Thursday, 31 December 2009

The start of another year, 33

Yes, it’s the start of a new year for me. Not because it is the end of 2009 and the start of 2010, but because I just had my birthday and turned 33. The years are flying by and I am getting older faster than I expected! The 33rd year of my life was a mixture of good and hard times. It’s been wonderful getting to know the newest member of the family and sharing every minute with her. She has brought nothing but joy to our lives.

Anyway, my birthday this year was a lovely, quiet event, which is just what I needed, and wanted. As per usual I was woken up by an excited Barney who couldn’t wait for me to open my presents. The family all gathered on the big bed and Barney took the job of passing me presents to open. Little Rosie opened half of them for me and squealed with delight at their contents; even though she had no idea what they were. She seemed most delighted with a pair of polka dot underpants that she wore on her head as a hat!

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Jimmie brought his new keyboard up and played a song that he wrote for me. Then Rosie stole the microphone and had the most fun singing into it! (see photo above).

Tarja spent her own money and gave me the loveliest big wash bag full of smelly goodies. She did the same at Christmas when she bought me lots of new nail varnishes and made a beautiful paper mache and dough craft tray to set them in. I was really touched by her kindness.

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So what did I get for my 33rd birthday? Well, a lot of books that I’d requested – The Allergy Bible, Superfoods by David Wolfe, Grow Your Own Drugs, The Time Travellers Wife, Michael McIntyre Live DVD, Sex In The City DVD, some cool PJs, the coziest slippers I’ve ever owned, L’eau D’Issey Perfume set, some cool stress putty from Barney, scented candles, a digital photo keychain, 1000 tattoos book, socks, pants, gloves, a red glass heart necklace (the same as the green one I am wearing in the photo above), loads of delicious smellies and lots more. I was thoroughly spoilt!

Marty made me pancakes with strawberries for breakfast in bed. I spent almost the entire day reading books in bed (including all the new Asperger Syndrome books that I got for Christmas). Then in the afternoon we all had fish n chips whilst watching the new Ice Age 3 movie as a family. It was really nice just to relax and read all day long. If only every day could be like that!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Christmas – Part 2


A big part of Christmas this year was C’s birthday, which fell on Boxing Day.  Barney was as excited as she was about it.  In the morning Marty and Barney cooked C a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, beans, fried bread and tomatoes to get the birthday off to a good start.  Then she opened the presents we had gotten her.  We had put the presents under the tree after Christmas, and Barney took great pride in giving them to her one at a time.


We all sang happy birthday and made her a cake from Bakewell Tarts as we’d forgotten to get a proper birthday cake.  Mmm, I love cherry bakewells. Yum yum.  In the afternoon C and I headed off to the shop for the start of the Christmas sales. It wasn’t too busy and we picked up some real bargains!  Marty’s chin nearly hit the ground when I came home with so many bags of shopping!


On Sunday, just before C’s departure home we had a visit from A, another old school friend who’s Mum happens to live in the area.  She had flown over to Ireland for Christmas too. It was like a little mini reunion.  Barney was the main entertainment, and was in his element surrounded by women.  He had us all (mostly A) doing yoga with him!!  C had given him kids yoga flash cards for Christmas (they are brilliant!) and he was going through all the ones that required a partner!  What a laugh we had.


It was great to see A again, and just brilliant having C over to visit.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it!

Christmas 2009 – Part 1

I really wish that I was better at coming up with catchy titles for my posts. But my brain always just goes blank. And so here we have a post about Christmas 2009.

Twas a good Christmas, although a little manic. In truth I don’t really remember much about Christmas 08 as I was in a lot of pain from the C section, and was nursing a 2 week old baby. This year I had expected things to be much calmer and more relaxed. It didn’t really happen that way. Little Rosie got very ill 2 days before Christmas.

My wonderful, dear friend C arrived to spend Christmas with us on the 22nd. That night Rosie was up crying the entire night. She developed a temperature and got very unwell. In the morning I phoned the doctors and was told to bring her straight in.  Her temp was 39.5, but that was after taking paracetamol, which wasn’t good! It turned out that she had a kidney infection so they prescribed her antibiotics, and told me to bring her back if she got any worse. By the afternoon she had started vomiting, had come out in a rash and her temp still hadn’t gone down. So I phoned the doctors and they had me take her straight back down.  This time they noticed that she had developed tonsillitis too. So the poor girl was not a happy bunny in the slightest.  She spent 2 days being very unwell; then 2 days being lethargic, clingy and sleeping a lot. Then finally started to brighten up. Yesterday (28th) was the first day she was totally back to her old self.

So Christmas wasn’t relaxing as Rosie was super clingy and was up until 11pm each night, instead of 7pm.  But we all still managed to have a pretty good time even so.

It was just wonderful having C over for Christmas, and I think she enjoyed herself too!  Barney took to her immediately, and she took to him just as readily.  They were inseparable!  She was such a good sport; playing countless games of doctors and nurses and hide the bauble, amongst other games.  She has a good understanding of Asperger Syndrome which was really helpful.  It was a shame that she didn’t get to see Rosie at her best though.

