Let’s eat

While I’m in the mood of ideas I wanted to share this one….

It kind of offends and hurts my feelings to see council workers ripping out perfectly good gardens and trees simply to “beautify” our cities and towns.

Roundabouts are always replanted with pretty plants and if anyone’s spent some time in a nursery browsing the plants they’d know just how expensive this is!

Budgets of hundreds of thousands are devoted purely to the beautification of a town to get people liking it and visiting it and telling other people about it.

Meanwhile residents of that town struggle to feed their families each week.

Why don’t we spend all that money on edible plants most of which are still beautiful and the time used to care for the gardens which will serve a greater purpose for our community than simply looking good.

And heck our town would be talked about would it not?

Any money lost in people taking advantage of the “free” food would possibly be made up from people visiting “the edible city.”

It would bring people together and offer support to those in our communities who feel abandoned and left out.

Kids could pick an apple on their way to school, climb a mulberry tree and come home purple stained, bring home some strawberries for their ice cream….

It would be a massive learning curve for the kids in the community and why not get them involved? Health is such a concern and still we promote macdonalds, who could resist a juicy tomato as they strolled by? Most schools now try to have a vegetable garden and this would be an extension of that. Think city wide community garden.

If the government could get past giving something for free…..(so basically it would never be a reality)

Not everyone would feel comfortable claiming some fruit here or there or picking some beans…so I guess multi billion dollar companies like woolworths shouldn’t stress too much about the loss of revenue….but I know there would be families who’d appreciate being able to supplement their grocery bill with some fresh produce.

For anything like this to work there’d need to be a “if you take you must give” policy, tend a garden, pull some weeds…it may actually help the council do their own job…potentially ending up cheaper.

Well I think it is a good idea even if it is a little utopian/naive….

(I’ll be trying to work out what’s wrong with my blog as I haven’t been able to upload some beautiful photos…I have a feeling I may have reached my limit…photos soon once it’s sorted.)

Child care what is it?

I’m getting more and more worried about the path we’re on. We all know I have an opinion on just about everything and child care is no different.

I watched a report recently where a woman (I don’t know who…) was telling abc reporters that children in child are particularly UNDER THREE YEARS OLD (and all preschoolers) required and deserve university trained child carers to ensure they have access to the highest standards of education/care.

Fair enough. BUT is this really needed? AND what are the implications if this is something the government decides to take seriously?

I totally agree that the first 5years of a child’s life is the most important. Hence why they have each had my almost undivided attention for that entire period of their lives. Bella went to preschool from the age of 3 for 2 days a week simply because this is what I thought I was meant to do, she learned some swear words and some behaviours I wasn’t too fond of. She did have fun too and learn to listen to adults other than myself. Sophie never went to preschool and is now among the top students of her mixed year 2/3 class even though she’s only in year 2. Violet attended 1 day a week for the one term previous to her beginning kinder and is doing super well being in year 1 now. Molly did go one day a week for a period of 12 months but we’ve taken her out now, she can write her name, mum, dad and a bunch of other small words and can recognise them in sentences, she can count to 7 and knows all her colours and communicates clearly, she’s four. Buddy went for around 10 days over the past year purely so I could heave a day to myself but he too has stopped going and is completely up to speed for his little 3 years old.

My point is….(along with bragging about my wonderful children) is that in my particular situation and opinion child care should be just that the caring of a child when it is impossible for the parents to do so.

The first five years should be the years in which children learn to be loved and how to love others, about sharing words, meals and stories. It’s when a child learns tenderness and kindness free of judgment and restrictions.

I worked in child care for a couple of years and at the time didn’t think much of it but now looking back I see how the system stereotypes children and puts them into categories and can set children up for a toughish life.

Activities are set out and children are expected to uniformly compile and complete set tasks any child who refuses or isn’t interested is set aside and misses out to look on at the “good” children do what they’re told. Secretly I always liked the kids who had a bit of “cheeky” they had a personality. A desire to stand up for themselves and their beliefs of being an individual.

Anyway…back to what I originally wanted to point out. If the standard of education is to go as far as having university trained child carers for preschoolers…then when does preschool become compulsory?

I mean the government in their pursuit of highly efficient workers surely would not be happy for children to stay at home with their “uneducated” mothers reading stories and riding bikes and having cuddles. This 5 year period is prime learning time so why waste it at home?

Can you see my point?

And then on the other hand there’d be mums feeling guilted into sending their kids even if they didn’t want to purely because like all mothers we want what’s “best” for our children and we try hard not to disadvantage them in anyway.

When does it get to the point where mums must be university trained to even get pregnant???

Anyway…child care….there’s always a shortage and no ones ever happy with the quality or quantity….

Can I possibly offer a sweet solution?

The government of late seems to be having trouble figuring out what to do with all the elderly in our society since they’re so useless and all (that’s sarcastic of course….another sensitive topic for me…) they don’t want to pay them “for nothing” despite the many years of taxes they’ve paid and the next generation of tax payers they’ve raised…..why on earth would they deserve a comfortable dignified life? ….and yet they can’t find anything constructive for then to do after they hit 70…..

Once upon a time it was the elderly not nessecarily grandparents whom looked after the children, and they didn’t just babysit they told them stories of times that matters and showed them how to tinker and build things, knit things and actually teach them some valuable life skills. Kids would learn the basics of trades that spiked their curiosities and the older people were and possibly still are willing to show and teach them.

We have a massive breakdown in society, young people seem to be getting wilder and stupider and riskier, middle aged are so work orientated and self absorbed while the elderly fade into the back ground, there is no inter connection and we’re led to believe the only way to learn is through books and classrooms and strangers lecturing us, forcing us to memorise information.

I remember when I would go with my dad to work on Fridays and helping him do the employees pays. Glen remembers driving about with his dad helping with his work. Kids used to be able to go with their parents to work and being interested would probably learn far more deeply when involved personally and learning from someone they trusted unfair aid of asking questions.

But now if Glen wanted to follow in his dad’s foot steps he’d require years of training, despite having complete access to the years of accumulated knowledge and hands on experience his dad has.

Get me?

I think it would establish a new and strong connection and would be beneficial for all involved. Many grandparents whether through situation or circumstance may not have access to grand kids. And vice versa many kids don’t have that more patient, experience person/people in their lives. It adds another depth of character for a child to know someone older.

Kids clam down just a little around the elderly and the elderly seem to soak up a little of that energy.

I don’t think we should just pile the elderly and they very young in one room together, shut the door and be off….but a child care centre set up with a big fat roster of -police checked- elderly people with access to the centre for story times, or just to sit and chat, plant gardens, knit, crochet…whatever.

There’s like 100% more child carers right there…..and who knows they’re most likely university trained at SOMETHING if that is so important and essential for our tiny children to have.

Who knows I might be wrong and it’s a terrible idea….but personally I think the threat of having our precious children’s leisurely and lovingly explored childhoods ripped away and replaced with university style educations kind of disgusting.

Childhood especially those first five years is for establishing a basis of character, of loving kindness, to take adventures and explore and experience things and get dirty and make cakes and make music with pots and pans, and fingerprint with food stuffs, draw on walls (despite parents saying no) to establish a confidence that can only come with the unconditional love a parent can give a child and genuine encouragement….

There is a saying “a child only a mother could love” and usually that’s a mean comment someone makes about an ugly baby (hey the ugliest ones turn out to be spectacular) but it is true.

No ones going to have the kind of love or patience you have for your own child. Let YOUR child soak that in….no one, no matter how smart or educated is going to give your child the base of a soul, the foundation of an exceptional character that you will…and it comes from a pure, unquestioned and unconditional love that only you have…

And heck it’s not hard to teach your child how to write their name, count to 10 or memorise the alphabet….which really is all that is expected of a kindy kid.

The government needs to remember that.

Current Memory

Life goes on despite my lack of blogging about it. Sometimes I just need space. And even though I like my solitude sometimes the simple act of publishing a blog post feels too crowding for me.

