Thursday, June 30, 2011

day 10

Day 10, 5 to go.  One day until placement finishes for the term and then I have three weeks off with my babes.  As I type Miss G and Master S are sitting drawing together - inspired by their new Lyra pencils.  Miss G concedes these pencils are so wonderful that they make her want to draw (something she has not found much joy in until now).  Well worth it I say.


I am delighting in reading my new book; Festivals with Children.  It discusses ways in which to celebrate the Christian festivals through the year with creative and nature inspired ideas for children and family.


The morning drive to my school is beautiful, especially on these last few sunny mornings.  The sun has peaked through the trees and reminded me of Spring!  I thought I'd show you - and I also snapped a few pictures of the Stephanie Alexander garden for you to see!



I feel like taking a gingham lined basket of goodies and a lovely blanket and sitting under these trees... I wonder if the owner would mind?  Or maybe these could be the first in this project I want to do with my kidlets.

Here's the school's veggie patch.



This is my favorite little village town in the hills I have decided.  I am also considering trying my hand at markets... what do you think?  Will just keep my eye on the lovely one in this little village to start with.

My parcel arrived with more Noro yarn to finish off the skirt I am knitting.  I also received my final assignment back, I am happy to settle for two credits and two distinctions.  HD's are just not that necessary are they?

Much Love Rach xo



Monday, June 27, 2011

I wonder

I am about half way through placement and I wonder what the future holds.  Will I be a teacher?  I love kindergarten - I don't think I love school.  I love kids on the spectrum.  The Autism spectrum that is for any new readers.  Maybe I should just be an assistant somewhere - but I will keep going - I am thinking long term.  I am a young mum, Miss G may have flown my coop in a good 10 years and I will only be 43 then.

Next semester with one subject, some time in my own children's classrooms and keeping my kids home maybe a day each week for some extra time to explore and do a bit of home-school is on the cards.

It feels very much like crowd control in my Grade 1 class of 6 and 7 year olds.  This is meant to be one of the better schools too.  It is really a bit sad and disheartening.  The more I think of it and see the wonderful supervisor I have who works so hard, to maintain children whose parents are going through separation, children who aren't getting enough sleep, children who are not even taught basic manners... it feels like I should spend more time with my kids.

What have you been up to today?  Any creating happening?  My weekend was spent knitting a skirt for my darling Miss H (my besties daughter who has not worn any type of frock for a good few years).  Miss H spotted a knitted skirt at my favourite yarn shop and stated if Aunty Rach knitted it she would wear it!  So - how privileged do I feel?  I am awaiting time to purchase the second skein to finish it off, but it looks great and I can't wait to photograph Miss H modelling it!  Here is a pic of the yarn Miss H chose.



Much Love Rach xx

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Squiggly Sunday

Master S was born.  Purple.  Big.  A port-wine birthmark from forehead to top lip.  He was stuck, and blessedly pulled from me by our aunt.  He was safe.  How could I love another child as I loved Miss G so?  It was instant.  My love for him poured from my heart.  His tongue was sticking out.  He's a big one I heard them say.  Look at these little grooves in his ears, how cute.  Wow, I delivered a big baby I had thought.  Miss G was only 6 pounds.  Master S was almost 10 pounds.



We snuggled and I fed him.  My new son.  Miss G met her brother - a real breathing doll.  He did not look like Miss G.  He was different looking.  I loved him so.  My son.  Mister DCT was there all the way.  What shall we name him?  It took a while to come, the first name we mentioned all those months before.  He was named before he arrived, before he was conceived.  He was sent to us.  Most definitely.  We spoke his name at the exact same moment.  Master S was named.  His name means asked of God and heard by God.  We bonded, we fed, we visited, we slept.  The nurses visited frequently and said the doctor would visit in the morning.


He visited very early, the doctor.  He looked at my babies hands.  He has a hernia he said.  He must have bitten his tongue during delivery he said.  Oh - okay, I thought - Doctors know best.


