Saturday, 25 September 2010

Attempting to Practice what I preach.

I found myself giving advise the best I could to a friend who's baby was born 9 weeks early this week and is currently being cared for in SCUBU (special care baby unit), getting stronger every day but it'll be too soon to tell if any other problems will present for some time.  I said to her mum to pass on from me that she can't worry about what might be and to concentrate on what is.  That there are too many variables in 'might' and it'll be crazy making to worry about all of them.  That she is strong and will cope with whatever crosses her path, good and bad.  That worrying won't change what will be and to enjoy every minute of her little family as it is today, grab every moment and hold on to it as tightly as she is desperate to hold that tiny miracle that is her baby. xx

The day after preaching this I felt myself spiral into blind panic about what 'might' be round the corner for us, after reading an article in a magazine about duel diagnosis (Autism and Down's Syndrome) the absolute dread I have of losing the wonderful connection I have with my son nearly swallowed me.  It's been an irrational fixation that I have occasionally let overcome me since that initial bombardment of information about everything that 'might' be facing us.  Of all those scary 'maybes' that is the one I can't seem to ignore as easily as the rest.
I had to remind myself of my own advise and take a great big gulp of it.

Not what 'might be' but what 'is'.  Like Simon said to me when I confided my fears.  "What are you going to do if it does happen? Stop Loving him?" NEVER.  It made me think and what I thought was, we would deal with it, make adjustments to our life and perspectives where necessary and as we have always done, move on. So I quote my wonderfully wise husband " What's the point in worrying about something that a)can not be prevented if that is what is meant to be and b) may never even happen?"

What is now is...... I have a beautiful 15 month old (well nearly) Son, who I've just registered for his place at mainstream pre-school.  Who at the moment is meeting almost all "typical" developmental milestones. Who every day baffles us with his achievements, who loves and laughs and hugs and chases the dog, who's face beams at the sight of his sister.  He creates a parameter around him that who ever crosses it can't help but be infected with the joy he permeates.
Now is also a change in our lifestyle, 10 years, our entire relationship we have never had regular weekends.  Simon's role at work has changed which now means we have every weekend.  Which means me no longer resenting a Sunday spent on his mini project as there is always next weekend!  Or the other way he no-longer will feel deprived of his own space as we make our demands on his few weekend days, as there is always next week.  The changeable days off have worked for us until now I think it's important to emphasise, it enabled me to work as he was able to take the pressure of childcare issue etc, and he has been able to be more involved in Molly's school and more easily available for appointments for Max.  However having said that we are so looking forward to no Sunday alarms :-)

Now is choosing the best middle school which meets moo's needs now,  trying not to put too much emphasis on the impact that decision will make on secondary schools yet.  Who knows where we'll be in four years so what is best now is what is important.

Now is watching my babies bond grow ever stronger as they play with jenga bricks together for hours.  Molly building and then shrieking with laughter as Max destroys .
So here I am mid way through the first weekend of every weekend, having watched x-factor while supping a cold beer, I take a deep breath and realise that now is, well it's simply fabulous.

"The past is gone!
The Future is not here yet!
All there really is, is now!"
Happy weekends xxx

Monday, 20 September 2010

Ticking Boxes

It can some times feel like I spend my life making lists, of tasks to be done, things to get, people to see, today tomorrow, this week, next week, before the end of the month year by Christmas etc etc.  The gratifying thing about this is however ticking off those tasks.  Little satisfying things like getting the mountain of washing put away, clearing the house of dog fur (if only for a second lol).  Putting reasonably balanced meals on the table to fuel the family energy.  Keeping up with friends.

Then come the ongoing things which repeat on those lists again and again.  Filling Molly's time with stimulating fun stuff.  Like securing her a place in the after school cookery club, she is so excited and when drama was cancelled at the last minute instead of sitting at home in her room or in front of the telly spending the time with her best friend at the park sword fighting with sticks, picking flowers for mum's, throwing frisbees for the dog, dropping to her bottom from the height of the monkey bars.

There have been a number of boxes ticked this week, some day to day like the ones mentioned above, others milestones, like our nephews second birthday spent in September sunshine surrounded by friends and extended family listening to Toy Story toys repeat the same phrases again and again.  My brother in law showing all what kind of a true Dad he is by dressing up as his Son's favourite character.

