Bread and Wine

It’s not very often that I go out without all of my children in the evenings but for the last few months for around 3 hours, Lititia and I have been going out! And after the first handful of times the other kiddies were used to it and hardly complained. Of course if there weren’t a few grumbles I would probably call the doctor and feel a little put out that they didn’t mind my absence ☺️

So, what have we been doing with our freedom? Well, we have been going to Confirmation class! Since Jayden started school and I’ve been feeling so lonely, I’ve discovered my journey of Faith. I haven’t any astounding story or moment of when God entered my life but I think with my mind and time not preoccupied and at a time when I needed someone, this was when I was open to start my journey. My family,  who aren’t huge believers have been so supportive and have been so encouraging I’ll be forever grateful as its not easy telling people you have accepted God into your life at 39 especially when I’ve been openly against religion and some people have been negative but that’s ok and I respect their opinions. 

All my life I have never known what I have wanted to do with it. I love being a Mum but as a person there has been nothing that has really interested or inspired me but now I feel this is my path. I’m not sure in what direction it will go but I feel a sense of peace that I’m on the right road. I have also met many lovely people and made new friendships and discovered things about myself. I am also trying to be a better person in how I act and what I say and wanting to help people and any journey that encourages that must be positive surely!

Sadly, this last Thursday was our last class and I’m really sad about that. I’ve enjoyed learning and especially enjoyed spending time with some wonderful people. So why are we not going anymore?

Tomorrow (actually today!) Lititia and I will be getting Confirmed. Sadly it’s not in our own church but several people from our church are coming to support us which means so much. The people we are going with are so understanding of Lititia finding new places hard that they suggested we go early so she could get used to the church before anyone arrives. What’s wonderful support system we have. 

Our vicars have even asked to sit with us so she has familiar faces with her. 

I am nervous but very excited to see What this new chapter of my Journey will bring.

Where have those 15 years gone?

September 25 2001, my life changed forever.I met the most amazing, unique girl who Im proud to call my daughter. And it brought a lump to my throat last Sunday when I looked at the young lady she had become, patiently allowing her little brother to “help” her open her birthday cards!

Its been a journey thats for certain! Lititia developed just the same as any other child until she was around 20 months old and then she almost overnight went back to baby stage. I had no experience with children so didnt really think much of it until the health visitor sent us to a paediatrician after Lititias 2 year check up where she screamed and tried to climb up the wall and wouldnt cooperate at all. I knew it was because she didnt understand what was happening and she didnt like the door being closed.

Then a process of evaluations, observations, more professionals than I can remember and keeping diaries of her daily behaviour. They told me it wasnt typical behaviour to want to do everything exactly the same and have everything in the same place, it wasnt “normal” to have no speech or understanding at her age, to scream at noises or smells or lights, and to have the biggest meltdowns imaginable! Thats where I first heard the word Autism and I had absolutly no idea about it other than the film “Rainman”! But we learnt together and life was often challenging and I became very isolated and lost friends but we learnt ways to make our liffe easier…travelling to Exeter listening to one song of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for example, there and back!!! there is so much I could say about life then but it doesnt really benefit to dwell on negative although ofcourse there were many positives but the point of this post is to fast forward past the numerous years of toilet training, the endless hours trying to search for clothes she may wear, eating waffles for years and only drinking first milk and then blackcurrant, and again Im going on, the point is to celebrate an amazingly Unique 15 year old young lady. she has been at her Special Needs school for 11 years and is doing so well she is even looking towards exams and a catering course! She attends a youth club for special needs children every fortnight where she helps out with making meals and baking. she loves the village we live in and is a big part of the church community where she has made friends. She sets everything up for the services and bakes buns for everyone for afterwards and gives out the hymn books. She is also part of the Flower team and for the first time 3 weeks ago walked to the church herself and help set the flowers up for the Harvest Festival. She has just gotten Baptised, her choice and is only a few days away from being confirmed! Ill put photos of the baptism up in a seperate post.

We face challenges still, daily. We havent slpet a whole night in 15 years! But for anyone with a 2 year old thinking life will never get easier and not knowing how you will get through tomorrow, there is hope. and whilst I still cant go out with friends because my girls wont be left without me, there are a lot more days of smiling then frustration these days. And it will be like that for you soon too.

Missing out!

I have lots of drafts that I have started and then either decided not to post as it just doesnt sound right or ones that arent good enough or ones that I just havent finished and I think in the day sometimes about brilliant things I could write.

