Tag Archives: sleep

The stepping stones to independence

8 Sep

As my child takes another huge step in his life’s journey I feel my heart burst with pride.

Little man has come so far in such little time. If you asked me 2 years ago if I thought he would be at the place he is now, my answer would have been, “probably not” considering how bad things were once upon a time, this fact alone should be a comfort for any parent who are now stood in the shoes I once stood in.

We have some incredibly tiresome days, ones filled with rage and anger, others filled with anxiety and disappear.

Yet, one needs to understand that like anything in life, we take the rough with the smooth. Ok, at 4am when his well past that tired stage when his running around pretending to be a wrestler, crashing and banging as he repeatedly throws himself off the backs of the sofas, before gathering up speed and darting from one wall to another, roaring and shouting as he mimics those overgrown kids that consider themselves men on WWE, I do feel a rather sorry for myself, the siblings and even our poor neighbours.

Evenly the smooth part does come through, and although it normally last far shorter than that of the rough… It’s a delightful place to find yourself in.

Despite the issue we’ve been experiencing with Little mans reluctance to eat a packed lunch as opposed to something he can heat in the school microwave (this is no longer allowed) His still coping outstandingly well with all these major changes that have taken place.

I can slowly see the pieces coming together. His growing up and with it his learning the skills of independence needed to go with it. Yes, I worry he will have difficulties in adult life, but then again what mother doesn’t? Finally… I feel progress is being made and It’s this progress that fills me with hope for my little man’s future.

Here’s to another great week, next week…. I’m told positiveness is the key and I hope that this key opens many doors for little man.

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The Transition To Secondary School For A Child With Aspergers Syndrome

6 Sep

So, the time finally came, Little man’s return to school as a secondary pupil.

I noticed that in the run-up to the big day, Little man’s anxiety levels rose and as a result we did have a rather difficult last few weeks of the holidays.

I was dreading the whole “getting him up in the mornings” scenario. He tends to be the ultimate nightmare to wake, given he usually doesn’t go to sleep till the small hours. Unless you experience such sleepless nights paired with early mornings, you can only but imagine the utter tiredness his experiencing. Consequently I do understand… After all someone needs to keep a watchful eye on him over night.

I’ve tried my best to maintain his bedtime routine during the holidays (that’s if you can really call it a routine)! He usually goes to his room and just doesn’t shut down. His like a long life battery. Melatonin isn’t something we rate highly, and even through the slow releasing type sometimes has a small effect every now and then, it’s far from a reliable answer to the problem. On a high note, little man is more wary of the problem and understands that bit more that it’s this situation leaving him feeling crap throughout the day. He now gets rather upset when struggling to fall asleep and by 3am his almost certainly at the point of tears. When it isn’t a school day and his little eyes haven’t closed till 4am, I’m tempted to leave him to sleep throughout the day. However, as one would expect, this is no solution! Things just become a million times harder in the long run.

So, back to my original point… I was dreading getting the Little man up and ready for school. The nasty insults that fly out of his tired mouth are nothing… I’m used to these! It’s just the whole destruction it causes to the morning. He will often refuse to wash for sensory reasons and once he has I’m faced with the struggle of convincing him to dress. The taxi can be sat outside while the escort is stood at the door and he will still be in his pants. Not ideal but something you get used to.

His first day back was in-fact yesterday (5th September 2012) and to my utter surprise, the morning wasn’t as bad as expected. He almost seemed excited about his day. Tuesday I took little man and the tiny tot to Drayton Manor Theme park and zoo. It’s the home of Thomas Land and we were there to review a new Thomas film just released on DVD, and of course the park itself. Little man had an awesome day and didn’t experience a single meltdown while at the park (in the car was a different story but given it’s a 3hr drive each way, he can be forgiven). I think it was a combination of the long car Journey and the whole day spent at the park that resulted in him actually sleeping before midnight.

He woke Wednesday morning with a somewhat positive outlook towards the day ahead and given it was his first day back, this left me astounded. The fact that Little man had spent the last two weeks of the last term before the summer holidays integrating from the primary building into the secondary department, had obviously helped him a great deal. Now he was better prepared mentally! Yes their was lots of anxiety still, but at least he wasn’t just stepping into the unknown. Anxiety seems to be a pretty common trait for those with Aspergers Syndrome and for me It’s one of the hardest issues to tackle. It’s both heartbreaking and worrying seeing your young child so stressed, especially when the cause is beyond your control.

