Mixed Emotions for Little Mix! How we nearly didn’t go to the concert!(blog #13)

Back in May, we surprised the kids with tickets to Little Mix as part of their birthday present (they’re both May babies!).  They were both very excited and for the last few months I’ve heard nothing but how excited they (Ellie) was for the concert.

Fast forward to the night before (Thursday). Ellie had a huge meltdown about how she was going to look rubbish, how she would “look like the donkey” (what!??), how she was going to have her hair – up/down/curly – and which ever way I suggested, it was still going to look rubbish!

Then there was more…. “Are you going to dance?” (Yes Ellie)  “I don’t think you will”.  “Can I dance?”…  “I’m a rubbish singer”… “Shall I sing?”… “My hair is going to look rubbish”…… I zoned out!

Weirdly she said nothing about the crowds and waiting… though I know this was the underlying factor to the anxiety.  There was constant shouting at me of  “I’m excited for Little Mix!”.  I had to resist the urge to shout ‘Tell your face then’ and just replied “Ok babe” but that just got a shout back “Are you excited?”   Well,  right in that moment, no I wasn’t excited.  I really didn’t want to go at all.

Forty-five minutes later and Ellie had finally gone up to bed – crying and mumbling more of the same… and I’m sat with a vodka – on a school night – with work in the morning (I’m hardcore like that ūüėČ !).  A WhatsApp moan to my best girls and a waffle on my Facebook page and I felt a little better… plus the second vodka was kicking in! (don’t judge).

Next morning… what do you think were the first words I heard?  Yep, you guessed it… “I’m really excited for Little Mix” which would’ve been fine, except it was a moany, shouty noise I heard and not an excitable 12 year old!   Oh god! Here we go again! There was an hour of more of the same – all whilst trying to get us out for the school run and me off to work.  Well, I lasted 45 minutes before I blew my top – which actually could be some kind of a record!  Hubby stayed out of Ellie’s way so as not to add to the anxiety levels!  It’s really not helpful for two parents to lose it!

Later that morning, I hear that the traffic for the the previous night’s gig was horrendous.  Over an hour just to get into the car park, and hours to get out again.  I was really not wanting to go now.  Ellie doesn’t do waiting at the best of times, so this would definitely be meltdown territory.

After much consideration, we came up with the following plan.  Hubby offered to stay at home as he’s not great in traffic either (stressssss head!) and that would take the pressure off of me to try and keep both him and Ellie calm.  I think the thought of a quiet night, hot tub, beer and the TV to himself may have also played a part!  What a trooper! ūüôā

We were also taking George’s little friend from school and her mum with us, so that would hopefully be a good distraction for Ellie.   Well, the plan worked!  Despite it taking well over an hour to move the last six miles, the singing in the back of the car and eating of snacks was a complete distraction and we got there meltdown free.

We were lucky at the gate as well.  We arrived just half an hour before the main act – which meant the line for bag search was empty and despite a little wobble as we entered the site, Ellie was doing really well.

The concert was held outside at Powderham Castle in Devon so there were no feelings of claustrophobia and we stood quite near the back (which was handy for later as we got out first).  Ellie didn’t even need her ear defenders (George wore them) and she was now genuinely excited to see her favourite group.

What happened next made all that pain and anxiety (mine as well as Ellie’s) worth it.  As the girls came on, Ellie held her hand to her mouth and started to cry.  She was so happy to see her girls there on stage!  Granted, they were small dots from where we were, but seeing them on the big screen and seeing Ellie so ecstatic was amazing.  She must have cried with joy at least half a dozen times during the concert!

We danced, we sang, we waved and even ‘slut dropped’ a few times! (did I just say slut dropped?!).

Ellie LMix pic
Pure Joy!
Ellie and me LMix
Finally relaxed at the gig!
us at LMix
Fun Times!
 