I’ve always written the truth, my feelings and I suppose I’ve decided to bare my soul and often it does make me feel naked.

I often feel exposed and judged because I choose to share my deepest thoughts and ideas as honestly as possible and while the majority of my feedback is positive I am sometimes afraid that the things I hold dearest to me will be ridiculed and I mean what could be more painful than that?

I have learned not to read the stats on this blog, because it is when I see that numerous people have read something that is particularly close to me I feel like thousands of eyes are observing my life and what I should or should not be doing even though I am totally alone in my own home.

So I shut it off.

Because I won’t change who I am, what I do or what I think is important, so it is far easier for me to remove the ‘audience.’

But then?! I’m questioned as to where I go, why I stopped writing and when I’ll begin again.

I get so much positive feedback too, I’ve been asked to write for a magazine, been asked to be interviewed for another….this is wonderful is it not?

Not.

I can’t control when, what, who…or anything.

And as much as I have considered how great it would be to turn this blog into an income, I also realise that I would be commercializing my soul, my children’s lives and I feel that is not right.

I like to write and I shall market that more forcefully one day. (I mean I still have a novel and a half siting in my closet which I’ve only sent to 2 publishers! But there is time.)Though for now there are bigger things.

I try so hard to remember why I write this blog.

It’s for my children. and then I think well why don’t I just write a diary. Well because I have been told numerous times that I have helped inspire other women to refocus on what’s important in their child’s lives and also for them as a woman.

And this makes me want to keep going. The knowledge that I could help someone simply with my words, by exposing my own thoughts and fears, my strengths and the acknowledgement of my weaknesses ,so others may also come to terms and peace with their own.

So….with that said I shall get deep and meaningful. I’m tired of ‘shallow’ thinking for fear that I’ll be perceived as odd, or weird. I’m tired of meaningless chit chat.

So what are my hopes and dreams?

In general I hope that humanity, no, perhaps women realise their potential. So we stop living lives that are based on being awarded for every little thing we do, its like we won’t do anything that won’t bare fruit for us. We want something from everyone and everything, we’re never satisfied.

Women change the world and we need to grab that and know it to be true.

Examples?…well we’ve been changing the world right from the beginning, I watched a documentary on Neanderthals (because I have a weird obsession with human behaviour, plus my friend said it was cool and it was.) and found it fascinating that the Neanderthals DNA is still up to 6% present in todays homosapiens…and this was due to Homo sapiens breeding with Neanderthals. Originally it was thought that perhaps homo sapein men were forcefully taking Neanderthal women and getting them pregnant but it turns out that it was the homo sapien women who sought out the Neanderthal men.

This was realised when it as found that the children were being raised as homo sapien children, not vice versa. (There was more to it, but you’d have to watch the 2 hour docco for yourself.)

It makes sense doesn’t it?

Who could resist a muscular man with strong facial features? Think wolverine….

So from there we also changed men’s perspective of us as people when we demanded that sex evolve. (Hence in my opinion changing the way relationships developed from reproduction focused to loving, caring emotional things.) Women initiated the ‘military’ style of face to face. Men now had to be physically, mentally and emotionally involved with their partner.

Now think of the housewives of the 40’s to the housewives of today….

We’ve fought for voting rights and heck even women have the right to become bishops within the church…who saw that coming?

What have men done?….

No offence guys but you’ve never had to fight for a darn thing.

We change things, we create things, we stand up for things that matter. We’re emotionally involved in the future through our children. We know they deserve a great life and great future.

But how do they gain a great life and great future?

Is it because we leave them a large inheritance?

Is it because we hand them every material object they desire?

Is it because we make sure they are popular, fashionable and wealthy?

In my opinion no.

I think (key word there…I….) they should be good people.

And MY definition of ‘good’ is someone who is compassionate, open minded, kind, respectful, and hard-working.

To have these things and to have a sound understanding of what is a want and what is a need is the key to having a great life.

I guess I should define my idea of a ‘great life’ because I don’t mean being rich, and I don’t mean being popular, and I don’t mean having a life that makes others envious.

I mean a great life as in WITHIN one is content and at peace. I mean once you’ve achieved a peace within, you could literally live in a box under a bridge and still be at ‘peace’ with the choices you’ve made and the life you’ve lived.

I’m blabbering. I’ll make a coffee, come back and attempt to be clearer in what I’m trying to communicate.

Okay, I think I’m trying to get to the point of life being short. So why not remember that and live a life we are proud of, one that will not disadvantage our children or grand children or even our great-grandchildren.

I personally believe we are nothing more than a ‘current memory’ and once we are gone we will leave nothing material of value to anyone. The only thing our loved ones will cling to is our memory.

So I guess we must ask ourselves what current memory is this moment creating for the future?

What will I be when I am gone.

Will I be the reminiscent smirk on someone’s face, or the twinkle in someone’s eye at the mention of my name.

Or will I be the grimace on another’s?

Even in those moments with screaming toddlers and tantrumming teens I guess we need to ask ourselves ‘will this moment last forever?’

We will always answer ‘no.’

So lets take a breath allow the moment to be what it is and not let our own emotional response to that situation help form the memory we will become.

As with every other situation in life.

Live life in the way you wish to be remembered.

I’m trying so hard not to be remembered as the rushing, short-tempered, bossy mum!

I think I’ve mentioned in previous posts my meditation and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. It helps me sleep better when my minds buzzing, it helps me be the calm happy person I know I am, it helps me breath and accept and appreciate each moment for what it is, it is also fun with the kids!

They love it too and it gives them a moment of calm and peace in the non-stop lives of the energetic!

I also want to mention some things that concern me and I guess they do not affect me so basically this will come across as a lecture…we need to talk to our children.

And I don’t mean things like ‘get dressed.’ ‘Don’t do that.’ ‘Stop it now.’

I mean actual conversation, even with newborns.

We seem to never find time for ‘quality time’ anymore…facebook, emails, pinterest (my bad) mopping, everything seems to have taken priority over our time…..

And I know even in my own case…sometimes we WANT something else to be more important especially when we’re drained….

And by quality time I don’t mean expensive family holidays over seas…I mean literally sitting and asking ‘what are you thinking?’ ‘Did you have any interesting dreams last night?” ‘How do you feel about this/that or the other?” “Do you like this?”

Simple questions that show you are interested, involved and that your child’s opinion actually matters. It also helps them FORM opinions.

I don’t care if it pointless and you blabber about the clouds for ten minutes and the specific tones in their colour. I don’t care if you have deep and meaningfuls over the bird you saw fly over head twenty minutes ago and where it might be going….

The rise in children needing speech pathology by kindergarten age is crazy and parents are like ‘oh but they use educational apps, and phonics games….’

Wow…so their ears work? Awesome….TALK TO THE KID (all the time…if I should be so bold!)

I’ve experienced this personally when I accidentally joined a playgroup a few years ago in our old town. Id taken my kids to a park and all these mums and kids turned up, they asked if I’d like to join them so I did. My kids were younger than any in the group and yet when they came to the table to ask for a drink or something to eat there was not one mum who didn’t clearly understand what was said and yet when a few other children did the same….it was like gibberish!

(mind you the mums simply asked them to go away and play…and continued chatting… making me wonder if it was a play group for kids or for mums!) I didn’t return to this play group…..

I don’t know what other people want to teach their children, I only know what I want to teach mine and the pure reason I’m sharing is because I KNOW (I accept that now) that there are some who accept my ideas as actually being good even if sometimes I am not 100% confident about them.

I want my kids to care about the environment, I believe a love of nature and an understanding of how it is connected to us and sustains us will lead to someone actually making a positive change.

Don’t all these random sink holes worry you?

All the pollution hovering over countries like japan?

The huge floating plastic islands in the ocean?

The extremes in our weather? I mean we’re going to have to adjust our seasons to fit in with the new weather patterns soon!!!

How long can we keep removing essential minerals without putting anything back. How long can we keep killing off important species that are required as links in ecological chains? How long can we expect to survive on chemically enhanced food without a build up of those chemicals in our very DNA…what are we passing on to future generations?

