Saturday, November 29, 2008

@ the new house alone dropping off a trailer of outside stuff-1st &last time it will be this quiet
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Friday, November 28, 2008

ADHD Haiku

Out of Ritalin
Doctor is out of city
spinning in circles

Thursday, November 27, 2008


We went to the lawyers office today and signed the papers to close the deal on the house. All the money has been paid to land transfer taxes, to the lawyers, deposit to the seller and first mortgage payment has been made.We asked the lawyer to try and see if they could firm up the lose ends tomorrow instead of waiting until Monday and possibly getting the keys tomorrow so we'd have the weekend to move fragile stuff like gerbils, budgies, and plants. He said that the sellers lawyer usually takes of Fridays, but he'd call him this afternoon with all the paperwork and details to see if they could firm it up tomorrow for us. So we're hoping the layers call us tomorrow with the good news that we can pick up the keys and the house will be ours to start moving stuff on Saturday.

We then went for a drive to the house to have a look and they have it all cleaned out and vacuumed and ready for us to just move our stuff in. Looks like the rowing machine and the large painting I was hoping they'd leave behind is still there :) I only want the painting for the frame and the canvas I plan on painting over it.

The Kids are stressed out and picking at each other and driving ME and themselves nuts. DD doesn't do well with change ( read "no puke pills" in 2005 archives) and little ADHD boy is climbing the walls and hanging off my last nerve. I keep breatheing but I'm about to hyperventilate LOL, thank goodness for a blog to vent.

hubby the darling that he is, thought ahead and burned a bunch of our DVDS to one disk for them in the dvd player and they are in their room watching Lilo & stitch 2. we bartered with them for staying in their room with the video, to stay out of my way to empty the attic. Some would call it bribing, and say it is a negative thing to do, but I look at it as teaching compromise and symbiotic relationships.A handy tool to know in life.

Just taking a break from emptying the attic currently...seasonal stuff and baby stuff I wanna keep for when the kids have kids ( bassinet, crib toy etc) Now that I'm all done having babies...oh my gosh, can you IMAGINE how much more I'd be moving right now if we still had baby stuff younger then 3 yo stuff to move? so thankful and blessed to be the family we are.

OK one more paragraph and this will be bordering on procrastination. I hate the attic stairs theya re like a ladder and very rickety.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Homeschooling Grade System- By an 8 Year old

My daughter just came to me while I was cooking dinner and told me that school grading system suck, and this is how it should be a-Awesome b-Bad c-Close d-Do it again e-still undecided f-Fantastic t-Terrific!!

First Snow of the Year

While every where else around us has had enough snow to play with, we here, being so close to the lake, can't count on the weather systems to work the same way for everyone else. we are jetted out into lake Ontario, are are very often in our own little world when it comes to precipitation.

So, only today did we finally accumulate enough snow for the kids to actually be able to get dressed and go outside and play. It's a very dense wet snow and while not a welcome sight for hubby or I with us moving to our new house in 5 days, it IS the perfect snow for sledding and snowmen, which please the children beyond belief.

This is the first real winter that Bupba has the vocabulary to express himself well as the unique individual that he is. He's decided that he doesn't like snow pants and mittens because they make him sweaty.

I discovered this when I was packing the yard stuff on the trailer a friend lent me, when bupba came outside in just his spider man Halloween suit, boots and a wide open coat informing me of just how sweaty and yucky they made him.

Thankfully it is half snow and half rain so it is only about 2 degrees celcuis outside so he didn't freeze, but he will sure learn that mitts and snow pants are a welcome wardrobe for Canadian winters.

My daughter decided on making a snowman, and started one before we left to go grab more packing boxes from some stores in town, but came home to find that the said friend who'd brought by the trailer for us to use, had run over her snowman...she's doesn't build em big, so it was understandable that he didn't see it in his huge pickup truck backing the trailer into our yard.

when we got back, DD rebuilt her snow girl.
Bupba shoveled snow things around the yard while I put the yard stuff getting covered in snow into the trailer and then threw the shed roof over the top of it to keep it all from getting more covered with snow.

I've been so busy packing and cleaning and getting this move sorted out, that I haven't really been stopping to smell the roses like I try to do on a daily basis. So for a few minutes while outside I grabbed the small camera and took some pictures of the kids, and just stood in the yard and looked at the snow covered trees and took a breath.

It was nice, for just a moment I forgot that our life is housed in boxes right now.

Then I came inside and the crashing reality of just why we are moving hit me like a lead brick. the front hall in the house really walk in from the front door, and there is stairs to go up, and then a door to the living room. And in the winter this hallway gets soaked with snow on the floor, wet clothes, and boots,mitts, hats and scarves. 4 people trying to undress from winter clothing in a 3 by 6 "hallway" really sucks...kind of like when I was in my 20's and would take the TTC home from work at rush hour being packed like sardines, but all trying to take off your boots and coat and not get your socks wet all at the same time. it's a chaotic awkward ballet of sorts.
This first snow was a reminder of just exactly why we are so blessed to be moving to a new house.

Green for Cheap

As a homeschooler, everything is a chance for learning, so a recent trip to the grocery store really presented itself as a lesson in marketing and being environmentally friendly for little or nothing, when my daughter suggested we buy a pretty bottled “green” cleaner for the toilet.

It drew her attention because of the pretty daisy on the clear bottle and the word “Green” with a picture of the earth. I just had to cringe at the blatant marketing scam, and shake my head as I watched three women pick up the bottle and stick it in their cart without even reading the bottle, all for the low, low price of $3.98 for a 500 mg spray bottle!

Green is the new marketing/advertisement buzz word these days, and it drives me nuts! If it says “green” on it, it must be good for the environment right?

I’m amazed that people will pay extra for something that claims to be environmentally friendly, not knowing if it really is, or even considering that there are much cheaper options available. Our society is far to conditioned to the use of convenience/time saving products that allow them to not have to put any thought into stuff because they are too busy. Meanwhile, these companies are laughing all the way to the bank with your green, just by claiming they are green and packaging it all in a pretty convenient spray bottle that lessens our “environment guilt” with each squeeze of the trigger.

