This Week’s Reasons To Be Cheerful #R2BC

I will admit, I was not a happy bunny this morning. Without going into detail, an appointment didn’t go well and I was left wondering why I bothered and why professionals couldn’t be upfront.

I could still get annoyed about it now, but I’m not going to. Positivity will out and therefore here’s my #R2BC for the week:

1. Snow
It snowed briefly yesterday and D – who has been on snow-watch since 1st December – was delighted. Her happiness was contagious and although any that hadn’t melted quickly had turned to icy pavements this morning, she’s now seen some snow and was very pleased.

2. School bag
Poor old T has had a mountain of books to lug around every school day since September, he didn’t like backpacks on his back at primary, but specifically requested one recently for secondary – as opposed to his messenger bag. His backpack arrived yesterday (after almost a week of him asking when it would be here) and already he is so much more content, it must be less strain on his shoulders too.

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(Backpack and drawstring today as he had food tech)

3. Trainers
In my quest to get fit, I’m going to start running (well, let’s be honest, jogging at first). It will be very much a work in progress but having some comfy trainers is a good start. Apart from one day (a Sunday), I’ve gone over my 10k steps on the Fitbit too for the last two weeks, yay!

4. Relaxation etc
After a couple of quite long chats this week, I’ll be starting some online courses to help me relax – something I’m rubbish at – I’ve tried mediation apps but my brain is too active for me to reap any benefit. Apparently this isn’t uncommon (the “not being able to switch off”) which is a bit of a relief as I thought it was just me”, and I’m looking forward to any potential benefits.

5. Football
T loves his football, in any and every context. He’s now attending after-school football at school once a week, which not only allows him to play a sport he enjoys but also catch up with those he sometimes plays against in the under 12′s division, who also attend his school.
There might come a time when school want him to play a match on a Saturday which could conflict with his playing in a local team, but we’ll meet that challenge if and when it arises.

6. Illusions
We recently replaced our rattan dark brown table and chairs for a glass table and coloured Perspex chairs. The illusion of more space is fab and the (stackable) chairs are pretty funky too.
Time will tell whether our table will stay as clear as it currently is!

7. No “worst bits”
Friday night is always a chippie tea, where we have a “round-robin” around the table and all do our “best, worst and funniest bits of the week”. Both T and D are very much in the here and now and neither had any “worst bits” to report, although there have definitely been some moments from both of them. It’s good that they’ve ended their week on a positive note.

I’m quite pleased I’ve found 7 R2BC, especially following the annoyed and frustrated mood I found myself in earlier.

Linking up with Becky @LakesSingleMum, I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

Flurry – Thurs 29th Jan 2015

D has been desperate to see snow in the garden ever since the beginning of December.

In her eyes, we’ve been bombarded with images of snow on cards, on wrapping paper and association of all things Christmas-y with snow.

Every day she’s said “I wish it would snow”, a wish as we walk to school in the wind, rain and then this morning, dodging the slightly icy pavements.

There is no mention of the practicalities, the fact that any snow-affected area virtually grinds to a halt for D, she just wants to build a snowman, throw a snowball or two and make snowy footprints.

Today we had some snow; hail at first, accompanied by thunder and then the proper stuff! Settling too. D watched as the front path was covered, itching to get outside. It lasted a few moments and then stopped. Then melted. One disappointed girl but at least she’s seen some snow this Winter.

The inner child in me was secretly delighted at the flurries too, half wishing the snow had settled, wanting to see the excitement in faces as snowballs are made, sculptures crafted and that feeling of being so cold but not wanting to go in the warm just yet.

Flurries later as well for her with the aid of a bubble bath, giggling, puffing the bubbles everywhere. “Mumma, it’s like snow” she laughed as bubbles landed on our faces.

Maybe we wouldn’t see anymore snow outside but Matey-enhanced “snow” will provide just as much fun, warmer too.

The Reading Residence

Ultimately – Weds 28th Jan 2015

Ultimately, D had a good day, but it didn’t start that way.

Take a dose of anxieties, add autism and mix it all together.

What do you get? A stressed D, even before school.

The reason being, she goes to after school dance club on a Wednesday. Anxieties aplenty before and after the first two sessions. After a couple of weeks of deliberating and worrying herself about it, she was able to tell me that it’s because it involves a degree of free thinking at the start – they all have to say their name and do a dance move, totally unaided. Tricky for a girl who finds imaginative thinking challenging.

So, we’ve been practising at home. Both Hubbie and I have been suggesting and demonstrating moves (strictly no tw*rking) and she eventually decided on doing a square (you know, right foot forward, cross left foot over, right foot back and then left).

She seemed happy and confident last night and it was good to see her laughing and actually looking forward to the activity.

