Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Reaching double figures

I think one of the hardest things we had to hear when told our son had a heart condition, was that they really don't know what to expect in the teen years and beyond. As things grow, stretch and develop you can't predict how the scar tissue will adjust.

The arterial switch is a reasonably new procedure, with the first surgeries trialled in the early 80's.

So the fact our boy ( and many others) have made double figures proves a win, win for Heartkids!

I hope he has many more decades to come. And that we always receive nothing but good news from his cardiologist.

Rant warning! Girls vs Boys learning

You know what?  Boys are actually more than just noise with dirt. No. Really!

I realise now, as I go through the younger school years a second time round, that I didn't have enough voice for our eldest son, and I will NOT make the same mistake again.

Boys need different teaching techniques.  Boys won't quietly sit and play in a corner like meek little mice. (Well, mine won't anyway!).  Boys need structure. Direction. Guidance. Love and friendship.

Boys need trust!

Boys can be rough and need distraction to get back onto the right path.

Boys don't need to be squashed into a little box to make sure they fit the mould. 

Boys deserve GREAT teachers to help set them up for life.  

The best teachers can cater for a wide variety of students, irrespective of gender and learning abilities.

As mentioned in: Stop Penalizing Boys for Not Being Able to Sit Still at School  "Rather than penalize the boys' relatively higher energy and competitive drive, the most effective way to teach boys is to take advantage of that high energy, curiosity, and thirst for competition."

Making schools a better place for boys 

  • Boys need rapport with their teachers
Boys need teachers who are fun, friendly, focussed, but also firm and fair.

  • Boys like competition

  • Boys like variety and need to be active

  • Boys like to feel empowered and be given responsibility

  • Boys need structure

The Age reported late last year - Teaching has become feminised and boys lose out  

I am just glad I can see it now, instead of trusting what I am being told and thinking the teacher knows best. One great teacher last year has made me realise that boys aren't bad, they just need better guidance and teachers who care.

I don't think I am alone in this train of thought? 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Indoor games for busy boys

Cardboard boat

Pool Noodle racing track

Indoor maze

Balloon Rocket

Indoor Ping Pong

 Thanks to Pinterest for the above ideas - Find more here

Please keep us on the right path.

Never forgotten.

I hope you are watching over us mother dear, ready to steer us back on the right path if we ever veer in the wrong direction.

Gone but NEVER forgotten! 

My baby headed off to Kinder. LeapReader is now our best buddy!

The first ever reading and writing system for children, LeapReader, is helping Aussie kids prepare for school.

Designed to help children become confident, independent readers and writers by learning to build reading fundamentals, sound out words, read sentences and trace letters.

My baby started Kinder this year and I have often felt he was not quite up to standards with his writing for a big school boy.  Thanks to LeapReader we have seen some great improvement and watched his confidence blossom. He loves "playing" with the reader and often doesn't even realise he is learning LOADS at the same time.  We love it and highly encourage others to check it out.

According to Victoria University College of Education Professor Nicola Yelland, the new LeapReader encourages children to read because it is fun to use, but also allows them to playfully explore each book or game via a series of interconnected activities and games.

As Professor Yelland points out, toys like the LeapReader are only as good as the library that supports them.

“What I like about the LeapReader materials I have interacted with is their broad range and scope,” Professor Yelland said. “The range includes basic readers which support the development of vocabulary and strategies to decode words, and then ventures into popular culture with Monsters’ University, Toy Story 3 and Dora the Explorer, for example.”

“Additionally, there are sets of materials on the Human Body and our Solar System which are very informative and will stimulate a young child’s interest in the topics. They can explore the body, for example, on their own or be guided by questions from the LeapReader.

“I am impressed by the range of strategies used in these activity books on focused science topics.”

For further information on LeapFrog and its products, visit Keep up-to-date on Facebook @LeapFrog Australia and Twitter @ LeapFrogAus.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Slack blogger confession

Image via Pinterest

Please forgive me for I have sinned. It has been nearly three months since my last confession.
So much has come and gone, yet I feel like that time has gone and nothing has changed.

Christmas. New Years. School holidays. All come and gone, and I missed out big time. 

I got sick towards the end of November and here we are two months later and I am still battling it out.

This is me....  (BE WARNED!)

No worse, slightly better with 10 UV treatments to date ( 3 x a week) and prescription cream, but a long road ahead still I predict. 

Apparently it is Guttate Psoriasis.

Who knows why...

Maybe it was the strep throat infection. Maybe it is my immune system throwing in the towel.  Maybe it is my gut sick of the dairy and gluten being fed to it.  Maybe it is a sign of too much stress, and too much bottling up.

Really, who knows.  All I really want now is for it to GO AWAY!  Leave me alone, never to return.

