Bugsy has been working hard on this book since the start of the year and he has completed it! It was meant as a confidence builder and I think it has worked well. He struggles to remember some letter formations, d, b and p are the ones he gets stuck on mostly. I think he just forgets whether to start with the line or the circle part. He struggles with 3, 7 and 9 too but since starting and working through the book his errors have come down and he has gained some confidence.
Bugsy proudly showing off his completed book.
A sample of Bugsy's writing from near the end of the book.
We have charged straight into the next book with the hopes of completing it almost as quickly. Once he is finished with that we will move on to traditional copy work. I am confident by the end of the new book he will have all his formation down pat.
Possum had yet another sleep study at the children's hospital in the city to check on his night time oxygen saturations. Once his over night levels are high enough he will be able to come off oxygen at home. We have our fingers crossed that this study will show that he is coping well enough to come off.
The studies are tough on the little ones. They are hooked up to all manner of things and they just don't understand. Possum was quite upset whilst they were sticking everything on him :( However he soon calmed down once offered a breast feed and went off to sleep.
Possum all wired up and asleep.
He woke several times over night, nursed and went straight back to sleep. Much better than the last study! Last time he cried on and off from 7pm until after midnight when he finally fell asleep properly and then slept in 40 min cycles until 6am when it was time to go home.
He woke up for good at 5am so we got up and started our day. I was hoping that he'd last until 6am because we had a 10am appointment with cardiology so although i know they kick you out by 6.30am i wasn't really keen to get an early jump on the day.
We headed off on a big walk and then stopped at Miss Maud's for breakfast once they opened.
Possum enjoying some green potato rosti and corn puffs for breakfast.
We walked on to a local park hoping that i could let Possum loose to burn off some energy. Sadly the playground was closed for maintenance and the grassed areas had just been watered. Doesn't pay to get such an early start. We did spy some birds though.
Two rainbow lorikeets squabbling over a branch.
These birds whilst beautiful to look at are an introduced species.
We walked on further and found a nice grassed area outside an office block and the grass was dry. It was right by a busy road. I wonder what the commuters thought of Possum and I playing on the grass so early in the morning.
Such a cutie with no tape on his face!
We got back to the hospital for our 10am appointment with cardiology and they surprised me with an echo. Possum had a sedated echo in December and i thought that was it for a while. But no they decided they had better double check if possible incase the sedative had given some incorrect readings on the pulmonary pressures. Possum was a star! I breastfed him whilst the tech did the ultrasound and he went off to sleep whilst having the echo. Couldn't have asked for better. I think the early start and so much fresh air had worn him out! The cardiologist was VERY pleased with the results which showed that everything was fine and they don't want to see us for 6 months, woohoo!
Possum sleeping in the buggy after the echo.
After a big couple of days we hit the road for home. Now we just have to wait to hear from the respiratory paediatrician to find out if Possum did well enough to come off nocturnal oxygen. I'm cautiously optimistic :)
About a month ago i joined Pinterest. Wow! I quickly started following a few people i know and some of the things they were pinning were cute. Especially the little girl dresses! I have not sewn for quite some time. I really burnt myself out on a sewing project a while back and put everything away and have not been inspired since. Which to be honest is a real shame because i do really enjoy sewing. Seeing all these cute dresses was exactly what i needed to get inspired and motivated again.
I sent Rusty out to Bunnings to pick me up a cheap trestle table so that i had somewhere to sew. Then i set up the overlocker and sewing machine. Off we went to Spotlight and both Chicky and Flossy picked out some cute fabrics. I just bought what i thought because i didn't have a pattern in mind just yet, but i was thinking of a pillowcase dress for Chicky similar to this one.
For Christmas Chicky received an Australian Girl Doll Emily and i knew that you could get patterns for American Girl dolls and matching dresses for their bigger friends so off i went looking. I found this pattern.
For the most part this pattern was great. I made Emily's dress first and found a couple of things to do differently, like cut the arm holes before overlocking the side seam so that you don't cut through your stitching. Can you tell i have not sewn for a while LOL, you'd think i would have automatically realised that was a problem when reading through the pattern instructions.
The only other issue is that i feel the pattern runs large. I made Chicky the 5T. Whilst she is 4 and wearing size 4 i was sewing the dress so that it would fit for next summer. It really is too big. In all honesty it is probably closer to what i would call a size 6. I tried it on Flossy and it was a little small but she is wearing 7 & 8's.
Chicky modelling her new dress.
Emily & Chicky in their matching dresses. Cute!
Flossy in Chicky's dress. If the arm holes were a little larger it would fit her pretty well.
Bottom line is - the dress is lovely. The pattern is pretty good. I will sew another of these dresses however i will be sure to adjust the size :)
I first read about this here and it took me here and I liked what I saw. We've never really done 'circle time' or 'mat time'. Generally I've got the kids ready for the day and started on something, then while they are occupied I've got myself ready and the house in order. That's not to say that I drag my feet in the mornings, it's just how the day went. Up until recently everyone has needed help with something and that has left me until last, and not wanting to loose their attention I just started them on a lesson and went about my business.
