Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Easter

Here's the Easter card BB made at nursery

The staff were surprised at his choice of colours. Apparently there were lots of 'pretty' colours to choose from. He was determined though. "Chickens are not pink or blue" he told them. "They are brown, and sometime white"

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Twist in the Tale

Just when I had it all sorted and we were moving to Albany in September/October this year, something has happened to introduce an interesting and exciting new twist to the tale.

I haven't blogged about TTC for while. Quite frankly I was over it. The last two cycles I didn't even ovulate according to the fertility monitor. I had pretty much given up on the idea, was accepting my old age of 42 was not conducive to pregnancy, and getting on planning a future for BB and I as a solo mum and a solo son.

A few things happened which were interesting. I sat having lunch with a friend and a new lady that we met at swimming lessons. I was asked if I wanted a second child and told the tale. I also mentioned my plans to have BB out of the country before he is due to start full time school next September , and said jokingly, "so, if he's getting a sibling, I need to get pregnant today!"

It turns out I did!

I really had no hope but of course we had to try anyway - you never know, right? And if we didn't keep trying there would always be the 'what if' in the back of my mind... But I thought it was hopeless. According to monitor I didn't ovulate. I then proceeded to do all the things you shouldn't do when pregnant, like take BB to feed the lambs, drink alcohol on Mother's Day, and eat half of a wedge of soft cheese the day after that.

I was looking at houses in Albany with lovely big gardens for BB to run around in and in my mind I saw him with a sibling to play with. I felt sad, because in Australia you can't adopt as a single person, so I knew there was pretty much no way that would happen.

Then, looking back, there were a couple of other signs. I was drinking soda and lime, a pregnancy favourite, and found myself buying salty crackers in the supermarket - something I haven't bought for ages since giving up wheat, but another pregnancy favourite. Then when I was bathing BB I noticed I was extra spotty, and decided to test. I thought I could see a faint line but couldn't be sure, so the next day I went and bought a digital test, and found my self in the public loos at the shopping centre, peeing on a stick. And it was positive.

I know. It's early days. Very early days. Lots could go wrong. I may be lucky and carry the baby to term, but I am equally aware that I may not. It does feel different to the pregnancy that I lost though so I am hopeful. Hopefully I will get an early scan this time too. You are never really sure until you have that little one in your arms though are you.

Meantime, I am carrying on with planning to move. My first instinct was that I need to move sooner, so that we can be settled and sorted before the baby comes along. Moving with one child would be easier than with two, and I am really ready to get out of here.  That's not really feasible though as DD and PP are getting married in August and I can't really take BB away before the big day. But to go after that would put me at about 25 weeks...  I don't want to begin an overseas move at that stage!

So the other option is to wait until after the birth. Then I will wait a few more months too. My nan turns a hundred in July 2015, and BB will have a birthday a couple of days before. This coincides with the UK summer holidays and so DD has agreed that he would fly over to Oz with us in the holidays and help us move.

Mean time I am working towards both eventualities. We are leaving no matter what, and either way, my time to get organised for that is now. The garden is almost complete, chicken fence gone, plants moved and all ready for the turf to be laid on Monday. I have shredded 9 years worth of tax records and have a large pile of student records to go as soon as the recycling bin is emptied. We have taken two huge loads to the charity shop already and have lots of things listed on e-bay. I plan to get one load of stuff out of the loft and sort through it every time DD visits. I had a big blitz in my wardrobe yesterday and BB's is next. Culling is great. I hate stuff. It completely owns you doesn't it. Moving halfway across the world a few times is great for helping you get rid of things - but then you always get more. I hope to get better at getting less!

I am excited. I really feel like I might possibly have another child by Christmas.  I would love the opportunity to do it all again as a more confident me. I also feel really good to be making steps towards moving. It's not all positive though. I shared the news with my parents yesterday and they just said "oh". No further questions. I even told them it would make me stay here a bit longer, and that they could have an extra grand child for Christmas, but still nothing... ah well. I guess they think I am too old. Or that I can't manage two on my own. Luckily I disagree!

My work is getting in control. It's depressing in that I have been working really hard for the last year and having just done my books for tax and my net income for a years work, the profit is small, and after childcare is negative by -£160.96!   My major concern about staying here is that my savings are still going down at quite a rate. There's not much left at all. In the last few days I have locked away enough for our airfares and a bit extra for moving costs and we just have to try and live on less for the next year. We do get 15 hours of free childcare from the age of three here so that will help.

Getting the working hours down a bit has also made me happier as on some days I have been the mum I want to be. Yesterday we had a great time sorting though things in the morning, and then going to the shops (the pet shop, the reptile shop and the second hand toy shop being BB's favourite places to browse at the moment). Then we made some Easter nest cakes and did some painting, inspired by indigenous dot paintings. It was a fun day!

PS - if you are someone who knows me in real life, please don't share my news just yet... thanks

Monday, April 7, 2014

FarFaria - Children’s Books for the iPad

BB and I were recently offered the chance to review FarFaria. An iPad app with more than 600 Children's stories already, and they add 5 new ones each week.

Of course we said yes!

The stories are organised in to different categories which are represented on a map. You just click on "See the World" to view.

