The Invisible Disability

When I started this blog I wasn’t sure which direction to take it. I have a few other blogs, one about my baby, one about my cakes and another more personal one about my depression. Now this blog is becoming established and I’ve decided to use it to take over from my baby blog. One of the things I used to post about regularly there were my children’s disabilities so I have decided to re-blog a few posts from there as an introduction so I can continue writing about this here.
This is a post I wrote last August about Star’s autism.

I don’t tell everyone that we meet that Star has autism. Many of her friends and their mum’s at school are unaware. At the age of 7 (almost) we can get away with it. I tried to get away with it much longer with her older brother but things turned really bad when he was 12 years old I don’t want to make the same mistake.
Star is verbal, intelligent and looks normal. Occasionally she will glaze over and become distant and it takes a while to get through to her but most people will take no notice. Sometimes she gets a little over excited and an a little flappy, not an unusual amount though and again, most people will take no notice. She is un co-ordinated and clumsy, she has a strange gait when walking and running and sometimes performs strange actions. At 7 yrs this is starting to be a little more noticeable but we are still getting away with it.
Star talks out of turn, ignores people, repeats what you say, talks about what she wants to talk about and doesn’t really interact, talks incessantly about the things that interest her, makes funny noises all of which you can get away with at 7.
When do we stop getting away with it? When does it become apparent that Star can’t help these behaviours and is not just immature. Sadly, I don’t think it will be much longer and we have to start thinking about how to deal with it, and make things easier for her.
Star’s older brother didn’t have any physical problems but Star also has Hypermobility Syndrome and weak core muscles. These contribute to the strange way she walks and talks but also affect simple climbing ability. This summer our visits to the park have involved Star’s 5 yr old sister and 2 year old brother doing everything by themselves, while I have had to help Star with climbing things. One park in particular has a slide/climbing frame that you can only access by climbing up a ramp holding on to a rope. While the other children, big and small, were zooming up with ease, Star just couldn’t manage it and I had to give her a shove. Then yesterday we were at an event with face painting and the children were sitting on high stools to have their faces done. Star could not climb on to the chair and the lady who was about to paint her seemed shocked. I helped her up and went back to help her down afterwards.
So, although Star may not have the traits of a severely autistic child, and doesn’t look obviously disabled, she does draw attention to herself.
Do we carry on as though this is all normal? My son suffered terrible bullying and even now I worry if he goes out alone (which he doesn’t do very often.) How am I going to make things different for Star?

Reminiscing and Resolutions.

This is the time of year when you reflect on what has gone before and what you would like to achieve ahead.
First a look back at 2012

In February I had my purse stolen while out on a shopping trip in town. It’s a horrid experience and I can’t believe that people can do such a thing. The culprit was eventually caught as I was not the only person she stole from that day and she left a trail. I didn’t get anything back (not even my purse) but I guess justice was done in the end.
Also in February, Number 1 son went to visit his dad in France for a couple of weeks.
In March their was a big family party for my aunt and uncles golden wedding anniversary. It was lovely catching up with all my family, most of who I haven’t seen for years (and probably won’t see them again for years/ever)
Also, the little man finally learnt to walk, the slowest of all five of my children. Of course once he started there was no stopping him, in no time he was running, jumping and climbing a proper whirlwind of activity that has left me thinking…’why do we want them to hurry up and learn to walk?’

On 1st April a really lovely friend lost her long battle with cancer 🙁

In April I went to my first ever Blog Camp and was inspired to start this blog. I already had a blog (or two) on the go but I finally started to realise where I wanted my blogging to go and I feel now that I may be on the right track.

In May I finally got a car, I bought it on Ebay off a local seller and I swear I will never use this method of buying a car again. Still, it was nice to have wheels and we treated ourself to a day out at Cosford Airforce musuem.
At the end of may we had a short break in Prestatyn with the little ones. The weather was lovely and we had a great time.

In June I had a weekend away in London with Eldest Daughter for her birthday. We went to see Chicago and had a day of sightseeing. It was good fun and totally relaxing to have a couple of days of freedom.

July saw Boo’s 5th Birthday and her Hello Kitty party which was good fun. We also had trip to the Next Blogger Event in Northampton. I also lost my car this month when I took it for an MOT and it turned out to be a death trap there was so much wrong with it. (I hadn’t noticed apart from the brakes being a little iffy!)

August was Little Man’s 2nd birthday and Stars 7th birthday and My Little Pony Party. We also had a really nice day trip to Liverpool.

September saw a local festival, a trip to Nottingham Kiddicare for a blogger event, and the decision to send the Little Man to pre-school a couple of days a week.

In October my lovely friend had her second baby, another little boy 🙂

I won a competition to become a Center Parcs family blogger and had a trip to Sherwood Forest Center Parcs to learn about my role and meet some other family bloggers.

October was a lucky month because my other half also found himself a job after being out of work all year.

In November I took my girls to see Disney on Ice after winning tickets. I went to the International Cake Show with Eldest Daughter. We also visited the lovely Christmas German market a couple of times. The end of the month saw me getting another year older.