Four stockings were hung out this year. I remember taking a photo of little Rosie inside her stocking last year! She was far too unwell to know what was going on so her brothers and sister hung her stocking up for her, whilst little Barney put out the mince pies and carrot for Santa and Rudolph.


Barney woke at 3am and came into our bedroom asking if it was morning.  Marty answered ‘no son, Santa hasn’t even been yet’, to which he replied ‘he has been, I’ve been downstairs and someone has got a new bike!’  He was sent back to bed but re-emerged at 3.30am!  We sent him back to bed and didn’t see him again until about 8am.  We left Rosie sleeping as she wasn’t well, and the kids got started on their Santa prezzies.  They all did extremely well. Barney got a new bike, a telescope and countless other cool toys.  Tarja got two full length mirrors (one of which she sat on and smashed!), a huge box of makeup, lots of new cool clothes and smellies.  Whilst Badger got a keyboard, a new mobile phone (yes, his fourth I believe – we are taking bets on how long this one lasts!) new music CD’s and lots more. 


When Rosie finally emerged she fell in love with the big teddy bear that Santa had left for her, and then opened her prezzies very, very slowly; with a little cuddle and rest between each one.


Mum came over for Christmas dinner, bringing more presents with her than Id ever seen before.  Marty cooked a gorgeous dinner of turkey and duck, with all the usual trimmings.  The roast potatoes were divine (I have a bit of a love affair with the old roastie!) 

It was a lovely Christmas, despite the sickness and mania. I hope next year to get back to the old relaxing Christmas where we have open fires every night and drink lots of hot chocolate!  But everyone had fun. It was probably Barneys best Christmas ever, as he had a live in entertainer to keep him company!  It was so lovely having C there for Christmas, and we hope that she comes back again soon!

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Christmas Weekend Craft Extravaganza

I have a lot of blogging to catch up on. Here is the first of three or so posts.

My Mum is such a cool Nanny. She organised a Christmas crafting weekend for the grandchildren at her house just before Christmas.  What a weekend it was! And one that the grand children will remember for ever.  We spent the weekend sleeping over at my Mums house, and spent the two days making all sorts of yummy, exciting Christmas gifts. Mum made truffles and raspberry ruffles with the kids first. Then we spent a good part of the day making dough craft gifts.  It was very messy but they all loved it! I took my dehydrator along to dry them super fast so that we could then wrap them as well.


The kids made all sorts of really imaginative gifts for their parents, teachers and best friends. I made a dough craft family portrait for Marty for Christmas, and another one for my friend C who came to stay with us over the Christmas period.



In the evening my Mum and my wee sister decorated the Christmas tree, with help mostly from myself and Barney.  He loves decorating trees and inspecting every shiny bauble. Mum has such a great collection of Christmas decorations, compared to the awful, cheapy, plastic baubles we have at home!


The kids all slept over in the living room. It is a BIG living room as you can see!  They watched WallE, cinema style with Mums projector, at midnight! You can imagine how exciting that must be for a bunch of young cousins.  Barney didn’t manage to sleep the night with the kids, and soon came snuggling into bed with me. 



The following morning was spent making crafts with Nanny and Aunty Hannah.  They made boxes to wrap up their dough crafts, hand made cards, Yule logs, Christmas decorations and all sorts.  I think it was a wonderful weekend, and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  As did the adults! 

Thanks Nanny!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Ass Burglars

Barney and I had such a laugh when we realised he was saying ‘Ass Burglars’ instead of Asperger’s. We rolled around on my bed in fits of laughter.

Today Barney had his Ass Burglars appointment. Another one that we’ve been waiting months for. He and I went to the children’s hospital in Lurgan where he played with a lovely lady who assessed his social and communication skills whilst I talked grown-up stuff with the doctor. Once again I answered the same questions, for an hour and a half; whilst Barney played Guess Who and Jenga, and looked at cards of peoples emotional expressions.

Then they asked Barney and I to wait outside whilst they discussed their findings. 15 minutes later we were called back in, where the doctor explained that there is no question what-so-ever that Barney does have Asperger Syndrome. He said it was blatantly obvious to him. The speech therapist said that Barney had talked one on one to her about things he was interested in and that his eye contact wasn’t too bad once he got relaxed, and that his sentence formation was very advanced for his age. But his social understanding was lacking. He was able to distinguish emotions in pictures, such as anger or uspet, but wasn’t able to give reasons as to why someone might feel angry or upset, etc.

They had already had discussions with his teachers at school via the phone. Now that he has been diagnosed the school can receive extra funding to provide additional help for him. The doctor said that his anxiety is typical of a highly intelligent Asperger. He said that the world is confusing to him, but that because he is so intelligent he is constantly trying to work everything out and make sense of things. Which means that his wee brain never gets to relax, so he is in a constant state of anxiety and exhaustion.

