Archive for February, 2010

So today we had more bad news about the car. We have now been without it for 2 months apart from the two days when it worked before the engine broke. The fuel pump that we had fitted is faulty so it needs to go back to the place we bought it and keep our fingers crossed that they refund our money with no problems. They havent been very helpful so far *Sigh*

I can do nothing about it though, just keep my fingers crossed that it won’t take too much longer to fix properly. We will feel so luxurious when we eventually get the car back!

Today I am thankful for

  • My friends. I called my friend this evening to ask her a HUGE favour. She said yes without even thinking about it and we now have the use of her husbands car for a few days. She is dropping the keys off in the morning. Her husband will use her car for the time being since she rarely uses it anyway. I am so so thankful that we do not have to spend another weekend cooped up indoors.
  • My sister. We had a lovely chat on Monday night and she popped in last night with a Cheryl Cole doll for Robyn. Robyn adores Cheryl Cole so this was a very very popular choice!
  • My husband. This week I heard from a friend who has a husband that is behaving pretty badly. I am so thankful that my husband is fab 🙂
  • My children. There have been moments of stress this week with Robyn having a very messy bedroom and Katie being very difficult but they always make me smile even if it is because Katie is shouting at Robyn “YOU SILLY GIRL ROBYN!” when her bedroom was a tip!

Today it is “Wear Red” day. Together with some friends we have raised funds and awareness for the British Heart Foundation. It is a charity very close to us. We had BHF pin badges as wedding favours and also had a collection at our wedding reception for the charity. Today we are thinking of baby Samuel and also of my late father-in-law, Barrie.

February Scavenger Hunt

Posted: 26 February 2010 in Uncategorized

Here is the mosaic of my completed scavenger hunt for February. It was a tough one this month!

1. A picture worth a thousand words, 2. Bogus Teddy, 3. DSC05696, 4. 44/365: Candle light in Taizé, 5. 35/365: Racing Cars, 6. 14/365: Starting to thaw, 7. DSC05701, 8. 57/365: Wear Red Day, 9. 56/365: Hot chocolate, 10. Jawbreakers, 11. Light-love, 12. Making Waves, 13. Hello Neighbour, 14. 51/365: Origami wishes, 15. 32/365: Mini Marshmallows, 16. 34/365: Frustration, 17. Right of Way, 18. 52/365: Crescent Street in snow, 19. 41/365: Devotion, 20. A Wee Dram

Today is World Thinking Day for the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts across the world. Robyn was allowed to wear her Rainbow uniform to school today and I thought a photo of her promise badge was apt for todays 365 picture.
You can read more about World Thinking Day here on Wiki.

Happy Thinking Day to all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, old and new 🙂

Learning about Autism

Posted: 20 February 2010 in Katie
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I came across this picture from here this evening. I saved it to my laptop and then opened it in paint so that I could circle the characteristics that Katie shows.
I ended up circling all but one of them! Very very interesting. Since recognising Katies needs we are coping with her so much better. We are all happier. She has more choice and is more able to express what she wants and needs.
We still have a long way to go but even just recognising this is a wonderful step.

Simple Saturdays

Posted: 20 February 2010 in About me, Family
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Today we have had a wonderful day.

It was a slow start to the morning, we chilled in bed for quite a while to make the most of having a day with nothing to do. It was warm and cosy in bed and the girls were playing happily all around the house.
I got up eventually and got in the shower. I managed to discourage Katie from joining me. Sometimes it is nice to have a shower on your own without little Katie dictating how I should do it!

Next came breakfast, or rather Brunch. Anthony went off to buy bacon, egg and sausage rolls for us and we devoured them rather quickly with a hot cup of tea. At this point we were all watching “The Hunchback of Notre dame” on TV.

After some snuggles from the girls and some silly games I went off to the shops to buy some sweets for a photograph as part of the Flickr Monthly Scavenger Hunt. Anthony and I had a little reminisce about them. Anyone else remember Jaw Breakers?! They are smaller than we remembered them to be.

This afternoon consisted of cups of tea, drawing with the girls, more silly games and a quick visit from my Dad. The girls were really pleased to see their Grandad and more cuddles were given.
A simple tea of beans on toast for Robyn and Katie was a milestone in our house. They have always refused it before but they have suddenly decided to like it. I’m super pleased about that because it is such a quick, cheap and healthy meal! Pudding was jelly, raspberry of course. I only buy raspberry jelly. I’m not sure the girls even realise there is another flavour available to buy lol.

