Friday, 29 January 2016

A Rough Week...

It's been a rough week this week and that's putting it mildly.

The week started off with a 2.30am A&E visit with DS but thankfully he seems to be much better now.

I've got some major concerns and issues in regards to DS which is rolling into other things like school and clubs :( I will go into those concerns and what's happening with it all another time, I'm just not ready to quite yet.

As I write, I can often forget that other people read this blog as I seem to use it as a 'dear diary' type of tool which isn't a bad thing in some ways I suppose :)

Stress, stress and a bit more stress has been hanging around me this week.
I have very much felt its presence in everywhere I have gone to and everything I have done!

I have mentioned before how busy my days are but this week I have felt that I have had to chase the days, playing catch up and just about keeping my head above water!

As a result, I have been a bit forgetful, nothing major but going to the shops for something and leaving with other stuff other than what I went in for!
I know everyone has done that but I've been doing it at a ridiculous level!

This morning after dropping DS off to school, I took my car to get new tyres.

It's about 40 minute drive to my favourite tyre guy but well worth it as he does brand new tyres at such good value! So with four brand new tyres on my car, I drove away.

Now whenever I'm in a town and time permitting, I like to have a good nosey around the charity shops. I have a good idea where they all are in Cheshire towns now, so I parked up and walked around.

I decided last night that it would be in my best interests to clear my diary for today so I had the time to chill a bit and go at a slower pace.
I just love charity shop browsing and I actually kick myself for not discovering it in my teenage years!

As I'm drawn to pretty much anything vintage, you can imagine my face lighting up every time I discover something with a vintage-y feel to it especially of its something that we use to have when I was a child! :)

I felt that after such a stressful week then I needed to do something that made me happy and just to take some time out for myself.

As I was walking around, my tummy was rumbling which reminded me that I hadn't eaten tea last night or breakfast this morning (too stressed out!) the cold wind was howling making my hands cold so I looked for a little vintage teashop that I could grab a cup of tea from.

It wasn't long before came across this cottage one which looked so cute so I went in.

It was pretty quiet and so pretty inside with lots of original and cottage features.
I sat by the window and watched people rushing past in the wind.

It felt really nice just to sit and do nothing (apart from start writing this post!lol) and to think or worry about anyone but myself for 20 minutes.

I was miles away deep in thought and though I faintly could hear a voice in the background, I had no idea that the waitress was stood right by me asking me what would I like?! That's how far away I am in my thoughts right now! lol

I apologised and ordered a pot of tea and homemade tomato soup ;) those who follow me on Instagram will know how I love making my own soups :) this one was very good :)

I realised a long time ago, that not only looking DS is mega important but looking after me is too.

I need to be well and fighting fit in order to deal with all the challenges that a child with autism will bring from time to time.

I am sure that we are now entering into another challenging period and like the others before, I need to tackle it and get over it.

Sitting in that teashop today and doing nothing was glorious! Being on my own meant that I was able to think properly. I'm sure that I need to do more of that a little more often!

In some ways, I wonder if I need to simplify stuff around me. Am I involved in too many things?
The answer is probably yes but at the same time no.
That is a difficult one.

You see, as a parent of a non-verbal child with autism and learning disabilities, I can never really relax. I am always watching and monitoring his behaviour to the clues to what he is trying to say. To ignore that would be like ignoring someone when they are trying to have a conversation with you!

Because I have first hand experience of parenting like this then I do my best to help other parents in similar situations. I can't not.
The problem with that, is that I sometimes get too involved. I want to take on peoples battles and go in there to present their case myself! All the time DS is in my mind which is my driving force for pretty much everything I do.

I am getting better at that bit now though lol

So with it being Friday, I am going to end this rubbish week with a large glass of wine and a positive outlook for the weekend!

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe in Storm Jonas!


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Forever Friends...

I hear all the time how parents of children with autism feel isolated and a bit cut off from the community.

