A bumpy ride for the bump and I.

I feel like an old car that is falling apart bit by bit while the passengers sit unharmed inside. I’ve not been well at all for the last month or so, hence the radio silence. At first it was a bug that quite literally left me unable to stand or stay awake for a good couple of weeks. I just slept. Once the bug began to subside there was no rest. I feel as if I have lived in and out of St. Mary’s hospital for the last couple of weeks having endless tests and scans. It started when the glucose count in my urine got high. That meant I had to have another Glucose Tolerance Test, where you have to fast, have a blood test, drink a high glucose drink and then have another blood test. The first time I’d had it I passed out in the waiting room and I was very anxious about having it done again. This time I was out cold by the first blood test! I was unconscious long enough to have a little dream about being on a Carribbean beach with the lady taking my blood! I spent that morning in a zombie like state feeling utterly wretched being wheeled around in a wheelchair. I’ve been lucky in that my wonderful independent midwife Jo has been with me every step of the way. She wheeled me around and carried my bag and coat and sponged me down to bring me round when I passed out. The morning just got worse. As I lay on a hard examination couch feeling barely conscious I heard the obstetrician say that my most recent blood test results showed that the obstetric cholestasis had returned. It’s the liver condition I had with Jessy and the reason I had an induction and a hospital birth last time. I thought I’d escaped, but it was back. I was sent off for a liver scan, meaning I had to wait even longer until I could finally eat which I knew would make me feel better. My induction date was booked after the scan.

A couple of days later we had more bad news – the GTT test showed that I do have gestational diabetes. I knew that was the most likely outcome so I’d been pro active and researched what I should be eating and changed my diet which made me feel slightly better. I was shown how to monitor my blood sugars with finger prick tests which have to be done 7 times a day. My body seems very reluctant to give up the red stuff though and it takes me up to 4 goes each time to get a good drop which means I have very sore fingers! Despite my best attempts the blood sugars weren’t staying within the desired levels. Usually the next step is medication, but they were concerned the medication might interact badly with my liver problems so I was put on insulin. Injecting the insulin is nowhere near as unpleasant as the finger prick tests, but I do feel rather like a human pin cushion at the moment! My life seems to revolve around tests, medication and injections at the moment!

My new life!

My new life!

The scariest moment was the middle of last week when one of my liver counts went so high there was a bit of a panic. The normal range for ALTs is 5-40 and mine went up to 669!! Nobody seems to know why. They told me to come into the hospital and that I probably wouldn’t go home and they’d induce the baby early. Luckily my lovely doula Lisa had come to see me that morning and she helped with the sudden flurry of organising childcare, pet care, packing a hospital bag and alerting everyone who needed to know. Jessy was already at Dennis’s as I had a hospital appointment scheduled, so we went round there on the way so I could explain what was happening to him. It was all quite overhelming for him and his eyes filled with tears as I told him the baby would probably be here within a day or so. He’s coped so bravely with me being in and out of hospital, finding out about the various complications, but I know it’s been difficult for him. After all of the chaos, I ended up just being put on a monitor for a while which showed the baby was fine and they sent me home!

It probably isn’t surprising that I haven’t thought a great deal about Home Education over the past few weeks! Jessy has been away so much and we’ve really missed each other. Luckily though, through a combination of taxis and good friends he’s carried on doing all his usual activities. I know he’s done lots at Dennis and Phoebe’s house too. He’s learned to knit and has been enjoying detailed Role Playing Games with Phoebe and the other kids where they invent their own character profiles and deal with various situations. He’s also been going swimming which I haven’t done with him for a while. When he has been at home we’ve stuck to quieter activities. He’s continued looking after Bellatrix the hedgehog, although she’s definitely more grumpy since he’s been away and she hasn’t been out everyday.

Miss Huffy Pants as we often call her!

Miss Huffy Pants as we often call her!

I used to love playing Clock Patience as a child and I’ve got Jessy into it too. He hasn’t had one that’s worked out yet but he was a maddening one card away once!

Clock patience

Clock patience

It’s Jessy’s birthday tomorrow, but I planned his party a week early this year just in case I did have to go in to be induced which turned out to be for the best. In some ways it was an added thing to worry about, but in other ways the creating of Pass the Parcel and Treasure hunts and stuffing the pinata was a welcome distraction. I really wanted him to have his celebration in the midst of so much uncertainty and difficulty. The party was a big success with over 20 sugar filled children bouncing around – quite literally on the bouncy castle. My wonderful friends helped so much that they actually left the house tidier than it had been before the party which is no mean feat!