The car was picked up by the mechanic. It should be back on Tuesday. Let’s hope it is!

Now we are all watching “Total Wipeout”, a trashy gameshow on TV. All is peaceful and Katie is about to go to bed. We have just realised that Robyn is still in her pyjamas and it made us smile.

Simple, snuggly Saturdays are wonderful. They should be available on prescription. No rushing, no pressure, no bad moods. Just a happy family spending time together and enjoying it. Some might say it is boring but not to us 😀

Thankful Friday

Posted: 19 February 2010 in Thankful Friday
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It has been half term this week and we have had a lovely time relaxing as a family after I returned from my retreat. I will blog about that another time when the kids are back at school. For now it is enough for me to say it was wonderful but I missed my little family more than I ever imagined I could.

So this week I am thankful for:

  • My family. I am thankful that we can spend time together and enjoy it and also that we are able to spend time apart. We are a family that laugh, cry and be silent together and yet we allow eachother the space we need. To me that is perfect.

  • The NHS. This week Katie had successful appointments with various health professionals to continue the support that we recieve. I was speaking with someone from the States last week about the NHS and it made me realise how lucky we are in the UK. I am so thankful that we get free healthcare that makes such a difference.
  • My friends. One inparticular this week has been great to have around. I am building up a firm friendship with her and we are soon arranging to go swimming together. We have also promised to take our girls (her daughter is Robyns best friend) to the cinema together.
  • My parents. Yet again they are helping us out financially by facilitating the loan that we need to get our car fixed. This time it needs a new engine which is going to cost around £850. Ouch.
  • The kindness of others. Last Sunday while in France we were a bit worried about catching the bus to the train station in time to get the TGV we needed to catch the flight home. There was lots of snow in Taizé and we had a big hill to walk down with our luggage. A lovely French girl offered us a lift down the hill and so we caught the bus and got home. We were so thankful.
  • Good food. In Taizé the food is basic. When I say basic I am being generous. It was lovely to come home and eat good, tasty food! 
  • Taizé. Taizé is a magical place for me where I can feel at peace. I cannot describe how I feel when I am there but I get an immense feeling of wellbeing. That only has to be good.

Have a good weekend everyone xxx

Katies Paediatrician Appointment

Posted: 18 February 2010 in Katie
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Quick update on Katie…

We got to the child development unit and immediately bumped into the Portage manager who has been so lovely. She was really pleased to see Katie and told her colleague who we were… she was lovely too. She said she had typed up all of Katies notes the other day and commented on how lovely it was to actually meet her.

The peadiatrician was very friendly and put us at ease straight away. He explained that she had been referred to him because he often assesses children who dont seem to tick the right boxes for a clear diagnosis.
He asked us LOADS of questions about how Anthony and I were as children and then about how Katie was as a newborn. He was very interested in the fact that she was always a very unhappy baby and how the best thing to stop her crying was to just put her down. Cuddles never had a calming effect on her, quite the opposite.

We spoke about her little rituals and how it is now part of all our lives to just get on with it and go along with things. We can never just have a kiss from her for example… the order has to go “Kiss, cuddle and nose”. If we do not say the right things at bedtime (Night night princess, don’t turn the light on, I love you, See you in the morning) then she will cry and be very unhappy until we go back and say it.
Some of the things he asked us we found ourselves really agreeing with. “Does she spin round alot?” was one. She spins round and round until she falls over and then does it again and again. “Can she cope with loud noises?”. No, she often puts her hands over her ears and shudders. Playgroup have noticed this too.

He also asked if there is anything she does that suprises us for being advanced for her age. Katie knows all her colours apart from silver and gold. She knows numbers and also some letters. She can remember a, c, e, i, m, o, r, and w. She doesnt use them in context or anything but she knows the letter and remembers it so well.
She can draw a person with eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hair, arms, legs, fingers and toes. She is beginning to write her name too.
I know Robyn could do none of this at this age.

He ended the appointment by saying yes, it does look as though there are some autistic tendancies there and it warrants being investigated further. She will need to have some blood tests done to check all sorts of things including her thyroid levels etc. They will also look at her DNA and make sure everything appears normal.
The blood tests will need to be at the hospital, we have to wait for an appointment for that.

All in all it was a very good appointment. Lovely to have another professional tell us that we are not imagining things. We still have alot of people look at us very suprised when we tell them she has all this support. Alot of people do not realise that Katie is any different from any other child… they just think she is naughty which is incredibly frustrating for me.

She was a really good girl at the appointment and then proceeded to have a mega strop in Asda on the way home lol.