Crafts time – Sun 15th Jan 2017

By | January 15, 2017

After a really-quite-stressful week, this weekend was most definitely need for some individual downtime, in individual ways.

T and D, having had T’s game called off in the morning, went to watch and aid with a men’s game in the afternoon.  T hadn’t been heading off to these regularly and he’s suddenly realising that it may beneficial him with his GCSE PE course if he can gain experience and tips whilst enjoying the game too.

Meanwhile, D and I watched “The Worst Witch” on CBBC and, although she was a tad confused  at slight adaptation changes made (she loves the boxes), she mostly enjoyed watching it and it looking forward to the next episode.

My #pictureaday2017 #14/365 was this, my crochet project:

I’m onto the joining together of pentagons and then hexagons, which is time-consuming and still quite relaxing (unless you add in the bit on the wrong side – aaargh!)

And then today D decided to re-cover a diary I’d received with a magazine.   I absolutely love the cute little stickers (which came with her Girl Talk Art magazine), today’s #pictureaday2017 #15/365:

She wanted to add her name and a flower picture on the back in “pixel writing”, looks good doesn’t it?

And she’s doing better than me, writing something every day so far, definitely our little blogger!  

Snow Go – Fri 13th Jan 2017

By | January 13, 2017

It all felt a bit “don’t panic Mr Manwairing” yesterday as the weather forecast seemed to dominate.  There was talk of snow, but how much and where? No one knew.

Both T and D’s schools swung into action mode, cancelling after-school clubs and making provisos for the morning after.  In the meantime, the heavy rain came.

All the prep imaginable could not have forseen yesterday, which saw Hubbie in a busy school car park, D in one seat, T having got off his school coach in another and a car that wouldn’t start.   

Yesterday’s #pictureaday2017 shows my Skechers, the only brand that my really-quite-rubbish post-op feet can comfortably wear and they were put to good use as I had to trudge out, in the rain to fetch D and bring her home whilst Hubbie and T waited for a recovery vehicle.  It was cold, it was absolutely torrential but she was happy to be going home and getting back to her after-school routine.

It happens, unfortunate circumstances like this but the timing wasn’t great, eh?

And we’ve had no snow, nothing! Which, on a positive has meant no changes to school (apart from T’s school put the coaches back an hour) but on the other hand …. a teensy bit of snow is quite nice, just a bit of non-disruptive stuff!

You can guess what our “worst bit of the week” unanimously was!

Today saw a chance to pick up this for D and our #13/365 #pictureaday2017:

In all the years I’ve bought magazines for D – usually led by her eagerness for the plastic thing on the front – this is the one that she not only reads, but actually does activities from.

The instructions are always very clearly set out and, being a cat household, she smiled hugely at the cat activity on the front.  I wonder if she’ll make it into our cats’ colours or a riot of pink/purples/reds? Either way it’s something she always looks forward to looking through.

Our little bit of watery distraction – Thurs 12th Jan 2017 

By | January 12, 2017

In true J-fashion, I’m running a day behind with my #pictureaday2017, but that’s okay, I’m not going to pressurise myself (there’s more than enough of that atm).

So, our #11/365 picture is of our little bit of watery distraction on the way to and from school:

It’s all been very severely trimmed back by the powers-that-be, usually you can’t see the puddle/lake this clearly.  It probably takes us about three minutes to walk through and it’s a chance for D to relax a bit before we have to cross a busy road and get to her school.  

Her school is on the left of the picture, with a busy, busy primary school on the right.

Sometimes we see a fox, usually squirrels and occasionally a friendly cat.  There’s a birds nest in a tree as we enter the woods and D can’t wait to hear any little baby birds, it might be a while yet.

The puddle/lake is always a welcome sight, when it’s iced over, it becomes a challenge for D to see how far she can throw a stone and whether it cracks the ice, when it’s watery, it’s a case of seeing how big the “plop” will sound as the stone enters the water.

Sometimes there’s a duck or two and obviously any stone chucking is abandoned as we watch the duck(s) up-end themselves as they search for nibbles.

Our little walk through is something we both missed big-time whilst I was recuperating and it was lovely to get rhose moments back again this term.

We haven’t had the walk yet with snow everywhere, maybe tomorrow will bring some/plenty of mud!! 