The cleaning solution in question was made by a large company that makes other popular “non green” cleaners for every surface or appliance in your home, and this one’s claim to being green is that it was made with plant extracts and had no phosphates in it. On closer inspection on the back it did not even list it’s “natural plant extracts” ingredients, since they are only required to list the alcohol that was this cleaner’s base. It made me wonder if this product was simply green colored alcohol?

The pretty picture of a flower with water droplets on it’s peddles implied “fresh”, and the clear plastic bottle to show off the pretty green color of the cleaning liquid inside all call to me “buy me, I’m green”. I admit, the marketing department of this product did it’s job! Bravo! They make the consumer feel like they are doing good by buying this green product by making it appealing to look at. There was no denying it was actually green, so they cannot even be accused of false advertising. But heck, you can make your cleaning solutions green by soaking some fresh plant leaves from your back yard in the bottle of alcohol, or vinegar to clean the house if it makes you feel like your being “green”.

“Going green” does not need to be expensive with these gimmicky "Green" bottled cleaners that many people end up buying because they are so used to the years of brainwash marketing campaigns for things like Mr. Clean and Lysol., and air freshners that are laden with chemicals. Does anyone know what a natural house smells like anymore?

Being green means getting back to the way my grandmother’s generation did stuff before the fifties, when recycled newspaper and vinegar was used on windows rather than Windex and paper towel.

An old rag, a discarded tooth brush, baking soda and vinegar and elbow grease work just as well, or better. They are much cheaper, healthier for your family, and have much less packaging to recycle. All of which give piece of mind that you know what your actually using in your home. Some people complain that it takes longer and they don’t want to use “elbow grease” because they don’t have the time. But these products on TV they show wiping way the caked on dried spaghetti splatter on the stove takes “elbow grease” anyway! They don’t wipe it way as easy as they show in the commercials. A sponge with hot water and baking soda left on the dry spaghetti sauce splatter for two minutes while you do something else will wipe away just as easily with minimal “elbow grease”, as it would if you used a spray bottle of name brand kitchen cleaner. You still have to leave it to soak in, and scrub hard to get off anyway. Don’t be head faked by these company’s marketing ploys.

For the last seven years I have cleaned the house with only vinegar, baking soda, rags, cloth mops, elbow grease and a small amount of beach or alcohol for disinfectant when need be, which I limit due to my husband's severe chemical sensitivities from his illness.

I don’t buy paper towels, or disposable duster gloves or flushable toilet bowl wipes, or special cleaning solutions for floors that spray out of a mop and throw away wet mop rags that are marketed to women these days.

Are they convenient? I guess so, but the time it take one to throw that in the garbage, creating more waste for a land fill, is the same amount of time it takes me to dump my mop water down the laundry sink, and throw my rag or reusable rag mop top in the washing machine for the next load, that I can use again and again until I wear it out a year down the road.

Being environmentally friendly doesn’t need to cost you anything, and in fact it can save you money.

A box of no name baking soda at your local large chain “no frills” grocery store costs .99 cents, a large bottle of vinegar costs about $4.00, a bottle of lemon juice costs about $1.29, and bleach costs about $1.99. Rags can be made from kids old flannel pajamas, or cloth diapers for free.

We don’t need five different bottled products to clean the different areas of the house. The marketing of “bathroom” and “kitchen” cleaners has been ripping off consumers for years, and now they are making the same specialized cleaners in their “green” lines. They all do the same thing! Shop wise!

When I use dryer sheets in the winter when I’m not hanging my clothes on the line outside to save energy, I cut a box of 100 sheets into thirds, making 300 sheets. They work just fine to keep the static cling away cut in three, and last three times as long. The added benefit is I don’t go around smelling like the perfume scented fabric sheets. Liquid fabric softener, if you use them, can be diluted by ¾ softener to ¼ water, to make your bottle last longer It still works as well to soften the clothes and keep away the static.

Often I use a .99 cent lemon laundry soap bar that I grate up and soak in a dish of warm water to make it more gel/liquid state before I add it to the laundry load, because I do not have time to rub dirty areas of each garment with a bar of soap. In a pinch when I’m out of laundry soap this is a good cheap backup option to wash the laundry.

When I do use a bottle of laundry soap, which I only buy when it is on sale, I use half the recommended amount for a load. You never need as much as the bottle or box recommends. The company just wants you to buy more of their product sooner, to keep them in business. Sure, they are going to recommend more than is required to actually get your clothes clean. It’s good business for them. I can make a bottle marketed for thirty two loads last over 60 loads! Of course, if your clothes are really dirty from rolling in the mud and catching frogs in the swamp, which is known to happen around here, it won’t last as long, but it still can be stretched way beyond the suggested amounts.

Being environmentally friendly doesn’t need to be an expensive choice in life. Make your choices wisely. Don’t be fooled by gimmick marketing and pretty packaging.

Bathtub Blogging

Oh joy-laying in bed this morning rolling over to wake up to the request of breakfast by my daughter, I stretched and got a charlie horse in my calf. It has not loosened up in the least all morning,so here I sit in the tub soaking my leg in Epsom salts and flexing the muscle in hot water-hoping for fast relief so I can get back to packing the sewing room and start emptying the attic. Totally cool that I can blog from the bathtub on my cell phone though!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

blogging from my cellphone

This is my first blog from my cellphone. when we move we're going to have no internet for a few months until the wireless company who actually charges a decent price comes into our area. if your from my area don't buy KOS ISP they are a ripoff

-- mama to two beautiful kids Butterfly born 22/10/2000 & Lil' Squirt 02/02/2005 best friend & wife to my "Mr Incredible" since 10/02/1999

Monday, November 24, 2008

7 more sleeps

This time next week we'll be surrounded by half unpacked boxes in our new home...unpacking stuff and getting ready for our first sleep in our own home. here's a pic from back in August when we signed the offer and it was accepted.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

