Sunday, 4 November 2012

Is it Because He's a Boy?

What a time I'm having with my Little Man lately. My girls are angels in comparision, I've never been so worn out by a child I'm really feeling my age.

  •  while I was trying to iron the school uniforms for tomorrow he was sitting under the ironing board moaning because I wasn't giving him my full attention.
  • he kept messing with his sister's game console every possible chance he could, eventually causing it to freeze and a major tantrum from sister.
  • every single drink I made him, even though they were in lidded cups, ended up all down his front, over the cat or over the settee.
  • several times I had to fetch him from the toilet where he likes to put anything and everything down the bowl.
  • he fetched the kiddie step from the bathroom sink to put up the kitchen sink and managed to reach inside to find a knife (no fun having a bathroom downstairs, at least I can stop him from getting upstairs)
  • He sneaked away a bottle of cleaning fluid that I was using and even though I'd replaced the child safety cap he'd managed to open by the time I'd chased him to the living room with it. (thank goodness I'd noticed him take it and was hot on his trail!)
  • after I'd gone to fetch a cloth to wipe up the mess he'd made with a cup of juice he grabbed my cup of tea that I'd just made and poured it on the floor. He did spill some on himself but was so wet with cold juice it was diluted and he avoided burning himself. (normally, the tea is not left in his reach but I literally had just brought it in the room when I had to snatch the juice off him and put it down without thinking while I grabbed something to clean up his mess)
  • he's attacked 3 of our 4 cats, the other one doesn't come indoors until he's gone to bed.
  • he threw a remote control at his sister bruising her eye.
  • he ripped off a piece of wallpaper from the living room. I'm about to re-decorate and am planning on paint rather than paper this time.
  • he's bitten me twice during nappy changes
  • he played up for almost an hour at bedtime
Apart from the dangerous things (the tea and cleaning fluid) these are things that occur on a daily basis. Yesterday he managed to screw up the cable tv box. 
The only reason he doesn't cause more damage is because 99 percent of the time I am giving him my complete attention, even if I have other things to do, like housework. (admittedly, he's pretty good with a duster, although I have to put him outside in his pushchair if I vacuum because he screams the house down he hates it so much) 
I long for his nap time, unlike bedtime he goes to sleep really quick. I have to wake him after an hour or he won't sleep at night, but that hour is bliss.
I also like mealtimes, even though he makes a mess at least he's restrained by his highchair and I can actually sit down for five minutes without having to keep getting up to see what he's up to.
Maybe it's my age, maybe it's because I've been spoilt having two relatively well behaved little girls previously, or maybe it's because he's a boy? He has such angelic looks, and when he's curled up in bed (usually next to me as he hates his own bed) he's the most adorable creature on earth. But he's just a little devil, a crazy whirlwind of destruction and naughtiness while at the same time being clingy and hating mummy doing anything but giving him 100 percent attention. Don't get me wrong, he gets the attention (yes, I even have to play with him while I'm on the loo) so it's not because he's missing it. Please please please let it be a phase that he'll soon grow out of. I don't know how much more I can take.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Teething Pains!

Now as a parent of a toddler you probably think this post is about him, but no it's about Leila, now 5 years old and currently cutting her back teeth. Last night she had me up until 3am while she howled with pain. She had a sweetie at her nanny's house earlier and I could hear her screaming from our home, two doors away. I assumed she had a bad tooth and even went on the usual guilt trip, have I given her too many sweets. I do try to keep my kids diets healthy and as sugar and salt free as possible but it's hard to avoid, especially with fruit lovers. Leila and Cassie are the only children who have had fillings and problems. I felt really bad when Leila had her first filling at just 3 years old. I even suspected it may be down to pro-longed breastfeeding as she was just over two when we stopped. I do believe that sometimes it's down to the individual. My older kids dad had terrible mouth hygiene and ate whatever he felt like and never even had a toothache (well, apart from the time he hit himself in the mouth with an axe!!! seriously!) Yet, I've always been careful and had excellent hygiene, visited the dentist regularly and still ended up with fillings and extractions galore. My top front teeth are either veneers or crowns!
Anyway, I digress, lets get back to my little girl. I kept her home from school this morning so we could visit the dentist as an emergency. I got an appointment at 9.40am. We went along only to find out that their was nothing wrong, she was just having a tooth come through...she was TEETHING! So, I was a little embarrassed but the dentist was kind and we left with a sticker (for Leila) and told to use teething gel.
I've three children older than Leila and not one of them has had any problem cutting teeth after babyhood. Even then it's been pretty plain sailing for all of them, just a few rosy cheeks and dribble fests.
I took Leila to school after the dentist and when I picked her up her teacher said she had been moody all day, probably lack of sleep! She also pointed out that she thought Leila's jaw looked red and swollen. Oops, there comes that embarrassing moment when I have to explain it's a birth mark, gees you think the teacher would have noticed it before now, they've been at school six weeks!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


By generosity! I'm collecting old mobile phones in return for an ipad to help my daughter Lucy. Today I received a package for 89 phones!! What a boost, I'm now more than half way there. I've had lots of promises too, so hopefully this task is not going to be so long to achieve as I first thought. Of course there is still a long way to go, but I am overwhelmed by the generosity of some people. Thank you so so much!

  Heart and Minds is a charity which helps turn old mobile phones into ipads for children with autism. They also help schools and are currently working towards opening a school specifically for autistic children.

 Having an ipad could help Lucy's communication, learning, organisation, fine motor skills, relaxation and behaviour. It would be a welcome addition to our home. If you can help in any way by donating your old mobile phone then please contact me okesanne (@) or on Twitter @okesanne. Thank you so much!


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Precious Moments

Some moments money just can't buy.
I was cuddling with Joseph when he reached over to grab his milk, I said 'no, it's all gone' and he stopped, inches from my face an glared at me. Then his features softened and he carried on staring at me. Finally he said 'love you mummy' and planted a big kiss on my lips.