A Young Leader – Tues 10 Jan 2016

By | January 10, 2017

There was a good reason that D could not wait to get into school today, a quite exciting one for her.

She’d been chosen to be a Young Leader for the morning, assisting the primary pupils in her school as they went through some sporting challenges.

Today’s #pictureaday2017 #10/365 is a heavily cropped young leader team photo that came home and doesn’t she look happy:

She whizzed down the stairs at home time and excited told us that she’d been in charge of the stopwatch, whilst I can imagine she absolutely loved, she’s always enjoyed looking out for bus numbers/numbers on people’s doors and prices on supermarket shelves, all aided by a tv programme called Numberjacks.

Her SN school offers so many opportunities for confidence-builders such as these, she’s come a long way from an overwhelmed girl who couldn’t take part in sports days because it was all a bit too much sensory-wise.

I also realised today that D seems to set a benchmark in the morning, if we get there before the school bus she travelled on last term has released her friends whilst I was recuperating, she’s happy.  If she can see the transport escorts to wave at, even more so.  We’ve managed three mornings out of three so far, yay! 

D’s calming tools – Mon 9th Jan 2017

By | January 9, 2017

Today saw two hospital check-ups for D, in buildings a good 15 minutes walk apart.  It made sense to me to only have D out of school for one day to attend and she did extremely well.

There was an absolutely farcical moment though when the first department realised that her hospital notes had to be over at the other department and they asked me to take them over – but insisted on sealing them in an envelope as I wasn’t allowed access to them ?!? So..if I’d been so inclined I could have gone off with them but shouldn’t read them!  Years of office work has meant that I’m very able to read pages upside down, whilst sitting opposite a doctor though! 

Anyway, D was an absolute star today.  

Our first appointment was a checkup at the centre where she was first diagnosed and it’s usually a chat around melatonin and the fact that by the time she’s 16, the NHS will no longer prescribe it.  

Her second appointment was a checkup chat now that her puberty-blocking injections were stopped in June.  

In both cases, D answered some simple questions and coped with a busy, sensory-filled waiting room with her “tools”, today’s #pictureaday2017 #9/365:

Bunny, good old Bunny.  She’s getting ever fragile, hence the hat, which helps protect a fragile neck. Bunny is always available for a cuddle and usually ends up in D’s upper arm crook.  Bunny is getting paler and paler with every wash and very much loved.

Minecraft books.  D always has a book or three in my bag when we’re out and these are firm favourites.  She enjoys reading the potion recipes and looking at the pictures.  I’m always so pleased that she enjoys reading and these definitely help her zone out during noisy situations.

And her iPad.  Mostly used for looking at My Little Pony pictures, with the occasional minecraft game.  Something that she’ll utilise during sensory-filled trips out and fortunately she’s moved away from watching the same minecraft videos over and over again.

Extremely proud of her today, both departments will see her again in a year, by which time she’ll be 13.5 years old and I guess transition to adult services chats will commence, judging by posters I saw today.

Mood Blanket 2017 – Week 1 – Sun 8th Jan 2017

By | January 8, 2017

Can you believe we’re a week into 2017 already? If it’s anything like last year, this year is going to fly by.

I babble a bit about a hobby of mine on here and take quite a few instagram pictures of progress – – because I find it so beneficial to my wellbeing, which can only help.

Crochet.  You might think, what? How can a little hook and a ball of yarn help?

Well, for starters, it’s portable, unless you making a huge blanket (easily chuckable into a bag) and there’s a sense of achievement when you try something out and actually get a result.  Or stick to something simple and melodic that doesn’t require much thinking about and can be picked up and put down as required – in my case, lots! 

I’m currently making something that is really challenging me (pictures to follow when finished) but I’ve also decided to make a Mood Blanket for this year.  I started a knitted sky blanket last year, before I learnt to crochet and got very bored with the (continuous) grey squares for rain/cloudy days and turned it into a lap blanket and gave it away.  

This year I thought it needs to be something that can be made quickly and not be as cumbersome as squares.

So, here’s my first week of the Mood Blanket and today’s #pictureaday2017:

If you’re a regular reader of my blogs you’ll know that last week saw meltdowns for D, post-op pain for me and a dead phone technology fail, hence the amount of greys and blues.  It also saw a panto trip (the yellow and pink circle as I didn’t have anything sequinned/brighter) and another okay day, indicated by the yellow.