Little man had his new stationary that was kindly given to him by STABILO all packed and ready and his lunch loaded into his lunch bag when the escort knocked at 8.30 am. He was quite literally ready to go as soon as she arrived. I’m guessing this was something of a surprise to his escort… But a pleasant one all the same!

Throughout the morning I received no emails or calls from the school highlighting any concerns. Any parent can tell you, especially those of a child with SEN, this is always a lovely sign that things are going well.

Come afternoon however, I did receive an email from the class teacher! Luckily this wasn’t to report some challenging behaviour or other equally concerning matter! It was just in-order to let me know that as from the next day, little man wouldn’t be allowed to bring in his chicken burger as they will no longer be heating his food in the microwave! Little man’s school has such a small number of pupils that school dinners are not practical, and even if they were, I’m guessing so little children would opt to have them. Little man wouldn’t even entertain the prospect of even trying school dinners during his time spent at his old mainstream primary school. This wasn’t a huge concern as living 2 minutes away, I was able to collect him, feed him, then drop him back.

Little man will not touch a packed lunch regardless of what’s in it. He may eat such items at home but as soon as your packing it, his not touching it. Warm wrapped sandwiches, warm yogurts, and warm apple juice don’t appeal. Putting it in the fridge doesn’t seem to make much difference, the issue that it was put into the box more than an hour ago seems to be a big no-no for him.

It was decided last term that he could bring a chicken burger and heat it up in school. He has no cheese, sauce, or anything else. Just a flame grilled (not breaded) piece of chicken in a bun. He also has lots of fruit and a drink. His concentration levels were therefore reported to be better in the afternoon as he was finally eating, and I was pleased that I was no longer being presented with an untouched lunchbox at 4pm… I couldn’t afford to keep this up!

The new teacher has stated he needs a healthier lunch and I’m lost at what I’m going to do. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the school have their reasons and I’m in no way stating they are in the wrong, I’m just at logger heads at what to do! Today little man arrived home with an untouched lunchbox. I don’t even thing he touched his drink.

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He was really upset yesterday. Having received the email I had replied stating that I wished the school to inform him of this change, I knew he wouldn’t be happy and I didn’t want him thinking it was my doing. Of course when he arrived home screaming and yelling, I had to support the school in-order to be consistent! He would otherwise struggle more with this decision and a challenging child at school was the last thing I wanted. However he did cry on his return yesterday, he protested that he had done all his work, tried his best and behaved appropriately! He felt as if it was some type of punishment (as always I blame the old school for such a way of thinking)!

We obviously had some difficulties this morning but despite his upset and empty tummy, I’ve received an email from his teacher alerting me to the fact he has had a really good day. His reported to be doing great in secondary and is settling into the routine better than expected. She also informed me that they had a chat about lunch and suggested maybe taking a flask of soup or pasta. We will try this as on his return today his eaten half the contents of the fridge which for me is much more unhealthy than the burger.

So… There it is, an update of little mans first few days as a child with Aspergers attending secondary school at an independent special school. How I’m relived to have gotten him out of the mainstream education sector in time! I’m convinced that this post would have contained content that displayed nothing but heartache if I hadn’t!

A Mothers Reflection

28 Aug

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This is me, ‘Claire Louise’ daughter, sister, friend, blogger, mother of three… A Human Being!

Yes, this isn’t my most flattering picture, in fact I look a mess, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make here!

A year back I wouldn’t have dared post this image of me looking so worse for wear. But this weekend all that changed!

Little man had a meltdown, his first in a good few weeks.This meant it was a big one… Though huge is a better word to describes it! What with the looming return to school, little sleep and a whole host of other issues, he exploded and did so in a deadly fashion.

It was little sister who was his target and he hit the balls eye with her every time. I by this point had become a woman close to breakdown and as I saw him mid air, ready to inflict a karate style fly kick aimed at his unsuspecting sister, I finally lost it.

Flying of the opposite sofa I wrapped my arms around his waist and as I pulled him back we fell to the ground. He flipped, went ballistic, angry doesn’t seem a strong enough word. Little man does this certain facial expression which consists of him sticking the tip of his tongue out as he bites down on it. When I see this I know his now capable of going to far! His totally unpredictable and this scares me.

I was right… He went mental, trashing and hitting out at all in his way! Alice-Sara and the littlest tot had by now escaped into the garden and as I watched the mother of all melt downs unfold, it was now my turn to lose my cool! By this point I was screaming, swearing and bombarding him with orders mainly consisting of “Get out of here right now!” He throw some pretty nasty insults my way too and I’d just about heard “I don’t want you as a mum” one to many times!