Over the summer however we have worked on independence and morning chores. Whilst we still all eat breakfast together the kids are now able to dress, tidy their rooms, brush hair, empty the dishwasher, start the washing, feed the cat and get the table ready for the mornings lessons. It keeps them busy whilst I am getting Possum and myself ready for the day.
Next we grab a cushion and make ourselves comfy on the floor in the learning area. I choose 3-4 things from the basket and we enjoy them before moving on to anything else. We've got some lovely things in our Morning Basket :)
Here is what is in the basket -
All About Spelling phonics cards & rules
Parables from Nature
Picture books from our Playschool shelf
Guide to the Wildlife of the Perth Region
Birds of the Greater South West (Western Australia)
Banjo Patterson A Children's Treasury
James Herriot's Treasury for Children
Can You Find It, Too?
The Children's Book of Virtues
Here is what is on the iPad but for the Morning Basket -
(these are all available free online)
The Fairy-Land of Science
The Insect Folk
Wasps and their Ways
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare
Among the Farmyard People
Among the Forest People
Among the Meadow People
Among the Pond People
A Collection of Beatrix Potter Stories
The Story Hour
Occasionally i will throw in something extra like -
Sing and sign a nursery rhyme
Sing Advance Australia Fair
Count to 100
Sing and sign the alphabet
Singing from the Sing books
Map work - states of Australia, continents etc
Stretching, dancing, yoga, running, bouncing, something physical
The children have responded well to the Morning Basket. In particular they LOVE drawing after reading from Birds of the Greater South West. Here are some of their drawings.
Chicky's Brown Quail
Flossy's Stubble Quail
If you need a new way to start your day i'd encourage you to try the Morning Basket.
I'm sure everyone picks up some new stationary at the beginning of the school year and we are no exception. With my big order from Rainbow Resources i picked up some Lyra crayons. They are just lovely! So smooth to use and don't break. Well worth the expense.
Whilst on holiday in Esperance i strolled into the local toy store looking for a little treat for all of the kids and right there on the counter they had Lyra Groove graphite pencils. I had never seen them before and decided to pick up 3 as they looked great and the Lyra crayons had been so lovely.
Well, i am in love. They are my favourite pencils! The kids love them. They are so easy to write with. They feel lovely in your hand. I am sold. We will be switching to the Lyra Groove coloured pencils when they next need replacing.
December and January are very busy for us, as I am sure they are for many families. Schools in Australia have their 'summer break' over the Christmas period so most children are out of school for 6 - 8 weeks depending if they are at a public or private school. I personally find that my children thrive on routine. I find that we need to do something 'schooly' most days and surprisingly that 'mental workout' helps considerably with behavior!
This summer Flossy has worked on maths, spelling, daily language review and cursive. Bugsy has worked on reading, handwriting and phonics. Chicky has worked on handwriting and phonics. We don't spend a lot of time hitting these subjects, 90 minutes tops. It's just enough to keep us going and we take lots of days off for fun stuff :)
Keeping our finger on the pulse with the essentials over the summer enables us to ramp back up to our full schedule with ease and it isn't such a shock to the system. It also means that we can focus on specific areas if we need to. For Bugsy it's been reading.
We had an absolutely amazing time in Esperance in January visiting our family and friends! The pictures would have come much sooner but we've been having problems with our ISP. We've just changed to a new ISP so fingers crossed the problems are behind us. Enjoy!
Bugsy, Flossy, Chicky, Possum and their Great Nana.
Chicky, Miss H, Bugsy, Miss G, Flossy & Mr L on the back of the ute going fishing.
Mrs L looking at the painting done by my Great Grandmother of Esperance bay which is hanging in the Esperance Museum. This painting was painted directly onto the wall of my Great Grandmothers house so that she could see the sea from her bed.
Me, Bugsy and the baby Aussie salmon which Bugsy caught off the tanker jetty. We put it back right after the photo and it happily swam away.
Chinese for dinner. Me, Possum, Bugsy, Miss H, Chicky, Flossy & Miss G. Everyone was very well behaved and the food was lovely!
Me and Possum. This was the first time Possum had been in a pool! He loved it!
Bugsy enjoying the pool.
Flossy enjoying the pool.
Possum exhausted after his swim in the pool.
Sammy the Australian Sea Lion who likes to visit the Tanker Jetty for all the fishermens scraps.
Esperance Tanker Jetty. This view back to the shore was taken almost from the end.
Beautiful Esperance beaches!
Observatory Point. My Grandad put that rock on top of the hill. The hill is actually a piece of land that juts out into the ocean with cliffs to the right and left of the picture. The vegetation doesn't really show it. My Grandad almost fell into the sea in his bulldozer putting the rock up there.
Esperance is such a beautiful place even the cruise ships come to visit. This is the Athena docked for the day. We watched the ship come in from the Tanker Jetty in the morning and then watched it leave from the deck of my Nana's house in the evening.