28 February 2011

Nature Connections - February

Nature Connections is a monthly link collection at Living and Learning and we are invited to share pictures of our children enjoying nature.

I didn't get as many pictures during February as I would've liked to because my camera has been playing up, but I did get a picture at the Country Park on a day out with Sunnyboy's Nana and Grandad,

and some pictures at the Botanic Garden again.

There are more pictures from this month at the Botanic Garden in these posts:
50 inspiring links
More inspiration

26 February 2011

More inspiration

Last week I posted 50 inspiring links and here's an update with some more inspiration since then.

A beautiful post describing Infertility in the Bookstore at It's a Brave New World, Baby.

To Wallow or Not Wallow? That is the Question at The 2 Week Wait. This post made me laugh and cry.

Ready to be a Mom reaches the final six weeks of pregnancy and writes about Infertility Gratitude.

Thinking about giving children freedom after some Pond dipping at Aqeela's home & garden.

Worms Eye-View has created some fantastic Play Trays in Mini beasts and a look towards Spring.

We Are Here posts pictures of a day of being creative out of nothing and links to Made by Joel (an awesome blog with lots of fun and inspiring art projects, toys and crafts).

The Mahogany Way family hang out in jammies and play in the backyard.

Sharing poetry in Why I Read Poetry to My Toddler at Imagination Soup.

Papa Kangaroo talks about Semi-Infinite Rods and going into the wide world of mummy and daddy bloggers.

Just a Bald Man explains Why We Unschool.

A wonderful story about running home from school and learning about volcanoes at Blissful E. (Thanks to MaryAnne from mama smiles who left the link for this post on our Volcano videos and links for children post.)

25 February 2011

{this moment}

I couldn't choose so I picked three moments.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember...


24 February 2011

More games with old calendars

Last year I posted about games with old calendars and this week we did some more activities with some old calendars we'd saved. First we made another matching game with an animal calendar.

Then we used the pages from a calendar with pictures of scenery to make sticker pictures.

This was my picture.

Sunnyboy did all these.

Sunnyboy really enjoyed this activity and telling stories about the pictures he created, with a running commentary on what was happening as he put each sticker on the page. A bonus of using a calendar with glossy pages was that he could peel off the stickers again and move them around as he told the story.

See more Page Unplugged Projects at Unplug Your Kids.
Click here to see the play, crafts and learning ideas blog link-ups we share at.


Counting and cleaning coins

The other day Sunnyboy was counting his money (by counting the number of coins in his moneybox) and showed me an old and dirty penny. We decided to clean some of the coins. We'd used up all the vinegar in the house last week making volcanoes, so for this we used lemon juice and salt. We mixed one tablespoon of lemon juice with one teaspoon of salt in a little jar. We put some coins in and left them to soak. Later we took them out and polished them with a cloth. When we have some more vinegar we'll try it with vinegar and salt, and we'll also try it with coca-cola.

Click here to see the play, crafts and learning ideas blog link-ups we share at.

22 February 2011

Life of a mother

20 years of Infertility

Start trying to conceive (TTC) with partner. I go to my GP on several occasions within a couple of months, with symptoms of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Each time GP says there's nothing wrong and no treatment is given.

Still TTC.

Laparoscopy shows severe damage to both fallopian tubes as a result of untreated chronic PID. My only chance of pregnancy is by Assisted Conception.

Partner leaves me for someone who is fertile. In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is not an option as most clinics will only treat couples (it is also expensive and has much lower success rates than now).

Trying to come to terms with Infertility and accept not having a child/children.

Coming to terms with Infertility but unable to accept not having a child/children. Nozy (who I met at 27yrs) suggests we try IVF (by this time the success rates are 25-35% for women under 35yrs).

Saving for IVF.

32yrs-to present time
Saving for future IVF/FETs.