Everytime I hear something like this, I feel sad. I think how wrong it is for a parent/carer to feel like that :(

Fortunately, I am really blessed in that respect as I have some awesome friends who are just fab and include me and DS in practically everything! :)

I would like to tell you about one friend in particular as she is pretty special to DS and I :)

Meet Cate.....:)

I met Cate on my first day of High School aged 11 years old. We had come from different primary schools at opposite ends of the town so had never met before and were put in the same form.

My first memory of her was when our form tutor started a 'Getting to know each other' session and wanted us to write our names on sticky notes. I remember overhearing her laugh and say that there was no way that she was going to put her full name as it was a tad embarrassing to her! (her middle names are not embarrassing by the way! lol) a bit of a joke and banter started between her and our tutor and I remember thinking how funny she was! :)

We became best friends and had a great little group of boys and girls with us! :)
I could tell you lots of funny stories over the years but this post would be a mile long if I did! lol

We moved through the years within school, Cate even moved in with me for a short time when we were 18 and then she moved to North Wales. I would go and visit and often would stay over at her house.

The day DS was diagnosed with autism, Cate and I had planned a girly shopping day in Liverpool. I remember coming home from the clinic really upset as the autism diagnosis had come out of the blue so was really unprepared for it! (I later learnt that the paediatrician was unaware that suspected autism had never been mentioned to me which she later apologised for).

That day was a difficult one and Cate was just lovely! I decided to still go ahead with our girly date even though my head was completely somewhere else! Cate never ever said but it must of been a bit like  I wasn't there to her - sort of there in body but not in spirit :/
By the time I got home that evening I was in a better place and had got over a lot of the shock :) which a good chunk of that was down to her! (not to mention the numerous glasses of wine I had consumed!)

I think Cate checked in on me everyday after that for about a fortnight! lol

Also every time I am poorly, this little trouper has lovingly cooked up meals for us all and delivered them to my house - she is like my own little "meals on wheels" service, not to mention what an amazing home cook she is too! :)
I have lost count of the delicious meals I have ate from her good cooking!

As well as all this, she is terrific with DS!
DS loves her car so every time she pops round, she always gives him a little drive around the cul-de-sac before she leaves :) and no matter how pressed she is for time, she always does this and lets him have a little play of her headlights, washers and wipers :) - how many people would do that??
As you can imagine, DS adores her! :)

I have to say, that when you have friends with neuro-typical kids, it's easy to think how they are probably not going to get it and lots of things we do will seem pretty alien to them!

I can honestly say that I have never seen Cate look at anything a bit quizzical that I do with DS instead she has a good awareness and will ask me stuff if she's unsure of anything :)

Really I could go on singing this woman's praises as I have LOADS more examples to share but I think I best stop there! :)

I would absolutely love to think that every parent of special needs children has at least one friend like Cate and if not, then I think I will start up a campaign so that every parent/carer does!...... or just simply clone her! :)

Last weekend, we arranged to eat, dance and be merry and when we got to the restaurant, the table was decorated with birthday balloons! (sneakily done by her)

Not only did we have a fantastic night but Cate surprised me with a gorgeous flower cake with 'Happy Birthday' on one side and 'Just Engaged' on the other! :)

It was layered with different tones of pinks and tasted delicious!

It will probably come as no surprise that she is going to be one of my stunning bridesmaids at my up and coming wedding as I don't think every friendship out there spans 26 years to date!!

Now, next on my to do list is how to clone someone............;)

Friday, 22 January 2016

Free Day & Wedding Update...

Today is my first 'free' day this week.

I  absolutely love having a day to myself where I don't have to rush off anywhere so after dropping DS off at school guess what I did? Relax? Read? Visit a friend.....?

Noooooooo. I walked through the door hung up my coat and scarf, rolled up my sleeves and started filling up a hot soapy bucket of water! Oh yes! I was on a cleaning mission! :)

I was determined that today was going to be a productive day so I started by cleaning the inside of all the windows with my cool squeegee thingy and then I moved outside to clean all the windows and frames on the outside finishing off cleaning the front door and outside light :)

I then came inside and blitzed the rest of the house :)

It's lunchtime and I've just finished and sat down with a cup of tea, not bad going considering how much I have done and I started around 9.20am.