The bordering circle is a Parma Violet shade as I thought that would go with practically everything and the idea is rows of 21 circles, unless I can find a number that goes exactly into 365 and looks a decent size.

I started joining them with crochet slip stitches and double crochet but that’s going to leave me with loads of ends (don’t like ends) and wasting wool so I’ll sew them together from now on.

The pattern – if anyone fancies joining in – is:

For middle circle, 4mm hook:

Wrap wool around finger ten times, take off, secure with slip stitch and double crochet 14 times.  Slip stitch to first stitch.

Do another row of 14 double crochet stitches in same colour. Slip stitch to first stitch.

Fasten off yarn.

Join in border colour with 2 chains in any space, do a treble crochet in same space. Do 2 treble crochet stitches in each space (28 stitches), slip stitch into 2nd stitch of the chain and fasten off.

Very effective and quick.  I’ll probably do my little circle for the day at the same time I write my “line a day” in my secret santa present, in which I also note down my mood colour for the day.

Today’s is light purple btw, a positive colour, it’s been a calm Sunday, D’s arm is still producing “gunk” from her allergic reaction on her arm but it hasn’t got any worse and “gunk” means that the skin is working hard to heal and we watched one of D’s favourite films today, Nanny McPhee.  She knows the script so well that she’ll say what’s coming up next, but still absolutely loves it.

Tomorrow sees two hospital check-ups for D, both won’t include injections or blood tests (she says optimistically on the latter) and it was a stretch to get them both on the same day but that’s far easier stress-wise for D and it means she’s only out of school for one day.  It should all be fine.  We’ll see what tomorrow’s “mood colour” brings x

Reaction stopped play -Sat 7th Jan 2017

By | January 7, 2017

This should have been a post where I’d be mentioning a laserquest and bowling special needs evening.  Unfortunately it’s not.  We didn’t get there, due to an extremely fragile and uncomfortable D.

Our #pictureaday2017 #7/365 tells why.  See that bandage? That’s covering up a severe skin reaction to a bangle that D put on.  She loves sequinned, sparkly costume jewellery, but her skin doesn’t and I’d thought she understood that she could only wear costume bracelets over clothes, not next to skin.

There’s another complication in that D is also allergic to plasters so we have to apply cream, bandage the skin and then wait for the reaction to run its course, her arm is currently in the blistering stage, which is uncomfortable for her.

So, it was cuddles aplenty and a quiet day, after a fragile start.  She’d previously been excited about going to laserquest with her friends but it would have all been too much for her, not to mention her sore arm which would affect her bowling and the fast pace with lasers.

She didn’t mention it today though, so I haven’t had to have the “its best if we don’t go because …” chat.

It will be a few days before her skin heals but at least we know it will, we’ve had enough practice at dealing with skin reactions.   Timing though eh? The SN-only sessions are always good fun.

The picture below is of D at a session in September, she loved it! 

The Fluffball – Fri 6th Jan 2017

By | January 6, 2017

Today’s #pictureaday2017 #6/365 and sometimes this is needed, isn’t it?

The fluffball that is Bitsey decided I wasn’t going anywhere and that it was time for a cuddle and a purr (the latter all from her!).

She’s a funny old thing;  she’ll follow D and I partway to school and then wait, jumping out from a hedge when I return, meowing her annoyance that I’ve been a while, she watches over as recycling crates get put out and, most importantly for her, if our heated clothes airer isn’t on, she’ll attempt to swipe Hubbie until it’s rectified.

Which makes her sound a right moody old moggie, but she also gives out the loudest purrs and mega cuddles, when she’s amenable (take her off before she’s ready though and she’ll hiss!).

Cuddles were welcome today.  All my phone “stuff” finally transferred over (yep, Apple I did it), but it only emphasised how much I have to catch up on in the next day or so and, after a chat with a doctor, next week will see an appointment to try and establish why I’m still in pain after my op in October and whether a further op (or two) will be needed.