IVF cycle starts early October 2005 (having been delayed most of the year) at Bourn Hall clinic. Egg Collection is 1st December and 21 eggs are retrieved, 18 fertilised. Embryo Transfer is 3rd December. Two embryos are transferred and 16 embryos are frozen. Then the Two Week Wait (2ww). Beta hCG blood test is 16th December and it's a BFP (Big Fat Positive). I'm pregnant. Life with a sunny boy begins.
Anxious wait for 6wk early pregnancy scan and I'm overjoyed to see a heartbeat. Anxiety throughout first trimester and hoping to relax in second trimester but bleeding at 13wks so anxiety continues. Finally start to believe that everything is fine and I'm going to give birth soon when baby starts kicking at 16wks and after 20wk scan.
Sunnyboy is born August 2006.

Appreciating life as an IVF mother. Sunnyboy is growing big. Every day I think of our embryos; they are my babies. Waiting to be able to try Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) cycle/s.

Appreciating life as an IVF mother and looking forward to FET.

FET cycle begins late October 2010 at Bourn Hall. At endometrial scan the embryo transfer is delayed for a week due to needing more Oestrogen. Second endometrial scan is fine so embryo transfer is booked for Monday 20th December and all our 16 embryos are thawed so they can be cultured to blastocysts (then two transferred and the unused ones frozen again). On Friday 17th December I learn that 10 have survived the thaw, on Saturday there are 6 but most are not growing and on Sunday there are 3 and none are growing well. On Monday we go to the clinic for the transfer and are told that only one embryo is still viable and hasn't reached blastocyst stage. The transfer is delayed to see if the embryo can get to blastocyst stage by the next day. On Tuesday 21st December the clinic phones to say that the embryo didn't make it. My babies are gone.

I am a Mother and I am Infertile.

20 February 2011

A volcano painting

I drew a black volcano outline with a felt-tip and Sunnyboy did the rest with paints, paint-dabbers, pastels and glitter glue.

This painting is the first page in our first Project Book, which is going to be all about volcanoes.

More volcanoes:
Volcano videos and links for children
Playdough little volcano

Click here to see the play, crafts and learning ideas blog link-ups we share at.

Playdough little volcano

Yesterday we decided to combine play and crafts with a science experiment and make a playdough volcano. We started with playdough, a little jar and a tray.

We molded the playdough around the jar to make a little volcano.

We fetched some vinegar, red food colouring and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), half filled the jar with vinegar (we didn't have white vinegar so used malt vinegar but it worked fine) and added a little of the red food colouring.

Tip: Open a window before making your playdough volcano as the vinegar smell is pretty strong!

We added a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and watched to see what happened.

Then we did it again and again.

Sunnyboy - "Wow! I didn't know I could make a volcano!"

More volcanoes:
Volcano videos and links for children
A volcano painting

Click here to see the play, crafts and learning ideas blog link-ups we share at.
Carnival of Small World Play at NurtureStore.

Inspired by Iceland

While we were searching for volcano resources and watching volcano videos on YouTube I was reminded of a video we saw last year inspired by Iceland. Just recently we had a long wait to change buses in town on a cold morning and as the bus stop was outside a travel agency I suggested to Sunnyboy we go inside, look at the holiday brochures, warm up and pass the time. I asked him if he'd like a holiday by the seaside but he was cold and fed up with waiting for another bus and said "no". Trying to tempt him into the travel agency I asked if he'd like a holiday on a boat or in the jungle and his eyes lit up. He agreed to go inside and told me "I'd like to have a holiday in Iceland."

Volcano videos and links for children

For several weeks Sunnyboy has been fascinated by volcanoes and yesterday we went looking for more volcano resources online.

His favourite volcano video is Volcano Eruption by John Seach (volcano adventurer and film maker) at Volcano Live.

Earth Science: How a Volcano Forms

Volcano Explorer at Discovery Kids (Sunnyboy loves the virtual volcano)

Photo Gallery: Volcanoes at National Geographic

Kids Investigate Volcanoes! at Squidoo

Continental Drift & Plate Tectonics

How Volcanoes Formed

The Sounds of an Erupting Volcano

The power of Etna

The Volcano Song

We had a great time last night watching volcano videos before bed and singing The Volcano Song. Thanks to @CamilleBijou, from lightly enchanted, for some great volcano website suggestions via Twitter.

