April 2020 · Home Schooling

Music Session – 17.04.2020

During the lockdown, Daddy has enjoyed having time to practice his music talents. We’ve included music lessons as part of our weekly home school session. With a bass guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboard, ukulele and drums in the house, there’s plenty of music to be made; that with the amazing vocal abilities in our household, there has been some great music.

Today we have decided to share one of the music sessions. Here is Daddy and Daughter 2 singing Good Riddance (Time of your life) by Green Day. Please note: We do not own the rights to the music used in this video.

April 2020

Stillness – 16.04.2020

We had such a calm and peaceful time at Sopers Bridge today.

Leaving the house, the big teen was still moody. She had decided to stay in bed all morning, refusing to join us for breakfast and not taking part in our normal activities.

It’s so hard to explain to our children that we can see their behaviour, we understand why they are behaving that way and actually the best thing to work through it is to talk, eat well, get some exercise, drink plenty of water and rest well.

When we got to Sopers Bridge, which is absolutely picturesque and so very calming, the big teen regretted her decision of not having any breakfast. She decided that her mood of not wanting to take part with her sister’s activities, was actually making her miss out on some fun. 5 minutes into our time there, she was running around, climbing trees and laughing with her sisters. It was lovely to see them all playing. They were absolutely filthy, they all had mud on their arms, hands, legs and bums; they loved rinsing their hands in the stream.

Four of the girls had took camera’s with them, I hope to show them tomorrow.

Even with all the laughing, it was still peaceful. I was able to hear the stream running over the stones and a woodpecker in the trees; it really was beautiful. We are so very fortunate to have this on our doorstep.

April 2020

How are you? – 15.04.2020

How are you? Just wanted to check you’re ok? How are you getting on? Are you ok?

Me, I’m fine

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.

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Actually, I’m not fine. This is really hard. I mean, really really hard and it’s taking every piece of my patience, love and soul to keep it together.

Nearly four weeks ago, I sobbed. I was an absolute mess. It had just been announced that schools were closing for at least two weeks and the idea of being at home with five daughters, who depend on structure, stability and routine (as much as they may say they hate it) scared the shit out of me. My anxiety went into overdrive, my old insecurities resurfaced and opinions of others crippled me. I tried to keep it away from Peach as I knew he had his worries about our uncertainties and I couldn’t turn to my core friends, as I felt they had their own stresses to deal with, so I crumbled. At 7.30pm on Friday 20th, I sobbed. And when Peach came to find me curled up in a ball on our bed, my thoughts, my worries, my fears – they all came out. I shared them all with him and he held me.

Over three weeks into this pandemic and I still sometimes think that I’ll wake up tomorrow and everything will go back to “normal” – kids will be at school, Hubby will be at work, I’ll be back running the groups supporting families and the local kids and I’ll be able to give hugs to my extended loved ones.

But then I ask myself, do I really want it back to “normal”?

Our daughters have never had this time with Peach and I. We have never before been able to spend this length of time with them and just find the best way to enjoy each other’s company. We may never get this time again and we can learn so much from this.

The financial side of this scares us. My income is extremely minimal; Peach is our breadwinner. He is also self-employed in the construction trade and is not able to carry out his work safely. We have applied for support from the government and have been told that we qualify for the help.

We are now working on our family. Finding ways that we can grow as a unit. Become the best versions of ourselves and help others around us. And as beautiful and inspiring as this may sound, reality is – it’s flippin hard!

5 kind, caring, funny and intelligent young ladies, can also be 5 little witches. Witches that don’t want to do as they are being asked to, don’t see why they should clear up after themselves and don’t see why they should have to do the adults jobs of cleaning or cooking. 🤦🏼‍♀️

As an adult I’m struggling with not being able to see my friends as freely as I would like to, so I completely understand their frustration of not being able to spend time with their friends. As Peach said to one of them tonight, the whole country has been “grounded” and told they’re not allowed out for the foreseeable.

We’ll get through this, hopefully, we’ll all have a stronger appreciation for key-workers, we’ll appreciate those nights out with mates, and the freedom of being able to walk into a shop at will and maybe we’ll all have tidy gardens and houses to come home to, having spent weeks and weeks being told to stay at home. But most of all, we’ll have a more sincere, a more meaningful and a stronger relationship with our children. So that in years to come they know how to love one another, how to laugh with each other and more importantly, how to help each other.

That’s what I keep telling myself. ❤️

Thank you for checking in on me, I really do appreciate it. And thank you for inspiring me to write again. 💞

2020 · March 2020

Fresh air fun – 08.03.2020

Sometimes all you need is to get out of the house and have some fun!

I took the big two to the gym this morning. I wasn’t feeling too good so took the opportunity to just watch and direct the girls as to which weights to do and how to use them. Not that I have any training/weights experience though 😜

They did really well and I’m hoping that I’ve guided them a little more as to how to use the machines properly and set them a plan going forward.

Peach took the little three out to a local park and had lots of fun with them. I love the smiles, laughing and attentiveness that is shown on this video….

Fresh air, a wonderful evening roast made by the hubby and lots of exercise – all you need to keep the bugs away ❤️

2020 · March 2020

Safe – 06.03.2020

Why do we question the reason? Why does there have to be a reason? What if there is no reason?

A beautiful surprise today when visiting a friend.

This week has been a week of meetings, parents evenings and appointments. The little three have had excellent reviews.

