Monday, January 06, 2014

Can I write today off please?

Oh Well.

What's that saying?  The best made plans and all that?  Hmmmm.

Today was one of those days when it felt like the Universe really was conspiring against me.  One of those days when there appears to be hurdles placed for leaping over at every turn and patience is of the wearing very thin variety.

We were meant to be starting back with our new home-ed routine for 2014.  Still very much child-led and following interests, but with a little bit of direction thrown in to the mix.  I had thoughts of starting lapbooks, beginning a 5-day long book study, making playdough, and baking.  Doesn't really sound like such a tall order huh?  Oh my.

First of all, I awoke - later than planned - with a pounding headache.  Yuck.  The animal duties still needed to be carried out and Amara still needed her normal standard of care, even though I just felt like curling into a tiny ball and closing my eyes.  Instead I downed a couple of tablets and waited for them to work their magic.

In the meantime I had other things to be getting on with.  I tidied a bit, then, once all were awake and downstairs, we sat and read the first part of The Dolphin - Story of a Dreamer.  I have to say that it is a really lovely read, a timely reminder about life being so precious and to follow our dreams.

I asked Callum if he would like to choose a book to read and he came back with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  He read the first chapter quite well.  His reading isn't full-flowing yet, it is slightly 'jerky' in places and you can tell he isn't yet finding things easy.  He struggled a little with words such as Josephine, and his first reading of George was pronounced Georgie, but as time went on things got easier as he relaxed.  It was the first time Callum has wanted to read during our family reading time and I was so pleased that he did.  It felt like quite the breakthrough.

Things then started to go a little downhill from then on.  Not seriously so, but a little frustratingly so.

I ventured off into the kitchen with Taisia and Callum in tow.  Chelsea was already there baking chocolate cupcakes, and Tiegan at that time was on the internet.  Joseph was being really kind and looking after Amara for me so I could make a batch of playdough for the younger ones.  Dear Amara isn't being the easiest of babies at the moment, still utterly adorable but a little bit frazzling at times!

I started to gather ingredients for the playdough, hoping to follow this recipe from the awesome Imagination Tree.  I had bought vegetable oil and Cream of Tartar especially for the task, and felt ultra organised.  What I didn't realise was that we didn't have any food colouring other than a gel-type paprika colouration, we didn't have enough salt, and glycerine was a no show.  I so wish people would tell the food-buyer (aka, me) when we have run out of things.    I also couldn't find the tablespoon anywhere.

*Stamps feet in childish tantrum like fashion*.

I admit to finding it really difficult to hide my frustration when I walk into a room to get, bake or make something and I can't find something that should be in a certain place.  I seem to spend half of my day searching for things that aren't where they should be and I don't handle it very well emotionally.  It feels like such an unnecessary waste of time.

Making use of what we had available, I was greatly surprised that developing blob was something that resembled playdough.  I had a happy 3 and 8 year old as a result.  It appears that the lack of a wide array of beautiful colours that I had pictured in my mind didn't matter a jot.  I must remember not to get so hung up about things that clearly don't matter to the little ones that I'm trying to please.

Time to get on and organise the lapbooks next.  No.  We couldn't find the adhesive tape we usually use to adhere the folder files together as a base.  We have at least about 12 rolls of the stuff and couldn't find a single one.

Ok, not to worry.  We can print out some things for the lapbooks and make a start on them anyway.

Printer:  "Not recognising the Magenta cartridge."

Me:  **Changes Magenta cartridge.**

Printer:  "Not recognising the Magenta cartridge."

Me:  "Mutter mutter" deep breath, "mutter mutter" ** Fiddles with cartridge.**

Printer:  "Not recognising the Magenta cartridge."

Me:  "Just laugh, you just have to laugh" (speaking to Joseph).  **Fiddles with cartridge, turns printer off and on again.**

Printer:  "Not recognising the Cyan cartridge."

Me:  "Oh now you are having an absolute laugh!!!"  (speaking to printer).  **Changes cartridge, inserts paper into tray.**

Printer:   "Charging ink"

Printer:   "Preparing to print"

Printer:   "No paper or paper jam"

Me:  NO!!  Just NO!!!

By this time the palms of my hands were tinged by the paprika food colouring kneaded within the playdough, and I had pretty Magenta coloured speckles over my hands due to leaking ink cartridges.  Both faded but didn't vanish, and neither had my headache at this stage either.

It was around this time I reminded myself that I just had to keep on smiling and not sweat over the small stuff.

During this period of joyful reflection, Amara produced a beast of a smelly nappy, which subsequently leaked due to the ferocity of the explosion and it went all over Joseph's new pair of jeans.  Fortunately for her she is a much loved baby!

I promptly cleaned it up and changed her, clean clothing and all.  Picked her up and she immediately threw up the contents of her last feed all down herself, her clean clothing and mine.

With that we just all burst out laughing.  I gave up the idea of doing anything else on the to-do list for today and decided to write it off as being the butt of a Universe joke.

Taisia however had other ideas.  She asked if I could go through one of the sets of alphabet cards with her, which of course I agreed to without question (although my head was saying no not tonight deary).  Given that we have never really done a great amount of letter-recognition 'work', Taisia knew of a few names and sounds already, recognising Aa, Bb, Ee, Ff, Hh,  Kk, Ll, Oo, Rr, Ss, and Uu.  She could also name upper case Q, G and T, but confused the lower case letters of  i and j as they are very similarly written on the cards.  She could point out all of the matching letters on the card where the full alphabet was shown, and was quick to point out that there was an error in that the letter J was missing - I hadn't noticed that before.

After the card session Taisia borrowed Tiegan's tablet and asked to go on the CBeebies website.  The first game she chose to do was the letter drawing one which reinforced the 'work' we had just completed.

This evening I have spent my time trying to calm a rather fractious Amara whilst getting up and down to help Taisia on the computer.  It is now nearly 1am (although I will change the time of this post to show yesterday's date), and all is quiet.  The teens have gone to bed as they are meeting with a friend tomorrow and need to be up early.  Taisia went to bed (very) early for her when her father went up, and Callum and Tiegan have also retired after a day that has both entertained and frustrated them.  I am sat here blogging, Amara at my side, having just signed up to the Postcard swapping site .  I have applied for my first three addresses and have received families in Germany, Russia and USA.  I am really looking forward to getting involved with the swaps and building up a postcard collection from around the world.  Should definitely inspire us to gain further Geographical knowledge.

Roll on tomorrow, I just can't wait to see what you throw into the mix....


  1. Aww, what a lot of pants-ness in one day :( Glad you could laugh at it though, and still see the good bits - and hooray for Callum and Taisia making such lovely advances in their reading! Hope your head is much better today xx

  2. Anonymous11:12 am

    A wonderful energy to your blog Julia even on the day's you want to write off! x

  3. Oh those days- they make us stronger, huh! I guess there are there to help us appreciate the ones that go better :) Hope today is one of those for you!