Friday, 31 May 2013

Finish the Sentence Friday: My favourite movie




A crazy day is slowly coming to an end and it is finally time to finish that sentence.



This week's sentence to finish is:

My favourite movie of all times is... 

... a question that I cannot answer easily. Because there are a lot of movies that I like.


First of all: I finally got to watch "The Sound Of Music" and while I found it kind of nice because I recognised some of the locations where it was filmed on my trip last year in reality it was a bit too much singing for me (although I do like films where the characters sing). However, it has not become my favourite movie.


My first favourite movie was Logan's Run. I saw it when I was a little girl (as I looked up the youtube video now I was wondering whether it was educationally a good film for a girl my age... hm...) and immediately fell in love with the main character, Michael York. I even cut out the part from our TV guide where the movie was described (because back then we did not have a VHS recorder) and I kept it on my bedside table so that I could always look at his beautiful face.



Then, more than a few year later, I loved all the movies about growing up, teen problems and stuff like that. I absolutely LOVED "The Breakfast Club" and fell immediately in love with one of the main characters, Judd Nelson (see a pattern here? ;-) ) He was the coolest guy EVER!



There were others movies of that era I really liked like Pretty in Pink...



Oh, and I really liked "Some Kind Of Wonderful", I found it soo romantic!



Another of my big movie loves is Grease (but only the original Grease movie, the first one)! I really really love the music and can sing along with most of the songs, I guess!



But my favourite movie of all times is definitely Dirty Dancing!! I saw it in the movie theatre when I was about 14 and I fell immediately in love with the main character, Patrick Swayze (no surprise here, I guess...)! I really felt that the movie was something so special and it was one out of (if I remember correctly) only three movies that I saw twice in a movie theatre. And I still love to watch it today whenever it is on TV. Needless to say that I have it on DVD, too. :-)






Thank you to Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine…, Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic, Stephanie of Mommy, for Real and Dawn of Dawn's Disaster for hosting Finish the Sentence Friday!


Five Minute Friday: Imagine



It is Friday which means it is time to link up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday again. 


Imagine...

GO

Sometimes I try to imagine what it might be like if my son were be a neurotypical child. How different our lives would maybe be. What kind of sports he would be doing. If he would already be able to swim like some of the kids of my friends that are his age. If I would even think about keeping him in kindergarten for another year. How many friends he would have in kindergarten, how often we would be out for play dates and if any of his friends would make the transition to school together with him, maybe paving the way to a lifelong friendship.

I also try to imagine if he would still be this happy, content little boy with his sunny personality if he were neurotypical. Or if it would also change his whole being, maybe robbing him of some of his carelessness. 

But in the end nothing of this is imaginable to me. And while it is sometimes hard to imagine that some parts of our lives would maybe be easier I could never imagine not having him, just the way he is now, by my side.

STOP


Thursday, 30 May 2013

I carry you

Carrying you is still something of the most beautiful things in the world for me.
You weigh 19 kgs, not very much for your size and age.
I can still carry you.
And as long as I can, I will do so.
Because there is so much magic when I carry you.

Sometimes you are wild and funny, jumping around on my arm and belly laughing when I tune in and jump around with you on my arm.
And the more we go crazy, the more you laugh. 

Sometimes I turn on the music and we dance.
We sway and dance slowly while I stoke your hair and try to soak those minutes up like a sponge, storing the closeness I feel.
Or we jump and spin around while I sing.

Sometimes you are the softest snuggler.
You put your arms around my neck and lovingly embrace me.
Lay your head into the crook of my neck.
Breathe against my skin and time just stands still for a moment.

Sometimes you are scared.
You cling to my neck and beg me with your tensed body to be there for you and to never let go.
I press you against my chest and hope that you feel that I will always shelter you from everything I can.

Sometimes I just carry you.
You look around curiously with your elevated perspective on all things.
Your soft curls tickle my cheeks. 
You bring your face close to mine and I can smell your sweet breath.
Sometimes you even look into my eyes for a short moment and my heart leaps for joy.
I hold you tightly and touch your back, feel your muscles and your slender physique, the body that has been strengthened by hours upon hours upon hours of PT.

I dread the day when you will become too heavy for me to carry you because it will rob me of one of the most beautiful things we both enjoy.