Bouncy castle fun

Bouncy castle fun

Cake!

Cake!

Jessy got some lovely presents and spent the evening building one of them – a lego eagle:

Lego Eagle

Lego Eagle

Tomorrow, for his actual 9th birthday he wants to have a couple of friends and his cousin round to play on his new X-box which he has been absolutely bursting to get his hands on! After that I will have Thursday and Friday to get my head around the fact that I’m going in for induction on Friday evening. It really has been a complete whirlwind. My head is reeling and try as I might I’m still finding it hard to feel anything other than bitterly disappointed that the natural Home Birth I’d planned has turned into a high risk hospital induction. I know that if I dig down deep though I do have the power to make this birth experience positive and it is very exciting that the baby will be here so soon. Please keep me in your thoughts on Friday evening and Saturday. I very much believe in the power of positive thought and don’t believe that I can have enough of it!

To end on something that makes me smile, here’s a photo of Jessy the other night when he decided to go to sleep in my Santa sleepsuit!

Jessy in my sleep suit!

Jessy in my sleep suit!

Anatomy, Magnetism, Biscuits & Baby.

I’ve been knocked out by a nasty bug for a while, hence no blog last week. I slept almost solidly for about 3 days and then on and off for almost a week! Luckily it wasn’t the kind of bug where you feel terrible – just sick and exhausted, but staying awake has been, quite literally, impossible. Jessy stayed with friends for a few nights while I slept off the worst of it.

So, there’s a bit to catch up on! A finally went back home to live with her Mum and brothers again. It was an anxious time as we really had no indication of time scales. I had a very disheartening phone call with the people handling her school admission, where it seemed they hadn’t even received the forms I’d sent and had no idea how long the whole process was going to take. I phoned my sister to tell her the frustrating news only to find out that she’d been left a message on her answer machine saying that A had her school place and could start on Monday! Clearly, the communications are not working well in that department! It was already Thursday which meant that A would go home the very next day so that she could have the weekend to unpack and settle back in at home. It was quite a shock when I told her and I still feel sad that our careful efforts for a smooth transition didn’t work out. Although we had already had her leaving party I felt that the occasion needed marking in some way so we went up the road to The Nawaab – the very nice Indian buffet that I go to on my birthday.

A farewell meal

A farewell meal

Happy cousins

Happy cousins

A is happy to be back home and I’m glad that this anxious time is over for her, as even though I know she’s enjoyed aspects of being home educated and living with us, it’s not the same as being at home with your Mum. She knows she always has a second home here, though, should she need it. She’s going to carry on going to Martial Arts and Scouts too which means she’ll be round on Mondays for dinner, so we will at least see her once a week.

Now that I’m back to just the one child I’ve had a little more time to notice the things that Jessy is showing an interest in. He was playing a lot with the magnetic base from a little sculpture he has, to the point where he didn’t want to stop playing with it at bed time so I ordered him a magnet kit. I got a small one at first to see how much he enjoyed it. I’d imagined exploring it together, but he had already opened it and got stuck in before I was awake! As well as doing the experiments suggested, he’s come up with some of his own and also used it to create a model of a battle ship which he played games with for days.

Exploring the magnet kit

Exploring the magnet kit

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Another day he created a rather gory picture by colouring a piece of paper red, drawing a person on top of another piece of paper and then cutting slashes into the person to look like he’d been cut! I felt a little disturbed by this creation, but it did give me an idea to use the concept a little more constructively. I thought of using it to learn about human anatomy and cutting the person on top in order to find different organs. We couldn’t find any anatomy pictures in our books and our printer is playing up again, so we went to the library. Again, we didn’t find anything is the books but we found something online and printed off a few different sheets of anatomical diagrams. A first Jessy wanted to make his own, but we found the inaccuracy made the game quite tricky, so I also made one using the anatomical pictures. It was a fun way to learn about the human body.

Anatomy

Anatomy

I’ve been interested to notice this week that despite having a room full of toys and drawers full of craft materials, Jessy often finds inspiration in simple things around him. This week he was inspired by the tiny little premature baby socks I bought. (Jessy was so small and thin that socks never fitted him so I’ve bought some as a precaution!) He said they looked perfect for making little toys. He decided to buy a set with his pocket money and we then agreed that he could have one of pairs I’ve bought for now. He can get a little frustrated with the fiddliness of sewing and often wants to give up and get me to do it instead. I’m encouraging him to persevere so that he improves which in turn will improve his frustration. He’s already got a lot more competent at threading needles. I sewed a little face on the toy for him but he did the head and the arms. He did stop part way through for an all out stroppy whinge complete with rolling around on the floor, but once he had got that out of his system he went back to it and now has a cute little toy named Spuddy.