Just for one moment think of all the countries in the world and think of how many of those are in peace and not war-torn?

How many are free of obesity, depression, anxiety, disease…….how many have access to food, shelter and someone who actually cares?

Is this the world we want?

Personally I don’t. I’d leave and live on the moon if I could.

I’m often ashamed to say I am a part of the human race. And even those of us who are not involved in wars and a number of other horrible things…. we’re not doing anything to help or to be compassionate and sometimes it’s almost as bad.

I can’t say I’m some hero doing millions of things right because I am angry at myself for falling in that trap of feeling like ‘why should I bother, no one else is doing anything…what small difference could I make…’ Well more than if I did nothing.

I teach my children about the wars of the world and why they are happening, I draw attention to the differences of the lives they lead as to the ones of children in those places. They understand that food is a luxury and a privilege (even brocoli) and that not all children are able to have that.

I teach them to put any spare change they may have into any charity bin they may see. Because we have food, clothes and somewhere to live…why hoard our small change when it really can add up and make a difference to someone who needs it. They know that when they spend $10 that they could have potentially bought a calf for a family in another part of the world that could sustain them for years.

I want them to have something to compare their lives to that will enhance the compassion and meaning of their lives RATHER than watching Miley Cyrus shake her naked butt wishing they could do the same.

I don’t want them to just accept the glittery distractions.

I won’t avoid our natural instinct to compare our lives but I feel that there is a way to compare that is beneficial.

My kids proudly announce and display the outfits I spent $4 on in a second-hand shop knowing that they’ve saved money that could have a far better use.

Instead of living a life full of wanting for more and more and to be famous and popular and skinny and cool….I hope that my backward approach gives them a life full of appreciation and life full of compassion and a life full of contentedness.

They know they have all they need even if we can afford all we want too…we know the difference and we know the importance. They know they are lucky and they know they are loved.

And I only hope that these are the things they teach to their children in the future.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ll quit now.

But I will try to keep my blog posts coming and remember that in my eyes it is important to speak rather than stay silent and that I need to be stronger with my own ideas and opinions and to REMEMBER that regardless of anyone else’s thoughts or opinions of MINE…

that they are mine and I most importantly I must respect them even if no one else does.

xo

A Sunday mornings therapy session!

I was just skimming pinterest as I do over a coffee once the morning breakfast rush is over and I came across a quote which read…

“If you are not writing something worth reading, then you should be doing something worth reading.”

What turmoil this sent me into. Being the kind of person who is aware of the shortness of life and not wanting to waste even a moment of it, but on the other hand not wanting to rush on through it at the same time, creating an indistinguishable blur….but attempting to approach life in an almost lazily happy way, with the ability to float on through it making the most of all the seemingly mundane moments with just a twist of altered perception and a squeeze of appreciation.

Letting the slide-able slide knowing it’s not worth wasting my time or energy on.

But this quote reminded me….reminded me that PERSONALLY I don’t feel as though I’ve done either. I haven’t written anything worth reading in well over a year and nor do I feel as though I have DONE anything worth reading ABOUT….

And it isn’t so much that I would like to do amazing things simply to write about them. I mean sure it would be great to be a super amazing interesting person, but it would be nice to feel WITHIN MYSELF ALONE that I can be content with my lot…

“my lot”

What am I 72?….geeze….

I think I’m just at that imbalance again, and it would be nice to refocus back onto the important things.

To feel deep within that I’m doing something full of meaning and purpose and not just because each day comes and I have the ability to breathe so I may as well get up and appear to be living life.

Imbalanced.

Actually I know I am…..heck I am currently reading ‘Buddhism for mothers with lingering questions…’ honestly….as if the word ‘buddhism’ combined with the word ‘mother’ would transform my mind back into my placid, patient state.

It’s as if life has become superficial and skin deep….where’s the depth and meaning gone?….I’m tired of being a cranky -well my idea of a cranky- mother, I’m tired of mine and Glen’s conflicting views on parenting, as I am always right (it’s true…..I am….basically because I say so…I have no facts to support that claim….)I’m tired of supporting fights and causes that don’t really have any significance. I’m tired of being always in ‘the middle’ of something and then on completion of that something needing to find some other thing to occupy my mind….

I’m trying to listen to my meditation training (LOL worthy) and take each moment as it is, for the one before it is history and cannot be repeated and the one ahead of it is mere fantasy….it’s good as I’ve got the girls meditating too thinking we can all become relaxed, except Buddy doesn’t get the concept and it ends up turning into us trying to ignore Buddy who is laughing uncontrollably, running in and around us smacking us on the head yelling ‘GOOSE!’ and running away.

He thinks it’s just some really boring silent version of duck, duck, goose….

I’m trying to listen to all the lingering Buddha stuff….holy moly…I actually have to fend off children to have a moment to even read a paragraph…kind of defeats the purpose?!

It keeps telling me to find a quiet space and take a few moments….well thank you Zen Mother. I shall just throw some kind of sugary foods over my shoulder that my children will no doubt devour like vicious beasts…as I run off into the bush to take my well-earned few ‘quiet moments’, but alas, they’ll smell the traces of that sugar in my very pores and hunt me down like apocalyptic zombies with the scent of flesh in their nostrils.

And I can’t climb trees like Katniss.

Unfortunately.

There are plenty of things I can blame my imbalance on like wanting to complete my course and be as effective and as efficient as possible afterwards, I’d like to lose some weight (as always) before my 30th in September. I feel bad that our healthy eating is completely out the window (again!) I just want my kids to be healthy! Is it too much to ask? Apparently. It frustrates me that my house is always a mess no matter how many hours I spend on the frontline trying to defend my surfaces from junk and stuff. I wish Glen would actually understand well…me and what my life is actually like. I’m tired of never having enough time and yet somehow I always feel like I’m wasting it on pointless things.

I’d like to be IN THE MOMENT but recently I can’t help but dream of life ‘after children’…actually that’s not right, more like ‘life after children are not so dependant on me and I can go to work like an ordinary person and actually do something that I can literally say is for me.’

But then my day dreams of dropping happy kids at school, with a coffee in hand, turning up to my little business, meeting clients in a relaxed atmosphere, going to the toilet minus the midget audience/husband laughing as he jiggles the door knob….having lunch like an adult, by myself and not sharing AT ALL!…..are totally dashed once I decide to be realistic about it.

I am a dreamer, but the sadistic part of my mind always pipes up “Cristie, you’re an idiot. You do know it won’t be all calm and happy, it will be rushed and frantic, getting kids ready on time AND yourself, then making sure your appointments don’t go over time so you’re not late PICKING UP the kids, making them afternoon tea……do you honestly think your family will chip in to keep the house clean or the food supply going?…..will they even support you and take you seriously or will they act as if this is just something fun I do all day and therefore SHOULD work harder when I get home? Are you even going to be able to FIND clients to begin with?”

Yes, yes…thank you mind. Shush it.

So now my fantasies have been converted into nightmares.

Could I possibly think I could do all that I currently do and then ADD a full-time job to that?…

So does that then mean I quit all attempts?

And if I did…..when would I try to ‘be me’ again?….when my son is 20?…

(and how come I can’t accept ‘me’ as the person who is everything to everyone else and nothing to me?) ((ps….should I?))

Well that’s only 17 years away and I pray that he is self-sufficient by then….

No.

(I get too dramatic…)

Though I have noticed that my ‘thinking’ forehead wrinkle is getting more prominent than my ‘smile’ eye lines.

That’s not good.

I know that I need to literally stop thinking and accept each day as a new one. I need to not over think my actions before I act on them.

Should I exercise? …..and without thinking about how boring, or how hard or how tired I am…. I just should.

Should I clean?…don’t think about how much I hate it and how pointless it is….just do.

Should I be nice to Glen?….hmm…okay fine. Maybe he’ll be nicer to me in return?

Should I allow the kids that extra piece of cake?…they’ll eat it tomorrow anyway. Just have it.