Up until now we've had to prompt him to say 'love you' so it was a very special moment.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Missing My Little Man

Joseph has started crying when I leave him at pre-school. He goes in fine, he looks for his coat peg, puts his lunch bag on the trolly and runs to the door. Then when we get inside he clings to me and holds me so tight. If I try to move him even a little, he cries. I try to get him interested in the things around, the playdough table, the cars and garage, the train set (this one works best) and eventually he'll peal himself away from me and play. But he's constantly watching for me and doesn't want me to leave. If I do he cries again. His carer will take over and give him a cuddle, or sit him on her lap. I know by the time I've signed the register he'll have stopped crying, and usually by the time I've got outside and took a sneaky peak in the window he seems quite calm and happy. Then when I pick him up I'm always told that he has been fine all day, and he doesn't seem overly keen to go home, although he's obviously happy to see me.
The thing is, I'm going home and feeling down all day, today I've been worse than ever and I'm thinking I can't do this any more. What if he carries on doing this, do I have to go through this every day he's there. Can I take the heartbreak? If he was crying all day then it would be an easy decision to stop him going. Seeing him so calm before I've even left the premises tells me he's ok, but I'm not. I still can't help thinking he should be home with me. He's no trouble (mostly), I don't need this free time, I miss him so much. But he's having fun, mixing with other children and getting prepared for his school years. And it's only two and a half days a week.
Why is being a parent so hard?
Here is a little pic of him after pre-school yesterday, a little worn out.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Festival

On Sunday we had our local festival. We took the kids up and had a really nice day. It didn't rain and was quite warm when the sun broke from behind the clouds.
The entertainment consisted of Belly Dancers, singers, circus acts, majorettes and fire dancers. The kids were invited to have a go on the circus equipment, there was a tightrope, some trampolines, stilts and mini bikes to name a few. There were the usual stalls offering tombola prizes and mini games, a bouncy castle, a huge inflatable slide, a couple of fairground rides and a fire engine that the kids could sit in.
Oh, I mustn't forget the ice cream van :-)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Joseph is a Little Builder

By that I don't mean he's been playing with the Mega Bloks :-) Little Builders is the name of the pre-school he is now going to. Yesterday he spent an hour there and we waited with him. He had so much fun he barely noticed us. He fitted in straight away and even spent time going up to other toddlers and saying hello. We were in the playground outside at one point and Joseph was playing on a bike. A little girl had a bump with another boy and although it wasn't bad she started screaming. Joseph immediately jumped off his bike and went up to her and asked "you arright!" bless him.
Today he went at 12.30 and we left him there until 3pm. We were only there with him a couple of minutes and he was quite happy to say goodbye to us and let us go. When we went to pick him up, at first he didn't want to leave. The staff there said he'd been really good and was quite happy being their alone.
Tomorrow he goes in at 9am until 2pm...eeek! No doubt he'll be fine again, but I missed him so much today, I'm not going to be so happy.
From next week he'll be attending every Wednesday afternoon and all day on Thursday and Friday.
I didn't do this with any of my other children, they all started nursery at 3 years old, apart from my eldest who I just bear to let go until he started school. I feel he is far too young at just 2 years to be leaving me. However, I've given it lots of thought and basically it's my selfishness that wants to keep him at home, I'm sure he will love going to pre-school. If at any point he doesn't love it then I will keep him home, I'm doing this for him not me. I've consoled myself by thinking that we still get two full days alone together (and two with the girls at the weekend) This time will be even more precious for me and I will surely make the most of it.
So that's it, my baby is growing up!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Back To School!

yesterday the girls went back to school. Leila into year 1, Lucy into year 3. In my day it would have Junior school!!.
The night before Lucy was anxious, refusing to go to school, refusing to go to sleep and generally being miserable and moody. yesterday morning, however, she was really excited and looking forward to going back. Dad got up and came with us so the girls got to ride their scooters to school.
Leila had to have two kisses and a cuddle before she left me but she was ok, not upset or anything. Lucy gave me a quick kiss on request and was a little tentative entering the school, but not too bad at all. I missed them all day and couldn't wait to pick them up, It was lovely to see them come out of school bubbly, happy and chatty...even Lucy!
Then after a couple of hours at home Lucy got moody again. Still she was very tired so we put it down to that and took them to bed. She wouldn't go to sleep again, insisting that she had to read first, then asking for the night light off when she has always had it on. Eventually she fell asleep but was up again at 5am.
She was moody again this morning and totally un co-operative. She wouldn't get washed or dressed for me, I ended up having to help her. She then had a tantrum because she wanted to take her scooter again, but I can't manage them on my own as I have the pushchair. (Dad was too tired to get up today)
On the way to school she finally told me what was bothering her. when they do p.e they have a timer with a buzzer that goes off at 5 mins. Anyone not ready in that time has to miss p.e. Lucy cannot get changed in 5 minutes, it's more like 15-20 minutes. She has poor co-ordination and concentration, getting dressed is a real trial for her, even though she is capable. It took us a long time to teach her to undress and dress so to us it's an achievement that she can actually do it. We don't try to make her do it quicker.
I've told her I will have a word with her teacher. I know that up until now she's been given a little longer than the others to get dressed. I've also told her that we will practice changing at home to see if we can get her to do it any quicker. She wasn't too pleased with that :/
Then it got me thinking. She's 7 years old now and it's starting to be more noticeable that she's not quite like the other children at school. It won't be long before the other children pick that up, if they haven't already. She does need to be treated differently, the more this happens the more she will be singled out as different. So now I'm thinking, is it possible for a child on the autistic spectrum to be happy in a mainstream school?
Going back to when my eldest son was Lucy's age. The school had told me they thought he had problems and had given me a number to ring to get him assessed. I buried my head in the sand, said the school didn't know what they were talking about. He was top of the class in most of his work, maybe he was just too clever and bored? Things gradually got worse but still I wouldn't accept that anything was wrong, although I knew in my heart that there was something not right.
Fast forward a few years to secondary school, he was bullied mercilessly, he refused to listen to any of the teachers and was always in trouble, he would run away on a daily basis from school and home, he was uncontrollable, he never completed any of the work he was given at school. I was called in for an urgent meeting, he was taken to see a psychologist and the outcome was a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome. The school's response to this was to start assessing him for a Special Needs Statement and sticking him in the special needs class. This was all too much for my bright son and he ended up getting worse.
I took him out of school and refused to send him back. I said I would teach him myself but even after a ton of research I knew I wouldn't be able to cope with him. He was then given a home tutor and that worked nicely. He was co-operative and completed all work given to him. Sadly, it was not a long term option. Eventually he was given a place at a Special School, in a class with other children with high functioning autism. He never made a single friend there, and we still had episodes of unresponsiveness and running away, but overall he got on much better. He left with 5 GCSE's and went on to a Special College. Now he's doing a degree in accountancy. He's had a couple of work experience jobs but not a proper job yet. At 24 I'm happy with the way things have turned out. But, I don't want to go through all that again.
Another factor to take into consideration is Lucy's dad. With my son I was a single parent, so that meant I had to deal with it all by myself, but on the other hand I didn't have anyone to oppose me.
Lucy's dad has already expressed that he wants Lucy to stay in mainstream, and he won't even consider home schooling. (By the way, I did successfully homeschool my older NT daughter for 3 years)
So a sad little girl this morning has set me on a rollercoaster of emotions and now I'm completely stressed just thinking about the future.
I'd love some responses, here or on Twitter or #Specialsaturday #Special awareness.
Do you think that children with autism can thrive in a mainstream school, at primary or secondary level?
Do you think that it's best to treat children with high functioning autism the same as other children, or should they be treated differently?

