Frustration #WOTW #R2BC

Thank goodness it’s nearly Friday! It’s been a week that can be summed up in one word:

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And here’s why:

1. Leg, darn leg
I’ve not been well for a week now. Last Thursday I had the (very) familiar aches in my bones and extremes of temperature which said to me that something nasty was on the way. Cellulitis to be precise.

This isn’t cellulite but a horrible skin infection, usually arising from a bite or bacteria and reoccurring without warning at any time.

In my case, it was an series of insect bites in one spot, whilst T was in his first year. At it’s worst (and I’m not kidding), it flared up 6 days before D was born (I’d fallen up our back step and grazed my leg) and they couldn’t give me any anti-biotics until she was born. She arrived early (thankfully) and I was immediately given a course of anti-biotics. I was, at one point, 48 hours away from possible septicaemia and ..well, that could have led on to losing my leg. A bit serious if those really yucky tasting tablets aren’t available.

So, when those all too familiar symptoms started, I knew I needed to take some tablets. I always keep a supply at home, about 3 days worth, enough to start treating it and then it’s a case of getting some more from the doctor.

Then the fun started. Prescription requested on Friday and refused, I only found out this on Monday (by now any tablets I had were used and feeling really rubbish). Doctor’s phone call booked in for Monday/Tuesday which never came, it turned out they didn’t arrive for surgery. I had to chase to found this out. No appointments available. Further telephone call booked for Wednesday.

Unbelievable when you consider that they have access to my records and can see that it’s needed and why. I went in Monday and Tuesday, stood there and asked to see someone. Nothing available. We’re now at Tuesday afternoon and I took the last tablet on Sunday evening.

Wednesday came and finally a doctor phoned. She was lovely. Immediately said she’d get a double dose organised, one to start immediately, one to have at home for next time. Got told it would be available that afternoon.

So, immense relief. Except it wasn’t ready that afternoon. We had to wait. Me, Hubbie and D as T was playing football with his friends.

Finally, we have the slip of paper, off to the pharmacy. And this is where number 2 starts…

2. A complete waste of NHS funds

As we were waiting for my anti-biotics, we knew we could collect D’s next injection at the same time (had been told it was there).

Remember how hot it’s been this week? D’s injection package has to be kept in a fridge, it’s clearly marked as so and has a blooming great big label on it.

Except the pharmacy hadn’t done that. They’d left it on the shelf with her creams in a bag, which is why they couldn’t immediately find it.

Eventually they did and then they had to phone to check if it would be okay, having been out of the fridge for hours. It wasn’t. That’s £100 wasted, we get told exactly how much each injection is worth every time we see the consultant at the hospital. And obviously it’s had to be ordered in again. Another trip to collect tomorrow with my poorly leg.

This “frustration” theme continues…

3. Sensitivity and insensitivity

Both T and D have allergies to the adhesive in plasters. Even the hypoallergenic ones.

It causes horrendous reactions in the form of weeping, oozing blisters where the adhesive has been in contact with skin, these last far longer than any actual original wound.

So, they both had little cases of gauze, medical tape and bandages in school, with instructions that they should not have plasters.

This has worked fine in D’s SN school but T’a mainstream hadn’t been accepting of it, they even told him that they didn’t believe he had an allergy!

Anyway….T had a nasty wound from the playground on Friday and school refused to dress it because there weren’t any plasters in his case. Umm hello?!? So, he spent the last few days at school with a bandage administered at home each morning and, with some TLC, it’s getting better.

Oh, that and the fact that another child has been threatening to punch T on a few occasions and school had done nothing to either defuse the situation or explain to said child that this really wasn’t nice behaviour. It’s not just T, a lot of children were threatened. Even on their last afternoon. Nice way to end primary school isn’t it?

Now, that’s why this week has been a frustrating one, a “good grief, can’t people show some compassion and initiative” kind of one.

We need some Reasons To Be Cheerful now, don’t we?

It would have to be these:

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They are horrible to take and there’s always a “you feel worse before you start to feel better”, but I have them and some more for next time.

And it’s the school holidays, no school runs for six weeks. It means that we can do some baking, have cuddles, make some happy memories and just relax a bit. Let me get this leg better first.

What word sums up your week? I’m aiming for a more positive one next week!

The Reading Residence

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Summer Hols Day 1 – Thurs 24th July 2014

Ooooh, it was so nice not to have to dash out of the door for a school run or two this morning! There are more than the usual reasons behind that which I’ll sum up in my Word Of The Week later.

T didn’t have the best end to the primary school life yesterday (again, more of that in WOTW) and today was a chance to re-group, cuddle and just…well, chill a bit.