Our Aunt visited later that day.  They had been checking our Master S for Downs Syndrome.  He did not have Downs.  His tongue must have just been bitten on the way out.  So they said.



the picture sent to our aunt

We were building our first home.  We lived with family during those first few months.  Miss G watched many a video of Sesame Street and Hi-5.  Mother guilt started because of that.  Master S was breast-feeding every one and a half hours.  His head would only look to one side.  His tongue did not shrink.  This swelling must take a long time to go down I thought.  He cried at all loud and foreign noises.  He was calm when it was quiet.  We moved to a friends house and house sat and a week later to Mister DCT's Grandpa's to house sit.  Our house was still a few months away from being ready.



We visited the doctor again for a follow up visit.  Master S was fine he said.  Master S must have bitten his tongue during delivery he said.  His tongue will go down slowly he said.  Master S has a hernia that will fix itself he said.  I trusted him.  Doctors know best, especially older ones.  Don't they?

Miss G loved her new brother.  She was so helpful.  So caring.  Her mother heart and firstborn helpfulness were so beautiful.  Those days seem so long ago.  My beautiful babes.  How I love you.  Our house was coming along, the frame was up.



Always leaning to one side

 It was Christmas time, 2001.  We visited the family for our traditional Christmas Eve gathering at Nanny and Grandpa's house.  The raspberries were ripe for picking.  Cousins, Aunts, Uncles and friends arrived - the same Christmas Eve crowd.  Familiarity and Love.  Comfort.

3 months old with our super Aunt

Our Aunt the midwife was there.  She had received a photo of my babes in the mail the week before.  She had taken it to work she told me, to show the other midwives.  She gave me a pediatric journal report to read.   She said I may find it familiar reading.  Large birthweight.  Enlarged tongue.  Ear pits.  Hypoglycemia.  Asymmetrical growth.  Prominent Occiput.  Microcephaly.  Umbilical hernia.  Familiarity.  Some unfamiliarity too.  Mental retardation.  The C word.  What did this mean?  It was Christmas.  

We did a lot of reading online that night.  I became obsessed with researching these characteristics.  He didn't have an omphalocele (protruding intestines).  He wasn't having hypoglycemic fits.  Was my baby going to be okay.  It was Christmas.

It was the new year, Summer.  Doctors were on holidays.  I ate a block of chocolate each evening.  I didn't drink.  Mister DCT was working 17 hour days.  Miss G would not go to sleep at bedtime.  She had a short habit of smearing her number two's through her cot.  Anxiety was peaking when I was alone.  I felt alone in the evenings.  Friends visited in the days.  My bestie, our families besties.  My mum, our Aunt.  This was a blessing.





The house was coming along.  February came.  The pediatrician saw us.  We asked him upon showing the journal report we were gifted at Christmas.  Look at this he said; an image of a child with protruding intestines.  Your son is fine.  He just bit his tongue on the way out.  I'll send you to the Geneticist for your peace of mind.

We arrived for our first major hospital appointment.  A specialist appointment.  Genetics.  How blessed are we.  Muscular dystrophy a lady tells me, her muscles are wasting away, she was pregnant, did her babe have it too.  So many people look normal here.  What is happening with them I wonder.  We see Agnes, the head of Genetics in our state at the time.  She looks at my son.  One minute it took.  She looks at his face.  Port-wine birthmark.  Large tongue.  Googly eyes.  Ear pits.


Yes, your son has Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome.  Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome.  Anxiety.  Will he be okay?  Will he die?  Worry.  More appointments, tests, specialists.  My gut feels sick.  Did we do this?  How did it happen?  Mister DCT wondered if it was from him.  Luck of the draw they say.  Loss of methylation in the H19 gene.  Winning the lottery.  Not familial.  Sporadic.

Summertime, the soft breeze that brings comfort.  The familiarity of seasons, they brought comfort during those times.  Nothing was stable, or seemed stable.  Seasons, my husband arriving home and Miss G's two year old antics were my stability.  No home to live in, a baby who was a mystery.  The unknown was painful.  Post-natal depression seemed to take hold too.  I ate chocolate, drank coffee.

-------------------------------------

It's amazing reflecting on that time, I feel so blessed to have made it through almost 10 years since my Master S was born.  He is well mostly.  No onset of the C word.  Every BWS (Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome parents dream come true).  I hope this snippet gives you insight to the feelings I had becomming a parent of what the world calls a child with special needs.  I am not sure I like that phrase, additional needs, medical needs, birth abnormalities, birth defect - they all sound so negative.  Master S is just Master S.  What a blessing he is.

