Sunday, October 25, 2009

Where have I been?

Well it's certainly been a long time between posts. So much has happened but so little at the same time.

Still home schooling and into the swing of things now. I've changed much of what we were doing from when we first started as I have got to know my boy's learning style much much better.
Interesting to say the least.

The big news is that after waiting 6 months to see a specialist pediatrician we have a diagnosis of both inattentive adhd and Aspergers which is a form of high functioning autism. No one the poor little buggar didn't stand a chance in school. It explains soooooo much.

I'm sad and relieved at the same time really. Relieved because I finally feel validated that there was "something" going on with my son and sad because, well, who wouldn't be.

My first little boy died when he was just 5 weeks old. Complications at birth left him severely brain damaged and without going into detail I was totally let down by the "system" and there was nothing I could do about it (or so I thought at the time). I've never felt the same about our "systems" since.

When my son started having problems at school and the "system" was basically laying the blame at his feet my maternal heckles were raised. I have not stopped fighting for Kye and that is why we are now home schooling. I will not leave him in the care (non-care) of a system that is meant to cater for everyone but in reality only looks after those that fit, that aren't needy, that don't take up extra time, that just get on with things and don't rock the boat.

I've trusted out "systems" (sorry about all the inverted commas haha) before but will never ever look at our educational system in the same way again. I used to think that because they were the so called experts then they therefore know what they are talking about. Biggest load of bollocks I've ever believed. Always trust your gut instinct. I was right all along.

Can't half tell I'm a tad angry right ;)

We've made some giant leaps of progress since learning from home. In a year and a half's worth of Italian at his primary school he learnt 1 word. We have been learning Swedish for only a few weeks now and he can count to 10, say hello, goodbye, good morning, good evening, please, thank you, excuse me, I'm sorry, how are you, I'm fine and you, cockroach, bird, duck, dog, fly and a few others I can't think of right now. Hmmmm, spot the difference.

I think I'm in love with homeschool :)

On the weight loss front - haha, what weight loss. One minute I'm on board, eating well etc and the next I'm in and out that fridge quicker than a fiddlers elbow.
I know I need to take care of myself now better than ever before so I really really need to get in a good head space with it all.

The other thing is back in 2003 I was diagnosed with MS. Know one would even know unless I told them and people are usually genuinely surprised when I do (mostly I don't). Another big, big reason to get back on board. It's a little scary now knowing that Kye really needs me to stay well, he REALLY needs me to stay well.

It's funny, just typing that helps me see the importance of getting myself back on top the priority list.

Today is another day, nothing like the present hey. I can start right now.

I WILL start right now. :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back on Board

The last few weeks have been very tough emotionally but I'm back on board thank God. Things sucked so badly I felt physically ill but it's over and I'm glad.

My son is much much happier, he chats away and his mood seems much lighter overall. There are no more tears at bedtime and no tears upon wakening.

Home schooling is proving to be very interesting ;) and is certainly challenging but I feel like my brain is really waking up and I find myself constantly thinking about how I'm going to teach this and how I'm going to teach that. My son is a very hands on learner rather than staring at a blackboard (which turns into staring out the window) so we have been doing a lot of experiments, cooking, using learning based computer games, maths puzzles, building things etc. All very cool and interesting. I would have loved this as a kid.

The really great thing about it is that we are not confined to a room, we can get out and about a lot of the time and will certainly be doing more of that as the weather warms up.
We have a fantastic, huge, brand new (and very very funky looking) library, museum and cultural centre rolled into one opening up next week just 5 minutes from our place and I can't wait to get inside and have a look around. They are going to be seeing a lot of us me thinks!

On the healthy living side of things all of my exercise and eating commitments went right out the window. All the goings on of late would have been a perfect opportunity to observe my feelings and sort through them or simply just let them be but old habits obviously die hard with me because I was eating anything and everything that wasn't nailed down. Forget the exercise, it just didn't happen.

It's funny that when I need it the most, when I really really need tender loving care, I turn against myself. I do it all the time and I don't really know why.

I guess the instant comfort that food can bring outweighs the lasting comfort a strong, healthly, light body can bring. Instant being the key word. So then am I impatient? Is that what's going on? I want it now, is that it? Hmmmm, food for thought haha.

Anyway, I don't want to mope, I just want to get back on track and come up with a plan for those times when I'm feeling a bit low (and a lot low) and want to eat the leg off a chair.

Suggestions certainly very welcome :)


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Home Schooling

Yesterday one of the biggest decisions of my life was made and that was to home school my 9 year old son.

It was not made without lot's of considered thought, it was not an overnight decision and it was not one that I particularly wanted to make but made it is.

My little boy has never faired well at school, he struggles in the classroom and as a result of not being able to get the one on one help he so obviously needs he has fallen behind his peers in many learning areas. Of course this makes him a prime target for the bullies, throw in not being particularly sports oriented at a sports mad school and this makes for a pretty miserable school life.