Thursday, 30 August 2012

She's a Daytripper!

one way ticket yeah! It took me soooo long to find out....
Sorry, got a bit carried away there, that's what happens when you go sight seeing in Liverpool.
Daddy of babies 3,4 and 5 is a big Beatles fan...pah! At least I was born when they were around ;-)
So when deciding where to go on a day trip (which didn't involve a beach as we fancied something different) we chose Liverpool. I've only been to Liverpool once before and that was February of this year, but I was taking eldest son to the airport, and I really only saw the airport and the train station.

We arrived just after 11 am and headed straight for Albert Docks. On arrival, Leila read the sign as Albert Ducks and gave us a giggle. We had fun watching the Yellow Duck Marine plunge into the water and all it's passengers squeeling. We wanted to ride but it wasn't advisable for younger children, and I didn't want to stay behind with Joseph, so that's something we'll try next time. We also had a peek at the Yellow Submarine (which was not actually a submarine but a boat.) We visited the Beatles Story and bought a couple of souvenirs before taking a walk around the docks.

We walked into the town centre and had lunch at a place of the kids choosing...Mc Donalds!  Then we found a mini fair and the girls had a ride on the Helterskelter and then a turn at Hook-A-Duck. 
After we headed of to the Cavern quarter. We had a walk around and then headed down into the Cavern. It was dark, hot and smelly (beer) and Lucy really couldn't handle it. I could see her heading for a meltdown so we left again quickly. As Daddy really really wanted to go there I told him to go back and I'd take the kids to do some shopping/browsing. Leila wanted to go back in too so he took her and she loved it. Meanwhile we had a walk around some more touristy shops while we waited.

WE finished our day by visiting the World Museum. We started at the top in Space and worked our way down through dinosaurs, ancient Egypt and Greece, Natural History and the Aquarium. 

Just before we caught the train home we found a water feature that people were running through so we had to have a turn.

We had a really fun day and the kids were so well behaved. We had very few problems with Lucy, apart from in the Cavern but we could fully understand that. She also had some knee pain from walking, and a couple of times she became upset but nothing too bad. They were even well behaved on the train journey there and back. Joseph was the only one who got bored, but hey, he's only two.
I'd definitely visit Liverpool again, there was so much to choose from to do, we didn't get around to much at all. 

Monday, 27 August 2012

Plea for old Mobile Phones

I've just joined a scheme in which you can exchange old mobile phones in return for an ipad. I believe that Lucy, my 7ry old daughter with autism, would benefit from having an ipad and some of the excellent apps that I've been reading about. I know she sometimes uses an ipad at school and her teacher has some special apps for her. She needs extra help with learning how to understand other people and communicating with them. She is verbal but doesn't understand social cues. Also, I believe that her education would be improved as she would put more effort into her work if she was doing it on an ipad. She definitely a gadget girl.
Unfortunately at this time buying an ipad for her is out of my budget, so I was happy to find this scheme run by Hearts and Minds. I would like to collect 175 phones for an ipad with the Grace app.
This is not going to be an easy task so I'm asking everyone everywhere to help if they can.
The phones do not have to be working but they do need to be less than 10 years old and have a battery. I do not need any sim cards.
I have entry forms for a competition where you could win your mortgage paid for a year which I will fill in for anyone kind enough to donate a phone.
I am willing to pay postage for mobiles sent to me. They don't need to be in boxes or have any special packaging (just bubble wrap and brown paper would do) and they can be posted second class, or as cheaply as possible.

So, can you help? Do you know anyone who might be able to help that you could pass this message on to? If you can I would love to hear from you at okesanne (at)

Thank you xx

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Lucy's 7th Birthday

I'm finding it so hard to believe that Lucy is now 7 years old. Where has the time gone?
Her birthday started in the usual way, Lucy woke up early and I came downstairs with her. Her present were waiting for her and she was able to open them herself without Leila and Joseph's interference as they were still sleeping. Leila was a little upset when she got up and Lucy had opened her presents, but she soon got over it. Lucy was much worse when it was Leila's birthday and got very jealous as she watched her open her presents.
One of my presents to Lucy was a Fur Real Puppy Dog. She had asked for this and it was her main present but to be honest she's not paid it much interest, She also had a swimming mermaid doll and couldn't wait to get in the bath to play with it. It's been abandoned since. I bought her some Playdough because she requested it and it has been the most played with, not only by Lucy but Leila and Joseph love it too. Gifts from other people included a scooter, an art kit, lots of clothing, a stone painting set, a cuddly rabbit and some smaller bits and pieces (make-up, pens, a little pony, an alien in an egg etc.)
We didn't really do anything on her birthday as it was a miserable wet day and we are having a couple of days out next week so I thought I'd save my money.
On Saturday we had a little party for her. I sent out sixteen invitations in the last week of school but only had four replies. We had some rejections from a few friends too so I knew that not many were going to turn up. Just before the party was about to start we had a massive thunderstorm and Lucy was crying because she thought no-one would come in the rain. Then right on time, three of her friends turned up. So with Lucy, Leila and Joseph we had a party for six. Despite the low number we still had fun, decorating ponies, playing pass-the-parcel, musical statues, musical bumps and hunt the apples for the ponies. Then Lucy put her Just Dance game on and they all danced along. Finally the sun had dried up the garden  little and they went out to play on the swings.
I think Lucy enjoyed herself although it was hard to tell. She didn't really speak much to her friends and is not very good at party games, but there were plenty of smiles from her.
So that's my little ones parties over for another year and if I'm honest, it's really worn me out this year. I might have to think of something different for the future.
Here are a few pictures, including the cake which I made myself. (see how here)

Friday, 24 August 2012

Apron Strings

Today my eldest has been talking about moving out. He's 24 years old and has Aspergers Syndrome.
He tells me that he feels like he's being left behind, he's too old to be living at home.
He asked me about his money, currently he's on DLA and Jobseekers Allowance. He's trying to figure out how he can afford to live by himself.
He has even made a list of all the things he will take in his bedroom and who gets what he leaves behind. He's quite a stash as he hoards things, but he's also very tidy and everything has it's place.
He said he can learn how to cook and do the washing. He already knows how to do housework (although he doesn't help out very often, his room is kept very clean.) Shopping, he says he can do online, then he can work out exactly how much he is spending and have it delivered. I can't remember the last time he went to a supermarket.
He has obviously been giving this a lot of thought and I don't know what to make of it. Part of me is saying, no way Jose, part of me is saying, it would do him good. I really don't think living alone would work, but maybe I could look into some kind of care in the community scheme? I don't think he is too old to be living at home and I'm happy to have him here. He's currently doing a part time course in accountancy, maybe he could find a job first. He has done voluntary work and work experience so I know if he found the right job it could be good for him. He just needs to be understood.
A lot of people with Aspergers have managed in life, some without ever being diagnosed. I know that one day I will have to let him go, but it's not going to be easy.
However, knowing  my son like I do it will probably be something he'll talk about and plan for a very long time. He won't be in a rush.
Why is parenting so hard?