“I hate you #%*+##” he screamed while throwing himself at me.

“Well I don’t much like you, maybe you should go find some place else to live” I roared!

As soon as the words had left my mouth I wanted to take them all back. I’d lost control and responded through anger, something I know doesn’t work with little man. Well, at least the shock had stopped him in his tracks but only because he had turned and gone running up the stairs. As his door slammed shut with an almighty thud, I felt my legs buckle from beneath me and I dropped to the ground in a messy, unhinged fashion.

Yes, I cried… I cried for reasons of anger, tiredness, frustration, hurt and regret! My words had now left me feeling like the worse parent in the world! Although yes, this was a bad meltdown, I have actually dealt with a thousand others worse! Ones that literally had me pulling chunks of hair from my head in pure frustration…. Why had I lost my cool now, today… This time?

The little man was now deadly silent, I could hear his siblings giggling as they jumped up and down on the trampoline. I knew little man did wrong and regardless of his Aspergers he needed to learn how to regulate his emotions and therefore control his temper. But I still needed to apologise for what I had said simply because this would be the only thing now on his mind, he would be questioning my reaction without having any consideration to what caused it! His part in it all will mean little because despite the fact my words had hurt him emotionally, he would still never relate the two, and it was my job to remind him of this!

I left him for a while… There would be no point me speaking to him when his in any type of highly emotional, angry state, nothing registers. I sat back on the sofa, picked up my iPhone and sent a tweet announcing my failed moment in parenting. I wasn’t looking for sympathy, I just wanted to tell people what I’d done. I guess I wanted some one to tell me to pull my parenting socks up, but they didn’t…

I got lots of tweets everyone reminding me that despite being a mum to a boy with Aspergers, I was also a human-being with feelings too. Yes, yes… I did know this, yet when your in that situation I’m in, you forget to remind yourself of such a thing! You’re to busy punishing yourself.

I thought about this for awhile before going upstairs to speak to the little man in-order to apologise for my hurtful words while somehow highlighting to him that what he did was wrong too! I also wanted to give him an important reminder on “how his words hurt me in a similar way to how mine hurt him”.

I knocked on the door, he didn’t answer but I could hear him sobbing so with that I open the door and sit on the bed beside him. I told him I’m sorry and explain in the best way I can that my words were those said through anger. I then tried my best to get him to see how his actions leave me and other family members feeling hurt too. I gave him a hug and come back downstairs.

After that I found him a sleep on the bedroom floor… The meltdown did have some benefits, it drains all the excess energy he has. We both hadn’t slept for a few nights and I can only wish that joining him was an option. However with two more little monsters in the garden, it wasn’t!

A few hours had passed, I had made dinner and was now escaping in a bid for this beautifully inviting bubble bath that was all ready and waiting for me. Only it was once I was in the bathroom that I suddenly caught sight of my own reflection. And it was the image above that I saw staring back at me. Yes, it was now clear that I’d walked about the house for the past few hours sporting a style that pretty much resembled that of Kung foo panda!!!

I then did something strange… I got my iPhone and captured that messy reflection of mine before finally sharing it with the world.

Why?

Because although I knew this was one of those days… The type you wish hadn’t come about, I also knew tomorrow would be better!

But there was something else I knew too…

I knew there would be someone else, another child like Little man on the autism spectrum, experiencing a meltdown to one of a similar degree. Another normally “together” mother, who like me suddenly loses it and then kicks her own backside for hours on end all because of such blunder. I knew that somewhere, someplace a mother like me would be stood looking in a mirror with a reflection that tells that of the same story.

It was for these reasons I posted my unhinged mental looking picture. In the hope that one day you would find it, relate to it and smile at it!

Tomorrow is another day, a better brighter day. That much I can promise you.

Baz Bags® For The Child With Autism

12 Jul

When I got an email from the guys at Bean Bag Bazaar asking if little man would like to try out one of their bean bags, I didn’t need to think twice.

You see, we’re trying to re-create Little mans room into something of a sensory pad and a large bean bag was one of the many items on our to buy list.

We wanted a bean bag that little man could use for everything! Relaxing, sitting, playing his computer games etc. I already know that bean bags are a real sensory comfort to the Little man, though I hadn’t yet replaced the one that exploded as a result of little mans diving on it. This meant that as well as comfort I’d be seeking bean bags with good durability (I swear when the last one exploded, I continued finding tiny balls around the house for months).

We chose the kids Baz Bag
a versatile and water-resistant kids bean bag that can be used in and outdoors. I chose a nice bright red colour for the little man and he loved it.

