Saturday, 27 February 2010

Small Pleasures

It's a photo-post today. I don't know if I'm in a sappier mood than usual, but after last week's antics, the kids have been up to some really sweet things. I've snapped some of them, from graffitti on the kitchen table to the posters in our front window:

Friday, 19 February 2010

Being Miss Marple

I'm always up for a bit of a puzzle. And now my rather geeky taste for conundrums is helping me out in real life.

I've touched on this before, understanding autistic children, even (or especially) for those of us who know them well can be tricky.

Yesterday Lyla smashed 24 eggs in the sink, poured all the shampoo & bubble bath in the house down the plughole and then hid my MacBook....

Now, this is nothing new, she has done all these things before (many times!), but each time there's a different reason. And that's the puzzle....

Sometimes her behaviour might be acting out something she has heard and taken literally, for instance 'Don't put all your eggs in one basket'- this is usual for autistic people.

Having asked her why she'd done it, the next day (sometimes it can take Lyla this long to process a question, or even longer), she said that she'd done it 'as a sign for me that she want's to make cakes' (?!).

Now I have no problem with us making cakes, but the egg-cracking and stirring part can only be drawn out for 10 minutes, max, so I had to think up something else suitable.

It seems that the egg-cracking & shampoo-pouring satisfies some sort of sensory deficit, common in autistic children.

So , to prevent the cost of constantly replacing eggs and shampoo (even Poundland shampoo gets expensive if it's poured away every day), maybe she might enjoy trying Play-doh again?

We previously had to ban Play-doh because she ate it in such big quantities and ground it into everything- carpets, video slots and most memorably the door lock, where it set and I had to call a locksmith to open the door.

I used the this recipe from The Madhouse and added pink colouring glitter, my special ingredient for a touch of glamour- it's the best one I've tried, although you need seriously buff biceps when it gets to the kneading stage!

250ml salt
750ml warm water
750ml plain flour
3 tablespoons of oil
6 teaspoons of cream of tartar
Food colouring

Just put the salt & water into a pan and wait for the salt to melt. Add the rest of the ingredients and heat over medium heat until it starts to pull away from the sides. Knead it for a bit, eh Voila!

And the result......

Two hours of playing (Ten minutes is usually a struggle for us!) and 'I LOVE play-doh''s all round.

Episodes like this make me think I should go away and read Jung's Man & His Symbols or make like the cheesy Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code and become a full-time 'Symbologist'!!

So, the unlikely solution to the mystery of the egg-cracking was Play-Doh.

Who said I shouldn't be a detective?


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Sunshine Blog Award

Thankyou very much to Superlittlemen of I Love My Mad Life blog for giving me this award :-)

When I first started blogging (all the way back in October 2009!!!), I was really keen to find autism & other blogging sites that I could relate to.

So, here's an opportunity for me to list some of the blogs that I've found inspiring so far.

Right so the rules of the award are as follows:

* Put the Logo on your sidebar, or within a post.
* Pass the award onto 12 Bloggers. (yes really 12)
* Link the nominees within your post.
* Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
* Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award

My first blog is 101birdtales, because Amelia who writes it was the person who encouraged me to blog in the first place. Thanks for giving me the push. She's a good friend and her blog is really inspirational- go have look!

These are all lovely and interesting people:

Crystal Jigsaw for her warm-hearted writing about her life and her autistic daughter

A Boy with Aspergers for being so informative and to great, pro-active Claire who writes it!

Mother of Shrek- Casdok's writing is brilliant and she has an extensive list of interesting links

Oliver's Journey about a family's journey with autism, Ali also set up the excellent Autism UK page on Faceboook

Off We Go blog, packed with lots of interesting autism snippets

Autist's Corner for some thought-provoking posts on the issues around autism, from an autistic woman's point of view

Whitterer on Autism, tales from her life with four children, two with autism, two without

I Love My Mad Life, a brand new autism blog

Two autism blogs which inspired me when I started, who are worth a watch as I'll hope they'll post again soon are:

Rebel Mother

Beautiful Spectrum

Finally, More than Just a Mother -just discovered her blog, which she subtitles Extreme Parenting...she's got an interesting story to tell about her babies, one I can relate too as a fellow twins-mum

So, go visit these blogs & let's share the love!!!! ;-)

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Ten Surreal Moments

This post is in response to the British Mummy Bloggers Carnival (writing competition) organised by Carly who writes the blog Wives & Daughters. The challenge is to think of your Top Ten Surreal Mummy Moments! So here are a few of mine......

