A Date – Sat 20th Sept 2014

So, D had a “date” today. She’s said she’s not going to refer to it as a date in her News as she’ll “be too embarrassed”.

It was all very cute.

D and her admirer sat on a sofa in (a quiet, thankfully) Costa and they didn’t so much chat to each other, but respond via questions and prompts from us mums. Then they played Minecraft!

The best bit of the day for D and I was the journey to and from, D riding her new pink trike. Her face was a picture of joy. She was even singing as she was cycling (I used to love doing that!). Any concerns I might have had about her balance were unfounded but she has taken a bit of time to get used to the fact that the back is so much wider than the front, particularly when going past lamposts!

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As you can see, I’ve adapted a crate on the back and D packed for her “date”, with her water bottle, a Minecraft book, a Rainbow Fairy book and Bunny, everything a girl could need. It will do until I can get a proper basket for it, hopefully it won’t rain too much until then, a crateful of rain water doesn’t sound appealing.

A successful day and “date”.

T’s had a good one too, football-filled just the way he likes it. Homework tomorrow and fingers are tightly crossed that it will be less emotionally fraught than last week.

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

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On The Pink! Fri 19th Sept 2014

D is usually “in the pink” with what she wears, but today she was “on the pink”, the pink trike that is.

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D has never been able to ride a two-wheeled bike or a two-wheeler scooter, she hasn’t got the balance or co-ordination. She uses trikes at school so I knew one at home would benefit us and also make the walk to school more enjoyable for her (as we no longer use a buggy for them).

Special Needs equipment is mega mega expensive, I don’t know why, in many cases it’s a bigger version of a buggy and as for weighted blankets at £140 or so!!
Anyway (rant over), we applied for part-funding against the trike, because – tbh – it was the price of a second hand car!

Then it was a case of waiting and hoping..

I spoke to a nice chappie who deals solely in bikes for disabled children and adults and, by asking a few questions about D’s motor skills, he could ascertain the correct bike for her (a Pashley) and it could come in pink! Our application was approved, part-funded and we then had to wait.

Until today, an enormous box arrived!

It was easy to put together and then I just had to test it out, didn’t I?

I hadn’t told D it was arriving today, just in case it didn’t and so she was really pleased to see the picture above when I collected her.

And then it was a case of getting home and giving it a try:

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Doesn’t she look happy? She took a bit of instruction as to using the brake and not her trainers but had very soon mastered it.

I’ll have to get used to this view as I trot beside her on trips now, don’t worry she steered away from the streetlight. The back can hold a basket so I think we’ll have to get one to put her school bag in.

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Seeing D so, so happy on her wonderful trike was definitely my Magic Moment for the week. Like T’s school place appeal it was so worth the wait.

T’s had a good day too, a fab end to the week all round.

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My Word Of The Week and #R2BC

Another Friday already! These weeks are whizz ing by far too quickly, I’ll have to start thinking about the “C” word soon…maybe…let’s get Hubbie’s birthday out of the way first.

My word for this week could have been “Busy”, because it has been.

T has so many books and textbooks for different subjects and three (yes three!) different combinations of PE kit, depending what sport he’s doing, so packing his school bag can’t be rushed in the evening as they (apparently) give out “sin” marks for the simplest things. Not that T has any yet, phew.

As Hubbie is self-employed and heavily involved in T’s football team, there’s always invoices and emails flapping around too, I was sending an invoice out at 11pm last night, now that’s overtime for you.

But, I have a better word for this week, one that’s quite infectious:

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And here’s why (my R2BC bit):

I am waiting in today for a box, a big box. One that will change D’s school run for the better. The pessimist in me says I’m not going to say anymore until it’s safely here but it’s very exciting!!

She also has a little “date” tomorrow, naturally a supervised one. In Costa, at the other child’s suggestion, which I could not be happier about as she’s very comfortable there and I can get a mocha at the same time (tee hee). She will have her own water bottle and snacks so I don’t think much pocket money will be spent (!) She’s a tad excited about it all and I imagine there will be a tutu skirt and various bits of costume jewellery worn (by D,
that is).

Saturday also brings football for the menfolk and as T’s league has now started, it’s time for stats and facts, he loves them.

And being Friday, it’s a chip shop tea for us all, which D absolutely loves. She’ll wake up on Fridays and we’ll say “what day is it today?”,
she’ll squeak “Friday”,
then we’ll say “what does that mean?” and then there’ll be an ear splitting squeak back of “Fish and Chips!”

Great stuff! Now it’s onward with door-watching and waiting for that box, it’s all very exciting!!