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The Kids Baz bag® can be positioned anyway you like. Sit on it, lay on it, it’s up to you. There are endless ways to use your Baz Bag® and to demonstrate this the guys at Bazaar have created a short demonstration video.

Little man isn’t a great sleeper even with the use of melatonin. His often come home from a hard day at school and crashed out on his Baz Bag®.

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That’s not to say the other children haven’t fallen in love with the Baz bag® and it looks like I’m going to need to get little sister Alice-Sara her own.

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The Baz Bag® is made from water-resistant material, making it easy to sponge clean from spills and marks. Which for me is essential given its for the children. Baz Bag® has robust strong fabric making it extremely hardwearing and less likely of exploding like that of some of our previous bean bags. The little man is always bashing and crashing about and he tends to just dive onto his Baz Bag® when home from school.

Little man certainly appreciates having a Baz Bag® to chill on and provide him with sensory comfort. His sensory pad isn’t yet complete but I’ll be sure to share some images when it is!

There are so many different styles of kids bean bags over at Bean bag Bazaar, there really is something for everyone. I love this Lion BazZoo animal from the Bean Bags for kids range

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The Kids Baz Bag® is exclusive to BeanBagBazaar and is currently on special offer… Was £89.99 Now £42.99

20 ways to make summer a less stressful time for the child with Aspergers

19 Jun

Summer activities with a child on the autism spectrum can become something of a wash out, something many families dread. But who wants to spend an entire six week school holiday stuck in the house fearful of going out.

All children need entertaining, boredom is something that never goes down well in anyone’s book and although I’ve done the whole staying In doors thing In the hope it saves me from the public meltdown, I’ve moved on from this, there really is no point in hiding away and not dealing with situations head on.

Summer is much harder when siblings are involved, there’s places they want to go, ones you know the child with Aspergers just can’t cope with. But as a parent you want your children to be able to experience the things they want to, building a set of awesome memories throughout the way.But as a parent you don’t want any of your children distressed and unhappy.

I am lucky in the fact that I can sometimes leave little man with his father while taking the other two children out for the day and vis versa but there are times I don’t have this option and therefore need to weigh up the pros and cons.

Below I have included some ideas that may help you have a reasonably good school summer holidays, but remember every child is different and what may work for some won’t work for others.

1) Many children on the spectrum are not great with overly hot temperatures so try to visit local parks etc in the late afternoon early evening. This way all the children can enjoy the trip to the park.

2) Avoid massive crowds unless you are visiting a facility that caters for your child’s needs. Most theme parks do a wristband that means your can skip the queues and avoid sensory overload and meltdowns.

3) Cinemas are now doing autism friendly screenings which means all children can see the latest film release and no one is left disappointed this summer.

4) Try to have a least one day out where the activities are focused around your child’s special interests. My son likes transport so a visit to the transport museum always goes down well. If siblings are attending spilt the day into two doing something they want to do first (I say first as yes your child is likely to ask when are we leaving and going to the transport museum for example, but if they go to the transport museum first they have nothing left to look forward to and may not cooperate as liked.

5) To avoid boredom on the days your not going out, set up a schedule of fun activities in the garden. All children can get involved. Have some sensory play in the sandpit, burn some energy on the trampoline and why not have some fun sensory play in the paddling pool. This is perfect as your child has the option of coming inside when it all gets to much and other children can continue to play and have fun.

6) If like mine, your child is a fussy eater and wont eat anything that is A) packed in a cool bag and B) isn’t hot, than picnics are not really a suitable family activity. Instead of having children miss out completely why not opt for a disposable barbecue instead. This way the children get the experience of eating outside in the sunshine without any tears.

7) If going out for the day to the park or beach a potable pop up sun tent is a must. These can be brought at a reasonably good price and is a haven for the child who becomes overly sensitive to the heat.

8) As much as I love to do things on a whim I no longer get this option. Checkout what’s happening this summer, plan a scudule and try to stick to it. This way your child knows what activities and visits/days out are happening on each day.

9) The above is essential when going on holiday. This is likely easier in places like holiday camps etc as you can adapte there scudule to suit that of your own and your children can easily express what activities interest them.

10) Another great thing about holiday camps is the supervised activities meaning your other children can still go of and have fun even if the activities are not to the child on the spectrums liking.

11) If going on long car/train journeys over the summer break, bring something to entertain your child, an iPod, iPad, potable DVD player, book or handheld game console (a must for all children).

12) Try to keep bedtime routines the same (as much as possible). This avoids problems when the holidays come to an end and your child returns to school.

