Not winning at Life… and the signs it’s all going a bit ‘tits up!’

Not long ago, I thought I had it sorted.  For me, I was doing ok.  I’m certainly no Monica Geller but a little meal planning and some organisation with the laundry meant that we were reasonably well fed and clothed which then led me to be more organised with other aspects of life. I even did a fist bumping, back slapping blog about it (The Domino effect) … I was that impressed with myself!

Unfortunately, that’s all gone to shit and I really don’t know how I got from being more organised to constantly chasing my tail.  I’m doing a social media course at the moment which is taking up a chunk of my time every week, but as a Mum working part time, surely I can handle this?  It would seem not!

I find myself wondering how the hell mums working full time or mums with more than two children or single mums manage to do it all – because of course, when you’re losing at life, you feel like nobody else is, you’re the only one… when the reality is, they are probably losing to some extent too!

At the moment, there is so much do to at home that I just don’t know where to start… so I don’t! By 6.00pm, hubby and I are both feeling shattered and the last thing either of us feel like doing is sorting the mountain of washing that has piled up in the bath… not posh enough to own a ‘utility’ or sort out lunches etc etc!

This has made me think about the obvious signs (for me) that its all going a bit ‘tits up’…

  1. I have a freezer full of food but none of it goes together.  I have a bag of onion bajis, a bag of tuna steaks, some frozen raspberries and a loaf of gluten free bread!
  2. The cupboards aren’t much better.  Nothing that could make up a meal in combination with the freezer – although I do seem to have an abundance of coconut milk!?
  3. So I try and go one more day without doing ‘Big Food Shop’ because I either; can’t be arsed/it’s too cold/there’s  anything more important to do, but the upshot is I have to make four separate meals from what there is left!
  4. When I do finally get myself shopping, I’ve left it too late to do a list, let alone a meal plan, so I work off my incredibly hazy brain.  This results in at least £80 being spent on anything but more than two meals that go together because the rest has gone on Children in Need paraphernalia/Christmas jumpers & slippers… or whatever else is needed this week!
  5. The above results in less exotic meals being cooked… usually something with chips & beans!
  6. From food to laundry… the washing baskets (of clean washing) are bloody overflowing and every day I pledge to sort them out and distribute to the relevant owner.  This of course, doesn’t happen which results in every morning, me trying to find school socks/PE shorts or anything else that’s needed 10 minutes before we leave in the morning!
  7. Worst still is that I discover what should be in that basket is still in the machine and I have to panic tumble dry it in 30 minutes.  Even worse is when what is needed has to be washed, dried and ironed… yeah… forget it!
  8. There are loads of socks in the drawer.. but none of them match… probably because the rest are in that washing basket… or the dog has pinched them!
  9. My birthday reminder is Facebook!  Usually around 3pm I’ll see that I need to buy a card for someone! Arrrrgghhhh!
  10. The house downstairs is doing reasonably ok… but if someone came round and needed to use the upstairs bathroom, I’d literally shit myself… and possibly they’re about to!!
  11. Christmas shopping – in real shops?  The majority once again will be done on Amazon…. its my bloody saviour!
  12. I’m so tired at the end of the day from failing, I need an early night – I sod what needs doing and pledge to get up early and wing it in the morning… and the whole merry dance starts again!

If I’m honest, what hasn’t helped is that this week I put my back out and hubby has been amazing in taking control of everything, whilst I’ve had to sit on my arse! Sounds wonderful… but when you’re forced to do it, you really don’t want to!

Please let me know I am not alone…  let me know this is you too or let me know the signs when you know you are #failing!    I’m now off to re-read my ‘Domino’ (winning at life) blog for some inspiration!

Love and Hugs,

Mother’s Daughter xxx

When Magic Kingdom just isn’t so magic! Our (not so) magical stories of Florida!

When Magic Kingdom just isn’t so magic! Our (not so) magical stories of Florida!

Ok, that may sound a little harsh. Disney’s Magic Kingdom really IS magic, especially if you have never been before. I distinctly remember the first time my mum came with us to Florida, she stood at the top of Main Street looking up towards the Cinderella’s castle, and she cried… she was 58 at the time!! Just goes to show, all ages are touched by Disney magic.

However, when you take an autistic child to Disney, its a different story.

The first time we took both children, Ellie was seven and her brother George was three and we went the first two weeks of December. We left on a dark Thursday evening to travel up to Heathrow on the train and stay overnight to catch our flight in the morning.

Being the last day of November, we were naturally all dressed in coats, hats and scarfs when we boarded our flight… and we were to find out that this would be to our detriment by the time we got off!!

