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It's just a life, but its all mine and I love it!






Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A Real Bargain!

I have a weakness.

I suspect you do too. And yeah the title kinda gave it away. We all love a bargain.

But. Because you know there has to be a but. But what about all the times you get home, proudly unwrap or debag your bargain, and it's not exactly living up to expectations. You notice the little imperfections, the poor stitching, cheap materials, poor build quality.

What's your response? Well if you're anything like me, it's complete and utter denial. You put on a brave face. Of course it's not going to be perfect. Afterall, it was A BARGAIN!

Exhibit A

A pair of trainers, sneakers, whatever you want to call them, i'm not too worried. Only $15 in the sale. Yeah!

Exhibit B

The thing is I have a pair of dearly loved, incredibly comfortable pair of trainer like shoes that I live in when not wearing my very favourite knee high boots. My knee high boots are bizarrely enough are also divinely comfortable despite the heel.

Exhibit C

The other thing is they both cost in excess of $100, the boots especially. So a year or more after there purchase and substantial mileage they are beginning to look worse for the wear. :(

Now I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to shoes. Not to put too fine a point on it if, my feet see a pair of shoes they blister. On the toes, the heel, the sole, wherever. So shoes that don't cripple me (slight artistic licence) are to be treasured. My new sneakers do not fall into this category. Five minutes tops before I was hobbling. I won't wear them again.

I reckon I've got maybe another week in my poor boots before I find myself limping along with no right heel. So this weekend I'll be hitting the shops. But the moral of the story is, if every time I bought a bargain I just saved myself the trouble and put the money in a jar, I could pay a new pair. My cupboard of shame would also be a good deal emptier.

How many bargains are shoved in some dark drawer in cupboard of shame?

Friday, 6 June 2014

Aspergers and the First Year at School

We started prep this year.

I say WE quite deliberately. L may be the one physically attending school. But it has been a big transition for the whole family.

For J his big brother is no longer at day care with him, and this has been for the most part a good thing. J has come out from under his shadow more and gets to be the big boy in the class. He's mostly enjoying it very much.

For me, it's made drop off and pick up more complicated, I'm trying to be organised on the preparing a packed lunch front. But it's way more than that.

Yes my little boy is suddenly all grown up, he has a uniform, a huge rucksack, there's reading and maths. Science experiments. New friends. All the exciting things I'd anticipated for him and every parent anticipates for their child. But it's way more than that.

Day care, which included kinder, was easy. He joined in, behaved, had lots of friends. There were no problems. And he wanted to go to school, he really was very excited. He was asking me to buy a uniform at least once a week for the six months before he started.

The great part is he does love it. I picked him up today and asked him if he'd had a good day. He said no he'd had a great day.

He even loves the before and after school club I have to send him to. In fact on those occasions I'm able to get away early he moans at me for picking him up too soon. It goes a long way to assuaging my guilt over him going there.

The thing is, because of our kinder experience I thought it was going to be easy. Most days it is. As long as:

  • He doesn't have to help the other kids pick the paper & other bits up off the floor during tidy up. He has a special job like wiping the tables instead. The feel of the bits put him on the floor in tears the first day he was made to do it. (Not his teachers fault she has been outstanding)
  • Write anything that can't be in some way linked back to WWII. Yes he has written a story about chickens like the rest if his class. Only his had tanks and were fighting the German princess army.
  • I replace at least one school shirt every few weeks after he has chewed the button off and the collar off. He craves the sensory input it gives him.
  • Has a green apple. No blemishes. And jam sandwiches.
  • The other kids follow the teachers instructions and don't for example give him two sheets of paper instead of one. (Another break down on the floor. The final straw for what he was able to process that day I think).
  • Doesn't have to join in any games. The risk he might lose is too much for him to cope with. He'd rather referee.

Oh and let's not forget the day he did join in a game and lost. And then told his teacher he was going to punch her. Which he did. And then kicked her. He does not usually resort to violence but felt very angry with her for making him play and then he couldn't process the feeling of losing. Not condoned and not acceptable but I do understand his triggers.

For those out there who have not got autistic kids, no he isn't being naughty. He is on the whole a very polite, helpful, friendly boy. But he can't process or express emotions very well and he has sensory issues which can overload his brain. And he most definitely has his obsessions. He is very bright but he's also social.

My worry is that his differences are only just becoming really apparent. I wonder what his future holds and hope it isn't loneliness.

BUT, because there's always a but.

  • He is learning to read and write
  • He seems to have friends
  • He is not just coping but blossoming in this very noisy, social intense environment
  • His obsession with WWII has led to him drawing pictures for the first time, which is really helping his fine motor skills. All his pictures are of a Douglas Skytrain dropping paratroopers on D-Day but the plane is recognisable as a plane!

