Summer Camp

For #1 Son.

Well, not exactly. But for the princely sum of $310 I have just enrolled him for five weeks in a summer reading skills class. It included the materials and honestly I think it’s worth the money. It seems geared towards children of his age appropriately: there’s going to be moving and fun with reading skills.

He needs this. He can read, but he doesn’t like reading. Loves books but doesn’t love reading.

Those of you who know me in real life know that I am a complete and total bookworm. The hus-creature not so much. He likes Terry Pratchett, he likes graphic novels but reading isn’t something he really does the recreation. I would therefore very much like my son to follow in my footsteps but we’ve been struggling with the practicalities and mechanics of reading.

This seems like a good balance and will help me to help him solidify the principles. I’ll check back in after the end of July and let you know how it all went.

We only received this leaflet yesterday, and one of the two age-appropriate sessions was already fully booked out!

I will sit in with him, so TT will get valuable daddy-daughter bonding time.

The last week of April

The week itself was pretty much same old same old. Some funny little bits and pieces but nothing worth breaking a whole post about.

However we had aΒ very busy weekend.

Saturday was the hus-creature’s “Bring Spouse and Children to Work” day, mainly to showcase the new office space and available features since the building move last year.

It was 09:00 – 12:00, but knowing our children as we do, we decided to aim to arrive for 11:00 – we figured that available food was likely to be breakfast/brunch food so the kidlets could feast on pastries at ‘snack time’.

Just call her Princess TT
So bloody proud of this kid
What is it they say? Never work with children or animals?
I don’t scrub up too badly do I?

So we arrived close to the end of the festivities, but the kids had fun.Β  #1 Son made a badge:

TT coloured with markersΒ and played with Lego:

Markers are a little nervewracking

And mad skillz with Lego for a two year old

And while I was occupied with TT, daddy was making badges with #1 Son:

He did that himself. He was so proud!

So that was a good morning. Afternoon? Not so good.

He had another birthday party. This one at a karate class.

It… did not go well.

He could not obey instructions, and did not like the class concept. And therefore spent most of the party like this:

However they toughed it out and there was pizza and cake.

And the best thing ever for the birthday boy:

I mean have you ever seen a level of happiness like that?

However it confirmed to us that #1 Son, at least at the moment, cannot be enrolled in formal classes of any kind. Dammit.

Tiny Tyrant YARNS Update

Having used my shop/business as my excuse reason for lack of posting over the last week, I felt a fuller update on that was probably in order.

First off, my shop is Here

Please have a browse. I value feedback, and if the muse strikes you, please do make a purchase.

On that topic, I am now up to eight sales. Again, this might not sound like much, but that’s nearly $200 and I am so grateful.

So, everything that is in my shop is ready to ship, and I am currently working on this week’s new stock.

The nature of my processes means that I cannot dye more than two hanks per batch, and I have to wait for the ice to regenerate (Gallifeyan ice anyone?) so it’s a slow but steady feed of fresh stock.

Today’s offering:

The weather was so glorious today I was actually able to completely dry both hands outside and within three hours!

I’m also working on a new set:

These pinks are developing an orange hue as the ice melts. I think the results are going to be extremely interesting.

I must admit that I am still not keen on the large flashes of white that can be produced, but as I’m not using them myself, I have to learn to step away from my rut comfort zone.

I am trying!

I am in shock.

Total shock. I am stunned. I am speechless.

Tonight I made (another) soup.

  • Rainbow new potatoes – 1 bag
  • Rainbow carrots – 1 bag
  • 1 boneless pork chop
  • Acorn squash – roasted with olive oil and maple syrup (and I tipped the maple-y juice back into the pan)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 apples
  • A good handful of kale
  • Veggie stock from the last two soups
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Did the usual 6-7 hours in the slow cooker and blitzed it down:

#1 Son’s is on the top,TT’s is underneath.

I used some leftover baguette from yesterday’s lunch as the dippable item. TT yummed that up.

#1 Son was much more reticent, but that’s kind of standard and expected these days.

