Welcome to our world of 4 boys, Autism, Homeschooling and life in general.

Hi I'm Angie, busy Homeschooling Mum of 4 young boys aged between 4 and 11 yrs.

Bailey (11) is a huge car enthusiast, particularly classic cars, VW 'Herbie' beetles and VW Combi vans. Bailey lives with Autism (ASD) and Epilepsy but does very well coping with everyday life these days since we made the change to homeschooling back in 2010.

Dane (8) enjoys playing guitar, building Lego masterpieces and all things superhero! Dane also lives with a form of Autism (Aspergers) and a Language developmental delay (Apraxia of speech).

Ehren (5) is our gentle 'giant' and is a keen student in our Homeschool classroom. He enjoys both physical and mental pursuits and has a clear interest in currency!

Fraser (aged 4) is our little pocket rocket. He's a confident, head-strong little boy who never stops talking, singing or dancing!

Follow us on our journey as we learn about the world around us in our own unique way!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Twelve years ago the Doctors took my tonsils away. My poor old enlarged, overly inflamed tonsils never really served a great purpose and I felt much relief after their removal. It always amazed me how God could give us an organ that didn't seem to do a lot of good. An organ I could do without quite happily, without any real after effect or repercussions.

This Thursday I will have my uterus removed. Whilst I'm totally enthusiastic about the benefits of my bodily functions returning to normal again, having my uterus taken out feels like a tearful goodbye to an old dear friend. So dear friend I decided to write you a letter.......

Dear Uterus,

Please don't be upset with me. The Doctors have decided that our time together has come to an end. It wasn't really my decision, simply a medical necessity.

You see you took a real blow back during the delivery of my first baby and never really recovered after that. You managed to carry Bailey for a full 9 months without any sign of trouble and then Bailey decided to get stuck when exiting from you, causing more pain and damage than I care to mention. Of course following up that birth with the birthing of a baby weighing in excess of 9 pounds was never going to do you or your fellow neighbours any good either.

You managed to carry another 2 babies after that, for which I will be eternally grateful for. My life would not be the same without all 4 of my beautiful healthy boys and it is you that made that possible (of course a bit of help from an obliging father helped too!).

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the services you have provided for my body. Unfortunately though in order to help your fellow neighbours with their repairs and subsequent healing you will be leaving us for good.

So farewell my dear friend. From Thursday morning you will no longer be around and I will miss you forever. xxx

For the last twenty years I have felt like a woman. My breasts increased in size, hair grew more abundantly in more feminine places and from the day my period started I knew there was always a chance that I could fall pregnant and have a child. Whilst my breasts and hair will undoubtedly remain, those periods will never be returning. And to that I say.........


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

When I grow up

Some people go through childhood pondering what they'll be when they grow up. They switch their ambitions as the years go by from astronaut to fireman to doctor to lawyer and when they grow up they end up working at Coles doing nightfill. Other people know what they want to be from a very young age, it never changes whilst growing up and they end up in the career they always intended.

From as far back as I can remember I always wanted to be teacher. I would make my little brother sit down in our 'classroom' and teach him things. I would line up my teddies next to him and give them all names and pretend they were my 'class' to teach. I chose all my subjects carefully in highschool to ensure I had the most all round approach to learning, to better my chances of making a great teacher. Going through highschool not once did I ever think I would be anything other than a teacher. I applied to Uni for a Bachelor of Education and commenced the course in 1996.

I completed that first year of Uni and then decided to defer so I could work for a year to make enough money to see me through the last 2 years of Uni. I was expected to support myself whilst studying but found working part time whilst studying was much too difficult and considering I had already done that through my senior years of highschool I felt totally and utterly burnt out.

Once I entered the workforce I enjoyed the financial rewards, I enjoyed my freedom and the concept of not having my head stuck in a book. I left my job working at a supermarket and got myself a job at the bank, where I loved working. I worked for 3 years for the bank until my appetite for learning more got too much and found myself working in financial planning. There I stayed until I was married and started a family and then decided to leave full time work to focus on helping our family through some difficult times (whilst Bailey was being diagnosed with Autism).

That was 6 years ago and since then I've never returned to full time work. In 2005 I completed a certificate in Beauty (Make-up) and do a little freelance work through my Mum's hair salon to give me a bit of spare cash & as an outlet for my creative energy. It's not what people expect of me, it's not 'using my brain' as some would say. For a while I felt guilty that I wasn't living up to other people's expectations of me. I would cringe when someone asked me "what do you do?" or when friends or family would just assume that I was still in 'bankworld' or selling insurance.

These days I realise that the only person I need to keep happy is myself. The financial side of not working full time doesn't bother me anymore these days. I think for two reasons. My husband has a nice little business and works hard to provide for us with all we need. But the biggest reason is I've also gotten used to living within our means which I think is a lot harder than most people would think. Well worth the sacrifice though when I can truly say I derive happiness just from being me and just from living my life, not from the car I drive, the office I work in, or the house I live in.