So I continue UV treatment, and cream after cream, along with a million supplements and some diet changes, I have my fingers crossed extra tight I will soon get my normal me back and ditch these layers that are driving me mental during Summer.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Refusing to tempt fate

I am often teased about having another baby. Trying for a little girl. 
Yes. It would be lovely.
Yes. I have thought about it. A lot!
No. It will never happen. 
It doesn't matter how many times you suggest it.
Husband, says no for one thing.
And I know, deep down, that we are not game enough to tempt fate again.
I couldn't go there again.  I worried enough second time round.
That would be so much worse third time. I am more anxious now. I would be fearful for nine months again, until that baby was in my arms and checked closely!

I am also in a place where I know we have everything we need.  Life is getting easier. Master four is edging toward big school and my baby days are nearly gone.

I couldn't go back now. We are lucky to have two beautiful boys and I am thankful for that. 

So yes, it would be lovely. But no, I just can not tempt fate again. 

A month and a half

I have been quiet of late, someone may have noticed.

It has been a crazy month and I just never seem to find the head space to sit and let two words of any kind form together.

Started with Master four getting a slight cold that turned into strep throat and three doctors visits before we knew it. Antibiotics in hand, fights daily to get him to take them, and lots of vomit and gag reflex.  That lasted a week of lethargy, limpness, tears, and tiredness from all.

Just as we thought things were settling down master nine started complaining with a sore throat and a temp. Another doctor visit and more antibiotics to administer for tonsilitis. He doesn't cope with temps so chuck in some horrible hallucinations and that was me again for another week or so.

It has taken him two weeks at least to get over the fear of the hallucinations. He has only the past two nights gone to bed again with the light off.  They really scared him!  It has been a nightly bedtime battle of tears and excuses.

Toss in lots of blood noses from big bro and little bro still coughing all the time and getting grumpy more than usual and we are slowly looking to get back on track.  Well you would think!

Pick Master four up from childcare on Wednesday only to be greeted by a little boy with a very red and puffy eye.  Further investigation spotted some green gunk.  So we rush off to the chemist to get some drops to treat conjunctivitis.  He woke up on Thursday with it in BOTH eyes.  Arrrggghh!!!!

It must be our time for a run of good health now I believe.

As I try to push back the self pity I have been drawn to a few other peoples worries this week and it has made me greatful that all these things were really only fairly minor problems, and certainly easily treated.

In the end we are lucky to all be together and of reasonable health despite the odd bug trying to drag us down.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A week in the life of a four year old

Master BZ would be one of the busiest four year olds in history I think.
So many costume changes and adventures in one week.

Oh to be a kid again! Life is certainly never boring when you are four.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Water games to keep the kids cool this Summer

Staying cool during the hot Summer months is tricky business. Top that off with water restrictions and you can be very limited on options to keep the kids cool and occupied. 

If you can hit the beach, river, local pool or backyard pool then you are set. 

But if not it is worth remembering to keep the bath water and reusing it for water games to keep the kids cool. Fill up water bombs and water pistols for a bit of a giggle. Fill up a paddle pool with the used bath water and let the kids go crazy.

If you are really limited pop them in the bath, or fill a bucket with a small amount of water and give them a couple of paint brushes to get creative with. Get out the chalk. Kitchen strainer. Kitchen funnel. Pots and Pans.  Anything that can make a bit of water play more exciting.  Chuck the Lego men in and give them a bath or watch them battle it out!

When you have finished with the pool water give the plants a good drink. 

Slippery slides are always a hoot too!

Freeze toys in ice cubes for kids to play with until the ice melts and the toy is free.

Freeze fruit in cool shapes to keep the kids hydrated. 

Give em a bucket and sponge and let them loose on the windows or car while getting crazy wet! 

Fill a spray bottle with water and let them loose on each other. Or the windows if you can convince them.  Even grab a couple of match box cars and have a race. See who can "squirt" their car over the finish line first. 

Try and fill a cup with water just by squirting it with a spray bottle.  First one to fill the cup wins!

An old tarp a couple of bars of soap and some water will keep them busy for hours having a "boat" race.

Fill a pinata with water and watch their faces when they realise the surprise! 

Bath their favourite doll or teddy.

Fill a balloon with water and freeze.  Animal shaped balloons are fun.

Frozen Marbles - Fill water balloons with 1 part cornstarch, 1 part water and food colouring, and then freeze. Peel off balloon and you have giant frozen marbles.

Fill up some water balloons and use them for a ball with a soft bat.

If water is not restricted at all then consider turning the sprinkler on under the trampoline and supervising some slippery fun.

Beach toys

Pack of water balloons

Squadron Flying Kite - Purchase here
NERF Super Soaker Rocket Dart - Purchase here
Slip 'n Slide Extreme XL Tripple Racer - Purchase here
Body board - Purchase here
Sun shelter - Purchase here
Urban baby
Quut Ballo Beach Bucket - Purchase here 
Scrunch Bucket - Purchase here
Quut Triplet Beach Toy - Purchase here