About us

The Barefoot family live an easy, relaxed life together playing, pottering and doing whatever feels right at the time!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The mancub

If child development is supposed to be some gradual, almost unnoticeable build up of changes then the mancub hasn't been following the rules (for a change).
I've always theorised that females have slower, but more constant changes to their bodies and minds, whilst males have sudden bursts of metamorphosis. I'm not talking puberty here though I guess that's the most obvious with girls gradually looking more womanly and boys suddenly waking up one day sounding and looking like they've made a wish on a creepy fortune machine a la the movie 'Big'!  It's throughout life, at the other end of the spectrum men look the same for years then suddenly look, well, old.

Anyway. I digress. The mancub has been blasting out changes daily. He's pretty much dropped daytime sleeps (much to the annoyance of Newt who is missing her hour of peace and iPad time), he's stopped using nappies at all now - even at night and for days out, and the biggy - he's just started actually talking. Not just one or two things that I am able to translate actually saying new words all day long. It's as if he's realised he can so he is. Each time looking at me proudly afterwards with an edge of surprise that matches my own. It's lovely.

It's also quite poignant and a bit emotional for me. As I wait to meet my new little person who is growing inside me it's as if they are waiting a day here and there just enough for him to be that tiny bit more ready than he was the hour before. 
Last night we didn't quite rock the daytime nap drop, he was exhausted and ready to sleep from far to early and woke disorientated and weepy at about half eleven. He didn't even open his eyes as he walked zombie like, arms out front into my room across the hall and climbed into bed and into my arms. He nestled like a baby and put his arm around my waist in the manly reassuring manner he has always done and slept. As I looked down at his sweet blonde curls framing his face, his light freckles tickling his nose and cheeks and his long lashes pressed tightly shut I felt complete and utter love for my baby boy. And yet at the same time a sense of letting go too. 
I think we are both ready now to welcome this new little life. I wonder if tonight will be the night. Will tomorrow morning be the morning that mancub climbs into bed with me to find me not alone? How will he feel? What will his smiley face really read? Oh wow, this motherhood thing is intense sometimes!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Bottoms up

Well first we had the surprise of baby. Then there was the good ole 'it might be twins' week....and for now things have been pretty quiet.
I've been feeling good apart from a potential pelvic girdle pain flare up that settled after a few weeks (over did the hill walking on a home ed trip...entirely my own fault). But then today at my final check before I'm on a home run for our planned Homebirth we have the rather fun news that baby is now breech. 
At 36 weeks I'm not worried, there's time to move and this baby has been every way every day now...it's just a very wriggly little person (and my body is clearly very loose and stretchy haha). After confidently brushing aside any concerns from midwife my brain started to whir a bit after she had left. The first was that I've just not had the same connection with this little one, I've never known what on earth they are doing in there, what's a foot and what's a head, if there was one or two and definitely not if they feel more like a girl than a boy. The second realization was that actually perhaps they have been interchanging between breech and transverse more than I thought. Having had the midwife show me what head felt like I'm now realising that what I've been thinking is bum and feet for some time is actually head and hands. Hmmmm. 
So whilst I had on my list of things to discuss cord ties...it looks like I may end up having to discuss my intention to still plan homebirth for the time being at our next visit instead.
Off to sit and read the Spinning Babies website......

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Hand wash cold

I've tried hard to find pleasure in the daily tasks of keeping a home. I've read Karen Maezen Miller 'Hand wash cold' in the hope that this would inspire me somehow. I signed up to the Flylady daily blinks which have tips for keeping on top of your house. I did the Goddess Haven E-course on the Goddess Circle & had a nice corner in a room for a short while that I could focus on and enjoy (it didn't last long sadly).
Still not there though.
I quite enjoy it when it's not essential, when I'm doing it because I have time and I want to. Such as hanging out the washing. I've loved that since I first started doing my own washing. Early in the morning before there is anyone else around I have a quiet, peaceful five minutes where I contemplate nothing but the folds in the sheets and the positioning of the pegs on the line. This little job brings about exactly the mood and tranquil, accepting state Karen describes. From my poorly designed little old terrace the washing blowing in the breeze is one of the few things to glimpse in the garden whilst sat inside. Not satisfied with enjoying hanging it out often I then watch it as it sways and ripples in the sun and constant gentle fen winds. Now I just need to find a way of the hoovering, washing up, cleaning of tables and scrubbing of sinks to bring about the same peaceful, zen like state.
I've kind of accepted that I won't get that vibe going though until the children are older. When the tasks seem a little less on a loop, when the sheer mess made by their existence just pauses for breath occasionally! We're still at the phase where by the time I've wiped a worktop there's a spillage on a floor to mop. I know older children hold their own on the adding to mess front but surely it's not quite the same porridge on a chair cushion, crayon on a mirror and toilet roll shredded around the house? Please tell me that's not forever?

Still. I try not to moan and do my best at looking dutiful and neutral as I go. Hopefully the children will accept it all as part of being part of our household and like me, mutter under their breath as they scrub 'think zen think zen'.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Daddy's day

We don't really 'do' Fathers Day in this house. Not that we don't all think Daddy Bear is amazing, just its not a habit I grew up with. My own dad, The Late Great Brian, did not believe in it and on the one occasion I can remember getting him a card he was actually a little cross at me!