He actually dipped the bread though. And ate it. He told me “I don’t actually like it mom, but I want my sister to eat it, so I am saying how yummy it is”

I could have burst with pride.

And this was what was left:

The bowls are in the same order. Yes TT practically wiped hers out, which is great, but look.

He. Ate. Food.

Real food.

Food I cooked.

And, and and he asked to have it again tomorrow!!! I damn well nearly keeled over in shock.

And I may have been *this* close to crying tears of happiness and shock.

A busy few days

I tend to not write posts when it’s much of the same old same old day to day stuff.

Plus it was Spring Break this week so I had both kidlets with me, so times to sit and blog were very few and far between.

I’ve made five sales in my store now! I’m just blown away that I’ve sold anything at all so fast! I just hope that it will continue. Sadly I missed the Easter sales, and alas I think Mother’s Day is closing too fast to take advantage there, but we shall see.

#1 Son has had the Sunday blues today bless him after a week off. So he has been cuddled and reassured. Hopefully tomorrow will not be as bad as any of us fear it could be.

Yesterday was a good, normal, family fun day.

TV whilst daddy had his lie in.

Followed by a lovely walk in the sunshine to have lunch at the local Mexican cantina:

We decided to skip dessert there as there was nothing that the kids (#1 Son especially) would recognise as pudding, so we went to Cloud 9 for ice cream.

TT had fun:

Do not be fooled by the implement she is grasping. She had given up using the spoon and had simply face planted her ice cream πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

An emergency bath was administered as soon as we got home:

πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

Butter wouldn’t melt I swear!

Today was much the same, but we had to return to the Mall in order to exchange a tshirt for #1 Son, as he is not an XS.

So we decided to have dinner there.

TT spent a lot of time transfixed by the ceiling:

She was saying “hello” to it a lot. Well it beats harassing other diners, which is her usual mode of entertaining herself when we forget their jab screens.

From next weekend there is another slew of birthday parties, so I have ordered double copies of the next few books in the Supertato series – #1 Son loves them, so he is happy, and his classmates are unlikely to have already read them.

We have also booked his birthday party, as it was recently Merry Taxmas and so some of the rebate has been used for that. Legoland Discovery Centre has impressively decent value packages, and TT is free for this year at least.

I. Have. To. Make. Party. Bags.

Oh gods.

I also need to send the invites out. That will be tomorrow’s job then.

An announcement

It’s been months of planning, building stock, blood, sweat, tears and self doubt; but as of this evening, I am thrilled to announce:

Tiny Tyrant Yarns is open for business

Yes, I’ve done it. I’ve officially put myself, and my creations, out there for all the world to see and (hopefully) admire. It’s thrilling, terrifying and wonderful. And the best thing?

I’ve had two orders already!!!

Please note that those prices do include postage!

But it’s a great start.

Thank you to my customers

Eeeeeeeeeeeeee I have customers!!!!!

I can’t not share this

I made a meal that both kids ate!!!!!

I am astounded and amazed and slightly scared to be honest.

It was another stew/soup thing made of the following:

  • Fingerling potatoes – white, russet, purple.
  • Sweet potato/yams.
  • Rainbow carrots – orange, yellow, white, purple.
  • Red onion.
  • Beef.
  • Roasted Acorn squash – roasted with olive oil and maple syrup.
  • Frozen peas (because it needed something green!)
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • My homemade vegetable stock from the last batch of soup, leftover store-bought chicken stock (yes, yes, I know it’s not normal but it’s what I had on hand)
  • A sachet of posh beef bullion to deal with the above.
  • A good dash of salt

And I don’t mind admitting it tasted bloody awesome! Heck, I had some for my lunch today.

I decided that since there was so many carbs in it, that I wasn’t going to add pasta to it. However, based on observation, I felt it best to blend it down and turn it into potage for them.

And wow am I glad I did!

Now admittedly #1 Son’s bowl is the one on the right, but look – it’s half empty!!!!

Okay, it took patience and cajoling and persuasion to get him to do that, but it’s homemade and nutritious and he ate it!!!

I’m not foolish enough to believe that it’s any kind of breakthrough, but it progress!!!!

Nine Months!