Then now that they are securely deposited back home, getting back into routine and enjoying a bumcow Brunch on the boys day off with the big littles at school.
It's a good job I didn't manage to capture Dave in this shot as he was really being quite rude ;-o

Mmmmm Breakfasssssssssssssssssssst
I really think I am a larger person trapped in a slim persons body.......

The next day sharing a mooch and some lunch out, helping to find brick a brack to feather the nest.  Max and Archi-Bum sharing a ride in a double trolley, although to be fair I don't think they will be in a hurry to do that again as if it wasn't Max trying to remove Archi's dummy or ear then it was Archi wanting whatever Max was holding. Or Max trying to comfort Archi in his crying with what I'm sure he thought were gentle Ahhhhhhh tap taps on his back, however having been on the receiving end of a number of these hugs I'm certain that to Archi they felt more like wallop wallops. 

There was also reassurance that I had made the right decision in moving Moo up a level in her swimming as on her first lesson after the holidays she already has made a huge leap or should I say splash ahead.  TICK

Another milestone ticked off with our little Max in a Million...  He is no longer stationary!!!!!! The boy can commando crawl at the speed of lightening.  He had been moving forwards on his front for a week or two but it seemed he wasn't quite sure how he was doing it.  Not any more, Max and Molly were in the living room enjoying some quiet telly time well Molly was trying to and max was on the rug surrounded by noisy toys, their Dad and I were at the dining room table sharing the days events when we noticed it had gone a little quiet.......... Look who greeted us at the door...
At the sight of us promptly sitting up and looking at me as if to say "well come and get me then I've come this far"
The boy just keeps astounding us and I don't think it'll be long before he is pulling himself up to  investigate.

The two most significant Boxes to get big ticks this week, were.... A hugely successful hearing test for Max.  The congestion of the last having cleared and him co-operating beautifully so the lady could get a really good picture of his hearing which uncovered NO HEARING LOSS and nothing needing monitoring.  I don't think I admitted to myself how concerned I was after the not quite so positive results of 3 months ago, so I think I'll use a huge luminous marker to check that box off. :-)

Then there was the Sunday of all Sundays.  A nice reasonable lay in, followed by my beautiful little girl lending a hand with the washing up and preparation of breakfast.
Then time spent as promised just the two of us, me and my girl.  If only a trip riding up front with me to the petrol station for the weeks supply of fuel and milk. TICK (for now)

Finishing up the day with a family walk (including the hairy four legged member of our family) The first big trek with no buggy, Max riding high on my back following the river through fields full of cows, sheep and all that they leave behind.  The dog  overstretching and finding himself in the river at a difficult spot , Simon nearly joining him as he lent a  helping hand to find his way out.  Still getting a soaking when Woody shook his 'thanks'
We are so lucky to have such wonderful countryside so close to our doorsteps.

So here I am having begun another week, another list and I find myself looking forward to ticking more boxes. xx

Monday, 13 September 2010


There are just too many pictures to choose from, too many friends too many years.  So instead I'll steal a quote I first read on a brother of a friends Facebook status and once posted as my own status it popped up so many more times on my feed clearly ringing "true" with my friends.

"They say true friends can go long periods of time without speaking and never question the friendship.  These types of friends pick up as if they have spoken yesterday, regardless of how long it's been or how far away they live and don't hold grudges.  They understand life is busy but you will ALWAYS love them"

I think of my friends like one huge ancient tree.  There are those at the core, the 'roots' who ground and support everything.  From these roots I have been lucky to meet new people and grow so many boughs of friendship in turn sprouting more branches and more twigs.  As I move forward with my journey through the forest of life every year there are new people introduced, new buds and flowers and fruits of friendships.  Some of these will run their course, a season or two then fall away from the tree to distance and set their own roots growing.  However never forgotten and often branches will cross entwining again as our trees grow into the future. Then there are those buds of friendship which grow to be big fat branches becoming like supports to the whole.

Each of these buds, roots, branches, boughs or leaves are all equally as important.  Each serving there own purpose, some for the big moments, holding me steady through storms.  Others to decorate my life with frivolous laughter, joy and joviality, those to break and fall with me.

Then there are those for all of the above.

Many of these amazing people I call by names other then there own actual name.  Nicknames some would say I however prefer 'terms of endearment' ;-)
These names all came from somewhere, some event or incident or other.  Many of which I can't remember.  One a simple childhood nick name long forgotten by most however I rarely use any other reference for her.  Another simply was a phrase adopted from the kids and again is hardly ever dropped for their true names.
I can't remember where one of the most important started but it is used so much in replacement that Molly forgets her actual name, it's even sprung a spin off term of endearment for her baby girl too.

