Fortune? Fri 29th July 2016 

“An opportunity will present itself, you don’t have to miss”

One thing D does enjoy is heading off with Hubbie to pick up our chippy tea on a Friday.  It’s nice, it means that they have a bit of Dad-D time and, because D is invariably excited about clutching that warm bag of chips on the way back, she’s in a happy mood.

She also enjoys going because she usually gets a free Fortune Cookie, today’s is at the top of the page.  Sometimes they’re quite profound, sometimes amusing, but what D does do is take them extremely literally because they’re billed as “fortune”.

So…. I’ve explained it to her that, as we’re having a lift to the SN adventure playground next week, it must be that.

That’s easier for her to understand that my suggesting some opportunity which may, or may not, present itself.  But if there is something that comes up at school or another activity that she wants to do, but is anxious about, I can refer to this and, because the “fortune” is saying “do it”, she just might.  Maybe.

I remember having my fortune told before I had children.  It was an “experience” and I guess you interpret it how you wish but I do remember someone telling me that young women mostly want to know if they’ll have children and men want to know about their health, so I would think there’s a great deal of clues being picked up.   

All good fun, eh? 

I’m glad she didn’t get the one in the image below btw, a literal interpretation of that would be a challenge.

Realistic – Thurs 28th July 2016 

I have kicked myself up the bottom this week, not literally but, it needed to be done.

I’ve been on tenterhooks waiting for an appeal decision about my proposed operation for a few weeks now, it’s made me not want to plan too far in advance, the thought that I’d get a phone call, have a pre-op appointment and then surgery – potentially – all within a week and a half of that call.

Naively I assumed that a decision would be reached by now – some three weeks since it was submitted.  I say naively because it’s impossible to get information about when appeal panels for the NHS meet as I can imagine they would be making some pretty tough life-impacting decisions at times.  I’m not greedy, if it was a choice between my funding and a child/cancer patient, then they should get the funding every time but it would be nice to know…

Anyway, my word for the week is:

Because now the afore-mentioned boot up the bottom has made me stop focussing on when I might hear about an appeal decision, it has to.

I don’t mean that I’d be constantly checking my phone and emails but my first thought on waking up was “I wonder if I’ll hear today…” and then I’d go to sleep disappointed that, yet again, I hadn’t heard.

Hubbie has a theory that the appeal wasn’t successful and they’re just putting off telling me but hopefully that’s not the case.

So, we are planning for next week at least.  A trip to D’s favourite SN playground with a friend next week and – if she feels up to it – maybe a trip to see Ice Age.  

But, what I’m not going to doing is wonder and wait for the phone anymore. If they do call next week, great, if it’s the week after, fine.  If it’s not until they go back to school, then that’s probably better as I could then – assuming it’s a “yes” – recover during the school day and reserve energy and my feet until they’re home.

I’m not going to be dictated to by something that might not happen.  

Happy thoughts!

It’s been lovely today to see D get stuck into these:

A box set of Enid Bylton books. A reward for a brilliant school report.  T’s had his reward too, a choice of bits from a sports website.

She had been getting anxious because her reading book at school had been one of these (Second Form at St Claire’s) and her teachers told her to borrow it from the library and read it over the summer, we hadn’t been able to find it in the library or local bookshop, so good old Amazon to the rescue.

D takes instructions to the letter so any other books wouldn’t do and, ever since school told her that Rainbow Magic books (which she loves) are “too easy” for her, she’s gone right off them. 

So, positivity rules here! How’s your week been? 

We were Wonder Pets – Weds 27th July 2016

Lovely memories brought back today for D, who remembers the Wonder Pets?

Good old Linny (Guinea pig), Tuck (Turtle) and Ming Ming (Duck)! D was absolutely obessesed with them and the programme from about the age of 3 and we could not go anywhere without her carrying her little hardback Wonder Pets book, it’s a bit battered now but something to look back at and use as a conversation point.

The Wonder Pets, if you hadn’t heard of them, went on missions to save various animals, emphasising teamwork was the way to go.  Their rather “catchy” theme song is here.

Anyway, D and I had a “Wonder Pet” moment or three today as we saved a few bees.  It’s great having the paddling pool out but, as we have loads and loads of butterfly and bee friendly buddleia in the garden, we run the risk of bees going for an unfortunate swim.

So, we’ve made like Wonder Pets, fishing out the (three) bees with a net and letting them dry out next to some buddleia.  It worked every time and they’d soon liven up, have a buddleia snack and then buzz off, luckily not blaming us for their swim.

It was a chance to explain to D just about important bees are in the pollenation of fruit and veg as well as flowers.

She enjoyed singing the Wonder Pets song too.

There was a “Wonder Pets Save The Bee” but I couldn’t find a link, so some pictures instead.

The Elusive T – Tues 26th July 2016

*knocks and waves* Hello! I really don’t know if this will publish or get lost somewhere in the ether as the blog is really misbehaving at the moment.  It either refuses to schedule or won’t let me in at all, hence nothing yesterday.

