Back to School
The biggest change that is going to affect our day to day lives is that our eldest son is going to be returning to school. He's been homeschooled for 3 years and before that we was on a part-time timetable at school for some time so he has not been at school full-time for around 4 years.
After he saw how happy his brother was at school, he decided he was prepared to give it a try. Neither he nor we were prepared to give mainstream another chance though as they got it so wrong for him before and were just so ignorant about special needs and ASD in particular.
So he will be starting at a specialist ASD unit where we hope the support and expertise they have will enable him to settle in. Just like we made D a video of his best home-schooling bits, we plan to do the same for J. We've had a really amazing 3 years. We've had ups and downs. Thankfully more ups than downs. Academically J has gone from being a 'refuser' of doing school work when he was at school to achieving beyond our expectations.
|Sculptor Guy Portelli awards First Prize to J|
|J wins first prize in an art competition - Here he is holding one of his prizes|
I remember life was more stressful when he was at school though. I don't want to forget the reasons we started homeschooling. I don't want to forget the many many benefits of home-school. I don't want that decision to ever seem impossible again or as hard to make as it was the first time if we ever need to home-school in future. And I don't want to forget the amazing times and the fun we had.
This is a new chapter for J - He is excited about school. I want to be excited for him too.
Farewell to Walter
It was the same week as we found out about J's school place that we also received a letter from Compassion telling us that our sponsorship of Walter had come to an end. He isn't the oldest child that we sponsor but he is the first of our 4 sponsored kids to come to the end of their time in the project so it came as a bit of a shock.
We wrote a farewell letter to him as there isn't the opportunity to stay in touch - that felt really emotional. Although we have never met him, this child (who is now a young man) has been part of our lives since he was just a toddler.
And yet at the same time as sadness, we felt so proud of him. Of the young man he has grown into. And we hold hope for his future. Hope he would not have had without the support of the Compassion project. We pray for amazing opportunities for him and we pray for many blessings for his future.
In the same envelope came a photo of another child needing sponsorship. One who has been waiting a long while for a sponsor. His name was Emmanuel. It was the week before Christmas. How could we say no.
So that brought a smile to us through the sadness of having to say farewell to Walter, we are able to say hello to Emmanuel.
Bye Bye Breastfeeding
After debating with myself (and with the blog!) over the past few months whether to stop breastfeeding Miss T, I have finally come to the decision that it would be best to. There are a number of health reasons for me that mean it is just not working out anymore. All the while I am feeding her, I am not able to take the painkillers that could help keep the arthritic pain at bay and after having a bad flare-up over Christmas I have decided that I need to try to get the painful days under control again.
Apart from anything else, the kids have noticed how much grumpier I am when my back is bad so hopefully it will ultimately benefit them too.
So as I type this, I am sat here with boobs heavy with milk trying not to give in to feeding. I can't quite remember how many days it will take for the milk to stop. The boys were both younger and they weren't taking such big feeds at the time I stopped with them. I remember it being a gradual process where I had to feed every other day to start with, but I've not fed for several days now so don't want more milk to be produced by feeding again.
Again it is with emotion that I say bye to breastfeeding because if it were not for those other reasons, then I would continue for longer until both Miss T and me felt it was the right time to stop. But on the other hand she happily takes a bottle of milk at bedtime and it gives daddy more bonding time with her to be able to do the milk as part of the bedtime routine. She is also going to be 21 months this week and so we have managed a good long stretch of breastfeeding despite a few initial difficulties.
|Miss T is nearly 21 months - time to stop breastfeeding?|
At to top it all off, D decided that he wants to quit drama! He has done so well and it has really helped his confidence. He sings the songs confidently and does amazingly well in the shows each term. But he has recognised that he has a lot on each week and just felt it was too many things to do. As much as we don't want him to stop, I feel that we need to respect his decision on this.
Perhaps it will free up some time to spend together as I know this is something he has really missed lately.