This week Jessy has also independently baked a batch of delicious biscuits. He decided to copy out all of the ingredients and method, including all the weight conversions so he doesn’t have to work them out each time. On Thursday I was dealing with square roots before 9am which is good going for me! Jessy was working out the square roots for large numbers after I showed him the symbol to look for on a calculator. He then tried squaring the numbers by inputting them himself to see how accurate the calculator had been. After months of not doing much independent reading he’s been up reading so late that he actually fell asleep on the sofa one afternoon! He’s always had a very good radar for when I start to feel wobbly about something. I’d just got to the point of feeling that I needed to schedule in some time each week for independent reading, when the tide of autonomy turned and he got back into it himself!

We’ve had Bellatrix the hedgehog for a little over two weeks now and I’m very impressed by how well Jessy is caring for her. Even on a Wood School morning he makes sure he’s up in time to change her food and water bowls, and clean her litter tray. He feeds her in the evening and makes sure he plays with her every day. She’s quilling at the moment, which is a process all young hedgehogs go through where their quills all fall out and the adult ones grow in – like humans losing their baby teeth. It makes them rather sore and grumpy. Jessy is luckily not taking her grumpiness to heart. He had some confidence problems at first when he was finding her difficult to handle as she’s spikier than he’d expected, but he now wears thick gloves and has regained his confidence. I’ve supervised him with the big weekly clean outs but he has pretty much done everything himself, including putting the fleece liners on to wash in the machine and then putting them in the tumble drier. We are struggling a little with finding time for her in the evenings as we don’t want to wake her too early, but it can be difficult to fit in enough time between dinner and bedtime. We find she really does need to be handled for at least half an hour to stop being huffy and calm down a little. Luckily he often holds her in the early mornings when she’s still awake.

Holding Bellatrix in thick gloves

Holding Bellatrix in thick gloves

Bellatrix in her new play pen

Bellatrix in her new play pen

Bellatrix

Bellatrix

I’ve been busy making final preparations for the baby and I feel much more organised now. I’m 34 weeks pregnant and growing by the day. The baby still moves lots and feels strong. I’ve washed all the clothes and nappies and muslins and organised everything into sizes. My house looks ready for a baby. I went to the hospital today for blood tests to check whether I have Obstetric Cholestasis again – a rare pregnancy related liver condition I had when I was pregnant with Jessy. It has a high recurrence rate and I’ve felt anxious about it as I would just love things to go simply this time and to have the home birth I am so much looking forward to. I’ll know in a few days whether it has come back and if it has I’ll have some difficult decisions to make. I’m still under a lot of pressure to have growth scans because Jessy was so small, but at the moment I’m still not feeling that is something I want to do. I’m loving having the support of my Independent midwife Jo and my doula Lisa. We all got together for the first time this week and I felt really happy that these wonderful women are going to be with me when I birth my baby. I feel that, as a team, whatever happens I will birth with good support around me, hopefully in a peaceful way in my own home.

Pros and cons of independence

Christmas is coming! I know this because we all have Christmas jumpers! The kids were very keen to choose one and I joined in too. My latest plan for cheap maternity wear is buying big sizes from Primark. It’s not quite as flattering as the range from Mothercare, but at the rate I’m expanding I’ll need a few more things without breaking the bank! Here’s my latest ‘bump’ selfie:

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My festive bump has been out and about at our usual activities this week including our fortnightly favourite, the Adventure Playground Home Ed meeting. A had plans to meet up with a friend afterwards for a few hours which gave Jessy and I a bit of time to spend together. I asked him what he’d like to do and he instantly said ‘Richmond Tea Rooms!’ so we went for cake. Jessy insisted it was a date to which I kept specifying ‘a Mother and son date!’

Jessy tried and loved a coffee and walnut cake. I had my favourite :apple and rhubarb crumble with custard.

Jessy tried and loved a coffee and walnut cake. I had my favourite :apple and rhubarb crumble with custard.

Jessy is still rather interested in the whole concept of dating and relationships, mostly because there is quite a heavy focus on those topics in the later Harry Potter books. We’re half way through ‘The Half Blood Prince’ at the moment. Hermione and Ron are just starting to recognise their attraction to one another and there are themes of jealousy, attraction, insecurity, revenge and all sorts of complicated feelings that come up as a teenager (and beyond!) Jessy is keen to understand it all and I feel the discussions we have about the characters behaviour and motivations are useful for him.