13) Talk your Aspergers child through any activities planed for the summer, especially new ones. Try to do this well in advance. Show your children pictures of the places you plan to visit or check it out on there website if they have one.

14) Give your child choices, letting them feel they have a certain amount of control over planed activities. Many children with Aspergers need to feel a certain amount of control.

15) Don’t overload your child, ensure there are free days at home where your child can relax even if the day is scheduled.

16) If going on holiday take your child’s blanket and pillow to make sleeping easier.

17) Expect difficult days and try your best to prepare for them. Lack of routine will always make things harder for the child with Aspergers Syndrome.

18) Educational play is a good way of keeping your youngsters brain busy during the summer. This is great for the child who doesn’t like homework as they tend to learn without even knowing it.

19) Use the summer months as a time to help your child build on their independence skills.

20) When a parent becomes stressed this has an undesirable effect on the child with Aspergers. If your finding the summer months difficult try to talk to other parents in the same situation. There are many online support groups and forums for parents of children with autism.

Half Term Battles

5 Jun

So yesterday was another one of those days. Woken early I had lots to do, firstly there were the kittens, two would be leaving us and although I knew we would all be a tad dishearten, there was one person in particular whom I knew would find the adjustments a little tough to take! Yep… The little man!

Little man was playing in the garden when the first kitten left… I thought it would be better this way! It wasn’t like he wasn’t aware he was leaving, he had said his good byes and gone of to play on the trampoline! Still preparing for the event didn’t make things that much easier and as expected Little man cried for a rather long time! He called me names, told me I was evil for taking his Bellas babies away!

The turn of kitten number 2 came and despite him knowing that we could visit this kitten as she would be living with my sister he still branded me a cat napper. “A cat napper indeed”

Change is always hard for little man, his become attached to these little furry balls of cuteness and his certainly been dreading their departure.

Children adjust, that’s what we are told, I know this is true we all adjust as human beings because we have to! It’s just that sometimes it takes the little man that bit longer and in the meantime his certainly not the easiest of children to live with.

During the early hours, Bella (the mother to the litter) is pacing, she’s crying and hunting for her babies! Little man showed no intention on sleeping instead informing me that he was cat sitting! Yes… Cat sitting! I dont know who’s worse, Bella or Little Man? I’m sure they both felt I was going to steal the remaining two kittens during the night as both wouldn’t leave the room and Bella was continuously carrying her kittens around the room before trying to stash them beneath my bed.

I do love the connection little man has with our cat Bella, yes it sometimes feels like a kick in the guts when he shows her more affection than me… His mother, but he just has a different connection with animals which in many ways is beautiful.

Another thing that seems to have affected little man is not only the half term but that of the extended bank holiday weekend. Like many of us tend to do, the little man is getting his days mixed up. The whole thing has thrown his body clock into overdrive… I guess it’s kinda of like jet lag. The half term can often be disastrous and the fact it’s another bank holiday today won’t help!

The queens jubilee seems to have taken over the television and the little man is getting somewhat tired of it. Plus it’s messed up the bus timetable so we will definitely not be going anywhere that requires such a mode of transport for the remainder of the day!

I would say that luckily the little man is now sleeping but it’s 2.30 pm and this just makes it harder for him to settle tonight! We often find any sort of bedtime routine that we have put everything into establishing goes to mush once any type of school holiday hits.

One thing the little man has been focusing on, which I guess makes him feel that bit more relaxed, Is that of his special interest. Transport and Lego are a bit part of his life and now his added wrestling to the equation his had plenty to occupy his Busy mind… And mine!
Admittedly he has been driving me a little bonkers with his Lego master pieces which largely consists of buses and wrestling rings and that of his constant re-enacting of wrestling matches which involves lots of banging and crashing (headaches are a continuous part of my life these past few days)! However his interest have saved us from any major meltdowns and have been my secret weapon for reinforcing good behaviour, so, yes they have their up sides.

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Here’s hoping the rest of the half term runs smoothly and we don’t face any back to school battles!

Why Mummy, Why….?

31 May

I love a good meme and this is right up there with the great ones. The fabulous Chelseamamma has tagged me in the “Why???” meme which was started by Mummy Central.

Basically our children are always and forever asking “Why mummy why?” Example… “Mum, why do I have to go to bed?” or “Why does she get one and I don’t?” What about the all to familiar… “Why do I have to tidy my bedroom?” scenario!

In this Meme it’s us parents who get to ask… Why? So, without delay here is my questions to my three children! Can anyone relate?

