Monday, 28 October 2013

The Little Things in life - lurkers!

I came on here tonight before bed to blog about my all consuming school issue.

Instead though I am going to blog about the little things. The other day I was reading something about depression and the article said when you see someone who is down or upset or look like they are struggling, sometimes a simple smile or gesture of friendship/kindness is enough to change their day - and it is so true.

Yesterday I was feeling low, very low, on the verge of tears all day (tiredness doesn't help), and I blogged, first time in months and said I was waving my hands and saying help.

A lovely comment has appeared from a self confessed lurker, someone who reads and never comments, but yesterday she did, she sent me a message, a little support, a much needed virtual hug and it has lifted my whole day, it has really touched me and made a difference, so thank you!

It is so true just a little gesture can make a huge difference x

Sunday, 27 October 2013


Truth be known I had decided to stop blogging. This was mainly due to time, I find bloggingis very time consuming, not oonly do I spend time writing my blog, I then find I spend 3 times as long reading and commenting on other blogs and hey presto, a whole morning has disappeared.

But here I am holding my hands up and shouting help.

I am sink in fast.

I am back to dropping the kids at school, and having a good cry to try and clear my head for the day, then putting my 'face on' until bed when I have another little cry bout the shitness of the day and the shitter one ahead tomorrow.

At the moment work is killing me. I love my job but I'm sinking. I'm a freelancer but get 90% of my work from one company and its like I'm employed by them. Two of us work very closely on one very large account. C has gone from calling/emailing me daily and 100% supporting me to zilch. The account is too big for 1 person and its showing but the mistakes are on my shoulders. I called her and told her so hoping things improve there a bit. But I dread emails, I dread switching my computer on, I just don't want to do it right now.

Just before this I decided to put my rates up. When I first started as a freelancer, company A told me my rates were quite low and I should revise them in a year. I didn't as the economy went down and the time wasn't right, so 3 years on I decided it was. The response I got firmly put me in my place, telling me where I was viewed in their company, the level I operate at and basically 'they were shocked at my audacity'. Urm hello, I am a freelancer, you don't dictate my rate and I know for a fact some others who charge the same company are charging twice what I am, plus they charge the client full rate for me. Anyhow this really shattered my already low confidence.

The final straw was being told the admissions policy for our desired school of choice has changed and as a church school they now require a signed firm by the head of your church to confirm you are regular church goers and have been for a minimum of 3 years. I agree with this however the school we want for our son who is on the special needs side of things but doesn't qualify for a statement is CofE, we are Catholic who go to church weekly but thepriests refuse point blank to sign the fform. Very christen of them. I am catholic but went to this said CofE school, times change. My son is very timid and a target for bullies and/or being mislead-taken advantage of, this said school has excellent pastoral care and that wouldn't happen. I am gutted, I don't know how we can get round it but it is consuming me at the moment. The boys education is Paramount to me.

Sinking big time

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Is this bullying?

Boy 1 has ADHD and mild autism as many regular readers here know.

His ADHD is treated, not something we went into lightly but 2 weeks in we realised just what a difference it made. We now see quite a serious little boy and a lovely character.

The autism is an odd one. He is not classically autistic(many people think Rainman). In-fact you wouldn't single him out in a group of children and immediately say 'that child is not the same as others', it is only when you get to know him, or observe him for a time that you think he has a few quirks - he is a loner, he doesn't really know how to play with others, he can say some inappropriate things and have no idea why they are inappropriate, he takes things literally, he doesn't like a change to routine, and he finds it very difficult to control his emotions.

On a Tuesday evening Boy 2 plays football at a local field. Boy 1 happily takes himself off into the playground at the side and spends a very happy hour swinging from the top bar of the swings or sitting on the top most point of the climbing frame. Occasionally he will be seen messing around with another boy climbing trees.

Last Tuesday there were 3 or 4 older boys, maybe by a year or 2 playing with a football round the play equipment. I then noticed them throwing this ball at Boy 1 and hitting him and I could see even from a distance that he was getting upset. Each time he moved from one piece of equipment to the next they seem to follow him, trying to hit him with the ball.

I gestured for him to come over to me, he was upset, I told him to move away from them but it didn't work. I decided I needed to get involved when I saw Boy 1 climbing the fence into the football field in order to get away from this group of boys and the largest of them hitting him as he climbed with the ball.

I marched over, using my finger to call both the boy and my son over to me. In fairness the larger boy came over immediately saying 'he started it'. I assured him I wasn't going to shout at him but I did want to know from both of them what was going on. The larger boy said they had been playing dodge ball and asked Boy 1 if he wanted to join in, he had said yes, but then when they hit him with the ball he had got angry and started calling them idiots and throwing their ball away. I explained to him that Boy 1 obviously had not understood the rules of the games and sometimes had difficulty taking part in team games like that. Larger boy even apologised without any prompting. I trotted back to my football viewing thinking it had been sorted.

End of - or so I thought.

Nope, 10 minutes later I notice they are following Boy 1 wherever he goes. He sits on a swing, 2 of this group with then sit on the 2 swings either side of him. He jumps off and moves to the climbing frame, 2 follow him there. In the end I called Boy 1 out so he stood with me for the last 10 minutes.

I have to say I was pretty upset, there is only so much I can do, as I don't then want him teased that his mum is fighting his battles.

Last night saw us at the Football practice again and Boy 1 in the playground. The same group of boys were there and at first seem to be ignoring him. Half an hour in I suddenly realised he is running between equipment again and being followed and hit with a ball.

This time I charged in. There seems to be 2 lots involved, the first was much smaller than my boy and I asked him why he was throwing a ball at my son, he didn't say a word, I asked him if he thought it was nice, shook head, I asked if Boy 1 had done anything, shook head, so I pointed out he was no better than a bully. He then skulked off and was fine after that.

Same group from last week, I asked them why they were continuing to throw the ball at Boy 1's head, they said he kept kicking their ball away - I pointed out that last week they had been hitting him with it. so did it surprise them, all shook heads, told them as well they were verging on bullying him.

They then left him alone.  Thing is Boy 1 has no idea what to do and how to handle it, he just ends up really upset and very angry.

I am at a loss, I don't want to stop him playing, I don't want him picked on as mummy is fighting his battles, even standing near the railings and letting the other kids know my presence didn't seem to do much.

Feeling very distressed seeing my boy treated like that by other kids and very helpless.

Friday, 23 August 2013

TGIF Blog hop

I have just discovered this blog hop over at Story of a Girl and thought I would join in, although having only just come back to blogging after a bit of a hiatus I haven't posted much so thought I would actually do a TGIF post

This week seems to have been a very long one.

Work has not gone well, I seem to have wasted most of the child - free time I have managed to get which then gets me down, on one hand it's OK as I hit my monthly target for earnings a while ago so all additional work now is a bonus, but on the other hand my list of work jobs grows longer so I need to try and do some.

The kids are now bored of being off so are being more intolerant of each other and less able to amuse themselves, however only 1 week to go and next week is kind of a short week with the bank holidat as hubby will be around too and we can do something as a family, fingers crossed the weather stays good.

Last night we had the first sleepover which infact was very successful!

Tuesday I ran 8.5 miles which has given me a real boost. I am running The Great North Run for St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds and really need to send out another email to so called friends as only 6 people have sponsored me so far. I think the thing that grates about this are the number of ones I have sponsored who have ignored my email. I appreciate times are hard, but I am not asking for a lot and personally I feel as I have put my hand in my pocket for their cause, it may be nice for them to return the favour.

Having said I ran 8.5 miles, I planned 9 miles last night but have trapped a nerve in my neck and all movement is really painful so there is no way I can run which I am a bit gutted about, as its only 3 weeks until the day and I need to get up to 12 or 13 miles - eek

TGIF though as we are taking the boys away for a night this weekend and then spending Sunday with some old friends and I really can't wait. We are going back to Liverpool where we met, and I am really looking forward to it.

The Sleepover

Last night the boys had a friend stay for the first ever sleepover and I was pretty nervous and had a straw and bottle of wine lined up to see me through the night,

Mini man and Master J have been in the same class since reception (2 years now) and are known as the Terrible Two. Together they can be pretty naughty and cheeky and a real handful, neither are particularly good at sitting still or listening but they have a lovely friendship as they are so similar and egg each other on. When I say they are naughty, its never anything bad, more mischievous, however this year they have been separated and when they go back to school in September they will be in different classrooms which to be fair I don't think is a bad thing! master J cried about this apparently whereas Mini Man shrugged his shoulders when I told him and just said 'well I guess its because we are naughty together'.