Thankfully, flight went reasonably well. Typically, George fell asleep on take off for his first ever flight! For most of the flight  the kids were glued to their tv’s, and they killed time by going to the toilet multiple times.  Ellie was also eating most of the way there (anything to keep her occupied). I swear it took is at least four hours to watch one bloody film!

On the landing George once again fell asleep! He was absolutely out of it and we really couldn’t wake the boy up! So trying to get out of the plane was a real struggle. Hand luggage, coats, scarves and a sleeping three-year old in my arms. We felt likethose donkeys in Spain cruelly being forced to carry luggage up a hill! Add to that, Ellie was really nervous and worried about what was coming next as we went into the airport… little did we know!

As you can imagine, the terminal is full of people queuing to get through customs. Lines and lines of passengers moving at a snail’s pace. Already Ellie was starting to get agitated. Then she asked “do you have Bellagio Bear?”

Now, Bellagio Bear (aka Daniel) was a special bear given to Ellie by her godmother and had travelled all the way from the famous hotel in Las Vegas. This bear had sat for a good few years on the shelf being ignored, but all of a sudden, he was in the limelight and had recently made it onto the Ellie’s bed and into Ellie’s arms. That’s like ‘soft toy goals’!

However, looking around, neither of us had Daniel with us. George is still snoozing and feeling like a lead weight and we are looking frantically through four sets of hand luggage for the bloody bear – nothing! Cue the whaling! Yes, the whole flight looked around to see what the screaming was about… “Daniel is gone” she wailed! We quickly had to establish with the people around us that Daniel was indeed a bear and not another child!

We knew exactly where we were sat on the plane but when the crew went back to look, Daniel was gone!  I often wonder what part of the world Daniel ended up in!

For our trip I was mega organised. List after list, after list! I drew up visual itineraries for everything to help Ellie, the travelling to the hotel, the travelling on the plane and then details of where we were going each day. I also ordered a book from Disney called The little Big book of Magic which she took everywhere. It gives details about absolutely everything from the parks, to the restaurants, to the hotels and by the time we were half way through the holiday, Ellie was reading out details of the amenities in each Disney Hotel!

I also had a letter from the doctor to say  that she finds queuing very difficult etc. I always worry that we’ll go into customer services and Ellie will be all smiles, greeting the staff by name and making us look complete frauds… so I go prepared. I needn’t had worried. Ellie was shaking when we went to get our Guest Assistance pass and they didn’t want to see my paperwork when I offered it up.

Thankfully, the parks are very helpful over in Orlando. The assistant passes meant that our queue time was very short so there was little chance of Ellie getting stressed. They were a godsend.

This was put to the test when we had to wait 20 minutes to get into the Beauty & the Beast attraction. By the time we got in there, Ellie was in such a state and we had to stand at the back and try and calm her down whilst other kids were getting involved with the characters and having a lovely time. It was heartbreaking.

What didn’t help that holiday was that George was also having a time of it… mainly being a difficult little 💩! I don’t know whether it was the tiredness of the holiday, or as hubby had Goggled…that boys have a surge of testosterone every six months that makes them impossible (and he’d just hit 3 1/2 years). Either way, him constantly wanting to do the opposite of what we wanted and dragging his feet under his buggy was not cool!  I distinctly remember walking past families looking at us and shouting ‘Hi’ in a loud and cheery manner like some crazy woman!!

So, what happens when you book a beautiful meal with the Disney Princesses in Epcot that costs a small fortune? Well, I didn’t expect our seven year old to have a meltdown about what food she was going to eat and complaining that it was all going to be rubbish!! I don’t remember the details but the moaning and groaning really started to piss me off and I wondered why we bothered!  By the time the waiter came round for our order, all I wanted was a huge glass of wine! I was fraught and on the verge of walking out, so an overpriced wine was what I had!

As soon as I took a distraught Ellie up to see the food buffet that she would have for her starter, everything changed. She knew that she would have a belly full of food and suddenly all was fine with the world! 🙄 The rest of the meal was fine and the kids met a number of Disney Princess’s. Alls well that ends well I suppose!

Most of the holiday continued with strops about queuing up, meltdowns about doing the opposite of what we wanted to do; the thing hubby and I started to look forward to the most was getting back to the appartment at the end of the day for an ice cold beer!

The truth was, Ellie was most happy when she was at the appartment, the pool or chilling in the hot tub. When you think about it, something like Disney is overwhelming for children as it is… throw in the sensory issues and I can’t imagine how hard it must be.