Little man, why do I have to have a one way conversation about lego with you at 3am

Alice-Sara, why is it that you insist that the appropriate clothing that I’ve given you to wear isn’t appropriate and then suggest something which is far from appropriate at all?

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Harley, why do u have to use mummy as a human climbing frame

Little man, why do you feel that it’s OK to announce out loud that the slightly overweight checkout girl at our local supermarket, needs to go on a diet?

Alice-Sara, why do you sneak in my bedroom and steal my most expensive lipstick, only to sneak it back later minus the lid?

Harley, why do you feel it’s appropriate for you to scream when mummy switches the channel from CBeebies to BBC one when Doctors is on?

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Alice-Sara, why do you pull faces behind my back when I tell you off? Did you not believe me when I told you mummy has eyes in the back of her head?

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Harley, why do you insist on throwing yourself on the floor no matter where in the world we are, every time I say the word “NO”?

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Little man, why do you always have to ask inappropriate questions to the wrong people? some things don’t need saying! Stating to the elderly lady down the road that she has hairs on her chin plus a lot of wrinkles because she’s well old then asking her if she’s scared about dying soon, is really pushing it a little to far!

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Children, why do you think that just because mummy has a card she is able to take money from the hole in the wall when every you demand it?

Alice-Sara why do you always play dressing up with mummy’s most loved accessories without even asking?

Harley, why do you always do a number 2 as soon as I put you in a fresh pull-up? You do know that these “pull ups” do actually pull down right? I’m sure you also understand that this revolutionary technology has provide you with a way of giving the potty some poo-poo!

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Little man, why did you feel the need to tell me your teacher is younger than me?

Alice-Sara why do you always play the same sodding song over and over again? I don’t even like Leona’s “Bleeding in love” in-fact you’ve made sure of that!

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Harley, why do you even want to go pick the cat poo out the litter try, hold it up in the air and run around like a raving nut job, shouting, “Cat did it!”

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Little man, why are you still not after 11 whole years, got the simple concept that “Bedtime = Sleeping” not partying? Yes, there is plenty of time for that later!

Alice-Sara, why-oh-why do I even care if so and so’s mum up the road buys the latest monster high doll for her daughter? Doesn’t mean I’m buying it so stop protesting!

Harley, why did you dig out mummy’s best Mac eye shadow with your finger, smudge it all over the bed then insist the kitten done it!

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Children, why do you always insist on getting louder when I have a headache or worse, upping your demands when I’m sick?

Alice-Sara & Little man, why do you insist on kicking the crap out of each other every time I turn my back?

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Children, why do you always insist on getting yourselves into situations you can’t get out off without me having to save your backsides?

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Children, why do you always scream the word mummy or mum then point at me, while having a tantrum in public?

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Lastly… Why, do you all need something when mummy is busy!

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Yes… That was a joke… Dont call social services!

Now to tag some parents/bloggers to play the “Why?” game!

But first the rules…

1. Post your whys – as few or as many as you like

2. Link up your post here, and it would be great if you could leave a comment too

3. Tag 5 bloggers to keep this going

4. If you’re not a blogger, leave your whys as a comment below. I’d love to read them

5. Show your support by reading a few others and commenting on them.

And the chosen ones are…
@LilinhaWorld
@susankmann
@Chez_Mummy
@Angoewright78
@violetsdiary

Escaping to the seaside

30 May

So, I did it, I got away for a night. I left for Brighton on Sunday afternoon and returned on Monday evening.

Ok, Ok… this isn’t the longest of breaks, but a break this was which I sucked every minute out off.

My recent post “I don’t feel like me anymore” displayed my somewhat depressive state and as a result I shared my escape plan with you all.

So, how was my 24 hour break away? It was Bloody fabulous, that’s what it was!

I wasn’t alone in my escape for “me time” I took along a close friend also in need of TLC and as we sped off down the M25, music playing loudly with the wind in our hair we were itching to reach destination Hotel Du Vin.

Thanks to my Mad Blog Awards win back in September, I was able to book a room at the Hotel Du vin with the gift card I won. I had longed for this night for so long and now the pending realisation that I was finally getting it was shown as pure delight upon my smiling face.

Like Thelma and Louise (minus the crime) we were on a mission.

Destination reached, we unloaded our overnight bags from the boot of the car and headed to the hotel entrance with a hop and a skip in our step.

