Thursday, 21 February 2013


Hi all

Here's this week's blog.  Finding it hard to write blogs daily, not because of time, but because it's difficult to write without going into the whole "we did this, then we did this, then we did that" kind of writing which is not only boring to write, it's boring to read.  So, I've started doing quick, easy, daily status updates on Callum's World page on Facebook:

And then a proper blog at end of week (or whenever I get time over the weekend).

So, what has Callum been doing this week?  Well, for starters he's been very lethargic and typically teenager floppy lazy hrumph boy.  He isn't rude or grumpy, but I am getting the occasional 'grunt' reply when he's asked a question.  Hey ho, to be expected with a 13, nearly 14 year old, even with a neuro typical kid, let alone an Aspi one.

Our days still always start with a cuppa and a sit-curled-up-on-sofa-in-pjs chat.  I've normally been up a couple of hours before he surfaces, so it's actually nice to take a bit of time out and talk.  We go over how we slept, whether he had good or bad dreams, what time he finally got to sleep and what book he's currently reading.  We then discuss the day and I talk over what I expect from him.  He can then ask any questions, raise any queries and, quite often, try and compromise with me if he's really not feeling up to anything huge.  He can drive a hard bargain sometimes, but then so can I.  It always works out suitable for us both in the end though and I think it's a good lesson in negotiating.

It was our week for two trampolining lessons this week, private with Kim and group with James.  Kim always works him really hard and Callum certainly knows he's done half an hour of workout.  He was a bit worried this week as it's half term and he was concerned that there might be a holiday club going on.  He hates the idea that they might be staring at him and judging what he does, even though I am constantly telling him that they spend most of their time with their heads in their lunch boxes and talking amongst themselves.  Luckily there wasn't a club and he had the whole centre to himself (kids wise).  Somersaults went well although he did graze his chin after a particularly clumsy landing and he's practising the routine that he has to tack the somersault onto.  Kim always stops the lesson about 10 mins before the end to do conditioning exercises with Callum, which I might add, he hates.  This week he was getting a bit bolshy and telling Kim he wouldn't do it, but Kim, like James, is very good at convincing him otherwise.  Came out absolutely knackered and had definitely earned his Subway.  Group session today was more of a fun lesson which suited Callum.

As to 'lessons', as it's half term in school world, we haven't done anything too in depth, but I have asked him to do some more self monitored work like Khan Academy maths and today's science was reading matter with questions to answer.  He's getting a lot better at working on his own, but still needs me to dish out work rather than being self motivated.

Socially he's had a pretty good week too.  Monday was spent around his friend's house playing on the Xbox and Playstation.  He loves going there as he has known his friend and his family since nursery school, so he's completely comfortable there and I have no worries about leaving him.  Wednesday was the usual big sis visit with Merlin the dog and a now ever growing bump.  No cooking this week though as not in the mood and was tired (more later).  So lots of chat and play on Roblox.  Today, after trampo, it was the now regular visit back from Lauren for tea and cake and even more Roblox.

Tomorrow is his dad's birthday and we still have a couple of bits to get ready for his return from work, so a shopping visit in the morning and possibly a cake bake in the afternoon, but that may not get done until Saturday.  We like to spread out birthdays in this house, usually over a week, and as we are dog sitting his uncle's dog overnight on Saturday, we may have tea and birthday cake on Sunday afternoon when they return to pick up the hound.

He's had a good week even though he had a visit to the osteopath on Tuesday evening.  He only goes about once every six months, normally when he starts complaining his shoulder or neck feels stiff.  He likes going and Emma is brilliant with him, although he had to take off his Tshirt this time and he doesn't like stripping off in front of strangers.  A bit of cracking later and all he wanted to do was go to sleep, hence the sleepy eyed, excessively lazy Wednesday.  He's additionally happy as he received two more books in the Phoenix Files saga in the post along with dad's presents, so he's now rereading the previous three books in preparation of next two.  One more to go apparently, but that's not been released yet.

Sorry no pics this week, not really done anything worth photographing, but hopefully be back on track with that next time.


Friday, 15 February 2013


Good evening all

Thought I'd take a bit of time out from sorting out all the computer gumpf to do a quick write up.

Wednesday was a little different to usual as Terri visited yesterday. So today we caught up on some work.  Callum did yet another book review.  He's finally caught up now though, so those should be a bit more spaced out; much to his likeness as he hates doing them.  I want him to start thinking about how things make him feel.  Being an Aspi, empathy and emotions are things that they find hard to express, so anything that challenges that is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

It was also Callum's turn to cook dinner and he chose pizza.  He cooked it all from scratch, even the sauce.  The pizza base wasn't a yeast version as we didn't have time to do that and I wanted to keep it straight forward, so this one was based on using baking powder.  Then the tomato sauce was made (using the same recipe as the meatball sauce we used a couple of weeks ago) and we left that to reduce and become thick.  The base was then smeared with tomato sauce, sliced mozzarella, pepperoni, olives and a sprinkling of mixed herb.

