InstaLinkLove – week 67 #instalinklove 

By | December 16, 2017

Welcome to the sixty-seventh week of InstaLinkLove!


I am really enjoying looking after the linky whilst Vicky, Ross, Grace and Rex enjoy their lives as a happy family of four.

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. We suggest most recent because this is better for interaction.

It’s just a case of finding your Instagram account on-line, clicking  on the photo that you want to link up, clicking on “share post” and then copying and pasting the link into the Linky below.

 
The only condition is that you go over and “like” everyone else’s pictures who’ve linked up.

Here’s my favourites from last week’s link-up:

Please remember the rules:

*You can link up to 2 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up.

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

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Testing 

By | December 15, 2017

Another issue has dominated our recent week.  Testing.

It’s something that’s effected us all, but predominantly T and me.

Ever since he started in his mainstream secondary school, we’ve had the distinct feeling that his diagnosis of high functioning autism at age ten has really made no difference.  

Any issues like, for example, him not bringing home a form are not dealt with by either emailing me a form or giving him a second copy (which would be logical to do) but, instead they phone me and moan that they haven’t had the form and that T has not had the foward-thinking to get another one – clue, here, he won’t, because in his very “black and white” world there is a simpler, more logical way to do things.

Or I’ll have a phone call because he got out of his seat in a lesson, what do they want to do, chain them down?

This is where I can’t understand his school, they waste (what must be to them) precious time phoning me when it could be dealt with another way, or even accept the way our son thinks? But no, there has been no senco involvement, T is now in year 10 and any emails from us are neither acknowledged nor answered.

We fought so hard to get him into that school and I do wonder if it was worth it.

The end of term cannot come sooner.  Oh and Christmas jumper day at his school was abruptly cancelled! 

And from my end, testing has been predominant too.

I was called for a mammogram a couple of weeks ago and then phoned and called back.  Any bravado I might have been feeling melted away as I got squished and squeezed again.  I put my concerns into a dark recess of my mind and only opened that “lid” when the letter arrived this week, with, thankfully, the all-clear.

As well as the squishing, I’ve also had numerous blood tests as I’m feeling very run-down and, with the prospect of my left foot operation in the next few months, I need to feel better both emotionally and physically.

The GP ordered tests on hormones, vit D, ferritin, liver and thyroid.  The latter is something that my recent private blood test flagged up and I’ve suspected for years that it might be an issue.  The GP agreed that if their results were similar they’d do something.

This week though, she’s completely back-tracked and said that their results do not indicate action but wants another test done at the end of January.  

Which says to me “cuts” as I think I’ve read in the local presss that any thyroid meds will not now be funded.  Which explains the back-track but ….why can’t she be honest? Tell me the truth because it’s sent me spiralling down – hence not many posts – and that is not a good way to be! 

Oh and despite me being practically tee-total, I need a liver ultrasound scan – which is worrying me as, again, the private test threw some pointers up.

Life’s “fun” isn’t it!!!   Normal service – whatever that is – will hopefully resume soon, who’s caring for this carer?!? 

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Music – My #WOTW

By | December 14, 2017

I know, I haven’t summed up our week in a while, I’ll blame it on “stuff” that I haven’t wanted to blog about yet, but…

This week’s word just has to be Music!

On Monday we attended D’s SN school Carol Concert, it’s always a really fantastic event, with a local brass band accompanying our singing. The conductor always wears a festive Waistcoat and the band are be-decked out in red band uniforms and very funny hats – turkeys, trees, the whackier the better!

There are plenty of interactive opportunities too, with shakers and triangles provided to “Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer” and “We wish you a Merry Christmas” and both adults there and children love it.

The head teacher always narrates a Christmas story and this year’s was one I hadn’t heard of before, but will be added to our collection – “Jesus’s Christmas Party”.

We don’t get to hear D practising her flute playing at home as she compartmentalises this and sees it as very much a school activity. But, there she is in the picture, at the concert, playing Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” as part of her school band. It was wonderful and I have to admit it gave my tear ducts a clean-out as some proud, quiet tears were shed. It was also re-assuring – as we pay for private flute lessons within D’s school – to see that she is progressing fantastically with her playing! Wonderful!

This has also dominated my ears this week:

The new Midge Ure album.

Regular readers of my blog will know that Ultravox are my favourite all-time band and I’d pre-ordered this album via iTunes.

Every week for the month prior to release a track was available to download and they are amazing! Tracks now accompanied by a full orchestra and new singing adaptations.

These aren’t the “sideburns and suck your cheeks in” versions, some build up to a massive music crescendo, some are quieter, in all though, the emotion flies through the ear worms/stereo.

