Sunday, 24 February 2013

Liebster Award

A little while ago I was nominated for a Liebster Award from the gorgeous Shay and Family.  I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get around to it, but I am chuffed to have been chosen. :-)

The award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers who deserve acknowledgement and encouragement to keep on blogging.

The rules are as follows:

  1. List 11 facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
  4. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  5. Choose 5 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
  6. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.

11 Facts About Me:
  1. I was born in South Africa, brought up in Wales and now live in England!
  2. I have six tattoos with plans for at least 2 more.
  3. I am a total soap addict.  Most of the time I'm playing catch up and end up watching about a weeks worth in one sitting!
  4. I hate to cook, but do enjoy baking.
  5. I'm a HUGE Harry Potter fan!  In fact, one of my tattoos is a quote from The Half Blood Prince!
  6. I run a small crafting business with my mum. You can visit our Facebook page here.
  7. I have recently become an Ann Summers rep!
  8. I'm a complete chocoholic.
  9. I'm a little bit obsessed with teapots.
  10. I also write another blog dedicated to my book reviews. 
  11. I love to read & watch Vampire series, such as True Blood & The Vampire Diaries.

11 Questions from Shay and Family:

1. What, do you feel, is your biggest achievement to date?
Other than my boys, I would say completing Cancer Research's Shine 1/2 marathon Walk in 2011.  I'm not a big walker and due to having flat feet, I find it painful, so to have completed the 13.1 mile walk overnight was a huge deal for me.
2. Would you rather read the book or watch the movie?
Always the book.  If I've watched the movie first and found out that there was a book, then I will read the book.  It is very rare that the movie/programme is better.
3. What song is guaranteed to get you dancing?
I'm not a big dancer and usually have to be quite drunk to allow myself get pulled onto the dance floor.

4. What's the most exciting thing happening for you/your family this year?
I guess starting my new job is the most exciting thing happening for us this year.
5. What three words would you use to describe your blog?
Ooh, tough one.  Um, I think honest, family and fun.  At least that's what it is for me.  I'm always amazed that people are interested in reading my ramblings! lol.
6. What tv programme do you always make sure you watch/record?
As mentioned in my 11 facts, I am a huge soap fan, so Emmerdale, Corrie and Eastenders are always on series link.  If for any reason that fails, then I will watch it on Catch Up!
7. One amazing meal, it can be anything in the world, what would you have?
I'm going to have to go for a 2 course meal here and would have a roast lamb dinner and cheesecake for dessert.
8. The house is on fire! You can only grab 2 things, what would you take? (excluding family & pets)
Knowing that my boys were safe, then I would have to grab my mobile phone and jewellery case.  Most of my photos are now on Facebook or Dropbox, so are easily accessible from my phone.  If I did have time to get one more thing, then it would be my fathers coffee table.  It's been with me since my first flat in 1997 and was made by my dad in his woodwork class at school, so is older than me!
9. Money and travel are no object, where in the world would you travel to?
There's no contest on this one....South Africa any day!  If I had the money and job security I would move out there in a heartbeat.
10. If you were a superhero, what would you super-power be?
Hmm, another toughie.  If I could have one super-power it would being able to fly, so that I could visit my SA family anytime I wanted.
11. What is your favourite quote?
Seeing as I have it tattooed on my foot I guess it would be my Harry Potter quote: "The ones we love, never truly leave us."  

11 Questions from MrsJC;

  1. What's the one item you can't live without?
  2. Team Edward or Team Jacob?
  3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  4. If you could be a famous person for the day, who would you be?
  5. What's your ideal job?
  6. What's your all time favourite book?
  7. Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings?
  8. What would be the best present ever?
  9. Tea or Coffee?
  10. What is your favourite childhood memory?
  11. If money was no object, what car would you buy?

5 Bloggers I nominate:

  1. Views from the Spectrum
  2. Mummy with More Than Two Point Four
  3. Motherhood or Madness
  4. The Mummy Returns
  5. Cupcake Mumma
I look forward to reading your answers ladies!

Jackie. x

Saturday, 23 February 2013

March 31 Day Blog Challenge

As mentioned a couple of posts ago, in order to try and get my blogging mojo back, I am going to take part in a 31 day blog challenge.

Back in May last year, when I was first starting out in blogging, I took part in a 31 Day Blog Challenge set by Outmumbered.  Through this blog challenge I met alot of my favourite bloggers, most of whom I still follow today.

This time I will be taking part in the challenge set by Fabulous Finds by Tiffany.  I am new to Tiffany's blog, so I'm looking forward to getting to know her and others taking part in the challenge.

Here is the challenge...

So, who's going to join up with me?

Jackie. x

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Update on Aled

Back in December I wrote a post about Aled and the fact that he may have ASD.  Well, things have gotten a little bit further with him.  With the fact that I was returning to work, I wanted to speak with the schools SENco to check on how things were going at school.  I had a very productive meeting with her and she pointed out all the good and bad things that were going on at school.  She told me that she was surprised that Aled didn't have a diagnosis as in her opinion he was showing a high volume of autistic traits.  She agreed that she would write me an observation report of what she has seen at the school.  She also gave me a copy of the most recent Speech & Language report from the assessment that was done at the school.  Although I had changed the boys address with the school, it turned out that the SENco's records hadn't been updated with our address.

