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Hello Baby

Four months ago when we left our beach home to be closer to Brian and his work, we had no idea we had taken a new little someone with us. In mid-August, right in the middle of Daisy and Hannah’s birthdays, I discovered I was pregnant. And it’s been a wild ride ever since.

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My pregnancy symptoms were much, much worse this time. Actually, the GP I saw to confirm the pregnancy laughed when I mentioned this and asked me, “What did you expect, everything gets worse the more pregnancies you have, the nausea, the exhaustion, the body aches and pains, everything!” So that was a bit of a wake-up call! Not that I expected it to be easy, I respect pregnancy. It’s a huge effort for a body to create and grow another human being and I know that it comes with some personal sacrifices. At that point though I decided to surrender into it and try not to complain knowing that this is just how this journey would go for me this time.

Ideally, I would have rested as much as possible and I still did that when we were home, however, we were determined to find a house to buy on the Sunshine Coast and that meant many 8 hour road-trips back and forth over the last 3 months to attend inspections. This definitely didn’t make any of the symptoms I was having easier! I’m now 20 weeks and still have days where the nausea feels a tad too overwhelming and I need to lie down until it passes.

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The first trimester is always such an anxiety-fueled time for me after experiencing several miscarriages. I debated long and hard about whether to have a 12 week scan – as we don’t personally like the testing that this scan involves – but I did want the reassurance of seeing my baby growing and developing on the screen and in the end I was glad I did. It really helped me to bond and connect more with this little person, and minimise the worry just a little. Now that I can feel the baby moving it is much easier for me to relax.

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We also debated about whether we should find out the sex once again. Many of our friends have chosen to have the surprise of finding out at birth, and we wondered if that was something we wanted to experience too. But then we remembered Blake and we decided that was surprise enough! We really have enjoyed finding out, especially in Daisy’s pregnancy where we could share it with Hannah and Blake and refer to her by name during the long 20 weeks that followed. We felt it helped all of us prepare for the baby that would join our family, and so this time we decided to do the same.

So, we are incredibly excited to share that I am pregnant with a baby GIRL and that another little sister and daughter will be joining our family in late April!!!

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Hannah, Blake and Daisy came to the ultrasound with us and so we all found out together. The kids have been adamant that it’s been a ‘baby sister’ this whole time, so they were very happy to be proved right. I have to say that I strongly felt this baby was a boy and at our 13 week ultrasound the sonographer even mentioned that she would guess boy even though it was very early. Of course, we didn’t take it to heart, but since it backed up my feeling – and Brians as well – I was a bit surprised to hear the news that baby was a girl at this scan. He did check several times and said that although he can’t obviously give a 100% statement, he said could see the labia and the correct female markers so he didn’t hesitate at all. We are thrilled of course! I am completely delighted at the thought of having another daughter and we know and believe that no matter this baby’s sex, she is the right person to come into our family at this time. It’s just fun to find out half-way and a part of the pregnancy process that we really enjoy.

 

I hope to do more updates over the next few months. Nausea and the stress of the house has really not made sitting at a computer at all enjoyable, but I’m hoping for that to ease now. Next year will be full of new beginnings for our family and we are excited to start the journey! Thank you for always being such a support to our family, it’s lovely to know people care and are excited for us! ūüėÄ

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Unschooling is Not About Outcomes

In our modern lives there is a strong focus on achievements, outcomes and overall success. This starts from a very early age with milestones established from birth. Us humans seem to like knowing what’s next; we like the comfort of reaching for a certain standard and achieving it and we especially seem to like seeing that same example in our children.

Unschooling however, takes quite a departure from this school of thought. (more…)

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Why Play is Important

Why do we all keep going on and on and on about Play? Is it really that important? Isn’t it something that kids just do anyway? Why do we need to be so mindful of it? Isn’t play natural and part of every childs everyday experience?

Those are all really great questions and as I’ve been reflecting on my childrens lives and what¬†I read about in articles, blog posts and social media in recent times, I felt I had to voice some of my own reasons for why I’m passionate about Play.

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Unschooling Q & A

Answering a few questions about Unschooling sent in by a reader.


Unschooling book recommendations?

John Holt is regarded as the founder of the unschooling movement so he would be excellent to read.
Also John Taylor Gatto.
There is a book I have called ‘The Unschooling Handbook’ by Mary Griffith that I just googled and is on book depository.
Dayna Martin is an American unschooling mama who has unschooled all 4 of her kids and written a book, although just googling her and watching her you-tube clips could be enough. I’ve heard her speak at a conference and her confidence in this lifestyle is really encouraging.
I haven’t yet read but I have heard very good things about ‘Free to Learn’ by Peter Gray, ‘Home Grown’ by Ben Hewitt and ‘Last Child in the Woods’ by Richard Louv.
Also, not technically a unschooling/free learning type of book but definitely one that can help shift those western society mindsets we are all conditioned with and one of my personal favourites – ‘The Continuum Concept’ by Jean Liedloff. (more…)

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Nine

Today, Brian and I celebrate 9 years of marriage.

