Just Charlie G

I try not to talk too much about this on the blog because well, I am wary of my daughter’s future, so I have already made a note on my calender to delete all these posts at a future point in time.

And so, if you’re a regular reader you’ll know about the issues we’ve had with Chloe. We strongly suspect Aspergers and I strongly suspect she suffers with some form of hyperactivity. Both of these issues, on a scale, rank fairly low, but throughout Chloe’s life they just keep causing problems. We can have a couple of weeks go past where we think we are imagining everything, followed by the month from hell with her.

A really brief run down of events to date in very basic form.

Social issues and bullying lead to my insistence that it wasn’t because other children were horrible (although actually some of them were), but that Chloe was unable to manage her relationships, and there was something about her that unwittingly making her a target for childhood banter. There were lots of issues that lead to us moving her to another school, but also to the involvement of an Educational Psychologist.

Chloe has been much better in nearly all areas of school life since we moved her, there’s no doubt it was the right move, there are still issues, but still, school is much better.

The Educational Psychologist did an observation of her at school and said in basic terms that she had seen signs of emotional and social issues but that they were being managed well by the school. Further discussion seemed to imply that she did agree that it was likely Aspergers, but as she was managing well at school, and the school were managing her well, that there was no further intervention needed by her at this time.

I have stayed closely in touch with the teacher and the School’s Special Educational Needs Officer (SENCO) and issues have been raised that are individually minor, but together, to me, raise a bigger concern. More on that later.

Meantime, Chloe’s behaviour at home has been appalling, stress levels are frequently sky high for everyone in the house. Let me be clear, Chloe is not a naughty child, but she is full of energy and so unable to settle to anything, ever (although as mentioned before, once in a blue moon she sits and does something for 15 minutes) but her energy levels are sky high. She hops around on the spot, and when like this is prone to irritating behaviour and spontaneous bursts of energy, which usually involve dive bombing her sister or trying to engage someone in an activity they don’t want to do. Combine this behaviour with an inability to take no for an answer and a total lack of empathy and life gets difficult.

I’m not even going to go into the panic attack aspects of life or other complications.

School holidays are my worst nightmare, I get incredibly stressed as it’s just not possible to keep her occupied all day, every day, her behaviour slips, she upsets her sister, won’t say sorry, it’s a circle that repeats itself over and over, all day. So I went to the school and asked for help.

They hooked us up with a Family Support Worker.  Although she’s done some valuable work with Chloe on a one to one basis at school (which has helped us to see a bit more of what’s going on in that bright little mind), I feel the work she has been doing with us at home has been entirely useless. She refuses to accept what I’m saying about anything, glossing over it and suggesting rewards and taking her out to burn off some energy… well of course we’ve tried those things. In fact one of our worst periods ever was on holiday last year, out all day and every day… the behaviour was through the roof.

We’re in a calm ish patch at the moment…but I think I’m so used to the stress now some of it barely registers, we took the kids to the cinema yesterday, for two hours beforehand Chloe was absolutely out of control… we ended up shouting, she ended up crying and saying she couldn’t help getting  over excited, I felt guilty because I know she can’t…. its not much fun really.

And so, having spoken to the School SENCO and the School Nurse, they have two suggestions, the first being that it’s time to get the GP involved, and secondly to have a round table with all professionals involved. I missed out much of the detail, but today Chloe’s teacher called me in and said she’d spotted a behaviour she thought would be worth mentioning to other professionals involved, which is great, but being the central point, the person who knows all the details from all the different professionals, becomes like juggling, trying to recall which professional said what, and what I need to tell all the others, and what I’ve already told them, it all gets a bit much at times so the round table meeting sounds helpful…

But the GP aspect I’m not so sure about. We need help with her for sure, I don’t want her childhood to consist solely of us moaning at her to try and calm down, or leave her sister alone, or whatever it is, but don’t get me wrong, the Aspergers side of her clearly doesn’t get affected by this sort of thing, but it really does upset me.

But if we take the GP path what then? Diagnosis has it’s benefits of course… least of all, just knowing, just having an answer, that would undeniably feel good. Of course, it may mean we get some more support that will actually help us.

But then she’s labelled for the rest of her life. Her teacher says that because she’s so capable, she will never need one to one help in the classroom so no one need ever know…but I don’t know, I have had others suggest we really shouldn’t.

And if she is hyperactive… would we want to medicate… no I’m not sure we do!

Really I don’t expect anyone to answer and tell me what to do, I’m just getting it out of my system by writing it down really but I’d love to hear from parents going through similar, because it feels like a constant battle and has done for years now. I don’t know where all this is going to end, or how it’s all going to end, or if she’ll grow out of the worst of it all, as I say, sometimes things are all completely normal (whatever that is)!