Saturday, 18 August 2012

The Invisible Disability

I don't tell everyone that we meet that Lucy has autism. Many of her friends and their mum's at school are unaware. At the age of 7 (almost) we can get away with it. I tried to get away with it much longer with her older brother but things turned really bad when he was 12 years old I don't want to make the same mistake.
Lucy is verbal, intelligent and looks normal. Occasionally she will glaze over and become distant and it takes a while to get through to her but most people will take no notice. Sometimes she gets a little over excited and an a little flappy, not an unusual amount though and again, most people will take no notice. She is un-coordinated and clumsy, she has a strange gait when walking and running and sometimes performs strange actions. At 7 yrs this is starting to be a little more noticeable but we are still getting away with it.
Lucy talks out of turn, ignores people, repeats what you say, talks about what she wants to talk about and doesn't really interact, talks incessantly about the things that interest her, makes funny noises all of which you can get away with at 7.
When do we stop getting away with it? When does it become apparent that Lucy can't help these behaviours and is not just immature. Sadly, I don't think it will be much longer and we have to start thinking about how to deal with it, and make things easier for her.
Lucy's older brother didn't have any physical problems but Lucy also has Hypermobility Syndrome and weak core muscles. These contribute to the strange way she walks and talks but also affect simple climbing ability. This summer our visits to the park have involved Lucy's 5 yr old sister and 2 year old brother doing everything by themselves, while I have had to help Lucy with climbing things. One park in particular has a slide/climbing frame that you can only access by climbing up a ramp holding on to a rope. While the other children, big and small, were zooming up with ease, Lucy just couldn't manage it and I had to give her a shove. Then yesterday we were at an event with face painting and the children were sitting on high stools to have their faces done. Lucy could not climb on to the chair and the lady who was about to paint her seemed totally shocked. I helped her up and went back to help her down afterwards.
So, although Lucy may not have the traits of a severely autistic child, and doesn't look obviously disabled, she does draw attention to herself.
Do we carry on as though this is all normal? My son suffered terrible bullying and even now I worry if he goes out alone (which he doesn't do very often.) How am I going to make things different for Lucy?

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Baby Number 5 turned two

My little man had his second birthday. It has all gone by so fast.
He was so excited when he got up in the morning and saw all his presents. His big sisters helped him open them and he was thrilled with everything. I bought him a 'work bench' which has a hammer, drill, saw and screwdriver and makes loads of noise. He also had a Thomas The Tank Engine with Harold the helicopter which he loved.
We didn't have a party for him, I did feel a little bad about that but with Lucy and Leila's parties just weeks apart it's always going to be difficult fitting one in for Joseph too. I'm not sure what I will do in the future. I did think it would be nice to get together with his little friend for a tea party or picnic but his friend is on holiday :-(
Still, he had a lovely day and was spoiled all day. I made him a fire truck cake and his face when we lit the candle and all sang Happy Birthday was an absolute picture. He even clapped his hands in delight and joined in with hip hip hoorays.
I still can't believe he is two already.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Lucy's joints

Lucy has had problems with her legs for as long as I can remember. Even as a baby the only way we could calm her sometimes was by massaging her legs, or moving them in a bicycle motion. We thought it was to ease colic, no I think maybe it was leg pain all along. I took her to the GP several times and eventually she was sent to hospital for an x-ray. Nothing showed up but they did say she was hypermobile or double jointed. It was suggested she may have juvenile arthritis but on mentioning this to the GP I was told I would just be following up an unnecessary diagnosis as there wouldn't be anything they could do for her. Dismayed by the GP I went home, got Lucy a bottle of calpol and a couple of wheat bags. This helped for a while.
When Lucy was referred to a psychologist for a diagnosis into her autism she was sent for a physiotherapy check. Here her hypermobility was picked up again and it was suggested that this was what was causing the pain in her legs. So she was given regular physiotherapy which took place at school so it didn't interrupt her school life so much. She was also referred to a podiatrist who prescribed inserts for her shoes. I have noticed a difference, but she still gets pain. Recently I bought her a new game for her Wii. She loves dancing, so I bought Just Dance3. She has really enjoyed playing/dancing and it's giving her loads of exercise. Just like mum she lacks rhythm but I am already seeing an improvement. Maybe learning to dance this way will give her more poise and stop her looking so clumsy all the time? 

Looking more into Hypermobility Syndrome I have realised that Lucy has inherited this from me. I have always known that I was double jointed, but never really associated it with the pain I get. From a very young age I can remember screaming with pain in my legs and my mum massaging me. She always said it was cramp or growing pains, she had no reason to think otherwise. I still get the pain now, and in my ankles and fingers. Some times it's not so bad, sometimes it's inscrutable, but it's something I've had for such a long time I just get on with it now. The only thing I can liken the pain to is the the cramp you get during pregnancy, the sort that has you jumping out of bed in the middle of the night and will only go away by massage or walking it off. Sometimes my fingers seize up dead straight, this is painful too and I look like someone with arthritis. I can remember my nan's fingers like this, to the point when she was very old that a couple of her fingers where 'stuck' like it. Was it arthritis or did she have hypermobility syndrome too?

I have also learnt recently that bruising easily, sensitive skin and drooping eyelids are all symptoms that can be associated with Hypermobility Syndrome, both Lucy and myself have these too. 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

A few of Our Favourite Things

I was just going to post about Joseph's shoe fetish, yep, he's only (almost) two and already obsessed with shoes. Then I decided to post about all three little ones current favourite things. Then maybe I'll review it in a year or so and see if anything has changed.