[I’ve written this post a little ahead of time, as we will be away on our road-trip down south during our anniversary.]

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2015 In Review // Our Unschooling Journey

2015 is coming to an end so this post is a review of what our unschooling journey looked like in the past 12 months.

Overall, it’s been a challenging year for our family. Unschooling has literally helped hold us together. I cannot imagine how much more difficult doing some of the things we’ve had to do this year would have been if school was an added factor in our lives. Instead, we had the freedom to make choices where the JOY of our family was our only consideration. We grew, we learned and we certainly journeyed. Here is a snapshot of the year that was –
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On My Birthday // 30 Things About Me

  1. I don’t have a middle name.
  2. I believe in past lives.
  3. I love to sleep. But I hate going to sleep.
  4. My current favourite colour is yellow.
  5. I never knew that I wanted to be a mother.
  6. Until one day I looked at Brian while we washed the dishes in our little cottage and then I knew.
  7. I dreamt about Hannah loooong before she was conceived. She looks exactly like she did in my dream. Exactly.
  8. I knew Blake was a boy and I was buying clothes for him at 8 weeks pregnant because I was that convinced. When we were told at our ultrasound that he was a girl I was surprised. I wasn’t surprised however, when I gave birth to him and found out that he is in fact a boy.
  9. Daisy called to me before we conceived her. Her name followed me around. When we saw that pregnancy test Brian said immediately, “Our little Daisy is on her way.”
  10. I loved giving birth. Every time. *
  11. I believe in numbers. 11 is a portal number. Google it.
  12. I’ve been the same size since I was 15. Even after 3 pregnancies. It actually gets a bit depressing, I would love to have curves.
  13. This is my favourite number.
  14. I lived through a war. I am still processing how that has effected the rest of my life. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I know it has contributed to my Anxiety. Anxiety sucks.
  15. I love black and white photographs. So much. Those family photographs are what made me want to learn photography  in the first place.
  16. I love eating out. I hate cooking. I’m starting to think these two facts correlate in some way.
  17. I didn’t get my licence until I was 20. I wanted to feel like I could safely drive on the road with thousands of other crazy people. On the day of my driving test, we’d been driving for 10 minutes,¬†I had done one manoeuvre,¬†and we¬†were stopped at a light. As my light turned green a pedestrian 100m in front of us was hit by a car.¬†My driving instructor¬†and I just stayed at the light open-mouthed and missed the green (people went to the pedestrians aid, they were okay). He told me to drive back to the testing centre, and passed me straight away and told me to go home. Lucky for him I am actually a good driver!
  18. I have a really good memory.
  19. I’ve now known Brian for half my life. He’s my best friend, my teacher and the only person who truly knows me the way every person wants to be known. I’m infinitely grateful that my wish came true and that nice boy moved in across the road.
  20. I love music. I love anything with a guy and an acoustic guitar. I’m listening to James Bay as I write this. If I could bring Jeff Buckley back to Earth to play Hallelujah I would.
  21. I have a degree in Human Service majoring in Youth Work. I’ve never actually done any paid work in this field but I’ve done a ton of volunteering through my uni years. Most people in high school thought I would become a counsellor.
  22. I’m a creative person. I had no idea that I was until recently. School sucked the creative right out of me. I had to find¬†that spark¬†again.
  23. I have ALWAYS been different. I have ALWAYS made choices that seem to go against the tide. I haven’t done this to rebel – quite the opposite – they’re just choices that feel good to me.
  24. I can read tarot cards and interpret dreams for people. I have predicted future events accurately. I can channel spiritual guidance.  I actually have a lot of skills in this realm that I am still a bit scared to explore.
  25. I love reading. My dad influenced a lot of what I read, so I began reading autobiographies, self-help and inspirational books as a teenager. They’re still my favourite books¬†to read and buy.
  26. My birthday gift to myself is a tattoo that I had done just a couple of weeks ago. I’m totally and completely in love with it, and can now understand why people cover their entire body with art.
  27. I’ve always felt an affinity to France and one day I would love to live there, learn French and soak up the sublime provincial lifestyle with weekend trips to Paris. Every time we’ve gone overseas I’ve made sure we’ve somehow managed to fit in a weekend in Paris.
  28. I don’t run. Not ever.
  29. I plan to live to 111.
  30. I believe in the power of choice. And of JOY.

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Unschooling & Labels

¬†We’ve¬†always used the¬†label Unschooling for our choice of lifestyle and I wanted to clear some of the misconceptions surrounding¬†the term. I’ve recently noticed many¬†families shy away from using the term Unschooling to describe their home education choices because of the seemingly negative connotations attributed to it. Here’s my take on the label.

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