3 year old's Question of the Day

Bupba: "Why do moons have to be here at night?" Mommy: " Ummm..well....why do you think moons come out at night" Bupba:"cause it's dark and the world needs a night light?" Mommy:"I suppose that could be why, can you think of any other reason?" Bupba:"it keeps the sky from falling!?" ( Like a button holding a shirt closed I guess he means?) Mommy:" LOL... I suppose that could be too...but....the real reason the moon is in the sky at night is becasue it is really there all the time, it is just that it is so bright in the daytime that....." Bupba:"Mommy, I'm firsty... can I have a drink of milk pwease?" Mommy:"Uh...oh.. umm can't see the moon when it is daytime, but it's there...come on let's get you some milk" Bupba:"fanks mommy"

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This is a test blog entry from my cell phone,some days i'll only be able to micro blog
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Friday, November 21, 2008


My 3 year old son claimed to me last night that the pillsbury croissant rolls I made looked like snails all excited :)

kinda a silly thing but those are the types of silly things he says in a day that make me stop for a moment and be in the moment, and enjoy life. Hubby decided that from now on we'll call them escarolls. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Let's bridge the gap between parents of kids Diagnosed with Austism Spectrum

In recent years parents of Autistic children have been divided into two categories. Being told their child's vaccinations didn't cause their autistic traits, or parents of children with Autism from birth being made to feel like choosing to vaccinate ( or other parental choices) caused their child's Autism.

It is time to knock down the wall and stand together, rid of the guilt one way or the other and band together.

My daughter has been diagnosed with PDD NOS, the general blanket term for a child who has autistic traits co-morbid with other combined traits like oppositional defiance, sensory integration, auditory processing etc.

She's been that way since birth. In fact it runs deep in the family DNA, so I am well assured that any delayed and selective vaccination we did with her did not make her the way she is.

However, I do not agree with recent scientific studies and claims from the medical society saying that vaccines are not causing health issues for some children that are being labelled as Autism.

I don't disagree that families are seeing a correlation between the vaccinations and other environmentally caused health issues presenting them selves as a neurological issue that can be categorized under Autism Spectrim Disorder. It is something that I've been saying for years.

The problem is that when it walks and talks like a duck we assume that it is "just a duck", but we fail to see that there is more then one kind of duck in the world.

It seems at this point in scientific study, the medical establishment is unable to call what children affected by vaccines and other environmental issues like food allergies what it really is. The families of kids with acquired autism are being told they are wrong, when the correlation is as real as you or I.

I believe that we do not know a lot about the brain yet, and it's mechanics, and therefore nothing can be counted out...I believe that yes...environmental things like toxins, and things in vaccines could cause issues that present like textbook autism.. we just don't have a name for it yet, so these kids are being labeled as Autistic.

When the parents start to change diets, and stimuli and detoxify they child's system, and there is improvement, it looks negatively on us parents with a child who have ASD from birth due to wiring. ( some days I swear If one more person tells me my kid needs to stop drinking milk and she won't be like she is I'll smother them with a cow!)

No one wins when we are not open as a society at looking at both sides of this autism coin. We are doing these children and families of these acquired autism cases a disservice by not looking at it and accepting it as a legitimate issue.

We are doing the families with children who have had ASD from birth a disservice by fighting about the "cause " of autism, and making them think they did something "wrong" in choosing to vaccinate or drink milk , or eat hot dogs, or lick the batter from a cake batter ( or whatever someone thinks is the reasons tomorrow) while we waste time trying to find a "cure" and ease our parental guilt rather then learn to adapt and cope, and live better WITH autism.

I'm not for nor against vaccinating for the record... it is a personal choice that each family must make on their own.... as a parenting team my husband and I could not agree on vaccinations so we met in the middle with the decision to selectively delay vaccinations administered individually.

It is my belief that any child who presents with symptoms or traits of autism should be tested for toxins in the system... and tried on an elimination diet etc., and if that doesn't work, it can be assumed that they were autistic from birth and should be given the diagnosis of ASD GIN ( Autism Spectrum Disorder, Genetic In Nature) , and if they respond to detoxifying the system, or diet eliminations process, they should be given the label AASD EIN (Acquired Autism Spectrum Disorder-Environmental In Nature)

Which ever form of ASD you child has, however it happened, whenever it was notice, the children are showing signs of developmental delays and have extra needs that need to be addressed. We need to stop fighting about how it happened, it just did. We need to band together without guilt and blame, and work together to give the children the best lives we can. Be it, through learning to accept and cope with lifelong autism, or while going through reversing AASD EIN.

It's time to recognize both, and it's time to stop fighting with each other.

Rock Make Up

When I was 7, my best friend and I used to make our own make up. We'd take pretty colorful rocks and scrape them against other rocks to get a powder and apply it to our eyes for eye shadow. He'd take Vaseline and mix it up with berries from her grandfathers garden and make our own lip gloss. It is a fond memory I have of my childhood, and it recently came flooding back to me while in a store looking at makeup with my daughter.

She is fascinated with makeup right now, and being the cool , totally out of the box mother that I am, at 8 years old I'm letting her wear blush and lip gloss and eye shadow. I helped her pick out the colors, and gave her tips and hints on how to apply, and let her go to town.

She somehow manages to put the eyeshadow on like she is a cyclopes every time and has big blue and green streaks across the bridge of her nose! :) But, she's 8 and she thinks she is beautiful.

Some might wonder why we'd agree to let our 8 year old daughter wear make up, while I'm sure others think that we are outright wrong for doing so. It doesn;t matter to me what anyone else thinks, because it is our choice.. but for the sake of discussion...we did it for two reasons.

1. I'd rather she experiment now and make her mistakes at this age, so that when she's a teenager she knows how to put it on already and the novelty of it will have worn off by then, and she won't look like Mimi from the Drew Cary Show.