All in all it's been a good start to prep. Never boring, occasionally sad, but mostly encouraging.

 

To anyone out there thinking about there little aspie going to mainstream school. They might surprise you by how well they not only cope but flourish.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Don't Go Anywhere Empty Handed!

A Few Good Changes

This is a post about me rediscovering how to make my home life easier day to day. Nothing earth shattering, but things that have been on my mind lately as I’ve adjusted to my new circumstances.

Why I hear you ask? (ok, I know I can’t but humour me)

Well since my last post back in February there have been a few changes in my life. New car, new house, new job and biggest and best of all, newly single!

With the exception that I wish I’d followed my heart and bought a mini cooper instead of the more practical Holden Captiva (big family beast of a car for those not in Oz) I can honestly say I’m really happy with all these changes!

Not that it hasn’t had its moments of heartbreak, especially with my two mini men, but honestly I’m loving my life and finally feeling settled enough to start writing again.

Mission Possible – Being A Single Mum

So yes I am now officially a single mum! The family home as was, is gone, and funnily enough was always going to be as the landlord is getting married and moving in. Fate?

I know the phrase single mum usually generates an image of a haggard, worn down, scraped back pony tail wearing teenager with three kids in tow, at least in Eastenders anyway. I think they’ve stopped including a fag dangling from their mouths now. But I’m genuinely enjoying the experience, it’s so much more straightforward doing it on my own.

In real terms, I was always the main breadwinner, so things are a little tighter but I’m not in a bad position. Luckily I don’t actually need any support from the ex. The kids are with me, but still see their dad regularly which is great. It also gives me a couple of nights a week free which I never had during my marriage. Luxury indeed!

I have to do most of the pick-ups and drop offs at nursery, and come in make tea, do the washing, baths, cleaning etc etc but again I can cope with that, and it’s not that different.

It can be a little lonely but only if you let it be. But I work full time with a great crew, I’m actually pretty happy with time to myself and my but actually I’ve discovered just how good my friends are! Thanks guys, love you all!

And unexpected bonus has been a new awareness of the men around me, the discovery of flirting (I went into my last relationship age 19, mumble mumble teen years ago! and flirting was not allowed), and general enjoyment of some of the sites around me ;-).

The biggest constraint really has been the not being able to nip anywhere. It takes a full family expedition to get fresh milk when we run out. ANSWER – plan better and don’t run out of milk, even if that means keeping some UHT in (bleurgh!).

Top Tip

So when I started writing this post, what was on my mind was the most useful piece of advice I read when I was pregnant 6 years ago with my first baby.

It was simple but for me infinitely useful piece of advice……..

DON’T GO ANYWHERE EMPTY HANDED

Obvious isn’t it. If you’re going to the kitchen to grab some biscuits, take those empty cups with you and put them by the sink.

If you’re walking upstairs to fetch a nappy, take the washing you just folded with you and put it in the airing cupboard.

As you come back downstairs with the nappy, bring the dirty clothes you saw and put them in the wash basket as you go past.

Going outside to fetch the post? Take the rubbish out to the bin on your way.

So simple. So easy. Save you so much time through the day, and yet I’d forgotten it through time. Instead I’d get to the end of the day, or worse still the weekend, with a list of jobs so long and not even started that my motivation to do any of them was at an all-time low. So much to do I just couldn’t decide where to start.

It’s a mindset to get into, but once you get into the habit it really doesn’t take much effort. And by doing things as I go, even though in most cases it only gets the job started, everything is so much less daunting.

Without Lists

I mentioned list of jobs, and actually that’s something else I’ve started to do. Keeping lists for things I need from the shops, because I can’t just nip back to get what I forgot. Making a list at the start of the weekend for what I was to achieve over the weekend. I find if I do it while the kids are eating their porridge on Saturday morning, I can use writing the list as an excuse to be sitting down with a cup of tea (coffee/ whisky/ whatever it takes J) for ten minutes.

I admit I rarely complete everything on the list, but just writing one usually jogs my memory, in an “oh shh ugar, the kids have a birthday party and I haven’t bought a present yet” kind of way. And by writing it down I find it really easy then to figure out what’s really important to get done, and whether there is any kind of timeline to follow.

So this is definitely not a post to say being a single mum is a piece of confectionary of any kind, just a few thoughts on how to make the work side of being a mum, single or not, a little easier.

Final tip – do it all to music (dance when no one is looking)

Really final tip – sometimes its ok to not get things done and not stress about it J