Splats, Warlys,  Bo's, bears, Gnomeys and of course Birds, Loobells and Bumcows the list goes on.  Just know when I refer or call you by one of these strange names what I'm really saying is.

I love you
I appreciate you
you are important to me
and I am grateful every day to be blessed with you in my life and for the light you shine on this path it's taking me on xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Fluff and Stuff

My last couple of posts have been a bit deep and introspective, not so positive and that isn't a true reflection of the last couple of weeks.  There have been some 'big' moments but there have also been plenty of fluff and stuff.

Sometimes when I think of the future it can be a little dark and scary but all it takes is a spur of the moment decision to lunch at the McIntyre coffee shop with Simon and the babies to shine a bright brilliant light and remind me of my promise to myself to live and enjoy the now.  Starting with the best tasting egg and bacon sandwich with just the right amount of crisps on the side, and seeing Molly helping our waitress find what she wanted to order on her form with out any hesitation and in turn Sarah (our waitress) bringing out a selection of straws for Molly to choose from and thoroughly spoiling them both with what ever she could find be it special stickers or just letting Max play with a menu. They are just wonderful and Simon could not leave without taking a baked on site donut for later.

Then came a Saturday night spent with family,  a wonderful snuggle with my nephew as he chose to drink his milk on my lap.  His quiet response to my whispered "I love you Harry" a simple "yeahhhhhhhhhhhh" :-)).  Simon arriving late after his evening being a superstar DJ, nervously approaching his Aunt to kiss hello knowing the the slap was coming too but still surprised by it.  Gently greeting his Nan, then hunting down Molly and checking on the sleeping Max with a glance over the pram.  Oh my chuckle muscle got a work out that night, watching Aunts dancing and squabbling over the next track teasing Simon and almost jumping on him to drag him to dance.

There were feelings of relief for my Mum that she finally has her new knee and that her road to recovery is well under way overriding the guilt I feel in not being able to do enough to support her.

The sun coming out to help warm the backs of those who's hearts were already warm watching friends making their promise to love unconditionally forever as they wed.  Every part of the afternoon was beautiful,from the bride and the ceremony to the kids running around investigating the gardens finding little nooks to tuck away in, adults laughing taking photo's.

Dancing at a wedding, nothing beats it!

Molly, her excitement at returning to school, how grown up she is.  The rain timed perfectly as usual, heavens opening at 3pm on the dot, ready to soak the waiting parents.  Molly the very last out having returned for a forgotten lunch box.  The non-stop chatter as her friend came home as usual for a Monday (they both go to drama together) So comfortable with each other, rolling eyes when the other says something silly but with genuine affection.  Absolute proof of her thriving not only in her learning but socially was when asked what she'd done on her first day as usual the response "I can't remember" so I asked how she knew she'd had a good day " because my brain is warm and that means I'm happy".  What a wonderful answer what more could I ask for?

Max's mohawk, it naturally seems to want to sit that way so why fight it?  I gave in this week and tried out a little spray and hold  :-o He is such a little dude.

He has now mastered the sitting from laying, he seems to throw himself down just so he can sit up again.  He has greeted me the last few mornings sitting bolt upright in his cot, obviously having had a bundle with his soft toys still in his grow bag.  He just keeps leaping forward reaching milestones and astounding us with his achievements.  Oh and look at his new camera smile, we can't seem to get any other expression now as he pulls this face as soon as he sees the camera.

Being able to be there for friends as they take huge steps at the beginning of their fresh start, if all I can do is make it a clean one free of builders dust and grime then my word I will.......

Now I'm looking forward to celebrating a certain little Haribo's 2 nd birthday.  Blimey do I love that boy!  My heart sings every time he shouts "ICKY" and now he's even signing Hello and More just to support us and his little cousin.  What a clever boy xxxxxxxxx

OOoooh how could I forget?  The new bed....... WOW what a difference.  We returned from holiday having slept on an air mattress for two weeks and only suffering slight niggles here and there which you would expect of someone who has post natal and SPD lower back and joint issues and her husband who has a recovering perforated disc!!! Well a night and a half in our own bed and I was aching like I've only known in the full heat of late pregnancy and SPD and Simon looked like that disc was about to spill out again.  So we pumped him with anti-inflammatory and went back to the air mattress only on the floor in our bedroom not the mole hilled ground of North Devon....... It was like a miracle cure!  So next chance we had we were off to the retail park and shopped and bartered until we had secured us the gorgeous bedstead I'd always wanted and the God of all mattress's.  Tonight is the 5th night and I don't think we have used our front room this week!  On that note I'm off to bed now Night Night xxxxxlol

Friday, 3 September 2010

My Girl

I need to spend some time just me and my girl, I feel like all I do at the moment is berate her.  I love her more then life and miss her every second I'm not with her but then almost as soon as she's there I'm irritated again, bless her.  She is so loving so clever so energetic but I'm finding her such hard work at the moment.