But until then, my love, I carry you.




Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Snippets of our lives

There are a few things I would like to update you about so: here they are.

***

We went to the movies last week and it was the most embarrassing trip to the cinema EVER. First I lost my 3D glasses on my way to the auditorium. They fell onto a canopy and some guy of the staff had to get a long broom, sweep it down from the canopy, go downstairs and bring me the glasses. After we had taken our seats and the lights went out I spilt half of my popcorn across the guy sitting next to me. He was not amused. Some minutes later I noticed that my phone had fallen out of my pocket and because I was afraid I would forget to look for it after the movie I got down on my knees and robbed underneath the seats trying to find it (which I thankfully did). Guy was clearly NOT amused. But the best is yet to come. After at least 30 minutes into the movie I wondered why the 3D effects were not as impressive as they normally are. I started to look around and saw that no one was wearing their 3D glasses. Except for us. We were in a 2D film and neither my husband nor I noticed it! I informed my husband that the film was only 2D and that he could take his glasses off and we both cracked up. That guy next to me must have thought that I am a complete dork. Can it get any worse??

***

I was asked to post an update on Sunny's finger. I am glad to announce that his finger is fine. He was able to use his hand normally again one day after the accident. I think he was extremely lucky that it got off lightly taken into account how badly his finger looked.

*** 

The caregiver I organised had her third appointment with us yesterday. Since the Whitsun holidays will end this week and tomorrow is a national holiday she will not return before the summer holidays which will start at the end of July. I have to say that I was really content with her. She and Sunny got along very well right from the beginning. He seemed to like her, they read books together, played ball, went for long walks together and just explored the neighbourhood which he obviously enjoyed. I am really glad that I finally decided to hire a professional caregiver. We will hire her again for some days during the summer break. I also found out that the proper term for what she does is "respite care" in English. Blogging really helps me learn new words. ;-)

***

After some brief discussion at home we filed our application for the school aide. Yesterday we received a letter asking for medical reports and reports from kindergarten to be sent in. Let the red tape begin!

In the end I think it totally makes sense. It was not that I thought it was a bad idea right from the beginning. It was just that I was so shocked because I never gave it a single thought. I just hope we will find a kind, loving aide who will be able to help Sunny thrive.

***

Today we were visited by my friend and her son who is diagnosed with "atypical autism". She and I are really good friends but rarely get the chance to meet because we do not live close to each other. Their visit was really lovely and nice and we had a lot of fun. Unfortunately, at some point the mood of the kids started to shift (they were both starting to feel a bit overwhelmed) but we did not notice it on time. So while Sunny sat next to me at the table, typing happily (but also already a bit cranky) on his talker, her son all of a sudden got up from the floor and pulled Sunny's hair with both hands with full force. Sunny's body stiffened, he looked at me horrified and did not know what to do. My friend and I both jumped up and yelled at her son to let go immediately which was too much for both boys. Sunny started crying, signing that he wanted them to leave again and again, and could not calm down. At some point I was even afraid he was going to faint because he did not breathe right anymore. He just sucked in air over and over but could not exhale. I almost was not able to soothe him, he was that upset. My friend's son also cried because he had been yelled at and when he tried to apologise Sunny was still way too upset to let him come near him which made my friend's son cry even more. My friend and I were both sad, frustrated, and mad at ourselves because we had not noticed their mood shift early enough to avoid the incident. So their visit ended very abruptly because they more or less fled our home. Such a sad end to our nice afternoon together. :-(

It also showed me again that Sunny would be a complete victim should anything ever happen to him. He never defends himself but is so startled that he just gets paralysed. The concept of violence is completely unknown to him. He would never deliberately hurt anyone. I hope he will learn someday that it is sometimes necessary to defend yourself against attacks like the one today.






Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Hump day

The first week of Sunny's two-week vacation from kindergarten is over and I have to say that I am already quite spent.

We had really dreadful weather last week (and the week did not really start off better yesterday) which means that we could not go outside but were limited to the house and I noticed once again (as I do every time when he is home for a longer period of time) that he really needs his weekly routine which also includes kindergarten. After a week he always starts getting cranky and yesterday was no exception. He was whining and complaining and being discontent almost the whole day without any obvious reason. No matter what I offered to do or play with him, he did not want to participate or did it only half-heartedly. I have always had the impression that his mood is influenced by bad weather, too, so all the rain and the grey skies of the last days increased his crankiness.