After seeing the principal (again) on Monday and having him excuse one of the bullies involved as being "competitive" rather than calling it for what it is (calling someone dumb, gay, stupid etc and pulling the hat off their head until the strap breaks is apparently competitive sport these days) that basically was the straw that broke the camels back.

This is an ongoing situation in all areas of his school life and I am watching my child lose his confidence, his self esteem not to mention being failed educationally by a system that doesn't cater for kids that don't "fit the box" and label them simply as lazy rather than needing help.

I have spent the last week crying and have just spent the last hour in tears typing up a letter of intention to register as a home educator. I wish it wasn't happening. I am so deeply hurt for my child but my maternal heckles are also well and truly up and I will do whatever I have to do now to ensure the wellbeing and happiness of my son.

This seems off track a little but the other night I went for my fortnightly Reiki session (which I love, love, love) and thought it might be a good idea to take my son along thinking that if anything it might help him relax.
The place I go to has a number of Reiki students who can only be described as a simply gorgeous, highly intuitive bunch of kind, caring people. You basically go in, write your name down on a waiting list and wait to be called.

My son was called and in he went and lay down. I was called next and ended up on the massage table next to him. The Reiki is all done very quietly, very peacefully in a candlelit room with relaxation music playing softly and nothing is asked of you. They just simply lay there hands on you and move around to areas they feel drawn to.

My son finished first and went into the other room to wait for me to be finished. The lady that worked on him approached me after my session and asked if he was my son. Remembering that these people are very tuned in she then proceeded to tell me that she thought that my son was being rather badly bullied at school. She said that she felt that one of his teachers picked on him and that somehow he wasn't quite believed when he spoke up, that they weren't really listening to him or believing him. She said that she felt he was at breaking point, that he had the weight the world on his shoulders and needed help. She asked if he always had trouble at homework time (very very true) and did he have anger outbursts from anxiety and frustration linked to school (again, very very true). All of this blew me away and I was so glad I brought him with me. It just reinforced what I knew to be true.

Anyway, today I register with the Education Department and will officially withdraw my son from the public education system. To say I am a little scared is an understatement but I know with all the support I have that I CAN do this. Me and my boy together!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Around my place today

After walking my youngest to school this morning I decided to keep going and headed down the road to the lake. I pushed myself a little and ended up walking much further than I normally do - lovely on the way, slightly regretful on the way back :p
It was a beautiful morning however, and I really got into just how lovely the day was. I loved the feel of the sun on my face and the cool breeze was just right, just enough to stop me feeling too warm. There were lot's of walkers, joggers and cyclists out and about and I smiled and said hello and good morning to all of them. Everyone seemed happy. I think springtime is definately in the air. I've always thought people change, they seem lighter and happier when there is sunshine and warmth.
Once home and showered I got stuck into a bit of housework and then made a baby spinach, asparagus and orange salad (and a bit of apple) with feta cheese and an orange and poppy seed dressing. I had some left over vegi curry (a delicious recipe thanks to Phil at Skinny Latte) and wild rice in the fridge so had some of the with it. Really, really, really, really good!

I've thrown in some pics of what's going on in my garden at this time of year. I just love the weather we are having lately and cannot wait for summer. I dream about floating around in pretty sleeveless sundresses and feeling light and feminine. If I just keep going, keep walking, keep eating well, keep thinking right, then this could well be the summer that it happens.

Bring it on!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Belated Blog Introduction

So 3 posts into this blog and I haven't even introduced myself and hadn't up until now decided what I wanted this all to be about.
I have so much inside that needs to be sorted our hence "Sorting everything inside" but I'm not really sure that blurting it all out here will be helpful and I guess reading about someone elses depressing old baggage does not make for a particularly great read.

So, I have decided that this wee blog will be about what is great in my life, the things that make me smile and laugh and bring me joy whatever they may be. I hope that by concentrating my energy on the positive and what is wonderful about life the "blahs" I have felt lately will be gone. Positively gone!

Okay, so here we go. I am a 30 something lass that goes by the name of Claire. I have 2 great kids, both boys, and a loving partner of 12 years that never fails to crack me up.

I love cats, love, love, love um and have 4 of the furry little critters. All rescued!

We also have 2 dogs, 2 birds and a fish pond out the back.

So I guess you can say that I love animals.

I draw alot and have done since I was a teenager. I used to get up to all sorts of mischief and was always getting grounded so I spent many an hour in my room with the stereo cranked right up and drew away to my hearts content. Many people have told me I should get into tattooing and I am now considering getting a tattoo gun and a heap (and I mean a big, big heap) of practice skins and seeing if I really could be any good at it.