So first up, the Little Man Joe. As I've already said, he loves shoes, he has five pairs of his own, but he will also wear either of his sister's shoes, his daddy's shoes (phewy) or his mummy's shoes. He's really not fussy. I really must get some photo's of him in all his different footwear. They don't even have to match. His next most favourite thing is his Happyland Train set which I bought him for Christmas. He loved it then and he loves it now. When he was little he was able to sit inside the track and watch the train go around. He's a bit bigger now, but that means he can build the track up himself. The train goes everywhere with him (although not to bed because it is noisy.) You just have to put the driver in and off it goes, but it will work with anything so long as it fits inside, building blocks are a good size. He loves putting the train on the radiator and watching go along and fall off the other end, this is really noisy though and he often gets his train confiscated if he tries it too much. Finally, he has a love of batteries. From an early age he would grab a screwdriver from the kitchen drawer and attempt to open his toys to get the batteries out. We have had move the screwdrivers now because obviously you can't trust a 1 year old with them. Every toy he picks up he points to the bottom and says batteries, even if they don't use them, he knows what makes things work.

Next up is Lucy. I think having older siblings has had a big effect on her, she loves anything to do with gaming and her prized possessions are her Wii and her DS. She loves Mario, Sonic and Pokemon and has all sorts of soft toys, some hand downs from her siblings, some she has collected herself. She often pretends to be her favourite characters. Another favourite is her 'sleep' bear, Bonnie. This was a bear we bought for her when she was born from the Bear Factory and it's been by her side every night since. Bonnie has had several outfits, from cheerleader to princess, but usually ends up in just her bear skin. Bonnie is necessary to make sure that Lucy has lovely dreams, hence she calls her a 'sleep' bear and can't go to sleep without her.

Finally, Leila. She's quite fickle and her favourite things change regularly. She too has a 'sleep' bear though, hers is called Sweetie, although, unlike Lucy she can sleep without Sweetie. To get to sleep Leila has to have Tiger Rory  (Rory the Tiger from Haven Holiday Camp) which we bought her a couple of years ago. She's had new tigers with different outfits, but the original one is her favourite. Leila is currently a big Hello Kitty fan and her birthday was based around this, she received lots of Hello Kitty toys. I do think this is going to be a passing phase though, we'll see.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Leila's 5th Birthday

Leila's birthday was on Friday 27th July. She had some lovely presents mostly Hello Kitty related. Her  my favourite has to be the Hello Kitty Chatimal which repeats everything you say.
We took her to Mc Donalds for lunch and then spent some time on a local 'urban' beach.

Then on Saturday we had a little party for her at home and invited some of her school friends. We began with making some kitties. The kitten shapes where pre-cut and I gave them stickers, pom poms, woolly whiskers, pens, glue, and googly eyes to decorate them. It was a big success and the kids took their kitties home with them after the party.

After making kitties the children enjoyed the party spread. I swear it was gone it minutes!

I made her cake myself, I was up until midnight the night before finishing it off. Then first thing in the morning I'd left it in easy reach of the little man who had decided to help himself to cake for breakfast. I had to do a quick patch up job. 

We then played pass the parcel, followed by musical bumps and musical statues. Then they were sent into the garden to hunt for mice. Ok, they were not real mice, just printed onto cardboard...a fun game for the little kitties :-)

We ended the party with lighting the candle on the cake and singing happy birthday.

Happy Birthday to my lovely little girl, five years have gone by so quickly xxx

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Next Mummy Bloggers Event

I was invited, along with the little ones, to the Next Mummy Bloggers Event. It was held at Crockwell Farm in Northampton, about 50 miles away from home. After much deliberation I decided to take just the girls and leave the little man with his dicky tummy at home with daddy. We started out just after 9am and I wrote down some simple instructions on how to get there for Lucy to read to me. I had to give Leila a map as she felt left out. I knew how to get to the motorway but I let the girls instruct me anyway, Lucy did really well so I felt confident in trusting her when we left the motorway. For the first time, I think, ever I managed to reach a new destination without getting lost!!! From now on, Lucy gets the travel instructions, she's so much better than her dad.
We arrived at Crockwell Farm just before 11am when the event was to start. The girls wasted no time in getting their faces painted. Leila chose to be a beautiful pink pussycat;

Lucy chose to be a dragon;

They then watched a magic show and I had a wander. I went to the 'spa' room and booked myself in for a manicure. Then I grabbed myself a coffee and sat where I could see the girls. It was soon time for my manicure and I chose a lovely pink shade for my nails. I then had a lovely back massage which worked wonders. I'd taken pain killers to take for my pain but ended up not needing them. Finally, I treated myself by having my eyebrows threaded, something I'd not tried before.
Then feeling pampered, I gathered up the girls who where now on the bouncy castle and we had some lunch. Lucy, being Lucy, dropped her plate on the floor making a terrible mess. Then she didn't eat anything anyway. Leila ate a little but was more interested in the ice cream. They were both keen to get back to the kids entertainment. 
I had  look at the children's clothes on display and saw some lovely pieces I'd have like to have taken there and then. Particularly the little boys clothes. There were some lovely tu tu's the girls would have loved, I will probably get them for Christmas. 
Before leaving we were given goody bags filled with winter warmers. Then we were off on our trip home.
The girls fell asleep in the car so I know they had had a good time.

A few more photo's of our day.
Leila enjoying her ice cream

a magic show

bouncy castle

little boy outfit

I also recieved a £75 gift card from Next which I spent in the summer sale :-)
For a more review like account of the event please visit my other blog Raisie Bay

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Conversation today with the little man:

Me: would you like a biscuit Joseph?
Joseph: biscuit
Me: say please
Joseph: biscuit peese
Me:  (giving him a biscuit) here you go, good boy
Joseph: (giving me the biscuit back) no biscuit
Me: don't you want the biscuit?
Joseph: chocolate biscuit peese

They learn so young :-)

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Do I Worry Too Much?

Yes, I do. I know all mum's worry but sometimes I wonder if things just pop into my head and won't go away until I've convinced myself that something is wrong. I've had various worries about all my children at one time or another. Some of them have been confirmed and some haven't. Well, actually, most of my worries have been confirmed, which in turn is even more worrying.
At this present time I am worrying about leila. She's just finishing Reception class to go into year 1. Her teacher says she's a good girl at school, and although she was really shy at first she now has no problems mixing with other children. She also says that she has struggled a lot with her school work but always tries really hard and is now catching up.
I worry about her teacher!
Leila is nowhere near as clever as Lucy was at her age, I know kids are different and develop at different rates but this is a BIG difference. Leila doesn't seem to have many friends at school, there is a little girl who she walks to school with because I am friends with her dad, but she doesn't talk about her out of school, and as soon as they are in the playground they separate. Three other little girls are very close, and although they will talk to Leila it's quite obvious that Leila is not 'in' with their group (yes I'm talking about 5 yr olds!)
The boys take to Leila, they crowd around her and ask her to play. She doesn't often join in, but she does like the attention. So as far as I can see, Leila doesn't have any real friends, although she does mix a little.
Now her teacher says she is a good girl and always follows instructions. This is hard for me to swallow because at home when I instruct her to do something quite simple she looks at me with a blank expression like I've told her to solve a difficult mathematical equation. I went through a stage thinking she had a problem with her hearing because I could say something quite clearly right to her, and she would just look blank like she hadn't heard. I've had a simple hearing test which came back ok. When she is being naughty it doesn't matter how I try to deal with her she just carries on. Then sometimes I end up getting angry with her and she starts crying not knowing what she has done wrong.
Maybe she's just a normal kid, who's to say what's normal anyway? So far none of mine have been 'normal' so how am I supposed to tell?

