Harry Potter film. Jessy started a video series a while ago based on the book he was writing ‘Jessy McAlister and the Secret Monster’. A offered to help him expand on it. With her experience in theatre from Stagecoach, she helped provide some structure and created a simple script for them to follow. I even got to play myself in the story telling them to get their books ready for Hogwats (Jessy’s imaginary school for little witches and wizards). They were very dedicated and kept persevering even though they had problems with the recording device and had to keep starting again.They had a 10 minute long little film in the end which we all watched.

Today we went to something new – Circus Skills. New activities can often be very difficult for Jessy and we tend to stick to what he knows. However, on this occasion two of his best friends were going and the plan was to go along after they’d both come to our house for a bit. A is often keen to try new things and having her around always seems to help Jessy’s confidence too. I was really pleased that he was happy to go along and join in. We were lucky because the group was going to be cancelled but when our friend said we had 4 children who wanted to come she agreed to put it on. She also put the word out on our Home Ed e-mail list and another 4 friends also turned up. They all had a great time trying juggling and the trapeze.

Jessy's first go on the trapeze.

Jessy’s first go on the trapeze.

A's first go.

A’s first go.

At first they were taught how to do ‘the pike’ and then how to go from a pike into hanging upside down. I could tell this part was a lot more nerve racking. Jessy looked quite anxious and A seemed positively terrified! They both managed it though and everyone clapped for all the kids.

Jessy upside down

Jessy upside down

A upside down.

A upside down.

As for me, I feel like I’ve spent most of the week tidying. I have a friend coming to visit tomorrow with her two daughters. I’ve never actually met her before but we’ve got to know each other over the years, first on a parenting forum and then over the phone. I do like the house to look nice if possible when new people come to visit so it’s been a great excuse to clear some rooms that have been abandoned for a while and get on top of things a bit more. I’m feeling very pregnant considering I’m only 15 weeks! I felt the baby move for the first time when I was in the bath which was very exciting. I’ve decided to start taking ‘bump’ pictures as I already have a big one! I didn’t look anything like this at this stage with Jessy! I have to admit that too much scoffing has definitely added to it, but I think I actually look pregnant too. You can make up your own mind!

15 weeks. Bump!

15 weeks. Bump!