Anyhow they have been begging for a sleepover for a long time and I eventually succumbed.

The excitement was high when we picked Master J up, so I took them straight to the Valley Garden's park to burn off some energy so 2 hours later they were marginally calmer. Even Little Man who now 3 years older than them at 9 was pretty excited. tea passed without mishap and I was amazed when at 7.30 I said it was time to get PJs on and they ran straight up and did it.

A little treat of decorating their own cupcake with smarties, marshmallows and chocolate buttons washed down with some milk as their 'midnight' feast in their beds was a good idea and then it was lights out. I hasten to add at this stage, they decorated the cakes in the kitchen then took them to their beds to eat!

I crept down the stairs with a little trepidation debating if there would be a need for me to actually sit in my office to keep an eye on them.

I only had to go up once and it was my 2 messing around, Master J was asleep by 9.15! I am gobsmacked that there was little noise (very loud whispering only), no teddy fights or pillow fights, no crying, no in and out of bed every 5 minutes, it went very smoothly.

To add to my delight, I heard them wake about 6.50am and Little Man gathering the 2 little ones up, took them downstairs and got them their breakfast! I got up to all 3 scoffing crunchy nut cornflakes round the table and they had even put mats out. They are now out bouncing on the trampoline so I think I may treat them and take them to the cinema to Madagascar 3 at the Odeon Kids club thing.

Little superstars

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful

I wouldn't even like to try and work out how long it is since I have taken part in this link! Been very slack but then I did have a bit of a blogging holiday for about 3 months so not surprising really

At the moment I feel I have loads to be cheerful about

  1. Life was getting a little overwhelming with the amount of stuff I was trying to do, so I eventually realised that I needed to take a step back from everything which I did around April time and I feel as different again
  2. We have recently got back from our first proper holiday as a family since we had both boys so over 6 years since we had a holiday. It was Fab, it was a last minute deal, the resort wasn't that great, neither was the food, but did we care - no, the weather was perfect blue skies everyday, the kids lived in the sea or swimming pool which has done their water confidence no end of good, we hired a car and saw some of Majorca, Mini Man's dream came true by actually flying on an aeroplane, and Little Man learnt some Spanish. More importantly I think as a family we totally reconnected.
  3. Work is flowing in at the moment and I have the opportunity to go to Russia in October (VERY excited), plus for the first time in 3 years I have got the balance right - working mornings, every afternoon spent doing something with the boys.
  4. We are thinking about having a night away with the boys this bank holiday and then catching up with 2 sets of good friends so looking forward to that.
  5. Life is generally a much happier, more organised affair at the moment and I have finally accepted I am not superwoman and it is OK to sometimes say No.
So pop over to Michelle's blog and add your Reasons to be Cheerful

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Will power and weight loss

Before I had kids my weight never varied, I was 9 stone 3 and that was that.

Before kids I swam, I cycled, I went to the gym and I walked - hence maintaining my weight

Leading up to getting pregnant I changed my job which meant I needed a car to drive a couple of junctions up the motorway so the daily cycling and walking were gone.

I didn't put much weight on with my first - he was 9 weeks premature and had interuterine growth retardation so was too small for dates anyhow and at 31 weeks I wasn't even in maternity clothes.

What did change though was my diet. pre-pregnancy I are salad, fruit and veg daily and rarely had stodge. During pregnancy all I craved was stodge. Post pregnancy I struggled to express milk for tiny baby in SCBU and was told by some midwives that eating mars bars helped and I believed them and got into a daily mars bar pattern - in reality, I think a suckling baby as opposed to a milking parlour pump was the real key!

Again, I didn't actually put much weight on but my diet and what I wanted did, I suddenly found the idea of salads and veg didn't appeal anymore, I would go as far as to say I didn't even really like that type of food anymore.

Second pregnancy saw me in hospital from 25 weeks and VERY fed-up and I comforted myself on their steamed sticky toffee puddings and crisps as I got very fed-up of the hospital foods, so the vending machine and puddings were a must! Again I didn't put stones on but following boy 2 my weight crept up to 10 stone 2 and has fluctuated round there, between 9 stone 13 - 10 stone 3 for the past 6 years.

Over this time I have had zero will power, I always find an excuse to eat rubbish, comfort myself on sweets or chocolate, make the wrong choices 'oh well, I've fallen off the wagon today, I'll start again tomorrow'.

I've tried different things, increasing exercise again - difficult with working and the 2 boys, changing diet but hit the same problems of not wanting salads and veg, and decreasing portion size but then get hungry so snack.

My best friend has recently lost nearly 4 stone using weight watchers and the app on her phone and she convinced me to try it as well but to be honest I found it a bind to input everything that past my lips, would forget and then try and remember.

About 4 weeks ago I saw a tweet from her saying 'well bugger me, I have just squeezed my arse into a size 8'. SIZE 8, I have always been at least 1 if not 2 dress sizes smaller than her ever since we were about 11 so to read that was a real jolt and I don't know something clicked.

I am doing the Great North Run so training for that has really increased now, and suddenly I find myself reaching for the good foods and wanting them again. When I am struggling with the running and think I need to stop or slow, or change my route so it is not as long, I am literally chanting 'think of that size 8, think of that size 8' as I go and today I stood on the scales and it made me very happy

In 4 weeks I have lost 6lbs and am now the lowest I have been in 9 years - still not pre-children weight and I have the redistribution and flabby issues to resolve but I am making progress and it has made me even more determined now, given me a real boost - today I feel pretty amazing!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

This is My Child Campaign

I have just been reading on Mumsnet about the 'This is my Child Campaign'

I can't express how much I am behind it. After years of having a mis-understood child and feeling the isolation and stigma that goes with a child with a hidden disability it is a relief to see there is a campaign out there to raise awareness.

My own son has ADHD and mild autism. I have found that ADHD in itself carries a huge stigma and that I struggle to find other parents who admit their child has it or want to talk about it. It is part of my son, it makes him who he is. Yes life can be hard with him and as he gets older I am sure it will get harder but under the noise, screeching, running around, and general all over the place-ness, there is a very sensitive, loving boy who would go to the ends of this earth to help someone - no-one ever gives him the chance to see that person.

I hold my hands up and say we have him on medication - very much against what we believed in but hey we were wrong and within 2 weeks of starting a trial of medication we realised not only had it changed his life but our family life as well, it was the best move we ever made, people now 'see' our son, people understand him better. He actually asks for the tablets and says without them his brain whizzes round his head and he doesn't like it. its his choice and always will be. One thing medicating the ADHD did do though was allow the autistic traits to come to the surface, they were real and needed addressing but he will get on fine in life with them, with a little understanding.

Before we had diagnosis' we were labelled as parents who didn't discipline, parents who couldn't cope, a mother who shouldn't work and then perhaps her son wouldn't cry out for so much attention, a son who was a nightmare, a bully, always to blame (when often he wasn't but even at 4 and 5 yrs old other kids would blame him until one day he got the blame and wasn't even in school which made the teachers realise what was going on), always on the outside, never invited to parties, never invited to tea - it is simply heart-breaking, isolating and soul destroying all rolled into one. I stopped going anywhere for fear of how we would be viewed which I can tell you does nothing for your own self esteem and confidence, infact it destroys them.

The times I struggled with a baby while trying to sort my 3 or 4 year old out because he was doing something inappropriate, never once did someone ask if I needed help, but were all too happy to watch me struggle, and stare, or drag their own child away. The times I sat and cried alone, or with a screaming baby and pinned down toddler but still no-one asked if we were alright.

Please get behind this campaign and support it.

The below is copied from the This is my Child Campaign website

As lots of you will already know, we've spent the last few months working on a new campaign called
'This Is My Child' - and it's launching on Monday. (We're letting you know about it now because there's a rather nice piece about in in the Guardian this weekend.)

You can read about the background to the campaign
here, but in essence it's about myth-busting and awareness-raising - so we'd really love you all to share it as widely as possible. We've consulted with Mumsnetters and the material is supported by input from some of the leading charities in the field: Mencap, Contact A Family and Every Disabled Child Matters.