Continuing the theme of cake, we had an amusing cake disaster this week. I’ve had a cold and on one day I felt so drained that when I went to get dressed I fell asleep again and just couldn’t seem to wake up. It feels as if all my physical energy is being spent on baby growing and although I didn’t feel terribly ill I was just wiped out. The kids had a lovely idea to make me surprise cupcakes. A was feeling confident as she bakes with her Mum sometimes. The concept of measuring ingredients didn’t come up though, so although they used the right combination they ended up with this:

The cake explosion!

The cake explosion!

I was touched by the thought and they even did a pretty good job of clearing up afterwards and it was quite funny! We picked at the crusts and talked about how we can often learn the most from our mistakes and how it was certainly an important lesson about quantities being as important as content when it comes to baking! I put on the old musical ‘Carousel’ and we all watched it together. Old films often make for interesting chats about gender roles and changing cultural trends. Back in this time it brought shame on the family if you were even seen kissing somebody and you’d most likely be expected to marry them. The expectant father also sings a song imagining his child as either a boy or a girl and we talked about the different standards and expectations for boys and girls, particularly around issues such as teenage dating, and how many people still hold those double standards today.

I’m hoping that by the time Jessy and A are teenagers they’ll have developed plenty of useful skills around the home and it’s something I keep working on. A is quite resistant to doing things for herself when she’s with me which does cause a little conflict. She seems very quick to give up and declare herself incapable which I get frustrated by as I know she’s actually very capable indeed! Jessy is a bit unpredictable. Some days he will flat out refuse to even try doing something new for himself, where as other days he will happily embark on something unprompted. This week he decided to make himself an egg toastie for the first time, as I was very clear I wasn’t feeling well at all and was doing the essential things that needed doing but no more. Although I always cook a shared meal at dinner, lunch is a more ad hoc affair and I often make three different things. I felt very satisfied today as A got on with making herself a sausage toastie (after we’d overcome the initial phase of ‘I can’t’) Jessy chopped himself fresh mango and I did some noodles. Jessy went on to make himself a sausage toastie too although he forgot about it for several hours when he rescued a rather brittle, charred lump from the toastie machine! I take pleasure in seeing them achieve new things, they get a new sense of competence and it also makes life easier for me. It feels even more important with the baby coming as the more skills they have the less bumpy the transition will be if I need to expect more from them in the early weeks.

Sometimes, however, independence and confidence can go a little too far, such as this morning when Jessy happily declared that he’d gone to post a letter before I’d even woken up! I now let Jessy go to the ice cream van and the post box without me as he’s back from both within a couple of minutes at the most. He enjoys this new found freedom, but I honestly didn’t think he’d go without telling me! It scared me somewhat but I calmly made it very clear that he must not leave the house if I don’t know he is going and explained how frightened I would be if I woke up and discovered he wasn’t there. It honestly hadn’t crossed his mind that he shouldn’t do it!

This morning the kids made toys for the hamster and the gerbil. Jessy made a little hiding tunnel and A made a whole collection including a see saw, ladder and little hideouts. She’s planning to put them in the home made cage we are still investigating and planning. We will get there in the end!

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They also made wonderful whistles at Wood School. They were so effective I had to declare them as outdoor only toys!

It may be small, but it's loud! (Hmmm, a bit like Jessy!)

It may be small, but it’s loud! (Hmmm, a bit like Jessy!)

Today at Circus skills the kids tried some new things and carried on practicing for the show they’re performing in later in the month. The pets were cleaned out which seemed to result in a worse mess than before hand and did leave me wondering if I’m crazy thinking about new pets for Christmas!! We’ll be over run by critters! That’s all for this week.

Free range gerbil & fractions.

It’s been back to Earth this week after our wonderful holiday. It all seems a bit like a dream. The icy weather has really been biting today and it really does feel a world away from the sunny beaches of Barbados, even though both are actually on Earth and very much in the same world really!

