InstaLinkLove – week 42 #instalinklove #42

By | June 24, 2017

Welcome to the forty second week of InstaLinkLove. The linky is with me this weekend whilst Vicky gets a well-deserved rest.

InstaLinkLove

 If you haven’t joined us before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest. 

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky. All you need to do is link up the URL from up to two of your most recent Instagram posts. I say most recent because this is better for interaction. 

All you need to do is find your Instagram account on-line, click on the photo that you want to link up and then copy and paste the link to that specific page.

The only condition is that you go over and like everyone else who links up. 

 The linky will open at 6.30am on Saturday morning and then close on Sunday evening at 9.30pm. Then you have the rest of the week to make sure that you sit down for a moment and go through and ‘like’ and/or comment on all the others in the link. Remember to add the hashtag #instalinklove to make it easier for everyone to find you.

Link up your Instagram posts!

Rules: 

  • You can link up to 2 images per Instagram Account per week.  
  • It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community. 

 

Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x  

Bonding over Bands 

By | June 23, 2017

One of the things that screeched at me when D (and then T) was going through the autism diagnosis process was that they’d have no empathy.  

That scared me.  The thought that – and this was my perception at the time – that, as adults, they’d not acknowledge that someone might need their help in a situation.  I could not imagine them in a friendship situation or relationship.

The thoughts above were my very early post-diagnosis thoughts, quite negative really, before I kicked myself up the bottom proverbially and decided a “can do” and not “can’t” approach was a fair healthier way to think.

Sometimes my children surprise me and this morning was one such time.

Thursdays and Fridays are PE days for D and she’ll either ask for her hair to be put into bunches or wear a band around her wrist for her to put her hair into a ponytail.   

She decided to have her hair loose today but I noticed that she had two bands around her wrist and, knowing that she wouldn’t be able to do bunches by herself, I offered to do them for her.

Our girl amazed me when she replied that she had another band on her wrist in case a girl in her class didn’t have one and D wanted to help and lend her one.

Isn’t that fantastic?  There’s the smidgen of independence with D recognising that she needs a band for her and the thoughtfulness for her classmate.  Wonderful isn’t it?


Mind you, I have to contrast this with other events today, an elderly neighbour collapsed in his garden and I called the ambulance, stayed with him and left once the paramedics were happy that he wouldn’t need admission to hospital (and I needed to be at the door, in my usual place for D, she needs and craves that bit of routine and worries if Hubby is there instead).

So, I explained to both T and D what had been happening and how my day hadn’t turned out as expected – which was fine, I’m relieved I could help – T was concerned and asked a couple of questions, D looked at me, said “oh” and then “can I have an ice cream please”, which is how after school pans out (that routine element again).

Thinking further about it though, D’s consideration for her friend was planned, today’s events weren’t.  Maybe that’s the difference.

Still very proud of her all the same Jx 

The many Mr Men of you #WOTW

By | June 23, 2017

My one word to sum up this week could have been “warm” because …well, it has been just a “tad” warm hasn’t it?

It’s not though, I’ve decided – as it was Fathers Day last weekend – to devote my little piece of the blogging world to my Hubbie and the many ways in which he is a Mr Man, 17 to be precise as that’s how many years we’ve known each other, 15 of them as “marrieds”.


There they are, Mr Men (My WOTW), look at the price on the book! They’re twice that amount now I think, this book – which has been enjoyed by all our children – must have been bought for C, our eldest.

So, let’s start:

Right now, Hubbie, you’re Mr Noisy as you sleep beside me.   The “anti-snoring device” – as D calls it, because that is what it is – only seems to work when you’re on your side, not on your back.  Fortunately you never remember as I roll you back on your side if the snores get too loud! 

Going back waaay through the mists of time – okay 17 years – you were Mr Quiet when I first met you, C was quiet too as he hid his six year old self behind me, little did we know then that we’d marry on the two year anniversary of our first date and, within another two years, our family of 3 would become one of 5, with the arrival of T and D. I don’t regret a moment.