Been here 3/4 of a year!!!

That’s a whole pregnancy!

(The comparison amuses me πŸ˜‚πŸ€£)

Our visas are 1 year and 3 days old!

Honestly? I think it’s starting to come together. It’s been a total rollercoaster of a ride but I’m finding my feet.

The kids are settling – though TT is finding it easier than her brother, but we’ve been here over a quarter of her entire life so that makes sense!

I’m within a stone’s throw of setting up my yarn business! Logo is purchased, shop is almost set up. I’ve bought the packaging materials to ship sold items.

I need to take photos of my snow dyed items then I’m ready to go!

It’s terrifying but exhilarating. Let’s just hope something sells!

Now onto some updates.

Yesterday #1 Son effectively had not just one but two play dates!!!

We managed about 10 minutes on a Skype call with his school friend from England! And it was lovely to watch the two of them interacting together.

She asked if her was top of his class in America bless her πŸ€£πŸ˜‚

They shared war stories – her with her broken leg, and him with his battered face lord love them both!

Then about an hour later the first official Melrose play date happened.

I love his little friend – she’s bold and polite and just great for him to have as a friend.

I have more trepidation about the transition to First Grade now. As here, you do not stay in the same class as you move through the school. Each year the classes get switched around! Now, admittedly I can actually see the logic in this, but as a mother of a special needs child who hates change with every fibre of his being, this concerns me greatly. And let’s not forget that the concept is totally alien to me.

Apparently the teachers do construct the class lists in advance, and the Principal has full right of veto.

I have already requested of his class teacher that he be placed with at least a few of whom ever in his class he is both working well with and playing well with outside – apparently these are different groupings.

Hopefully his new friend will be in his class. Her mum is very epic too – a civil lawyer who made partner in January! Her dad is a high flyer too (though I forget exactly what he does – something in Risk Management I think).

Might come in handy if you know, we ever need to sue a company…*

It was lovely to chat with a fellow mum. And she also confirmed #1 son’s improvement in recent weeks – she sometimes volunteers up at the school. Apparently her daughter is very vocal about kids who are mean to the class teacher or who don’t follow the rule and my son:

“he’s cool, he’s okay”

I honestly can’t tell you how much my heart swelled to hear that quote from a peer!!!

Sadly we had to cut it shorter than I’d hoped, as he got overwhelmed, but I’m learning too, so next time I’ll plan it a bit better.

They both go to the same nail salon as me too. I cannot wait until I can take TT there too πŸ˜πŸ’—

As for today? Well we went to the mall to get some new clothes for the kids – and thanks to the lovely sales lady running my purchases through on two orders instead of one, I got $240 worth of clothes for $120 – and TT is now completely kitted our for the warmer weather – so pretty much until October/November given the seasons here.

TT had a massive strop so we left in a bit of a hurry, but it was overall a success.


Until she did a massive poo on the living room floor, but hey let’s just gloss over that one…


#1 Son also spent some of his allowance today on this:

So he and his daddy are having fun building this tonight. They were so engrossed we lost track of time so we had a cereal dinner!

All in all it’s been a decent weekend. Spring Break is all of next week so I get to spend quality time with both of them. Which will be both fun, and probably have me crawling into the whiskey bottle by the end of the week!

Hey, at least I know myself right?


*Yes I do have a company in mind here….

School Events

There’s been a lot of things happening in the last couple of days with, for and to #1 Son.

So on Tuesday evening there was his second parent teacher conference. Now I’m pleased to say that I didn’t approach this one with as much trepidation as his initial one back in November.

I knew that there had been some improvements, and that was in both social and academic areas. Of course there were still issues, but what Kindergartener won’t have those?

I also took up his three exercise books that we’ve been working through to show his teacher that we’ve been trying to do improvement work at home on more than just reading.

He has 180 Days of Kindergarten in:

  • Math
  • Writing
  • Reading

The idea is that from the start of the academic year you do one page a day (I assume they mean workdays) and improve as the class and the year goes on. We only picked them up after the 100 days of school celebrations, but they are still worth doing.