Stirring the sauce

Making the dough

Spreading the tomato sauce

Finished pizza before cooking

Cooked!  Can I eat it now?

Yesterday was trampolining class with the group and James.  Not many kids there today so turns came around quickly.  Somersaults done and then practice of backward rolls ready for backward somersaults.  Eeek.  Carol and Lauren back for tea and cake and play on computer, then he was on his own again.

And today, he helped me with some surveys, bought Dad's birthday present online, sorted out and researched best place to get Black Ops season pass and then bought and paid me back.  He then, of course, disappeared off to immerse himself in new maps and extras.  So I've had the computer to go through emails, more surveys and catch up on Facebook and here.


Wednesday, 13 February 2013


Good morning folks.  Whilst Callum is struggling to write a book review, I thought I'd write up yesterday while he, either gets his brain in gear or yells for help.

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day.  It's traditional in this house to have pancakes all day!  Yep, breakfast, lunch and dinner (and dessert if there are enough left).

So breakfast was English style pancakes with lemon and lime juice and caster sugar - yum.

Terri came over late morning and then made American style pancakes which Callum and herself had with bacon and maple syrup:

Then dinner was cheese and ham English pancake wraps.

We didn't just eat all day.  Callum did another book review and we went to Aldi to get the ingredients for today's (Wednesday) cooking.  He's making pepperoni and olive pizza today.

He also did some research on what Shrove Tuesday means and printed off some info and a list of dates for future years.  Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, is the day preceding Ash Wednesday which is the first day of Lent.  Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the custom for Christians to be "shriven".  Pancakes are associated with the day because they were a way of using up rich foods such as eggs, milk and sugar before the fasting season of Lent, where all foods that give 'pleasure' are not eaten.

The custom of 'pancake races' which are still held in England is said to have originated from the story of a housewife in Olney, Buckinghamshire, who was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the church bells ringing for service.  She, apparently, raced out of the house to church still carrying her frying pan and pancake. Pancake races are traditionally run by woman, although if men want to join in they can as long as they dress up in an apron and scarf.  The most famous race is held in Olney and is run over 415 yards.  The rules are that the contestants must toss their pancake both at the start and the finish of the race.  The race is then finished with a church service.

The date of Shrove Tuesday changes each year as it is connected with the dates of Easter.

Anyway, that's enough for the moment.


Monday, 11 February 2013


Good afternoon you lovely people.  Am trying a new 'work' schedule, can't see it always working, but it should if we are at home all day.  So, today, it's worked, haha.

Slow start this morning.  Weather grotty, very wet, overcast and dark.  Did snow a bit this morning, but didn't lay as ground too wet from the rain.

Draco the dog in the snow and wet

A few things needed to be sorted out this morning before we started properly.  One of which was deciding  what Callum wanted to cook for dinner on Wednesday (alternate weeks he cooks dinner).  After going through his cookery book.
Managed to get this in a charity shop for £1.50.

He decided that pizza with mozzerella, olives and pepperoni was on the menu. Shopping list was duly made and a trip to shops tomorrow put on the To Do list.

Then it was firing up the computer and going into the To Print folder that we created when our old printer died.  As we now have a new one, it was time to print of the work and file it in the folders.  As it was the first time we'd used the printer, which is WiFi, was very glad that it all worked according to plan.  Now just need to link up my laptop.

Callum likes the new printer as it has lots of flashy lights!

A book review followed.  He has 3 to do in total, but as he's not keen, I said he could do one a day this week as we have a quieter week.

Then back to the magnet project.  Making magnets today, although we did try to magnetise both a needle and a screw, but couldn't get either to work even though we both tried several times.  We know what should happen in theory, but just couldn't get it to work which was a bit disappointing as some of the experiments Callum fancied doing needed a magnetised needle.  However, we did do some experiments which involved extended magnets as follows:

Adding a screw to a screw

Making ends repel by making screw heads the same pole

Making ends attract by making screw heads  opposite poles

Called it quits after this as we kept trying to magnetise the needle but it wouldn't work.  Callum then just had a play with a bowl of water, magnets and various floating objects, whilst I cleared away work.

Oh yeah, almost forgot we also used magnets under paper and sprinkled iron filings on to make magnetic patterns. 

Using a straight magnet

Using a U shaped magnet

Anyway that is definitely it for today.

Saturday, 9 February 2013


Good afternoon on this fine, if chilly, Saturday.  Not been around much this week, so this is a bit late.  Hey ho, fed up with apologising for not doing dailies, life gets in the way and to be honest I do go through a bit of an anti tech phase occasionally where I just cannot be bothered to log in; too much other stuff to do.  So anyway, this week:

Monday - hospital with Terri, my daughter, his sister, for her 21 week scan of pregnancy.
Tuesday - Private trampo lesson, subway, eye test.
Wednesday - Terri plus her friend Natalie over for cooking lesson and some arts and crafts.
Thursday - mum, me, at tattoo shop, so friend over and then both off to class trampolining lesson.
Friday - dentist appointment, bit of shopping and then friend's house for a couple of hours.
Today - computer, now Xbox after helping dad put up another shelf in bedroom to house growing collection of helicopters.