T had been offered the chance of meeting up with his school friends at the local Goals but, as he put it, he “just wanted to relax”. For T, this means reading football-related magazines, a bit of FIFA and gosh, he has eaten well today! He’s eaten more at his meals today than he’d have eaten of his packed lunches all week at school.

D has been helping today, in her own little way. One of the cats had an unintentional shower when she helped water the garden and after we’d done that and she’d helped a bit more (because I’m still not well), she said “gosh, all this is tiring isn’t it?” Yep, a life in the day, D, a life in the day..

She’s done really well today though, she’d been so upset about the upcoming end of term and the fact she’d be moving on from staff, but was in very good spirits at the end of the day and (chores aside) seemed to be okay so far.

So, day one (as the Big Brother narrator) would say, has gone alright in the Bluecrisps household. I hope everyone else’s has too Jx

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Small Steps Amazing Achievements – Weds 23rd July 2014

Welcome to this week’s Small Steps Amazing Achievements, hosted over here for a month or so whilst Jane, Darren and Ethan at @ethansescapades adjust to being a family of four.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week, I really enjoyed reading the posts and sharing them via the #SSAmazingAchievements hashtag.

If this is your first time reading, posts can be old or new and please feel free to comment on other posts linked up.

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

Ethans Escapades
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We had a bit of a sporty theme with posts linked up last week, they were fantastic and some highlights were Gaining swimming confidence with @youbabymemummy, a fun tennis lesson with @lystramaisey and monkey trying out roller skating with @minnowmep.

It was really difficult to choose which posts to highlight, all last week’s posts can be read here.

Please link up below, I’m looking forward to reading your posts Jx


The end of Primary for Mr Pick

It’s your last day in primary school, Mr Pick, I hope you’re enjoying it.

You’ve taken a spare shirt in your bag in preparation for the one you’re wearing being written on and you’ve written your cards to your teachers, choosing a funny meerkat design.

You are so ready for the challenges of secondary school, you’ve been ready academically for a while and in just over six weeks, we’ll be waving you off (only if you want us to) as you head off on your school bus to secondary school.

Where have the last six years gone? You painted this self portrait in your first week in reception class and it’s remained where we stuck it with bluetack when you brought it home. I want it to always stay there.

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You went into reception class with the same enthusiasm you still have now, eager to learn, absorbing facts like a sponge, always wanting to find out more.

Writing your name has progressed to writing match reports and your statistics of football games, always writing. Always reading. Always thinking ahead.

The latter is what makes you so good at football, you anticipate and get into position, that and your powerful left foot, a fantastic team player.

You have stacks of medals and trophies in your room, we used to walk past a house with trophies along one window sill and you’d say to me “I want to have a window sill like that one day” and you have.

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You have a wonderful sense of humour too and sometimes giggle so much you get hiccups, which then make you giggle more. I love that we can all laugh together at Mrs Bucket, Harry Hill or The Goodies. I’m looking forward to watching Drop Dead Fred with you in the holidays.

Your school reports have always been fantastic and say that you’re a pleasure to teach, don’t ever lose that enthusiasm, that quest to learn, to find out more.

Hopefully by my writing this now means that I won’t get a bit embarrassingly “soppy” when I meet you at school later. Sunglasses will definitely be on.

We’ll go and have a frescato, you, me and Dad before we collect your sister. She’s miffed you finish earlier than her, you were secretly pleased about that, Mr Pick.

We’re so proud of you x

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Nearly there – Tues 22nd July 2014

I can’t quite believe it’s the end of term for T and D tomorrow, it doesn’t seem that long ago that we worked out days and hours remaining until tomorrow for T. He’s so looking forward to the break and then what secondary school will bring.

D, on the other hand, isn’t. She’s going to take a while to get out of the school routine and into a more relaxed home routine. Last year they ended up doing an hour or so of school type work daily during the week because they both seemed to need it, something we’ll aim to carry on.

She’s also already saying that she’ll miss her teacher and the TAs, upset as well that she won’t be with any of them September onwards. Apart from reassurances that she’ll still see them around school and that they have to have experiences of teaching other ages, there’s not much else I can do but provide cuddles as needed.

Talking of cuddles, there have been plenty of those as this morning was injection time for D. Frustratingly, previously, she accepted that it was better if it was over quickly, especially as she had to get to class for a school trip but that still didn’t prevent those anxieties from surfacing on the way to school and peaking when it was time for the needle. Poor D, it was really too warm to be flailing around like a very tall fish out of water.

