Time to Chill #TheMMLinky

By | January 15, 2018

Christmas seems a long time ago now, even though it’s barely been three weeks ago. I don’t think the fact we were gifted flu for the Christmas break helped, it passed by in a haze of sore bones, lemsips and hankies.

We are now firmly into a (rainy) January and life is busy, weekends go very quickly and it can be tricky to find ways to chill and relax, especially if there is always something to get done.

We all have different ways of winding down here, some complement each other and some definitely don’t!

For Hubbie, it’s sport. Either watching it on the tv, a local game or Sky Sports News. Anything and everything to do with sport.

T is much the same, sport is his wind-down. He plays a lot of sports, both at school and when he meets his friends, a football is always involved too. His way of relaxing is with FIFA 18, bouncing on his balls of his feet as he plays, his mind buzzing as he compiles stats and pits teams against each other in his fantasy leagues.

Our D loves to read, anything and everything! We have a tradition that, after she’s had a hospital visit, she can choose a new book, it’s an incentive to tolerate whatever form the appointment may take and – as long as there aren’t any blood tests! – it works. Her choice last week was The Witches by Roald Dahl.

Another way in which she winds down stems from something she’s always done, prancing or pacing. When she was younger, she’d put her toys/books into the centre of the room and zone out whilst she walked around them, now it’s a prance from one end of the hall/garden/her bedroom to the other, totally in her own world.

D and I share a love of music and this is another wind-down for us, she’ll dictate what we listen to/sing along to but, as she’s been brought up with my love of 80’s music, it’s – generally – okay. I’ll sometimes hear her humming an Ultravox/Bananarama tune and she’ll be amazed when I say “ooh, that’s …”, she’ll be unaware/forget that I first heard that song years ago!

For me, nothing beats getting immersed into a good book/music/crochet/catching up over a decent coffee. In particular, having a crochet pattern to do with a measure of stitch counting keeps my mind on that and stops my mind wandering as to other tasks I should be doing – useful, if like me, clearing my mind of all the “day to day stuff” around SN parenting/health issues/”to do” lists can be consuming.

One of the cats always dives under whatever I’m making as soon as I pick it up too!

I wouldn’t call this her “wind-down” as Itsey spends about 85% of her day asleep! Such a hard life!

As I said, sometimes our wind-downs collide. Yesterday “Death Becomes Her” was on the TV and D was quite fascinated by all the special effects as Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn (literally) tore chunks out of each other. I had explained to her that it was a comedy and obviously it wasn’t real life and she found it very funny.

So, that’s us. How do you wind down?

An InLinkz Link-up


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InstaLinkLove – Week 71 #instalinklove

By | January 13, 2018

Welcome to the seventy-first week of 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 four 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 4 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up, prior to next week’s Linky opening.

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

An InLinkz Link-up


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Listening – My #WOTW

By | January 12, 2018

We’ve experienced the pluses and minuses of Doctors listening this week, the first has made me hopeful, the second a bit despairing.

Yesterday saw D’s annual check-up at the paediatric department where she was formally diagnosed with autism and related issues at age 4.5. She’s now 13 so very used to the environment of a portacabin building, with floors that seem to bounce and spring as they are walked on.

The doctor who originally diagnosed her left the department when D was about 7 and ever since then D has been classed as a “floating patient”, which means that she’s not under any specific doctor and we’re never sure who will see her at her annual assessment, which can make forward planning with her tricky.

The last few years’ assessments have taken much the same tone, a “how are you? (and straight into a) How much melatonin is D taking because it won’t be prescribed after 16 years old”, which has been a little frustrating because it has seemed to be all about money (ie the cost of the melatonin).

Melatonin in the UK is classed as an “unlicensed medication” and is not available via a GP btw. I have tried not giving D a dose at night but, as she doesn’t produce the hormone naturally that induces sleep, despite all attempts at a calm bedroom routine, it’s necessary to ensure that she gets a decent amount of sleep.

So, off we popped to the appointment, D had her height and weight measured and then we saw a doctor who had been brought in to help with the workload and it was a really helpful appointment!

She had taken the time to look through D’s (huge) file before we went in so was very familiar with the precocious puberty aspect (we see another hospital department for that) and took the time to ask D about school and how she was generally, before we got to the melatonin question. It made a nice change to be listened to as I discussed a medical concern we had, albeit one which made D retreat to the other side of the room and stick her fingers in her ears!! That latter bit is progress though as she would previously have bolted right out of the room!

So that was a positive for the week. Transition to adult care at 16 years was also mentioned and that’s something we’ll start to prepare for at next year’s appointment, together with school and D’s ECHP.

Which makes me a tad nervous about the medical care that D will receive post-16 years especially after my conversation with my doctor this week who did not seem to listen at all!

Regular readers will be aware of my previous foot operations (to date, one original one on left, one original one on right and then a successful remedial one on right) and that I am having another one on my left foot in the next few months.

I also have some low blood test results, an ultrasound scan coming up in next fortnight and some other “stuff”, all of which is culminating in my wellbeing being a bit low as I know the blood “things” could be remedied if the doctor actually listened and took on board everything. It doesn’t help that it’s all conducted via phone, I feel that sitting in front of someone, showing the concerns would help. But the general advice seems to be along the lines of “your mood is a bit low, have a tablet”.

I know the NHS is severely over-stretched but isn’t it better to actually listen to what the patient is trying to say and try and assist the underlying issue rather that chucking a mood-listing pill at someone?

I am such a firm supporter of the NHS, don’t get me wrong and know of the considerable pressures it is under but feel it is another case of funding, ie it’s cheaper to prescribe the afore-mentioned mood-listing tablets as opposed to treating the issue.