December was a month of illness as we were all struck with a virus (or two) at some point. The girls had to have time off school for the first time. And OH lost his job because he failed an hearing test on his medical 🙁

I had a lovely day out with the girls when we went to see The Gruffalos Child.

Christmas was quiet but nice (I was still really ill) but New Years was great fun as all illness had been banished and family and friends gathered (at last minutes notice) for a really good night of food, drink and fun.

So, you’ve got this far, well done. Now for my resolutions. Well, not so much resolutions but wishes for the next year.

*That the grown-ups in the household get jobs (Eldest Daughter has an interview next week!)
*That we finally get a bigger house
*That Star continues to improve (all the extra help she’s been getting has been working)
*That Boo continues to improve and gets the extra help she needs

And that’s it for now. My list will probably grow longer as the year progresses.
For now I’m focusing on looking forward and the most concrete thing to look forward to so far is our Center Parcs holiday in May.


N.B. Some of the links will take you to other blogs but I can assure you that it’s all my words.

Yellow Days

Click button to find other bloggers posting about their year!

The Gruffalo’s Child – Review

On 23rd December we went to Birmingham Town Hall to see the Gruffalo’s Child.
I took Star and Boo and we were all really excited. We have the book and have seen the animation on tv, but now we were off to see the live show.
The girls were mesmerised from beginning to end. They never took their eyes off the stage and joined in with everything. I really enjoyed the show too (I just hope my nasty cough didn’t disturb anyone too much)
With just three actors throughout, a very simple set and basic costumes the show was simple but very entertaining. The songs were lovely and the girls were soon singing along. We all had different favourites, Boo liked the snake with his shiny coat, he was a real party animal. Star liked the fox, but then foxes are a favourite of hers anyway, she loved his big bushy tail. My favourite was the owl who taught us how to fly.
The show is advertised for 3 years plus and I do think that a lot of the younger ones that had been brought along did find it difficult to sit still for the whole show. There was a small child in front and one behind us that spent most of the show crawling around the floor. They didn’t distract my girls though, at ages 5 and 7 I think the show kept them captivated.

You can catch the Gruffalo’s Child at the Birmingham Town Hall until 16th January 2013, then it will be on tour around the country until 16th June. All dates and venues can be found here.

Our trip to see the Gruffalo’s Child was arranged by the lovely Cat from Yellow Days, a big thanks to her for arranging this and to Birmingham Town Hall for the tickets.

Elf School – Center Parcs Monthly Challenge

This months challenge set by Center Parcs and Tots100 is all about Elves and what it takes to be a perfect Elf.

Why not take part, you could be chosen as one of the wild card family bloggers for Center Parcs and win a holiday?

I asked my girls what they thought about Elves and they give me this list;

hard workers
makes toys
works for father christmas
fix things
wrap up presents
wear green
incredible artists
pointy ears

We then used these attributes in our poem:

Welcome to Elf School

So you want to be an elf?
Let us show you what we’ve seen.
First up is a costume, a nice little jacket
A pointy hat, and it’s best if it is green.

Next you have to be good at art,
You will be fixing things, making toys,
And helping to wrap presents
For Santa to give to good girls and boys.

Elves are proud of their pointy ears,
They are happy and kind and strong.
They are tiny and clever and work very hard.
And With Santa is where they belong.

And now, here are my girls being good little elves 🙂
Merry Christmas xxx

A Wriggly Nativity

This time of year, just before Christmas is lovely, especially when you have young children. I love the Nativity plays and carol concerts and even the school Christmas Fayre’s. My first memory goes back to my Eldest Daughter when she played an Angel in her nursery. All the little Angels came into the room swirling around until they reached the centre. Then they stopped and began to sing. Well, they all did except Eldest Daughter who suddenly became incredibly shy and spent the whole song sucking her finger. At least she didn’t cry!

When Star was in nursery I was really looking forward to her Nativity. It had been such a long time since I’d attended any school activity and even though it came when times where tough then it was a touch with the real world rather than the hospital bed side I was currently glued to. Sadly, it never happened because Star got poorly and couldn’t attend.

Both Star and Boo have made up for it since then though, last year they both took part in a lovely musical ‘Bethelehem’s Buzzin’ which was really great. Even gthe Little Man was singing along.

This year Star is taking part in a carol concert next week, and Boo took part in the ‘Wriggly Nativity’
She hadn’t been very well but after lying around doing nothing for five days I thought that maybe sending her into school for the nativity might just make her feel a little better. She wasn’t being sick or anything, just hot and sleepy all the time. So, on Tuesday I arrived at the school to watch the show. Boo was a little sheep and barely took part at all, she didn’t join in any of the songs or dancing and just looked ill. There was a couple of times when she brightened up a little but it was obvious that she was just trying to make an effort. Bless her, she said afterwards that she really enjoyed it but I kept her off school for another couple of days afterwards to make sure she was fully recovered. I did feel guilty but it’s so hard to decide what to do when there are no other symptoms of illness but listlessness.

Here is a little pic of the children being Wriggly!

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A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I’ve also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me…is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I’ve loved. If I don’t love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It’s always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I’ll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.