Monday, 9 July 2012

Siblings - A Special Saturday post

As you've probably guessed from the title of my blog, I have five kids. Two are now grown up but still live at home, the other three are six, four and one years old.
My eldest son, 24, was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at the age of 12. I'd always known something was not quite right, and it was having his sister just one year younger that made the differences stand out so much. However, I did bury my head in the sand for quite a few years. I learnt my lesson.
There are just 17 months between my two eldest children, but age is not the only way they are close. Of course they have their ups and downs and have at times fought like cats and dogs, but that's par the course with siblings. When my daughter was 11 years, we went through a very difficult time during our family, and this was just a couple of years after my splitting with their father. Things took their toll on all of us. My son's behaviour became increasingly worse, my daughter became increasingly depressed and I was left with no-one for support. My family (apart from one of my brothers) had disowned me and my friends were all at work, but I had to leave my job. I couldn't tell anyone what had happened so the school thought my daughter was being awkward because of her brother, they believed that I was giving him all the attention because of his recent diagnosis and his increasingly difficult behaviour as he hit puberty. They couldn't have been more wrong.
Talking with my daughter now, she never blames her brother for anything. I've always managed to treat them both equally. Although if you ask my son he'll probably say his sister has had the most attention, but that's his way, he's always blaming me for forgetting to feed him (I don't) not getting his clothes ready (I do) not reminding him of things (again I do). They are still very much stuck in their teenage ways, both immature for their ages. They are both really close and I'm happy because I know they will always be there for each other.

When Lucy was born, my first feeling were how much she was like her older brother. I kept my thoughts mostly to myself, not because I was burying my head again, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't imagining it. When Lucy went to nursery her teacher picked up her differences almost straight away, but it wasn't until she was 5 years old that I took her for diagnosis, by then I had the backing of the school and her GP, so I knew I wasn't imagining it. She was diagnosed last year with high functioning autism.
There are 22 months between Lucy and Leila, and once again the differences in their behaviours where quite apparent. They are close but I don't think they will be as close as their older siblings were, Lucy lacks empathy towards her sister, she will leave her crying if she falls and hurts herself, and doesn't stick up for her around other children. Leila is very clingy, right from a small baby she has always needed lots of attention and still craves it just as much now. Having Joseph put another spanner in the works. At first Lucy wouldn't even acknowledge she had a baby brother. Leila now has typical middle child syndrome. She believes she has to fight for attention all the time. I do my very best to treat them all equally but they are all so different. Lucy doesn't 'do' cuddles or fuss, Leila needs constant cuddles and fuss and Joseph is a bit in-between, sometimes he's incredibly cuddly, sometimes he runs a mile.
I'm not sure what to expect from the future. Leila has shown she has problems of her own as she is not developing at the same rate as her peers at school and has to have extra help. Joseph, is not like any other child I have had, he was a very slow starter with walking (even moving) and talking but seems to be catching up quickly now. What does worry me about him is his screaming, and his attempts to walk tip toes all the time. Will they be close, I can't tell yet, but I hope they will with my love and guidance.


This post is for Special Saturday, an online ‘global’ campaign that aims to raise awareness of children and adults living with special needs.

Please join the cause by joining the facebook page -

Follow on twitter - @Specialsat and retweeting hashtag - #specialsaturday

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Saturday, 7 July 2012

Scouts Fun Day

We were invited to a Scouts Fun Day for children with disabilities at a lovely place called Pikes Park. The day didn't start too good, we signed in and the heaven's opened. Never a good sign when you are about to spend the day in the middle of a field (or three) Luckily there were plenty of tents around and we made our way into one in which the girls found some craft and sensory activities to keep them occupied while it looked liked the world was being washed away outside. Then, the rain slowed and we decided to make an escape to see what else was on offer (preferably undercover)
As the rain turned to drizzle we found a BBQ that had survived the downpour and was now busy cooking lunch. Hot dogs and burger all around, and lo and behold it actually stopped raining.
In the next field we found a bouncy castle with a cover which was only slightly damp and the girls had it all to themselves. I think everyone else was more wary of coming out from their safe covers.
Next up was jumping on plastic bottles to make other plastic bottles, made up to look like rockets, fly up in the air. The girls thought this was great fun.

Then we made some dampers and twists. This involved a stick covered in a twist of dough which we then cooked in a barrel over coals to make a tasty bread like stick. We then added jam. They were actually quite yummy. The girls decorated some cookies and were rewarded with balloons for their efforts. They then had a go at shooting some targets with water guns and were rewarded with lollipops. Daddy and Joseph joined another little boy for a kick around with a ball and a goal.

Then it was time for donkey rides. The girls were really excited, this is something they'd been waiting for but the donkeys were late arriving because of the previous bad weather. By now it was beginning to brighten up considerably.

Then we went down to the pool and the girls wanted to go in a canoe. They were put in big canoes with instructors who taught them to row. Lucy had a good try but Leila was either too small or just not listening because she didn't really get the hang of it. They both really loved it though and we have a boating club not far from where we live so I might see if I can get them to do some more canoeing there in the holidays.