Anyway, I hope this does as this happened yesterday:

Our T.  He does not like having his picture taken but as this was for his football team card, it had to be done.

That hint of a smile is pure T.  He’s a homebody in the school holidays, preferring to stay within the house and garden.  

It can feel frustrating when there is so much out there, beyond our fence but I have to remind myself just how intense the school day is for him, starting and ending with a (no doubt) noisy school bus.

He’s got his chosen subjects for exams from September and that, together with his continued football, will certainly drain him both emotionally and physically.

A bonus so far this school holiday is that T is eating lunch, he’d very rarely eat any of his packed lunch at school and he’s tucking in – okay, it’s his usual limited lunch every day – but I’m sneaking in Actimel drinks and home-grown blueberries, if the Guinea pig doesn’t get first dibs (the berries, not the drink, that would be messy)!

There are times (frequently) when he and D have glaring contests, when he knows that he can provoke emotions in his sister with a withering look and a “oh my” in her direction but there are also times when he will giggle until he gets hiccups, which both annoys him and makes him laugh more.

We always say he’s 14 going on 44 and he is, his high-functioning element means that his brain is ever-thinking, ever-challenging but his lack of social skills and inability to “read” others means that school was problematic for the last few weeks of term.  

But for now, he’s comfortable in his little world of sanctuary.  He knows we’re proud of him and we are.

Innovo – Restore The Floor Product Review #RestoreTheFloor

“Bounce on the trampoline with me, Mumma! Come on!” words that I’d hear in previous summers and make excuses for, because I knew that I’d potentially regret it.

It wasn’t a majorly huge problem for me, I’d just add in a box of liners for every shop but my pelvic floor weakness meant that I wouldn’t bounce with the children, I’d cough and think “don’t, just don’t cough too much” and not be too keen on hayfever season.  

I’m not alone in experiencing pelvic floor weakness, 1 in 3 women do, your pelvic floor is something that’s the last thing on your mind when you bring home your new baby (or have two of your babies at home, like I did).  It’s an issue that isn’t really talked about, is almost accepted as part of giving birth and then growing older.

So, when I read that Restore The Floor were looking for bloggers to test their new product over months – not days or weeks – I applied and hoped I’d be chosen.  The initial questionnaire was quite detailed and I knew from this that Restore The Floor and Innovo were looking for real women, women who’d be willing to give the system a try and not just “restore the floor” but majorly increase their confidence and wellbeing too.  Men can use the system too, as it’s not invasive, it’s estimated that 1 in 10 men may experience bladder issues.

I’ve mentioned it’s “non invasive” so, how does it work?  Here’s what Innovo say:

 “Innovotherapy uses a hand held INNOVO® controller attached to a two part garment. This sends targeted impulses (neuromuscular electrical stimulation) via a set of conductive pads attached to your upper thigh and buttocks, to safely and effectively activate all the muscles of the pelvic floor.”

As you will see from the Quick Start Guide above, it’s very simple to use. There are two wraps – one for each thigh – and the wraps come in three sizes (to fit from a size 8 to size 20+), each thigh wrap uses four gel pads, which either go onto the A or B sections, depending on your size.

The thigh wrap has a connector which connects to hand held device.  You can increase/decrease the power of the pulse via the handheld, pause it or use one of the pre-set programmes.

The stipulation is that you use the device enabling skin contact with knees bent, whether this is standing with hips tilted or sitting up on the sofa or on the floor.  I found it easier to have my feet up on the sofa, once you have set it up and are used to the sensation of a pulse whilst something else is working your muscles, it’s very easy to relax.  It’s strange to think that your pelvic muscles are being improved from the outside in (as it were), the device contracting and relaxing the muscles 180 times each session.

I was asked to use the Innovo for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week for 12 weeks.    I started out with a level 20 and within a week or so felt that I could progress up a level.  The target range is 70-75 and, after 12 weeks, I’m not far off 60 so I’m very pleased. 

The trampoline is no longer something to fear, nor is sneezing or coughing. For long term use, it’s recommended that I use it for 1-2 sessions per week and as  I know it works, that will not be a problem at all.  

The RRP is £249 and, although it’s not cheap, it is a far less invasive method of regaining and restoring control as opposed to surgery.  The confidence boost it gives to your wellbeing is something that is hard to name a price for.  

The system has a two year warranty and you can also purchase replacement gel pads.
The company have also set up an instalment plan for those to wish to spread payments.  You can find out more about buying the system and instalments here.

It’s a definite thumbs up from me, thank you Innovo! 

“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.”

Clouds – Sun 24th July 2016

The grey clouds came back today, following yesterday’s fun, both literally and emotionally.

A cloudy – cooler and sometimes slightly rainy – day meant no water play for D, which was a shame as she enjoys it so much.  It also meant that she’s been back to occasionally worrying about growing up and pacing.