2. I'd rather she desire wearing make up for herself, rather then as a teenager because it is somehow tied to being pretty enough to attract the attention of the boys.

Now, I'm writing this because she and I have decided that we are going to experiment when we move to the new house and start making our own makeup. Namely gloss, blush and eyeshadow. The reason for this is because there is not much these days that does have "made in china" marked on it when we look at make up ( that is in our price range mind you), and with the tainted milk ( and powdered milk often being a filler in bubble baths and makeup) and lead in things these days, I'm in fear of giving my daughter lip gloss that has some sort of chemical in it that would leech into her lips and make her sick.

If we know where it came from, and what's in it, I'll feel better about it, and I think it would be a good chemistry/cooking lesson for her for homeschooling.

So my latest googling project has been to acquire homemade make up recipes and some small jars to hold stuff....things that are simple and that have easily attainable ingredients.

I think this will be fun, and I can't wait to get started :) Stay tuned ....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cutest Ugly Doll Ever

Made by my daughter, who she named "Scrumples" The world's cutest ugly doll. Made of socks and a knitted winter hat and embroidery thread, stuffed with my 3 year old's underwear for stuffing LOL And it never would of happened if I didn't have a sock box full of unsorted socks, because I never pair them. I'm not lazy, I'm supplying materials to help bring out my daughter's creativity :) Ya.. that's my story and I'm sticking to it :P

The List

I'm not sure who can be credited completely for "The List", my husband or myself, but it is a little thing we've been doing when in stores, especially the toy department, ever since our daughter was old enough to say "I want this".

It was a technique we used with her to get her to be accepting of putting down something she saw and liked and wanted to play with or look at longer,and coming along with us to finish our shopping trip. Until we implemented the list, there was a lot of crying and begging, and not listening when she was looking at things. Not an uncommon sight in a department store.

Like most parents I'm sure, we dreaded the toy section of most stores...until the list.

"What is the list?", you ask.

The list is simply a page in the back of my day planner with the things they like written down on it. When I want them to come along with me and stop looking at something, I simply acknowledge what they like and write it on the list...most of the time it works, and I no longer have to drag my child through the store or confine them to the cart because I'm in fear of them hanging around and refusing to stop looking at something, and making my shopping trip miserable and last 3 times as long as necessary.

Mind you I AM shopping with kids, so they do need reminding sometimes, or they have bad days, or, it does take a bit longer, but the list has been a sanity saver for us many many times.

At one time, I had to keep a physical list, and they had to see it being written down for them to feel like they could leave the thing behind, but now, they show me something, and I say "oh, ya that's very interesting, I can tell you like that very much!" and they'll say something like "ya I really like it, can you put it on the list?" and I'll agree...make a mental note of it, or simply tell my husband, "Ok Daddy, this transformers toy is going on the list" and when he agrees with me, that is all they need to hear , and they are right beside me leaving that isle and going forward continuing on with our shopping.

It makes me feel good that although I have a list that is 25 lines long after a shopping trip, or every 5 steps down an Isle, I'm verbally putting something on the list, I have kids that are relatively compliant and are not screaming or begging for things asking why can't they have them all the time.

We have set a precedent with our kids early in life that we are not wealthy people, in fact down right poor by societies standards, and that everything that gets purchased in our home is a decision not taken lightly and one that is discussed and planned.

They see us go over the grocery ads every week to see what is on sale and what is not, and now my kids can even go through the grocery store with me and ask for something that catches their eye, and all I have to do it say " I'm sorry, that's not on sale this week, but I can put it on the list for you?" and they will most always, go" ohhh ok"... mind you it is not a cheery response, or sometimes my daughter will get mad that the store NEVER has pogos on sale, but they are not flipping out on the floor over fruit loops, or pogos like some other kids I see in the stores.

For a family that shops together out of necessity, the list is a lifesaver. The good thing about it too, is that it teaches our kids that although you might want things, you can't always get them right away, or maybe even ever, and that it is ok to desire things, but not to lament over them. It teaches them to acknowledge the desire for something, but t not let the desire eat them up emotionally and let it consume them. Once it is on the list, it is no longer an issue, or a source of suffering emotionally, over something they can't afford.

It doesn't hurt to let them see your list either. Tonight, I put a pair of dressier winter boots on my list. It would be nice to have some nicer boots then the mucking around boots I have now. I looked at a conservative pair for $14.99 My daughter immediately brought me a "nicer pair" that were $34.99 and I told her they WERE nice, but that I just wanted a relatively ok-nice then the ones I have now- pair for a cheaper price and showed her the price difference. She put them back, and was happy with the answer.

If your a parent who dreads shopping with the kids due to the gimmie gimmie's....try starting a list of your own :)

If you ask me... it's a pretty effective parenting tool.

Let me know how it works for you.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

3 year olds make up interesting descriptive words

My 3 yo son yesterday had an incident when he went to go potty and had the runs, which was unknown until he had an accident on the floor on the way to the washroom. He was a little upset, and called me to the washroom to help him.

"Help me mommy, I had an accident on the floor, I have dia-water-reah!"

Poor kid....I giggle at his cute descriptive explanation but he thought I was giggling at his misfortune of having an accident.

Friday, November 14, 2008


So, i went to the lawyers office in town today to do some paper work for the house closing for December 1st, and while I was there I went to the No frills store to buy a block of margarine to make fudge for family fun night tonight. But when I got to the register i got the dredded"insuff funds" notice on the bank card.

With a quick check in with my hubby, turns out we only have .85 cents to our name at the moment until CTTB comes in. That totally sucks, but aside from the margarine for the fudge we were good until then anyway.

So, after discussion, we decide I'll go to A & P to buy the margarine even thought it is more expensive, and put it on the visa. So off I went... with my baking margarine in hand I stand at the counter and wait for the cashier to ring it through. She tallies up the bill, and was appalled at the price of the single block of margarine, but then even more shocked when I pulled out my Visa to pay for it. She said "really?", though not in a rude way, so I took no offense and giggled.