Happy Squiggly Sunday and thanks for all your support and comments.  Please let me know if you would like to be a guest and share a story on Squiggly Sunday - we would love to be able to share with you too!

Much Love Rach xo

Saturday, June 25, 2011

grateful and loving - being a mumma

I am always grateful and loving my family - but being away from them during my teaching experience highlights it even more.  Miss G played photographer last night, as I modeled another teacher outfit (we are inspired by Jacinta).



I am grateful I have been blessed to be a full-time mum and raise my children.  I am grateful we have chosen simplicity instead of keeping up with the Jones'.

I found a blog this week.... when I have more time it is one I will follow more closely.  It's called Running Away from the Jones' and is all about just that - having a simple life and being grateful for family.




I am grateful we choose the simple life, rather than rushing around, both parents working paid jobs.... and what for?  To feed a shopping addiction?  To go on fancy holidays?  To not be there for my kids?  I flicked through this book in the classroom, and felt thankful that I am doing something right.  I make lots of mistakes, but I know that love and time are priceless.  Kids are only kids once.  I am grateful my situation has allowed me to be here, that my husband also values family.



I have only worked six full time days with my teaching placement... Home to the kids at about 5:30.  Then to cook dinner, clean up after the cat and kids, then some family time.  How do you fit motherhood into 2 hours a night?  I don't know.

I am grateful for the tantrums, for the piles of washing, seeing the tears, having cuddles, knowing my kids.  I know my kids.  I have been there, every day, except for the rare time off to go to bed early to have me time, or an odd weekend away with hubby or the many doctor appointments tag-teamed with Mister DCT, well pretty much every day.  I am not saying that I am super-woman, I am not.  I just value my role as a mumma. Maybe it is being a mumma to children with special needs.  It opens your eyes to a whole new world of gratefulness.

And the sun is shining here!  It's going to be a great day.  Master J is off to his very first AFL game with Daddy and Master S and their besties.

Here's some more grateful and loving reading to brighten your day.

Outfit:  Thrifted skirt
             Hand-me-down cardigan from a lovely friend
             Re-soled RED boots
             long-sleeve tee from Just Jeans
             red polka dot ribbon care of Miss G
Much Love Rach xo

Friday, June 24, 2011

day 6

My camera is playing up - which means no photo's.  Oh dear - I am missing being snap happy.

We did some cooking yesterday in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen.....  Check out there great rescued bicycle wheel climbing frame for beans and peas.


We could not use the garden, as it is specifically licensed for Grades 3 to 6.  We had our own ingredients and broke up into groups of 4 to 5 kids and the different kitchen stations.  The few that are so hard to engage in the classroom were thoroughly engaged through their tactile 'play'.  Perhaps it was having a more meaningful experience.  It was local heroes day and the Grade 1's put on an afternoon tea for Parents (yes, we are heroes), the Police, Park Rangers and CFA got a mention too!

Master J is up and having a cuddle, so bye for now.  Here is a great site full of beautiful artwork you might like too.

Rach xo

Thursday, June 23, 2011

my creative space & back to school

We are all much better, thanks for your well wishes.  No time to blog this morning in the chaos of getting us all out the door - but......   I have been busting to share my dress with you.

 Because I have very little chest department, I can sometimes fit into the larger sizes of childrens wear.  The price tag is far cheaper too.  I bought myself a gorgeous denim shirt dress, I had been wanting one for a long time.  When I bought it from the kids wear area for $16 at MYER I was thrilled - then to find out it was a tad short.  A trip to spotlight and all is fixed and much improved.  Here is a sneak peak of my creative space this week.....



And check out more inspiration here.

Much Love Rach xo

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

he loves green

Day three of time off 'work' with our winter cold.  Master S and Miss G are home today too.  They are having a resting day and doing a bit of 'homeschool' together.  Master S is writing his first epic novel on the ipad; Miss G is the illustration assistant fiddling with photo applications to insert into the novel.  We chatted this morning about Master S's novel, he was so pleased with himself.  To get him writing so much with pen and paper would be like pulling teeth and take the poor lad a good few hours.  He typed up an introduction and half of his first chapter in about 20 minutes.  I think we have a break through!