You’ve done well this week, working in this heat, if there was a “Mr Sweaty” you’d have won it hands-down as you’ve been working outside, so I’ll settle for Mr Messy as we can always tell what paint colour you’ve been using from the splatters on your work t-shirt.

I couldn’t do what you do – my Mr Brave – scaling up ladders to paint, our daughter has inherited your head for heights, she squeals with delight on mega high rides at theme parks, whilst I keep my eyes tightly shut beside her and count down until my feet are back on the ground.    It’s strange, D has so, so many anxieties but will happily be strapped into a flipping fast/tall ride and absolutely love it! 

Sometimes you can be Mr Grumpy, when the boom-boom-boom from the base coming from next door almost seems to make our “party wall” shake or the shouting as they reprimand their children blasts  through.  It’s understandable, we pay out a lot to the mortgage company every month and love our little house and D was born here, which will always make it special.   You were Mr Happy on that day, in our new house, six weeks after we moved in.  T was born in our old house, both planned that way.

T’s just agreed to move over to another football team within the club and you’re taking a step back from helping with coaching to focus on him and his performance.  Football has been T’s 24/7 obsession since he could pull himself up and bounce on his heels as he watched a game, our left-footed boy.  Maybe you’ll have a little Mr Daydream moment as you watch from the sidelines, T will have more opportunities for development now, it will be interesting and who knows what new pitches you’ll travel to from now on, in the wind/rain/blistering heat! 

It’s funny, after 17 years, we’ll quite often start to say the same time to each other or know exactly what the other is thinking.  I can often stop what I’m doing and think I need to ask you something/let you know about a customer and you’ll phone me, Mr Clever! (that surprised you didn’t it? These isn’t a Mr Mind Reader or Mr Spooky!)

Working outside up ladders or in people’s houses you occasionally manage to do a Mr Bump and bang your head, I’m relieved that, since I’ve known you, you’ve only come off your ladder once, my Mr Bounce!

We both can have a lot on our minds and you can get a bit Mr Forgetful, D thinks it’s hilarious if I text you a “to do” list for the shops in the style of “Keeping Up Appearances” or “Allo Allo”, it’s the little things that make us like Mr Cheerful amongst all the “fun” of self-employment and SN parenting, sometimes you do have your Mr Worry moments, it’s natural but we face them together, my Mr Strong.

I can’t mention Mr Men without Mr Greedy, you wouldn’t be able to manage a whole Mr Greedy breakfast but you’d have a good try. In the words of the butcher from “Little Miss Fickle” “beef sausages or pork sausages?” but “chops would be tastier!” is the reply, which fortunately wasn’t uttered when you had sausages for tea tonight! 

All in all, you’re my Mr Perfect, a great dad to our children – D says you’re “funny and loveable” and T says you’re “always there” for him – and Mr Silly to my Mrs Silly (which must make it funny when someone overhears one of our phone calls!).

Life is too short for it not to be fun, eh?  

Love you. 

Small Steps Amazing Achievements – 21/06/17

By | June 21, 2017

Welcome to this week’s Small Steps Amazing Achievements, as Jane at @ourlitescapades and I co-host, the Linky is back with me this back.    

Thank you to everyone who linked up last time, we enjoyed reading your posts.

If this is your first time reading this, you can find out about the Small Steps Amazing Achievements linky here, we do hope you join in. Posts can be old or new and please don’t forget to visit and comment on other posts too, helping to spread the linky love.

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

“Our
<div align="center"><a href="http://ourlittleescapades.com/small-steps-amazing-achievements/" title=“Our Little Escapades" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u565/EthansEscapades/Wordpress%20Blog/SmallSteps_zps72385117.jpg" alt=“Our Little Escapades" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Jane and I enjoy reading and commenting on your posts and sharing them via the #SSAmazingAchievements hashtag.