"Really" I answered. " My husband and I agreed we only make important purchases with the visa."

" That must be some pretty important baking margarine!?" she smiled. To which I replied " yes indeed, that's not margarine, that's a promise to my 3 year old and 8 year old for fudge for family fun night tonight."

she smiled and said "AHHHHH that's pretty important then"

I smiled as I signed my name to the slip she keeps a copy of for her records and passed back her pen, and I said..."yes...because to a child.... a promise is everything."

The older lady behind me purchasing her small order with her trundle buggy over heard the whole conversation and looked at me and smiled knowingly.

I bid them good day, smiling on my way. As I was walking away, I over heard the older lady tell the cashier "That's good family values for ya!"

How's that for reassurance that your doing the right thing? That's Attachment Parenting values for ya.

UK School Uses Hug Therapy To Modify The Behavior of Troubled Children

I hope you watch this... it is sure to be a testament to the need for our society at large to guide new parents to know and use Attachment Parenting philosophies at home.

Hugging should not have been needed to be discovered as a therapy for these kids in the first place, but at least it has been, and genuine attachment and affection with adults in their lives is showing to be a positive thing to help them gain control of their self destructive behaviors.

Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go

Airs on Sunday November 16, 2008 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC Newsworld

Acclaimed documentary film-maker Kim Longinotto (Sisters in Law, The Day I Will Never Forget) brings us an incredible film about a unique last-chance boarding school that uses hug therapy to modify the behavior of troubled children. The Mulberry Bush in Oxfordshire looks after and teaches children who have been expelled from regular schools for extreme behaviour. The three-year programme gives them the chance to turn their lives around and re-enter the regular school system.

Longinotto spends a year at the school following the progress of four charming but troubled boys. All have severe problems with anger and violence; they punch, kick, spit and curse at the remarkably patient teachers who are trained never to raise their voices and who encourage the students to express their emotions. The film compassionately captures the battle these children go through to give voice to the hurt they carry inside. It is a sensitive and heart-wrenching study of the results of family dysfunction and also stands witness to the effects-bad and good-adults have on growing children.

Mulberry Bush is not an average school. It costs 113,000 British pounds a year and is highly selective. But you don't get there by being super rich. Each child is carefully chosen and paid for by local education authorities hard strapped even to buy enough books for their normal classrooms. They pay for these children for one reason only: they have no idea what else to do with them.

This film explores the remarkable relationships which are formed between the staff and children. We are drawn into the arduous and emotionally charged process of trying to break the kids' violent and self-destructive patterns of behaviour.

Schools Fail to Educate Unless They Emulate Homeschool Learning Through "Special Classes"

I read the article I've posted below, and my first response was not like most people would probably have of "well good for them for finding a way to teach these kids math". My first response was " Took them this long to figure out that a more one on one teaching method works!?"

This is a best testament that homeschooling works. When the schools and teachers start trying to create "special classes" that emulate a more homeschooling style of teaching in our countries school because the traditional ways theya re doing it now don't work, that speaks volumes.

Reported in Globe And Mail Today

Melissa Marsh is a special education co-ordinator at Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw School in Port Hardy, at the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Its students include some of the most challenged kids in Canada. Many struggle with learning disabilities, cognitive disabilities and behaviour problems. The community has its share of social issues, and parental involvement is low.

For kids like these, academic failure is depressingly familiar. "The shutdown mode comes extremely quickly," Ms. Marsh says. But now, kids at this school are experiencing the unaccustomed taste of success in a subject that far more advantaged kids have grown to dread - math.

The JUMP program, pioneered by Toronto mathematician John Mighton, breaks almost every rule of current math pedagogy. It does not depend on the "discovery" method, group work or real-life examples. It is highly structured, relies on a great deal of direct instruction, repetition and reinforcement, and proceeds in small, incremental steps.

It also works.

"Repetition is crucial for many of our students," says Wayne Peterson, the principal. He adds, "Your regular math texts have too much reading." JUMP (Junior Undiscovered Math Prodigies) is structured so that every kid can solve the problems, one small step at a time. That builds their confidence and self-esteem, and keeps them motivated and engaged. It can get even low achievers excited about math. Teachers say their math skills dramatically improve - and so does their behaviour, their levels of engagement and their attitude.

"The kids aren't fighting me tooth and nail any more," says Ms. Marsh. "They know what's expected. They have the steps set out in front of them and they know they are going to be able to achieve all of those steps. The kids in my special education class go, 'Whoo-hoo! I did the bonus question and I got it right!' One Grade 7 student has never been able to sit in math class without completely disrupting it. JUMP has changed that. Today, he participates in class discussion and does the written work by himself."

The JUMP program is now being used in more than a dozen first nations schools in B.C., as well as in many regular schools in the Vancouver area. "We found that the regular textbook way wasn't reaching all the kids," says Christine Hammond, head teacher of N'Kwala School, near Merit. The program is especially effective with her ESL students, because they don't have to wade through oceans of text. One floundering Innu boy, for example, quickly became a math whiz. The kids at her small band school are now performing at the regional average in math, she says. JUMP is also effective with adult learners, some of whom, after a lifetime of frustration, are getting their GEDs.

Liz Barrett is a South Africa-born educator who travels the province doing outreach and teacher support in first nations schools. For her, proficiency in math is a social justice issue. "These kids are falling by the wayside, and that's unacceptable. If your students aren't getting a Grade 12, the door is closed to them." She discovered the JUMP program four years ago, when she heard Mr. Mighton lecture in B.C., and became a passionate advocate. She's now helping to launch a JUMP pilot program in South Africa.

Mr. Mighton, 52, is an unusual man. As well as being a mathematician (currently in residence at Toronto's Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences), he is one of Canada's best playwrights. He got interested in math education because he thinks the state of numeracy in Canada is a disaster. Judging by the evidence, he's right. In Ontario, for example, a third of community college students are in danger of failing first-year math. Mr. Mighton also believes we must reverse the "culture of failure" that permeates math education. "There's no reason the vast majority of kids can't learn math."