A couple of weeks later, after I had started my new job, I got a call from sister.  She was told by the class teacher that I was supposed to have a meeting with the SENco and EP that morning at 10.30am.  This was the first I had heard about it (I didn't even know what she meant by the EP!).  My sister and the class teacher agreed that it was best to get the SENco to call me on my Monday.

Monday morning, I bumped into the SENco as I was dropping the boys off at the Sure Start centre.  I briefly spoke with her and it turned out that she has asked for an Educational Psychiatrist (EP) to see Aled and my permission was needed for this.  She also advised that the EP would want to speak with me about Aled. I agreed a time for the EP to call me while I was at lunch and a form was going to be put in Aled's bag for me to sign.

Later in the week I spoke with the EP.  I was asked about our home life and what my concerns were.  The EP then went on to let me know what she observed and what the class teacher and SENco had said.  It (unsurprisingly) turns out that we all have the same concern about Aled's social skills.  I advised her that Aled had a review coming up with the child development centre shortly and she kindly agreed to write up a report and email it to me for us to take.

The report was very supportive and outlined observations in his fine and gross motor skills, his 'ticks', the fact that he needs to chew things, his speech & language skills, his social understanding and skills and also his behaviour.  The report also took into account what the SENco, class teacher and I had said, even if the EP hadn't witnessed that on the day.  It also gave the actions that were agreed for the school to take to try to help Aled develop the skills he requires.

Earlier this week, Aled had his appointment with the Child Development Centre.  As I was working, hubby had to take him.  Armed with the reports from the SENco, EP and Speech Therapist and with instructions from me as to what to highlight off they went.  I am currently waiting for the report to come back, but it doesn't sound good.  The consultant has agreed that yes Aled does show autistic qualities, however, the fact that Aled is able to show affection makes him reluctant to give a diagnosis and he thinks that Aled might grow out of it!  

Neil pointed out to the consultant that we (us and the SENco) are concerned about how he will cope when he goes up to Year 1 in September if he doesn't have the help he needs and the consultant replied that maybe we should give it a term to see how he is.  I was so angry when hubby told me this!!  To me that is like the old fashioned attitude of 'chuck them in the deep end and see if they can swim!'  The consultant did show concern of Aled's tick's and did say that we do need to keep an eye on that, as it could develop into full blown tourette's.  

He did mention a test that can be done to check for autism and that if I really wanted, I can request for this to be done.  He said that if it does transpire that Aled has autism, in his opinion it would only be a mild form.  I have decided that I am going to wait for the full report to come back and will then seek the advise of the SENco as to what our next step should be.  

So, all in all, we do have the support of the school and the EP, but not the consultant.  We have our first appointment with the Occupational Therapist in a few weeks, so will see how that goes.  

Jackie. x

I'm sorry!!

Wow, I knew it had been a while since I last blogged, but didn't realise just how long it has been!!  I am so sorry!

I bet you've been wondering what's been going on, why I have abandoned you?!  Well, as I mentioned in my last blog post, I now have a full time job.  Due to childcare issues, I did have to push back my start date by a week, but life has been pretty manic since!  It turns out that this is pretty much the busiest time of year in the HR department of a theme park and my working day (and sometimes weekends) have been pretty much taken up with employment contracts!  I can't wait for the part to open and I can sit back and relax a little!

It's not been all nose to the grindstone though, last week I went on a 2 day course to learn one of the HR computer systems.  One of my colleagues came with me, as she is also new to the department and we went off to the town of Marlow for our training.  The training course was very well put and the pièce de résistance was being taken to lunch at Zizi's!  Yum yum!

Aled has settled well into the childcare setting well, however Noah is having a little trouble adjusting.  Due to the availability of my childminder, the boys have 2 days with her, 2 days in the Sure Start centre and a day at home with my sister.

I have found myself exhausted at the end of the day and most evenings I am falling asleep on the sofa by 8.30-9pm!  I never realised just how tiring it is to work full time with two little ones and a teenager!  It had seemed so easy when I was a full time working mum to PJ!

This week I decided to give everyone a bit of excitement at lunch time.  Somehow the heel of my shoe went from under me and I went flying in the staff restaurant!  A plate full of food all over the place and I managed to hit my hand on the drinks fridge and slice open my finger!  I had about three guys rush over to check if I was ok, getting me a chair to sit on, a cup of water to drink and some tissues for the blood dripping from my hand!!  I don't think I've ever had so much male attention at any one time! lol.  My colleague was called down from my department and I was taken over to the first aider.  One look at my finger and she told me it was best to get it looked at by the local minor injuries unit.  She cleaned it up a little and put a dressing on it for me.  As it was so busy, I went back to work for a couple more hours, then left work early to get it looked at.  The nurse at the minor injury unit took a look and advised that due to the way my finger had been cut, steri-strips were the best course of action.  So, I now have a finger padded out with plasters with the instructions of keeping the steri-strips dry for a week!  Not an easy task for anyone I think, especially when you have children!  Luckily I have a couple of days off, so I can rest it a little.  Even something as small as using a pen was painful!

Well, that's me up to date.  I will write up another post with an update on Aled and I have found a new 31 day blog challenge that I am looking at taking part in for March to help me get back into the blogging spirit!

Jackie. x