Hummmmmm – Sat 1st Aug 2015

Gosh! August already, I hope this month doesn’t whizz by too quickly.  

Hums were the order of the day today, for some reason.  Normally D sings along to herself, or whistles (which usually irritates T and he’ll say so very emphatically) but today it was humming, for both of them.

It started off with the music that accompanies the Alton Towers advert (In The Hall Of The Mountain King) and they were really quite tuneful together, it was nice to see and hear.

The hum-fest continued as they helped with the shopping (yes, helped, normally they completely ignore any requests for help) and they made it into a march, up and down the hall with bags, saluting each other as they went past each other!  A complete contrast to “help” offered begrudgingly (if at all) with both purposefully brushing into each other and then subsequently overloading from sensory issues.

T even joined in the giggles when he’d put a load of tins etc in the freezer for me, because they’d been with the items intended for the freezer.  It could have resulted in a stomp, but it didn’t.  

Tomorrow may not be so harmonious as I attempt to negotiate some trips out with T for the forthcoming week, he very much prefers staying within the garden boundaries, it can be physically and emotionally tricky to get him beyond the gate.

But that’s for tomorrow, today has been really quite okay and that’s been very nice.

  

Haircuts – Fri 31st July 2015

As the title suggests, it’s been haircut time today.  Something that, as any parent/carer of a child with sensory issues knows, has the potential to all get a bit fraught.

And it did.

But, with T starting to resemble a hedgehog – albeit a very sporty one – and D really rocking that “Neil from The Young Ones” look, it was time.

T’s is always over relatively quickly with the clippers, but it’s a case of trying to catch him before he wriggles away and getting it done quickly because it “tickles” him and he really doesn’t like the sensation of hair falling onto his neck or down his back.

However much he begrudged it being done, it did look good after.

D – my poor D – was a longer affair time-wise.  You’d think it would be easier with her hair all one length, but not so.  

She finds it extremely difficult to sit still, even with her sensory cushion on her chair and there were wriggles aplenty.  Not to mention tears, yelps and some angry moments.  I always use a tangle teezer brush and try to brush it holding the hair away from her scalp so as not to pull on it, (I have horrible memories of my hair being pulled in anger as a child so know how much it hurts) but she was still very unhappy.

Eventually it was “trim abandoned” for the day as she was just too upset and I’ll tidy up the ends tomorrow.

Luckily, by teatime, when we all did our “best, worst and funniest bits of the week”, neither haircut was mentioned, both very much in the here and now.  I’m sure that it will come back at some point.

In the meantime, we’ve had plenty of butterflies and bees feasting in the garden today, I just happened to have my phone and got close to this lovely one:

  
There were at least two other varieties having some brunch too, lovely to see and every so often the sound of a happy bee buzzing past too.

Have a wonderful weekend Jx 

This Week’s Word Of The Week and Cheerful Thoughts #WOTW #R2BC

I don’t tend to mention my first marriage on here, there’s no need.  I moved on a long time ago but I need to in this week’s WOTW, because it’s relevant.

Here’s my word:

  
(Image thanks to coachingoodles.com)

That would be me this week and here’s why (the #R2BC bit):

It’s the school holidays and I’m at home with T and D.  I’m very fortunate that I can be.  

When I was married to C’s dad, I went back to work when my little baby wasn’t even 3 months old, because I had to.  Because my ex had a habit of jacking in a job at very short notice, therefore my wage was the constant and vital to keep us going.

It was difficult, working full time and then going home to a young baby and the chores.  And the guilt, so much guilt.  Guilt that someone else would be holding my child as he went to sleep after a bottle, the feeling that I was always running from A to B, that I’d be missing smiles and laughter from a child that had been much wanted.

Unfortunately after 2.5 years, I was a single parent, the responsibilities would seem to have been all too much and I was relieved in a way.  Now I knew where I stood, with an occasional £35 a week contribution towards everything!

We carried on like that, just us two, juggling child care in the holidays, wishing I could spend more time with my son, until we met Hubbie, when C was 6.

We married and poodled along as a happy threesome, me still working until T came along.  I knew I wanted to stay at home.  I was earning a good wage but the pull towards my family and knowing I was fully supported emotionally by Hubbie was the decider.  Just as well because D arrived 18 months later!

Okay, we don’t have the super-duper holidays or the ability to just take off to a mega bucks theme park on a whim, but I don’t need all that.

The children have been happy in their home environment this week, we’ve laughed (I’ve been told off by T for smiling too much!), we’ve cuddled and we’ve enjoyed not having to dash off out of the house for school.