A few weeks ago now I was invited to take part in Moneysupermarket’s Big Night in. This was open to all bloggers to show how much fun you can have on a night in with £50.

I knew immediately that I’d plan an evening for the family. Board games (we don’t play many because I’m not a fan so I made sure it was a part of the whole evening. Party food. Chocolate Milk, movies and popcorn.

MoneySupermarket's Big Night In
MoneySupermarket's Big Night In
MoneySupermarket's Big Night In
MoneySupermarket's Big Night In
MoneySupermarket's Big Night In
MoneySupermarket's Big Night In
MoneySupermarket's Big Night In
MoneySupermarket's Big Night In
MoneySupermarket's Big Night In

Everyone really enjoyed the time! I saved a lot of money by buying the games from Ebay at a fraction of the price I’d have paid from any other retailer. I can highly recommend Penguin Pile Up. So simple and so fun for everyone. I’m loving my husband’s Operation face. With the money saved on the games we got lots of goodies in the supermarket including a bottle of cider for me! Result!

We finally settled down to watch The Iron Giant (amazing if you haven’t seen it) with hot, sweet popcorn before dispatching happy and contented kids off to bed. I think it was a success, the kids haven’t stopped asking when we’re having our next Family Fun Night!

So my biggest tip for a great night in, whatever you’re up to, try Ebay for your purchases first!

MoneySupermarket's Big Night In

14. 05. 2013

Something a bit different.

Life’s been a bit hard of late. We’ve been having problems (minor) with my daughter, one problem after another since she was born really. I think I’ve always known what the problem is but had hoped it was something she’d grow out of, just a passing phase. It started with her refusing to take a bottle as a baby, being unable to eat solids until six months after the recommended age, dropping her naps stupidly early and most recently we’ve added panic attacks to the six short years of her life so far. With plenty of other stuff in the middle. It’s not fair and it’s not nice, particularly for her. You can’t imagine having spend six hours sitting with and trying to calm down a six year old girl screaming in the middle of the night because she thinks she’s dying of a heart attack and she needs her family around her because she doesn’t want to die alone, it’s heartbreaking.

And so I’m waiting for a referral to the Educational Psychologists, it’s not necessary in diagnosis terms because I already know what it is. She has Aspergers.  We’re of course waiting for the official word as my personal friend can’t give me a formal diagnosis, but I know and all of us that know her, know that’s exactly what it is.

Both my husband and father have it. I already know what it’s like, I don’t need to look any further that my immediate family to know she’s the same.

And the thing is, although I know what’s coming, and although I’ve been ready for it for a long time, I feel absolutely gutted because now there’s no hoping it’s a phase, now it’s reality check time.

It’s upsetting to have to deal with this but it’s hard to deal with the stuff at home all the time at the moment, and life is emotional to say the least. I’m sorry to my readers who sometimes have to see me tweet negatively about blogging, I try not to do it often, but sometimes the negativity leaks into other areas of my life. I still love blogging and yes it is disheartening sometimes but other times its the best thing in the world.

On a positive note, I’m back on Weight Watchers and I’m having my gym induction (9lbs lost so far), at the very least it’d be nice to not be worrying about how fat I am amongst all the rest of the crap that’s been raining down on us for years now.

I love you Chloe Jayne, every single bit of fight is worth it, just to have you in my life. You are a legend, your cuddles are the best, you are completely hilarious and so so so so clever. I’m unconditionally proud of you. Always.

01. 03. 2012

I’ve just got back in from town after having my second tattoo. It’s deeply personal to me.

My new Tattoo
My new Tattoo

It’s a quote from my all time favourite film, True Romance. Not as soppy as it sounds. I’m expecting only people of a certain age to have even heard of it…given that I’m quite old. Not only that but it’s the title of the music I walked down the aisle to (the theme from the film) when I got married (And actually so did the lovely Love Audrey), and of course there are three people in my life that I think are especially cool, my husband and my two children, Chloe and Lola. They are my life. Ok, that is soppy.

Anyway, here’s my absolutely favourite quote from the film.

“Amid the chaos of that day, when all I could hear was the thunder of gunshots, and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: you’re so cool, you’re so cool, you’re so cool. And sometimes Clarence asks me what I would have done if he had died, if that bullet had been two inches more to the left. To this, I always smile, as if I’m not going to satisfy him with a response. But I always do. I tell him of how I would want to die, but that the anguish and the want of death would fade like the stars at dawn, and that things would be much as they are now. Perhaps. Except maybe I wouldn’t have named our son Elvis.”

Happy Birthday to the most beautiful five year old in the world. I’m so proud of you for so many reasons. Love you SO much. Happy Birthday darling xxx

As you all know, I had the priviledged position of doing my sister’s make up for her wedding a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoyed doing it despite my nerves about it all. I didn’t think to be honest that’d I’d be good enough. I mean, I love make up, I own lots of it, but I’m not actually very good at it! Having said that I think I did a pretty good job when it came down to it! So I plan to just share some pics followed by a list of the items I used.