Then I realised yesterday that the point of me starting this blog was to capture the moments with my children and whilst I have been thinking of these amazing subjects to write about, I have actually been missing out on the most amazing thing, capturing memories of our lives.

So Im going to blog more often and most of it will probably be pretty boring should anyone ever read it but when I look back after time I will be so glad that I forgot about waiting for inspiration to find me and that I wrote about what really matters to me, my time with my kiddies and our everyday lives.

Not all natural Mothers

Lititia was the cutest baby being born at 5 lbs 9 and after threatening to arrive at 30 weeks, she managed to stay in there until 37! I was frightened by how much love I felt for her and often didnt know how to handle that level of emotion! The first few months of her life, maybe even the first year I just kept expecting someone to come along and say “sorry, we made a mistake actually. This baby is for someone who actually knows what they are doing!!! ”

I never thought about having children when I was small and even know still find it sometimes strange having 4 people call me Mum. When i first fell pregnant I must admit I didnt really read any books and didnt tell anyone until after my 20 + week scan! It was almost unbelievable that an actual person could be inside of me! Even during labour ( which when I had horrid pains I thought I had food poisoning, I still never thought it could be labour!) I thought they would probably just find i had wind or something to make my belly swell. Which actually didnt swell much at all as I was still wearing my size 8s. One leg wouldnt fit that now!!! But im getting off track. I had no morning sickness, didnt feel kicking until nearing 30 weeks and really had nothing to feel pregnant about.

So when she finally came out, which was a very quick but traumatic birth which I didnt realise at the time as I had no interest in hearing womans birth stories, I expected to be an instant Mum just like all the other Mums Id seen at hospital visits or in town.

I wasnt.

I had no idea what to do! I was “encouraged” to breastfeed even though I didnt want to. I know its best etc….. but for me it wasnt something wanted to do. I couldnt feed her in front of anyone at all and remember crying ina toilet in Plymouth trying to feed her sat on the loo and experiencing lots of pain as Id gotten mastitis too. I had to stay in for a few days as I was hopeless at it! and then i didnt know how to even put a nappy on! Im not kidding, i didnt even know how to open it!

Then she cried and i was looking for someone to pick her up or do something. then I realised that person was me! Its a shame i didnt realise I had to hold her head!!! Luckily I realised in time. It may sound like I might have been a Mum who was so overwhelmed I felt detached, quite the opposite. I felt so much for her and such intense emotion I had no idea how to handle it most of the time! I didnt want to tell anyone as I just assumed they would think I would know how to be a Mum. I didnt sleep for the first year (and we still dont but thats another post!!) for fear something would happen to her ( i had no idea about cot death until the midwife gave me a leaflet and then I watched every second!).

Of course if anyone would have asked if I were okay, I would have said yes anyway as i wanted to be a good Mum. After all Id given birth so of course now I was a Mum, I should just know how to be one. I didnt. i am not a natural Mum and I have to work at it every day. My children are my whole life. Literally. I do everything with them and never go on a night out. I still want to be a Mum they can be proud of. Now Lititia is nearly 15 next week and we have survived, grown together and I wouldnt have changed it for anything! I love being her Mum but I wish someone had told me that it is perfectly okay to not have motherhood come naturally. To not know if babies drink water or what they eat when they wean or that they cant sit up at a few weeks!! we as Mums need to know its also okay to not bond instantly and feel that instant love and it is also okay to feel overwhelming love and it is okay to ask for help and advice. Its also okay to not breastfeed and to say you dont want to, I bottlefed 3 of my children and Lititia after I felt able to say I wanted to with the help of a lovely midwife, and I am as close to all of them exactly the same and the same as mums who did breastfeed and although the health factors are of course there, a happy Mum is a happy baby.

It is perfectly fine to not have a clue and not to feel we are a disappointment or a failure!

Sticks and stones….

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.


I think we have all heard that saying in some form or another in our lives.  The thing is over the years Ive realised that it is just not true! In fact, mean words can hurt us more and for longer than if someone had physically harmed us.

How many times do we say something to someone and then follow it with ” Im only joking”. It doesnt feel like a joke to whoever we say it to.Just one sentance can change a persons life forever. i know a girl well that was told she was fat as a teenager and years of anorexia and bullimia followed. Im sure the person that said it to her never even gave it another thought after saying it and yet if affected the girls life for years.