I childminded for a good few years and this is the first summer since D was 18 months old that it’s been just us.  No waiting for the door to knock, no need for record keeping or constantly wondering if I’m doing the best I can.

It helped that I had been a career mum, I could identify with the guilt and the wondering if a snuffle would turn into something more, which may mean time off work for them.

T prefers to stay within our house and garden during the holidays, so getting him behind that is a challenge, but I’m so grateful that it’s me to has to make that choice, to start the negotiating, rather than my being in a work environment wondering how they both are.

You never know, the swimming pool might make an experience too sometime in August, that would be nice!

Compliments – Weds 29th July 2015

We had a bit of a “moment” today and it was all to do with glasses.

  

T is extremely proud of the fact that he doesn’t wear glasses, when the rest of us do.  Whenever it’s around the time for his annual eye check, he protests – he doesn’t “need” an eye test, his eyes are “fine”, they were fine last year, they’ll be “fine” this year and the next … etc.

He isn’t open to the idea that annual tests are to pick up any potential issues and, whilst he may not need glasses now, he will be genetically disposed to needing them in adulthood (as well as no doubt inheriting Hubbie’s hairline, poor T).

Today he put on my glasses as a joke, he calls them “geeky” and they probably are, but I like them.

He looked great in them, T has such wonderfully long eyelashes and big blue eyes (he’s got my eye shape) that both D and I told him they looked really good.

It didn’t go down well.  We were both accused to wanting him to wear glasses, so that he’d look the same as the rest of us.  He doesn’t want to look the same, he was very clear about that.  Glasses thrown off and an exit.

It was meant as a compliment, pure and simple.  Something he’s not too good at accepting.  I wish he did, he’s such a bright and clever little chap, full of potential and he’s done so well this year – as we tell him, we are so proud of him.

In contrast, D loves to receive compliments and if they’re accompanied by a hug or a handshake, even better.  

Maybe it’s a boy thing, but it’s a shame that something that started off as a fun few moments, quickly turned into anything but.

Feeling better from within with Viviscal 

This isn’t a post I’ve been asked to write, nor have I received any free products – which is a shame because Viviscal isn’t cheap, but I know it will help me.

In January 2014, I managed to damage all the nails on my right hand during the assembling of a trampoline.  Yes, I know I should have worn some gardening gloves and hindsight is a wonderful thing … too late.   Over the next few months, the damage became very apparent as the nails split and ridged, any regrowth was coming through in a poor way as I’d obviously managed to wreck the nail bed too.

I put up with it, took some Viviscal from July to September last year and they did grow a lot faster then I couldn’t afford another box so I stopped.  Still not liking my nails but Christmas was coming and I also wanted to get myself smiley.

Fast forward to now and I’m indeed smiley but the two months or so when I was eating very little (as my jaws were so painful) have taken their toll.  These are my nails today (left and right hand):

   
 
Quite a difference, eh? And I can’t cover them up with nail polish because they wouldn’t look any better, I used to absolutely love having a shellac manicure too.

The puncture mark on my palm is from picking a wriggly cat out of the garden shed!

I’ve been to the doctor about them as the “spoon indent” on my thumb and on another nail really concerned me, the “spoon indent” can be a symptom of a severe iron or zinc deficiency and I’ve been tested for both.  

The iron level came back at 22, down from 66 in December, the “normal range” being between 12 and 600 (!) so my iron levels are down quite a bit (not that they were that high to start with).

As for the zinc, that test isn’t back yet.  I don’t think I had been tested for that previously, so there won’t be anything to compare it to.

My doctor thought it would be a good idea for me to start on the Viviscal and so it’s onwards from today.  I had starting taking some Boots Hair, Skin and Nails tablets from last week (a lot cheaper) and it maybe be me, but that thumbnail seems to be growing out already, with healthier growth underneath.

In the meantime I’m upping my intake of foods and veg that contain a high level of iron and zinc, it can only help, can’t it?
  
I’ve decided I’m going to update this monthly, as a record for me to see how the supplement is doing.  One day …. maybe …. I’ll be back with some Shellac on again (can’t see it happening this year though).

And the morale of this tale is: Where gardening gloves when you put up a trampoline! Or are doing anything that might potentially damage nails and fingers.

  

Small Steps Amazing Achievements – 29/07/2015

Welcome to this week’s Small Steps Amazing Achievements, Jane at @ourlitescapades has internet issues so the linky is back with me this week.