This morning was a different matter. She was worried she’d forget how to do it, so (good old me, with the best intentions) wrote something in her diary, asking if they’d just remind her of the square thingy at the end of the day.

Not the right thing to do, according to D and she said she was “too scared” to tell them that she didn’t want to practise. “Too scared” to ask that they ignore that bit in the diary. D gets on really well with her teachers but I guess it’s that “doing something that’s not on the timetable” bit, that lack of confidence to speak up.

She refused to head up to class unless I explained the situation to her teacher, so I did – whilst D went and cowered in a corner.

Once it was explained and she’d heard the result, she was fine. As if a switch had flicked, happy, smiley D was back and her day started.

And ultimately she did enjoy dance club. She said she did forget a bit of what to do with her feet but it didn’t matter.

I’m glad she had a good day, in the end, it’s just those anxieties that can virtually immobilise her at times.

Bearing in mind D’s after school club means catch-up with T-time, that should have gone better than it did. T not in the right mind frame to be in a (reasonably) busy coffee shop, frowning at anyone who decided to sit at a neighbouring table, snapping back at any attempt at conversation. Unwilling to listen to explanations as to why his attitude can be detrimental to a relaxed environment during family time.

It’s that metaphorical emotional seesaw again.

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

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Small Steps Amazing Achievements – 28th Jan 2015 #SSAmazingAchievements

Welcome to this week’s Small Steps Amazing Achievements, as Jane at @OurLitEscapades and I co-host fortnightly, this week it’s my turn.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week, 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.

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 are Jane’s highlights from last week:

*Its been a slow process but Nick has made amazing progress visiting the dentist at @kiwimumdi

Archie is making progress on his autism journey with @gymbunnymum

We also had some lovely update posts from @mamamakedopush, @BecomingaSAHM and @Lianne84 it’s great to see how everyone is getting on.”

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.



Bubbles! Tues 27th Jan 2015

It was all a bit fractious yesterday, not the best start to the week.

Tuesday’s are our more easy-going evenings before after school clubs later in the week and tiredness start to affect both T and D.

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The above has helped tonight for D (and me, tbh), there is something about a bubble-filled bath that can’t help me make you feel happy. There’s been plenty of shape-making with the bubbles and then puffing them away, it’s all put a smile on D’s face.

Strangely it reminded me of the time we were recommended to try playing with shaving foam with D, we tried it and she didn’t like it at all, said it was “too messy” and she wouldn’t go near it, this from a girl who is a right little mess-monster at times!

Perhaps it was because the foam wasn’t dry, bearing in mind she loves (dry) sand play and I guess the bubbles – unless you’re scooping them up rapidly – are dry (ish) too, aren’t they.

Not sure, anyway, the objective of a calmer, happier evening was achieved *virtual thumbs up* and she loved the mermaid packaging on the Matey bottle too.

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

Ummm Ow! Mon 26th Jan 2015

It was all going so well.

Monday morning was…decidedly sluggish but okay and T practically bounced off his school bus this afternoon, eager to share a bit of a funny moment from PE.

The walk home was good-natured too, no snapping or sniping from T to D and vice versa. All seemed good, brilliant considering it was the start of the week.

Then it changed and I was reminded just how unsympathetic life can be.

D zoomed in for a cuddle and, still having her trainers on, managed to kick my big toe. A bit of an “owww” moment but I’ve learned to mask my feelings so as not to make any situation worse.

Carrying on, making their tea, I didn’t realise my toe was bleeding everywhere. Thought I’d stepped in something wet to begin with (unlikely), D came in, saw the blood and had a meltdown. It’s very difficult cleaning up, managing your child and wondering about an injury, all at the same time.

She has always extremely visual and reacts adversely at times, so that didn’t assist with the “moment” but neither of them showed any concern for me, it was all about how they felt upon seeing the yuckiness.

That concerns me for future relationships that either of them may have, that lack of empathy and concern for others.

Needless to say, the afternoon went a bit downhill. D retreated to her headphones, T well into sarcastic snapping mode.

Tomorrow is another day, I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

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Operation Bunny – Sun 25th Jan 2015

There is something more important in D’s life than cuddles, me, fish and chips and even Minecraft.

Bunny. Her faithful companion. It was all too evident just how important Bunny is to her when Bunny disappeared for eight (very long) days and nights a while back.

Bunny is clutched tightly on the way to school and then placed in her school bag before we go into reception; Bunny is always with her when drawing, reading or Minecrafting, tucked under D’s arm. Any trips out have to include the Bunnster, quite simply they’re inseparable. Every picture I have of D includes her.