There is only one thing I regret these days in the last nearly 33 years of my life. That is not returning to finish that Education degree. It is only now that I am homeschooling Bailey that I am realising why I always wanted to be a teacher. All the thrills of teaching a young child about the World around them is coming back to me. I guess in a way I'm doing exactly what I always should have been doing.

Maybe one day I'll go back to Uni and I'll officially become a teacher, but for now I must say I am most happy teaching my children all they need to know. I might not get paid with money for all the work I do, but everytime one of my boys learns a new skill or impresses me with their talents I can say "I taught him that!" That's worth more than all the money in the world.

Until next time,
Take care,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Wonder Weeks

You'd think being onto my fourth baby in the last 7 years I'd have this new baby thing down pat, wouldn't you? Well you'd be wrong! I still find myself questioning why he's crying, how many times do I really need to feed a 9 week old in a day and should I stop wrapping him yet or not? I guess the reason why I'm finding that you don't always have the answer is because is every baby is different so there's not always the 'right' answer.

Just this past week I have found Fraser has gone from being a very settled baby to a sometimes upset little baby. He's been waking for more frequent feeds at night and not settling back to sleep straight after a feed at night like he was before. At first I thought it might have been that he's caught the cold we've all had but he's showing no other signs of that. Then I wondered was this the age that things go to Sh*t and you start worrying that you're never going to have a sleeping baby ever again? lol. Then after my second night of stop/start sleep I remembered something I had looked into when Ehren would seem out of whack, something one of my fellow Essential Baby (EB) Mums suggested to me.

Wonder Weeks!! Of course, why had I not thought of that before? I looked up what weeks it was expected he was to be having one of these Wonder weeks and sure enough 8 weeks is one of them! For those who haven't heard of a Wonder week (and trust me I had no clue with the first 2 boys) it's apparently a certain time frame of a baby's development when things are amped up. When the baby is developing a new important skill their little brain is a hive of activity and they find it harder to settle, sleep, feed, basically everything we expect a baby to do! There are certain developmental milestones they are working on at certain ages. The important milestones are classed into 8 Wonder weeks within the first 2 years of a baby's life.
  • Week 5 - Changing Sensation: New sensations start to bombard baby as he becomes more alert and aware of the World around him at this age. It's not so much the sensations themselves, more the perception of them. For example a soiled nappy may not have previously worried baby but now he is becoming much more aware of the feeling it creates and might get much more upset when it's not readily changed.
  • Week 8 - Simple pattern: At this age baby starts to recognise simple patterns in both the World around him and his own body. The arms and legs he first took for granted as mere dangling attachments now become tools for him to reach and touch, kick and play. (This is exactly what Fraser has been doing the past few days. He has started reaching out for the toys on his play gym for the very first time.)
  • Week 12 - Smooth transitions: At this age baby will start to fine tune the movements he started to learn in the last wonder week (wk 8). Instead of swiping at a toy hanging from the play gym baby will now be learning how to pick up the toy next to them. They might start grabbing at Mum's hair or necklace with a real intention to rip it off. Baby will also now be hearing much better and able to follow a voice across the room or begin to notice when a room is dimly lit or bright (perhaps able to judge day from night much better now).
  • Week 18 - Change of events: Baby is starting to recognise the pattern of events. When Mum leaves the room baby is starting to realise she may not come back for some time. When Mum changes baby's nappy and dresses baby in their sleeping bag they realise they are going to bed. The brain is starting to work at an amazing pace now, understanding more of a cause and effect than ever before.
  • Week 26 - Movement & Distance: Baby is starting to sit and starting to learn the skills required for the first significant movement in their life, the crawl! Baby is starting to discover distance of an object to themselves. The World suddenly seems like such a huge place and he feels like such a tiny part of it. When Mum leaves the room she could be headed to China for all he knows, and he feels stuck without a way to reach her.
  • Week 37 - Investigations: Baby is now more than ever ready to investigate the World around him in better detail. He wants to know what the banana feels like squished between his fingers. He wants to know the difference between patting the cat or pulling the cat's tail.
  • Week 46 - Sequencing: Just as baby seemed to be intent on wreaking havoc in his last wonder week he now starts to do the opposite. He is now interested in putting things back to where they belong (or where he thinks they belong) or may realise that he has to endure the first morning nappy change before he can get breakfast. Baby is starting to understand that things go in order or belong to a category.
  • Week 55 - Toddler hood: Your baby is now becoming a toddler. He is discovering new and exciting ways to learn about the World around him. He may now be walking but if not then he is sure trying to, as he is beginning to understand that from a standing position he can reach and explore from a whole new angle and height.
From what I understand babies may go through these wonder weeks at slightly different times but in general it is around these weeks that the next stage of development is occurring.

For me I find it reassuring to know that the reason baby is going through an unsettled period is more than likely because they are going through another stage of developing and not because of something I am doing 'wrong'. I will try and keep in mind from now on that when I think Fraser is playing up to annoy me, he is merely learning how to engage and operate in this big scary place we call the World.

Until next time,
Take care,