Ten years ago, Mr. Mighton began tutoring inner-city Toronto kids in his apartment, with great success. The next task was to determine whether JUMP would scale up. He began working to persuade school boards, a far tougher task than he expected. But the initial results have been good. One British inner-city school district, in London, agreed to try it. At the start, the kids were performing an average of two years below the national level in math. After one year of JUMP, 60 per cent of them passed the national exams.

JUMP works for middle-class kids, too. One Toronto teacher used it with her Grade 5 kids, whose math skills at the start of the year ranged from Grade 3 to Grade 7. By the end of the year, every student signed up for the Pythagoras competition, which is written only by top students. Fifteen out of the 17 achieved distinction.

The JUMP program is founded on observation, evidence, teacher feedback, continuous improvement and rigour, combined with new research findings on how the brain learns. By contrast, most programs taught in school are not. For the past couple of decades, both math and reading instruction have been an ideological battlefield that pits the "progressives" - educators who favour good things such as discovery and creativity - against the traditionalists, who favour bad things such as repetition and direct instruction. The progressives have had the upper hand, which is one reason why JUMP has been regarded in some quarters - especially in progressive-minded Ontario - as positively dangerous. Last May, consultants with the Toronto District School Board dismissed JUMP as a form of "rote, procedural learning." In Ontario, that's the kiss of death.

Now the tide is turning, though not fast enough. Last spring, the U.S. National Mathematics Advisory Panel endorsed the seemingly obvious idea that, in order to succeed in math, children need to understand what they're doing.

But the school system is plagued by other barriers that actively discourage best practices. One is the widespread use of consultants, who often write the very textbooks they then are paid to recommend. Some teachers are heavily discouraged from using instructional methods or materials their school board frowns on, even though they work. Many schools and parents are beaten into submission by claims that certain programs are "evidence-based" even though they're not. There's a lot at stake in how curriculum decisions are made - but parents and teachers seldom have a clue, or a voice.

So if you're interested in JUMP for your kid, you may have to move to Vancouver or Port Hardy. You could also check out the JUMP website ( And Mr. Mighton has written two books, The Myth of Ability and The End of Ignorance. The program survives on charitable support, and he is a more or less full-time volunteer.

"Teachers get so excited by this," says Liz Barrett. "Suddenly they've got the tools to reach the students, and suddenly they're all achieving."

Thomas Beatie and his wife are expecting a second child

SOURCE: Thomas Beatie, known around the world as the "pregnant man" who gave birth to a girl, is carrying another child, says a report. In an interview with ABC News, Beatie said he is currently in his first trimester and his baby is due next June 12. Born a woman, Beatie underwent hormone therapy and had his breasts removed to become a man in the late 1990s. However, he kept his female reproductive organs and stopped taking his twice-weekly doses of testosterone ahead of his first successful pregnancy. Beatie said in the interview that he did not start taking testosterone again after the birth so that he could get pregnant again. He gave birth to a baby girl, named Susan, on June 29 of this year. He decided to get pregnant the first time because his wife, 46-year-old Nancy, could not become pregnant. She had a hysterectomy as a result of endometriosis. Beatie, 34, was impregnated through artificial insemination, using donor sperm and his own eggs. He has said he had a natural birth, not a C-section. Beatie has written a memoir, which goes on sale this week, called "Labour of Love." The couple also sold exclusive photos to Getty Images and were paid for their appearance in a British documentary, ABC News reported. However, Beatie told ABC's Barbara Walters that money isn't their motivation. "We've turned down about $2 million altogether from people wanting to do all sorts of things with us. But as far as you know, doing it for the fame, I have to say I'm infamous. I mean, who wants to be unpopular, controversial and despised?" Beatie has now been pregnant three times, but his first experience was an unsuccessful ectopic pregnancy, which was hampered by medical complications. Beatie has said that it was a "life-threatening event" which resulted in the loss of three embryos (he was expecting triplets) and his right fallopian tube. He made those revelations in an interview last March with The Advocate, which is a magazine for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered people. "How does it feel to be a pregnant man? Incredible," he told the magazine. "Despite the fact that my belly is growing with a new life inside me, I am stable and confident being the man that I am." Beatie started his sex reassignment therapy about a decade ago and lives with his wife in Bend, Oregon. The couple operates a T-shirt printing business.

The big attachment parenting question...Won't AP spoil my baby?

Many new parents find attachment parenting to be a fitting philosophy for raising their baby, but when you about 7 to 12 weeks in and you're dead tired and the baby wants you every waking ( and sometimes the sleeping ) moment of the day, you start to honestly wonder if you're doing the right thing. Add to that a "well meaning" mother in law telling you you're going to spoil the baby if you keep carrying them and sleeping with them, and you can really start to waver on a decision you and your spouse were very firm and united on.

The short answer is.... No, your not spoiling your baby :) keep it up, and feel secure in knowing your doing the right thing.

The longer answer follows.....

Attachment parenting is one of the oldest ways of caring for babies, and your following your instincts, but it sounds as if outside influences have you second guessing yourself right now. holding and nurturing and breastfeeding your baby is the way parents for eons have taken care of babies, until childcare advisors and so called experts came onto the scene and led parents to follow books instead of their babies. Because of that we live in a society of people raising children in a "convenience parenting" way.. that is to train the baby to do what the parents need to remain the most convenient and non life changing to the parents life habits. They do that through emotional neglect, touch deprivation, and fake senses of security with machinery and gadgets. A multi billion dollar industry.

As Dr. Sears says, and I like to use as a way to explain to new attachment parents...Picture your family on a deserted island and you've just birthed your baby. There are no books, expert advisors, or mother in-laws around to shower you with child baby- tending advice. The baby B's of attachment parenting would come naturally to you as they have other cultures who have centuries more child-rearing experience and tradition than all of us have.