The Reading Residence

It Got Better – Thurs 18th Sept 2014

For quite a few terms now, D has been participating in a once-a-week after school sports activity. The sport changes every half term and there’s been trampolining, tennis (other sports I can’t currently remember) and now football.

The aim is to encourage team work, let the children have a bit of fun and up their fitness levels. It’s generally the same children every half term who are picked too, I guess staff have found a happy mix and are sticking with it. Presumably also, it has to be the case that parents can pick them up as the transport people wouldn’t do a special drop off, I imagine.

D is by far the youngest in the group, but this doesn’t mean she isn’t the strongest, far from it! However she does sometimes feel a bit intimidated that all the others are older than she is.

Today was one such example. The school run (walk) was accompanied by a very miserable D, saying she didn’t want to do it, but she “had to”, she was “scared by the older children” and was generally extremely unhappy by the whole idea.

Normally D has to walk up the stairs to her classroom by herself, to encourage independence, but, as luck would have it (and phew!) her teacher was at the foot of the stairs so I could mention just how worried D was.

D’s teacher said the same as I’d been saying to her, to give it one more try and if she really didn’t enjoy it, then we’d say no to next week, it is a long day for her too.

So, big, huge, mega hugs and I started a guilty walk home, hoping she’d be okay.

And she was.

She walked down the corridor afterwards smiling away, because she’d been told she’d made a “great pass”, she couldn’t wait to tell Hubbie and T as they like football, just a bit! They do do a lot of positive reinforcement there, which D responds well to.

When I asked her if she wanted to do the club again next week, it was a resounding “yes”, I’ll probably have to remind her about that next week.

T has had a good day too, we met up for our Costa catch-up before collecting D, with Hubbie too. Hubbie hadn’t seen T directly after school since he’d started at his secondary school and it was good that he could see just how relaxed, settled and confident T seems already. Such a relief.

So, not a brill start to the day with that anxiety-filled school run but it definitely Got Better. Friday tomorrow too!

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

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Mad Minion Open Sandwich #KidsInTheKitchen

T had a challenge for Food Tech (I guess, Home Economics as was) this week, to design and create an Open Sandwich (ie. a sandwich without bread on the top).

We decided on something fun, a Mad Minion Open Sandwich, mad to reflect the colour of its eyes as the only alternative we could think of was olives (yuck) and I didn’t see the point of buying a jar and having them sit in the cupboard unused for ever!

This is the end result:

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Ingredients needed (per Mad Minion):
Slice of bread, buttered
Slice of ham
Two slices of salami
One slice each of two colour cheese (we used Edam and Cheddar)
Peppers
Cherry Tomato

And here’s how we made it:

Create an oval shape with the bread, then butter the slice (we used an oval bowl as a template for the bread, ham and light coloured cheese)

Cut the ham into an oval, put on top of butter

Repeat with light coloured cheese

Make small circles in the salami and place on top of cheese, for the eyes

Make smaller circles for pupils in eyes with the other coloured cheese and place on top of salami

Cut a cherry tomato in half and place both on top of coloured cheese

Cut small strips of pepper to make spiky hair and a belt.

We’ve practised it at home and it looks really funny, I guess we could have made it look even funkier by adding cress for a frizzled hair look. We used seeded granary bread to add some extra fibre too.
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At last! – Weds 17th Sept 2014

The one way I can always tell if D has had a good day at school is the way she greets me at home time.

If she comes down the stairs with zero eye contact and zooms off for a corner, head down, then she’s either been storing up her negative emotions and is letting them out, or she’s been upset by something or someone on her way down.

If, however, she has a big smile and rushes at me, nearly bowling me over, then it’s been a good one. A way I hadn’t been greeted since she went back to school, until today.

It was lovely, apart from the nearly getting knocked over bit, she’s getting very strong!

T had a good day too, his timetable today consisted of two Art lessons with much lighter books to carry in between, so he was happy not to lug such a heavy bag around, unfortunately tomorrow makes up for it, definitely!

Anyway, T and D played being Minecraft characters as we walked back, sometimes chasing each other, all in very good nature. It was really, really nice.

Tomorrow will bring a longer day for D, with after school football and PE during the day, giving T and I a chance to catch up with a Costa trip (which will hopefully make up a bit for the heavier bag).

A great one here, I hope everyone’s had a good day too.

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It’s Good To Talk #WellbeingWednesday

It can be isolating being an SN parent, we tend not to visit places where there’s hoards of people as D finds it too challenging.

Then, if she does react to the noise and sheer volume of people, there are the inevitable stares and comments and we do “the walk (or bolt, in D’s case) of shame” away.