When he is in such a cranky mood I often have the impression that he does not really know what to do with himself. His preferred activities to do when he is in such a bad mood is toss stuff around, empty containers full of toys, pull stuff out of closets, look at 20 books at once. After those days our home looks like it was not picked up for two weeks. He seems to need making messes in order to let off steam, at least that is my impression.

On top of it all he has been sleeping really badly the last few days which means that he does not fall asleep as easily as he normally does (normally falling asleep is something that was never a problem, not even when he was a baby) and he wakes up at least once during the night, crying and screaming, and is awake some time between 5:00 and 6:00 at the latest. Apart from that his naps are also shorter than usual and I think he is not getting enough sleep at the moment. It is exhausting for him and exhausting for me.

All of this adds up to a really straining time. I hope that he will at least sleep better soon.

Monday, 27 May 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 21/2013

The first week of Sunny's kindergarten holidays is over. He misses his routine, it it very obvious after this week. Will post about it tomorrow.

Have a wonderful week! :-)

We visited an old mill on Whit Monday

I bought a riding helmet for Sunny some weeks ago. He hated it and screamed in the shop like I was trying to cut his head off. This week was the first time that he wore it and he accepted it, although he was not too happy about it. I hope he gets used to it soon.

Sometimes you just have to treat yourself with something good

What is WRONG with spring this year?? Why is this season even called spring and not prolonged winter? Rain, cold, grey skies, .... We all crave sun and warmth!!

We met this cheeky duck while we were on our way to the optician. It was so bold that it pinched Sunny's hand. I guess it was angry we did not have any bread with us ;-)





Saturday, 25 May 2013

Words that every parent should hear

I normally do not blog on the weekend but I just wanted to share this beautiful post with you. I read it a few minutes ago and I really love it.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


Friday, 24 May 2013

Five Minute Friday: View



Today I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday again. 


View...

GO

I watch him. He sits on the floor with his back to me. He is immersed in his book, the one that he loves so much. He skims through it quietly. I trace his body with my eyes. Notice his upright back, something he worked on so hard. I see the tender skin of his neck and I know exactly how soft and warm it is when I kiss it or nuzzle my face in there. I see the back of his head, adorned by his gorgeous hair with cheeky curls pointing in different directions.

Since my son was a tiny baby I have always loved to watch him from behind. He always seemed to be even more fragile from this point of view, making my heart overflow with love.

STOP


Finish the Sentence Friday: Why I blog


This week's sentence to finish is:

I blog because... 

...  I was searching for a community that does not exist in my real life. Because there is no place where we really fit in. And I am so glad I found it because of blogging.

... blogging is fun. It is a great way to find new, funny, and interesting stuff and people all around the world. Blogging makes my small living room a big bar full of lovely people (because I only meet those I like) where we can connect and chat away for hours.

... it is a great outlet to vent or to share my frustrations - and also to share the good stuff and the things that make me happy. Because sharing the bad things makes them only half bad while sharing the good things makes them twice as good.

... it helps me practicing my English.

... it has become my kind of journal. Since I was a teenager I always had a journal but when I got older I neglected writing more and more. Now I wish I had kept all those lost memories. Then I tried to write a journal on my computer but I found it hard to do it consistently. With the blog I somehow feel "compelled" to write on a regular basis which is a good thing because it helps me keep all the memories and things that are important to me.

... it helps me to think about stuff I maybe would never think about. Like finishing those Friday sentences for example. ;-) Or dealing with a subject that is buried deep inside me and blogging makes me think about it while I write. Very often the thoughts spill directly from my brain into my fingers.

... I found some really good friends and amazing people in this big, wide blogosphere (like here, here or here for example, just to name a few; there are so many more of you!). They get what I mean and their comments always brighten my day (like all the other comments do, too!).

... blogging is the best time sucker in the history of mankind. There is nothing more efficient when it comes to getting around cleaning the kitchen than getting completely lost in the gazillion of blogs on my blog list and to follow the links on their blogs. It is like going down a huge, gigantic black hole. It is so massive that it even swallows every sound. However, it does not come in so handy when you really have no time to waste but you want to read just one more update and just one more message or answer one more comment. Ugh.

