Monday, May 28, 2007

A Little to 'fill you in"!

I'll post all the 'details' on my birthstories blog, not that there's really that much to tell. Nathaniel is gorgeous - peaceful and quiet (so far) and feeds like a dream. I ended up having in him in hospital, but only because there were not enough midwives to cover a homebirth on Saturday night. They had enough staff on duty for a normal night, but an unusual number of women in labour and a few with complications. That left one m/w to each three women - and certainly none spare to leave the hospital! Anyway, all went well and I was home before I was missed by any smalls. Other than none of them getting to watch, which was a bit disappointing for P & Joel, everything was fine and the amusement of a new baby has more than compensated J.

I'll post up the story sometime tomorrow. Too tired tonight.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Baby Nathaniel Judah has arrived!

9lb 6oz

All went well.
Will blog more later :)

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just to let you know…

…there's no baby yet! I am now a week over (as per usual for me) and getting more uncomfortable by the minute - also normal I guess! Baby seems quite happy though and at least we have chosen names now J…but I'm not telling! The kids are all too keen for baby to arrive too and like me praying hard each night! E says "it's a boy, but I'm going to call him Becky!" - hmmm - that'll be interesting! I'm pretty convinced it's a boy too, but I'm definitely NOT going to call him Becky!

I've had some contractions - regular and irregular, but they come to nothing. I'm OD'ing on Raspberry Leaf capsules - to no avail atm. Curry…no thanks and it's never worked for me before. Sex…too uncomfortable (hips are past it!!). Black Cohosh…well you'd think that might do the trick, but no! Pineapple…(well juice anyway) - too acidic to eat it. Stairs… I sleep on a loft bed! Haven't tried scrubbing the kitchen floor yet though..! So - any more suggestions!?!

Kids are coping well with our make-shift school and being very accommodating of my tiredness - bless them. I've assigned them 'games' for a couple of days and today they've been asked to write a story today. They haven't done that for ages, so it'll be good & interesting to see what they come up with. I find it is sometimes a good way to gauge how well all the 'bits' of other English fit together for them and how well they can actually put a piece of writing together. Not a bad end-of-half-term thing for them to do. Wow! One more half-term of this school year to go - I can't believe it.

I guess that means I need to start looking into school resources for next year soon, not that I think we need a great deal - thankfully! My resources seem to gradually be becoming less 'consumable' and more 'reusable' (thanks to sites like homeschoolestore!), which is a good thing, but obviously maths and a few of my English resources have to be replaced. I also need to make sure I have the right materials in for P next year - so JP
workbooks and some next level S&S books too. She has been whizzing through the material I have, but the last couple of days we have been working on 'how many more?' & 'how many less/fewer?' - you know, where she has to match objects one-to-one and see how many don't pair-up to work out the excess? She has really struggled with it. I am not sure if it's the maths she doesn't understand or the language? Her comprehension of language is very similar to Jacob's (interestingly, because they were both late talkers too) in that unless something is blazingly obvious, she often can't make sense of it. The less than/more than concept is possibly a bit too abstract, so instead of telling me how many more/less bones Scamp has than 'Dog', she just tells me how many Scamp has in his bowl. She can see than 'dog' has more/less in his bowl, but doesn't understand that the excess of un-paired bones is the number that she needs for the answer to the question "how many more/less does Scamp have?" Lots more practice needed there. Strangely though, she can easily do a subtraction. So presented with four birds on a branch and two flying away she can tell me - 'there are four birds to start with and two fly away - that leaves two." Which is why I don't think it's the numbers that are the problem! So, when we've finish the S&S materials we are currently using I think we might start with Miquon Orange (which Boo is currently finishing off after a long break - and finding easy I might add
J ) because I know that the first part of that works on one-to-one counting and object-number recognition. P can count beautifully (as far as 15) and does understand that '
1' means there is one object, but it's getting beyond that and making the numbers malleable that we need to work on and making the concrete work with the abstract. That, I think, is the strength of Miquon - it encourages abstract thinking even in those to whom it does not come naturally - like ME! And alongside that I will get the Reception level maths books from S&S (instead of Singapore Earlybird) and work with the concrete too. By the end of all that I think P might be ready for MPH 1 but likely not before!