Can they watch a movie?…yep.

Do I need to sleep in on Sunday?…there’s a lifetime of Sundays to come. Just get up.

Will my business succeed? It won’t if I don’t even try. So I’ll try.

Will I get clients? Only if I work hard enough to gain them. So I will.

So my biggest issue is me. I know that. We ALL know that. I am my biggest enemy.

I’m glad I had this chat with myself.

So how will I fix this? I won’t ‘fix’ anything I will just accept it. Re group my thoughts and refocus my energy onto things that require it, not things that drain it. My over analysis (and lack of tree climbing) is getting to me.

So, I may not currently have the time to write anything worth reading but I know that I could be transforming even the most boring of moments into times I can look back on and know I could handle reading it….

A mother of 5 in turmoil over reading a handful of words, struggling to keep her sanity while her children and husband seem determined to tear it away from her. She’s fighting each day to keep her essence alive, some shred of who she is so that one day long into the future she can grow old and be that weird one in the nursing home peering out the window on a rainy day with a smirk on her face, she doesn’t need to speak, the stories float past her pale watery eyes…always a smirk on her face as if reminiscing about a wonderful life lived.

Hell….I’d read that. Even if no one else wanted to.

I’m off to go begin a new chapter, stress and turmoil and all.

xo

Pen Pals ~WANTED~

Hello all, I used to love writing letters to my girlfriends when I was younger. We’d create cute, little strangely folded letters and pass them to each other between classes, we also had letter books to swap with each other over the weekend. We’d spend time thinking and writing instead of facebooking(or as I like to call it now…facestalking)

It just had a comforting something about it, blue ink and colourful doodles, torn pages and ACTUAL crumbs that FELT like a life being lived…spilling our secrets and asking questions which only needed a yes or no boxed ticked….

So I’d LOVE to invite anyone who may be interested to begin writing actual, good old fashioned letters….in pen/pencil…(not typed and printed) to me!

(It would be that little extra awesome if you happened to have a daughter/s who’d be interested in corresponding with Bella (12) and Sophie (7)…who are totally into the idea of having a pen pal too..)

So should you wish to participate email me :) yagerbabies@gmail.com

I hope to hear from you!

When life gives you lemons…..

It’s been a busy long while and time has flown. I have so much to say and complain about and to be proud of in that time so I should probably just get to it. Where to start?

How about with the complaining, why make everyone wait for that juicy goodness?

So my first complaint is about the government…..I won’t get into the specifics of every single detail of WHAT exactly bugs me or I’d end up writing an entire book!…but only the parts that  apply to me.

I feel like I have wasted the past 14 weeks of my life. Stressed and tired, late nights and palming my kids off onto meaningless tasks so I could study….so that in the end I could go to uni and get some kind of fancy paper which entails my expertise in some thing that despite my lack of skills and hands on experience, meant that I knew something about something….so that I could go and be a contributing member of society earning said government their precious tax dollars……though now….. after the governments proposed changes to uni fees and HECS….I shall not be doing. I had already emotionally wrestled with the fact that I’d have a debt hanging over my head before I’d even begun my career…but I fell for the mantra “invest in yourself” It was a fine line they’d shoved me over and now with all the uncertainty and intentions to increase the interest rate and decrease the income threshold….no thanking you!

So….I have wasted my time. No uni for me and I’m totally okay with it. Though I am curious about the future in which my children will have…. Any who…I did gain a small level of confidence through the credits and High distinctions I got…but what’s the use?….I don’t need a fat head….from being super awesome at writing papers on how  rings in Tibetan trees correlates with the increase in global temperatures due to climate change…..which is going to help me how??? and NOR did I need the kick in the guts from my ‘communicating at university’ tutors stating that my essay writing needs to be ‘firmed’ up, my paragraphs were wrong and my referencing sucked (okay they didn’t say sucked because they are far more refined than that…)

…heck I write…I write what my mind is saying….I find it hard to pick my own thoughts to bare bones and then meaty them up with ‘university’ standard language….I feel I say what I need to in a language that it understandable to the everyday person….I LOVE words and they way you can mix and mingle them to create almost songlike swirls in the mind….so to be told basically that I am bad at it…well it plain hurt my feelings. It’s like being told that your favourite dress the one you’ve had for years and is always a fall back on those days when nothing else works….actually makes your butt look like a barge ad gives your love handles a little extra emphasis…..so crappy to be told it’s terrible. I love to write…allow me this ignorant bliss , let me pretned that I’m kinda (bad choice of word there…) okay at it?!!!

I know there are certain ways of doing things…but then again there are things that kind of go against who WE are…and I’m no uni student. What I learnt about university is that I feel honoured to be a part of a world that was above and beyond ordinary people….as if I was going to be created into a better, superior person because I’d stuck my head into one book of one particular subject and sucked it dry…. I don’t agree. Not one bit. I love to learn, but I don’t feel the need to change the very core of who I am in order to do so. The real world is where the learning is. (Though I must admit I would have liked to have become a midwife or perhaps gained a degree in science…but shhh.)

So no uni for me…..(I could have just said that couldn’t I?) BUT…..I am two weeks away from my Remedial massage therapy certificate 4 and then onto my diploma. So exciting! I’m going to combine my aura reading and kinesiology, my art of breathing and meditation certificates into one bundle of relaxing heavenly bliss for women! I’m going to also take some therapeutic bathing and yoga classes….this is going to be an interesting spot to watch!

Okay second complaint. SCHOOL. Now most of you would know about Bella and her home schooling, but most would not know that I had made the personal choice to home school illegally…ooooh…ahhh…..I know sounds rebelish schooling ‘legally’ is to fill in all the board of studies registration forms, post them off and then have someone from Sydney travel all the way to our house to check all of our work and to check out our house to make sure it was a suitable learning environment. Every three months. All the while pressuring us to return to a school environment.

There is also a second option…which is to fill in all the board of studies EXEMPTION from registration forms, post them off and then have someone from Sydney travel all the way to our house to check all of our work and to check out our house to make sure it was a suitable learning environment. Every three months. All the while pressuring us to return to a school environment. hmm…..Also being a ‘registered’ home schooling parent means that you MUST adhere to the board of studies syllabus….basically the list of things the government wants us to force feed our children in order to turn out the most efficient tax producing machines….(do they really think we are stupid enough to believe that the CARE and LOVE and WANT to nurture our children MORE than we do as parents?)

So really to be a registered home schooler you must be happy to have people in suits and ties coming into your home and telling you what you are or are not doing, telling you that you don’t know your child as well as they do and what they need or want. Can you see my issue here?…..(I could go on all day.)

So what happens if I don’t register? I could get a $120 fine. If I still am not pressured into sending my child back to school within 6 months of that fine…? I could potentially get another $120 fine…. So why am I not giving in? BECAUSE! (should be good enough…but it’s not…I guess) Because, my child deserves better and now after home schooling for a while I know it is the best thing I have ever done for her and being a parent whom often feels guilty I’m NOT doing the best thing I’m going to cling to this like there’s no tomorrow….

I only wish I’d done this sooner for Bella. I am getting increasingly frustrated with the Bella’s ex school as they’re seriously harassing me, I received a letter last week that literally tried to make me feel like I was the worst parent on the face of the Earth and that I have Bella sitting at home watching brain-dead television all day. The fact of the matter is…..my daughter consumed pills and alcohol. If this had occurred in MY home…I’d have the department of community services knocking on my door trying to figure out if my child was in a suitable place!!!

AND YET!……they want to try to force me to put my daughter BACK into that environment?!…. makes no sense to me….. Why is no one investigating if SCHOOL really is the most suitable learning environment for a child???…..Has anyone ever actually done that?….A comparison between school and home school? Probably not…but why would they when clearly the government cares far more for our children then we as parents do…. Okay so I’ll try to get out of this frustrated mood….and ps…I’m not quitting and I am NOT giving in.

I will pay fines, I will cop all their crap….I won’t quit for Bella. She’s important here and that is all that matters. Now that I’ve gone on and on about our home school I might just share what Bella’s been up to.