Just this week I have heard some awful things that have been said to an Autistic boy whilst we were on holiday. It shocked me more that the parents of the group of children (yes there were 5 children calling this boy names) did nothing. Do they not think this young man has feelings? It hurt me so much that I had to say something. Of course I would have said something if the boy had Autism or not but having children with Autism it really hit home.


Words we say to children can have such a huge impact on them. In our house we have banned words like “stupid” “dumb” “thick” and anything along those lines. I am so careful what I say to my kiddies espeially if im cross, words a parent might say to a child can scar them and make them feel worthless.


There is no way to take back a word once its said.


I have been guilty to say things before i think and give my opinion far too quickly so Im really really trying to think everything through before i say it. I think whether what im about to say is actually really needed or helpful or whether it is better to just be kept to myself!


i have also found this fantastic group which Im sure a lot will already know about called “Operation Beautiful”. Basically you write encouraging words on sticky notes and put it for people to see. So a toilet door, inside a library book, a bus seat…you get the point. What a nice way to cheer up someone who might be having a bad day.


and wouldnt life be so much nicer for everyone if we just stopped using cruel words as if they were our fists.



Starting again?

I have found it really hard since my youngest started school.


Of course when my other 3 lovelies started school it was hard as well. Lititia was my first at school and it had been a rollercoaster 4 years! If I spoke about it all and the stuff we went through in the younger years, Im not sure if people who know us now but didn’t then would even believe it. She saved my life and put me on a good path however.

Jessie was too tiny to go to school!! Now she is a tall 11 year old but then she was tiny and went to school in what I call a baby car seat. I would have been more worried if she wasn’t going to a specialised school as she had no communication amongst lots of other things.


Charlie and I had spent every day together, all day. And we didn’t know many people so we had great fun by ourselves. We had real conversations and Charlie hated pre school so we were happy with our days together and didn’t feel like we needed anyone whilst the girls were at school.


But with Jayden going, its the end of a huge chunk of my life! I have no children with me all day and nearly a year later Im still not getting used to it! I have stuff to fill my days so its not that Im bored (although im sure a lot of people think I just watch tv all day!! ) I hate it because I miss them and I don’t feel like me anymore!  I have also been thinking about a lot of major things.  I am not sure if we need to move so I can make friends and find a job I love. Don’t get me wrong there are many people here who are kind and friendly and I have made some great friendships but everyone has their own lives and now I don’t have a little one I see less people with children as I don’t have anyone to bring to play! I guess its just natural that those friendships will become less, I think we are sent some people at certain times in our lives at the times when we need them.


And there have been some good changes for me. I  started going to church and whilst I love the people and learning, the most important change has been in myself because of it. I am trying to be a better person. I am trying to think before I give my opinions and really think if what I am saying is helpful and productive. I have made friends with people who I never had the chance to get to know before mainly as their children are grown so we never really crossed paths that much. And I get to help out with reading and various at the school which I absolutely love and never had the chance to before.


But now I found that I don’t really know much about myself at all!!! I don’t know what kind of job I would have done if I hadn’t have had children. I have no idea really what Im good at or what interests me!!


I am not sure if I feel like this because I am getting close to 40 and my child bearing days are nearly over, whether its where we live, whether its because I didn’t have a career before having children and I don’t have any idea at all what job I would love to do although working at the school interests me but that could be because I can do it whenever it suits me :)  Or whether its because I try and be happy at home as it worries my children if I am anxious in any way so this is my place to be a drama queen!🙂 Whatever it is though I feel very proud of the independence of my children and especially how far jayden has become less clingy this year, but I also feel quite redundant and quite lonely which is odd in itself as I actually really enjoy my own company.


I guess this post is pretty pointless haha but we all have permission to be dramatic sometimes!🙂




What have we been up to?

It feels like the last few months have happened in just a few days they have gone so fast! I feel out of breath sometimes just trying to keep up and I want it to all slow down before the kids have left home and I’m sat staring at empty rooms. So, before I make myself more miserable an update of what we have been doing!


As is quite usual for us we have had a trip to the aquarium🙂 We just love that place and tend to go most holidays as its something all the children enjoy, that can be quite hard with 4 children of varying ages and interests! Luckily we do enjoy each others company so can generally compromise as we like to be together.