I will keep you posted about the baby, but I'm tired of saying .. "Not yet!" So I might not blog again until I can say "We have a …"

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Still Waiting..!

As usual I'm over now - albeit only by two days! I mean statistically can't 1 in 7 be on time or even early!! I am now quite uncomfortable - having not been too bad thus far. Everything is ready (bar deciding a name for a boy!) and I would just love things to get going now!

Kids are fine - apart from having the grumpiest mother on earth! In the afternoons I can just assign them lots of online activities with EducationCity and BrightmindsOnline and they're content enough. C has a nap and E potters about, so that's OK, but the mornings I am trying to keep things going a bit more. Joel has now started on 3B Singapore maths. I decided he could probably work his way through most of it independently and maybe even finish it by the time the year is out. It seems less challenging to him than the Yr3 MEP work, so when he's done with it I might get him to work through more MEP. The MEP seems to get him to 'think outside the box' even more than Singapore - which is a good thing for him as he is a real creature of habit and routine. It's good for him to see that things do not always have to be done the same way and sometimes another way is a better alternative

E. has started begging to do school in the afternoon, so I've got out a couple of little S&S books and started doing a little bit with her. She is already beginning to be able to tell me beginning sounds of words (something P has not long been doing) and I think she might learn her letter sounds/ to recognise letters pretty quickly. She seems quite switched on. But I am in no hurry. I'd rather not be doing it with her yet tbh, but I can't leave her out if she wants to join in!

P. is at last seeming to 'get' the idea of what reading is about and Headsprout second time round seems to also being doing the trick. She is up to episode 12 now. She still has a tendency to memorise things more than read them and although I don't want her to completely stop doing that I do want her to realise it is not the 'best' way because she can't memorise everything and she needs to be able to decipher new words too. She is getting there though J

That'll do for now. I'll post soon though - or Paul will when new baby arrives!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Taste of things to come perhaps..? Nintendo DS, girls, lights and loud music - he had it all!!

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Monday, May 07, 2007


Check out where all their material is free to download today and their sister sites are opening their files over the next few days too - a MUST have!! It might take a while to download it all, but it's worth it!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


…my eldest son turned 10! He was born about 2 minutes into a Labour government and the dawn of the Blaire dynasty, which is now rapidly coming to an end of course. It's amazing to think how hopeful we all were about the 'new era' of 'New Labour' - no government ever quite lives up to our dreams does it?!

So, anyhow - Jake was up early for once. He is definitely heading into teens when it comes to getting out of bed in the mornings - unless there is some strong incentive! Yesterday we woke up to find his brand new (far too expensive) bike in the lounge and he was chuffed to bits. He even managed to go out for a ride with Joel and his Dad before school, he was ready that early!

And today he was out on a school trip to Shugborough Hall
which he seems to have very much enjoyed

Joel's best friend 'D' also had the day off (school was a polling station) so off went Joel at 9.30 this morning. So I made the most of a quite morning with just the big girls and Caleb (E being at playgroup). After Dave had been to fix the washing machine - nothing major thankfully - we went off to Morrisons to buy nappies and cream cakes. Then we came home, threw together a picnic to have nt eh park after picking up El's, which we very much enjoyed and the children played happily there until about 2pm. When we eventually got home everyone was hot and tired, so E went for a nap and the big girls set to with their Hama for a while, C played in the garden and around in the living room with his cars and I dozed (quite soundly) for most of the rest of the afternoon. C eventually crawled onto the sofa with me and dozed off to sleep too. All was calm and peaceful. And, even though it's now 9.30 no-one has school tomorrow so I've allowed the boys to stay up and watch a 'football bloomers' video that they love. We've also played a game of 'shut-the-box' together that I picked up cheap in town the other day. We all quite enjoyed that - more than I expected actually J!

BTW I picked up some great Glis boxes in Ikea the other day for sorting the Hama beads - they have 9 little 'segments' inside (customizable as the separators are removable). I have since spent several hours separating all the colours (and shades of the same). I guess from now on I'll be buying individual packets of colours - it's just way too fiddly otherwise, but well worth it as it has made the doing of hama a lot more attractive to the children when they don't have to pick through looking for that one last 'red' !!

Need to get these boys to bed now, or they will be fowl tomorrow! If I don't blog before - everyone have a great BH weekend - at least the weather looks set to be fantastic J.