Our maths has gotten super cool and fun, she’s been planning her café` or salon or market stall each week and now we’re almost running a pretend business! This afternoon she’s doing an afternoon tea café for her sisters and I shall be the big mean government and bank. She’ll only be given $500 dollars to start up her business, with that money she needs to pay (me) some rent money for the ‘cafe’ she also needs to purchase her ingredients from our pantry to make all her food, she needs to pay me if she requires a ‘service’ which would include making drinks or helping with her cooking, she also needs to hire the equipment needed. She’s going to then have to make all of her food/drinks and create a menu with pricing also including at least one percentage discount and a special. She will need to make back her $500 to break even, but we’ve discussed her need to ‘make a profit’ as she’ll need to pay her taxes and work out GST.

She also needs to think about her “family at home and how she’ll pay the bills and buy food.” She is totally loving that her maths involves cooking and the measuring of ingredients and how it’s got a lot of pretend scenarios and role playing…I’m just super impressed with how she’s grasping all this real world math. (Honestly I don’t care if she cannot add x and y……if she can run a small business, personally I think that’s better. Wouldn’t you agree government?) As she progresses we’ll add things like wages and loading and over time….

She’s recently opened an Etsy store too, I give her $5 a fortnight and she collects interesting glass jars or vases from 2nd hand shops, she then covers her costs, adds a mark up and postage and sells her items. All the money she makes goes to Oxfam. She’s carefully chosen where she wants her raised money to go too….she’s chosen a women’s shelter in Sri Lanka, water wells and colouring books/pencils for villages and children in Cambodia, seeds and chickens for families in South Africa. SONY DSC Science we totally love, it means doing things…interesting things! SONY DSC We’re doing heaps of nature science and are fascinated by volcanoes, SONY DSC Earthquakes, geology, anatomy……

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and began working on different eco systems, we’ve created our own river eco system…….

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as we’ve been catching crayfish in our river. SONY DSC We’ll be doing life cycles on them and studying their habits and preferred habitats until we get ours just right. SONY DSC She has also been helping me work on my natural beauty range, helping to make natural chemical reactions and produce organic make-ups, body and hair care stuffs

Good for her skin and her self-esteem and an interesting fun thing to learn.

 

We’re growing seeds and cuttings and anything at all. SONY DSC We’ve been foraging….

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and exploring ways of being sustainable, finding our own food and we’ve learnt how to filter our own water. SONY DSC It’s been fun showing the kids where I once would go when I was a kid to find free food, it’s weird how the city has kind of grown around them….it’s now like urban forging. I hope they do the same with their when they’re parents (if these precious plants last another 20 years…). They now know where to find fruits, nuts and proteins….FOR FREE!…(awesome when nothing IS free..)But more delisciously…..

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bush lemons in season and abundance means lemon meringue pies and homemade lemonade! Oh MY!

SONY DSC Bella now also know all the major bones in the body from the clavicles all the way down to her metatarsals! SONY DSC We’ve moved onto the nervous system and digestive system, this has been super cool as because I’m learning a tonne about muscles, body systems, cells and basically the entire body make up in my own studies we’ve been able to intertwine and she’s been able to learn more advanced anatomy and I’ve been able to use hers to translate all the complicated things I don’t understand!!! SONY DSC SONY DSC English we’re making our own plays and comic strips as we’re not too fond of essays….and I want our writing to remain fun and inspired and not about how well we string together sentences. I want it to flow and be free and creative not hindered and restricted by ‘correctness’….it’s an artistic expression….so it should be free….

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ART…holy moly I am impressed, she’s totally blossomed and LOVES going to her art classes with the lovely Rhondella each week, she’s been invited to work shops and to sit in on extra classes!! She’s just excelling We are learning about Aboriginal history and to get Bella interested further we’re incorporating a lot of art. We’re reading about Aboriginal life and their tendency to create art from their Dreamtime stories. So we’re studying Aboriginal symbols and going to translate our favourite aboriginal stories into artworks. We’re also learning about how and what happened when we came over to live/invade this beautiful country. There are some terrible horror stories but I do think it’s essential to know the WHOLE truth, not just the glossy hero stories. She made a bunch of impressive power point presentations and does really cool presentations …this impresses me because I didn’t even know how to do that until a couple of months ago! SONY DSC She’s been cooking baking heaps and getting more confident. SONY DSC   She’s also been working on sewing her own upcycled rag quilt.

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We’re now also enrolled in an 8 week meditation course. Who doesn’t need a little extra peace and serenity?   Anyway….I’m going to keep ‘breaking the law’ and being a crap parent. Her learning is not something that concerns me one bit. I know for a fact she was never this inspired or creative in school, nor cared about, she has a curious passion to discover things now and to find out the why, what, when and how of almost everything we do. Our entire life has become a classroom. And there is no need for her to wait until second period next Tuesday to gain access to her teacher to answer those questions or to gain help. We’re ALL teachers, and we’re ALL here for her, we’re ALL learning WITH her. (AND my little ones who have also gained so much from our ‘home’ school.)

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We were all super sick for quite a while which was devastating, especially when it hit me, we were throwing up and doing other gross things at the other end….I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed and for me….who thinks she could run a marathon with no legs…..it was tough. Glen was at work, so poor Bella was struggling to help as best she could. I was in bed doubled over in pain, crawling to the bathroom while she struggled to keep the peace. I couldn’t do a thing. I am just glad the nightmare is over. If Glen was home I would have gone to hospital. But I couldn’t. Who would watch the kids?…..Honestly the worst time in my life. SONY DSC Sophie caught it after me the poor girl and thankfully everyone else just got a frustrating head cold. It’s been coldish…so we’re all living in the lounge/my bed room so we’re closer to the fire at night which I kind of like. I can hear my babies talking in their sleep and snoring lightly which with the crackle of a warm fire is really comforting. SONY DSC I LOVE winter, if only it would get colder….darn climate change. SONY DSC We’ve been outside a lot more before it gets too cold, building huts and playing with our now numerous and mischievous pets….(seriously someone needs to lecture me on this…) SONY DSC We’ve been setting our crayfish traps to catch some yummy ‘dinner’ which we fall in love with their cuteness and can’t then…eat them! Bike-riding….building,…..just outside in this nice temperature.

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Buddy’s birthday is so soon and I’m so excited! Oh and Glen and my 3 year anniversary too! I’m actually getting him an AWESOME gift. I always think my gift ideas are really cool and I’m always so excited to give him what I have spent ages thinking outside the box to get him only to see his face as he opens whatever it is….and then my wide-eyed joy kind of crumbles. Clearly my idea of amazing is not the same as everyone else’s…..I still can’t believe he doesn’t love that he owns a plot of protected wilderness in Scotland!? Like seriously, having the ability to legally add ‘Lord’ to his name due to his land ownership….what the? so darn cool. So yes, I am being all ‘normal’ and getting him a ‘normal’ present. I can’t tell you because I really want it to be a surprise. Oh I should go. I’m out of coffee…I also need to pee and I’ve written so much already…I wanted to write more but honestly if you can sit through all of what’s already here without skimming…you are wonderful to listen to my carrying on. Until next time….bye.

A compliation of things a good parent would never do.