I love water. Swimming pools, the ocean, lakes, water falls, water slides, anything to do with water. It does me wonders mentally, I don't know why. Funny thing is I can't stand drinking the stuff. I find it very hard to get down. It's boring to me I guess and makes me pee like a champion.
I haven't eaten beef, pork or lamb for about 5 years. I still eat a little chicken but do not feel particularly great about so giving it up is on the cards. I still eat fish.
I am half English, half Irish and was born in Mauritius. I lived there until I was 2 and then lived in the UK up until the age of 11. We then moved to Australia.
I still have dreams from time to time about walking down the High Street in the little seaside town I lived in. Sadly I hear that half the shops in that street are boarded up and the town has gone to pot. Still, in my dreams it is as it was.

My weight has yo-yoed up and down the scale most of my life and a lot of the time reflects what is going on in my life emotionally. Yes, I am one of those emotional eaters. A born worrier that can eat her way through the entire fridge contents when the shit is hitting the proverbial fan in life. My eating always seems much much more in control when things in life are sailing along. Which I guess is why I have spent most of my adult life overweight. Not a lot of my life has been plain sailing so I really want and need to understand what to do and how to feel and how to deal with emotions rather than stuff them all back down inside with food.

Okey dokey, that's probably way to much waffling about me for one day.

A few weeks ago I decided that my family had to take priority over me working on Sundays (yeah I know, it sucked) so I gave them up. I feel so much happier and love that we now go out and about as a family and spend time in the sunshine, walking, talking, laughing and eating ice-creams ;)

We have a "you beaut" camera which I have never really learnt how to use so yesterday it came with us on our lovely day of sunshine. The place in the pics above is 5 minutes down the road from where we live. The sun shone warmly all day and the air smelt of freshly cut grass, I was with my little family and I was in Heaven.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Choosing peace

I used to think that "peace" was something that you seek, it was something "out there" to be found, some people had it and some people didn't. That everything in your life had to be lined up just right to enable you to truly feel peaceful. I didn't realise that peace already exists within you, that it is simply a choice of how to just be regardless of what is going on around you.

I've changed and grown so much on the inside and outside ;) over the last few years and I have reached a stage where living a peaceful life has become really important to me.
I've lived through some pretty wild times and had many ups and downs in my life and now balance and peace is what floats my boat.

The funny thing is as soon as I declared that peace was what I wanted my whole week turned to shite. It was like a test from the universe to see if I was serious and it felt like I was being pounded emotionally from all directions. I don't think I faired too well, in fact peace went right out the window at one stage but I have learnt some lessons this week especially about how important it is to stay calm and to remove yourself from certain situations that are about to escalate into something totally negative. I also learnt how important forgiveness is, of myself and others, how powerfully healing it is and how unfortunately sometimes you just have to let things go because there is no chance of resolution.

So although not a fabulous week on the surface I guess it was a great one as far as life lessons and it's deeper meanings.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Peace in pieces

How do you stay peaceful when your child is being bullied?

Trying to stay calm and rational and balanced when your heart is breaking for your child is near impossible. In fact it IS impossible.
My younger son is copping it at school and my instant reaction is to want to strangle the kids involved and that's putting it nicely.

We are doing all we can to try and put a stop to this, we are working with the school, the teachers, the principal and with a child psychologist but most of this is to try and teach my son resilience and coping skills. We talk with him, we love him and we cuddle him but we feel so helpless. I'm so sick of my child having to be "taught" resilience, what about teaching bullies about kindness and compassion?

I know that resilience in life is important. I believe I am a very resilient person due to certain life experiences but my child is 9 years old and this bullying has been an ongoing situation and will continue to be unless it is stomped on. I believe rather than creating resilience my child's little spirit is being crushed. He told me yesterday that he feels like the whole world hates him apart from his family. My heart broke right then and there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rainy Days

It is a lovely, cold rainy day today and I am home. The heater is on and the house is warm and cosy and soon I will spend some time going over a few recipe books and picking out a couple of new meals I'd like to try and make. I'll head over to the shops, gather what I need and come home and put it away for later.

I want to spend some time with my son's today and we are off to the music shop this afternoon to check out the drums and guitars. I wonder if there is an ear plug section?

It makes me so happy that my kids are into music. Sure it's of the heavy metal and hard rock variety but I love that my house is generally alive with music.
Their Dad plays guitar also and in his younger years spent some time as the lead guitarist in a band. They played around the local traps and once played a gig in front of a couple of thousand people but never went any further than that before disbanding.
I love that the man in my life is never scared to try and from him I have learned many lessons about "having a go".
He is in the process of learning to play Cavatina which if you have never heard, is a beautiful piece of music that always brings a tear to my eye. It is also an exceptionally hard piece to play.
Being the determined character he is, each evening he picks up his guitar and goes over and over the piece perfecting as he goes. What a treat it is to listen to this every night.

He plays all sorts of music but this new classical phase he is in is just so nice. I can see that he physically relaxes as he plays. I think learning to play this piece is the ultimate in Zen practice for him and you cannot help but be totally there in the moment yourself when the one you love is playing something so beautiful.

I am trying to focus on all of the good and wonderful in my life and my partner and my boy's are certainly both, the fact that they fill our house with music too is just so awesome and I am so thankful.
Now, where are those ear plugs?