D was in need of cuddles too, unbeknown to me she had worn an arm bangle under a jumper and her skin reacted to it so, as she can’t wear plasters due to allergies, she’s in a bandage.  They’d noticed the reaction today at school and questioned her – without success to ascertain if it was something that had occurred at school – so she was a bag of nerves at hometime.  Some general chat and cuddles at home got the info but it’s a shame she didn’t feel confident enough to say something earlier, it must have been itchy.

So yes, cuddles were the order of the day.

Routine – Thurs 5th Jan 2017

By | January 5, 2017

Today saw a much-needed return to routine, with D heading back to school.  It also marked the first time I’d walked a school run with her since October 11th, the day before my operation.

I’d hoped she wouldn’t miss the quicker home-school transport bus too much and she didn’t seem to, although chatting to the transport people this afternoon, they were already missing her!

Anyway, she went into school happily and that’s the main thing for me and it was LOVELY to stand in my usual spot at the bottom of the stairs this afternoon and see her coming down, looking very tall in her much-loved hat.

I wish my day in between school hours had gone as smoothly, here’s my #pictureaday2017 #5/365:

Taken in the Apple Store.  In the background is my phone, having a bit of TLC, which didn’t work… so unless a couple of other options work, I’ve lost contacts/texts/pictures as the blooming thing won’t stay on long enough to back up.

I’m glad I took something to do with me as I was in the store for about two hours.

So, that was frustrating!

Phone issues meant I didn’t blog yesterday, but for completeness, especially as I’m doing this picture a day, here’s what I posted on Facebook:

“Wednesday 4th Jan:

The last day of the school holidays for D today and, as her favourite DVD currently is “The Worst Witch, this was our afternoon’s viewing.

Unfortunately this was followed by her first meltdown of 2017 and quite a prolonged one as anxieties about returning to school surfaced.

Tomorrow will bring a new face (but not unknown) at the bottom of the stairs as she goes into school with a new headteacher, a school week that starts on a Thursday and a return to walking to school, as home-school transport has stopped (for the moment anyway, as I think there’ll be another one this year for me). Thursday is usually her flute lesson day at school and she’s been extremely anxious as to whether she will have a lesson tomorrow or not.

D has done so well with all the changes that Christmas brings, a busy day at the pantomime yesterday and so, a meltdown wasn’t unexpected but draining for her.

Hopefully tomorrow will see a positive walk to school (please don’t rain) and a skip or two from D.  

Our #pictureoftheday2017 #4/365 is here as I can’t access blog etc as phone has conked out”

All good fun, eh? 

Panto Time – Tues 3rd Jan 2017

By | January 3, 2017

For the past few years, we’ve been lucky enough to go to the pantomime, even luckier that it’s been for a “relaxed performance” (this is where the performance lights aren’t dimmed so much, the music is not so loud and – even more importantly – the audience are from the SN community so they recognise that sometimes children can want to dance in the aisles/shout/be accompanied out if it’s all a bit overwhelming).

The first year we went, D was anxious, the unfamiliar surroundings, coupled with the masses of strangers and the fact that she didn’t really understand that this was a funny adaptation of a nursery story, made for an uncomfortable time but as she’s matured and is now able to comprehend more…… she absolutely loves it!

This is our #pictureaday2017:

Zoom in and you’ll see Justin Fletcher aka Mr Tumble, he’s been in 4 out of 5 of the recent pantomimes and he absolutely makes the show.

D totally engaged with the performance today, singing along, boo-ing the Evil Queen, cheering on the heroes and – her favourite bit – shouting “it’s behind you” when a ghost appears (yes, not traditionally in Snow White, but the theme from Ghostbusters and three characters on a bench, with a sheeted slapstick ghost looming are a must for a Mr Tumble panto).

She loved it.

Afterwards it was time for lunch in a busy environment, she’d chosen some Minecraft books with some Christmas money and sat and read her book, getting some downtime whilst the hustle and bustle continued around her.  Again, this has developed with her greater understanding and maturity.  I’m not saying there aren’t “episodes” or “moments” anymore, more that we’re aware of triggers and the books/iPad/cuddles can help if we’re out. Once we get home, it can all change. Anything unscheduled/sudden actions or noises still absolutely throw her.   But for now, a proud Mumma moment:

I’m wondering if she’d be able to cope with a non-relaxed pantomime next year, it’s something to consider, but then, maybe that would be one step too far and detract from something that she’s grown to really enjoy and look forward to? Maybe.