I can’t say that he’s been totally thrilled with it but he does it with minimal fighting. Possibly because I mark it as we go along, and he likes to see how well he’s doing. He would do better if he just concentrated but neither me nor his father were particularly good at that either.

And when I say “do better” I mean the difference between getting 6 out of six and 5 out of six. He’s good at it really.

So our 20 minute conference time turned into nearly an hour but fortunately I was her last meeting of the day and apparently she is regularly in school until 6 PM as it is. The woman is a saint, have I mentioned this?

She talked me through his systems for taking breaks, how he concentrates (better than it has been, though there is obviously still room for improvement), and perhaps more interestingly the system she has devised for tracking his particular outbursts and what triggers them. Spoiler: there is no apparent pattern. Although the day when he has music as his “special” (Wednesday) seem to have more outbursts. This does make sense to me, as it’s a very noisy class and he gets overstimulated.

I also noted that he seems to work better in a classroom setting when he is buddied up with a female friend. And interestingly his teacher noted that he will play outside with his peers now and that when he does, it is normally with the boys! I think I don’t need to explain how absolutely ecstatic this information made me.

Don’t get me wrong, he does still have days when during recess he will just walk round and round in circles talking to himself. But that’s fewer and he’s playing with children his own age!

For the sake of brevity (and so that you, dear audience, do not die of boredom) I will skip over the academic stuff except to say that he is doing better and concentrating for longer. And I will now move to the most important part of the session where she told me something that made me literally dance around the classroom which was:

He is no longer the child causing her the most grief!!!

Okay so there is still the caveat of “for now” but let me have my moment in the sun here!!!!

They do want either myself or his dad to go with him to supervise in a couple of upcoming field trips, but I can’t really blame them on that.

All in all after the conversation I had with his therapist regarding playing with peers and her concern that he wasn’t, I left that meeting pretty much walking on air. One darn proud mama bear.

Then came Wednesday. Which was a pretty normal day. Except at about 11:30 I got a phone call from the school nurse. To tell me that my poor son had gotten into a fight with the playground. Not in the playground with another child oh no with the ground itself. And he lost. Except at about 1130 I got a phone call from the school nurse. To tell me that my poor son had gotten into a fight with the playground. Not in the playground with another child, oh no, with the ground itself. And he lost.

The top photos were taken just after he came home on Wednesday afternoon, and the bottom two were taken the next morning.

He still feeling very very sad and sorry for himself. I’m not surprised. It’s still sore and he still wants band aids on the grazes. I have no problem with this, as apart from anything else it helps prevent infection. He’s been talking about not wanting to play outside at recess and “keeping everybody safe”. Perhaps he will learn to look before he runs?

Honestly? I doubt it but it’s taught him a valuable lesson I think.

Today I went up to school for a Math Fun morning (!)

No really. The idea was that you would undertake different activities with your child and see what they have been learning.

He made me a chain link necklace – a rainbow necklace πŸ’—

He needed to take a 5 minute break in the middle of the work, and when there was only 5 minutes left of the session because he had run out of steam. So with the second I decided to leave a little early, as by the time he was done with his break it would be time for the parents to leave anyway.

He handled that fine. Also I ought to note that it was extremely noisy in the classroom, and he didn’t have one outburst. I was so proud of him πŸ’•

He also came home with this:

It is a “Rainbow Egg for keeping stuff in” πŸ’—

And finally, it seems that due to the late March snow, the Ida, Always author needed to cancel her previously scheduled visit. So, she will return at some as-yet-to-be-determined time, and his copies of the books will be signed!

Spring Break is now upon us, so stand by for stories of trips to the park, ice cream and lots of shenanigans…


IT MIGHT HAPPEN


Oh, and one other lovely thing. When he was dropped off by the lovely A this afternoon she left as normal, and then came back to ask if she could take him to the local ice cream parlour that we also frequent – because her youngest daughter (Grade 5, so aged 11 or thereabouts) and her friends wanted him to come with them.

Okay I know that the therapist wouldn’t have been as pleased as I was, but I was thrilled that he was able to socialise like that in a public place.

I’m one very proud mummy tonight.