Over the years on Mumsnet, parents of children with SN have described how their lives are made more difficult by the occasional (or not-so-occasional) judginess of members of the public. They've described how this can contribute to their isolation, placing limits on their social opportunities because they can't face the stress and disapproval that comes with public interactions.

That's why we came up with
This Is My Child. Its aim is to support parents of children with additional needs, inform everyone else, and open up a conversation about how we can all act together to make day-to-day life a bit easier for these families.

The input of parents caring for children with special needs has always provided a fascinating perspective for other MNers, encouraging empathy and giving real insight into what life can be like. We're hoping that our
myth-busters, tips for non-experts and strategies for parents and carers, along with our background facts and figures, will help to bring the wisdom and perspective of Mumsnet SN posters to a wider audience.

So if you like what you read and think someone you know would find it interesting or useful, please share it as widely as you can (you'll find our impressively large sharing buttons on each page wink).

And for the Tweeps among you, we'll be holding a Twitter party on the #ThisIsMyChild hashtag on Tuesday between 1pm and 2pm; please join in if you can.

As ever, we'd love to know your thoughts and hear your feedback, so please use this thread to post up anything that occurs to you.


Hormones and body odour

Nice sounding title for a blog post!

However, my eldest son must have suddenly hit a growth spurt or rather a growing up spurt. He is only 9 but the last few days I have smelt that distinctive BO smell from his right armpit, the left one is obviously a little behind as that still seems fine.

I mean he is 9, I am sure I didn't start using deodorant until I was over 11 and in senior school but perhaps boys are different, maybe I should see if my brother or mum remembers when he started using deodorant. Hubby cant remember when he did.

It has sent me a little off kilter though, he's 9 and suddenly needing deodorant, it seems such a big step out of the little boy domain into becoming a young man domain and although he is more than ready for it, it has made me wonder if I am as it makes me feel all nostalgic and sad! Stupid woman I know.

So what deodorant do you buy a child because at 9 he is still a child, I certainly don't want him wearing things like linx and smelling to high heaven, do you buy them roll on's or spray deodorant - I have no idea! I feel we need to be delicate about how we discuss this with him, as he is mildly autistic and has issues with using soap anyway. We are lucky in that he is happy to shower daily but he doesn't like the consistency of soap or shower gel or shampoo and I need to hover in the doorway to ensure he actually using it and then rubs it in rather than squirting a tiny bit on his hands, letting the water wash it off and then skimming his hands over the important bits. With these body changes though, other changes may well be on the horizon and it may no longer be alright for me to be hovering, and ensuring this is being done. By the time he showers, hubby is on his way to work. For the most part we need to employ 'over learning' with him so I guess this will be the same but at the same time you want to be sensitive to their feelings and approach it in a delicate way.

Are any other 9 year olds going through this, I need to find out from other mum's, with him being a loner, he doesn't have a big circle of friends so we don't tend to see people through the holidays.

I wonder if this means his hormones will be starting to kick in soon, if other things will be about to start happening in the near future, this could be the start of a new interesting/stressful period in our lives. It also makes me realise that living in a 3 bedroomed house, where the boys choose to share a room and the third small bedroom is my office, may be all about to change, as I am sure with this 'growing up' and body changes will also come more independence and less tolerance of the little brother and a need for his own space.

So as little Man enters year 5, I think he is also entering a new period of his life involving body changes and hormones - they seem to grow up so quickly (and yes I am sure our parents said the same).

Monday, 19 August 2013

Great North Run Training

I am trying really hard to be dedicated and train properly for the Great North Run which as I have mentioned I am running in aid of St Gemma's hospice in Leeds in memory of my late Uncle.

I ran the Edinburgh half marathon last year and although I tried to train, illness and time were against me and truth be told my longest run before the event was 5 miles, so I amazed myself when I got round the full course in 2.36 minutes and ran the majority - it is amazing what a crowd, atmosphere and adrenalin can do!

This time though I would like to better the 2.36 and improve on it all so I set out with a proper training plan - well I say a training plan it was all in my head, but I knew what I wanted to achieve and my timelines.

In the last 2 weeks I have increased my distance from 6 miles to 8.5 miles which is the most I have ever done (other than the half marathon last year of course).

I am running 3 times a week and going to the gym or swimming on days inbetween with either a Friday or Sunday off as my day of rest.

Truth be told, I am struggling initially. I set off and find the first 3 miles really touch, I try and always run uphill to start with and always end up having to interval (walk 1 lamppost before I can set off again), but then I seem to break a barrier and can keep on going.

I recently invested in new running shoes from Up and Running which are very nice (at £95 I should hope they are though!), and hubby said to me on Saturday when I achieved my 8.5 miles
'How do you feel, you are a proper runner now'

That was a real realisation - I am! I love it as well!

Anyone who knew me at school and saw my pathetic crawls round the cross country track, I was always one of the last would not believe it, I hardly do myself

So tomorrow I intend to go for 9.5 miles, wish me luck!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Snail sitting

How traumatic do you think looking after a little girl's pet snail while she is on holiday can be?

Well let me tell you.

Last week my boys got asked if they would look after Mrs Snail (giant African land snail) for Miss P while she goes on her holiday. They had only had her a week but hey how difficult can it be to spray a snail twice a day, her tank and soil to keep it moist and humid and put lettuce and cucumber in twice a day, even I can cope with that!

The responsibility I felt though when on day 3 she disappeared. I wondered if we had a Houdini on our hands as the tank was shut and she had been there when I went to bed and I was the first up, although I do admit to checking the dog's bed for snail shell fragments! How can a snail disappear?

By burrowing, that's how. We eventually found her by gently digging through the soil, so I left her thinking she was sleeping. When she hasn't materialized by that night or eaten I got really concerned she had buried herself to die so located her again and gave her shell a very gentle tug, there was still suction so I calculated she must still be alive. Two days later though I was at my wits end, how was I going to tell a 6 year old her pet was dead which she had only had a week?

Day 6 I got up to find Mrs Snail had eventually moved, still burrowed deep but moved nonetheless and was sitting on 100's of tiny white balls. Initial thoughts included the boys trying to feed her polystyrene balls from the bean bags, however a quick consult of the oracle that is Google confirmed said balls to be eggs usually in numbers of 200-300. Further research suggested these could all possibly hatch and I should humanly destroy them.

Who would have thought a snail could cause so much trauma. Not feeling like I could do this without consulting the owners the boys saw the eggs and quickly determined by themselves what they were, so tears were shed when I explained I would have to remove them. Speaking of which I really need to remove them from my freezer now as they only need 48 hours to no longer be viable.

I am also pleased to report no further eggs were laid while under our care and she returned home alive and active.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Does blogging depress you?

Do you know, I think blogging actually makes me feel low and down in the dumps and quite frankly leaves me feeling a tad depressed?

Does that sound weird?

Am I alone in this?

let me explain. I started blogging probably as a release and probably as I felt quite isolated and lonely. I 'met' some lovely people, I gained followers, I interacted with people, but then I found if I blogged and didn't get comments or reads I felt really down, as if no-one cared, and found I was obsessively checking to see if anyone found me interesting.

I still blogged though for a couple of years and it has really helped me through some tough times even though I didn't specifically blog about them. Certain people like the crew from GroovyMum and Sarah Mac and BareNakedMummy to name a few have been a huge support.

I recently took a long break and in that time I not only took a step back from blogging but a lot of other things to and I have felt like a different person, much happier, much more sociable, much more relaxed despite a hectic work schedule which I am struggling to juggle over the summer.

The other day I decided it was high time to check back in and get back to blogging but 4 days back in and I have spent today as low as they come. The boys are in kids club so I could do some work but instead I have procrastinated all day, arsed around, done fuck all really other than sit with stupid scenarios playing in my head something I have not done for months and months.

Is it a coincidence that this has happened once I start blogging again or is it simply due to lack of sleep last night (as the boys were going to bed there was a horrendous smell of burning from within the house which we couldn't locate, and it eventually went by itself, I think it may have been a moth that got too close to a light but I don't know. Anyhow our smoke detector is wired into the electrics and I spent all night wondering how we would know if it was working or not, after all we never test it, we were told we didn't need to).

So does blogging actually depress me? I am not sure.....