We made a trip to the gift shop where I bought the girls a little gift and some chocolate (the first money I'd spent all day!) Then we went to see the model railway and Joseph got excited because he loves trains. Then the day was over. We hadn't managed to do everything but we had loads of fun despite the wet start. of course we were covered in mud but in true Scouts 'Be Prepared' style, mummy had remembered to bring a change of shoes so we didn't get the car all muddy :-)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A little Dilemma

This morning I was given a letter asking if I would like a place for Joseph at a preschool playgroup. This means leaving him there for up to fifteen hours a week. He'll only be two years old. I've not done this with any of my children before, I've always gone by the premise that you only have them home for the first three years of their lives anyway so make the most of it. Just one more year and he'll be at nursery school.
Now, I'm thinking about it. It would be nice to actually have some free time a year earlier. I've been constantly stuck with kids around for nearly seven years now and a lot of things could get done without a little one around all the time. For example, clearing out cupboards, decorating even shopping! And Joseph is a friendly little man who loves being out or in the company of other children. Sadly, I've lost all confidence in attending playgroups with him, I feel like I'm the grandmother with all the other young mums around.
So I've a week to decide, and I'm changing my mind every two minutes.
Should I keep him home and savour every last minute of his 'baby days' or should I send him off to playgroup?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

School Review

We went to the school yesterday to speak to Lucy's teacher about her progress. She was really pleased with her as she's doing very well. Even her behaviour has improved a lot. Recently they had their SATs tests and Lucy was above average in everything. The English test was very long and Lucy put her hand up to say she was finished, but the teacher told her to turn over and  she let out a huge sigh, this happened twice more until Lucy decided that she'd had enough and refused to do the last page. She still managed to get an above average score!
With her older brother English was his bad point, he was more a numbers person, but Lucy seems to manage both well. Contrary to the belief that autistic children have poor imaginations, Lucy's is really good.
The teacher was telling us how different things are on a 'bad' day, but these seem to be getting fewer. With her class if anyone refuses to do something the teacher asks they are told to go to the headmaster and tell him that they refuse and why. Most of the children then suddenly do as asked without further ado. Lucy, however, has no qualms in marching to the headmaster and telling him exactly why she doesn't want to do as she is told! eek!
She has to take something from home with her to school every day. I think this helps her feel closer to home and more safe in school. The teacher is good about this but Lucy has to understand that there are certain times she is allowed to play with her chosen item from home.
overall, I'm very happy with her current progress. The next big step is moving class. That I'm not looking forward to, and neither is Lucy.

Additional edit: Lucy told me this morning that she's really looking forward to moving to year 3, when I asked why she said because they get four pieces of toast instead of two. How nice, Lucy doesn't even eat toast!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Funny Things Kids Say

Lucy "Mummy, you need to teach Cassie a lesson"
Me "why is that?"
Lucy "She needs to learn how to shut the door!"

Leila "Mummy, can we go out somewhere after school tomorrow"
Me "where would you like to go Leila?"
Leila "Africa"

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Princess Poops!

This weeks Special Saturday theme is toileting and our journey is still ongoing.
We started training Lucy when she was two years old, which I guess is about average in our part of the world. We tried a potty but she wouldn't sit on it, we tried a toddler toilet seat but she wouldn't use it. She hated not having a nappy on and despite trying every toilet training trick in the book we just couldn't get her to go.
We gave up and left it for six months before trying again. Again we were not successful. We tried several different types of potties, one lovely one looked just like a throne, she liked it, but wouldn't use it. We tried a Disney Princess toddler seat on the toilet with a special step. We even painted the littlest room in pretty pink so she would like it more in there. Every time we sat her down she would just scream the house down.
At three she started full time nursery. They suspended her a few weeks later and told us we could take her back when she was toilet trained. We'd tried to get away with it by using pull-ups  but as Lucy was just not using the toilet at all she was soon found out.
So we just persevered and although it was a nightmare time we finally got her to pee on the toilet. She still screamed but at least she was peeing as well. After a while she got better and would stop the screaming and just go. We rarely had any accidents and pretty soon she was dry throughout the night too. Success.
But as we all know it's not all about the pees. The poops are still an ongoing problem. Lucy suffered terribly with constipation for many years, eventually we got it under control with diet and sugar water and once they were softer she would go more often and get less constipated. But where she goes is in her pants. The past year she has got better, but she still starts to poo in her pants and then goes to the toilet. At school she just never goes, she waits until she gets home. Unfortunately just the other day was the first time she pooped herself at school and because of her age I had to go and clean her up. It was just before home time so I took her straight home afterwards and hopefully her classmates do not know what had happened as children can be so cruel.
We have talked about this problem with her psychologist who has promised to get her investigated as she may have a problem where she does not actually feel the need to go until it's actually on it's way out. It does seem that way but Lucy doesn't understand. We have tried taking her to the toilet at the same time every day, about an hour after school, which is when the accidents tend to happen but even if we make her sit on the toilet she doesn't do anything. Then she will poop her pants afterwards.
Going out is awkward but we just take a pair of pants and some wipes and just hope that we can get her to the toilet as soon as possible when it happens.  We don't know if this will problem will ever get any better, at the moment we don't have much hope.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Walking Tall

When my daughter began her assessment for autism last year I never really knew what I would learn. It's all very different from twelve years ago when my eldest was diagnosed.
Lucy's assessment by the physiotherapist identified that she had a problem with walking and that it was likely to be causing the pain she gets in her knees at night. Yesterday I took her to a podiatrist who gave her a thorough examination and she came away with some inserts for her shoes. During the examination Lucy had to walk up and down the corridor several times. I knew she walked a little funny but didn't realise until I actually stood there with the Dr and observed just how unstable she actually is. The Dr commented on her weak core stability and her hypermobile joints, this is something picked up and commented on by everyone she sees so it must be pretty noticeable.  I think it's possible that she can improve though, and she's getting plenty of help to do so.
I can't help thinking that her older brother has missed out a lot, I'm sure there is more that could have been done for him. Back then the focus was on language and communication, but both my kids have really good language skills so the problems are very complex with their communication.
It's good that the facets of the autistic spectrum are better understand these days and that more is being done to help those that have it. I hope that by continuing to raise awareness and further investigation that the future will be very bright.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Bread and Fish

Sometimes it's like feeding the five thousand in my home. Not only do I have a big family but we have a small budget and an abundance of fussy eaters.
Big son (ASD) will eat most things, although he does eat one thing at a time on his plate, for example, he will eat all his carrots before starting on his potatoes or his meat. He is not keen on rice and he likes cheese in his mash, otherwise he's not that difficult to feed. Leila is not a fussy eater and will try anything, when smaller she liked to eat from my plate, the rest of the family complained but I think it's turned out well because now she will try anything, she's not afraid of new things. Lucy (ASD) on the other hand has the same food over and over because she doesn't like trying new things. I'm not too worried because she eats a lot of fruit and vegetables. The thing she lacks most is dairy but she does eat cheese so that's something. She only eats chicken and fish which limits her somewhat. Put something new in front of her and she's not even willing to try it. Joseph was a late weaner, he didn't like purees so I couldn't really give him much other than baby rusks until he was seven months old when he started to eat soft foods he could pick up himself. He loves his vegetables and will try most things I give him. I guess the weirdest thing about him is he doesn't like biscuits! All the little ones love bread with nothing on it.
Daddy is allergic to fish and mummy will eat anything!

