Sunday, 24 June 2012

The exams are over ....hoooorrraaaayyyy!!!! As of this past Friday we're all done ... and most definitely 'dun-in' from all the stress of revising ..lol! The examining board very thoughtfully left the worst/best/most important exam til' the very end ... Abi's Biology 'A' Level ... the one she needs to pass to study her Biology Degree at Lancaster University !!! No pressure then ;) Jacob actually finished his final exam on Monday so he's been free all week to play football , clean his room, play Wii, clean his room, play more football, clean his room , play his Nintendo  .... he just needs to clean his room and he will have had a very busy and fulfilling week!! ;)  So now we're faced with a summer awaiting results and hoping that University and College entry needs are met. Abs will be kept busy working at Asda every hour of the day saving up to fund University, so hopefully won't have toooo much time to stress and worry until nearer the day that results come out in August. Jake will possibly be able to distract himself with his football, Wii and Nintendo ...and cleaning his room!! :) Watching him now waving his  Wii controllers at 'Zelda somebody or other' he certainly doesn't seem tooooo worried about results ... hahaha
Summer has arrived and of course we've woke up each morning to rain , rain and more rain. I've been watching our neighbours garden gradually flood over the last day or so wondering if the water level will rise enough to flood us, although our sand pit is looking a tad soggy :)  Friday was torrential rain , we think we got about 4 inches!!! A good day to stay cozy and warm indoors and do some sewing ... or you could just be the kind of person that picks the very wettest day of the entire year to go hang around a garage waiting for new tyres to be delivered and fitted to replace the rather illegal ones you've obliviously been driving around  for the last month or so ... Oooops! I opted to become legal again and sorted the tyres out ... how am I supposed to know about tyre treads and such? Silly car was only in for a service a couple of months ago, no-one told me my tyres might need changing ... :)  Anyway job's done, I'm legally tyred again, no more worrying that Mr Policeman is going to pull me over and lock me up ( I did only find out the day before that my tyres were illegal ... haven't been driving around illegally  knowingly, but I did have to drop Abi off at college for her exam on my way to the garage ....eeeeaaakk!)... Mr Policeman didn't 'catch me' although he has sent me a rather nice letter inviting me to go on a special course! Speeding Ticket! Pay up and points on my licence or Pay up and  do a days speed awareness course and no points on my licence. No excuses, I should know better so I'll eat humble pie and accept the consequences.

The Angels are doing well, Esther is having a good run of 'seizure-free' time ... I think its about 7 weeks now since our last Grand Mal , which is excellent. We can cope with the daily Partial Seizures , its the biggies we don't like! She's very happy and settled at the moment. Mim is sooooo cute! I love my baby soooo much, she can get away with anything when she turns those big brown eyes on you! Even one of her younger cousin's noted that "Mim has beautiful big brown eyes ... but she's still naughty sometimes!" That sums up Mim perfectly , a gorgeous little face but what lies beneath ..... ?  :)   I often wonder if I see my Angels thru' rose tinted glasses, they do 'look' different to other 'normal' children and we always get lots of stares but to me they are beautiful... even if at times we have eyes pointing in different directions, dribble everywhere and great big bogey's hanging out of our nose!! ( I actually have a school photo that looks just like that , Lol!)  They're my beautiful Angels and I Love them.  :)

There's been sewing going on! I'm starting to catch up on my Woolly BOM ...
Block 2 of Heart and Home ... those triangle things still give me recurring grief when I see them .... the memories!! :)

Block 3 ...again haunted by those square-triangle things!! I could be emotionally scarred! ;) Also I added a few more berries, just looked a bit odd to me with one small berry on such a thick vine ... I copied the applique pieces exactly ... its not me thats made thick vines ... and they're not supposed to be needleturned ... just fat vines! :)

Blocks 4, 5 and 6 were/are a bit fiddlier ....
 The tree branches and leaves over lap blocks so I just decided to sew all three together rather than trying to match up later, enjoying it but there's a lot of leaves! :)  Hence I sew a few leaves, get bored and sew a bit of the house block, then persevere and sew a few more leaves ...lol! Expecting my next group of Blocks from PG soon , thought they were due in May, starting to worry that they're lost or something ... hoping that mean Mr Import Taxes & Duty Man hasn't got them! :( 