Thursday, 8 August 2013


I have been very frustrated the last 2 days, the idea was I would work mornings and spend every afternoon with the  boys, I was determined this summer I would be gathering them together at 4pm and dashing out for an hour or 2 in order to feel like I had still done something with them.

Monday these plans fell through as I had a massive last minute bit of work come in Friday 2ndm which was very lucrative, means if I get nothing else for the rest of August all will be OK and could lead to more work. As a result I ended up working all day and doing the 4pm thing.

Tuesday worked out fine and we went to the cinema in the morning and had a lovely lunch and walk together.

Wednesday was a nightmare Boy1 at 9 is happy to play with his Lego, he tries it on with having game time but knows when I mean no. Boy 2 though at 6 would not leave me alone. I run a time tracking programme for when I am working so when I invoice different companies I can give them proper hours and a copy of time spent on their projects. I ran a report yesterday and I only achieved 2.5 hours work all day. I tried walking away, going for a bike ride with the kids and coming back to it but Boy2 was at my side 'I'm bored, I'm bored, I'm bored, can we paint my plane?, can we build a space station? can we bake?' All I end up doing is getting stressed and doing these things to appease him.

I am desperate for them to play out more but they bore of each others company in the garden I think, so that only lasts 10 minutes or so. I keep trying to encourage them to play on the drive and in the front garden as other kids tend to be attracted and we have other kids on the road, but they stray onto next doors drive (it is shared and she gets funny about it, he doesn't seem to mind, but she does), plus we live on quite a busy side road, people use it as a cut through and although we have wide pavements and verges I don't want Boy 2 straying too far.

Today my Dad bless him had them for the afternoon.

The house though is a pig sty, and I am getting nowhere with tidying it, I HAVE to do this as I cant cope much more with the mess, or not being able to find anything.

I planned to try for a 7 mile run tonight - furthest yet ekkk. Plan was to be ready for when Hubby got in from work at 6,45 but a friend came round and I didn't even start the boys tea until 7pm, then hubby wanted food, then boys wanted me to put them to bed, then I got the washing in (4 loads), and couldn't even find my running trousers so at 8.15 I gave in on the idea of a run so am feeling frustrated.

I am also a little depressed that I need to raise £300 for the charity I am running the Great North Run for and sent out my fund raising details to all I know and posted the link on Facebook and it has generated one £10.00 donation. I know times are hard and I totally understand but what does bug me, is many of the people I sent to (and I was careful with who I asked), are people I have bothered to sponsor this year as well, and kind of hoped for the same in return. Oh well there is still time I guess.

Tomorrow is a new day, the boys are going to the wet and wild event at kids club so I get a full day of peace!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Great North Run Training

In April of this year, I sadly lost my Uncle quite suddenly to that bastard Cancer.

I say suddenly, maybe about 10 years ago he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy for 6 months and he has been in remission since. He then had yearly checkups which in more recent years moved to 3 yearly, although he had an open access agreement with his consultant that if he felt another check up was needed sooner he could request one and would be seen.

In the New Year, he told my Dad (his older brother by a year), that he wasn't feeling right and although he wasn't overly concerned he was going to go to the Doctors, just a few niggley pains. His doctor ran blood test which all came back fine, but said he would organise an appointment with my Uncle's old consultant to put his mind at rest. He was got an appointment through for mid February but before he attended he collapsed at home with severe stomach ache.

This turned out to be a huge blockage in his bowel causing an obstruction which they operated on as an emergency and ended up having to remove the whole of my Uncle's bowel leaving him with a colostomy bag. Scans done at the time also revealed 'unknown growths' in his liver. No-one at this stage had said cancer but we all knew. He was very poorly after the surgery and ended up getting infection after infection at the site of the colostomy bag, which left him weaker and weaker.

After 3 weeks the decision was taken for him to return home as he was well enough with daily care, the aim being to get him strong enough to start chemotherapy as soon as possible.

2 weeks later he was admitted to St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds for reassessment - the nurses assured him and his family they were only admitting him for 24 hours in order to do the assessments so a new treatment plan could be initiated quicker for him. If they made a hospital appointment for him, it would take time and the ultimate goal was to get him stronger so he could start treatment as soon as possible.

Less than 24 hours later, he passed away while in St Gemma's peacefully with his family around him.

We were all shocked and devastated. In the space of 6 weeks, an active, bird loving, caring man had been claimed by cancer.

Although only in St Gemma's for a short period of time, the care both my Uncle and his family received went above and beyond the expected, the aftercare of the family as well.

In his memory, I am running The Great North Run to try and raise £350.00 towards St Gemma's so they can continue to help other families out there.

Please, please if you feel you can help, sponsor me and help me reach this target

I am training quite hard at the moment and was pleased that I ran 6.6 miles last night in an hour when I felt I was really out of condition.

I plan to write a little weekly training log to keep me motivated.

I ran the Edinburgh half last April and did it in 2 hours 35 minutes so ideally would like to better my time.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


So today I am at the point of chucking the boys into the garden despite their protests and giving in to the dog charging round it with them, peeing on the grass, ruining the new grass and leaving piles of stuff for me to then pick up before one of the kids treads in it and trials it into the house.

I work, and if I say so myself I work hard. I work from home though for myself and most days sees me shut away in the little bedroom aka my office beavering away.

Childcare costs money, so we avoid it where we can, plus they both now find kids club really boring. At 9 and 6 the kids are pretty self sufficient and this year I was determined not to fall into the same trap as last year and work everyday of the holiday and then at 4.00pm rush out of the door with them in an attempt to feel like we had 'done' something.

This summer's plan was to work mornings, as I get up about 6am and make a start so 6-12.00 is a reasonable working day, boys get up 8.00ish and tend to amuse themselves. Then the afternoons are ours to wile away, parks, bike rides, woods, dog walking, museums etc.

Yesterday I got caught in a very tight deadline and worked all day and I hang my head in shame that they pretty much spent the day in front of the TV or on computers/games as it poured all day. We did go out for an hour in the rain with the dog to run off some energy and play on the swings but still, screen time is normally limited.

Today I worked early, stopped at breakfast and we then did the Odean Kids club which got us home at 1.30. The agreement with them was I would work this afternoon.

I am now at tearing hair out stage. They have not stopped bickering and moaning they are bored, shouting, in and out of my office, and if they have asked for games once, they have asked a 1000 times.

I have said No to games, too many yesterday, in-fact I have said we are back to our normal pattern of weekend hour only. I am appalled they will not go outside and play, not even on the drive, not in the garden. Lego holds their attention for about 10 minutes, Nerf guns for another 10, outside that they both seem at a loss as to what to do.

What kind of kids are we bringing up?

It is a product of my own doing though as we hear these dreadful stories so we are constantly drumming into them they mustn't wonder too far, they mustn't talk to strangers, they mustn't even go 'home' with someone they might know if we are not there (based on what happened to tragic April Jones - I mean we sat both ours down and asked them what they would do if Fred's dad from their class saw them in the park and said he had been sent to pick them up by us - both said they would trust him - by the way I don't know who Fred is or his dad, I made them up!, but you catch my drift) so is it any wonder they wont go outside and play. Maybe I am slightly worse after working as a forensic scientist and dealing with cases like Holly and Jessica etc.

So we are now about to embark on a baking session with boy 1 and while that is baking I will be putting my skills into making an airfix plane with Boy 2.

It may sound better working from home but the truth is it is bloody hard especially with kids around.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

May Day, May Day is there anyone out there?

I wonder if I should start by introducing myself and adding myself to the Newbies group on BritMums as I have been crapper than a crap, crap thing at maintaining this blog!

However after our first proper holiday with the kids (age 6 and 9 - yes really) and actually stopping and relaxing, I have come back feeling like a different person. Corny but true. I even managed to turn my email off on my phone and didn't put it back on until we were physically back in the house, no calls, minimal texting - only to my mother to let her know we had arrived and then a few random ones to let her know some exotic Spanish Ebola type virus had not struck us down during our shenanigans out there - you know what mother's are like (of course I will be nothing like that :D).

Anyhow yes new me, meaning better outlook on life. As I have always said I miss my blogging but I have to work out what I like to do and what I need to do and I am afraid as is the case for many, work comes first. The 10 day break did show me though that I have become a bit of a workaholic and have lost sight of the things I enjoy such as marathon calls to friends, spending proper time with the kids, walking away from work and thinking 'it can wait until tomorrow'. When working in an office I managed it nightly, just because my office is the spare bedroom in our house, it shouldn't make a difference.