I have to admit that I hinted for this CD for Christmas and then couldn’t resist buying a copy for the stereo, to get the full speaker effect, it was worth it.
I even had a couple of RTs from the man himself ☺️


And in a week where a label on an envelope sums me up perfectly, Music has got me through it x

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TheMMLinky – Taking A Moment, part 2 #TheMMLinky 

By | December 11, 2017

I had it all worked out last week, my motivational post was written and then “life” got in the way and I forgot to link my post up with the Linky! It happens, none of us are perfect and occasionally things have to give.

It’s my turn to play host this week and I’m looking forward to it, new week, new start and all that.  The external pressures are still there but taking the time for me has helped.

I found the In The Moment magazine in Waitrose a couple of months ago and it instantly appealed to me, I love any tips and hints as to how I can enhance my mindfulness and, whilst learning to crochet has been a mega, mega benefit, having something I can dip it and out of is useful for those – brief but welcomed – uninterrupted bath moments.


As well as reading the magazine, I enjoyed reading last week’s links, thank you for such a great range of motivational posts, RaisieBay shared the benefits of her new, fab crutches and Rainbowsaretoobeautiful’s daughter is already considering that she can be King Jane and why not indeed! 

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InstaLinkLove Week 66 #instalinklove 

By | December 9, 2017

Welcome to the sixty-sixth week of InstaLinkLove.  

I am really enjoying looking after the linky whilst Vicky, Ross, Grace and Ross settle into their live as a happy family of four.

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. We suggest 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, click on “share post” 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.

Here’s my favourites from last week’s link-up:

Please remember the rules:

*You can link up to 2 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up.

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

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BUDDY Well Done! 

By | December 8, 2017

I’m a tad proud of our girl this week, here’s her school photo, she looks so absolutely wonderfully happy!


It’s a long way from those early school photos where she’d either not be looking at the camera or seem as if she wanted to run off and get away from the unfamiliar set-up.

She’s happy in her SN school. Comfortable in the lower class numbers/higher staff ratio and craves the routine that the school day brings.  

She took another step foward this week, with something that she’s always wanted to do but never quite had the confidence to put herself forward, that of becoming a school buddy.

And as of this week, she is one, having stood in the class elections and being one of the pupils chosen.

Her main role will be at playtime to help any “little ones” (as she calls them!) who are seeking some company at break time.  This is something that will not only benefit the “little ones” but also D as unstructured free-play which isn’t teacher-led has always been something that D struggles with, so to have a “task” will greatly assist her.   

The other responsibility will be to show parents/visitors to the hall/playground when events are on.  She’s not so keen on this, in fact she’s quite anxious and I guess it’s the unknown element, not knowing who/how many times she’ll be doing this.  I anticipate her being “fine” and polite during these times but majorly storing up her angst and emotions until she gets home.  That’s a very familiar occurrence.

For now though, we’re extremely proud of her and the ever-developing nurturing side of her, which will no doubt benefit those “little ones”.  

If I remind her that she was once a “little one” I’m firmly told that “that was a long time ago!”.  She is 13, after all! 

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Take A Moment #TheMMLinky 

By | December 4, 2017

My life seems full of lists and notes on my phone at the moment – lists of gifts to buy/food to plan and then there’s school events and the everyday items that we can’t cast aside – it can feel like your brain is just too full! 

It’s very easy to forget that December 25th is just one day, a day for festivities and fun but one day in many.   There isn’t a need to buy – for example – milk, bread and toilet rolls like they’re going out of fashion because the shops will be open on December 27th!  

Take a step back, don’t get swept up into the mega “want it but do I need it?”,  relax.  

Make notes of what you’d like to buy in the January sales, it really annoyed me that there is Black Friday (or a whole week)  then the shops raise their prices again, only to reduce them again December 26th – just goes to show what a massive mark-up there is in some items.

Take a step back and reduce the pressure.  Have a coffee/catch up with a friend.  We had World Kindness Day a few weeks back – be kind to YOU.


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InstaLinkLove – Week 65 #instalinklove 

By | December 2, 2017

Welcome to the sixty-fifth week of InstaLinkLove.  

I am really enjoying looking after the linky whilst Vicky, Ross, Grace and Ross settle into their live as a happy family of four.

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. We suggest 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, click on “share post” 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.

Here’s my favourites from last week’s link-up:

Please remember the rules:

*You can link up to 2 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up.