Big daughter has always been the biggest problem eater in the house, as a child she went through a stage of refusing anything but beetroot. It didn't last long but that's how it's been, she'll fall in love with a food eat it until she's sick of it, then never touch it again. She complains about everything I cook, even if she really likes it (this is really lovely but it's not quite hot enough) She has had counselling over her eating habits, visited nutritionists, been given supplement milkshakes, but nothing makes any difference. She just has a weird relationship with food, I guess it will be with her forever.

I often find myself cooking at least three different meals at a time which can be quite stressful. The only thing we all eat is pizza, but we don't have it too often because it's not so healthy (and mummy doesn't enjoy it as much as everyone else)


This post is for Special Saturday, an online ‘global’ campaign that aims to raise awareness of children and adults living with special needs.

Please join the cause by joining the facebook page -

Follow on twitter - @Specialsat and retweeting hashtag - #specialsaturday

Read and follow the Special Saturday Blog -

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

School Worries

Our girl's school is being forced into an academy. They are going by Ofsted reports from 2005 to 2009 when the school was doing really badly. There has been a new head teacher there since 2008 and he has turned the school around. In 2010 the school was scored as a Good school, with the nursery as Outstanding.
An outstanding school is allowed to become an academy in it's own right, still run by it's current governing board. If it is forced into an academy then then an outside source is brought in to run the school.
It's difficult to get out of academy status because the Education Secretary Michael Grove is wanting all schools, primary and secondary to become academies. Some are trying to fight it, many are losing.
Our school is a good school and the staff are amazing, it's better now than it has ever been (and I know having used the school for the last 19 years) Losing it's current status and being taken over by an outsider probably will have a real detrimental effect on the school.
I could go on about all the bad things about academies but I won't, not here. I just wanted to express my worries about what this means for Lucy.
At nursery it was picked up that Lucy was different from the other children and her teacher gave her extra help to fit in, this continued through to reception class. Then in year one Lucy's teacher called me in for a meeting and suggested that Lucy might be autistic. I already knew, but although I wasn't trying to bury my head in the sand, or deny it I just wanted it to be picked up by someone else so I could be sure. This was the start of Lucy's assessment and during the next six months she received a diagnosis of high functioning autism.
Her teacher has been fantastic and so has the school SENCO. Lucy's problems are different to other kids with special needs, it is so hard to understand what she actually needs but working together she now has a great plan in force at the school which has improved her happiness both there and at home. She also gets extra help in school from outside sources, for example physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
An academy school can still provide all these resources if they wish. They will be readily available for them that want to pay for them. Of course, who knows if they will pay for them? If an outsider does come in are they going to be concerned about Lucy's needs? Perhaps they will think she will be better off in a special school? (This is what happened to my eldest son when his school couldn't implement the correct help for him)
At the moment my worries are heavy on my heart. I do not want the school to change, it's great just as it is.
I will be praying that the outcome is a good one.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Special Friendships, A Special Saturday Post

When I was expecting my first born child I became friends with another woman expecting her first child too. Our children became good friends and grew up together. They went to different schools and had different friends but always had time for each other.
When my son's differences started becoming more apparent and most of his small friends just didn't understand him or want anything to do with him, this one friend always stuck by him. He still called around to play, stayed over, had my son stay over at his and they enjoyed each others company.
My son gradually got worse and the other lad became more grown up, but he still took time out to check up on his friend.
When he was sixteen my son's friend joined the army, and he's still there seven years later. He's not around much these days but he still takes the time to pop by and visit my son, his friend. I truly appreciate this young man's friendship with my son, and I'm sure my son appreciates it too.


This post is for Special Saturday, an online ‘global’ campaign that aims to raise awareness of children and adults living with special needs.

Please join the cause by joining the facebook page -

Follow on twitter - @Specialsat and retweeting hashtag - #specialsaturday

Read and follow the Special Saturday Blog -

Thursday, 10 May 2012

No longer a Baby!

Baby number 5 is growing so fast, I can't really call him a baby anymore. Such a sad time when they reach that stage, especially when you know there will be no more babies. It doesn't matter, I've been here five times now and still it feels like I'm losing something precious. But, it doesn't last, all I have to do is remember what is to come. So much more growing and learning, so many firsts to achieve, so much to look forward to as my little man transforms in front of my very eyes into a, well, not so little man.
I still look at my girls now four and six and it's hard to believe how quick they are growing, but we still have so far to go.
Even when I look at my grown-up children I can see that there is still so much they have to experience, still more growing, it never ends, the changes, the things to look forward to (grandchildren???)

So baby number five now has a bed instead of a cot, he can walk and 'nearly' talk. He is becoming more independent every day......but he still gives the bestest cuddles and kisses ever.

Yes, the baby days are gone (forever) but there is still so much more to come.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

No Time For Grief

I never really knew what grief felt like until I lost my mum and little brother within a week of each other and both quite suddenly. I don't deal very well with grief, I don't think many people do, it's one of those awful things we all have endure sometimes, and it hurts.
I do not feel grief over my children's disabilities. I refuse to feel that sad over two beautiful and amazing children. I understand that their lives are going to be very different, that they will miss out on much of what is called 'normal' but they are here and they are mine and I will give them the very best they deserve.
I guess that's easy for me to say because my children are not severely disabled, they can walk and talk and mostly their disabilities are invisible. With the right help they could even live normal lives, school, relationships, jobs, they are all achievable.
Would I feel different if they were severely disabled, if their lives were more of a shell of what we consider a normal life? If they could not communicate, if they could not return my hard work with love and smiles? If each day was a struggle of survival?
I hope I would not feel differently, I hope I could still give them all I possibly could, make them comfortable and as happy as possible, and love them unconditionally no matter what. I hope I could leave the grief for when they would no longer be here rather than grieving for the lives they should have.
My cousin was born just a year after me to my mum's brother. She was born with Downs Syndrome. I grew up with her and treated her just like my other cousins even though she was a little rougher and didn't know when to stop. I don't see her often now but I've been in touch most of her life. I saw her a couple of weeks ago, she's now 45 years old. She looks well, she looks beautiful. She is happy, she has had a good life. She has had an education, many holidays, lots of friends, she has a much better social life than me. She has not had a lover, she has not had children, she has not had a 'real' job, she still lives at home and depends very much on her family. I think her family are amazing, they've done a wonderful job in giving this lady the best life she possibly could, they have always been positive, even when times were tough.
There is no time to grieve for the way things could have been. I will leave grief for after life has ended. It's hard enough to deal with then.


This post is for Special Saturday, an online ‘global’ campaign that aims to raise awareness of children and adults living with special needs.

Please join the cause by joining the facebook page -

Follow on twitter - @Specialsat and retweeting hashtag - #specialsaturday

Read and follow the Special Saturday Blog -