I remember coming home to the UKm just as exhausted and when we left, and vowed that next time it would be better… how wrong I was!

Until next time,

Love and hugs xxx <<b
when we got home, my lovely mum had searched the Internet for something that looked like Daniel Bear. A little cream bear greeted Ellie when she arrived home ❤🐻

Getting away from it all… and how I found myself in the middle of a Forest!

This time last week, I had a very different view from the computer screen I look at this morning!  I was in the middle of a beautiful forest… just me, no hubby, no children… just me… and 10 girl-friends!

I’d literally been dreaming about this weekend for the entire summer holiday, which, I don’t know if I’d mentioned, was pretty crappy!  A weekend all to myself, full of laughs,  alcohol, food, naughty card games, delicious pancakes… and even a bit of water slide riding!

Last weekend 11 of us went to Centre Parcs in Warminster and what made it more exciting was that I was a Centre Parcs virgin! I always figured it was pretty pricey for a weekend away with the family… and don’t get me wrong, it is.  However, now having been there, I totally get why people go back.  Its glorious!  As I opened the patio doors, I found myself stood in the middle of what can only be described as the Gruffalo book (if you have older kids and have no idea what I mean, Google it). Tall trees absolutely everywhere and squirrels running up to the window.  It was simply stunning.

What made it even more special was that we were celebrating a special birthday… no, not a 30th (where did those 10 years go?) but a 40th. This weekend however, was a far cry from others we have spent away… like partying down in Newquay, an all adults weekend in Butlins, or in sunny Torquay (back when they welcomed Hen Weekends!) etc, etc.

However, this was just what the doctor ordered.  Just a few days to chill out and enjoy doing simple things, like eating breakfast without being interrupted, walk through the forests and not worry that your little one is about to fly off his bike or fall down some steep slope!  I felt really quite smug walking around, taking in the beautiful autumn sunshine and having this ‘me time’.

Being away with your best friends is by far the best form of therapy.  You often think that all the shit that is going on in your life is only happening to you. Being away for a weekend, lets you relax, talk out your worries, concerns, your fears and also celebrate your successes.

You see, with the rise of social media, everyone else’s life looks amazing from the outside looking in because that’s what they want you to see. We are all guilty of that.  There are so many pictures that I have posted in the past of us all on a day out or on holiday, that took place seconds after a huge meltdown and me losing my shit… then its…”SMILE” (through gritted teeth!).

My hubby was once accused of oversharing our ‘rosy life’ on Facebook by someone that was obviously having a tough time of it.  However, as you will read in other blogs, the last 11 years haven’t exactly been rosy! Its not that we were being fake,  I just figure that people don’t want to be reading about how crappy your life is all the time… I’m a glass half full kinda girl you know!

However, just chatting to the girls, I realised that so often what looks to be the perfect situation ie; a holiday, whether it be camping in Cornwall, a sunny Greek island or fun-seeking in Florida, everyone at some point was having a shitty time of it and they too had posted holiday pictures ‘post-meltdown’ with fake smiles.   The fact is, the day we got home from our Florida holiday, I got home and balled my eyes out… but I sure as hell wouldn’t share that on social media! Maybe its time to be a little more truthful?

Being away from it all  also gives you an amazing sense of freedom. One of my highlights of the weekend was going to the swimming pool and going on the huge flume slides, with nobody else to worry about but me . They had a couple of amazing new slides called Tropical Storm and Tornado which did not disappoint.  I felt like I was a 12 year old kid again – I bloody loved it!!

As expected though, my weekend was interrupted many a time from the phone… with messages and declarations of love from dearest daughter, bless her. I answered a few of them, but the more I answered, they more she would message, so I had to be a mean mum and ignore them after a while and just go grab another bottle of beer!

You see, going away doesn’t just do you good, it does the whole family good.  When you finally get chance to leave all the washing, cooking and cleaning behind you for a few days, the guys left at home appreciate you all the more.

As a very good friend once told me …. ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’!

Until next time,

Love & hugs xxx

Top 20: You know when you’re getting old when….

top 20 image.jpg

So, this week I have started a new journey… a learning journey.  I took the plunge last month and enrolled myself on a distance learning course to become a Social Media Manager… ooooh, fancy eh?! This time next year I may even have a few more Twitter followers (@TalesofaMD in case you’re wondering)!

In the run up to this starting on Monday, I started to feel a little nervous, mainly because its been around 14 years since I last did any kind of learning…. unfortunately, this doesn’t make me 30… I did a evening college course in my mid-twenties!

This got me thinking about the things that make you feel old… or that you have matured in your years. Not necessarily a bad thing… isn’t 40 the new 25 anyway?!