That’s why it was so nice to visit the Special Needs playground near us for a birthday party on Saturday.

The layout is such that the children are free to roam, laugh, run around and enjoy just being children in a very inclusive atmosphere and the parents are able to relax and catch up.

This latter aspect took me a few visits, there was an element of “will she be okay? What if…? What if….?” but D goes there so often with her school and, it being a birthday party, her friends were there, it was all good.

And it was. The mums sat and talked, laughed and shared our experiences. it’s always a relief to chat to people who just “get it”, this autism parenting.
We don’t have a school gates element as the vast majority of children arrive and leave by school transport.

We all decided that we’d catch up next week and made plans for a Christmas social too for the children.

It’s definitely Good To Talk.

Wellbeing Wednesday

Wellbeing Wednesday #WellbeingWednesday

Welcome to Wellbeing Wednesday, a fortnightly linky with the aim of feeling better from the inside out.

It’s a chance for us as parents/carers/individuals to share posts on things that make us feel happy.

It could be:
*A new haircut
*A new diet (the Wobbles Wednesday aspect)
*Which leads on to weight loss
*A healthy recipe or a totally un healthy but delicious one
*Or a new pampering experience/shopping find
*Or maybe just a quiet coffee with a magazine (something I really missed in the school holidays)
*Perhaps a book that you’ve enjoyed reading or some music
*Appropriate reviews too

Hopefully you get the giste, it’s a linky that’s not children-focused, it’s for us! Although if you’ve had a fantastic family-focused experience and wanted to include that too, that’s fine, as long as it made you feel better. Old or new posts are welcome.

Here’s a badge code if you’d like to grab it:

Wellbeing Wednesday
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Thank you for those who linked up last time, my highlights were:

@cherylp59 is back on the weight-loss after a fab-sounding summer!

@kateonthinice is a “striking mum”, her posts always provoke questions within me and resolve to change things.

@emma4facs has received a diagnosis of Chrones after a tough time

And
@shell1207′s posts always inspire me, have a read of her weight loss journey to date.

All the posts linked up can be read here.

The linky will be open for a fortnight, as this linky is fortnightly and I’m looking forward to reading, sharing and commenting on posts, using the #WellbeingWednesday hashtag.



Small Steps Amazing Achievements – Weds 17th Sept 2014

Welcome to another Wednesday, September is whizzing by!

Jane at @ethansescapades is hosting the linky this week, so please either pop over there with your posts or link up below as the code synchronises.

Here’s the badge if you’d like to grab it, posts can be old or new and we’re both looking forward to reading, commenting and sharing using the #SSAmazingAchievements hashtag.

Ethans Escapades
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Here are my highlights from last week:

Monkey had a play date with the cutest pictures of him and his friend over at @BecomingaSAHM.

Some fantastic achievements made by @RantRaveCrave ‘s little man, good luck with the move!

Mini has made a great start in school with @miniandmum.

And
Travelling with an autistic child or teen can be challenging but @kiwimumdi managed it & N did so well.

It was really difficult choosing which ones to highlight, as they’re always wonderfully varied and we really enjoy reading them, but you can read all last week’s here.



Another one down! Tues 16th Sept 2014

I really didn’t want to leave D at school today, she was a pale, snivelling, cuddly D, holding on for dear life.

The reason? She’d just had her injection with the school nurse at the start of the day. Something that she understands why it’s happening and accepts the numbing cream and dressing before we leave home. The anxieties kick in on the way to school and then, like today, it’s a flailing, squirming D, me holding her, one nurse trying to distract her and another trying to administer. It’s not easy and I am grateful that it’s done at school because the GPs surgery just doesn’t have the resources or the patience to deal with a (very anxious) D.

But because she then has to get to class and start her school day, it does mean that our cuddles afterwards are limited.

A heavy-hearted walk away but I knew that, once she calmed down, she’d be okay (ish).

And she was (ish). It was still a pale D who came down from her classroom and no, I didn’t get a hug or a “Mumma!” but a few massive squeezes of my hand as we walked out of school, an indicator maybe that she’d held some emotions in.

Would you believe? I’d brought her iPad as we always have a ten minute wait for T and it distracts her as there are always other people at the coach stop. T’s coach was early! Traffic must have been clear, for a change!

T had been cuddly when he left this morning and cuddly when he got off the coach, which is unusual for him but I think the novelty of leaving early for the coach has been replaced by a bit of “urgh, this again”.

He does seem more settled now that any confusion around homework handing-in dates has been clarified, which is a relief.

Another day tomorrow, I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

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