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.


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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?