  • A good parent would never accidentally drop a portion of their child’s meal onto the floor when serving dinner and think ‘eh, he’s two and eats germs all the time anyway…’ placing the food back on the plate. Calling him to the table “COME ON dinner time…it’s extra special tonight!” (mmm….nature encrusted.)
  • A good parent wouldn’t shave their legs while having a shower with a toddler whose playing bakery on the bottom. Rinsing the razor unthinkedly….opps too late, soapy stubble racing down their little back. (They’ll never know.)
  • A good parent doesn’t use words that they made up. eg ‘unthinkedly’ regardless of how awesome and necessary they are.
  • Good parents never answer the question “is it hard being a mum?’ with “no, it’s not. It’s wonderful.” and then yells at said children to clean their rooms.
  • Good parents try to dress their children at least once a day. If not they will have to ‘train’ their kids to WEAR clothes…..harder than toilet training…..so I’ve heard. But I’m not sure. Because obviously I am a good parent. Whose son is always perfectly clean AND clothed. *eye roll* possible  *thumb twiddle*
  • A good parent doesn’t ‘pass wind’ or as we like to call it in our family “FART..HAHAHAHAHA” when sleeping head to toe with their child during lounge room camp outs. Seriously, they are already happily snuggled up cheek pressed to dry cracked old heels; there is no need to project gaseous poop particles in their direction.
  • Good parents never force their child to love them. for example….

parent – “I love you.”

child – “…..”

parent – “do you love muma?”

child -“….”

parent – “do you love muma? Say “yes muma.””

child -” yes muma.”

parent – “aww…I love you. Say “I love you muma.””

child – “I love you muma.”

parent – “AWWWW! I love you too baby!!!”

  • A good parent doesn’t make delicious snacks that their kids can’t wait to eat and then announce “let’s have a picnic!” forgetting completely that they have a dozen chickens and four dogs. You could almost hear the silent cries of ‘why must you punish us like this?!’ as the yummy food they’ve so patiently waited for is devoured by frenzied animals.
  • A good parent never agrees to everything. Such as..

child – “Am I a princess?’

parent – “yes.”

child – “A REAL princess?”

parent – “yes.”

2 days later…

Child – “My friends hate me! I’m not a real princess! And they won’t bow!!!’

  • A good parent never makes a negative-ish comment toward their pre-teen without some kind of self depreciating comment to follow.

1. eg…

parent – “Your hair is really oily. Could you please wash it?’

child – *DEATH STARE*

parent -“I don’t mean it in a bad way, I just remember when I was your age and no one told me my hair was oily I walked around glistening in the sunlight, I just want to help you.”

child – “you had greasy hair?”

parent – “yes it was really bad.”

Child – “hahahahahahaha, I’ll go wash my hair.”

parent – *cries with shame*

2. eg..

parent – “can you please stop wearing that playsuit I bought you when you were 7? It looks like you’re wearing an underpants suit.”

child – *DEATH STARE*

parent -“well it does.”

child – *scoff….death stare continues…*

parent – “like big granny panties sewn to a singlet…seriously…”

child – “I’ll change…*growl*”

Honestly…..I couldn’t come up with anything better, I just never wore anything that give me massive wedgies on purpose…I couldn’t relate.

  • A good parent probably never blogs about their child’s wedgies.
  • Good parents should avoid saying things like “if I worked like that in my job I’d be fired.” In regards to child and house chores, the usual response is either ‘where’s my money?’ OR ‘please fire me then.’
  • a good parent never teaches their children to do the laundry work, because if they do they run the risk of anything ‘wet’ being ‘dried’ in the dryer regardless of cleanliness. If you wonder why all your clean towels smell of urine precisely at that moment you dry your face with it after a nice hot rejuvenating shower…. it might be because your two-year has decided to dry his ‘wet’ bed sheets, skipping the ‘silly’ washing step. What a good child.
  • Good parents don’t threaten to cut their children’s hair when they complain about having it brushed. example…

parent – ‘”stay still and let me brush your hair or I’ll cut it off.”

child – “okay cut it off.”

parent – “Well… I will! But I just don’t feel like it right now.”

child – “no need to brush it then….”

parent – “you suck……”

 

  • Good parents don’t raise smart children, because they end up SMARTER than you.
  • Good parents do not correct their children or they run the risk of irreparable damage. eg…

child- “Ouch! I have peanut noodles in my legs!”

parent – “I think you mean pins and needles.”

child – “Pins and NEEDLES?!”

parent – “not real ones….”

child – “I have PINS AND NEEDLES…..IN. MY. LEGS?!”

parent – “no, no….oh god…..”

  • A good parent tells the truth about pets who’ve passed away or they must remember to keep up the ‘she ran away and lives with a wonderful loving family now’ routine for years….like seriously YEARS!….8 to be exact…and counting.
  • A good parent would keep gossipy relationship talk between adult friends private or when your budgie is squawking and you ask “what are you cranky about bird?” you may have a small child pipe up “leave him alone! He’s talking to his woman.”
  • A good parent shouldn’t promise their children specific pets to take with them when they ‘move out.’ Especially when said parents have a bad habit of not have an equal ratio of pets to children.
  • Good parents don’t nod and agree with 4 year-olds who ask if they can get their belly button pierced when they’re 6. They actually TURN 6 and they REMEMBER!
  • Good parents never mumble sly remarks under their breath like “liar” at the mums on the neurfon commercial who claim  a teething temper tantruming child is the most glorious thing in the world. Don’t talk to TV’s. Just don’t.
  • And finally and MOST importantly….. good parents never tell people about all the un-good parenting they do.

It seriously is the KEY to being a good parent. Do NOT admit a thing.

To be a good parent means to be silent about how bad you really are and ensure that you ONLY highlight those rare moments when you actually think you know what you’re doing.

I hope this has helped all those sub standard parents I know.

 

take care.

xo

 

Let’s catch up…

Life these last 6 weeks have flown by in a colourful blur.

It feels kind of nice to be filling every moment with something but also not so nice because time seems to slip by faster and faster.

I am thankful for school holidays! Even though it feels like the Christmas ones had only just ended!

My initial uni pathways course has only a couple of weeks to go and about 4 assignments due in that time so my stress levels have risen a tad. I’ll be glad to have said I’ve completed it all and able to move onto something else. I have postponed my midwifery degree as after lots of research and pondering I don’t see how I could possibly complete it right now.

I’d need to follow along with a specific amount of pregnant women for appointments and the likes and be able to drop everything to attend births, even in my first year. With Glen working away half the time and no one to step in and watch my little ones, I would hate to work so hard only to be unable to attend births and ultimately fail.

So I shall wait….

However in the meantime I have committed to a remedial massage therapy diploma, which I plan to focus on ante-natal, post natal massage and perhaps baby massage workshops for parents all from the comfort of our own home.

I’m excited. But you probably knew that because most unknowns are exciting to me!

I will admit that trying to study and making sure that Bella, now home schooled is doing all she needs to be is tough at time.

We hit a massive hurdle when she flat-out began refusing to do her math work.

Heck I hate maths too and most of the time wonder why I ever needed to work out the area of a square…but I didn’t want to give up (or give in. What next? English?) So I tricked her with awesome fun. And slight bribes.

I decided we’d do some real world math and make it something she could relate to and enjoy.

First Bella created a café`.

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She also created her own descriptive menus, made the items she’d put on her menu which included ice tea infused with frozen raspberries, banana cake and peanut butter cookies. (Knocked our cooking lesson on the head in the process.)

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She set up ‘shop’ before her sisters got home from school.

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She made ‘money’ and gave it to them to pay.

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Bella took orders worked out the prices, she had specials and discounts.

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The girls were given their food and drinks and then came to Bella’s counter to pay, Bella had to add up their totals, minus any discounts and give correct change.

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She had a tip jar which she needed to work out 10% of the bills total (if her customers were generous enough) She also sold coffee (well empty boxes of..) at a 2 for one special…

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I seriously jammed as much math into her as I could get away with and she totally loved every minute of it.

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Though the best part?

Her younger sisters learnt a lot too AND…..

THEY WERE ALL SUPER NICE TO EACH OTHER!

I not only want to teach my own daughter all the academic stuff but I want her to learn to treat her family with respect and love. I want them to have a stronger bond, in other words…I want them to stop fighting with each other all the time and care about one another!

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It was awesome for me to see the cooperation, consideration and courtesy.

Anyway, the week after Bella decided on a salon.

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We totally upped the math.

This time she had to make appointments at 5 minute intervals, it was good because she has trouble with time and this really helped her a tonne.

Glen and I also made appointments for things like facials and massages but then tricked her and cancelled our appointments and swapped them around.