She had a long day too, the trip and then after school club. One tired (and cuddly) D.

For T it was a morning of cooking items for their leavers barbecue at lunchtime. He really enjoyed preparing nachos and is very keen to cook them at home next week.

We had our usual Mumma-T time after school and he was really quite chatty (for about ten minutes anyway).

So, two children breaking up for summer tomorrow, *fingers crossed* they’ll both enjoy their days.

I hope everyone’s day has gone well, thanks for reading Jx

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Banana and Choc Chip Loaf

One of my favourite childhood memories is baking with my Grandma, her sponge cakes and rock cakes were just lovely and if she’d run out of a particular ingredient, she’d put an alternative in and it would be fab!

It’s something I want to experience more with T and D, especially as it’s a way for them to try new foods. We made an All Bran Loaf at the weekend and today, whilst I’ve been waiting for a doctor’s phone call that never arrived, I decided to do some more baking.

So, today I’ve made another loaf cake but it’s something that can be sliced and taken onto picnics/days out etc. The recipe I found suggested serving with butter spread onto slices, but I don’t feel it needs the added butter.

Banana and Choc Chip Loaf:

Equipment needed:
Small saucepan
Large mixing bowl
Spatula/wooden spoon
Fork
Loaf tin
Loaf tin liner

Ingredients:
125g butter or margarine (I used Stork)
150g brown cane sugar (the recipe said caster sugar but I preferred to use this)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 ripe bananas
190g self raising flour
60ml milk
A handful of choc chips (I used milk choc)

Here’s how to do it:

Either grease and line or add a lining paper to your loaf tin.

Preheat oven to 190c/gas mark 5.

Melt the butter/marg, sugar and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over a medium heat.

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Mash the bananas in the mixing bowl and add the contents of the saucepan. Mix well.

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Add in the egg and mix well.

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Stir in the flour and milk, add the choc chips.

Pour into the lined loaf tin. Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on the top.

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Bake in your preheated oven. Check with a skewer after one hour and if it doesn’t come out clean, leave to cook for another 15 minutes or so.

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Leave to cool once cooked and then slice.

It has the most fabulous smell when sliced and because I was quite indiscriminate with the choc chips, every slice will be different.

Yummy! Looking forward to seeing what T and D think of it later.

Happy Cooking!

Hiccups – Mon 21st July 2014

Today did not start well for D, a combo of it being Monday morning and hiccups (lots of them) made for a strained journey to school.

We tried water on the way, scares (oh the looks I got, saying “Boo” to D every so often to make her jump), keys down her back and – the one she liked the most – trying to cuddle them out. No joy.

She didn’t want to enter the school grounds, much less the building. Getting her in was “fun” and then only on the proviso that we’d wait in reception for a while to see if they went. Why? She didn’t want the other children to laugh at her.

D is normally a “bounce-twirl-skip” into school kind of girl so it was immediately obvious that something was up.

More water in reception and a TA came down, miraculously (and thankfully) the hiccups seemed to disperse and so she went off happily. Phew!

T, on the other hand, bounced off happily to school, counting down to the end of term and with the knowledge that they’d all be getting ingredients for a leavers barbecue tomorrow. He was getting fed up with the lack of structured lessons as the end of term approaches but he seems much happier now we’re in the final stretch (as it were). It may have helped that he had football back this weekend, on both days. He does like his football!

It was a happy D that rushed at me at the end of the day, she’d received a certificate for obtaining 100 house points and, although the hiccups had continued one-and-off (bizarrely) she wasn’t as affected as she had been this morning.

A class trip tomorrow for D, after her injection with the nurse, which has caused a bit of anxiety because she’s worried that they’ll leave without her. All the more reason for it to be over quickly. She accepted this reasoning but whether she remembers tomorrow when it’s time for the needle is another matter.

At least D’s ear seems better, my ailment is no different (Captain Caveman’s club (foot)) but only two days to go until term ends and no school runs for a while.

T, of course, has a two-class barbecue, which does sound fun, each small group is making a different food/drink stuff for it. Yummy and although he has various sensory issues when it comes to “hot” food and meat, it sounds like there will be plenty of things he will eat.

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

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Loom Bands!

Maybe I’m feeling a bit “way-hey” because it’s nearly the end of term and no school runs for six weeks, or maybe it’s the antibiotics I’m currently on, but my Magic Moment for this week concerns these:

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Funny little coloured elastic bands.

D received a box of these for her birthday a couple of months ago and she opened them, played with them, watched them “ping” around a bit, got into a frustrated pickle trying to follow instructions and then we put them on her desk.