I've also finished another couple of cross stitch projects ...
'Country Stitches - with thy needle and thread' monthly hanging door pillows , tweaked May slightly to change the American flag into the Union Jack :) Soooo enjoying these monthly stitching's, I am behind, as the series actually started last October but I didn't 'find' them until February. I have the patterns for Oct- Jan so I have no worries about missing out and I'm just using my own floss and linen supplies ... its not a BOM as such I just buy each monthly pattern as it becomes available  :)

 I've also finished another Blackbird Design. Its called 'Hedgerow Birds - Project Bag', a Loose Feathers pattern.  Front and Back photos .....
   I'm using mine as a journal bag, yes I do have a secret journal, I have heart thoughts that I need to share privately and not across cyber-space ... hahahaha   :)  I love the colours of the variegated threads. The first picture is closer to the true colours and shades of the fabric and threads , don't quite know what happened in the second picture... my dynamic photography skills no doubt :)  I'm pleased with the finish, its good to actually complete a project and admire it ... hahaha

Well another long entry ... can't seem to do short ones :) I do have more bits and bobs to share but will save those for next time. Time to go chase some Angels, they're bound to be up to mischief :)  And I probably should check how long Jacob has been Wii-ing, once he's in the 'zone' he's oblivious to time :) and he could possibly do with a teensy bit more encouragement to clean his room !!!! :) We won't even talk about the pit that is Abi's room :)   Chasing children ... its all about the Joys of Motherhood ;)

Love  Wendy x x

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Just found a few moments to pop into my blog/journal ... found my net book lying around unused!! :) We're still in the middle of exams here but edging closer to the last few ... then its just a summer of anxious waiting for results to come out and hopefully the start of College and University :)

This is probably just going to be one of those rambley 'family-memory' type entries ... not much sewing going on  :(  my head hasn't really been able to focus on anything just lately ... but I wanted to write down and remember recent events ... one of those I'll be able to look back and smile and think we did it episodes. So this entry is probably more for me than of any interest to anyone else :)

We've had a very, very different kind of week here (as in last week , so its all done and dusted now ... even though I still kind of feel I'm reeling from after-shock ...lol!) Do you remember that at the beginning of the year I  shared some kind of mysterious 'we have plans' news? Well it wasn't the arrival of a new baby ... HA! ... or divorce or moving house or anything like that  ... hehehe.  The plans were/are to do with our Angels and a change in their respite package that we manage with the help of the Social Services Department and our Direct Payments package. We are a kind of unique 'family case' in that we have two little girls with profound learning disabilities and complex health issues ( diagnostic clinical data coming out ...hahaha) We are very fortunate that we are able to receive alot of help and support if we so desire, unlike alot of families around the country and even with children attending our own Special School.  Maybe we're just lucky!!! We are not a demanding family, we're very private and very happy to manage our lives as best we can on our own. I very rarely 'bother' my social worker, only usually speak to her once a year or so when we are due a appraisal/revision. Over the years many 'plans' have been put to us as a family about the kind of support and help we could/should access, we've settled really well into our own managed respite thru' the direct payment scheme and feel very fortunate that we have the freedom to plan and organise ourselves this way - I'm sure its of benefit to 'them' too, not having to be directly involved  ;)          One of the suggestions that has come up year after year is accessing overnight residential respite for the Angels. Something that I've strongly been against since it was first mentioned when Esther was old enough to be offered a 'place' when she was 8 years old, she's 14 now and Mim-Lou is 9  :)  That's how long I've said "NO" for!  :)  My hand was slightly forced at the end of last summer when my lovely Social Worker gave a final huge push of encouragement, partly because she felt it was time, and partly because she was moving away and wanted to be the one that set everything in place, rightly she'd had  alot of involvement with the Angels over the years and wanted to make sure they received a 'package' that was well suited to them planned by someone who knew them.  As I said I did feel that my hand was somewhat forced but decided to put my trust and faith in the right places and let her do her thing so to speak . The upshot was that we decided to 'try' the Angels accessing a night a couple of times each month, at a residential special needs respite 'centre/day and night care'.  So for the last couple of months .... takes aaaaages in all the planning  waiting on the panels who decide on everything from suitability to funding, to transport and dates of attendance ....  They've decided now! :) And the plan is that my beautiful Angels generally go to school on  Monday morning and after school on a predetermined date attend 'Maplewood' where they have dinner, an activity of some sort, like swimming, a walk to the park, even chips and ice-cream at MacDonald's :) Then they  'sleep' the night and return to school on Tuesday morning and back home after school on Tuesday afternoon. It's not each and every week so its not quite frequent enough to be regular ...that will come in time, small steps first :) ... but its regular enough to be part of a new routine ...  does that make sense??    And so far so good , its worked well and I think my Angels enjoy their time away. The staff at 'Maplewood' have truly being wonderful they care for my Angels as the pair of cheeky monkeys that they truly are, they've taken time to learn their little ways and understand their individual quirks. Most importantly to me they've accepted and allowed them to be sisters and not forced them to be identified by either their ages or disabilities.  I think my Angels are happy going there.  I cannot put into words how my head and heart feels about everything. My heart aches and feels so desolate without them and not matter how many times I'm told that its good for the girls, its good for me, its good for this, that and the other. In my heart I feel I've kind of somehow failed as a Mother ... my head tells me to face up to facts, I'm getting older ...hahaha, I'm not a bad Mother but I do need a physical break from all the physical care the girls need, The girls are in safe hands, I have older children that need attention from their Mum, My Angels are happy, and I can ring 'Maplewood' at any time of day or night to ease my 'mum-worries' about my girls ( and believe me I have rung both day and night ...lol!) My head tells me all these things and more and I can fully accept them as rational and positive arguments  ... but my heart ... my heart is a mothers heart and I don't think it will ever feel right to send my children to the care of another just so I can 'rest' ...  but maybe my girls need a rest from me ... hehehe ;)