You may worry that being nurturing and responsive to your baby's needs might spoil your baby and set you up for being manipulated. This is why it is stressed that AP is responding appropriately to your baby's needs. That means knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no." to your baby from situation to situation. Sometimes in our want to give children everything they need, it's easy for us as parents to give our children everything they want, and with that there is a big difference. But a baby at 7 weeks old is hardly manipulating you, he's just asking for what he needs to feel warm, full, dry and safe.

I always maintain that attachment parenting is a game of balance. As you and your baby grow together, you will develop the right balance between attentive, but not indulgent. An example would be that you don't need to respond to the cries of a seven-month-old baby as quickly as you would a seven-week-old baby, so you're not even at that point yet.

As your baby grows, you become an expert at reading his cries, so you can gradually delay your response. You'll know what is the "I'm bored, come entertain me now!" cry and the "There's a diaper pin stuck in my hip" cry.

Don't think that AP means that the baby pulls mommy's string and she jumps. Because of the mutual sensitivity that develops between attached parents and their attached children, parents' response time can gradually lengthen as mother enables the older baby to discover that he does not need instant gratification. Yes, you give a lot of yourself in those early months, as you are doing right now, but you get back a lot more in return in the months to come.

As an AP mom, you DO need to take breaks so you don't get touched out and begin feeling smothered by the baby's needs and everyone else's needs around you. This is why shared parenting by the father and other trusted caregivers and older responsible siblings is important.

Contrary to popular mainstream beliefs, attachment parenting is not spoiling a child. A lot of new AP parents ask, "Won't holding our baby a lot, responding to cries, nursing our baby on cue, and even sleeping with our baby create an overly dependent manipulative child?"

The answer is simply, no. In fact, both experience and research have shown the exact opposite. Attachment fosters independence. When a young child has gone through infancy and toddler hood having had all their physical and emotional needs met, they feel safe and secure, and that generally gives them the courage they need to do new things on their own knowing you are there to catch them when they fall, literally and figuratively. With that safety harness for them, you will find that as he grows older the length of the string that connects you both, will get longer and longer even though it remains tied tight around both of your waists.

Think of attachment parenting as having an emotional umbilical cord still attached that gets longer as the baby gets older. With AP families, the umbilical cord usually always remains attached, even into teenage years, but you learn when to leave it slack or when to use it to pull your child closer to receive the support and care they need at any age. And, unlike apron strings, that society always refers to needing to be cut... emotional AP umbilical cords shouldn't ever be cut, that's when you know you've lost your connection to your child.

That's what I'd say if you asked me anyway...

You can have your schools, we're just fine thanks

What does school teach about life? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. And certainly nothing that I can't teach my children at home and from just living life.

Whenever I mention that we are unschooling and our children will not attend a public educational institution, people look at me with almost horror in their eyes and mention the social aspects of home schooling and say that my kids will be a recluse or shy or less able to play with other children.

Doctors, and nurses ask me all the time what we are doing to “ensure their ability to socialize and learn to play wither others.”

People see my almost 4 year old son, being shy and reserved when they, complete strangers, or people he does not know well or see often, and comment that perhaps he needs to attend preschool in order to “work that out”.

My first question is…Why is being shy or a quiet reserved person a bad thing? Why is that something that needs to be “worked out”? I remind them that my son is not unique and he’ll respond and interact however he feels comfortable and I won’t push him.

It is amazing the just because we homeschool, they sct like this is a unique issue and a problem that public schooling will solve.

My husband is shy… and he’s 40 years old. Seems like school didn’t solve it for him, Is he a case of shyness that slipped through the cracks in the public education system? I think not.

There are thousands of children in the public education system, that are shy and reserved. Sitting in a class of thirty other children does not make them un-shy by any means.

If anything, it stands more to reason that being in a class of other children who have the opportunity to pick on them for being pointed out as shy and one who needs to be dragged out of his shell, would make matters worse for them. Stressing an extremely shy child in such forced social situations can cause a lifetime of anxiety for a person. It is certainly not good for a child who is seriously shy to be taught being shy is wrong, and forcing them to interact when they don’t want to.

I love that people can use shyness as an example of a reason to not home school when they have no clue what your child is like in the first place. My daughter is certainly not a reserved child, and in fact is the social butterfly of the neighbour hood, being called on by the neighbour children at 3:30 when they get home from school.

I have asked people what kind of social skills they think my daughter is missing out on by me not sending her to school when she hits that “magical learning age of five”

I have received responses like:

“How will she make friends?”

“How will she learn to play fairly and share?”

The fact is, from what I have seen and experienced, she would likely only miss out on things that are not generally needed in life. Like needing to ask permission to be allowed to listen to her body’s cues and go do a natural bodily function, while learning what it is like to be humiliated in public because it is because she has to ask in front of her peers. This can be embarrassing, especially when a child’s trust in their own perceptions needs to be approved by a teacher first, not to mention, teaching kids that adults don’t trust you and your ability to judge for yourself, if the teacher refuses and you really need to go, and I turn creates a lack of trust in adults with the child.

I have literally seen children pee their pants because the teacher did not think that the third kid to ask to go to the washroom in the last twenty minutes really needed to go!! PLEASE!! They all just drank a juice box at recess time; of course they have to pee.

My children would miss out on having their creativity handed to them in a coloring page, and a pre decided, pre cut color and paste craft, that will be critiqued if they color the picture the “wrong” colors. They would miss out on their imaginations being squashed because the teacher thinks math is more important right now then wondering where butterflies come from.

Looking back at my own report cards from as far back as kindergarten, they all say in the “concerns and comments” section, that I was too much of a day dreamer and needed to be told to get back to work on a regular basis. One teacher even went as far to call me a “spaced out child”, because I was more interested in looking at the bugs and worms outside on the ground, or the birds flying by the classroom window. “Sapced out was the 1979 term for ADHD I guess.