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She did more complicated discounts and specials this time offering a hand, foot and shoulder massage at 25% off and if someone made a 20 minute appointment they’d receive a free 5 minutes and 30% off.

I must admit she was kind of stressed dealing with making appointments and also offering ‘complimentary tea, or ice water’ and actually painting nails or facials…but hello real world….hello indeed.

I like that she uses English skills and descriptive writing to crate her menu’s and price lists, I like that we insist she be ‘professional’ and ‘kind’ and ‘polite’ to her customers…I like that she sees the excitement she can create for her sisters when they come home to find out Bella has ‘opened shop’ again.

They love it and I can see Bella’s pride as they tell her how cool and awesome it all is.

She learnt so much more than maths and I love it.

I’ve slowly begun to realise that I need to up my pace for her learning too, she now knows all there is to know about Billie Holiday, Cleopatra and Mother Theresa. She completed profiles on each, researched and complied her own mini biographies and then combined the 3 to create her own inspirational (fictional) character. Her assessment consisted of creating a profile a story and a picture of her fictional character.

It hasn’t taken her months to soak in as it would in school, as we literally could sit and talk anytime we chose, not waiting for a specific 45 minute period during the week.

Sooo….

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We’ve also moved onto Arthurian literature for English, which I hope to stretch for the next entire term. And why not?? All of my kids love the stories and we’re trying to bring different parts into the real world too, making armour and writing our own plays to perform.

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I am learning heaps too so we’re all excited by all the new information and fun being injected into our lifestyle.

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Bella attended a 3 day art workshop where she totally surprised herself creating amazing pieces of art and gaining wonderful comments from the art teacher, who said he had ‘exceptional talent’ and was ‘quick to understand artistic concepts.’

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She’s completed her online photography course and also her unit on colonial Australia.

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She combined the two when we took a trip to visit an antique store in search of items to photograph from the 1800’s.

We couldn’t find much, except one gold and ruby necklace from the 1800’s and a newspaper from the early 1900’s…close enough. But Bella did get some interesting shots.

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She ended up having a great conversation with the lovely old man who worked there about the old jail which had been used in the 1800’s as he once lived in it years ago!(Not as a prisoner!)

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 She made an interesting poster about what life would be like back then.

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She also wrote a story from the perspective of a 12-year-old girl living on a sheep farm in the 1800’s living without electricity and running water.

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Later in the year I’ll be taking Bella and Sophie to Taronga zoo so Bella can do an entire day of training as a zoo keeper, she is in love with big cats and wants to work with them when she’s older so I figure I could perhaps help her along the way to that dream.

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I’ve spoken to a course provider who is happy to allow Bella to complete some certificates in zoo keeping and wildlife conservation, so we’re considering it for next year. Bella is really excited, and I’m happy for her, and it totally feels nice to be in a position to completely support her passions and actually help her achieve her goals.

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It really struck me when Bella said “If I told my friends at school I wanted to get a job working with tigers they would tell me I’m stupid and that I never would do it.”

And I believe her. Adults do the same to each other as well. Crush each others dreams, and never do we seem to be happy for anyone else.

It saddens me that we lessen our potential to suit others, it’s like a little boy telling his parents he wants to be an astronaut and they act as if it is some fanciful idea that is ‘cute’ and will never happen…..HELLO?! There are such things astronauts…they do exist and perhaps the difference in becoming one and dreaming of being one is the belief and encouragement of others….

it is NOT impossible….

(Shall we try to improve on this behaviour? Or teach our kids to admire instead of envy? To strive instead of settle? Anyway, I won’t lecture..)

I am impressed so far with Bella’s attitude changes, she still has her emotional pre-teen moments but over all she’s kinder and way more involved in our family in a positive way than she’s ever been.

There is no more angry storming off in the morning (most days she begins working at 7am while I make breakfast…just because she wants too.) And no longer does she come home in a foul mood because of something someone has said or done during the day to make her feel bad….which she would ordinarily take out on me and her sisters or simply sit in her room alone.

I seriously wonder why we’re told school is for everyone…..because in my personal opinion my daughter has never been happier, more encouraged, ambitious and inspired and as a mum it gives me that heart swell feeling.

For once I feel like I have done the absolute right thing.

It’s like a breath of fresh air.

Anyway….

In other news, Violet had her 6th birthday!

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I can’t believe it, and I know I say that with each and every birthday that goes by but seriously….6?…

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wow.

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Violet had asked for a rainbow cake, but I’d felt like I’d done ordinary rainbow cakes too many times so I went for something simple but effective.

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It was kind of cute, but the rainbows begun to sag which then made it look like a weird McDonalds themed cake….and I just was too lazy to find yellow for the M’s…ergh.

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She totally loved it so that was all the mattered.

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And it did taste yum as ugly as it became….

We also had Easter early….which was good, Glen was home. But also bad, because as I write this my kids know it is the ‘real’ Easter today and question why our bunny occasionally comes early….”He just likes us more…”

(sorry to any children who still have faith that the bunny exists who may be reading this….)

We also have two new babies….Zoe and Darling, two adorable and extremely naughty puppies. They’re the very young relatives for Loch and Victor our super old dogs…who I think are Zoe and Darlings great uncles….

Zoe

Zoe

We believe in family here….

My gosh I need to go, my kids have turned my lounge room into a jumping pit with mattresses as I type….the joy of divided attentions.

Have a happy Easter!

Eat LOTS of chocolate!

(make me feel not so bad….because I did!)

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I hope to write again soon but if not…I’ll do a special post for this little guy will be 3 in June and Glen and I will have been married for 3 years too!

SONY DSC

Can you believe it?

SONY DSC

Nope me either!

A lesson for you, a lesson for me.

Facts I’ve learned from being a parent.

  1. Hardest thing I will ever do.
  2. Most important thing I’ll ever do.

Two weeks ago now I got up and got my kids ready for school as I do every other weekday. We rushed around, yelled at each other to find socks and hurry up breakfast. We called for stolen underwear and cried over misplaced bus passes. We got shoes mixed up, one all lefts and one all rights.

Then finally Bella declared she was ready. With a quick peck on the cheek she was off.

Half hour later I was buckling aka wrestling, children into car seats and off to the bus stop myself.

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I was in the shower, wrist deep in chemicals scrubbing the tiles when the phone rang. Molly and Buddy were happily playing and allowing me this moment of domestic bliss aka hell, so I let it ring and kept on scrubbing.

It rang again.

FINE.

I stopped and went for the phone but missed it.

I listened to the message that was left and I heard something along the lines of…

“Mrs Yager, this is Mr… from the high school. Please call us immediately, Bella has taken prescription tablets. Call us immediately.”

My heart dropped. I began to shake.

“What the heck?” (or something similar went through my mind.) My child? MY child???

It was panic.

I did not expect this on this ordinary day. Actually….any day.

Ever.

I called. And was informed that a fellow student, a young girl had raided her mum’s medicine cabinet and grabbed what she could and decided to bring it to school, and that Bella and 4 other kids had taken some.

They’d called the poison hotline and were told that what they’d swallowed was an anit-nausea tablet.

(But those kids wouldn’t have known that! It had a big long name on the bottle.)

The part that distressed me the most?

My daughter simply put something in her mouth and swallowed it.

Would she have done the same if offered rat sack or some serious drug by a ‘friend’?

Highly possible.

This is not what I’ve taught her.

This is not AT ALL what I’ve taught her.

She wouldn’t take something from a stranger…(or would she?) but she would from a ‘friend’?

How did this happen???

Bella’s side…

“My friend* showed us the bottle of tablets and said she wanted to get high, I’m not sure what that is…. She asked me and my other friend if we wanted one and we said no. But when the bell rang my friend changed her mind and said she’d try one. I said I’d have one too. I bit the tablet and it tasted gross so I spit it out, but my friend said to have the rest so I put the other half in my mouth and she gave me her fizzy drink to swallow it with so I did.”

Oh god, hard to hear, but I wanted to know what went through her mind.

Not a lot as it appears.