... in the end, it is all Kristi's fault! Because I stumbled upon her blog and thought - in a split second - that I needed to have my own blog in order to connect with other parents in similar situations. Thank you so much Kristi, for motivating me to blog without even knowing it! xoxo


Thank you to Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine…, Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic, Stephanie of Mommy, for Real and Dawn of Dawn's Disaster for hosting Finish the Sentence Friday!



Thursday, 23 May 2013

Do I need therapy?

Sometimes I ask myself if maybe I need therapy.

Usually I would answer this question from a stranger with a firm "no!". I have been asked by social workers or new doctors if I have any support outside the family or if there is anyone I can talk to. I always respond that I have friends (some also with SN kids) to share my pains with and gain new perspectives but there is no therapist, no stranger who has a totally objective point of view. And sometimes I wonder if that would help me.

As I already mentioned in a previous post, I am normally fine. I really am. But I also have to admit that there is still pain and hurt, despair and fear under the surface. And some days when I do not feel as good as I normally do all it takes is just a little digging at the brightly green grass on top to show the brown, raw soil underneath it. Sometimes all it takes is just someone asking me why Sunny does not talk or how old he is, or even people telling me that I am a great mother and that I am handling "all of this" so wonderfully because that extra emphasis makes me painfully aware that our life is not "normal". On such days all it takes are simple things or kind words like these and I well up immediately.

I thought about it from time to time, wondering if I should reach out for help, but somehow I do not feel broken enough, if that makes sense. I think there are people who have more on their plate and who need help more than I do. Because after all the good days by far predominate the bad. And I also noticed that therapists always make me suspicious in a way that I think they weigh every word that I say and read things into them that I do not mean. Every time I talk to a therapist (I met some on our journey with Sunny) I feel completely (over-)analysed. Which is probably some kind of persecution mania that I have but I cannot shake that feeling off.

Last year in October Sunny and I visited a therapy facility for several weeks. It was the second time that we were there. It is run by an organisation connected to church and the facility has an own pastor to support the parents. I am not an overly religious person but it always felt really good to talk to her. Back then we also spoke about the school stuff and while she could not take the pain away she could very well scatter some of my worries about that decision. It was a good mixture of talking to someone outside the family without the feeling of some kind of scientific approach by a therapist. On the contrary (and this might sound weird and like an antagonism in itself): talking to her somehow felt very secularly although she is a pastor. Maybe I will get in touch with her again when I need some sort of advice.

I guess sometimes it is good and necessary to admit that we need help. And then we should just reach out for it, no matter if we feel broken enough. Because on those days we probably are that broken.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

New consonant "k" and healing finger

I am exhausted tonight but I just wanted to share that we had a good end to this chaotic day.

First we went to hippo therapy in the late afternoon which is something that always makes Sunny so happy. 

Tonight after I had made Sunny ready for bed he lay next to my husband on the floor because this is the place where my husband reads stories to him every night. Sunny suddenly smelled a bit "strange" and I asked him whether he had "pipikaka" in his diaper (which is our word here for poo). He answered by saying "pipijaka" and it was the first time ever that Sunny made a "k" sound (he normally replies with "pipijaja" because every syllable he cannot say is replaced with "ja"). The hubs and I both looked at each other completely baffled and I said "Did you just say pipijaka??" to which the hubs said "I heard it, too!". We could not make him say it again but he did say it and that made me so happy!

Photo credits

On another positive note Sunny's finger looked much better tonight when I changed his bandage. It was not as heavily swollen anymore as it was this morning and the colour seemed to be more or less like his other fingers and not the deep red it was in the morning. I could see parts where he will probably get haematoma but apart from that it really looked better. I am so glad that nothing was broken!




When plans go awry

I had it all figured out perfectly. Today was the first day when someone of an organisation would come to our house. It is an organisation that helps people with special needs or parents of children with special needs. They organise weekends where the kids stay at their premises so that the parents can take a few days "off" or they come to the homes and watch the kids while the parents have time to do things around the house or go on a date night. Stuff like that.

After our desaster with the day nanny last month I finally decided to hire personnel specialised in kids with special needs. Our insurance company pays a certain amount of money per month for expenses like these and so far I never had the chance to claim them.