So here goes, my top 20 of things that make me feel old…

  1. You appreciate a nice hanging basketOne of the first signs that I knew I was getting old was when I was mesmerised by some beautiful hanging baskets… I think I even put an FB status about it… they were really that beautiful!  
  2. You think most of the tunes on Radio 1 are utter shite… but I still can’t seem to make the move over to Radio 2… I’m still trying to be down with the kids and know who the heck Dua Lipa is!
  3. You go all Victor Meldrew about parking… it could be any parking… someone taking up two spaces, someone parking in the mother & child spot at the supermarket.  I’ve been known to tell people off for both… being told regularly by the kids “Please don’t have a go mum”.
  4. You appreciate a beautiful view… and you will even start walking places to find one!
  5. You look for holidays that aren’t near the nightlife.  Me and Hubby once went to a resort just up the hill from Magaluf.  We ventured down for the night to see what’s what… an hour later we found ourselves back in our resort watching an Elvis tribute with the ‘oldies’ but at least we felt younger there!
  6. You think that the latest beauty trends look ridiculous… think eyebrows.  Beautiful girls with perfectly good brows make them up like hairy slugs.  They’ve got plenty of time to be doing that when they go all thin and sparse… when you get OLD!
  7. You cross the line over to big knickers… its hard to go back to a thong once you’ve put on a pair of comfy big girl pants… non VPL of course!
  8. Two nights out ‘on the razz’ takes four days to get over.   I swear to god, I’m still struggling on Wednesday!
  9. Going Nightclubbing is now your idea of HELL!  I’d much rather be in a cosy pub with a large wine!
  10. You try on heels in a shop and wonder how the hell girls wear them without breaking their ankles.  I believe I have uttered the words out loud, “How the hell do they walk in these”.
  11. Storage excites you!  When we recently decorated our kitchen, I was so thrilled about having a larder cupboard and additional storage in the boiler cupboard, I swear, a little bit of pee came out!
  12. Conversations with the girls turn to how hot you are…  in the temperature sense, not the looking good sense.  Along with that there’s also, mood swings, veins (in all number of places) and discovering grey ‘pube like’ hairs spurting out of your head!
  13. You remember your Mum reaching 40… and thinking ‘man, that’s old’.
  14. Your kids think you’re weird… rather than funny! What do they know anyway!
  15. You envy the kids having YouTube… no need for compilation tapes full of Going Live interviews and appearances on Top of The Pops!
  16. You think, Thank God… we haven’t got anything on this weekend.
  17. You literally can’t remember… more than two things…ever!
  18. You love a nice scarf… Me and my bestie once had to stop ourselves mid conversation about our love for a scarf and keeping your neck warm.  We swore we would never speak of it again!
  19. You know someone from your year at school who is a granny!  When you’re an older mum to younger ones, it just freaks you out!
  20. It’s been well over a decade since you last did any kind of learning… the thought of trying to retain information (and definitely more than two things) gives me nightmares.

I’ll let you know how that one goes in six months time!

Until next time,

Love and hugs xxx





Hi-Ho, Hi-ho… it’s back to school they go!!

Hi-Ho, Hi-ho… it’s back to school they go!!

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it… but we’ve had a tough six weeks summer holiday!  Oh, I have, yes.. just a few times!!

Anyway, the day has finally come that both our children have returned to school and I for one am pleased as punch! I know it sounds really cruel and I feel rotten when I read statuses saying how much mums are going to miss their little darlings now they are back to school.. but I’m not one of them.  Its been a bloody hard slog!

Quite often… I lie… very often (!) I would be asked by Ellie if I would miss her when she goes back to school, (which usually comes half an hour after she’s got very cross about not having a third packet of crisps of the day!) and of course I say “yes” (see, not entirely heartless) but I’m simply not that good an actress… I know she sees right through me!

I love the part of the holidays when you’re not having to do the lunches, wash the uniform and you can ignore the clock in the evening, it is bliss. However, six weeks of it is just too long.  Even with little angels for children, I still think I would find it too long… or just too expensive!

Anyway, I am hoping that yesterday we turned a bit of a corner… not a full 90 degrees, but a slight bend in the road! 

Last week, I emailed key special needs staff at school and gave them the lowdown on what had been happening over the holidays.   I figured it would be better to catch them before the rush of children return and I was right! 