The hotel was stunning and for me it screamed relaxation. Given I was using my gift card I ordered a lovely room with a Monsoon shower (a room in itself) and the object of my desire… A roll top bath that I visited countless times during my one nights stay (I told u I sucked every minute out of it) laid in a mountain of bubbles, book in hand, I peacefully indulged my senses and for the first time in weeks failed to hear my own continuous whining voice within my own head.

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God, it felt good to be me.

To really get the most out of my short but relaxing break I booked a table at the Bistro Du Vin and as much as I love my children, to be able to eat a whole meal uninterrupted was something I really enjoyed, something I’d forgotten to be possible. I guess the fact it wasn’t a nibble of the kids popcorn chicken or sausage and mash that made it even better. Feasting on a three course feast is something this mum isn’t used to, to say it was a treat would be very much an understatement!

In case you’re wondering what it was I ate (and even if your not I’m telling you regardless) here it is…

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A starter of fresh crab from the sea on French toast. The picture is a tad dark and really does it no justice. Take my word for it, it was mind blowing.

Then I had a main of Salmon

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Dessert, well this actually failed to make it into the album because as soon as it hit the table I decided to hide it in my belly… You know… Just in case they decided to take it away again. The “it” I’m referring to was in fact the best Chocolate pave ever, what can I say… I’m only human!

Following a stroll beside the moon lit water, a good giggle and yet another swimming session in the bath, my head hit the pillow and my body received a long overdue dose of kip… When you hardly experience such a normality you begin to sodding appreciate it’s beauty when it comes your way.

Having slept I woke up ready to face a day of shopping in the Lanes finished with a couple of hours lazing on a deck chair with my toes dipped in the sea… Bliss.

First though it was breakfast which I’m told is the most important meal of the day! Yes this may be true nonetheless I never have any, I simply never have time in the mornings! Little man isn’t the easiest child to get out of bed, this sometimes takes a lot of asking over many hours (I guess the fact that he normally doesn’t fall asleep until 4 AM really doesn’t help this situation)! By the time everything is done and the children are of to school i’m simply no longer hungry. Today though things will be different! Me and my lovely friend were shown to a table and told to help ourselves to the cold buffet while our hot breakfast was cooked. I really enjoyed it, I actually didn’t know what to start on next, everything was just so scrummy.

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Having filled our bellies in a way I’ve never experienced at such an early hour, we checked out and said a reluctant goodbye to what had become my sanctuary for the night. Slowly strolling through the beautiful Brighton Lanes in the morning sunshine was a rare treat but such a pleasurable one.

Then resting my tired feet on the pebbled beach I wondered if I felt any differently within myself. I was more relaxed that was apparent, I’d smiled and definitely laughed a lot, this is also apparent…

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… So maybe I wasn’t depressed after all, maybe… just maybe I’m tired. Some days are good others are bad, I know that. I just sometimes feel that I’m drowning in my own craziness, and yes sometimes this causes me to feel a little guilty. Why? I don’t know? I’m the mother, it’s meant to be stressful at times… Maybe that’s why?

I’m home now and I’m not hiding behind the bricks that make up the walls of my home, there are no curtains drawn and no box of
Kleenex by my side. That’s just got to be a good sign right?

Bottom line is I don’t know what the future holds… Who does?

Something I do know is that I had a sodding good time in Brighton! That much I’m sure on.

With that I’ll leave you with a few pictures as proof… See I told you I had fun…

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Define Normal

13 May

For us, “Normal” is…

late nights, even sleepless nights.

In depth Conversations on transport, LEGO and wrestling!

Visual learning (our home is full of home made schedules)!

Laughter… Tears

Misconceptions and explanations

Battles… We’ve fought many!

Educating those that are willing to learn…

Tolerating those that are not!

Discovering and learning from one another.

Adaption…

Arguments, shouting and a whole load of swearing…

More tears!

Sensory meltdowns….

Sensory integration!

Understanding…

Not understanding…

Trying to understand!

Difficult days…

Fabulous days…

And dam right tiring days!

Planning and preparation.

Achievements and celebrations!

Surprises…

Lots of surprises!

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Dream location – The Land of Nod

21 Mar

Drip-drip-drip…. The dripping tap that echo’s throughout the otherwise deadly silent house!

 Tick-tock-tick-tock…. The noisy seconds hand on the grandfather clock that drives you completely insane, so much so you jump from your bed removing its batteries!

 Buzzzzzzzzzz….. The dull jarring buzzing you hear coming from the fridge freezer, just as you’ve almost arrived in the land of nod.

 Have any of the above driven you to hold a pillow over your head in the hope of drowning out the annoyance of white noise or maybe even snoring? If you happen to answer “YES” then I envy you, I really do!

