A full house

Last time I wrote my head was full. Now my house is full! I have been lucky enough to have my parents visit for a few days. The chicks had a day and a half off school in order to spend time with them, to between children, grandparents and Miss N the au pair, the house has been buzzing! My parents have been a god send – Dad has been up ladders cleaning out my gutters and muttering about bush fire season, and repairing loose steps. Mum has kept on top of the laundry, pulled weeds (a never-ending job in my garden), kept people fed, and given me time to think. The children have loved having them here. Yesterday they were able to join me in attending Floriade to watch the middle chick singing with the school choir. It was delightful! And then we got to see the flowers – so colourful and pretty!


Today they took the three chicks to the National Arboretum, which I am ashamed to say I haven’t been to visit yet. The children were a little dubious about attending a plant museum, but they all excitedly reported having had a wonderful time!  Apart from thoroughly exploring the playground which is apparently shaped like wooden acorns, they also participated in workshops to make a kite (the oldest chick), and a terrarium (the middle chick) while the boy found a bird to follow and study with amazement for a long time. Happy grandparents and happy chicks! We will miss them when they leave tomorrow.

I have managed to finish some projects in between all of this. First the photos of the superhero capes that I wrote of in my last post. There were three ‘standard’ capes with initials for one family, and then the personalised capes for the family making the order. The twins (4 years old) ordered a candy, and a unicorn head.

cape3  cape2

The 8 year old requested a rainbow, and the 11 year old a minecraft pickaxe. (I have to admit that I cheated and printed this onto fabric rather than patchworking it as I had first planned).

cape4 cape5

Then the mother requested ‘just something’. And this is where my rather intricate bike applique came into being. This lovely woman has, at the age of (mumble, cough, mumble – something) learnt to ride a bike for the first time. The reason? To participate in a charity ride in Thailand to raise money for an orphanage. So I decided that rather than a simple initial on her cape she needed a bicycle – complete with basket – to symbolise her determination, bravery, generosity and courage.


Then I decided that I really liked the bicycle pattern I had adapted from a picture I found on the web, so decided to make some cushion covers with the canvas that I had bought a while back, intending to use it to reinforce bags. (Of course!) And today I proudly listed three cushion covers for sale in my Etsy shop! I am planning to make some more, but with some words on them……perhaps…..


I have also spent the week meeting with professionals, seeking more advice, learning more strategies, and planning/scheming/dreaming about ways to make my boy’s life better. While he is at home, despite all the people coming and going, the disrupted routine, etc, he has been beautifully behaved. This time is helping me to realise that if people interact with him in the right way, there are no problems with his behaviour. When there is no room for flexibility, when he is pushed to act like everyone else, instead of taking things in his own time, then the dramas start. Finding a way to accommodate this within the school is the biggest problem. I still don’t have a solution for that, but will continue to work on it.

I have also been providing support to the two girls, who have both been feeling the pinch of a brother getting lots of attention and a mother who is distracted by stress. Having recognised this we now have some plans for us to have one on one time together, doing things we like, and acknowledging the stress that their brother’s condition places on the whole family. So we are moving in the right direction.

And, finally, after all this time, we have a camping trip planned! I cannot believe we have gone for nearly 11 months without one! This weekend we will take the trailer down to the coast and set up in our favourite seaside park for three nights and introduce Miss N to the joys of kangaroos on the beach, possums that try to raid the rubbish bins at 3am, and whale spotting from the cliffs. I am starting to get excited in anticipation!

I hope that your week is going well, and that you are enjoying the Spring weather (or Fall for those of you on the other side of the globe!)

10 thoughts on “A full house

  1. triciavelthuizen

    Can’t thank you enough for the special care you gave each of our capes! I was very touched by my cape and it has given me a fresh boost as I get on my bicycle. So lovely to hear that you have had a full house to help. I couldn’t help but think how your boy is just asking for what all of us need to be treated – as ourselves. Unfortunately, our schools struggle with that but I am confident with you as his mum, there will be a solution for you all. Meanwhile, sending our love!

    1. a little bird made me

      You are very welcome! As I said earlier – I can’t wait to see a photo of you riding along in Thailand with the cape streaming behind you!
      I think you have hit the nail on the head re my boy. Now to convince the establishment of the need to accommodate individualism!

  2. sonyamayhem

    The fabulosity of those bicycles is still a winner! I understand about your boy – my nephew is the same – anger, frustration and feeling different from everyone else. My sister made the decision to take him out of main stream school and he is now thriving with a distance education school. It’s never a one size fits all solution but we are all behind him and he always knows how much he is loved. As I am sure your boy is too. Enjoy your well earned holiday.

    1. a little bird made me

      Thank you Sonya – both for using the word fabulosity which I LOVE, and for sharing your family experience. I am sure that your nephew will do great things because he has wonderful family support – and hope that I can achieve the same for my little person.

  3. A Fine Hand

    I’ve only just started reading your blog but wanted to offer you my encouragement. My second darling boy has a variety of challenges that are not considered “typical”. He has become the eye of the storm in our family and struggles with how others expect him to behave. Our current trial solution, after years of homeschooling, is to allow him to be tutored at the neighborhood school by a specialized instructor. He’s only there for about an hour-and-a-half but it gives his brothers breathing room, leaves me space to be just mom for him and another environment for him to feel fresh and accepted in. Being open to the variety of ways to achieve support for him and for you is excellent. I’m in love with your bicycle applique and am inspired to create something similar for a circle skirt I’m working on. Thank you!

    1. a little bird made me

      Thank you for your encouragement! I think that the most important thing for us as a family over the next few months will be the breathing space for everyone.
      As for the bicycle applique – I would love to see it on a skirt! In fact my eldest chick has asked for a new summer skirt so I might need to think about that for her too!

  4. LubbyGirl

    Your bicycle applique is quite a hit with me. I really, really want to try this myself now. And the time is getting closer – the sewing room is almost complete. And I’m so very glad to hear you had a great time with your folks there!


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