So I would like to say I will be blogging more, I would like to try! Maybe though the fact no-one seems to have missed me, shown no indication of having noticed my blog has been dead (other than one and you know who you are as we spoke the other night!), might be an indication I should just give it up! Only joking.

So chin chin (glass of wine in hand), here is to hoping I managed to actually do some blogging

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


I think that sums up life at the moment - Crazy. I don't have a moment to breath, let alone blog.

Since the beginning of May I have been travelling with work, 2 nights in Amsterdam for a meeting, 5 days later another 2 day meeting in Amsterdam, last week a 5 day meeting in Istanbul (thank god I am not there this week), tomorrow I head back to Amsterdam for yest another 2 day meeting, then hop straight over to Copenhagen for a 4 day meeting.

In between all of this I am also doing my regular mummy duties, dog walking duties, decorating the boys bedroom, training for the Great North Run in September and trying to find a reasonably priced gardener to come and tame the jungle that seems to have appeared outside the back door (please don't get me wrong, we are not rich or posh and have never had a gardener before and probably never will do again, but having done all these meetings, we are in a rare position of having a little extra cash and are realistic enough to realise that neither one of us has the time, knowledge or willpower to sort the garden - the idea being, get a keen gardener who wants a bit of cash in hand to sort it out and then we maintain - mmm right, that's the idea anyhow).

I am also in the process of stomping my authority with the school and refusing to be fobbed off and demanding my Little Man's lack of progress is recognised and looked into and I think we are making progress. The SENCO retired at Easter so I saw the deputy and the head and said I was worried and showed them his work books over the last 2-3 years and the lack of progress.

I expressed my shock when the headmistress actually utter the words 'perhaps we need to accept that Master E has reached his potential'- I don't think so love, and I think she regretting speaking them out loud. The deputy clearly got my upset (only someone with very thick skin and a lack of perception wouldn't have done) and said she would see what she could do.

The following week she rang me and said she had done some assessments and we had every right to be concerned (people did look strangely as a jumped around outside the headmistresses office doing a victory dance while chanting 'told you so' - no not really).

Long and short of it is, they have had the Autistic outreach team in to assess him which has lead to 3 visits from them, and an acknowledgement from them that he needs extra help, and I am currently waiting to speak to them having said we wanted to be involved.

So I had better get back on with the work I need to do towards these 2 meetings I need to fly off to, and get the rest of the painting done, then hopefully out for a run and dog walk all before picking the boys up.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge - S is for

S is for sleep


What is that over-rated thing called sleep?

Something only the weak need? Yes in the eyes of my eldest son!

Sleep was not an issue when Little Man was a young baby, he started sleeping through at about 12 weeks old and was a dream.

At a year, he decided he had had his fill of sleep and stopped his daytime sleeps and his nighttime sleeping. He would go to sleep for about 3 hours and then think he had had enough and be awake through the night.

We tried everything - diet, meditation, sedation (he was one of the rare few who are not affected by the sedative), soothing bedtime routines, background noise, night light, no nightlife, door open, door shut, controlled crying, staying with him and each night a step closer to the door, doctors, health visitors, putting him in a bed at the age of 18 months, EVERYTHING.

Some mornings I would get up and do a mental calculation and I can't believe it now but I clearly remember days where I would think things were improving as I had had 2 hours broken sleep which was getting better than the previous 1 hour broken sleep a night.

I was a mess being so tired, I got to the stage where I would wake on the landing floor or propped against his door, I drove through red lights as they simply didn't register.

Nothing we did seemed to help his sleep pattern.

It simply boiled down to the fact, he does not need much sleep, neither did my husband for that matter until he hit 40 and old age has started to catch up.

He finally started settling when he was about 4, he still spends a great deal of time awake in the night but he stays in bed, doesn't generally disturb us, and tends to look at his books or have a little play and then drop back off again. I often hear him but can just roll over and go back to sleep.

Right now work is incredibly busy and I try and fit my hours round the boys and school hours, so this often means in busy periods getting up at silly-o-clock to get a full working day in so I am back to being a walking Zombie at the moment!

A to Z Blogging Challenge - R is for

R is for Running

I think last year, I may have don R is for running as well, but I am seriously addicted to it now!

18 months ago, I was not capable of running to the end of our street (about 200 yards) - seriously. It wasn't a lack of fitness really as I could easily jump in a pool and swim 50 lengths or walk over 10 miles, it was simply an inability to run.

Anyone else had/have that problem? I use to dread those horrid miserable, drizzly school days where they didn't know what to do with you at PE time so would send you on the dreaded cross country death run.

Where I live my senior school is on the side of a massive park and you've guessed it, we use to have to run round that park. I never made 1 side, let alone all 4 (in total about 1.5 miles) and that inability to run has stayed with me.

18 months ago I was challenged to a half marathon and being one to never turn my back on a challenge - I decided to overcome my running phobia.

I got decent trainers and set off under the cover of darkness with only the dog and music for company.

Initially that first 200 yards was hard enough but then I started setting myself new lamp post goals - 1 lamp-post further each run and then I suddenly seemed to break a barrier and I was off.

To be perfectly honest, the mad hound trying to charge ahead of me who is completely untrainable on a lead possible pulls me along rather than me 'running' but it all adds to my distance!

This time last year - I entered my first race, I don't do things by half so did a half marathon which was an amazing experience and I stunned myself in completing it in 2.35 hours - i don't think I have ever been more proud of myself.

Yesterday I got an email through to say I have been awarded a place through St Gemma's Hospice in Leeds who cared so lovingly for my Uncle and his family last week for - wait for this only The Great North Run!

I am both excited and scared witless about this! But bring it on!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge Q is for

Q is for.....

To be fair I couldnt think of a Q to blog about and I found myself trying to think of things beginning with Q and that is what has formed the basis of my post, just how easy is it to think of 20 words that begin with Q without looking at a dictionary?

  1. Quiet
  2. Question
  3. Quantum
  4. Query
  5. Quick
  6. Quirky
  7. Queen
  8. Quaint - struggling a little now!
  9. Queer
  10. Quack
  11. Quake
  12. Queue
  13. Quip
  14. Quilt
  15. Quid
  16. Quest
  17. Quota
  18. Quote
  19. Quiz
  20. Quill
I have really struggled with that list! Can you add any?

A to Z Blogging Challenge P is for....

P is for Priorities

Ever since they were born, the boys have been my priority, they come before anything and everything else - I live and breathe for those 2 boys.

I am finding more and more though I am not prioritizing time with them. I need to step away from the computer and sit and watch TV with them, run round the field with them, go to the playground after school, instead I seem to spend every night rushing home to get back to the computer to work.

After the events of last week and losing my Uncle and hearing the vicar recounting all the memories his 4 son's had shared with him of their childhood with their Dad, made me realise that although I work for myself so being prompt and ahead of the game is essential when it comes to deadlines and responding to things to keep repeat business coming in, in reality there is nothing that won't wait until tomorrow or until the little fellas are in bed.

I know I am now very behind on this challenge and wouldnt be surprised if I have been stuck off the list, but I have been really run off my feet work and not wanting to spend additional time on this computer!

I want to spend more time with them, making memories x

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge O is for....

O is for Obsessions

Back to my little theme for this challenge which has been about Little man and ADHD and ASD. I had a little diversity the last few days due to personal family stuff but O is for obsessions.

One of the biggest clues that Little Man may be on the autistic spectrum was his obsessive behaviour. He would get fixated on one thing.

As a toddler it began with Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs. We didn't think much of it at the time, with him being our first we thought it was normal. He would watch his Thomas the Tank Engine DVD on repeat, and then get fixated for months on one episode. Even at the age of 2 he worked out how to rewind the DVD so he could go back to the start of this one particular episode (the one with 'Boulder' high up on the cliff watching the trains for anyone who might be interested!). Nothing else interested him. He would also get fixated on one toy which had to go everywhere with him, it was more than just having a favourite toy, and often it was a tiny silly toy - like a plastic tarydactyl that was meant to sit on top of a pencil.

He never got obsessed with lining toys up or things being in colour order which is a classic sign of autism so his obsessions were not something we initially picked up on, it is only looking back we realise it or as people starting mentioning it.