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

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Managing the expectations of Christmas 

By | November 30, 2017

Well, it’s December 1st tomorrow and the Christmas songs will be playing on the music channels, the shops will be busier and there is the expectation of the “perfect” Christmas isn’t there?
Those adverts with a large family table brimming with food, the laughter as the crackers are pulled, jokes are told and the proud carving of a turkey for everyone to eat.

This is one of the ways in which we’ll differ in our household as we won’t all be having the same Christmas dinner, due to T’s sensory issues around food and D’s anxieties if the food doesn’t look like her school Christmas dinner (I try not to get too offended at the latter) it’s likely that they’ll be having chicken nuggets and chips whilst we have a turkey dinner.

Don’t judge me, this is a compromise, a way that we’ll all be sitting together, even if the thought of juggling a full roast plus the nuggets and chips always makes me feel a bit panicked come Christmas morning!

Our day will differ to those adverts too.  T doesn’t really “do” Christmas and sees it very much for what it is, one day, whilst D gets totally into the build-up, absolutely loves seeing all the lights and decorations and gets extremely excited trying to spot where Rob The Robin is every day (our take on Elf on the Shelf).

I did try and impose a “no screens” rule for Christmas Day but, as they both rely on them for calming and self-regulation, I’ll settle for the screens (and headphones) being put down whilst presents are unwrapped!

Presents…the charity shops/school fairs have done well out of us over the years, I’d buy a toy because T or D had shown an interest, get them wrapped and then it would be looked at and discarded because “play” is something that doesn’t come easily, to either of them.  More often that not, the box (especially if big enough) and the wrapping paper would generate more interest.

Now we stick to tried and tested – annuals, books, pens, clothes, which may sound boring but at least they’ll be used.

I also make sure that T and D have the same amount of presents, differing wrapping paper and, if possible, that they’re similarly sized, it all makes for a more harmonious unwrapping! 

As much as T sees Christmas as one day, he also sees any school activities as out of routine and a hindrance to what would usually be happening, his lessons.  Due to his sensory issues, Christmas jumper day is a Christmas long-sleeved tshirt, another compromise but one that means he doesn’t stand out as he generally masks occurrences during his school day.

For Hubbie and I, is a case of “if they’re happy, then so are we”, there’s generally something worth watching Christmas evening accompanied by a snuggle on the sofa and a (rare) glass of something with a chocolate orange.

And then it’s all over for another year! 

Do you have any tips for the build-up/Christmas Day? 

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The Mammogram #TheMMLinky 

By | November 27, 2017

A couple of weeks ago I had a mammogram.  

It wasn’t the first time I’ve had one, my first was about four years ago, after I’d been to the doctor about my wellbeing and she booked me in for a full “MOT” (mammogram, smear, blood tests) to check me out as I had neglected my health a bit and she wanted to make sure that my fragile emotional state wasn’t due to anything physically.

The truth was – and still is – that I was worn down emotionally and as any parent will know, the needs of our children come first.

Anyway, the letter came through for a mammogram check up, coincidentally in the same week as a smear reminder!

I was sent a questionnaire to complete and take with me for the appointment, it had questions on my general health and whether I had implants (I wish!), the latter would affect how I would be screened.

As there is a requirement to strip to the waist at the appointment, it’s best not to wear a dress, stick to trousers/a skirt so at least your bottom half is still covered.  Any long necklaces should also be removed.

The mammogram took place in quite an impersonal room, just me, an operator and the machines.  Quite a cool room too, temperature-wise.   There isn’t a gown given to cover you up, you just have to roll with it, as it were.

The actual mammogram isn’t pleasant but is over relatively quickly.  Your upper body is put into position by the operator and yes, your breasts have to be handled to be put into the optimum place for the machinery.


And then you have to stand there, watching the plates come down as the pressure increases on your breasts, they become flat and it hurts – but only for as long as the pressure is on them.  I had a frontal and side squish on each side.

After that it’s over.  The operator wouldn’t give me any information as to whether everything looked okay, I was told I’d receive a letter in 2/3 weeks if things weren’t okay, I’d like to think that I’d hear sooner if there were any abnormalities.

After my previous one, I was recalled and received an ultrasound on my whole upper are, which proved to be okay, they had been concerned about a blemish on my side.


The initial embarrassment of standing topless and having your breasts manoeuvred by a stranger is over quickly and worth it for piece of mind that an all-clear brings.

I wanted to share what happens, because – a bit like a smear test – it’s  embarrassing but all over quickly.

There’s more information on the NHS website as to the mammogram procedure.

My motivation for this week is to book that smear test because, like the mammogram, it’s nothing that the operatives won’t have seen before and it’s reassurance – all being well with results – that everything is okay.

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