Yesterday I began knitting Master S his fingerless mitts.  We are loving our close-by yarn shop in Sassafras.  I allowed the boys to chose their yarn for mitts and a beanie - I tried to influence their choice - to no avail.  Master S continues to choose green.  I remember when he just under two, we were shopping for a lunch box for him to take to Early Intervention.  I naturally always chose blue - I like blue.  He spoke some of his first words; "green".  He wanted a green lunch box.  Green is clearly his favorite colour - bordering on obsession.

He still chooses green lunch boxes.


He chose some green yarn to knit these, ravelled here (just changed the wrist border to rib).


We had to paint his bedroom wall the same green as the old house before moving into our 'Simple Life' house.


This was the old bedroom...  (the home-made bean bag had to be green too - I managed to incorporate polka dots!)


He still wears his green beanie his Gran knitted him when he was 4 - albeit not everywhere these days...


... just to bed.


All in all, green is probably one of the most common colours in the world - it's all I can see from our windows.  I had best go, Master S is beckoning me to finish the other mitt!

I found this wonderful website this morning - so excited to check it out some more when I have time.  Thought you might like it too.

Much Love Rach xo

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Squiggly Sunday Sniffles

Hello all, I am still sniffling and very cold.  Sorry for the lack of a Squiggly Sunday post!  I will give a call out to any of you who would like to be a guest blogger - there is still time for today - or maybe another Sunday?  I would love to invite you to write for my blog!

I finished my cowl this morning.



We have stayed in all day out of the cold.  Actually we have been home all weekend, which is a rarity.  The children have been using the new ipad.  It so goes against my grain to introduce more technology (the computer and occasional television being what they have had monitored thus far).  We decided to make the plunge and order it to support the boys learning.  I am hoping it will especially help my Master S with his grammar and writing tasks.  They have been writing journals today.



This is pretty exciting.  For those of you who knows how Master S struggles with his fine-motor due to dysgraphia - this is a blessing.  Also, if you look closely in the first photo - you will notice the little dots on Master S's ears.  These are one of the diagnostic characteristics of Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome - 'ear pits'.  We thought they were cute when he was a new born (we still do) - you know how you check your baby from head to toe to make sure all is okay.  They were one of the first things we noticed!

What have you been up to today?

Much Love Rach xo

Saturday, June 18, 2011

grateful to be chosen

Another poem I read when Master S was a toddler - with my placement in Grade 1 at a local school, I have been thinking how blessed I am.  Grateful to be thankful to have the privilege of raising three beautiful children.  Grateful to recognise they are a gift. 

A meeting was held quite far from Earth
It was time again for another birth.
Said the Angels to the Lord above –
“This special child will need much love.
“Her progress may be very slow
“Accomplishment she may not show.
“And she'll require extra care
“From the folks she meets down there.
“She may not run or laugh or play
“Her thoughts may seem quite far away
“So many times she will be labeled
“'different,' 'helpless' and disabled.
“So, let's be careful where she's sent.
“We want her life to be content.
“Please, Lord, find the parents who
“Will do a special job for you.
“They will not realize right away
“The leading role they are asked to play.
“But with this child sent from above
“Comes stronger faith, and richer love.
“And soon they'll know the privilege given
“In caring for their gift from heaven.
“Their precious charge, so meek and mild
“Is heaven's very special child.”
(Anonymous)
All children whether with or without 'special needs' are a gift.  I am grateful for the positive people in each child's life.  More gratefulness and loving can be found here.

Much Love Rach xo

Thursday, June 16, 2011

day 3

Kids are in bed, hubby is in bed, it's 7:48pm and I am soon to follow.  Apart from this silly head cold and full sinuses, my day went well.  The supervising teacher is a blessing from above, so kind and she is a great teacher.

The kids were interesting.  One of the more challenging grades in the school apparently.  With my motherly opinion and novice training - I am estimating at least two kids on the autism spectrum.  There is a diagnosed sensory defensive with ADHD student, and numerous children  in dysfunctional homes.  All in all, they are a bunch of cuties - but some in need of lots of love.  It is pretty sad really.  I am so thankful to be blessed with a great husband and our children's lives are blessed.