I was reported in Kindergarten for being “too interested in playing house” and not using the blocks more, and was actually punished with no play time in the dress up, play house area, until I did at least 10 minutes at the blocks and 10 minutes at the chalk board for free drawing. I kid you not!!! I remember being worried that I’d fail kindergarten if I didn’t comply and grit my teeth though forced chalk board free time. I also remember the next terms report coming home and it being detailed at how I either was successful or needed improvement at being “well rounded in my play”. I apparently painted to fast, and didn’t put enough detail into my drawings, and I was too wrapped up in playtime to stop playing dressup and houe to go out for recess.. How completely asinine!!!

Funny how today I’m a mother and a wife “playing house” and I seem to have no lack of ability to play with building blocks with my son, or stacking the wood. I have the ability to put down the housework and go have some fun for a short time, and..funny enough I STILL hate the feel of chalk dust in my hands.

I don’t want my child’s interests to be pushed aside, and have her be told that her imagination is not important. I don’t want her chanstized for not being “well rounded enough” because she has a genuine interest in something she is good at or enjoys doing. I feel that can greatly effect ones self-esteem negatively.

I always wonder who decided that all children at the age of 5 and 6 needed to be more concerned with math and the alphabet, then whatever interests them at that age. I know as an adult I do not learn on someone else's schedule. I learn as I find I am interested in it.

The day that all adults /governments/school systems realize that children are people too, and are to be cherished and loved, not controlled and told when to think what, and when to think it we will have a wonderful world. The day that home schooling is the norm and the majority, is when I will breathe a sigh a relief, but sadly, I know I am not likely to see that day in this lifetime.

So, maybe my child would not learn how to stand in a line? That seems like a big concern and something schools teach children right? Teachers or obsessed with lining up for everything. Stand in line for the bus, stand in line for the bathroom, and stand in line for the basket ball in gym class. Stand in line to leave a classroom for lunch. Schooled kids are like trained seals who line up at the clap of a hand or the sound of a bell.

Someone actually told me that once! That my kid would not know how to stand in line in real life if they didn’t go to school, and that standing in line teaches them patience.


It does?? Well then the lady that works at Wal-Mart who was on a break shopping and butted in line in front of me the other night because she only had a few things, must not have gone to school! I thought she was just a rude person, but I guess she was just ignorant ( not aware).

I’m not kidding, as she was butting in line, without actually waiting for the answer, she said ” You don’t mind if I go ahead of you do you? Thanks so much” and had her stuff on the belt, cashing out, before I could blink.

She had two less items then I had, and she didn’t even wait for my response, because she wasn’t expecting one. She expected that I’d comply to her “request” ( read demand) without complaint.

My response was “No, I guess I don’t mind at all, since you didn’t wait for a response and are already there!” she didn’t even LISTEN to me, and was off chatting away to the cashier on duty, so I was essentially speaking to no one. My husband was enraged! I just shook my head. Another great example of the school system at it’s finest, putting out thoughtful, patient, well-rounded people into the world.

I am amazed that people cannot see the things they do in normal life that are life lessons so much more then sitting in a class room and all listening to one person call the shots. When I was told that my kids needed school to learn to stand in line, after the laughter, I responded with, “Well, I guess maybe a bank would be good enough to teach about standing in lines, don’t you think?”, and “Oh, and what about the grocery store, the doctors office?”

The thing about lines in school is you all have to stand in a pin straight line behind the next and are not allowed to turn around and talk to someone you know. Is that natural?

I ask you... When was the last time you were in a bank and saw the line be perfectly straight? NEVER. But gee, everyone knows who is first, and when their turn is don't they?

Looks like the teachers were wasting our time teaching about lines, or they should have admitted in the first place they were not doing it for our benefit to learn paitence; they were doing it for their own benefit so they would not have to deal with children actually being children and human.

I have yet to see someone who saw a friend or neighbour in a store and didn’t talk to them, because they were taught in school that when your in a line you need to be quiet.

Can you just imagine this conversation?

You: "Hi Ril! How have you been!? It’s been forever, how are you keeping? How’s the kids!!?" Me: "Shh, don't you know we are not supposed to talk in line!!!” then, a quick glance toward the cashier, to make sure they didn’t catch us, and, “I'll call you later, shh before we get in trouble!! The cashier might see us!"

I don't know any time in my life since I have been released from institutional schooling, when I have ever spent five days a week in a room with thirty other people my age, or was expected to, and I certainly don’t know how that at any point in my schooling years, taught me valuable social skills that I used as an adult when I worked with mentally handicapped adults, or visited elderly folks.

About the only social skill is taught me was how to pass the notes discretely and not get caught or it would be read out loud to the class. School also taught me how to not show people that I was different or unique, because I would be picked on for it.

Great set of social skills. Don't be yourself, lie and be sneaky!

I have worked many jobs since I graduated from school at 18, and none of them required sitting in a room with people of the same age or skill level. As a matter of fact, like you, I’m sure, the jobs that I held, had so many different ages/races/religions that I learned more about the world and people's cultures then I could have from any book, that it was amazing. I did not read about other countries and cultures, I experienced them and talked to people of that culture and learned so much and made friends. Tasted their foods, watched their traditions and asked questions out of genuine interest. That, in my opinion is a far greater lesson then writing out on a piece of paper where India is, and its population, and passing it in to a teacher to grade.

If I wanted my child to be told what to do constantly and to conform to someone else's ideas of the world I would sign them up for the armed forces. In my opinion, not even I feel I have the right to impose my own beliefs and feeling on my children. We try to set things up for self investigation for them, and plan to allow her to be exposed to as much as possible so she can make her own choices, as far as careers and religion goes, later in her life.

Schools do not teach social skills, at best (or is that at worst) recess and lunch hours do, as limited as it is. That alone should clue our society in to just how our schools are failing to teach life skills. In the meantime, until they figure that out, they are only now reporting on national Canadian news that our schools are failing to provide adequate education to our children, who are graduating well under grade level for reading and math skills, and are struggling in the real world due to it.