It’s all re-affirmed it to me that D will always need an “appropriate adult” (ie me or Hubbie) at appointments to try and ensure that any issues post-16 are listened to, especially if she’s at the other side of the room with her fingers firmly in her ears!

Listening, positive or negatively, is my word for the week, how’s yours been?

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Counting on Wellbeing – Tues 9th Jan 2018

By | January 9, 2018

I didn’t share a positive yesterday, in truth I couldn’t think of one, it was a “bit” of a stressful day.

I’m not going into details apart from hormonal teens + autism + sensory issues + illness hanging around + waiting for a further (and I hope final) operation date all added up to one stressed J. I don’t think the time of year helps either with not much sunlight being around.

Which is why this is helping:

So good for my wellbeing and the cute little rainbow stitch marker is intended to make me smile every time I use it.

This pattern involves quite a bit of counting to ensure that it’s correct in every row, it’s very easy to “lose” a stitch which throws subsequent rows out and I’ve found that concentrating on this takes my mind of other things, for a few moments anyway. Today’s positive!

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Follow Your Heart #TheMMLinky

By | January 8, 2018

Welcome to The MM Linky and Happy New Year!

It’s my turn to host this week and I must admit I was struggling for a topic but, inspiration came in a music FB group that I help to admin.

The chat in a thread turned to an Ultravox album that hadn’t been seen as one of their best but it really did have some great songs on it.

The YouTube video above links to a song called “Follow Your Heart” and it’s something I’ve always strived to do, follow my heart and my instincts because they’re usually correct.

The lyrics in this song have always inspired me, even if it’s been absolutely ages since I’d played this song before today:

“Follow ..,your heart..

There must be someone to depend on, Follow your own way

Don’t ask the questions, follow the leader, Just like a good boy will..

And I wonder what’s in store for me

Don’t need the prophets, don’t need the seer, Don’t need the overkill…

Oh and I wonder what could be

Follow… your heart

There must be something to rely on…

There must be someone to depend on, Follow your own way.”

A couple of examples that spring to mind for me are the children’s educational settings (both have autism, my son attends mainstream secondary, my daughter in a special needs school, the most appropriate place for them as individuals) and health, instinctively I tend to know when something isn’t “right” with me, even if it then takes me an absolute age to action it!

Motivation is something that comes naturally with the start of the year, isn’t it? A new beginning, a new year to think about what’s been achieved and what we’d like to achieve, a clean slate.

Deb at chaosinkent wrote a great post last week about What’s stopping us from achieving our goals (spoiler here, in my case, it’s usually me!) and Anne at Raisiebay.com has written about her Goals for the year and they do sound exciting!

Over to you! What’s motivating you this week? Please link up below and share the support by not forgetting to visit the other posts linked up x

An InLinkz Link-up


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Catching Up – Sun 7th Jan 2018

By | January 7, 2018

A regret from last year, from having had my right foot operation in the summer holidays, was that D didn’t get to see The Emoji Movie when it was showing at the cinema.

She had been a tad disappointed but I had hold her that hopefully Father Christmas would pop the DVD into her Christmas stocking. Which he did!

We got around to watching the Dvd today and I have to admit, I preferred it this way. For one thing it was a lot cheaper bearing in mind D does like the whole experience with popcorn and also that, if she needed to, she could head out of the room for a little “prance” (to self-regulate herself) as and when needed – that isn’t always an option in a cinema! (Today’s positive thought)

She enjoyed it and, although not totally my thing, I did like that there was at least a storyline with a few little moral messages.

Whilst D was watching the movie, I had a quick online search to see what merchandise there was around the movie, not to buy, just curious. I have to say that this one was just ridiculous!!!

Each to their own!

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If All You See…

By | January 6, 2018

Today’s positive amongst the (yet, again) stressful day:

Both T and D have so many positive qualities:

T is like an ever-absorbing sponge when it comes to facts and plays football as a team player, he played in a match for the first time today since November and enjoyed it

And

D is so musical, she literally only has to hear a song once and it’s memorised, chords, word and all.

Amazing, both of them.

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InstaLinkLove – Week 70 #instalinklove

By | January 6, 2018

Welcome to the seventieth week of InstaLinkLove and I hope everyone had a good start to 2018!

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 four 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 4 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up, prior to next week’s Linky opening.

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

An InLinkz Link-up


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By hook or by book – Fri 5th Jan 2018

By | January 5, 2018

My stress-filled days haven’t decreased, in fact today has seemed more “aaaaargh” than yesterday, it’s made me really quite grateful that the weekend has arrived – even though T and D have only been back at school for two days – and that we’ve found humour in unexpected places.

This book, for example, has barely been out of D’s hands since Christmas:

I bought it for Hubbie as we do have two very individual but temperamental cats but did wonder if D would take the title literally and get scared by it or see it as a bit of fun…

She absolutely loves it!

Her favourite part of it is this page:

And if the cats are play-fighting (we call it dinosauring here) or Bitsey is getting particularly fierce with her toy mice or play string, then we’ll get told that Bitsey has her “war face” on by D, it’s very funny!

Humorous moments like this keep our happy v stress quotas on a more even keel, much like my next picture:

A new crochet-a-long (or CAL) that started today. These are not the colours I would normally choose but they are reminding me that Spring is hopefully not too far away.

Concentrating on individual stitches also stops my mind thinking too much about the current and ongoing stresses – which is a definite bonus!

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TGIF and all that! Thurs 4th Jan 2018

By | January 4, 2018

Today started off well, with the return to their schools for T and D, a Costa mocha (bliss!) and an eye test (more on that tomorrow). All seemed well.

And then two emails popped into my inbox which made me want to go from “calm J” to this:

Big, snarly lioness, cub protector…you get the idea.

And a few hours later, I still feel like that, I probably will tomorrow too but…

Positive for the day:

At least it’s Friday tomorrow 😀

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