When DS is at school, I am absolutely terrible for trying to cram as many jobs that are difficult to do when he is home into the day.

If you remember one of my new year resolutions was to rest more and as I knew I would, I am finding it very difficult to do.......but I am always trying lol

We have a lovely and a little bit busy weekend ahead of us :)
It consists of DS and I going to some lovely autism specific activity sessions which we both love and enjoy :) I always find the weekends go too quickly which leaves me pining to spend more time with him :(

Moving on to our recent engagement, I kinda promised that I wouldn't be clogging up this blog with wedding stuff so I won't but as I have been asked questions about our up and coming nupitals then I thought I would write a mini update here :)

First off, I really want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone that has sent us best wishes and congratulations! <3 We are both mega excited! :)

The venue is booked for this year along with a few other bits and pieces and the first batch of invitations went out this week! (we do have more to prep and post though).

It's a second wedding for us both and as I was married in a church the first time round, I was really drawn to a civil ceremony in a beautiful location so that is exactly what we have gone for :)

The registrar is all firmly booked for our date and I have an appointment to visit next week to give my 'notice of marriage' (the boyf has already done his) so we are mega excited and every so often we will look at each other, pull excited faces and go "eeeeeeee" which is just something silly we do but always makes us both crease up laughing! :) :)

Will do a separate post sometime on how we have planned this day a little differently taking into deep consideration of DS and his sensory issues and what we have decided.......but for now I have to dash!

Have a lovely weekend! :)


Sunday, 17 January 2016

Birthday Celebrations and Exciting News....

Oh my giddy aunt - where on earth do I start?!

This week, the boyf whisked me off to the most gorgeous country home with acres and acres of beautiful grounds for a spa break.

Our birthdays are within the same week so it's always a double celebration which we both love :)

Arriving with luggage that looks like we are staying for the week rather than the weekend lol we climbed the most fabulous staircase to our room.

The room had the most fantastic view of the front of the grounds which we enjoyed sat snuggled together admiring the beautiful frosty icy white view :)

There was a birthday card to us both and a little box of chocolates left on the bed as well as a bottle of wine on ice - perfect! (I found out later that the boyf arranged this as well as personally choosing the fantastic room knowing how much I would love it!)

The boyf steered me to the spa where he had booked us in for treatments - oh my word! It was absolutely heavenly! I think I actually floated out of the treatment room afterwards as I was that relaxed. The boyf looked extra chilled too and said he had had the best bamboo massage ever!

Next was lunch. We sat snuggled up on a sofa in our fluffy bathrobes and slippers being waited on and drinking prosecco.
The day was so perfect, little did I know at that point what else he had in store for me! ;)

Later that evening, with a glint in his eye that I was struggling to translate, he proposed in the most beautiful way!

Please forgive me for not going into detail how he did it as it's something that is personal to us but believe me it was absolutely perfect and much much more!!

The planning that must of gone into it is heartwarming <3 <3 I had no idea! He's a little sneak isn't he? But I'll forgive him! haha

Not a couple to hang about lol we have booked the wedding for this year! *eeek*!

The response we have had from our family and friends to the news has just been fab!
We have had loads and loads of congratulations and best wishes which have made us beam even more that soooo many people are so happy for us! :)

What a magical weekend we've had and what a fantastic start to the year! I will try (though I can't promise! lol) not to hijack this blog with wedding spam! ;)

Hope you had a lovely weekend too :) xx

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Smile when you're winning....

I love a good comp!
When a competition with a pretty fabulous prize catches my eye, I am on it like a shot! :)

Over the years, I have won some really good things. I mainly enter for things for DS but I have won some prizes for myself too.