Do you know of any volcano websites for children, or volcano videos? We would love it if you let us know and leave links in the comments section.

More volcano links from the comments section:
TopGear: James Goes to IceLand Volcano (suggested by The Barefoot Crofter)
learning about volcanoes (suggested by mama smiles)

Our volcano activities:
Playdough little volcano
A volcano painting

16 February 2011

50 inspiring links

Spring is springing... at What are we doing tomorrow?
.: Embracing Life :. at gardenmama
Let your dreams grow big and strong at Roots of She
ways to say I love you any day at Adventures with Kids
hearts on a stick at simple as that
Keeping Track of the Little Memories at Childhood 101
content and such at Days of You and Me
Breath at bluebirdbaby
Magic Carpet at mama smiles
Inspiration Board at Hip Mountain Mama Blog
Childhood isn’t a rehearsal at Making it up
The first thing to do is not do at radio free school
never dull your shine for somebody else at kind over matter
Magical Webs at Earthboys
Beautiful wood at Earthboys
Inspiring Reading... at Three Joyful Pixies
On Mornings at Shivaya Naturals
Nature Connections 2010 at Living and Learning
Look Past the Obvious to See What's Really There at freeplaylife
On Creating an Unschooling Life at Flow of Love
Could Christmas be about YOU? By Neale Donald Walsch at VividLife
Snowy Days at Free to learn an lovin it
everybody needs beauty... at Mama Craft
When all else has fallen... at Journalling Through Photos
Suspended for a moment in time at The Barefoot Crofter
Kinetic Marble Track Around The Top Of A Room at instuctables
The kindness of strangers ... ... at The shed and beyond
Graffiti Parenting at grit's day
If only we could see the possibilities like children at grit's day
I took His Hand And Followed. at Charlie and Us
On days like these at The Barefoot Crofter
slow childhood at A Wild and Precious Life
Not Laser-Vision, Toddler-Vision at Feeleez
It's a big world at Smiling like sunshine
Here Before at Smiling like sunshine
What Should a 4 Year Old Know? at A Magical Childhood
Unschooling is How Adults Naturally Learn at The Mahogany Way
Zen & the Art of Unschooling Math by Rachel Gathercole at Life Learning Magazine
The heart - a mathematical figure at Heart Curve
Dr. Edwards, in the laboratory, with an axe at a little pregnant
Faith, Fertility and Doogie Howser at Chances Our
The Facebook pregnancy announcement at Yolk
Please Stop Telling Me to Speak about Infertility at Stirrup Queens
Rudy, The Lone Embryo at the 2 Week Wait
The universe of my uterus at It's a Brave New World, Baby
Oh, the Places You'll Go! at Waiting for a baby bump
The Face of (in)Fertility at the state that i am in
Lost in shadows at CD1 Again.....
We are Amazing at Miracle in the Making
Winter Song

More inspiration

14 February 2011

Valentine's Day

Corner View is hosted by Spain Daily and we are invited to post pictures telling the stories of our different lives and cultures. This week's theme is 'Valentine's Day'.


Jane from Spain Daily is away for a while so Corner View is being hosted by Theresa at All of Us.

Corner Views from around the world:
jane - ian - bonnie - joyce - kim - trinsch - francesca - state of bliss - isabelle - janis - kari - jgy - lise - cate - otli - dorte - sophie - mcgillicutty - sunnymama - daan - ibb - kelleyn - ninja - sammi - theresa - cherry b - cole - lucylaine - lynn - skywriting - anna - conny - l´atelier - rosamarĂ­a - victoria - yellow door - tikjewit - juniper - annabel - valerie - mlle paradis - wander chow - nadine - don - flowtops - susanna - tania - dana - tzivia - mezza - susan - ocean girl - svea

See more watery pictures at Watery Wednesday
See more scenery at Scenic Sunday