This morning I attended a meeting at the girls primary school about the new RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) Policy that will be implemented in September 2020.

Things I learnt about the new policy:-

  • Relationship education is about showing our children what is a safe relationship. Encouraging them to have a healthy relationship with themselves, others and now online.
  • Sex education isn’t just about the birds and the bees. It’s also about the biology of the body.
  • Sex education in Primary School is a big concern of parents but yet only a very small fraction of the actual policy.
  • Health education also covers mental health, physical health and online health.
  • The school that my daughters go to, are mindful of the wishes of parents and are keen to seek the views of all parents.

I personally think that due to the ease of access to information; children these days are seeking knowledge younger and younger, and in all honesty, no matter what restrictions we put in place, if they want to find out, they will.

Yes I want to preserve my daughters innocence, but I also want them to know what is real. I want them to know what is healthy, what is safe and if what they are finding out is anything other than that, they know who to turn too.

If you want to know more about the new RSE Policy that will be implemented in all schools as of September 2020, more information can be found here.

2020 · March 2020

Help is on it’s way – 04.03.2020

This is the folder of Pops. All documentation that relates to appointments, doctors notes, scribbles of conversations, leaflets and reports.

Around September 2016 Pops started to display what I then called twitches. The first one I remember noticing was her eyes, she would move them side to side like on an action man doll. Not fully understanding what the situation was, I used to get stressed at her doing it all the time. After the action man eyes, came the bunny nose twitch, we’ve had the clearing the throat, we’ve had the raising the eyebrows, we’ve had the constant blinking and now we have the eyes wide. Over time and with a fair bit of research and diagnosis; I have come to discover these actions are all Tic’s. Our baby girl, then aged 6 years old, had developed tics.

Pops has always been our precious; since she was little we’ve mentioned numerous times that she’s in cloud cuckoo land and she was/is happiest when there.

I have been uploading some of my old blogposts recently, and reading them now with the knowledge of where we have been in terms of her medical and mental situations, I can see we have had our concerns with Pops since she was very young. But at the time, it was just Pops, that’s how she was.

Our little Pops is such a caring, kind and clever young lady. She’s a people pleaser and so dainty that she can win over anyone.

We have tried to raise our concerns with Pop’s behaviour time and time again. We have been to the GP and been referred to a Paediatrician. The Paediatrician has referred us to a Dietitian. We’ve seen a Neurologist, ENT Consultant, School Nurse, Health Visitor, various class teachers, School Head, Play Therapist, CAMHS and have lost count of the number of blood tests she’s had. The number of times we have been told, “You need to speak to your GP” to then be told “you need a referral from the school” is just crazy!

Our little precious has anxiety, she is 10 years old and since she was 4, she has had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). She has rages over what would seem to us as a small everyday task, like having a shower, that shut down any rational thought. Her mind is constantly thinking of all possibilities to every situation and how best she can please those around her.

But all that comes at a price. And more often than not, if it’s not Pops that suffers physically, it’s Peach and I that pay the price.

You see, Pops likes to wear a mask. When she is at school or in new situations, she puts on the mask and to outsiders she lets them think that everything is ok. But if you sit and watch her when she doesn’t know you’re watching her, you’ll see it. You’ll see the little girl that’s trying her hardest to keep everything together. The little girl that’s battling with the voices in her head, the emotions running around her mind and body and you might just get a glimpse of the little girl who’s struggling.

I’ve attended the Positive Parenting Training recommended by the Health Visitor and School Nurse. I’ve gone along with their recommendations of behaviour management and positive praise. And whilst that may have helped with my methods, it’s not helping Pops.

Her school reports show that she is a clever student, they have no reason to believe there is a cause for concern. She’s either at age related or working towards greater depth. I have been left with feeling like I’m banging my head on a brick wall. Questioning myself as to whether I’m making too much of a fuss, is it my parenting? Am I imagining it? Am I making it a bigger deal than it is? Am I being over sensitive? Why is no-one else seeing this?

However, I have a feeling that we are now talking to someone who has the ability to see what we see, to look behind her mask. Hold tight Pops, help is on it’s way…..

2020 · March 2020

Trash 4 Cash – 03.03.2020

I run two local parent, baby and toddler groups voluntarily; Totstime and Twins at Totstime

Both groups are not for profit and are run by amazing volunteers 😍

That said, the entrance fee that the families pay just covers our expenses of refreshments, room hire, birthday cards and Christmas events. So I like to look at alternative ways to raise funds.

One way we do this is by recycling what others would trash. Today’s picture is just a one item of the recycling that I collect. This is something that most pet owners will dispose of in their general rubbish bin. It’s the pet food pouches.

I am a registered drop off location for Terracycle UK and through them we recycle a variety of waste and raise money for our groups in return. Here’s some of the items we recycle…

And I’m helping the environment too 🥰

It is a big task and yes, it has caused many an argument with hubby that bags of what others see as rubbish are left on our doorstep, and that our out house is currently loaded with recycling for me to sort. But it’s also very very scary to know that with the few people that have dropped off recycling for me, that’s all items that would have otherwise been put in landfill 😱😥😥

Please, please, please, can I ask you to take a moment, see what items can be recycled, find a local terracycle drop off point and help your environment and your local community groups.

I would also like to give a big shout out of thanks to everyone that already passes their “recyclable rubbish” to me. Honestly, I am so very grateful 🥰 – especially those that rinse the pet food pouches 🤩 – you my dears get a big high five 🖐🏻 🤩