I was relieved to get an email back last week from the school Senco who then arranged a meeting for yesterday with myself, hubby, Ellie along with the school PFSA (parent & family support assistant) to talk through what had been going on.  The senco explained the feelings Ellie had been having and how her reactions to this were not appropriate.  Along with lots of drawings and explanation, I think (I hope) the penny dropped.  Just having someone in authority sit and talk to her really helped. If I had done it, I would’ve either messed it up or would’ve biten back at any sign of attitude.

We’ve also managed to get Ellie down for some counselling at school, as we believe that the loss of my mum is only just really hitting home with her 18 months after her passing. 

So, with some strategies in place, and making some tweaks to the morning routine, today went very smoothly, though I’m certainly not getting cocky!

I suppose what all this waffle is about is being pro-active and not afraid to speak up.   If I hadn’t sent the email, we wouldn’t have had the meeting before Ellie went back to school, she wouldn’t be on a waiting list to see a counsellor and all this would’ve taken much longer… all the while, not doing any of us any good.

What I’m trying to say is… don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help… and if that doesn’t work… start shouting!

 Until next time,

Love & hugs xxx





The curious incident of the Dog and the Caravan!

Ok, so its not really a curious incident, I just happen to be reading ‘The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime’ at the moment… which I have to say, doesn’t have me gripped as much as my usual romantic/funny/sexy ‘guilty pleasure’ reads… but I’m sticking with it!

So, back in March we started what was to be our ninth summer of having a caravan down in sunny Devon. We love escaping down there for the weekend.  Its only an hour or so down the road but it always felt like a little holiday. However, this year started to feel a little different.

Over the holiday weekend, I decided to take myself out for a little run, and in that 25 minutes, I had decided that things needed to change after this summer.  I wanted to enjoy one last season in Devon and then sell up.  I didn’t want to visit the same places anymore year in and year out.  I wanted to explore some of the many beautiful places in other parts of the country.  Another part of my master plan was… to get a dog!

I’d already done a fair bit of Googling about dogs and autistic children and how they can help with anxiety etc, and the kids had always wanted one.   So, I did what we women like to call… ‘planting the seed’.  Just a gentle conversation about an idea I’d had.  Usually, how this works is then you leave it for a few weeks and hubby then comes up with the same proposition believing he thought of it!

That’s exactly what happened.  A week later, ‘we’ decided that we would have one last summer and then look at getting a puppy at the end of August.   I didn’t hesitate to research dog breeds and look for a reputable breeder.  We’d decided on a Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel crossed with a Poodle) and found a breeder that currently had a litter for sale and was planning on having a litter with another dog to be ready at the end of August. Perfect.

That was what was meant to happen… that was the plan.  However…

What was meant to be a lovely Bank Holiday weekend down the caravan was cut short. Ellie was having a really tough time of it with her anxiety.  Admittedly, it was her birthday on the Bank Holiday Monday – this is never a great time.  Events like birthdays and Christmas really get hyped up a lot more than with neurotypical children (and even that can be quite a lot) and then the child feels overwhelmed with the feelings causing anxiety and uncertainly of what will happen on the day.

This is what happened to Ellie.  From the moment we left the house on Friday evening, she was talking through every aspect of the weekend and worrying about what would be happening/what she would be eating/ what I would I be saying.   She got into such a state, crying and saying all sorts of silly things that we came home on the Sunday evening and had her birthday at home where she felt calmer.

We figured this was just a glitch being that it was her birthday, but the very same thing happened on our next visit, just two weeks later.  The whole journey down, Ellie was already becoming anxious about what we were doing the next day.  Once again, this built and built until we had uncontrollable crying and screaming… and all this in a little tin box of a caravan is really not great.

It got so much that Hubby needed to go for a walk as he was getting upset and needed to get some space.  I needed some too so I sat in the sun in front of the van.  Half an hour later, hubby calls me on the phone and tells me that he can’t deal with a summer like this… lets sell up now and get a puppy… lets not wait until the end of the summer.

Now, I won’t lie, I was delighted!  I really wanted a dog as much as the kids, and I too wasn’t looking forward to a summer of these meltdowns every weekend.   I also had something else up my sleeve.   I’d already contacted the breeder in the week to see if he had any of the current litter left (it was like I’d had a sixth sense or something!). When I told hubby he had four girls and two boys he unexpectedly said… “ring him and see if we can come and look tomorrow”.  Talk about a complete turnaround!

The following day, we got up, told the kids the change in events which they were partly sad about with us selling the van, but mainly happy because we were getting a puppy!   We popped to the pets store on the way to pick up some things and then ventured off to the middle of nowhere on Dartmoor Hills, to a beautiful farm to pick our new puppy!