I'm confident that it's a phase all this stropping when things don't go her way, forgetting manners, being greedy and maybe my patience is stretched due to such alot going on recently and six weeks of no school.

I also think that a little bit of the green eyed monster is making an appearance a year on ?  Her little brother is a person in his own right now, making his presence known in more ways then just the cute baby cry of last summer.  He's sitting with us at the table for meals now,  dinner as a four and not a three with the baby sleeping in the corner, pulling hair at every opportunity, little toys no-longer allowed downstairs 'because 'Max might get them'.

She loves him oh there's no doubt there but........five and half years with Mum and Dad to your self is a long time, now the novelty has worn off no wonder her nose is out of joint a little, even if she doesn't realise it.
Also the idea of a brother is great, ready made side kick..... But the reality is the age gap means she's still on her own at parties, , holidays, trips to the park, everyone else's brothers are there sticking together getting involved and she's still there on her own Max too little yet.

Maybe I'm reading too much into things, after all she's only six, isn't she entitled to be a little brat bag now and again? ;-) Bottom line is I miss laughing with my girl and I need to find something to do just the two of us to have some fun no nagging.

Things about Six year old Molly I want to remember

The way she tells me off for referring to her as little 'I'm not little anymore mummmm I'm middle sized'

Her continued love of Scooby Doo.

The way she looks forward to the return to school.

Her Passion for reading and the way she always has at least three books on the go.

Her changing awareness and the way she no longer takes everything we say as absolute any more she needs more convincing of magic (don't worry we're still able to help her believe)

Her imagination and ability to find magic and mystery on a simple dog walk, a fairy hunt or leaf crumble.

Her developing sense of self and the way she's beginning to express that in her choices what to wear.  'do I look like I rock out mum?' lol

Molly Molly mooooo I love youoooooooo xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Orthotic schhhmotic!

Of all the things we could have had to worry about and haven't and I'm crying over a pair of shoes!!! I feel so shallow but he is my cool dude, he like his sister has the best we can provide.  Why just because he has a disability should he have to 'look / dress' any different from any other child? Like a 'disabled' uniform?

Please don't misunderstand me I am in no way ashamed of anything different Max has to do or face or wear, I have nothing but love and pride in my son and feel no need to disguise or try and deny any of his physical or developmental differences. It's just I hate limitations of any kind being put on him and I feel robbed of that special moment when you go out and get their feet measured then spend an age choosing from a row of cute boots, shoes trainers.

The fact is our choice has been limited to......well no choice there's one pair of boots.!!!!  The man measuring him up trying to be kind said 'they're just like any little pair of white boots you would buy in the shops'!  The thing is I would NEVER have considered 'little white boots' for him NEVER!  Oh oh 'but they can come with little blue laces now' doesn't change a thing they are plain awful!!!!!!!!!

I am utterly ashamed of myself for this ridiculously image led reaction, but I swore from the moment I found out how much of a miracle he truly was that he would never fit the stereotypical image I had in my head and in my ignorance was terrified by in those initial seconds after being given his diagnosis.  I so soon learned that this image was a complete misconception and that it was up to us to try and help those misconceptions and prejudices disappear from society one friend / acquaintance at a time, leading by example.

Still having said that I am ashamed of the strength of my disappointment that he won't have 'cool' first shoes what ever they are really, but it is how I feel and I can't do anything but acknowledge that, try to make sense of it and move on.  Well that will be the aim anyway, for now I'll just let myself cry when I think too long on it.

This whole experience we call life is one big learning curve, the steepest part of that is learning about ourselves.  I never knew I could be so shallow and pathetic but now I do I can do something about it, namely to change this about myself.

Most importantly I will have perspective, Love and nurture Max and teach him to be proud of his differences even his white boots with blue laces, after all they'll be 'cool' once he's wearing them ;-)