They are:
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Adventure Island
  • Bed Time Bluffs
  • Good Land
  • Loony Lagoon
  • Pre-School Playground
  • Sing Along City
  • Genius Jungle
  • Classics Grove
  • Fairy Tale Falls and 
  • Mt Make Believe

All of which are fairly self explanatory. Once you get in to your land, you can search further, by A-Z, by reading level, or select the most popular stories, or the newest stories.

There is the option of having the story read to you or of reading it yourself. The reader has an American accent and though he is slightly robotic sounding, he speaks clearly and is easily understood. We have read most of the ones we have looked at together so far ourselves though. I prefer this way of reading with my child, but of course there are always times when it could be handy for him to use it by himself!

Created for children ages 2-9, FarFaria’s engaging story-discovery experience encourages children to stumble into new stories they’ll love forever. There are stories that you have heard of and stories that you will have never seem before The books also have their reading level (I think in school year) on the front of each book which is handy for when the child starts reading for them selves.

There are several fact books too - we have enjoyed "Amphibians" "Spiders" and "Animals of Australia" so far. I like that you link this in with different learning themes you may have going at home, (BB has recently become interested in snakes and we have been to the reptile shop a few times, so the snake book was really enjoyed, even though it is really a bit too advanced for BB's understanding (we mostly just looked at the pictures!). They also have stories suitable for different times of year, and different life events.

You can also save stories into your favourites and these can then be read offline, which makes it an excellent app for when you are travelling or on holiday - no need to cart lots of books with you. There is also no advertising, which pleases me greatly! 

I have to say we haven't loved everything we have read, but I think that's just individual taste. With over 600 stories from we haven't had any problems finding lots of things we love and I'm sure you wouldn't either.

You too can try FarFaria for Free: Download FarFaria and read one story every day for free with no obligation to pay.

For access to unlimited stories and offline reading, subscribe for just $3.99 a month and cancel anytime.

You can also win a three month subscription by entering a Rafflecopter giveaway here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Can my son remember his birth?

A while ago I remember reading a post about a little girl that remembered her birth story. It was fascinating reading, and I made a note in my head that when BB was 3 1/2  I would ask him about his.

There was no need to wait that long though. I think he told me about it the other night.

I was putting him to bed. He still sleeps in my bed. Sometimes he asks me to "little bit share my pillow Mummy" and on other occasions its "Cuddle me". Last Thursday was the latter.

As I cuddled him and he was falling asleep he said "Don't pull me." Followed by "Don't pull me apart!" . 
"I won't pull you apart" I replied
BB "You did pull me!"
Me "I didn't honey"
BB "You did! When I was in your tummy you did pull me!"
Me "I didn't pull you darling"
BB "Yes you did - I couldn't get out so you did pull me"
Me "I didn't pull you it was a lady"
BB "No, it was you"

and then he fell asleep.

He was stuck - for 3 days. He was finally delivered on the Thursday after contractions began on the Sunday. In the end it was all a bit of an emergency and he was delivered with the aid of a ventouse.

The next day I asked him if he remembered telling me about when he came out of my tummy. He did, and reminded me that I pulled him. I asked him what happened and he said "You pulled me and I fell down" 
Me "What happened next?"
BB "I rolled, and I made a mess all around"
Me "and what happened next"
BB " I cried"

He was the wrong way round so he did have to be turned to get him out. I guess there was a mess too! It took him ages to cry - or at least it seemed that way to me. I asked him if anyone else was there and he said there wasn't. He is wrong there, we were in the emergency room and there were loads of people! Nice that he only remembers me I suppose, and that would explain why he thinks it's me that pulled him.

Since telling me this story he has repeated the bit about rolling a couple of times but he reverses the roles. He says that he had to pull me out of his tummy and then I rolled and made a mess all around!

Interesting! I really think he does know something here.

Has anybody else had a conversation like this with their child? Please comment if you did.

Hold That Thought Milton - Book Review

Hold That Thought Milton is described by the publishers as a "Brilliantly comical tale"! Either I have lost my sense of humour, or this description couldn't be further from the truth. I found it tragic, and would never choose this as a book to read with my child. Perhaps I just take things too seriously.

Anyway, for your information so that you can form your own opinion, the story is about a boy called Milton who no one listens to. Everyone just says "Hold that thought" and carries on being preoccupied with other things. The people that Milton tries to talk to include his mother, his father, his brother, his aunt and his grand parents. They all ignore him. Then he loses his pet frog too.

Milton finds it hard to hold all his thoughts and worries and develops physical symptoms which eventually cause his mum to take him to the doctor. The doctor can't find anything wrong and sends him home to drink milk and get back to normal.

But Milton doesn't get back to normal at all. He continues to hold his thoughts. Eventually he bursts, squirting green goo on everyone at a wedding! Finally they notice him and promise to listen to him in the future. It turns out he had swallowed his frog. His mum gives him a quick kiss and then they all get back to the wedding - i.e. they ignore him some more!

Am I missing something or is that really not funny?

This book might be useful if you are social worker dealing with cases of parental neglect. It might be a good way to work with a child who has been neglected and to get them to start talking how this feels and to illustrate the importance of sharing their feelings and letting their worries out. It might also be good for working with the parents of such a child. Other than that, I'd give this one a wide berth.

Disclaimer - We received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of this review