As he has got older he get obsessed with various things - about the age of 6 it was club penguin, he lived and breathed it, all drawings, all conversation, all play was club penguin, he literally was incapable of talking to you about anything else. This lasted about 2 years. From there we moved onto Moshi Monsters - this was a little briefer only about a year, the we had spongebob, and again went through wathcing the same one episode for months and we are now obsessed with Lego, we know everything there is to know about Lego. He has thousands of pieces and can look at one his brother has and know it belongs to him. He has a special box in his bed which his treasures go in and no-one can so much as touch this box.

Obsessions are quite hard to deal with as it is their sole interest. I have to admit we are quite thankful this latest one is something so normal, and something everyone else can actually relate to and talk to him about - Lego is the way forward!

Friday, 19 April 2013

A-Z Blogging Challenge N is for....

N is for Narked!

I may just be feeling narked due to the funeral I've been at all day but the bottom line is t'husband really narks me at time and it is becoming more and more frequent and really getting me down.

As he gets older, he gets more and more like his mum, who he hates and doesn't have any contact with due to her selfishness and attitude but I honestly keep seeing more and more of her in him and to be frank it scares me.

Tonight I am well & truly hacked off as hubby got in from work, saw the boys and made straight for his computer. I was upstairs changing to take Little Man out to a games club he likes. I had to call him up and as he walks in he starts going on about his day and a stupid client - moaning. I then say our neighbour 2 doors down has cut a tree down and offered us the wood to burn so i asked hubby to pop round to get it. Simple answer was No.

Reason - new family are Polish and spent about 5 months gutting the house & garden - all workmen were Polish friends or family helping out. Hubby couldn't stomach this and constantly bitched about how we never get that, how we have to pay full price - you get the picture. The house is also one of the few on the road that doesn't have a driveway, they have 2 cars - 1 is parked on the road outside their house and the other now goes outside our house BUT they park higher up so we can't even see it from our window. It really pisses me off that he can't be happy for other people, that he is so bitter and feels so hard done by. His attitude that they shouldn't have bought a house with no drive if they have 2 cars - what the hell! It's a public road! They are not harming anyone. We can fit at least 3 cars on our drive so anyone visiting can park behind our cars.

It really gets me down, the moaning, the bitterness, and he's getting worse :(

A-Z Blogging Challenge M is for...

M is for memories

To be honest I had my M post planned right from the start and it was meant to be M for Medication. I thought I would blog about our really tough decision over whether to medicate our Little Man or not, our fears on the effect it could have, the what ifs and buts, however this week has been a really tough one on a personal level, hence my lack of blogging.

Very sadly my uncle died at the end of last week. He has oesophageal cancer about 9 years ago, got caught early, treated and been clear for years. He felt around February time something might not be right so visited his GP. Blood tests were fine but he decided to see his old consultant to put his mind at rest. To cut a long story short he collapsed with a blocked bowel and they had to operate and remove all his bowel, in the process discovering he had bowel cancer which had spread to the liver - silently inhabiting his other organs.

Long and short of it, he died very suddenly, unexpected as the prognosis was about 12-18 months.

Today was the funeral. I didn't take the boys.

It made me realise how important making memories is. It's now my parents generation who are getting old, getting ill and dying.

It was my Dad's younger brother. I want my boys to always have fond memories, many different memories - not just of their grandparents but of us as a family unit.

Sometimes you should sit back, smell the roses and take time out with your kids, work can wait, nothing is as important as your family x

Monday, 15 April 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge L is for....

L is for Lego

Lego, we have Lego everywhere in this house, no matter where you look you will find Lego, and I mean everywhere, it even managed to get into a cake that Little Man made for the Great British Bake Off in school for Red Nose day, luckily Mini Man's teacher bought the whole cake and it was her son who found himself crunching on it and not a poor 2 year old who could have choked on it!

Lego is Little Man's current obsession. He has a box in his bed with 1000's of bits of special Lego in which no-one can touch. We have worked out he saves his money and buys the really expensive models just for the figures, or trinkets that comes with them.

We even know the history of Lego off by heart, having had to read it to him many times, infact I think I know more facts about Lego off the top of my head than I do about British Kings and Queens.

Facts about Lego

  • It was first produced in about 1947 as a car which could be taken to pieces and rebuilt
  • Lego originates from Denmark, its inventor originally producing furniture and then wooden toys
  • The actual idea of building bricks was an English invention by a company called KiddieKraft who produced hollow bricks with 4 studs on the top to allow stacking.
  • The Danish founder of the Lego group ran a competition within his staff to name the company with the winner receiving a bottle of homemade wine!
  • The word Lego can be translated as 'I put together' in Latin although this was not known at the time of choosing it
  • Sales for plastic toys were initially poor until in the 1950s Lego introduced the idea of a town plan using the Lego bricks
  • The first instruction manual was included with Lego in 1964
  • The first Legoland park was opened in 1968 - we have been to the Windsor resort a number of times and would love to take the boys to this one in Denmark, Billund - the original, I have been told there is no comparison and it is fantastic!
  • By 1970 the business had taken off.
  • 1978 saw the introduction of my Little Man's favourite bits the Lego minifigures
  • By 1979 specific sets were being created
The rest is history as they say

Friday, 12 April 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge K is for ......

K is for Knackered!

Since having children - that is how I feel permanently!

For the first year of Little Man, I didn't, I mean we both experienced the new parent knackeredness, but once he started sleeping through which was by 3 months, that past. At a year old though sleep became a rare commodity in our household, with Little Man deciding it was something only the weak needed and was clearly over-rated.

I often woke up propped against the doorframe of his room, cold and stiff, I remember calculating my total number of hours sleep - all be it broken when getting up for work, and actually thinking, that’s a good night, I've had over 2 hours. Husband sleeps very heavily and use to get cross I never woke him but I knew I could get up, settle him and then be back in bed before husband would have even woken up sufficiently.

Little Man didn’t go back to sleep and I was advised that I should keep telling him I would check on him even at a year old and it was important I did those checks, but each time stretch the checking period by an extra minute. So I would settle him, get back into bed, then wake to my alarm 10 minutes later to do that check, next time I would set it for 11 minutes etc. I kept a sleep diary and some nights he would be up over 30 times. I refused to give in and take him in with us.

We tread a sedative from the consultant but Little Man had one of the rare reactions where it sends them more hyper and he over-rode it, we tried camomile tea, we tried baths, we tried strict routines, we tried ignoring, we tried controlled crying, we tried EVERYTHING!

Mini Man came along when he was 3 and Mini Man had a heart condition, was in heart failure for the first 14 months and deemed failure to thrive which required him to be fed on a 2 hourly basis so between the 2 of them I almost decided sleep was a no go. I use to sleep in my car at lunchtime when at work, and sometimes had to tell people I was going to find various people round the building but instead locked myself in the changing rooms and had 15 minute powernaps.

Redbull and coffee became my best friends!

Little Man still doesn’t sleep well but at 9 is happy enough to lie and look at his books or play with Lego and rarely disturbs us.

I work for myself though and plan my hours round the boys which often involves me getting up about 5 or 5.30 to get a couple of hours in before the house wakes.

I panic my tiredness is due to an illness (yes I have a major anxiety of dying from cancer). In reality I think it is more likely the fact, I don’t go to bed until 11.30pm or even midnight and then only get 5 hours or so.


A to Z Blogging Challenge J is for....

J is for Joy

This is a very simple post


  1. A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
  2. A thing that causes joy.

Delight - gladness - pleasure - mirth - rejoicing

That is what I feel on a daily basis everything time I think or look at my boys.

 They are my life, they are my reason for living and give me the most unconditional, unbelievable amount of joy - quirks and all, I wouldn't change one moment

Liebster Award

{Liebster Award}

@Glasgow_mummy has tagged me to take part in a meme.

I have also done a similar meme to this before, but as I am trying to get back into my blogging and get my readership up again, I am going to take part and a guilty secret is I actually really enjoy these and then reading anyone else's who takes part.

The rules are that you have to share 11 facts about yourself, answer 11 questions that have been asked (in my case by @glasgow_mummy), ask 11 questions and then tag 11 other bloggers to participate.

So here goes...