Only three kidlets were absent after their return from school camp, the other's had to suck it up I guess.  I think about my Master J who is the same age - and I cannot fathom sending him to school the day after returning home from Grade 1 camp!

On a positive note, the children in the class could focus their activeness with some maths activities.  They were great - some activities that I had never seen before.  I took some pics so you could see!




A little engineer built this great pirate ship.  Chickpeas that have been soaked overnight and toothpicks!  I know what my Master S will be doing this weekend.  The kids also built towers with newspaper and masking tape.

Here is a picture of the teacher dress (as I call it) - I bought from Esprit.  These pictures are especially for TK at Tiffany's Writing Compendium.


Okay, this is obviously not me, this in the online version, my dress has long sleeves and I have teamed with with a cotton jumper and scarf, leggings and my tan boots.  Here I am.... Me after a long day with my slippers and a throbbing head!  Very glam!  And Milly is watching out of her new cat bed - isn't it cute?


I am feeling far from a model and hoping I feel better tomorrow - or I might have to call in sick.  Can  you do that on teaching rounds?  Will figure it out in the morning and see how I am fairing!

Much love to you - Rach xo



day 2

We were at camp again, the local YMCA.  I ran the orienteering group titled 'Kaos', the children had to break a code to find the lost treasure, while tied in partners around the waist.



Today is the first day in the classroom.  I have my new teacher frock on too!  Master S and I have both woken with a cold, full sinuses and a cough.  Hopefully that won't last long.  My Master S seems to always take a while to get over these things.

I've been knitting some cowls too - I'll take some pics in the daylight.

Much Love Rach xo

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

day 1

I have risen early, coffee in hand while the children are still snug.  Today is the first day of my teaching placement with Grade 1 at a close-by gorgeous little school.  We are going on school camp today.  It has all fallen into place with my children too - the school camp is only 15 minutes away from my children's school!

I am excited and nervous.  I get quite shy around adults I don't know well.  I kind of feel I am under the spotlight too.  I will be watched and assessed as I embark on learning and practicing being a teacher.  I was assured last night by Miss G I will be fine and they will love me.  I am amazed by the words that come out of her mouth.  I then remind myself that they sound oh so familiar - I have said those words to her in her journeys.

Today I am starring in the real blog spotlight over at The Shiny Bubble.  I felt like a celebrity reading this beautifulness from Yaga.  She is just so sweet and made me feel right at home on her blog. 



 I also have some exciting Squiggly Sunday posts coming up - a lovely lady who has been metaphorically shipwrecked and desolate because of an illness.

Enjoy your day, what are you up to?  Stay tuned for life as a faithful mamma, thrifter, learning-to-be-teacher, creative and at times ditsy woman attempting three weeks of teaching placement!  It is going to be interesting!

Much Love Rach xo

Saturday, June 11, 2011

grateful

I read this poem when Master S was a new baby.

I had been thinking about it lately as I'd forgotten the words.

I just found it now and thought I'd share it with you.


A Trip to Holland

Emily "I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......"

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. 

You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. 

The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. 

You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. 

It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. 

You pack your bags and off you go. 

Several hours later, the plane lands. 

The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? 

I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. 

All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. 

They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. 

It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books.

 And you must learn a whole new language. 

And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. 

It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. 

But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. 

Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. 

And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved





I'm grateful today and every day to be a mama to the three most amazing children in the world.  

Much Love Rach xo

Thursday, June 9, 2011

my creative space & some thrifting

My latest little project is coming up quite well, I thought I'd add a Scottish and English flag element to this nest of tables.  Very kitsch - I have wondered if another country flag would take the world by storm.  I think it's the colours of the Union Jack that do it and the symmetrical pattern.  I do love it.


Milly is home!  She went on an extended visit and we thought it may have been forever - but what a great gift to have her back.  She took to her new bed just dandilly last night too!

This is our new dining table.  Not brand new, but a thrifted bargain with four boudoir style chairs for $100.  We kept the table and the chairs are in the stall.  We fit around this one a bit better!


Check these girls out.  Their motivation and team work as an up and coming vintage decor business is hitting Melbourne stores this winter.  I love their new cushions!

What are you creating?  I am so looking forward to much more creating and thrifting next semester with only one University subject to study!  Here is some more creative inspiration!

Much Love Rach xo

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