Today is no exception, the relentless family life we lead is not about to ease up for a day...we have a long drive to the other end of the country where we are going to have a day in the woods and at an indoor water park before heading off to Legoland tomorrow....hardly a day in bed!

But still, in honour of the wonder that is The Dude and his amazing, unwaivering first class parent and husband skills heres a few gifts.....Happy Father's Day Daddy Cool from all of us xxx

And this weeks home ed is brought to you by....

We've had a satisfying week so far. I think all families have those weeks that are unnecessarily tough and those that seem to flow that bit more effortlessly. Well like all aspects of family life for home Edd-ing families this is magnified a bit - the Intensity of being together all day and night just turns these good/bad days up a notch or two.

Well this week we've had two social play days, one at a fantastic outdoor old skool adventure playground (think barrels, tyres and pallets) and another at the park with sand, water and ice cream. We've also had a productive week work and home wise. When things are balanced life feels so much better. 
At the little Carboot held at the adventure playground we got a few bargain buys inc a new shiny copy of Richard Scarry's 'What do people do all day'.

Now Newt did already have a copy of this, my childhood copy, but the pages were well worn and the spine missing its paper. In fact I think despite liking the content she was always a little concerned that every time she picked it up another bit seemed to fall off! Well, with her own shiny new hardback copy she's reinacted my childhood experience of reading it and carried it around all week. 
As with his other books this one is so perfect for children as the pictures don't need the words to be explained - perfect for early/non readers - and when we have read it together she has already understood what is going on before I've filled in the gaps. She's learnt new things and impressed me with the things she's already learnt from somewhere else! The pages on coal mines were new to her but the offshoot conversation about other ways of generating electricity, turbines and pylons was all a bit of a surprise to me.

(Slightly more confusing was the chat about why mummy rabbit is having her baby in a hospital when mummy has her babies at home but let's not let that spoil things!)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Countdown has begun

Each of my pregnancies I have enjoyed waking at around 3am for a good hour or so. It would appear that this one is no different. It's hard to be frustrated at the sheer genius of my inner animal though. Preparing me so well for the coming months where this solitary time will become a shared hour of feeding and soothing.
As always at this hour baby is wriggling, turning and kicking. Who knows who started the rhythm of waking now, was it them waking me or me waking them.....I like to think that we wake together. Already deeply in sync. 

As I try to think of a way to use this hour or so of half awakened consciousness my memories drift back to the beautiful birth of my son. It was at this time that things started to become more serious, harder to ignore. I could no longer cat nap through the rhythmic contractions stretching my body and I headed on downstairs to try some new positions to rest in on the sofa whilst listening to some waves and other soothing sounds. 
I wonder if it will be so peaceful and purposeful this time. So gently guided by an inward intuition of what we both needed to do. 
I hope so. It is such an amazing thing to reflect on whenever I doubt my body's strength, or my own power as a woman. 

Whatever happens it won't take anything away from the wonderful night, and the memories of him arriving into my arms, bathed in the early morning sunshine. 

Perhaps this is the best way to use this hour of quiet awareness. This is my mental yoga, my emotional breathing techniques to practice. 

Finally I am welcoming a few yawns and the return of heavy eyelids. In the future world of my dawn time feeds baby must be ready to go back to sleep now and it must be my time to snuggle down and join them. Sweet dreams world x

Friday, 7 June 2013

Barefoot Beats

I love music. I'm not gifted enough to play any instruments (yet) but I do have the equally special mind that really deeply enjoys music. It is essential as air for me.

On the occasions where I nip to the shops alone the only times I choose not to share the moment with my faithful headphones is when there is a rather pleasant song of the brassy blackbird singing through the air. And ever since my sixth Christmas, when I was given what was possibly my favourite and most influential gift - my little red Walkman - I've enjoyed music daily from dusk til dawn and often even in the hours in between. 
It was one of my ideals of starting a blog to share this passion. To provide that jumping off point to discovering a new artist or that introduction to a different sound that may not have been heard before. It sounds a bit inflated of me now I come to share it. 
It's not that I know so much. It's not that my knowledge is so eclectic or impressive. It's just that I have some and I meet so many others that don't. They might be missing out on something they don't even know how much they love yet. 
It's on that 'note' if you will that I will begin to offer my hopefully weekly post on a song or album. This is not going to be any big column of the year nomination bid or anything. Just my excited ramble on why I think something is so cool and why you should try it...even just this once. 
If it takes your fancy watch out here for posts tagged Barefoot Beats and meanwhile...while you await my first expression of musical appreciation get on with downloading Spotify and YouTube on your phone or whatever it is that you use to visit me. Dig out the headphones or at least switch back on the speakers of your laptop (am I the only one who has this turned to off so I can sneak on and off my laptop without any little people wanting a go on Animal Jam?!). 

You might not like all I have to offer and you will probably not agree with all that I have to say about it necessarily but it will be fun to find out wont it?