Here’s Jane’s highlights from last time :

“H finally got to swim 400 meters and gained a badge in the process at @ericahughes

Monkey is really conquering fears this year. This time it was at an open farm event with @minnowmep

And 

Sasha took part in a wacky day dress event at school. I hope she enjoyed it in this post from @stephstwogirls

 

We’re looking forward to reading your posts Jx 



Splash! 

By | June 20, 2017

It’s been another mega warm day today, hasn’t it.  A day when you wonder if it’s worth putting on make-up as it slides off your face (I did and yes, it did)!

A day in which I was thrown by letters that arrived from our local hospital, telling me that my foot operation had been moved from end of July to 21st August.  I wasn’t best pleased but, hey, what’s another 3 weeks in comparison to everything else that’s been happening in the UK and world recently? I should just be grateful that it will take place, eventually.

But in the midst of my grumpiness, something rather fab happened this afternoon, this:


Our T (high functioning autism) and D (classic autism) who at best tolerate each other, were having a splashing old time in the pool, alternating between this and throwing balls in.  Great eh?

Usually it tends to be that, if one of them is venturing in, the other won’t.  T – with his competitive head on – will turn any splashing fun into a challenge and, rather than saying no, D will get anxious because she doesn’t want to join in but not want to say “no”, which then aggravates T because he wants to win, basically!

So, that picture means so much and, even if it doesn’t happen again this summer – I hope it does – I have a picture to remind me.  Oooh I’m proud of them!

How Bluecrisps came to be

By | June 20, 2017

When I first signed up for Twitter and then started blogging, my name was “bluecrisps”, does anyone remember that?   About 5 years ago now.

Any reference to Bluecrisps still makes me smile, it always will as that was what D called cheese and onion crisps, on account of their blue packaging.

She still had very stilted speech then, sometimes she’ll stumble over words now if either over anxious or over excited and she’ll remedy herself with a quick hand twist or flap as she tries to think of the words she wants to use.

There were other little D-isms for everyday objects in her radar too:

Quavers crisps were “Yellows”

Tomato ketchup was “Splot” – I miss this one, there’d be an exclamation of “Splot!” as she (generously) used it on her food.  I sometimes say “do you want any food with your ketchup, D?” as she’s so liberal with it.

Any certificates awarded from school were referred to as “b-ertificates”.  If either Hubbie or I attempt to say it now, we are firmly told “it’s certificate!”.

Little crop bra-type tops were “boobiewoobie” tops with a “boogiewoobie, boobiewoobie, boobiedadooo!” tune sung as an incentive to get dressed.

And then there’d be the numbers to be counted, numbers on the front of buses we saw as we went to school – “Bus!” would be exclaimed, followed by the number – numbers on front doors and numbers in supermarkets, the latter used to be a great distraction if she was starting to get anxious at all the strangers around – sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t and I’d do the “walk of shame” after a meltdown.

There are a couple of D-isms that have survived the test of time, I don’t want them to ever go:

Our conservatory has always been an “observatory”

And (yes, crisps had to feature again), ready salted crisps are “really salted” – which is true isn’t it? 

She’s also developing a very cheeky side and – although she won’t admit it – is rapidly cultivating some teenage grotbag traits.   

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the ….. eye roll! 

This was fun to look back! Are there any little sayings or mannerisms your child has grown out of? 

Tones 

By | June 17, 2017

I was reminded today of the differing tones I use when speaking to people, a bit like the tonal changes in colours.


We are all individual after all and able to adjust tone up or down dependent on our audience.

For my children, my tones differ.

T lives and breathes football, he always has done.  He doesn’t respond to a quiet, soft tone, he completely ignores it, he’s more of a “come on then, let’s do this” sort of young man.  Needs motivating in an enthusiastic, team-player way.

Any other way he’ll ignore or answer with sarcasm.  The joys of an autism and hormones combo, eh?

For D, it’s a softly-softly get right down to her level with a gentle tone, anything else scares her.  She’d bolt if she heard a loud shout whilst we were out and could she cope in the team environment that T plays in, with the banter that goes with it? She could not.