We stayed with my parents which again we all love to do!  When we are there we do stuff that we don’t have where we live like going to the park and swimming pool. Its nice to just walk for a few minutes and be able to play on the swings!  The kids love the swimming pool too (Im not fond of it if im honest as I am really not a water person! but I am happy when they are having fun) and Charlie has learnt to swim which Im so proud of! And Jayden isn’t frightened of letting go of me in the pool anymore! The girls have always been great swimmers as their school taught them a few times a week from an early age.  Most importantly though, we love the evenings where we sit with my parents and just chat and laugh. We don’t see them enough and I miss them a lot when we leave.


I have been to a lot of appointments it seems and had a tear in my eye at Lititias statement review when she said one of the most important things to her was spending time with her family and Charlie said to the Educational Psychologist that if he ever had a worry he can always come and tell me. These things mean so much to me. Jessie has been on some visits to her secondary school and is practicing for her leavers assembly! She is a little sad as she “only” has a few lines but I am so proud of her especially considering that when she first joined the school she couldn’t even sit in assembly as it was too much for her and now she wants to be a lead role in the play! How far she has come!


As the weather has been so nice, we have been spending a lot of evenings on the beach. There is always something fun to do and Im always amazed and enjoy the games that the kids make up to play whilst we are there. Its a great place to go if we need to just get out of the house or if tempers are starting to get a little short!


Of course we have been doing our usual Church stuff. Sunday services, Lititia did the Altar flowers and now helps set up before church and after and Charlie did his first Bell ringing wedding! Their confidence is growing being a part of something where they feel like they belong. Jayden said he would like to be a Vicar! I think at the moment his talks would involve a lot of dinosaurs and Captain Jake but a good choice nonethe less!


And as I write this tonight I am on yet another course of steroids and antibiotics for my chest but that’s ok. I may not be able to breathe so well sometimes but my kids are what gives me life and that’s all I need.







What i do all day…

I spent a lovely day at school helping with reading and Forest School, its my “thing” I do to relax and I enjoy it very much! When I was leaving my little love said to me:

“Just sit on the sofa and wait for me to get home from the bus”

It made me smile and wonder if that’s what he actually thinks I do all day. Im sure other people think it too and I have had comments from people that work all day about how lovely it must be to stay at home. And Im not denying that it is. But as well as sitting down on the sofa I do a home study course, volunteer at the school, visit elderly people, help out on a website for people with Mental Health issues and being a parent as well as being one of Special Needs children I also do these things:


I wash bedding every day. I wont go into detail as to why but SN parents will know what im talking about. I clear up any mess that may have happened during the night as a result of a meltdown. Talking of during the night, I will probably have not been able to get to bed until about 2 because my lovelies find it hard to sleep and then after getting up during the night numerous times sometimes I will be up at about 5. I also put everything back in the house how it should be as anything not in the right place could cause huge problems if a child is having a particularly bad day anyway.


I often have a number of appointments, sometimes 30 miles away and I don’t drive! I have to check up on IEPs and make sure they are being carried out. I have reviews that last for hours, appointments about behaviour, speech, and now Jessie is getting ready to move to the next school, appointments and visits on how to make this easier and reminders to the school that we need to be doing this or emails or phonecalls to remind of things they will need to know or things that I need to know. I have care plans and Statements  and Targets and “All about me” books to think about at home and then attend the meeting about.


I have also been to classes to learn Makaton, PECS, behaviour strategies, how to deal with meltdowns(at times I feel theirs and mine!🙂 )


I search online for clothes that wont irritate, have low collars, high collars, itchy material, tight armpits, irritable tags, just the right waist….they would much rather be naked which is also something we deal with!  And don’t even get me started on finding the right pair of shoes! If we are lucky,  I stock up for fear they may discontinue the item!! I make sure we have food in stock that they may actually all eat! And think of ways I may be able to brush hair without starting a small war!

I then think of new ways to help with their reading, spellings and homework. My son in particular finds it very hard to sit and do these. He is not being difficult, he just finds it difficult to do it in the regular way so I search for ideas to hold his attention. I also look for and read books or online articles about things that could make our lives easier or tips from other parents on how to cope and manage particular things we are going through at that time.

I often have numerous paperwork to fill out for applying for different things or to get ready to see a new specialist for example. I have to do this in the day as I would have little hands “helping” to write on the paper or children needing attention at that very moment.

There are more things I could add but Im sure its getting boring already! This isn’t a great piece of writing and probably not well put but its 1.36 am and it looks like another night that will result in me having company. I do also spend my days thinking how much joy my children bring me and how far we have come. Id like to tell parents of younger children how it does get easier or we get more used to it ( and I think that will be my next blog).