Now, I can’t say that our beautiful little girl ‘Dusty’ (named after Dusty Springfield) has made a difference to Ellie’s autistic behaviours. In fact, if you have read some of the other blogs, you will know that things have been hard since the start of the six weeks holiday.  However, this little pup has brought so much joy to our family and is always there for cuddle when the meltdowns start… and that’s just me!! 😉❤🐶

Until next time.  Love & hugs xxx


To tell or not to tell? Is it best to keep plans a secret or not?

That was the big question I was asking myself at the beginning of the six weeks holiday. Do I let my ‘keen to know everything’ daughter our plans for the school holidays?

I know all too well what its like.  Once you let the cat out of the bag, you don’t hear the end of it, with the same questions circling day after day.  So first off, I went with “We have some things planned but I will tell you nearer the time (like an hour before!)”   This didn’t go down too well.  We had attitude and meltdown of how bad this holiday was going to be, how it would be the worse ever, I was a rubbish mum…. you get the picture.

So, after an hour or so, I switched tactic, thought ‘sod it, can’t be any worse than this’ and decided to tell the kids a couple of the things we were doing.  BIG mistake!

Of course, they were overjoyed to hear that our friends would be visiting from Wales in four weeks time and that we would be visiting my brother and family down in Poole.  It felt like we’d done the right thing.  Until it started.  The constant questions.

What time are they getting here?  What are we doing?  Will the boys play with me?  What will we eat? How many nights are they staying? Are the boys going to leave me out?  Will you ignore me? What are we going to eat on Saturday? What will I say when they get here? Will you be happy? What time will I be going to bed?  What time will we get up?  Are you excited? I’M EXCITED! (whilst looking stressed right out!), on Friday will we do….   on Saturday will we do …..  etc, etc, etc.

Since the holidays started, we have seen a big increase in the stress and anger Ellie is experiencing on a daily basis.  When we try and go anywhere, if she doesn’t like it in the slightest, it will result in a meltdown/getting angry and stroppy and us wondering why the F*** we bother. To be honest, its made us have a very low key holiday this year, mainly meeting up with friends and family and chilling at home.  I can’t help but feel envy, when I see lots of family snaps on social media of  families doing exciting things, thinking there is fat chance we’d be able to do that because its too busy, too loud, etc etc!

The last two weeks have been pretty horrendous.  Nightly meltdowns of crying and screaming, saying things she clearly doesn’t mean which is then followed by her writing a letter of apology.  Now, I know you’re thinking… that’s really good…she has the thought process to write her feelings down and express them.  However, when this happens every time, every day and nothing changes, you kinda lose your enthusiasm for it!

In the final days of last week, I’d adopted a new tactic. When behaviour was ‘not acceptable’ (as Supernanny would say!) Ellie was asked to go to her room for 12 minutes to calm down, have some quiet time and think about how she speaks to people (or whatever the problem was). Whether this is the right thing to do or not I don’t know, but it at least gave us all some breathing space.

So, Friday came around and our friends were due to arrive around 5pm.  To help matters a little, I told Ellie that they were arriving at 6pm, so at least that gave me an hour’s buffer to allow for traffic!

As expected, there were a few wobbles over the weekend, worrying about being included, losing her temper with her brother etc, etc but it wasn’t anything like the build up we had experienced… though I’m sure there were other hormone factors playing a part there (see previous blog!).  I didn’t let myself get too worked up… just did a lot of deep breathing and smiled!

So, we survived it.. and had a lovely weekend catching up with our friends, eating, drinking, chilling and had a couple little trips out with the kids and the dog! It really did George good as he could have some proper ‘boy time’… he has to put up with a lot as well and it was lovely to see him running around and getting all rough and tumble! But now we are back to Monday, and already the questions have started for our next trip!!


Until next time,

Love & hugs xxxx


What a day of DRAMA!! Monumental milestones, big decisions & the runaway dog! 

Oooooh, I had a right day of it yesterday! Talk about up and down like a rollercoaster! 🎢 

I’d gone to bed the previous night in a bit of an anxious state – huffing and puffing and all that! I’d woken up not much better! 

The kids were at their Grandads for the day and getting ready was a tad more traumatic than normal. There seemed to be more distress with the hairbrushing than usual which included Ellie throwing herself on the floor and a couple shouts of “I hate you!”.  I blocked it all out and kept calm – feeling pretty proud of myself! 

However, the commute to work gave me thinking time and by the time I got into work I was feeling a little broken. 

I could only describe how I felt to my colleagues was like a broken vase that had been stuck back together but the water was starting to seep through the cracks.