 No, the above is not a typo, its true, yes, all of the above are annoying, that I do not deny, but all three of these scenario’s can be easily fixed (even the added addition of somebody’s terrible snoring)! OK, you may lose a weeks food shop by switching off the freezer, but you can do it all the same!

 I however, cannot switch of my children, although I have sometimes wondered why on earth god didn’t make them with batteries? Some nights are better than others, it’s the others that are currently driving me to write this post which I’m guessing consists of nothing more than rambling, the kind that likely makes no sense! Please bear with me, last night was actually one of those nights!

 Anyone would think I was used to it by now, after all Little Man is 11 already and hasn’t ever really slept an entire night, well not properly anyway. Since his been on the slow release Melatonin, his engaged in a lot of sleep walking and talking so his often up and about even when he is a sleep, which is often not in till some point during the early hours anyway.

 Although I try to embrace Little Mans Asperger’s Syndrome, seeing it more as a gift rather than something disabling. Sleep (or lack of it) is most defiantly one of the hardest issues we have had to deal with for as long as I care to remember.

 Generally I deal with the lack of sleep reasonable well, discounting the time I fell asleep queuing in the supermarket (and yes I was standing)! My head, well that’s somewhere else altogether, seriously, I can’t survive forever with my brain functioning as if it belonged to a chimp ! My point is, I guess I’m used to it and although I don’t get the average amount of sleep many manage, I get by with  grabbing hours here and their, well this used to be the case at least!

 Harley is my youngest son, he was 2 in December. I was blessed with a child who slept throughout the night pretty early on. Day time napping was now however out the question, unless their father was around and when he wasn’t I was basically #•@#@• Then something much worse started to happen, Harley started sleeping less, a lot less! This finally came to a head last week when he demonstrated his stamina in withstanding an alnighter… yes, he stayed awake the entire night falling to sleep at an unforgivable 6am, I was broken, no not physically (that comes in later) but emotionally… was it not enough to have the one child sleep in such a crazy manner… but two… come on give us a break! Of course I explained it away to myself as “His coming down with something” but he hasn’t and its been 5 whole long sodding days and nights. Actually as I type this my eyes are partially closed…. God help me if my Mac ends up on the floor.

 I don’t know why the toddler is suddenly like a child on red bull, but me, I don’t like it one little bit! Of course his then hard to wake and this is when tantrums come into play as his over tired and I get tempted to let him just sleep! It’s an extraordinarily difficult situation to be in when your tired and feeling like you’ve been smashed in the face by a double-decker bus! However, I will try my best as I fear it may lead to more nights like that of the night before. To make matters worse regardless of  him becoming extremely tired, often resulting in him falling into an uncontrolled heap between 8-9 pm (which I note is still reasonably late for him) he still somehow manages to wake up before the clock strikes midnight! Oh… and guess what? He only goes and becomes the life and soul of the party. I’m in trouble if Little man than decides to come out his room engaging in some weird activity as for some reason he’ll suddenly acquire a very sudden interest in his brother, the same brother he screams at to get out his room everyday!

 This was what happen Monday Night Tuesday early hours… I wanted to scream, correction… I did scream… Loudly! Closing the bedroom door, I laid Harley done beside me, however sleep wasn’t on his crazy toddler agenda, he had more exciting things planned, like demonstrating how well he can jump on mummy’s bed and the lovely art of body slamming, with myself being his chosen victim (you know, like those over grown and over weight men who pretend to throw each other around a ring).. Worse when your eyes are closed and it completely takes you by surprise… Ouch…

 I pray to the lord that this is some kind of toddler rebelliousness, one that Little man nor their sister luckily never experienced (through little man more than made up for his lack of tantrums by age 7 and continues to today)!

 Now feeling like a sack of crap, I have important business to attend to! Oh, how I wish that business was in the role of a mid mornings nap…. Sadly it’s tending to the cat litter tray, a sink full of dirty cups and with a bit of luck a ten minute soak in the bath (I hope)!

 Quick Note: If anyone has any tips on helping both an 11-year-old boy diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome and that of a toddler of 2, learn the unwritten rules of sleeping and remaining that way, please do comment! Plus I would love to hear from anybody who has a child on the autism spectrum who happens to sleep walk, sleep talk or both (this is as though  they are literally always on the go)! Even more so if such behaviour is happening while taking a slow releasing Melatonin (only this is when the sleep walking and talking increased for Little Man)?

 Thanks for reading my ramblings and I bid you all goodnight… Oops I mean good-bye!

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