For D, as she’s travelled through her SN school, this is why she’s been more successful in some classes than others.  There’s always more boys than girls in her classes of a maximum of ten and some teachers had adopted the “come on, let’s do this!” way of motivating the pupils because the majority of pupils would react better to that way.  A tricky one at times and although there is a 2 pupils to 1 staff member ratio, at times I remember back to when D had her 1:1 in mainstream who was absolutely brilliant at motivating her and then I remember how D would get so anxious she couldn’t even walk into the classroom some mornings and feel grateful she’s where she’s had a chance to flourish at her own pace.

Adaption to the individual is what we need, treating the child or adult as the individual they are, not assuming en masse, it gets better results for me that way anyway.

Have you noticed differing tones work best with different people?   Would love to know examples x

Upping our magnesium levels with MAG365

By | June 16, 2017

As regular readers of my blogs may be aware, life is never boring parenting two autistic children, it can feel draining and I have to admit, combine the stresses of everyday life with my post-operation complications and the fact I have two more scheduled for this year, it can all lead to quite a frazzled J.

I’m always interested in helping myself from the inside out and when a representative from MAG365, got in touch, asking if we’d like to review some supplements that would increase our magnesium intake, I was only too happy to give them a try.

Another factor in my decision was that both my children have sensory issues around food, leading in particular to T having a very limited range of foods he will eat.  The prospect of helping his wellbeing, alongside me, was very appealing.

You’re probably now thinking “Magnesium? Haven’t heard of that since school, what does it do?”

Here’s some information:

“Magnesium is important for so many body functions (some of the most common reasons people take magnesium is for stress reduction, cellular energy production, relieve muscle cramping and pain, blood sugar balance, optimal circulation and blood pressure, bone density and metabolism, calm nervous system, deep sleep and fast recovery), but there have also been links between autism and magnesium deficiency.” 

So, as a stressed-out Mumma with a sensory-affected son, the supplements sound good don’t they?   

The soluble supplements come in a variety of flavours for adults and a child’s version, I choose Exotic Lemon for me.  They are also gluten-free and suitable for vegans.


It’s recommended that you start with a 2.5g (rounded teaspoon) doseage for adults and a half teaspoon dosage for children.  The maximum recommended dosage is 5.5g (3 level teaspoons) per day, all at once or in 2-3 separate drinks (which will also up your water intake). 

And now here’s the fun bit, to take the supplement, mix in a glass or mug with 20-30mil of hot water and then let it fizz!


This reminded me of chemistry lessons and don’t be tempted to put in more than suggested at the start, because the bubbles rise!  Once you’ve had your fizzing fun, stir until the powder is dissolved and then add warm or cold water to fill your glass/mug.

I thought that mug might raise a smile 😀

Then, it’s just a case of drinking it, it doesn’t need to be taken on an empty stomach and I’ve found it better to take in the evening.

So, how have we got on? 

Well, I’ve noticed that, since I’ve been taking it, I’m sleeping better, I am a notoriously terrible sleeper, my brain doesn’t “switch off” and I have noticed that I am ready for “lights out” earlier, which in turn can only be good for stress levels, if I’m sleeping better.  The zinc addition in the supplement will help my nails (after their recovery from a trampoline incident) and overall, taking these might help with emotional and physical recovery after my upcoming operation, we’ll see.

For T, it’s good to know that he is getting the vitamins and minerals from the supplement that would otherwise be missing from his daily diet: 

For more information about MAG365 products or to buy, please click here.

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.

Torn – My #WOTW 

By | June 15, 2017

Torn, as soon as I wrote that word, the tune by Natalie Imbruglia popped into my head.  I LOVE that song, it brings back both good and bad memories of a time when my little family unit had been rocked to its core and we got through it.

It’s felt like that kind of week, although not as severe but it’s a been a week when I’ve been really disappointed in D’s school and been torn about what to do about it.