The kids were actually really happy to get back to Wood School, especially A who is still enjoying the newness of all the freedom and time to explore and play outdoors. I seem to have spent the week trying to catch up on the extra housework from being away. This sounds like a paradox but I’m sure I can’t be the only person who experiences this. Why is it that the less time you spend in the house, the more housework there seem to be? I think small pixies come into my home and create laundry, washing up and general chaos. One day I’ll catch them and put a stop to this nonsense!! I had some help with the housework from A today which I really appreciated. I often feel that it can be harder work getting the kids to pull their weight in the home than it is to get on and do it. The problem is that I really do need their help. We’re lucky enough to have a large house and I enjoy home educating and I’m even happy to be single at the moment. The combination of all these things, however, means that I really can’t manage it all on my own. Add in my ongoing pain issues and being pregnant and it leaves me feeling pretty grumpy a lot of the time recently. I noticed what an enormous difference it made to my mood when A did a wonderful job of tidying and dusting the living room. I felt relaxed and happy and genuinely appreciative. I’m looking forward to relaxing this evening in my living room rather than sighing and huffing and puffing in frustration at all the mess! I think it’s time to put a bit more effort into getting ‘Happy House Hour’ up and running again in order to reap the long term rewards.

Jessy isn’t having much luck with his pets this week. After the untimely demise of his poor cat Penny-Patch, his little gerbil Alicia then got loose in the kitchen. She’s been happily wandering free for a couple of days now. At first we were worried as there are large holes leading into the wall cavities. Jessy made a huge barricade out of boxes, chairs and washing powder boxes to try and stop her getting to the holes. It became rather difficult to come and go in the kitchen. We did fear that she was lost for good after not seeing her for a while but we’re now becoming familiar with her favourite hide outs, we just can’t catch her! I did manage to get her in a box but she leapt out again. I’m almost becoming resigned to having a free range kitchen gerbil although I’m not happy about the hygiene implications. I think we might have to resort to a humane mouse trap.

Jessy and Penny earlier this year.

Jessy and Penny earlier this year.

Alicia the escapee gerbil

Alicia the escapee gerbil

A is keen to start working towards some badges for Scouts which prompted us to have a look at the available badges for both Cubs and Scouts. I do wish they gave you a handbook like they did when I was young, nowadays you’re expected to look it all up online which doesn’t feel the same somehow. Jessy has decided to go for the Pet Care badge as he is already caring for his pets so he’s part way there. A found a Circus Skills badge which will tie in perfectly with the Circus Skills group they do on Tuesdays. She also decided to go for the Writers badge and sat down immediately to write a poem about going to Scouts. She’s really enjoying Scouts and had the benefit of their first trip away this Friday when she went caving. I was a little worried she’d get scared and not enjoy it as she can suddenly become anxious about all sorts of things. She arrived home though at nearly midnight full of excitement about her underground explorations. The next day she drew some pictures of the different things she’d seen and said she’d like to do some writing about the caves as part of her Writers badge work.

We had friends round to play on Saturday and again today. I feel like we haven’t had as many friends round recently so I’ve enjoyed seeing them play, although it did take quite a lot of effort to keep them all off the computers. I feel as if the screen time has stretched out a little and that Jessy and A haven’t been playing as much as they did previously. I think this often happens as the days get shorter and colder and every year I worry about it!

Jessy’s mind is still active though as he showed me today when he came to do a little mental division of fractions while I was doing the washing up. He’s always been good at spotting number patterns and he told me that if you want to work out half of a fraction you just have to leave the top number the same and double the bottom number. He asked me what half of 3/4 is and I went through a complicated process to work it out only for him to tell me he already knew because of the pattern. At first I told him it wouldn’t work for all fractions but then realised he’s quite right and it does always work! We tried some different ones and then tried simplifying the answers when necessary.

I finally made it back to circus skills after 3 weeks of hospital appointments on Tuesdays. It was lovely to see how much the children have improved, particularly on the trapeze. A has decided to steer clear of the trapeze now though as she fell off last week and was really struggling. Jessy surprised me today by agreeing to perform in the Christmas show! He’s never wanted to do anything like that before, but when he heard the performance is only 5 minutes long he felt he could manage that. I feel quite excited! A is going to be the Ring Master and Jessy is going to be on the trapeze with a friend.

Jessy has just got back from Cubs and after all my talk of badges we realised he completely forgot to complete his Home Safety Badge booklet which he was supposed to take back today! Ooops!

I’ve really noticed a change in the baby’s movements this week. I can actually feel kicks now rather than just squirms and my belly looks huge! I’ve been getting together a few bits and pieces including treating myself to some clothes from a brand called Molo which I adore! Here are my favourites!

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My version of buying ‘gender neutral’ just involves buying whatever I like, so I’ll either end up with a boy wearing ponies and pink or a girl wearing blue lizards! (and vice versa of course) Well, that’s it 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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