We don’t have the traditional fads at her SN school and T isn’t interested in what the girls are doing in the playground, unless they’re kicking a ball so…loom bands weren’t on our radar.

I’d go into town and pass stalls with loads of people crowded round, picking up little bags of bands, same in The Entertainer. Stacks of people.

Then last Friday, D was off school with ear ache, I was confined to the sofa with my foot and we decided to do some crafting. She bought her loom bands box as well, saying they’d be good for crafting and that’s when we had another go, with success!

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I can’t profess to going beyond double fishtails (oh yes, I know the lingo!) but over the weekend we’ve (ahem, me) made one for T, several for D (who loves them) and a few as thank-you’s for D’s school.

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It’s funny how fads come around isn’t it? At least this one encourages creativity and, if the kids are making them for their friends, a bit of sharing and generosity. I wonder what the next one will be?

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Teamwork – Sun 20th July 2014

Today has been a day of teamwork for the #AMileForAutism participants and for T.

D and I weren’t able to do a mile as her ear was still bad and my foot resembles Captain Caveman’s club (remember him?) so, we looked to T to do (at least) a mile for us, and he did.

He played in a football tournament this morning, a tournament in which the team only got through to the group stages but T was there, playing as a team member, anticipating shots and getting into position. Taking it as seriously as he does everything. Our clever, sporty, autistic little chap.

He was a tad disappointed about the result when he got back but had enjoyed playing and being told by the manager that he’d played a good game.

In the meantime, D and I did some rather scrummy baking, something we’re going to carry on all through the summer.

Aah, the holidays…three more days of school to go, three more days of primary school for T, D is less impressed that she only has three more days with the staff in her class. Something that she has been getting upset about but obviously she’ll still see them around school (hopefully).

If you haven’t participated in #AMileForAutism and want to contribute, here’s how:

Text AMFA14 and either £1, £2, £5 or £10 to 70070 to make a donation, then encourage friends to join in and do the same.

Click here for more details.

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Mrs E’s bran loaf #KidsInTheKitchen

One of the things on my “to do” list for the summer holidays is to get T and D more involved in baking.

They both have sensory issues around food and it is quite difficult to get them to try new foods.

We have quite a few fruit varieties growing in the garden this year and Grandad always grows a fair few veggies so it’s also an opportunity to highlight the growing cycle of food, that not everything is delivered in a Sainsburys crate/picked off the shelf in a supermarket.

Hubbie has recently been working for a lady he’s worked for previously (he’s a painter) and he always mentions my blog to customers. He mentioned to this lady that I have been sent some boxes of All Bran (for an upcoming review) and she gave him this recipe to bring home.

We’ve tried it out today and it tasted just great, full of those “feel good” ingredients too. All the measurements were in mug quantities so very easy for D to follow.

I’ve named it after Hubbie’s customer:

Mrs E’s bran loaf:

Equipment needed:
large mixing bowl
mug
wooden spoon or spatula
loaf baking tin
liners for baking tin

Ingredients:
1 mug of All Bran
1 mug of dried fruit (we used sultanas)
1 mug of milk
1 mug of brown sugar
1 mug of self raising flour

We were sent three different varieties of All Bran but choose to use this one today:

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Firstly, combine the mug quantities of All Bran, dried fruit, milk and sugar in your bowl. Give it a good stir to get the liquid distributed and then put the bowl in the fridge to soak for at least an hour.

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You’ll see from the picture above that the liquid has soaked into the All Bran and everything looks a bit plump. Time for another stirring before the flour is added.

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Add in the flour and stir again, the mixture will feel heavy and this is when I needed to take over from D to ensure the flour was mixed in.

Preheat your oven to gas mark 5/190 degrees.

Making sure your loaf tin has a liner in, add the mixture in. It’s too heavy a mixture to pour in, so use spoons to dollop it in. Don’t worry too much about making a smooth finish as the mixture will rise once cooking.

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Pop it into the over for 1 1/4 hours.

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Once cooked, allow to cool, slice and then enjoy.

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D really enjoyed the mixing and the end result. I like the fact that this recipe can be either doubled-up to make extra for the freezer or adjusted, as we did with only using half the sugar as I felt there was enough sugar in the All Bran and the sultanas.

It’s something that’s extremely easy to make and tastes great. When we’re out and about for picnics/snacks, it can be wrapped in foil and taken with us. I personally don’t think it needs anything added to it in the form of butter/marg or jam either and it’s a good way to getting some bran and fruit into little tummies.
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Linking this up with Kids In The Kitchen at raisiebay.com, next week we’ll be getting busy with bananas!