Family Life Update

I thought it was about time I at least tried to get back into my lovely little blog. It's been at least 3 months since I wrote on here and I have missed writing, it's just been hard to know what to write.
I didn't feel like I could do reviews or gift guides, put up sponsored posts or even write about other little things when so much has been going on; really hard stuff. It was like the elephant in the room and I was avoiding writing about it so I stopped writing about anything else too because everything felt fake when not addressing the Big Thing.

Don't get me wrong. We still have had plenty of good moments which I can tell you about but first, the reason I have pretty much abandoned my blog. Long term readers will know I have always struggled with A's behaviour. When he was about 3 he was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, more commonly seen in children with additional needs but A was deemed too young to look into anything else at the time so we went with this.

Over the years A's behaviour has mostly stayed the same. Looking back, I can see behaviour he does now and realise it was always there, I just didn't see it. For the past year and in particular, the past 6 months, we have seen a dramatic increase in his poor and aggressive behaviour.
There is a lot going on with A, I don't want to write in absolute detail but as is sometimes common when families come together there are often at least several of the family who fail to get along. This seems to be the case with A and James. A has been more and more physically aggressive and unlike a lot of children he doesn't have the filter to stop. He wants to hurt and he will do it, with no stop. I have had to restrain him multiple times and he has attacked myself and Mr K numerous times. 

At the moment, family life is fractured. It's difficult being together as a family because something always kicks off. We do our best to give the children their individual attention and all are doing well in school which is a relief. J is much happier in his new school. He had some issues with bullying both in general from other children and sadly A was part of that on occasion, something I am deeply disappointed about. All children are now in new schools and all are benefiting from their new environment.

Will continues to do Home Ed. Currently we are looking at weather, swimming weekly, measuring our home and looking at area and perimeter with the goal of building a small scale version of our bungalow. We are also looking at Japan for our culture lessons and incorporating this into cookery (home made Mochi here we come!) We are still looking at the wars for history which ties in great as Midge is doing this at school as well and soon we start looking at electricity but so far we have been growing our crystals (which little joy sadly!)

Midge has grown up so much in just these past few months. We are very aware as she is the more quieter one that she needs a lot of attention herself, difficult when you have 3 boys with very different needs. School is going really well and soon we will hear which secondary school she will be going into. Her new passport arrived yesterday which is wonderful and we can now look forward to putting money aside as best we can so she can holiday with my sister and parents next year. She continues to be sensitive but has certainly learned to hold her own a bit more and the pre teen phase has well and truly begun!

James is much happier in his new school setting, a faith school 5 minutes away from our new home. He likes our new place and is much more happy to come over. He still finds home life tricky and we know a lot of it is the tension and issues between him and A. He also seems to be using all that energy to be well behaved at school and we have noticed when he returns home it's like an almighty explosion both physically and emotionally. 

A remains fairly set a part from the rest of the family. He still gets his one to one but he often sees himself as more of an adult and that his fellow siblings are 'the kids.' He has adjusted to our life, he likes the new house and he likes his new school after a wobble starting where he refused to go in with a male teacher! He continues to push boundaries and sometimes it is hit and miss carrying out consequences to his actions. Some days he will do time out okay and others he will try to hurt himself in some way to get me to stop the process or he will just snap; he screams shouts and becomes aggressive until things go his way. Of course they don't so as you can imagine this can go on a while!

A is starting play therapy next week up until Easter next year (unless we get another professional coming into the mix from social services) I'm paying for this privately after being let down by his previous school and Early Help services. As mentioned above, our family is now under social services which we self referred to after trying every other avenue. Our social worker is a really nice man, all the kids like him (apart from A who is 'in the middle about him') He has taken on board everything about all the children and has admitted that this will be a long road for us.

A has a lot of emotional needs and they need to be addressed. We have a fab home support worker at James' school and we are hoping when the new one starts at A's school they will be just as good. SENCO remains to be seen, we are hoping they put across a good referral for us to the local children's therapy place to see a paediatrician otherwise we will be back to square one yet again in that regard. Our social worker wants to go straight to CAMHS but the doctor has been told he has to follow this current route first. 

Martyn and I, although having had ups and downs we continue to support each other the best we can. We are both often drained and tired and it is hard being a full time carer and a mother just as it is hard being a father, a home educator and living with a chronic and very painful illness for him. We continue to make each other laugh at least once a day, talk openly about how we feel and discuss the children. We both come together to pray and do our Bible reading at night along with some christian devotional sites which we find uplifting. 

So, although long, I hope I haven't bored anyone too much. Life is hard right now but no one said it would be easy, especially not with children (and 4 of them at that!) we have to hope that now we have social services involved and what appears to be a good social worker, we can access the help and support we need in whatever form to help the children and ourselves. 

My Sunday Photo ~ Boats and Blue Skies

We had a lovely walk this week at a place called Riverside, one of Mr K's favourite spots. It was wonderful for me to smell some salt and seaweed in the air. I loved the abandoned boat and the clouds so thought I'd take a snap to share.

Letting Lily Fly

Sometimes you have to let children fly.

When Midge was born I have to admit that I didn’t bond with her like I did years later with A. I saw lots of people connect with their new born and yet I struggled. When A came along the connection was there and it felt completely different; that didn’t mean that I didn’t try to give her every opportunity that I could!
As A grew up, and was later diagnosed with SPD, L took a slight backseat because his behaviour and difficulties were quite demanding on both my time and attention.

Of course, over the years, things have balanced out and I manage to get to spend time with them both equally but I do have some lingering mum guilt when it concerns L.  

Our Growing Garden!

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you would know that our garden is something I have been very pleased about this year!

I've always done some kind of home grown thing in every place I've lived in but living with Mr K is the first time I have grown this much at the same time. I usually had a trough of strawberries and a box growing potatoes and nothing more but it's so different now and I really have loved sharing my photos of our growing veg! 

The first veggies we planted were tomatoes, cucucumbers, potatoes, courgettes and runner beans.

When our tomatoes were small they looked fairly spaced...

Now they are crazy wonderful but a little too close together maybe!

Potato flowers are so pretty 

We have some very different plans for our vegetable garden next summer. We had no idea courgettes needed so much room and because they have been planted so close together I'm sure that's why we have seen less crop. I'm still over the moon with what we have had! 

Cucumbers also go completely over the top but we haven't done bad in controlling them. The most hilariously wonderful vegetable to go bonkers has been our runner beans which as you can see below have taken over my washing line and are also invading our neighbours garden (he's totally okay with this and finds it quite funny) 

We've had 3 of these big courgettes! 

Crazy runner beans!

We've picked so much from our garden. Nearly 100 runner beans, handfuls of strawberries, lavender, 3 large courgettes and 3 cucumbers. We cannot wait to pick more of these veggies and grow more strawberry plants from their new shoots. 

Now we have some idea of what these plants do we can plan better for next year. We built 3 raised beds but ran out of money to fill them and couldn't find any free soil so these will be better used from autumn. 

I wish I could have a bigger space to plant a lovely apple tree (picture below is my father in laws tree, he has 3!) I'd also like to do something outside the front of our house.

 We have a nice little area outside our bedroom where we could take up the horrible stones and use artificial grass which the children would love to sit on and play on out there. We could use pots under the windows which I think we'd plant some sort of pea in, that's our current must grow (I also want to try corn and Mr K wants to try carrots!) 

Have you had any success with your garden this year? Perhaps you've given it an overhaul or dipped your toes in like us with growing your own? I'd love to see your posts or photos because I really have got the green fingers bug! 

*This post was written entirely by me but has 1 paid link inserted