A wife of noble character who can find?...She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:10, 26 & 28

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Some new photos of Emily

Emily will be 7 weeks old tomorrow so I thought it was time to post a new photo and was lucky enough to catch her smiling.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Given up and a new wrap is made

Yes I've given up and given Emily a dummy. For the first time in weeks I haven't had a crying, upset baby at 10 or 11 at night last night. She took her dummy and drifted off to sleep so easily. I was asleep with her before 10 o'clock. Unfortunately that means she's awake and smiling now at 5 o'clock in the morning but, hey, I'm not absolutely exhausted physically from walking around the loungeroom with a squirming, sooky baby. Since giving her the dummy (or pacifier for the American readers) she is nowhere near as chucky, because she's not using me as a dummy and getting too full, and she's going to sleep easier and sleep longer, which means she's having longer, happier awake times.

Unfortunately yesterday I misplaced the dummy I had been using (actually I think Rose or Christian may have run off with it). I just knew that if I didn't have one she would be crying with a tummy ache when I was at my tiredest and wanted to go to sleep myself. Tim and I searched to house for it but it was nowhere to be found, but I did remember that I had another one like it somewhere, so I ended up searching through all the boys baby clothes bags looking for an elusive dummy. I eventually found it in a box of toiletries and makeup that I don't use anymore. Whoever said hoarding was a bad thing?

I managed to get my new muslin-type wrap sewn yesterday. I couldn't believe what happened. Emily had some very happy awake times yesterday so I put her in her rocker and cut my material in half. Rose was in bed asleep and Christian was occupied with the XBox so it was the perfect time to get the sewing machine out. As soon as I had the sewing machine set up and then put up the ironing board Christian did something to Emily to make her start crying. I couldn't believe it, I hadn't even started to sew. Thanks to the older kids holding her I was able to complete such a simple jobs as sewing a few edges over and within minutes of putting Emily in her new wrap she was sound asleep.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

No Sew Baby Wrap

Before Rose I was born I spent a lot of time on the internet researching 'babywearing' and the different tools i.e. slings and wraps. I went for a ring sling because you can adjust the size for when you're big from pregnancy to being small after you've lost the weight or extra big for the dads, the other slings are made to measure. I also went for a wrap. These go by different names which I won't mention, but they're basically all the same but with a different brand name. I decided to make my own and this is how.

4 1/2 to 5 metres of stretchy T-shirt material 150 cm wide. I chose the thickest kind which is quite hot in summer, and 5 metres is probably too big for a small person but I wanted a big one in case my husband needed to use it. This material doesn't fray so all you have to do is cut it in half or even thirds lengthwise and maybe sew on something in the middle to help you find the middle and there you have 2 or 3 new baby wraps. I kept one and gave the other one to my sister in law.

Because my wrap is so hot I recently bought some muslin type material, which isn't as stretchy and will need to be sewn as it frays. I haven't had a chance to complete this but i'll let you know how it goes.

www.thebabywearer.com is a great place for wrapping instructions and youtube has many tutorials.

New Baby Update

Emily is now 6 weeks old and is a smiling, happy baby....most of the time, but she doesn't like to be put down when she goes to sleep. She wakes up almost straight away. I don't go for the whole controlled crying thing (which doesn't mean that I haven't let them cry at some stage or another) so I am going to try something new before I get tendonitis in my wrists like I did when Kahlia was a baby. I am going to make Emily's bed with the t-shirt I've been wearing most of last week. It hasn't been washed and so should smell like me. I'll let you know how it goes.

By the way I do have a ring sling and a wrap and I LOVE them but there's only so much babywearing you can do and I would just like a break, and that doesn't mean passing her off to the other children, which I do anyway.

Our current homeschooling path

I find that our homeschooling journey is changing all the time. When we first started we were living with another family and then house sitting so we were using the homework like books from the bookshop, then I went and bought some work books from the homeschool board as well as the homework like books, then I changed those books. So far I've had 2 babies while homeschooling and each time we relax the workload around the birth of the baby (which has been early in the New Year anyway) but quickly get stuck back into it within a few weeks of the baby being born.

We do most of our work in the morning, I find it hard to get them motivated again after lunch so tend to let them follow their own path then. I'm very fortunate to have two living areas so I normally have a couple of kids at the kitchen table doing their work (although I'm not strict about where they do it as long as it's in an area that the little kids aren't in and distracting them) and someone in the loungeroom. I try and keep the little ones in the family room. Kahlia and Daniel like to do their maths at the kitchen table and then in loungeroom to watch their maths lesson on DVD. Elijah likes to do his maths alone in his room, although he's playing catch up with some of the questions he didn't understand and decided to miss so he's been doing them in the family room watching his lessons on video. Daniel and Elijah both like writing their stories on Daniels computer, which is in his room. Kahlia likes writing her stories on my computer in the loungeroom. Elijah's started reading his book at the kitchen table, while he drinks a cup of tea. Kahlia reads her book when she goes to bed, she says this helps her get to sleep. Dan likes to read at bedtime too and this encourages Christian to stay in bed and read also as they share a room.

I try not to put the TV on for the little ones while the older ones are doing their school work as it's too distracting for the big kids, so I get out toys for them to play with. At the moment they're interested in playing with the dinosaurs and playdough, sometimes both together. Yesterday it was a couple of Thomas the Tank Engine Trains and cars. I even have two little desks for them to sit at and draw. I like the pencil like crayons that you twist the ends to get the crayon bit out (I can't remember what they're called). We change what they draw on all the time so they don't get bored and start drawing on the walls and furniture. They have photocopy paper, scrapbooks and coloured paper. Even though I said I try not to put the TV on I must admit that it does go on a fair bit, Rose absolutely loves Hi-5 and is asking for it all the time and if Christian is in an especially annoying mood I'll give in and put a movie on that he likes.

Our current homeschooling curriculum is:

Kahlia and Daniel (11 and 9 years): Math U See
Copywork (freebies from Currclick)
Lapbooks (freebies from Currclick)
Creative writing (on the computer)
Learning Page (more freebies)
Cooking (whenever they're in the mood)

Elijah (13 years): Math U See
Writing strands
Creative writing

We're still reading Wonderland of Nature together as well as Exploring Creation with Astronomy but we haven't really started back at these yet.

Josiah is at TAFE this year, doing his VCE. This was a big decision as he could have started a certificate course straight away, but as he hadn't done any study in a formal environment for a while he felt more confident doing this. His marks, and motivation have been excellent.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

So Cute

I just had to blog about this.

This morning Christian (4) and Rose (2) hopped into bed with me, while I was feeding Emily. They were drinking from my water bottle and whenever Rose passed it to Christian he said 'thanks' and Rose said 'you're welcome' and then when Christian passed it to Rose she said 'thanks' and he said 'you're welcome'. They kept doing this for a few minutes. It was so gorgeous.The best way to teach kids manners is to use manners yourself. I've never really insisted on the please and thankyou's like I've seen some parents do but I still have really polite kids.