A few coffees later and a natter and I started to feel a lot better until… My dad phones… “We have a little problem”.

Turned out that today would ‘The’ day that Ellie would receive her pass into womanhood! Bloody wonderful! (excuse the pun!). The one day in the last week that I’m working at the office and it decides to happen! 

I talked through what Dad needed to get at our house and spoke with Ellie – thankfully we’d already had a little practice run. I must say, she was really very sensible about it all and held it together. 

I toyed with whether I should go home and be with her and there was a little debate for both options – but I figured that as she was dealing with it and ‘things’ didn’t seem to be too bad my decision was to stay in work. I didn’t want to set a presidence that I would come running when this happened.  I’d also started to feel a little more sane being in the company of adults and I frankly wasn’t ready to go home after just an hour!!

With my brain now a little frazzled after all of that, I then made a big decision. I’d been thinking about enrolling on a six month intensive course in Social Media Management with DigitalMums. I’d had the telephone consultation- now I just needed to apply!  In my lunch hour, that is what I did… and got accepted! Holy shit! My friends and hubby had said to go for it so I figured why not! It will help me in doing this little blog, my job as a Personal Assistant is going more in the social media direction so it will help there… and with any luck, I might be good at it! 

I felt buzzing… and scared… but mainly buzzing!  My wonderful colleague had also picked me up a bottle of wine to cheer me up… the day really was getting better!

By the time I collected the kids at teatime, my dad looked a little run-ragged as they’d been arguing all afternoon, so it was a good job I’d taken annual leave for the rest of the week! 

Usual mayhem ensued at home, with most sentences starting with “can I have”,  even though they’d probably cleared the cupboards at my dad’s house!

Finally, to finish the day we decided to meet with our friends and take our dogs for a walk over the park. Both dogs are under a year old so both are equally crazy and love to run. However, since our little dog ‘Dusty’ (named after Dusty Springfield) decided to run off and cross the main road we live on, my son has been a nervous wreck with letting her off the lead. However after a few weeks of extra ‘recall training’ and being off the lead with just me, I felt confident that she would be fine – especially with her friend Maggie to run around with! 


For five minutes or so, all was fine, but the more the dogs ran around, the more anxious George got screaming at Dusty in a high pitched voice and panicking that she wouldn’t come back.  He was right to panic! 

The dog sat at the edge of the park for what felt like minutes with the five of us all screaming her name and attempting to tempt her back. However, she decided that she’d had enough and scarpered!!  Que hysterical kids!! 

They stayed with my friend while I looked for her along with my friends daughter. Nowhere to be seen.  Shit!  Now I’m starting to panic!  After running up and down the park for what felt like forever, I hear a shout from our front garden. My friend’s daughter had found her sat at the front door!!  Thank god! I felt so relieved considering she would’ve crossed the main road again and I wondered if she sat and waited like I taught her?!

Back to the kids and they’re now both hysterical, especially George who now claims he will never go out with the dog again 😬!  To say the kids were over-tired is an understatement! George couldn’t control his emotions and couldn’t stop crying! I now couldn’t wait to get them home, into bed, and reward myself for getting through that drama with a glass of something yummy! 🍷🍸

And that is exactly what I did… and guess who popped round later to join me? My poor run-ragged Dad!! 😊

Until next time, 

Love and hugs. 

Our successful day out in the deserted forest! 

What started out as a rainy looking Monday turned out to be a beautiful sunny one, which was good as we’d been invited to a play-date in the forest. 

The kids were told just two hours before we were leaving, so that Ellie’s anxiety didn’t rise too much – though we did have worries about who was going to be there and that they would all look at us when we arrived! 

After a couple of minor wobbles on the way we arrived at our destination – The Great Wood (sounds grand doesn’t it?) and I was both delighted and surprised to see it was absolutely deserted! Nobody there, nada! For the middle of the summer holidays this is quite unusual but it was such a help for Ellie. 

After we had set up the multiple chairs, (we had more chairs than people) unpacked lots of play equipment and had a little food, all the kids went off to play ‘dens’ by the stream and had a competition of which group could make the best one. However, Ellie was still sat with us mums, not wanting to leave me. 

After my persuasion failed, it took a couple of goes from another mum and then she did it… Ellie went off with her friend to join the group… which was out of our sight. 

Whilst this isn’t a big deal to a ‘neurotypical child’ this was massive for Ellie. As she has got older, the anxiety has worsened. She will constantly check where I am at home (usually in the kitchen!) because she worries I will leave her – tempting as it is sometimes, that has never happened!!