That's a rather long explanation for my opening line of we've had a different kind of week .. think of all the above as background information ..hahaha .. This week has been different because Esther went away with school mid-week for an adventure of a life time  :) { Sneaky teachers at school used the 'Maplewood' nighttime respite against me ...lol! }  Each year school takes a party of 6 children up to the Lake District to attend a residential activity centre run by the Calvert Trust who specialise in outdoor pursuit type activities. What a week my Esther has had ...  she's been sailing, orienteering, rock climbing, canoeing and 'zip-wiring' all suitable harnessed to an instructor ...lol! I can't quite believe the list of all the activities :)  I was understandably very hesitant about Esther going, but her 1:1 support teacher was actually one of our own respite carers, so I felt better knowing that she was with someone who not only who worked with her at school but whom also enjoyed lots of fun with her at the weekend and knows my Angel very well. I will say right now that I did cry most of the week , on and off  lol! The group left Monday morning and came home Friday afternoon, so that was 4 nights my Angel was away ... something we have never ever, ever done. I would like to say that Esther had a horrendous time and hated every minute of it  and just wanted to come home to her mama ...hehehe But of course she had a fabulous time, all her teachers said she was the star of the trip, she bravely attempted every challenge and surprised everyone with how well she coped with so many changes to her normal routine. Not one seizure ... which I prayed very hard for :)  and she has come back very bright eyed and happy. We've not received any photos yet as they came home on the last day of school before the 1/2 term holidays, but my lovely carer did send me some mobile texty photos ... she was lovely , responded to all my texts and contacted me each night when Esther had fallen asleep and on a morning when she woke up, probably sound s a bit OTT but those times are our 'danger' times and I really appreciated the comfort of those texts and calls :)                                    How did little Mim cope with her big sister away? Well she was lost for the first day or so , waiting for Esther to come home, kept waiting by the front door and at bedtime would search under the duvet and pillows to try and find Esther ...aaawww!  She was quite subdued and a teensy bit clingy ... which honestly I didn't mind , we comfort snuggled each other ...lol! She was very excited when our adventurer returned and there were lots of cuddles and sloppy kisses exchanged :) I feel so very proud of my Esther for such a big achievement, proud of myself too that I didn't drive all the way up to the Lakes following the mini bus to bring her back home ...hehehee   And whilst I did 'comfort-eat' copious amounts of chocolate, I didn't cause a national shortage, I don't think I did anyway ... hehehee :)

I kind of feel we have reached and conquered another milestone in our 'journey' ( blah! ...hate that term ...hahaha) I can't say that I'm totally relaxed and happy with it but over the last number of months I've come to accept the changes and I do recognise the benefits , its a kind of love-hate thing , I hate my girls being away from me but I do enjoy that one evening where I can relax and just do nothing!  Goodness knows how I'm going to cope with Abigael leaving for University in September/October !!! :)

I feel exhausted after putting that all into words, maybe that's good .... therapy ??   hahaha
So before I ramble on any more I'm going to finish there and go to bed with my Angels :)  Sorry there's no sewing or wool lovin' , but hopefully now some of the excitement of life is over I'll be able to sew up a storm and get back into my woolly groove :)

Big Hugs   Wendy x x