11 facts

1. I have a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry (although my degree had nothing to do with chemistry) - sorry @glasgow_mummy I stole the PhD idea from you.
2. My most exhilarating experience was doing a boudoir shoot just before Christmas
3. Our dog is called Flapjack and is completely mad
4. I have climbed an active volcano which is constantly erupting (only tiny ones I hasten to add)
5. I am as blind as a bat & if I won the lottery would pay to have corrected lenses permanently put in my eyes
6. One of my favourite foods is raw mushrooms and humous
7. My current favourite TV series are Dexter, Breaking Bad and Supernatural
8. I am the most empty headed, dizzy disorganised people you could meet in everyday life, often being asked if I bought my PhD off the Internet. Job wise though I am a successful project manager
9. I love cooking, especially baking and decorating cakes
10. I am sat on a train typing this on my phone
11. I'm secretly a little lonely and would love to find a new hobby allowing me to meet new people and have some fun

11 questions for me

1. Have you ever been pulled over by the traffic police?
Once the other week to tell me I had a brake light out but my heart stopped when I saw the flashing lights!

2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Hard one - I would live anywhere as long as my boys were with me and I was close to family and we were happy (although somewhere hot with all the above would be lovely)

3. What is your favourite flavour of crisps?
Currently Salt & Vinegar McCoys or Walkers Worcester Sauce with a pint of cider

4. What's the last movie you watched?
Ice Age 4 with the boys - brilliant

 5. What is your favourite thing to wear?
Summer clothes as it means its beautiful weather

6. What does your last text message say?
Oi missus, you, me, wine, food, when? 

7. What were you doing at 12 noon yesterday?
On a work teleconference with a lymphoma specialist from Denmark and a colleague

8. What is your most treasured memory?
The first time I was taken to see my boys when they were born & the first time we were allowed a proper cuddle

9. What do you think is the single best decision you've made in your life so far?
To go self employed and work around the boys 

10. Do you have a pet?
1 black mad Labrador 

11. What is on your bedside table?
A lamp, glasses, contact lens kit & solution, Lego, 2 teddies from my childhood (Flat Ted & Fred), more Lego and my watch

11 questions from me

1. What is the most daring, outrageous thing you have ever done?

2. What is your favourite travel destination?

3. What are the best & worst things about blogging?

4. What was your most embarrassing moment?

5. What is your favourite pass time?

6. Where was the last place you travelled to and for what reason? 

7. Do you regret any decisions you have made?

8. What is / was your chosen career?

9. Have you ever been made redundant or sacked?

10. What were your dreams as a 16 year old?

11. What is your favourite flower? 

Now to tag 11 bloggers which could be interesting from my phone! 

OK I give up, this is a nightmare on my phone so anyone who wants to take part, please, please do!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge I is for ....

I is for Injections

As I mentioned yesterday in H Little Man is not a big fan of hospitals nor is he a fan of injections - not that he's thankfully had many.

All children on the autistic spectrum can react to certain things in an intense way. Other than needing the venflons being inserted for his operations, the only other injections Little Man has ever had are his boosters as a baby which he took like any normal baby, so I was not expecting him to be a problem when 2 years ago I took Mini Man for his flu jab which he has to have due to a heart condition.

Little Man was happily playing on the floor of the nurses room by the bed, Mini Man was on my knee, Nurse distracted Mini Man and went for it, Mini Man howled, Little Man glanced up, took one look at the needle and shot right under the bed, into the far corner, crying and shouting 'make it stop, she's hurting him, get her away from him'.

There I was trying to calm one child down who had had the injection while crawling on my knees undera medical bed trying to cox the other one out which took about 15 minutes. All the while the nurse looked on totally bemused, didn't offer any help and seemed clueless as to what to do.

It amazes me the number of 'healthcare professionals' who don't have a clue how to react round a child with any form of autism (I don't think my amusement at how ridiculous I probably looked helped either but the choice was laugh or join them crying so I opted for the laugh.

Note to self that day Do not take Little Man to unnecessary appointments at all costs!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A - Z Blogging Challenge H is for ....

H is for hospitals

Over the early years we got very familiar with a number of hospitals.

My first real experience of being in hospital was when I was admitted at just under 30 weeks pregnant with blood pressure of 128/178 although I had zero symptoms and it was a late routine appointment that spotted it. I was kept in 4 days then sent home. Less than 48 hrs later I was in an emergency situation having had an abruption at home at just under 31 wks & had Little Man by emergency c section - my little 2lb 9 man. Despite this rough start he did very well in PICU & SCBU & was home after 6 weeks.

At 8 weeks old he got RSV, double pneumonia & suspected meningitis. We nearly lost him. The local hospital's SCBU had been closed the previous year so they didn't have small enough needles to get lines in him or to give him oxygen. the doctor who worked on him that night is my hero, he faught to get lines in & despite it being very traumatic & hearing our baby cry properly for the 1st time, he saved him and the young nurse Amy who stood bagging him & giving him cardiac massage until a specialist transfer team arrived from Great Ormond Street who intubated him & put him in a special pod to take him to Great Ormond St intensive care unit.

Next stop was a strangulated hernia at 16 wks old, again an emergency transfer to GOSH for emergency surgery.

Since then he's had 3 more hernia ops at the local hospital.  

First one was aged 4 - he reacted very badly to the anaesthetic. The operating theatres were in a different building to the children's ward and normally patients are taken through the under ground tunnel between buildings. This was closed for building works so we walked the 100 yards. When he came out of theatre we could hear him screaming as we came out of the lifts. We were greeted with him being restrained by not 1 but 2 nurses, who he was trying to kick, bite, thump, head butt anything  really. He was also trying to rip the IV out of his hand. I picked him up & he calmed down dissolving in sobs. He wouldn't go to his dad or on the trolley, he also refused to let me sit in a wheel chair with him, so I carried him. At the doors I turned to walk back to the children's building but was stopped & told we had to be transported in an ambulance right round the one way hospital system. Little Man heard the word ambulance and flipped, I could barely hold him, I was bitten, scratched, hair pulled, all while he was screaming not to make him go in the ambulance. I was physically shoved in. In hind sight I should have just turned & walked but I think I was so focused on not dropping him I couldn't see that. Once out of the ambulance he calmed down. He split his internal stitches with all the stress so a few weeks later the hernia was back.

The next 2 hernia ops were a lot less traumatic and done at the sane time as we knew what to expect and how to prepare him better. He still went a little mad after the anaesthetic but we were there as he woke and they had a sedative ready and waiting!

He is petrified of ambulances and hospitals - I firmly believe he remembers all the interventions in his first 16 weeks.

A-Z Blogging Challenge G is for

G is for Games

Games are very important to my son.

The brain of a child with ADHD is working at a rapid rate, our son describes his brain as whizzing around his head so he can't think straight or concentrate.

We were advised to limit his time on games consoles as these games also move at a very rapid pace and therefore feed the brain of a person with ADHD and do not help them to learn to slow it down.

However, there are literally 100's of games now termed 'brain training' and just doing a basic Internet search and using the search term ADHD and games and brain, will lead to many results, below are just a few that I have come across and reading these makes me wonder how games can be viewed as a bad thing, surely with correct use they could infact be very beneficial and teach some life-long skills. We certainly use games, more as a behavioural thing at the moment, they are important to our son and if he is mis-behaving he knows that he will lose 10 minutes of game time at a go, and as we limit it he understands the consequences.

NASA’s latest software technology transforms ordinary video game play into highly effective treatment for attention deficit, hyperactivity, and autistic spectrum disorders. Programming specific to your child trains flexibility of focus and attention. Enhanced ability to learn occurs naturally while playing favourite video games - XBox, PlayStation, and more, with S.M.A.R.T. BrainGamesTM

Feel-Better Games

The games, which are available for download or free play online at, rely on similar principles as other games used for AD/HD. With repetitive responses, players develop new connections in the brain that may enhance self-esteem.
The ADHD Brain
Games are a great way for kids with ADHD to practice following rules,  anticipating results of their actions, and staying on task until completion. Many kids with ADHD enjoy spending time on the computer, consequently computer games can be a fun way to practice skills without feeling like they're spending extra time in therapy. There are multi-user games as well to allow kids to practice sharing and cooperating as well as social skills
Playing games on the computer, which can be viewed as a treat rather a chore, can be a great way to include stress-free unstructured activities that still help a child progress with skills they need to manage their disorder.
Skills that can help a child with ADHD include:
  • Attention
  • Impulse Control
  • Organizational Skills
  • Anger Management
  • Social Skills
  • Self Esteem
  • Cooperation
All of these skills can be practiced with various computer games.