Now with Sunny being home for two weeks I called them and we agreed that a caregiver would come to our house for two mornings this week and for one morning next week. I planned to do a lot of chores while she would be here today and really looked forward to getting rid of the mess left from the prolonged weekend. She was going to be here at 9:00.

However, my perfect plan was destroyed this morning. After breakfast we went upstairs to brush our teeth. I went to the bathroom to get Sunny's toothbrush while he went into his room and started playing on his bead path. I turned around to put toothpaste on his brush (this only took me about 3 seconds where I did not pay attention to what he was doing) and all of a sudden I heard him scream, cry, writhe in pain, crawl on the floor, rub his arms. He was completely out of breath because he obviously hurt so much. I did not know what had happened. There was nothing that could have hurt him this much. I picked him up and pulled him on my lap. He was sweating because of the pain; he nearly tried to crawl inside me, moaning and whining constantly. I could see that he did not know what to do with himself or how to handle this because he obviously hurt so, so very much. Sunny has a very high threshold of pain and rarely cries or reacts in any way when he hurts himself so I knew it was very serious. I felt that he held it in and I told him that it was okay to cry if he hurt and that crying helps and then he started crying, stopping again, and then starting to cry again when I told him to let it out. I was so sorry for him.

I was not even sure what part of his body hurt because he was so disturbed and full of pain that he could not show me. He rubbed his arms and at first I thought that his right arm hurt. Then, after a few minutes where we sat there, him crying and writhing in pain and me trying to soothe him while still wondering what had happened I finally saw that his left middle finger had turned a dark red, it was heavily swollen and his whole left arm was red, too. It looked seriously bruised. At least now I knew what hurt him so much. And since the last thing I saw was how he played with his bead path I figured out that he somehow must have squashed his finger in there. I cannot even imagine how something like this can happen. He has had the bead path for at least four years now and there never was anything like that. He always played with it nicely and without any accidents. It is beyond me how this could happen. Maybe he had his hand inside and then bent it upward or something like this. I just do not know. I asked him how he had hurt himself and after a few attemps where he showed me his hand he finally pushed his hand inside the bead path to show me.

I never knew these things could hurt a child so much!
Anyway, I called his paediatrician and they told me that the hand needed to be X-rayed so I called the casualty doctor on duty and they told me to come.

On my way to the doctor I called the caregiver who was on her way and told her mailbox what had happened and asked her to call me back.

At the doctor Sunny was completely out of his mind because due to all the medical appointments and the frequent hospital stays in his life he is very scared of anything that looks like a doctor's office. He cried and screamed all the time, full of pain and panic, trying desperately to leave. The staff there was so kind and we were led to the X-ray as soon as the patient inside was finished. I had Sunny on my lap and I held his hand in order for the pictures to turn out good. Then we were led to the exam room immediately afterwards although there were so many people waiting. I am so grateful for that. The doctor looked at the pictures and checked on Sunny's hand. Luckily nothing is broken; his finger is just heavily bruised.

After the appointment we headed to the pharmacy to get the prescribed ointment for his finger and some bandages.

When I arrived home at 9:30 there was no caregiver waiting for us. Neither was there a call on my mobile phone. I asked my MIL about her and she told me that she had come and then left again when she heard what had happened. I was a bit angry because she had not called me back and so I dialled her number and asked where she was. Turns out she had not heard my message on her mailbox and, therefore, had returned to the office. I asked her to come back which she did. So instead of 9:00 she was here at 10:30. She is a very nice, elderly lady who came along with Sunny very well. He really seemed to like her almost immediately which is good and far from self-evident for him. She will come back on Thursday and I hope that morning will be boring and as normal as it can be.

Poor Sunny was totally spent when she left and after lunch he fell asleep very quickly. I hope his finger will be better soon. We plan to go to hippo therapy this afternoon if it does not rain. I really hope we can go; he deserves some cheering up today.

It is so horrible when your child hurts and you do not know where and why. That really broke my heart again this morning. It is so frustrating and always makes me feel helpless and sad.



Monday, 20 May 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 20/2013

I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing weekend! Ours was great and today was a national holiday which made it even better.

Sunny will now be home for two weeks (we have Whitsun holidays here). I hope I will find the time to blog every now and then!