She’s also been worried about the fact that I’d asked both T and D to try and get on this summer and she said that it’s not happening so far.  It’s tricky isn’t it, when both your children have no idea of how their body language impacts on each other and both interpret the other’s negatively.  Scrub “tricky”, it’s tiring! 

Anyway… My challenge for this week is to get a headshot of T for his football season, preferably without headphones, they are more on than off!

Pfft! Sat 23rd July 2016

Another “sunshine or showers” day here today, by that I don’t mean the weather but that our days are either good or bad, very much black or white with no grey (middle) ground.

Today was a “sunshine” day and one in which a very funny memory has been made for D.

There she was, happily splashing around in the pool, intentionally falling on and off the inflatable pineapple (which has been such a good buy) and generally enjoying herself when …… she fell off the pineapple (again), landed on an inflatable ball, which promptly deflated very quickly and loudly, shooting her across the pool.

She loved it.  And didn’t stop talking about it for ages.  It will certainly be a good conversation prompt in the future.

And the image above made her laugh too. More “sunshine” days please! 

Worried – Fri 22nd July 2016

It’s felt like D’s resembled a pressure cooker this week and not just because of the heat.

After from the joyful splashing around in the pool, she’s been a bag of nerves, occasionally spilling over.

We tried a quick trip to the library today as she wanted to choose a book, the same one she’d been reading at school but has had to hand in.  It wasn’t on the shelf and although the library wasn’t busy, it was all too much for D again.

She only relaxed in the coffee shop (me too!) as she’s familiar with it, she knows that the far end of the shop isn’t so busy and the stress diminishes as she sits with her (brought with her) book, water bottle, snack and good old Bunny.

Oh Bunny, she is getting ever fragile but extremely loyal, spending each night tucked into D’s arm, spending the days next to D or in a bag if we’re out, always available for a reassuring cuddle.

Bunny and friends:

D definitely needed a cuddle later on today as she finally told me what had been troubling her, to the point of tears.

She’s aware that her puberty-blocking injections have stopped (thank goodness) and what will happen at some time, but doesn’t know when.

For a child who likes to know items in advance, she’s not happy, that’s an understatement.

But I’m pleased she told us, opened up the subject and it means that the subject can continue to be broached, even though it may be as far away as in two years time.  I doubt it though, she’s showing signs oh hormones regulating and these are no doubt adding to her varied emotions.  That and autism.

We’ll get there.  

Just Too Hot – Weds 20th July 2016

It is a bit, isn’t it?

Let’s face it, we’re not used to overly hot weather in this country. Give me a gentle breeze with the occasional sunshine peeking through the clouds over recent weather.

It’s far enough if you’re on a beach and not doing much, but if you still need to keep on keeping on, whilst your make up slides off, it’s not brill.

The heat has affected D too, she didn’t sleep well last night, despite melatonin, so she’s been a bit “sunshine and showers” today, by that I mean extremes, with no middle ground.

T, who can seemingly sleep through anything after melatonin, again has the extremes of emotion, but without the tiredness.

You’ll see, come next week, when we’ve had days and days of rain, I’ll look back and wish for sunshine.

One bonus though, if I had have had my op a week ago, I’d been mega uncomfortable in the heat, a bonus there I guess.

The end pic made me smile today, needed after yesterday’s stressful town trip:

Over whelmed – Tues 19th July 2016

A lesson learnt today for me.  That I can’t assume.  

I’ve been super proud of D this last school year, she’s achieved and pushed herself in activities so much but sometimes it all collapses a bit, when anxieties and her stranger fear gets a bit too much.

I’d hoped that we’d have a girly trip to town, it’s something that we don’t do that often but is (usually) fun.  We’d have a little window shop for glittery pinky/purple items and “ooh” and “aah” at them, before lunch and some browsing.  With the majority of schools still not broken up, it would have seemed to be good timing.

Wrong.  On so many levels.  She bolted, she protested, she walked right out of shops – despite that being one of the “don’ts” that I’d hoped she understood.  

The triggers were frequent: someone being too close to her (even though they weren’t);  the noise of an alarm, the occupied lift (she won’t and can’t use an escalator), the roadworks and the bank.  Oh the bank, the one place where you need to concentrate specifically.  Too many people coming out when we were going in, fortunately not too many around when she shouted out “Mumma, I know your PIN, it’s ****”…. the gentle explanation as to why we need to keep PIN numbers secret which wasn’t met well and a bolt outside the bank and yes, more strangers.

The air con was in full force everywhere so I can’t factor in the heat as there was a breeze too, it was just one of those days where I had prepared her all I could and it just didn’t gel. It happens.

All seemingly forgotten as she splashed around in the pool later on, but I know today has tainted any future shopping trips, for a while anyway.  

It’s a shame it’s come at the start of the holidays but, bearing in mind it will get more populated in town, maybe that option is closed off for a while.   We’ll see.

C’est la vie.