The doctor also advised me to get a prescription for Melatonin. I will have to look into this some more. But he suggested that it is helpful for children with autistic spectrum disorders and ADHD type conditions. They don’t produce enough of the hormone melatonin to get to sleep at night and this is the reason why he is still trying to get to sleep at 11pm. And whilst he is lying in bed all he can do is think. So he thinks anxious thoughts and gets upset and then still can’t sleep. The melatonin is supposed to regulate the bodies inner time clock or something. I shall have to read up on it.

So what now? More of the waiting game. In about 9 weeks time two different autism bodies will contact us; one via the education authority and one via the health service. They will liaise with us and the school to provide assistance and help where needed. When Barney is 8 he will attend some social courses to help him interact better with other people. People will be coming out to our house to help teach us how to deal with panic attacks and anxiety, and to show us how to prepare timetables for Barney, and various different methods to help him. And that’s about all I know for now. They gave me a list of books to buy, but they are all rather costly at this time of year!

Edit - the doctor also said that he will be sending me a copy of his diagnosis letter. So that should be some interesting reading.

Monday, 14 December 2009

It’s that time of year, again


Yes, the tree is up! I told the kids it couldn’t go up until after Rosie’s birthday. So Barney woke up the day after Rosie’s birthday squealing ‘yay we get to put the tree up today!’  And that was that.  We bought a new tree this year; a black one. The tree we had been using for 16 years is actually older than me, very large and far too wide for a living room. So now we have a swanky black one to match our sofa’s.

This year we put it up together, whilst eating mince pies with cream.  Rosie was asleep, but her eyes near popped out of her head when she came down and saw this massive, twinkly big thing full of shiny baubles in her living room!  We put all the non breakable ones at the bottom so that she can have fun pulling them off. We can’t put our presents under yet, as she has now learnt how to open presents and would undoubtedly have them all opened well before Christmas!

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Sunday, 13 December 2009

Happy First Birthday Rosie


Well, it’s happened, my littlest one has celebrated her first birthday, and so I suppose she is no longer a baby.  Time is seriously scary the heebie jeebies outta me!

We had a nice day at home. In the morning Rosie opened some presents from us with help from Barney, who was as excited for her as if it was his own birthday! (See video in post below).  Once she realised there was exciting things inside the wrapping paper she got pretty good at opening the presents. Although she wasn’t in any rush and slowly opened them across the day, from 9am till 9pm.

In the evening the family came over for some food and a little relaxed party.  They brought more presents and she had a ball opening them, and playing with their contents.  She was pretty shy at first and not used to the attention. When we brought the birthday cake in (see a few posts below this one for photos of the cake Barney decorated) she hid her face in my neck as we all sang Happy Birthday to her. 

Thank you to everyone that sent or gave her presents. She had a lovely day and was thoroughly spoilt!

Here are some photos, the rest are in the album below…

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Saturday, 12 December 2009

Rosie opens her first ever present

One year ago today....

It's hard to believe that this was taken exactly a year ago. How our baby has grown and changed since then. This was the first photo and the first moment I held little Rosie after I woke up from the anasthetic.

Friday, 11 December 2009

The adventures of Miss Rosie

Rosie riding in her car

One day before her first birthday. We discovered this old toy that use to belong to Luke. She was pretty impressed with it.

The Adventures of Rosie, part 2…

Tomorrow is Rosie’s first birthday! Everyone in the house is excited. Today Barney and I made a cake. Well, we didn’t really make the cake, we just customised it.  The theme of the cake is ‘doggies’ or ‘woof woof’. Here is a piccie….

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It is Christmas Cake inside! Yum yum yum.

Rosie has been adventuring more today than ever before. I think she is on a mission to see the entire house and every unexplored room before her birthday.  She crawled so much that she’s gone to bed early with exhaustion!  Photos below….

The first exploration of the downstairs bathroom! Lots of things to pull down and squeal at here.


What this? Another room? Rosie discovers a room she didn’t know existed!


I’m coming to get you Mum!!!


Oh! It’s the office! It looks different from way down here….


There are hours of fun to be had with a newly discovered shelf full of dvds and videos!


And she made it into Tarja’s room for a sneaky look around….


But Mummy and Daddy’s room is the most interesting! It has swinging mirrors, hair straighteners and lots of drawers full of things that are great for emptying!


More photos  of Rosie’s adventures can be seen here….

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Rosie’s crib…

Rosie, in 3 days time you will be one year old! This is what your bedroom looks like aged 1. It will probably change a LOT over the years as you develop your own tastes and start hoarding clutter!  Barney and Tarja have both made lots of pictures for you which they stuck on your bedroom wall for you to look at when you are in your cot. You LOVE these pictures. They really make you smile!

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Barney’s Hide Away….

Barney, this was your bedroom when you were 6 years old. You used to have a car bed, but now you have a big boys bed. Your room needs decorating. It needs a new carpet and paint on the walls.  I forgot to take a photo of your big walk in wardrobe with all your toys in it though.

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