So I haven't won a car or speedboat yet but I have won £250 Sainsburys vouchers, £100 Aldi vouchers and a £200 meat hamper that arrived just before Christmas as well as various beauty bits and toys.

The best wins have been a huge delivery of all the products that won 'Product of the Year' (this was 2 years ago) there was washing detergents, washing up liquid, shampoo, conditioner, handwash, sanitry products, Pampers nappies, wipes, lasagne kits - loads and loads more! I actually squealed when I opened the box! :)

A few weeks ago, I received an email confirming that I won the competition for this teepee!
It arrived today all the way from Norway and I immediately started to unpack and put it together!

I am not disappointed! Its bigger than it looks and I can't wait to see DS's face when he sees it.

It looks sooooo comfy and he can close the door and hide himself in there if he wishes.

I entered this comp as I thought this would be ideal for him to play, rest, snuggle and hideaway in it.

I absolutely love the little wooden feather on it too :)
I can see us huddled in there together reading stories on cold and damp days.

My lounge is now starting to resemble a playroom and I actually like it! lol :)

So if a worthwhile comp catches your eye, enter it as you never know as SOMEONE has to win it and that someone might just be you! ;)


Friday, 8 January 2016

Happy and Positive Starts....

Just barely a week into 2016 and already such positive things are happening which make me a happy bunny! :)

The first thing that I have to share is that my lovely Mum now lives right near me - yay! :)

There really aren't many parents that will just up sticks and move closer to their grown up children to help and support them now, are there?

However, my Mum has simply done just that.
I have always known how lucky I was to have the best parents ever!

My Mum helps me with DS and he absolutely loves her! She is marvellous with him and understands his needs very well.

So after living in her house for 41 years! She packed up and moved to my little village which is just an 8 minute walk from my door to hers :)

December was spent packing up her house, painting, wallpapering and lugging heavy furniture around.
I worked on her new house pretty much all day throughout December. I would make myself a flask of tea drop DS off at school then go straight to the house to start work until around 7pm!

The boyf was an absolute godsend! He did loads of decorating too and kinda organised us all to make sure the move was swift. He set up all the technical stuff as well as hanging doors, drilling, putting up shelves and giving me the biggest bear hug when he could see I was starting to feel overwhelmed with the work to be done or when I was getting tired.

I finished the day before Christmas Eve and was back in on Boxing Day finishing off bits.

For the few weeks, there was no heating or hot water so I would come home frozen, tired and hungry.

It's all been absolutely worth it though as it looks so lovely and cosy and she officially moved in this week! (Is it wrong that I am a teeny weeny bit jealous just how snug, warm and cosy it is?)

As a result, DS keeps asking to go over which means that for most of the week I have been child-free. Mum loves having him over and encourages it - not that DS needs much encouragement! ;)
It means that the boyf and I have had some lovely quality time together which has been welcomed :)
Mum already has been encouraging us to have more dates whilst she takes DS for the night as she said it's important for us to rest and chill together. Can you see why I love her so much? lol

I am thrilled she is a stone's throw away in a lovely house and so glad that all the hard work is behind us.

As a result, I am a bit run down but that will soon be rectified next week when I am whisked away for an amazing spa break! (can't wait!)

So today was spent in my own house. I deep cleaned the whole house, stripped the beds and hung it all out on the washing line - who else often finds themselves staring at sheets blowing happily in the wind whilst you're snug indoors with a hot cup of tea? ;) I find something so satisfying in it! :)

I also prepped a Chicken Casserole and popped it in my slow cooker for tea tonight. The aromas coming from it smell delicious.

So that's the house clean and gleaming, tea simmering away and DS staying at Nanny's new house.....there's only one thing to end this happy day - a mini pampering session! Hair and face masks, a sweet smelling bath bomb and pretty nail varnishes at the ready :)

Such a fab start to 2016!

I feel so happy, in love and surrounded by the best people ever! I already have the feeling that this is going to be one absolutely amazing year! :)