So, if you need me Ill be sitting here on the sofa🙂





End of the SATS

So, this week I have a much happier Jessie. This week she doesn’t have her SATS. At first it seemed that she didn’t really pay much attention to what they were and just went about her daily school life but something changed and I don’t know how or what she had listened to but suddenly she became full of anxiety to the point of it making her feel physically ill in the weeks leading up to the SATS.

Just to say however that I talked to her about it and she said she did want to do them as her friends were so that was fine by me, or I would have done everything I could have to not have her do them.  And not just because she has Special Needs, I would have done it for any of my children.

So, she did get a sticker which she was proud of on the second day because she managed to get to the end of her paper,  but the others she didn’t manage to complete and she was full of questions like did it mean she wasn’t clever because she couldn’t finish and if she got a low mark or no mark it must mean that she wasn’t good enough didn’t it?


It broke my heart to hear her, and im sure there are hundreds of children questioning themselves in the same way. Even younger than Jessie as she is a year back at school.

So, we had a long talk. Or as long as I could hold her attention for! I told her that the mark she receives is not whats important. Its the fact she sat there and tried her very best. That’s worth top marks to me.  The paper is about Maths and English. That’s it. The only thing it tells us is what someone is like at writing and sums ( to put it very basically so she understood)

If she had a paper in Art she would have had the highest marks I am sure. The paper wont tell us that she is the most fantastic computer animator and that her characters and ideas just blow me away!! (of course I couldn’t say blow me away to her or she would have taken that literally and gone looking for me…when it was teatime🙂 )

a dream 2

The paper wont tell us that she has the kindest heart and a soul filled with empathy. She gives her pocket money to sponser a tiger and feed children. She grew her hair for children that don’t have any. She weeps when she sees the adverts of the people living in poverty. She wants to write to owners of empty houses and shops to see if they will let homeless people stay. That quality is a millions times more important than top marks in spellings.


The paper also doesn’t tell us that even though she worries about her speech, she stood up in church and did a reading. True bravery. She is a real playmate for her little brother and looks out for him at school and home. A protector. She is the funniest person and cheers me up in seconds. A comedien. She loves to sing and is fantastic at making up tunes on her Ukelele. A musician.  She has Autism and life is very often confusing and frightening for her but she never gives up. She has real determination.


The paper wont tell anyone how brilliant she is with animals. They all adore her and come running to her, even animals that aren’t fond of other people.  Its almost as if she can talk to them and I often wonder if she can!!!!  She did her bikeability even though she was scared to go on the road. She still did it. Her honesty is second to none.

She is an amazing daughter, sister and friend. I don’t care if she doesn’t get top marks in such an insignificant test of who a person is. She is a Top Mark person and that’s what I would rather be anyday.





It’s the smallest things…

I can honestly say that if someone gave me a million pounds I wouldn’t be happier than I was with what I got on my birthday ( well I would be pretty happy if I got the money as well! )

For around 10 years now I have not made a fuss of my birthday. As we get older I guess we don’t anyway but the reason mainly for me is because my girls really don’t like the change of routine and the excitement.  Of course its different when it comes to the childrens birthdays as it just wouldn’t be fair in anyway to stop the boys missing out on what is a huge celebration of their lives especially when they have to  live with some pretty difficult days and situations. Like not having people in the house because it makes Jessie extremely anxious.

Anyway back to the point! As well as wonderful gifts such as plants, clothes, pens and lots of stuff that I loved, I received a plant from Charlie and a frozen sticker set from Jayden! My boys always love to give me things and I treasure them.



Just as I was hugging them and thinking I must get on with making tea, (sadly birthday or not, these children apparently still need to be fed!!) Jessie brought me over a carrier bag with a cuddly toy in that I commented on when we went to the toy shop and Lititia handed me a card that she had bought with her own money and written in it herself.

I was so overwhelmed and happy that I would have cried if it wouldn’t have frightened them. You see I have never received a birthday gift from Jessie or a card from Lititia that they had gotten of their own accord. Its not that they aren’t thoughtful and loving, they just don’t think the same as many and im proud of their uniqueness of course. But this birthday will be treasured.


So, if there are any parents of Special Needs children who may be going through a hard time and wondering if it will ever get better, it will. Slowly, and with a lot of love and patience you will loo back one day and realise just how far you have come.


And that isn’t the end of my day! My wonderful children also made me tea!!! A real childrens party tea which of course had all the things they love and enough sweet stuff to fuel an army of bees and I  of course was left with the washing up..but its the small things that are most important right?