Monday, 8 April 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge - F is for.....

F is for Frustration

This is the definition given for frustration
  1. The feeling of being upset or annoyed, esp. because of inability to change or achieve something.
  2. An event or circumstance that causes one to have such a feeling.

This is something we have faced on numerous occasions over the years when dealing with ADHD and ASD.

It comes in many different forms from frustration as a parent, frustration of a sibling and frustration as a sufferer. 

As a parent we have battled to get a diagnosis, rarely finding someone who took our concerns seriously and becoming increasingly frustrated with the repeated phrase 'he's just emotionally behind due to his prematurity' but there is only so long this can be said when we see no progress only things getting worse. Once we got that golden diagnosis we rapidly realised it didn't actually mean much other than an official name. We are now facing educational frustrations - ADHD is severely affecting our sons concentration span, a well documented symptom which is seriously holding him back in his learning but ADHD is not recognised as a disability that requires support, so he is falling further and further behind. 
As a sibling Mini Man has had his share of frustration. A child with ADHD and ASD needs a lot more attention and managing than a neurotypical child and as a result, without even realising it Mini Man has very much been over shadowed - how this became so apparent will become clear in the 'M' post. Mini Man now shouts all the time and constantly interrupts but we are coming to the conclusion it's because as a young child this was the only way he felt he could be heard.

As a sufferer Little Man faces daily challenges and frustrations and at times those frustrations manifest themselves in a melt down where he simply loses it and has no idea what he is doing. They are rare thankfully but an awful experience for all involved. He faces the frustration of being left behind in school, being forced to participate in group activities, of not understanding instructions unless they are very direct for example - can you put your shows on ' will lead to no response or action and he is left upset and frustrated by then being shouted at. Say it another way and say 'please go and put your shoes on' is fine, he does it straight away as it is a direct instruction, not a question as he perceives the first one to be. School can't adapt their whole teaching method to take this into account. We are now facing frustration that he is becoming aware he is different and behind.

We all face frustration from time to time but a child or adult with ADHD or ASD faces a much greater degree on a daily basis 

Friday, 5 April 2013

Listography 5 that are better than One Direction

I am really excited to discover Kate's listography is still going! I use to participate regularly and loved the different mix of subjects and things to think about, often leading to an afternoon of pure reminiscing.

 My blogging mojo went AWOL recently, leaving home and hiding under a distant bush so I have been away from here for a while, but now the prodigal blogging has returned I am jumping back in with both feet.

This list has been prompted by Kate's 6 year old declaring David Bowie was better than One Direction, while her 8 year old nearly passed out in horror. What have our kids got to look forward to that is better than One Direction?

  1. Traveling / backpacking - one of the best things i have ever done. Leaving University half way through my second year due to illness was a huge decision but after a few months back home and getting back to full health, I needed more, so I did what any normal 19 year old would do, jumped on a train without telling anyone, visited an organisation in Manchester, and there And then booked a trip to a kibbutz in Israel leaving 10 days later. I planned to go for 6 weeks, 6 months later I returned a different person having lived and worked the land, driven tractors, tended bananas & avocado, plucked chickens, termed across the Negev desert on camels with the Bedouins, floated on the Dead Sea, swam in the Red Sea, slept on beaches, climbed Masada to see sunrise and floated down the Nile for 3 weeks on £100 taking in the pyramids, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, etc. I returned and transferred university and had the time of my life, fitting in much more travelling.
  2. Falling in love - need I say more
  3. First concert - just the thrill of it, the excitement. My first concert was to Dublin to see U2 on their Zooropa tour!
  4. Watching your child sleep - even now 9 and 6 years on the thrill and joy I get from standing watching them sleep, the innocence on their faces, mouths slightly parted, cheeks all rosy, and those sleepy cuddles.
  5. Leaving home - either to your own place, halls of residence, buying your first place and that feeling of reaching the goal of independence, adulthood, the pride you feel.
When I read Kate's prompt I thought this would be easy, but infact it was really difficult - can you add any, if you can pop over to Kate's blog and add your link x 

A to Z Blogging Challenge E is for....

E is for Education

Education is something my son is struggling with. He loves school to the point he cries every morning of the holidays as he wants to go, he loves the routine and knows exactly where he is and what he is doing - which is one reason they class him as being on the autistic spectrum. The holidays thrown him, the routine changes and he doesn't like it.

He is very keen to learn, he loves watching science programmes and then trying to recreate the experiments in my kitchen without me there (eek) and he is constantly asking questions to ask about things. His vocabulary and ability to hold a sensible conversation is also good, and in line with what you would expect for his age.

On paper however, it is a different matter. His reading age has been assessed as age 7 (he is 9), his spelling age 5.5 and they haven't even looked at his maths yet but lets just say he is still struggling with the basics and the 2 x table.

Frustratingly, there is little support. He will not qualify for a statement of educational need but he does need constant support to keep him focused and on-task. He doesn't even know his basic phonics, he cant tell you what sound 'ae' or 'oa' or 'er' make, which make spelling impossible for him. His homework is illegible but his teacher still gives him a star and tells him it is a lovely piece of work, well thought out etc, so he perceives this as doing well. While I understand to correct his work would be soul destroying surely they should be looking at it and seeing they need to work on his spelling and focus on common ones he can;t get.

There are reports to show that many children with ADHD are excluded from school, in some cases parents are being told to medicate their child or not send them to school - We are very fortunate not to be in this position, the school is very helpful.

A child in need of additional help should be put on an IEP - Individualised Education plan which gives them specific targets and works on areas of need. From an IEP, School Action Plus can be implemented.

These we have in place however the extra support he gets is dependent on what is available in school as he is not entitled to any specific funding. This for us is very frustrating as he is a bright little man who is struggling and being failed by the system, the way the rest of children are taught just does not suit him, I think he may be dyslexic as well and we are currently investigating this, but in the mean time he just falls further and further behind and there is only so much that can be done at home, by home time he is exhausted, not switched on and has had enough.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge D is for......

D is for Diagnosis

Despite the thinking that ADHD is a very overdiagnosed condition and an excuse for poor behaviour, getting a diagnosis is infact not easy and a long process.

Our son displayed all signs of ADHD from the age of about 2 but we had to bang our heads against brick walls until he was 6 as they refuse to do any testing before this age. Nope sorry I lie. we do have written in a letter that we were a rare, special case where they had agreed to test prior to his 6th birthday but it wasn't the norm. That would be a full 19 days before his 6th birthday which as it is at Christmas, meant the final diagnosis was held up until after the holiday period so probably no quicker than if we had waited.

First referrals need to be made after numerous (make that 100s) of visits to your GP and health visitor.

You then see either the Child Development Centre or your local CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) which one will depend on their structure. We skipped the CDC as our CAMHS had a paediatrician and child psychologist. However, there is normally a huge waiting list

The nursery or school also need to have highlighted concerns.

Your child will then be assessed to ensure there is no other reason for their behaviour, a physical examination carried out, intelligence tests etc, family background and circumstances are looked at and their teachers contacted.

Following this diagnostic tests known as DSM-IV (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,, 4th edition) is used and the Connor questionnaire for parents and teachers

The fact sheet published by ADDISS fully explains the different types of behaviour and symptoms your child must be displaying in order to even be considered for a diagnosis. It is an interesting read.

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

So I want to talk about Spam, not the tinned variety that I have nightmares about - spam and tomato sauce sandwiches which made me retch -yes really - I swear I will never put my kids through anything so hideous!) remember, but the electronic type of Spam

I am taking part in the A to Z Blogging Challenge and one of the criteria is to turn word verification off from your comments so it is easier for visitors to pop by.

Having duly done this though I am being spammed, the latest about genital products, yesterday I could enhance my manhood - bit difficult seeing as though I was a female last time I looked and loads with links in which quite frankly I would only click if I were VERY stupid but we are only 4 days into this challenge and the Spam is really doing the old noggin in already

I am going to take to the great oracle twitter and ask for advice but has anyone got any advice on how to Banish the Spam? (other than turn word verification back on)