Here are last week's pics! Wow, that sure looks like a boring week.

Sick child

Rainbow and grey skies

Baking another cake for my cake-loving men

Field full of blowballs

Sewing some more curtains





Friday, 17 May 2013

Finish the Sentence Friday: When I was younger, I wanted to



This week's sentence to finish is:

When I was younger, I wanted to... 

become a vet. You know, like all the other little girl do. Oh, what a great vet I would become! I would help and cure all the injured and sick animals. I knew it. This was going to be epic and I would be the best vet ever! :-)

Photo credits


Some time later, the dream of becoming a vet faded and was replaced by something much more exciting. I wanted to become either an actress or a singer. Or even both. Either way I would be a star! I knew it and I was sure about that. I practiced singing and dancing at home. Well, turns out I was not, um, really talented for any of those things and after some time the bubble burst.

Photo credits


Then, in my teenage years, I finally found what I thought was my calling! I wanted to become an astronomer! I have always been very interested in the stars, the space, planets, nebulas, and comets, all that stuff. I dreamed of working at a space observatory, looking through huge telescopes and discovering new stars or solar systems. Maybe one of my discoveries would even be named after me! I dreamed of this:

Photo credits

Photo credits

However, as I grew older I found out that astronomers are normally astrophysicists and that in order to do what I dreamed of I also needed to understand things like this:

Photo credits

And there was NO WAY I would EVER understand physics!! Sad but true.


So this girl decided to get herself an office job and lived happily ever after! ;-)


Thank you to Kate of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine…, Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic, Stephanie of Mommy, for Real and Dawn of Dawn's Disaster for hosting Finish the Sentence Friday!








PS: Sunny will now be home for two weeks because of the Whitsun/Pentecost holidays. We will see how blogging goes during this time. 

Five Minute Friday: Song



Today I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday again. 


Song...

GO

My almost nonverbal son has a favourite song. To be honest, he has a lot of favourite songs because he loves music. But the song that he loves most of all is the sound of the birds singing. The first thing he requests in the morning is that I get up, get him out of bed and open the window. The fresh, crisp air enters the room and with it the songs of the birds singing their morning serenade to us.

He will step on the stool near the window, still in his pyjamas, his adorable bed hair going all places, lean outside and take it all in. As soon as he hears the birds he laughs blissfully, with his mouth and with his eyes. I can see how happy he is and that makes my heart jump and my stomach cramp for a tiny second. He imitates the songs of the birds, communicating with them and singing back and forth in a special kind of conversation. There is no need for words because music - regardless of who sings those sweet tunes - is a universal language. 

STOP


Thursday, 16 May 2013

The sweet and the sour

Today was a kind of Yin and Yang day. It included both the sweet and the sour.

The sweet:
This morning I dropped Sunny off at kindergarten after our PT session. His teacher found a few minutes to talk to me since there were only two kids (including Sunny) and an intern was there to look after them. She told me that they had been to a nearby playground with the kids on Tuesday and she marvelled about how impressed she was to see how good Sunny had been at "boarding" the climbing tower on the playground. She explained how steady he was while he climbed the flat-angled ladder, how securely he used the slide, how he was able to use the climbing net with only little help, how he explored the tower by himself and how he mastered the long, vertical ladder leading up to the platform with no help at all. She told me that when he uses the wall bars in kindergarten he usually climbs up and then just lets go, trusting that there will be someone to catch his fall. On the playground he was much more focused and concentrated, exploring while being fully able to move around on the climbing tower all by himself (with the exception of the climbing net which was too difficult for him to do it alone). She was so impressed with the great progress he has made and I was so happy about all this.


The sour:
Within the last weeks there was an examination of Sunny with regard to his transition to school. Some of you already know that I have a hard time accepting that he already has to attend school after the summer holidays. But there is nothing we can do to prevent that so we just have to deal with the situation. A teacher went to kindergarten several times and assessed him. This is a regular process in order to find the right school for each child. We had a meeting with her after the evaluation process and today the report of our meeting came in the mail. As usual, it was hard to read about all the difficulties Sunny faces in various areas of his life written in black and white. Being told is one thing, reading it is another. It is always much more difficult for me.