To see our daughter feel relaxed in a group of children playing games out in the open (with no damn technology around) was joyful… and it gave me some much needed catch up time with the girls for a giggle and some inappropriate chat! 

The kids were gone for a long while playing and Ellie only checked a couple of times. All us mums felt really proud of her – this was a big deal and a real confidence boost.  

There was disappointment from the kids when it was time to leave – a sign of a good day out. 

It didn’t take long however for the switch to negativity to kick in and five minutes into the journey home I was being accused of not letting Ellie play with her friends!! WTF! 

Aaaaah, normal service resumed! It still didn’t spoil my brilliant day in the woods! 

Until next time, 

Love & hugs xxx

The Guilt Trip! Wanting ‘time out’, enjoying a rant and other things…

For a couple of weeks, Hubby and I have been planning to have some ‘time out’ together – to gather our sanity, regroup and let loose!  Nothing too extravagant – a night away in Bristol which is an hour up the road, some drinks, something to eat… more drinks!

Turned out that my wonderful Dad was able to stay overnight with the kids on Thursday of this week, so that was our perfect opportunity to ‘escape’ for exactly 24 hours!  We were soooo looking forward to it!  However, the events of Wednesday night were about to throw a big fat spanner in the works.

I mentioned in an earlier blog that Ellie is really going through it at the moment and is having regular major meltdowns.  This is usually triggered by something food related such as me not able to confirm what time we’re having tea (or ‘dinner’ if you’re a bit posh!) which then escalates into rants of  “you don’t understand me”, “what have I done?”, “I hate having Aspergers”, “I hate you”, “IDIOT”… all because I said she couldn’t eat yet more food! Wednesday night was no different!

Ellie is yet to learn the art of negotiation.  If she’d given me the puppy dog eyes and asked again, I may have caved… but going straight to meltdown definitely isn’t going to do it. This is a 12 year old, not a toddler!  So, my decision had to be stuck to… and that decision meant we endured a good hour and a half of raging.  I kept my shit together for most of it.  Hubby was starting to lose his mind and took himself out to the ‘garage’ (which has been converted into a bar/workshop/workout area) to retain his sanity.

Right at the end though, I couldn’t take anymore.  You know the feeling, it comes out before you can stop it… but then as you’re having the rant, it feels really good to just let it all out! If I’m going to get shouted at for an hour then F*ck it, I’m going to have a go! I even threw in a “I’ve ‘f*cking’ had enough” so she knew I was serious (‘bloody’ doesn’t cut the mustard anymore!).

I went into my son to apologise for the shouting. He gave me a big hug and reassured me. When shit hits the fan, this little fella always knows how to make my heart sing… and then I feel guilty for that!  Hubby regularly reminds me of how he was a little shit when he was a toddler (our son that is!) and how if he was first, we may not have had any more!!

I also felt really guilty for feeling good about losing it.  What kind of mother am I?

The guilt took over even more! How the hell could we leave the next day for our escape now? It would look like we are leaving to get away from Ellie.  She already thinks every little action is about her, I didn’t want to add to her many insecurities. On the other hand, we really needed some time out, otherwise we were in danger of losing ‘even more’ marbles and resenting Ellie for us not going!!

In the early hours of Thursday morning I felt I was caught between a rock and a hard place with no winner whatever we did.

Then I came up with a master plan!

Hubby will come home early from work as planned, to ‘surprise’ mummy with a night away and granddad will turn up just at the right moment to stay overnight.  Genius!  No stressing all day about who is looking after her, how long we would be gone for, are we ever coming back, what is she going to do while we are gone etc etc!   There was literally half hour between the ‘surprise’ and us skipping and jumping out the door to the train station!! My acting was superb, if I do say so myself!

Thankfully, they were good as gold for granddad while we were gone and we had a much needed night out – drinking cocktails, eating junk and having a laugh.

It’s taken from the time we got home at 5.00pm yesterday until right now at 11.00am as I secretly type this blog, for the first ‘post escape’ meltdown!  I don’t even know what it is about to be honest.   I’ve heard, “I can watch what I like and you can’t stop me”  and “IDIOT” shouted down the stairs with the odd scream.  We’ve had the “have I been good this morning” altercation which I’m screwed on because whichever answer I give I am on a loser. I gave the answer “yes, you’ve been lovely this morning”. WRONG ANSWER!!

When our beautiful girl is calm, she is wonderful… but when she can’t cope and loses it, I feel like I’m slowly losing my mind. At least, after having some time out with hubby, I may not enjoy a rant today!

Until next time


Love and hugs xx

For reference… this is our Bar! Not bad eh?!

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