As I said earlier, being near the back had its advantages.  We left just before the encore (as did a lot of others) and watched the last song as we walked to the car park.  I then made a sprint for the car and picked up the guys on the way out!  We were out of the car park in 5 minutes! Genius!*

Apart from a scary detour up a single car sized country lane which seemed to go up into a forest and me trying to manoeuvre us past several cars coming the other way (Ellie really not keen on that – & nor was I tbh!) the evening was a complete success and I’m so glad we decided to go.  Both Ellie and her brother George were still buzzing when they got up this morning.

So, I might just do it again!

*I heard later that night that two friends were stuck in the car park for over two hours!  So whilst they were still trying to get out, I’d got the kids up to bed and was now sat… having a vodka! Right decision made! ūüôā

Until next time….

img_9537-1Love and hugs xxxx

We need more tests… The York Test! (Blog#10)

So, after our first experience with Kinesiology and being told that Ellie was having issues with her gut and that she was intolerant to wheat, dairy, cows milk, oats and potato we went hell for leather and took all of those things out of her diet.

We’d already asked at the doctor’s whether intollerance testing was available on the NHS – but it was restricted to allergies. ¬†The difference between them is; an allergy will show up almost immediately (such as a rash or vomitting) but an intolerance can happen several days later, which makes it doubly hard to work out what nasty food caused it.

I can’t remember how we came across The York Test – whether it was Dr Hillary on Good Morning TV or if it was word of mouth, but we found ourselves Googling it and forking out the ¬£200+ on this comprehensive intolerance test which looked at 113 foods from a small sample of blood.

So, we ordered the kit, pricked Ellie’s finger and sent the sample back. ¬†The results took a few days to come back… and there it was – Wheat, Gluten (Gliadin) and Cow’s milk, with a borderline result on Beef and Yeast.

So, we continued with the diet and very slowly, we saw improvements from what we experienced in those dark winter months.  There was still such a long way to go.

I’m not going to lie, it was hard work. ¬†Constantly planning ahead and taking a rucksack of food everywhere we went. ¬†Watching Ellie’s every move – she was two, she didn’t yet understand that she couldn’t have the biscuits at play group and why did mummy have a special one.

The ‘Free From’ aisles were a lot smaller than they are today, and didn’t even exist in some supermarkets. There was very little ordering on-line – we weren’t that computer savvy back then anyway! ¬†There was also very little choice if we went out for a meal – it was usually baked potato and beans as everything else would have some kind of a coating on them.

We were so lucky to have family on our side with these big changes to Ellie’s diet. ¬†I’ve read stories where family members don’t get on board, not believing it makes any difference and¬†sneaking little treats because ‘one won’t hurt’. ¬†There were several occasions where it only took one little mishap for Ellie to be really poorly a few days later.

I know that back then I would never have done it without my mum’s help. ¬†She was amazing. ¬†She would be constantly researching, trying out recipes for biscuits and bread made of ¬†different flours and scouring the supermarket aisles for foods that Ellie can eat. She would be so excited ringing me up to tell me that she’d found something tasty that Ellie could have. ¬†I miss that so much.

Oddly, I seem to find myself in a similar situation right now. ¬†Ellie’s behaviour has gotten pretty erratic lately – and whilst we’d been putting it down to hormones, grief and moving up to secondary school for the past year, something doesn’t sit right. ¬†Call it Mother’s Instinct. ¬† I’m now considering doing another York Test to see to what extent these foods are not agreeing with her… because its bloody hard finding Gluten free food without Rice, Corn and Egg as a substitute for a non-stop eating Tween!

This time, I have no choice but to do it without my mum. ¬†I’m just thankful for how far ‘clean eating’ has come. ¬†There is so much more out there – whether it’s on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest (I totally love Pinterest!) YouTube or Facebook.

So I’ve once again taken to the baking today… Cherry and Walnut Squares made with coconut oil, maple syrup, ground almonds, etc etc. I had to use an egg substitute and it didn’t turn out quite right… but practice makes perfect… or edible!

Until next time….

Love & hugs xxx

Ok, so they were actually pretty nice… they just didn’t turn out quite like the picture from the ‘The Foodie Teen’ book!!