My blog was misbehaving last week and sending linkers off in all directions so I really appreciate the posts linked up, thank you!

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.

Here’s the badge and 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>

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

Here’s my highlights from last week:

“It was a lovely variety of posts this week:

@sillymummy88 ‘s toddler is an absolute delight to read about and they had fun (of the toddler variety) when they arrived early at an event 

I enjoyed reading the updates from @mamamakedoandpush on Busby and Indy and all the changes becoming a big sister brings 

and

@animperfectmum always writes fantastic posts and she shares how being an autism parent has helped her to become a better friend. Something I completely identified with.”

We always find it difficult to choose a few to highlight as the posts linked up are always so wonderfully varied, but you can read them all here.

We can’t wait to read what your children have achieved this week, thanks for reading!


Tears and Fears – Tues 28th July 2015

Well, we got outside, out beyond the garden fence but it’s been at a cost.

It took a lot of negotiating with T, I’ve made the word “lot” bold but if I could have made it a huuuge text as well, it wouldn’t come close to the questions with regard to timescale, where we were going and how long we’d spend in each place were banded around.  We would be walking there and back and T – with his need to know exact details – even wanted to know when we’d be back, to within a few moments.

It all made for feeling as if I was walking on a tightrope between the two of them, T started saying “I’m not comfortable being out, I want to go home” literally as soon as we got past our gate, which made D very nervy too.

Because T was so uncomfortable being out, we didn’t deviate at all, we went from 1 to 2 to 3 and then 4 fairly quickly, without the slower pace that D would have appreciated.  Resulting in her breaking down in tears in destination “4” aka Costa.  It was also extremely busy in there, so what could have been a relaxing pitshop (they are both very familar with Costa and are normally visibly calmer, once we find a quiet spot) was definitely not. Poor D, poor T.

It was a relief to get home and because it had been so fraught, we were even back way before the estimate on timing I’d given T!  A (kind of) little win.

Unsurprisingly D hasn’t wanted to talk about her day, she’s resorted to squeaking but we make it out and that was something.
   

Hats – Mon 27th July 2015

I wear many metaphorical hats during the day, everyone does, don’t we?

Today has felt like there’s been quite a few:

There’s the “mumma” hat (one of my favourite ones), the one I wear when cuddles are needed, when that sixth sense comes in that tells me a situation could be occurring between T and D.  Which leads into:

The “referee” hat, also known as the “negotiator” hat, utilised in times when my gentle but firm voice needs to be used, to try and rectify an instance where D hasn’t understood T’s dark humour or sarcasm and we’re heading to a meltdown.

And then we have the “football” hat (I never thought I’d be wearing one of those), the emails and admin involved with T’s team are ever increasing – I hope he one day appreciates just how much time and effort his dad and I put into his team.

Which leads to another hat, the “admin to self employed husband” hat, estimates, invoices and emails, they all need dealing with.  

I was explaining (trying to) to T about the many hats I sometimes wear and he seemed to listen, then looked at me and at the clock and said “it’s lunchtime” (it was), which leads onto those other hats worn whilst I’m sorting the washing, hoovering or making a meal.  They’re interchangeable and probably come under “housewife”, curlers optional I guess ….

  
 (Not me by the way!)

And then there’s another favourite, the “wife” hat, also known as “Mrs Silly”, because however tough life seems, a bit of silly humour between Hubbie and I gets us through.  We have the same (really quite daft) sense of humour and it’s always better to laugh than cry.

Tomorrow will see the “negotiator” hat come back on as we are hopefully getting T out beyond the garden fences.  Nothing too demanding, just a trip to the shops but a list of when and in what order has been requested and compiled, there are always repercussions if I attempt to deviate.

But for now “wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home” and it certainly is.

  
(Image via Phase Eight)

Knitted Lanyards #NettieandherNeedles

Today has been a relatively calm day.  A day in which we’ve watched and heard the rain and I’ve thought how fortunate that we didn’t have to venture out (although Hubbie will now look over and scowl, because he did!)

I’ve mentioned in my Word of the Week post how rediscovering just how relaxing a bit of crafting can be and this last week I’ve been concentrating on little, quick projects to keep the momentum going.  It’s portable too, as long as you have a big enough bag, I ramped the embarrassment factor right up for T when we went to Windsor and I clickety-clacked away discretely on the train.

  
My inspiration came from the magazine above, I haven’t bought one of these for years and the free (yes, I know the hefty price of the magazine covers them) gifts on the cover were great too.