It’s not all sweetness and light though, if D is annoyed or upset then Bunny is often at the forefront of frustrations, thrown across the room or on the floor, that toy is extremely patient.

Recently Bunny has been looking a little worn, a bit tired and really quite threadbare. I’ve bought a replica but D refuses to accept it, saying that I can have that one if I want.

The one thing that has been really concerning me is Bunny’s neck, she’s very frail, the thought of that detaching whilst we’re out and losing it…doesn’t bear thinking about!

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Time for operation Bunny!

This bit was a worry – would D accept the revamped Bunny? Would it be too “different” for her? As mentioned, she doesn’t accept alternatives.

After a lot of thought, Bunny had chest surgery. Because she’s been clutched and “loved” so much, practically every seam is worn, especially the arms, legs and sides, the tummy area was the only place where it wasn’t totally worn.

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D was out of the room during this, thank goodness, so she didn’t see her favourite toy being cut, stuffed and stitched. The clothes hide the stitching.

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For the first time in absolutely yonks, Bunny can hold her head up. D has accepted her and all is well. Phew!

Most aim to lose a bit of weight after Christmas but Bunny has put some much-needed ounces on. Hopefully her additional stuffing will keep her going for a while longer.

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Linking up with Magic Moments and What’s The Story.

Letting the light in with Farrow and Ball – part 2

In my first post on our review of Farrow and Ball paint, I answered some specific questions posed by Mumsnet.

This second post will show our results and our feedback on the paint we received. I have chosen a specific couple of walls to feature here as these are the least “busiest”, as the room painted was our lounge/dining room. A room which is used most in the house, it’s a place to relax, to eat and to work.

I am a bit of a purple fiend, in all its variations and shades. It’s very much a case of “love me, love my colour”. Any paint chosen would need to complement and reflect this.

We also have an issue with a distinct lack of natural light, the back garden is South-facing and fantastic in the Summer but the front of the house doesn’t receive a great deal of natural light or warmth.

My challenge therefore for Joa was to suggest a colour that would not only enhance the light there was but also had a degree of depth that would not be overpowered by artificial light.

The colour she suggested (and I’d had my eye on) was Ammonite – from the Farrow and Ball website – “a colour of fossils found on the Dorset coast. A perfect contrast to the slightly darker Cornforth White. White & Light Tones Undercoat.”

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(Image above from Farrow and Ball)

Here’s a “before, during and after” of our clock wall:
(I did say that I liked purple!):

Before:

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Undercoat applied and Ammonite going on:

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Artificial light:

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Natural light:

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This above wall was the darkest colour to start with and it required two coats of undercoat, everywhere else just had one.

I was impressed with the coverage and the way that the Ammonite seems to change in differing light, sometimes it’s a blue tone, sometimes more pink/green and grey.

Another way I’ve tried to enhance light and create a perception of a lighter room is by having see-through furniture, glass desk/tables and Perspex chairs. These work very well with the finished colour.

Our desk and table before:

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And afterwards in artificial light:

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Ammonite is one of the colours under Farrow and Ball’s neutral range, click here to see the neutral colours and complementing paper/wood paint etc.

And our family feedback:

Hubbie: “it’s enriched our walls, an illusion of more light within the room”

D and T: “it’s good, looks nearly green”.

So, there you go, a new light-enhancing colour for our lounge for 2015. Attending the presentation has made me realise that “white paint” is not just “white”, there are many tonal variations, all of which can enhance a room setting/exterior.

Thank you to Farrow and Ball for their advice and Mumsnet.

“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network, a group of parent bloggers picked by Mumsnet to review products, services, events and brands. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity”.

My Sunday Photo

Bitsey has parrot aspirations….

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The Game – Sat 24th Jan 2015

It’s unfortunate that the result for the first football game that T’s played in for a while (due to soggy pitches etc) ended in a loss, quite a large one for T’s team.

But that is the nature of “the beautiful game”, isn’t it? Win, lose or draw, there will always be disappointment for some.

And he was (disappointed). He spoke on the phone afterwards and didn’t want to say the final score, it was a very stilted one-sided conversation but he isn’t really a talker on the phone (unlike D, who will phone Hubbie up and start with “hello Dad, it’s your daughter here…”). He was up against quite a few of his school friends in the opposing team as well, something they’d talked about at break times and no doubt will next week.

T is mature enough to move on from this, he watched enough football to know that these results happen, especially when maybe not everyone is as focussed as others.

Big T-induced cuddles when the menfolk got home though.

D, after the emotions of her school week, has had a chilled day. She had a little smile on her face when she asked what the day was this morning and she’s been happy to watch her favourite Minecraft video (she must have contributed to the viewing totals vastly but never gets tired of it) and read.

I hope everyone’s day has gone well Jx

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