Communication from D’s class has been really poor this year, they are fast enough to email saying she needs to bring in 50p for a snack but emails from me don’t get acknowledged (and I don’t email often, it’s normally things that I can’t put in the home-school diary puberty-related) similarly notes in the diary (although I occasionally get a “tick”). 

Frustrating eh? I get the impression that they perceive that because D is now 13, that they rely on the children to pass messages on but what they don’t take into account is that, if there’s been a bad day, then any potential messages are forgotten or not relayed until she’s feeling calmer.  

So, this week hit a new low when D came home in a heck of a state, with plenty of “I’ll tell you later” and, in between the fist-clenching (from her) and the pressure-cuddles from me, she eventually told me that she’d been taken out of class to have a booster injection, news to her and news to me!


As you can see, there was nothing from the Thursday before (the injection was on Tuesday) and that little note was meant to make it alright!

I’ve been very torn between going in and requesting a meeting with the Head or writing in the diary, I opted for the latter as I didn’t want there to be any repercussions for D, her classmates would have been very quick to tell her too if they’d seen me at school.

I’ve had an apology but it doesn’t change the fact that an injection should not have been given without prior warning (I had signed a consent form for the injection and the booster but a specific date for the booster had not been given).


And there’s also the prospect of my next foot operation in six weeks, I can’t decide whether I’m relieved that it will be happening, that – hopefully – by the end of the year I’ll have had both operations and have happier feet or – and this has been my predominant train of thought – thinking “sh*t! Less than six weeks before I’m laid up, I’ve got so much to do!”.

So, you see, Torn.  Allow me a bit of a warble to some Torn lyrics:

Illusion never changed

Into something real

I’m wide awake and I can see

The perfect sky is torn

You’re a little late, I’m already torn
So I guess the fortune teller’s right

Should have seen just what was there

And not some holy light
It crawled beneath my veins

And now I don’t care, I had no luck

I don’t miss it all that much

There’s just so many things

That I can touch, I’m torn

Fingers crossed for a slightly less Torn week next week, how’s yours been? 

Bidvine – doing the research for you 

By | June 14, 2017

I’m the sort of person who likes to plan, as much as I can, this is not only necessary for my two autistic children but it makes it easier for me if I make lists of “to do’s”,  not only for myself as a blogger but, as I come up to the first of two operations this year that will take me off my feet, I need to plan for all those little jobs that need to be done in advance of/during my post-op recovery.  

I’m also thinking ahead to the fact I won’t be able to pop into my local salon and get my nails shellac-ed every few weeks, if you’ve read my post about how damaged my nails were, you’ll be aware that I want to keep them healthy.

In addition, I know I’m going to get frustrated that I won’t be able to just leap up and go outside and mow the lawn.

So, where to start in searching for someone who can assist? Well, this is where Bidvine can help.  

Bidvine is a UK-based local services tech startup and the easiest way to find professionals from event photographers to painter and decorators.”

 

Sounds great doesn’t it? Local social  media groups can be good for recommendations but you still have to do most of the legwork, with ringing around, waiting for a call and all the while, time is ticking on (or in my case, the grass would be getting higher).

So, how does it work

Start off by telling Bidvine which service you’re looking for.


You are then guided through a series of questions, gauging exactly what you want or don’t want, this process took less than three minutes.


And then, pop in your email address and wait for the bids to come in.  

Very simple and much easier than ploughing through a directory, not knowing if your proposed work is not small enough that you won’t get any return calls.

 

Overall I found the Bidvine website very easy to use with its drop-down options enabling me to specify exactly what I needed.  The fact that prospective suppliers then email with their bids means that the price is specific to your request, there isn’t any doubt as to what is required and what can be supplied.

There are so many ways I can think of that this service would be useful for me, one thing I have always wanted to trial is yoga, I feel it would be so beneficial to my wellbeing but I know that this is something for when I’m post-op and recovered, Bidvine will be ideal for me to source when and where and tell any prospective teacher about my feet ops beforehand so we both know exactly where we stand, albeit in yoga pose or not.

What would you use Bidvine for? 

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.