But what really got to me was the handwritten note of the teacher that we also need to file an application for a personal aide for school. She wrote that she had forgotten to talk to us about that during our meeting and that she would call me today or tomorrow. Sunny will be attending a special education class with maximum six children. There will be two teachers and even an intern for a certain amount of hours. And Sunny will need a personal aide for himself nevertheless? I just cannot believe that. I read her note and asked myself whether I live in a parallel universe or whether I wear blinders the size of garage doors. I never spent a single thought on the fact that Sunny might need an aide for himself. Is he really that dependent and needy that even two teachers and an intern cannot fulfil his needs without additional help? Until today this thought was totally devious for me.

I cannot wrap my head around it and, once again, I questioned myself what other people really see when they see him. Because obviously it is totally different from what I see. I know he needs a lot of help but it was not clear to me to what extent. That probably sounds totally weird because I care for him every day and you should think I know the facts but since he is an only child I have no comparison on what is really "normal". And, therefore, I am of course well aware that I have to do more for him than for a NT child his age but I always feel like it is not that much more. This is my normal and, therefore, I do not perceive it to be extraordinary. But maybe it is.    

I thought about all that since I read the teacher's letter this afternoon. Tonight, after a long and good telephone conversation with one of my best friends who has a SN child as well I finally came to the conclusion that I do not want to know what strangers see when they see him anymore because it would probably hurt too much.





Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Picture perfect

There is one event that I look forward to the whole year: I treat myself with a professional photo shoot each year. Sunny and I have our pictures taken by a wonderful photographer who turned into a friend over the years. My husband sadly does not come with us as he absolutely dislikes having pictures of him taken. But since I am the photographer in our family he is on many more pictures than I am, so this is one of the reasons why I do this every year. These pictures are very important to me. I think there can never be too many pictures of us.

There is another thing that is really important to me when it comes to the photo shoot. I always say that it is my kind of therapy. First of all I look forward to it for months. It makes me happy just thinking about it. I ponder about the outfits we are going to wear, the accessories we will bring along to our shoot and the fun we are going to have. Very often when I have to do non-fun stuff like telephone calls with the insurance company or other unpleasant things I can distract myself with the thought and the pleasant anticipation of the photo shoot and it makes me light up and take things a little easier (at least sometimes).

Then, on the day of the shoot, we both dress up and I put on some make-up, make my hair, put on my jewellery and a gorgeous outfit and feel really beautiful for one day (it is not that I walk around in a bag all year but I do not spend that much time on my appearance in everyday life like when we go to the shoot). I feel strong and powerful and self-confident and I cannot wait to spend time with my friend, have a lot of fun and hear how much Sunny has grown and how cute and beautiful he is. It is truly an endorphin booster and after the shoot I drive home on a cloud of happiness.

The day when we finally get the pictures is my absolute highlight of it all. The pictures are always wrapped up beautifully and unwrapping the parcel is something I really celebrate and enjoy. There are layers and layers in there including the pics on CD, some printed photos and small yet thoughtful presents. It is like Christmas in summer. I just love it.

Seeing the pictures gives me a feeling of normal. This might sound totally weird but I look at the pictures and see happiness, carefreeness, fun, joy. Of course these are all things that are a large part of our everyday life. We are happy, carefree, have fun and enjoy stuff. But these emotions are sometimes clouded by other things like sadness, worries, discontentedness and the like. The pictures, however, show me what I love about our life and whenever I feel sad or down I just need to take a look at them and they lift me up again.



Monday, 13 May 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 19/2013

The last week was rather quiet and - apart from the national holiday on Thursday - there was just our normal routine more or less.

Here's to a wonderful new week!

I was gifted with a pair of gorgeous high heels from a friend for no special reason. That totally made my day!

We started the barbecue season on Father's Day regardless of the cold and rainy weather

My American readers will probably LOL now because of the size of our barbecue ;-)

I tried a new recipe for a layered cream cake. It tasted delicious but did not look very appealing

Beautifully blooming syringa

Sunny had his first tick ever. These creatures creep me out because they are so small yet so dangerous.

The inhalator had to work overtime because the cough came back

My beautiful Mother's Day gift

Since our music therapist brought up this theme during our therapy session two weeks ago this is Sunny's favourite music to listen to. It calms him down and makes him happy. He sings it every day.