Didn't expect Callum to want to come to hospital with big sis to see baby scan, but he did.  I know he's been a bit worried so maybe him going would put his mind a bit more at rest or maybe he was just curious.  Also he doesn't normally like hospitals.  But off we went, managing to get a lift from Terri's dad (bit like an extended family outing) and got to hosp on time.  There was, of course, the usual wait, but we finally got called for scan.  Terri's dad had to go off for blood tests, so it was just Terri, Callum and me.

Baby Munn

I think he found it interesting and he was paying attention and, as he hasn't asked any more questions since, I'm assuming he's ok. So say hello to Callum's niece or nephew.

Private trampolining went really, really well.  He was full of smiles and managed to do 3 full somersaults in a row without using a mat, so whoop whoop to him.  Definitely deserved the 12 inch meatball Subway which seems to have become a tradition after the private lesson.  Then eye test afterwards; slight deterioration so new glasses on order.  Hoping to make the old ones into sunglasses for the summer once new ones have arrived.


Left to right: Callum, Natalie, Terri

The crafting trio

We did make carrot cakes first, but for some unknown reason Blogger isn't uploading the picture of our success, so may try again another time.  Anyway, the above picture shows the rest of the afternoon with Callum just about to start an Xmas coaster mosaic and the two girls making Valentine bits and pieces.

Xmas tree coaster

I had my tattoo booked for Thursday, so wasn't around for most of the day.  However, my wonderful friend Carol agreed that she would take Callum to trampolining for me that afternoon.  As it was she dropped Lauren, her daughter, off to our house around 11.30am and Lauren and Callum played on the computer until it was time to go off to the lesson (admittedly they were a bit early).  They then came back to the house until it was time for them to go off to Lauren's next activity for the day.  Tea and cake was provided by Callum (I assume he made the tea and the cake was the carrot cake he'd made the day before).  It mean't that, in the end, Callum wasn't alone for long; about an hour, so I ended up feeling a lot better about it all.  Although Callum didn't really mind either way, I think he was happier having the company.

Found out later that evening that James, the coach, was beginning to get him practising backward rolls in prep for backward somersaults - Eeeek!!!

Not a day that we were entirely looking forward to as it was a dentist appointment first.  However, all was well except for Callum being advised to brush his teeth a bit better than he does now.  He still hasn't got fillings so was happy.  She did ask if he wanted a brace, but he replied with a definite and resounding NO!  To be honest, I don't think he really needs one.

Then a bit of quick shopping: jewellers for me to sell off a couple of bits of jewellery that I never wear and then health shop to pick up some marigold and chickweed cream for me to care for my new tattoo.  Bought some apricots for £1 on way back to bus stop and then off to friend's house for a couple of hours playing on his XBox whilst us mums drank tea and had a chat.

Callum is doing the usual weekend things of computer, XBox or TV or combi of both.  He doesn't want to go out anywhere as we've been out pretty much all week (or had people here), so he's after a day to himself.  He has, however, helped dad put up another shelf in his bedroom (there are now 3) on which he can put his new helicopters on.  He's got 4 waiting construction and housing.

So busy week, not a great deal of lesson work done apart from maths on Thursday morning before I left, but then again, seeing a pregnancy scan, reading every night, cooking, making a mosiac, trampolining and seeing friends is all good stuff.


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Some pictures as promised:

Chocolate Brownies from last baking session

Flying magnetic Butterfly

Testing magnetic pull horizontally

Testing magnetic pulling power vertically

More magnetic fun

Friday, 1 February 2013


Ice skating today.  Well went to the ice rink.  Callum doesn't skate. He took the laptop with him today and played Roblox.

Just as we were leaving a school group came in.  Don't know which one, but they reinforced why I don't send Callum to school.  Two boys got into a fight, one was so verbally and physically violent that he grabbed the boy, threw him up against a wall, swore in his face repeatedly and then threw him on the floor.  Teacher, a female, was about half his height and tiny.  Had no hope of dealing with him.

Then in the car park there was another group of boys, assuming from same school as they were in and around a mini bus, probably aged about 15/16 smoking!!  No adult supervision from what I could see and all looking rather intimidating.

Really saw the difference today as we have a few teens in our group.  They were upstairs playing pool together AND they asked the receptionist politely for some more chalk for the cues.  None were rude, none were arguing and none were outside smoking!

So grateful that we can lawfully home educate and I feel so sorry for those children that really struggle at school and then have those oiks to deal with on top of it all.