Most of the photographs are courtesy of the fantastic John at http://www.cornishweddingphotography.co.uk/. Please go and check out his site. Thank you John for allowing me to use them here.

Primed and ready.

Doing the eye make up.

A hairy moment with the liquid liner. I find it almost impossible to do on myself and even harder to do on someone else!

Onto the mascara!

Don’t smile while I’m lining your lips! 😉

And here’s the finished article!

So there we have it. I’m pleased to say that it lasted all day too 🙂

Anyway, for reference, here’s a list of all the products used:

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Pebble
Estee Lauder Lucidity Translucent Powder in Medium
Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer in Light Medium
Elf Eyebrow Kit in Light
Clinique Pore Minimiser Primer in 01
Benefit 10 Powder (just the bronzer side)
Nars Orgasm Blush
Mac Soft & Gentle MSF
Estee Lauder Double Wear Lip Liner in Tawny
Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick in Pink-a-Boo
Clinique Lash Power Mascara in Black
Estee Lauder Double Wear Liquid Liner in Graphite
Mac Subculture Lip Liner
Mac Soft Ochre Paint Pot
Bourjois Gris Pailettes Eyeshadow
Mac Silver Fog Pigment
Mac Sweet Sienna Pigment
Mac Fix+

I must while I think of it thank both Clinique and Estee Lauder for providing me with several of the items used and some that weren’t. I and Elisabeth were truly grateful. In particular I must recommend the Estee Lauder foundation matching service. You make yourself an appointment and they match up your foundation according to your colouring and needs and they send you off with a 10 day sample of foundation, free of charge, a great service and one we used to get the right foundation for Elisabeth’s base.

Finally might as well show you how gorgeous my girls looked along with my FotWD (Face of the Wedding Day!).

If you’ve got this far, well done! And thanks for reading as always.

Since Chloe is insisting on having her nails polished all the time I thought I’d try and get hold of some kids polish for her as I’m sure it’s a bit healthier for her than my adult formulas and removers. I found a Tinkerbell kit on Ebay for 99p that had not only a polish in it but a whole selection of make up. I didn’t expect her to want to try the make up out since face paints freak her out and so does my make up. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Within minutes of it she had plastered it all on. Thankfully and appropriately there is a distinct lack of pigment in any of it, but Chloe was most put out that she was piling it on but still couldn’t see it. Anyway, I just wanted to share a couple of pictures of her going for it, she was really making me laugh.

I’m sure you can see how shiny her face is, it is plastered on! All down her arms etc. A full pot of glitter gel is liberally applied all over along with everything else. She’s also trying to show you her thumb nails in this pic, which feature stickers and polish.

Sadly for Chloe, as much as she enjoyed piling it on, taking it off again caused one hell of a tantrum! What a diva!

29. 07. 2010

This post might be contraversial, I don’t know! But today my 3 year old decided she wanted to be like Mummy and now we have matching nails. I’m secretly delighted but also secretly disgusted I’ve let my 3 year old have her nails painted… ah well, it’s the Summer holidays and it is cute!

It does however highlight how horrible my hands are!

30. 05. 2010

Today my beautiful baby girl Lola turned 1.

This is her the day she was born:

And here she is today:

Happy Birthday Lola! We love you xxx

19. 05. 2010

Louise over at Get Lippie is having a birthday contest and the prizes are simply awesome, so if you fancy your chances you can find all the details HERE.

In essence you have to talk about what it is that makes you really really happy and I’ve thought long and hard today about it.

Make up makes me happy. Getting things in the post makes me happy, whether its birthday pressies or things I’ve bought, anything except bills, getting new clothes and shoes makes me happy, gossiping makes me happy, a perfect bath with perfect products makes me happy… but you could take all that away from me and what I’d be left with is the cheesy answer of my family.

My family make me truly happy. I ummed and ahhed about putting that as my answer because in truth half the time they drive me mad but to put anything else seemed shallow. How can I possibly claim a nice bath makes me happiest when I compare it to a huge kiss and cuddle from one of my girls, or watching Chloe animatedly talking me through the finer plot details of Wall-E, or Graham coming home from work to help me out because I’m so exhausted theres a real risk I might collapse. No lipstick compares.

All my life I’ve wandered from job to job with no real goal, but having kids, being a Mum, and a wife, feels just right to me. I’m not a career woman, never have been (although if I could turn back time I know exactly what I would have done…) and I don’t care how 1940’s I sound, this is my place in life right now and the stresses are outweighed by the joys mostly. Who knows what the future holds for me, but I guarantee, remove my family from it and my happiness will go too.

So I’m sorry if it’s the cheesy answer. It is though, the truthful answer.