Thankfully another student saw the kids doing this and told a teacher about it. They immediately searched for the bottle, which the ‘owner’ had thrown in the bin and they called all the kids involved into the office to keep an eye on them and call parents and for medical advice.

After meeting with the vice principal and crying like a distraught idiot, thankful I was picking up my child from the high school with a two-day mandatory suspension rather than visiting her in hospital in a coma!

We came home.

An hour or so later I was called from the high school again.

They further informed me that the drink Bella was given to swallow the pill was full of vodka!!!

Bella didn’t even know.

The told me they’d called the poison hotline again and that by now if ‘anything was going to happen it would have by now.’

Pills and alcohol???? 12???

What?!?!

Why?!?!

I’d been so happy for Bella having made new friends, she’d joined the principals award scheme….she wasn’t at all focusing on her education (this was not entirely a surprise with Bella though) but I was confident that once she’d settled with this new group of ‘friends’ she would get into the routine of learning.

To say I was wrong and living in some magical fantasy land is an understatement. Not all things work out, not all things ‘fall into place’ without some persistent guiding.

The 12-year-old girl who’d decided to get ‘high’ that random day and raid her parents alcohol and medicine cabinet for some unknown reason and then involve MY daughter…..and then with a ‘friend’ decided to ‘rough up’ the student who had informed the teacher!

Honestly, if they’d taken something dangerous (or MORE dangerous) they’d be thanking that kid!!!

I had no clue this would happen or be happening….I’m not ignorant and I did stupid things when I was young….but I’d been aiming for ‘difficulties’ of this sort for around year nine…never if I was one of the lucky mums.

I am not proud to admit the fact that in this scenario, I would have been the instigator….I would have been the girl who’d raided the cupboard….I was the ring leader…..I was never one for peer pressure….or to pressure others…I just did whatever I wanted, stupid things or not….Figuring that Glen and I rarely drink let alone have a supply of alcohol in the house and the strongest medication in our house is panadol….I just didn’t think that others would expose my child to these things…………

I figured if Bella was curious she’d talk to me or question me, we’ve had many an awkward and uncomfortable conversation I wished we hadn’t but glad in the end she’s confident to come to me….

But there wasn’t even any forethought…no motive in this split second decision to ‘just do it.’

This was not what I expect from Bella, in the first term of year seven.

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It’s no secret that I am open to home education.

And that is exactly the path we’ve chosen to travel now.

The school snail mailed me a ‘plan’ for Bella’s future involving behavioural tactics and binge drug and alcohol type educating…..

but….

I mean when the principal of a school who didn’t even know your child existed as an individual until something bad has happened holds a piece of paper in front of your face so your child can’t see that reads ‘head lolling to the side’ and ‘eyes rolling back in the head’ are the possible symptoms of the pill she’s taken…….

Well…..

What can I say?

I think I should have a greater say in the ‘plan for Bella’s future.’

I’d decided long ago that home education is the BETTER option for education, especially for Bella as an individual. I know her well. I know that she doesn’t take her education seriously, I know that school is merely a social gathering for her. I know that teachers are over worked and don’t have the excessive amounts of time (or patience) they’d need to get Bella up to speed in every class.

She’s ALWAYS been left behind in school, one of those kids that are difficult to teach and doesn’t learn in the same way a majority of the class does and no one ever makes room for the minority.

As long as the top two thirds of a class passes…..the rest are just labelled ‘slow’ or ‘difficult.’

Her Maths is barely at a year five level, and her spelling is terrible, she’s only now in the last two weeks of home education learnt how to tell the time!

The views of others and the idea that home education is only for ‘religious’ families or ‘weirdos’ was enough to make me settle for a system I don’t care for.

Dear me….peer pressure…DID get to me.

People’s constant ‘oh but what about socialising?’

It just felt easier to do the ‘normal’ thing, to avoid criticism even if I didn’t feel comfortable with it. But you know what?

SCREW THAT!

There have been many incidents where I have been tempted to remove Bella from school. Like being teased and bullied by year ten boys who’d ‘asked her out’ and when she’d called them idiots been bombarded ever since. By girls who make her feel inferior because she doesn’t have the newest of Apple gadgets, kids who make her feel bad about herself because of pimples…(mind you ever second child at that age has them!)

This was the last straw.

Combined with Bella’s lack of comprehension of the gravity of what happened and her lack of thought into it….

This is a slippery slope I’m putting an obstacle in front of.

Enough is enough.

This is our second week of home education and I am so impressed with how she’s working and how well everything is going.

Being a perfectionist I am making sure I don’t miss a thing while still being as relaxed and caring as possible.

I am not aiming for a nazi holding a wooden ruler over her knuckles. I am aiming for a loving environment of inspiration and complete involvement of Bella’s wants and needs where education is more of an absorption rather than a forced feeding.

She’s joined a choir, and drama classes and art lessons which she has chosen. (Hello socialisation with like-minded peers!)

No more messy mosh pit, which there is much time for once she’s developed a healthy dose of maturity and sense of self. I mean this had been a concern of mine too, not having enough time to mingle and be with people, but I was mistaken. She has been able to come to senior citizen morning teas, join groups during school hours….personally I believe she’s had MORE quality socialisation since being removed from school!

She’s enrolled in guitar, piano and photography lessons online.

She’s researching inspirational women who’ve made positive changes in this world for English and reading books which she’d never previously been interested. We’re learning about Australian history and currently in the middle of a project about colonial life, we’re visiting an antique store tomorrow so Bella can test out her new photography skills, taking pictures of items from the 1800’s to create a collage of what life must have been like.

Science, we’re focusing on understanding the human body, how and why it is so amazing in all it’s capabilities and we’ve begun an awesome bug board, collecting insects of all kinds and researching them and adding the information to the board.

Maths we’re simply taking it easy, working on Bella gaining the skills she’d missed out on in school and raising her awareness of the basics like time, money and fractions and from there we will expand once her skills are up to speed.

She’s begun an art journal which we’ve recycled from a beautiful old hardcover book, we’ll be trying out different techniques and making notes and adding it all together to create something she can treasure forever.

At the moment we’re working on her cooking skills and if she decides to move onto sewing, or jewellery making, or wood working, or whatever…. we will.

There’s a lot of learning going on in this house in areas like this anyway, basically we’ve just had to figure out the levels at which she is at and add what society requires of us. Then record and document her progress.

We’ve added world and current affairs which will include learning about the world and people in it and their unique lives and situations, we’ll include volunteer and community work, inventing and implementing fundraisers. I’d like Bella to gain an appreciation of her own life through helping others and understanding how lucky she is, even if she doesn’t have the newest of gadgets. I’d like her to feel useful and worthy and capable of making a difference.

I want to teach her to be a good person.

I want her to learn.

I want her to have friends.

I think she can have both even if it is separate.

So I guess this will be the first of many ‘home education’ posts that is if I get the time. I am still studying myself!

I do not assume it will be easy or always fun, but I do know that it is the very best thing I can do for my own daughter as an individual and if I weren’t prepared to sacrifice, work hard and do all that I possibly could for her then perhaps I should never have become a parent.

So good luck to Bella, good luck to me.

This is just another life lesson to learn and grow from.

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If you’re a home schooling mum I’d love for you to contact me, I’m sure I’ll need advice and encouragement along the way.

I hope all is good in the world you live.

xox

Food Hero

Originally posted on The Eco Princess:

I am hardly a food hero, but I do know what it is like to not have food.

At the age of 14 I lived on the streets (technically youth housing, but I found roaming the streets at night safer?!) I know what it is like to have no food, no way of buying food or getting food. It leaves you completely helpless, hopeless, vulnerable and afraid.

Things like the 40 hour famine are a good idea to raise money but even if you participate and ‘not eat’ you still have that peace of mind that if you do get too hungry you can simply open your fridge.

Go to www.oxfam.org.au/foodhero and sign up. It is free and there are no obligations except that you help spread the word. Seriously if you CAN’T do that…well…tut, tut.

Poverty and starvation are FACTS in many people’s lives daily.

They are in pain…

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