I bought it because I don’t currently know how to crochet anything beyond wriggly worms and I love anything to do with peacocks, so the crochet peacock appealed as something I can aspire to.  What I didn’t realise was that there would be another pattern in there that would be just the job for little end of term gifts for D’s teachers.

  
Knitted lanyards! Most people wear them these days and I figured that D could choose some bright colours and we’d customise for each person.

Ella Austin designed the pattern and it really couldn’t be simpler (needle size 4.5mm and I used three different coloured yarns for each):

* Using your first yarn, cast on 128 stitches and knit one row.

* Change to your second colour and knit two rows.

* Change to your third colour and knit one row, then cast off all stitches.

And that’s all there is to it.  It’s then a case of threading the lanyard through a key ring and securing the ends to make a long loop.  Sew a few stitches either side of the key ring to hold it in place, as I used three different colours, I stitched the middle.

  
In the picture above, you’ll also see flowers, having speeded through the lanyards I decided to customise and found this great knitted flower tutorial from mackandmabel. D helped me choose complementary flower colours and they were mega easy to do, once I’d got the hang of it.

   
 
The most fiddly part of it all was the sewing together and making sure all the ends were sewn in and neatened off, but they look pretty good, don’t they?

D’s teachers loved them and I made one for the school nurse that gives D her injections too.

I know it’s not an expensive box of biscuits or chocolates but, as D loves flowers so much, it felt like something nice and personal to say “thank you” for taking care of our D.

She was overjoyed to see some of her teachers wearing them too, which is just as well because the one I’m wearing above nearly didn’t make it into school …. I do have a “bit” of a love of all things purple after all!

This Week’s Reasons To Be Cheerful – Sat 25th July 2015 #R2BC

Ho hum, I have been cursing my little blog today and for a few days before.  I’m not a technical person at the best of times and felt pleased that last year I moved over to self-hosting and got it looking how I wanted (ish), no longer having the constrains of the previous hosts.

But, this week, it’s all been going a bit wrong.  I had an evening when I couldn’t schedule or publish posts, my linky went a bit haywire and the disqus facility (comments) has now disappeared – even though my admin on WP says it’s fine and dandy.  It’s not.  

I don’t know but what I do know is that a positive approach is more beneficial for wellbeing and so, it’s onwards with happy thoughts for this week (and hoping I can get this to post and that I get a bit closer to sorting out whatever plugin is affecting my blog tomorrow):

1.  School’s Out For Summer!

Oh yay! No school runs for six weeks and a chance for T in particular to wind down and relax after a busy year 7.  He doesn’t like to go out beyond the garden during school holidays and I’ve been negotiating a trip to town next week with him.  There will have to be an exact list of where we’re going and in what order for him, with repercussions of an angry kind if I divert, but hopefully we’ll get there.

2.  Results

I had a series of blood tests last week as I haven’t been feeling brilliant, with some signs that my hair and nails are suffering.  The tests have all come back “within normal range” so at least there’s nothing “mega” wrong.  I have a telephone call booked with my doctor as taking T and D to the surgery just would not work, so I’m hoping she’ll have some suggestions.  

Being realistic, the two months or so when I was recovering from my smiley surgery and my food intake went right down is probably starting to manifest itself now with a “blimey J, that was a bit drastic” so… maybe a supplement is needed? But I have been reading that too much of a particular nutrient (eg iron or zinc) can be just as harmful as not enough so I want to chat it through first.  Isn’t Google wonderful, both from a “aaah, that could be it” and a “oh blimey, take notice of that one!” viewpoint.

In the meantime, the task is not to worry and that’s where my renewed clickety-clack of the needles is coming in useful.

  

3.  No More Primary

D will be moving into the secondary part of her SN school in September, probably along the corridor along the other side.  The assemblies, lunchtime and playgrounds all remain the same naturally.

I am so relieved that we don’t have the transition to a mainstream school for her secondary education because it just wouldn’t work for her.  It has done for T very successfully but my children are very individual as to where they are on the vast autistic spectrum (although their traits can be similar at times) and they need to be viewed as the unique children they are.

I used to childmind a girl of D’s age after school and during the holidays and we saw her last week.  She has so much change coming up and she’ll cope, she’ll relish the new challenges but my D wouldn’t be able to and we are so grateful she’s comfortable and settled.

This was an end of term D, an end of primary D with a treat, she was so happy, so relaxed and after she’d finished her ice-cream we walked home arm-in-arm – just lovely.

   Have a lovely Sunday (even if it’s scheduled to rain ….again) Jx