The very FIRST thing that comes to mind is the day I found out I was going to be a mum. I was chatting away with my husband at the scan, having been told that the baby was fine. But then the sonographer leaned over and asked if I had twins in the family which I thought was rather odd until she turned the screen round and said 'because there are three babies in there'. I just dissolved- TRIPLETS!!!! How would I ever cope?

The SECOND surreal event was the birth. Having been booked in for a planned Caesarean, it was rather odd turning up and booking in: 'Hello I've come to have my babies'. Like checking in at a really grotty hotel! Three babies had sadly become two. I remember hearing a baby cry as they lifted it up and saying 'It's a baby!'. It seems strange now that I would have been shocked: you'd have thought the penny would've dropped after nine months.....

The THIRD thing which can't pass without comment is the size of me before I gave birth. I had water retention and lost almost 3 ½ stone during the Caesarean! I looked pretty normal from the front but from the side it was total eclipse of the Sun...

FOURTHLY, having both babies in admitted to hospital in the same week (one on Valentines Day) at the age of nine-months. One had bronchiolitis with severe breathing difficulties, the other had bacterial meningitis and septicaemia. Quite serious, but thankfully they're both fighting fit now.

Baby Reggae in Brixton is the FIFTH thing which comes to mind. Rasta Santa in his black taxi- brilliant!

SIXTHLY, being used to being accosted in every supermarket/ shop/doctor's surgery/ street by people asking are they twins/Buy-one-get-one-free? And then the inevitable cavalcade of questions: Breast or Bottle? Natural Birth? Identical or Non-Identical? (Er no, ones dark and one's blonde- who was bunking off O-level biology then, eh?) But while these (quite personal!) questions were the norm, the most surreal one was from the lady who stopped me in Marks & Sparks & asked if they were had the same dad??????? I've since been told that this IS biologically possible (don't ask!)....but I don't quite think that was ther gist!

The SEVENTH thing I can't forget is returning on a 12 hour night-flight from California after a family wedding when the twins were sixteen-months old. Everything started well with people cooing over them. But the attention soon turned hostile when they started screaming. In Stereo. And didn't stop for the rest of the flight. Happily, my memory of the event is slightly blurred by the alcohol that the lovely gay flight attendant kept plying me with from the First class cabin!!

Number EIGHT: I went up to the loo. I came down. Two tots were sitting on the floor with a bottle of Jack Daniels, which they'd poured into two glasses. One twin held up the glass at me and said 'Nice'. (Please don't call Social Services!!!)

I still cringe when I recall number NINE. They were three. We needed shoes. Everyone else's single kids had long stopped using the buggy, so I thought I'd better wean them off it. BIG MISTAKE!!! Both decided they didn't want shoes, ran out of the shop, and off into the crowds in opposite directions. Which one should I chase first? I ran for the nearest one who then started screaming 'You're not my mummy' and shrieking as if I was about to kill her. I was nearly in tears as I couldn't find the other twin and then looked up to find a police officer asking if he could help me?

Number TEN has to be the day they locked me out of the house. They were three. I went to put the rubbish, out taking my key in case the door slammed. When I turned the key in the lock, I realised that they'd deadbolted the door against me. I could see one child through the letterbox (who refused to open the door). The other twin was nowhere to be seen and wouldn't answer me. After the frantic involvement of neighbours and phoning locksmiths (who were too busy!), my mother's instinct took over and I managed to kick the door down and discovered the other twin sitting by the open freezer having slyly consumed several tubs of ice-cream.

I feel quite exhausted having related these tales of my domestic chaos, so I'll put my virtual pen down now......thanks for reading.

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