Sunday, 22 June 2014

Learning disability week 2014

To celebrate this years learning disability week, Mencap have chosen 'firsts' as their focus topic. Wonderful stories of first days at school, first dates, first homes, jobs and other milestones have been shared by people all week. 

It's made me realise that we still have so many 'firsts' to look forward to experiencing and celebrating with both our girls as they grow and develop.

With them both still being so little, we celebrate their firsts quite regularly - Ella is now for the first time jumping properly on her trampoline (sometimes even in her sleeping bag!) and Lucy's first this week is cruising the furniture...

For me, the 'first' that I remember most clearly was Ella's first smile. I knew from reading the information we were given after she was born that she would meet many of her milestones behind her peers. 

And looking back now, it was that first smile that I longed for the most out of her baby milestones. She was around 14 weeks old when we got out first glimpse of her mouth beginning to turn upwards, but it was always so fleeting and we were never quick enough to catch it on camera. All we knew was that our little Ella was going to have the most amazing smile when she decided she knew what to do. 

As her mum who was with her all day every day at that point (spending most of my time singing, pulling faces and making silly noises in an attempt to get a smile) I was convinced I would get her first beamer. But no.

Should have known from day one she was a daddy's girl. Every evening when Ian returned from work he got all the smiles (still not full smiles but definitely happy to see daddy). And this continued for a good week or two...

By 16weeks old she was smiling properly but we still hadn't managed to catch it on camera. Then one evening, I managed to take a snap on my phone. It's grainy, not great quality but it speaks a thousand words. My favourite ever picture of Ella that I've taken. Her first smile finally caught on camera...

Well worth the wait xx

What firsts do you remember?

Friday, 20 June 2014

Sleeping lion

When I was little, my parents would often find me asleep on the landing outside their bedroom door when they got up in a morning. I have vague memories of doing this and seem to remember taking my blanket with me so I wouldn't get cold. I don't know how long this nocturnal wandering phase lasted but I'm pretty happy sleeping in my bed these days.

For two or three mornings over the last couple of weeks, I've found this little munchkin fast asleep on the floor by her door gate. The scattering of books a little clue to what she's been up to in the wee hours...

Not sure when she had got up or how long she'd been there but she seemed comfy enough. 

A little sleeping lion xx


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Learning Journey

Last week we received confirmation of Ella's pre-school place...

Can't actually believe I've just typed that. Pre-school?! Where have the last 4 years gone?! 

I'm already an emotional wreck about it.  She will be leaving the wonderful nursery she's been at since she was 9 months old and moving to our local resourced nursery that we first heard about when she was only a few weeks old.  Charnwood is an amazing place and Ella's been attending one of their opportunity groups for the last 2 years.  She loves being there and it will all be very familiar to her when she starts.  It won't make leaving The Christie nursery any easier though.  She really has had the best start to her educational journey there and I know the same can be said for every child that walks through those big blue front doors.

We wouldn't be moving her unless we had good reason.  Her current nursery is in Manchester but we live in Stockport and that's where Ella will be going to school.  Charnwood is the right place for Ella to be for her pre-school year, they have experience of children with additional needs, can help with school selection and the transition into school when the time comes. 

And on the same day we received Ella's news about her learning journey, I got news about the next step on mine.... 


For me though, it has to be having children that has been my biggest learning journey.  You don't attend lectures, gain specific qualifications or a fancy certificate to file in your record of achievement. Being a parent is not something you can prove with a qualification, it becomes you and you become it. I've learnt more over the last three years being a parent than at any other time of my life - about myself, my relationships, family, friends, love, patience, frustration, guilt, happiness, pride....too many things to mention here.  It's the hardest but most amazing and rewarding experience.  

Thankfully, you get the best teacher there is. A teacher who lets you know just what you need to know, just when you need to know it...

Your child xx  

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Living arrows 15/52 -

The time, place, family and story behind the picture may be different. But if you look back through many a baby photo album there are certain scenes that get re-enacted time and time again. 

A brand new, pink baby in a Moses basket, the first taste of food from a spoon, first time on the swings... Or the bathing the baby in the kitchen sink shot...

Monday, 7 April 2014

Living arrows 14/52 - snuggles

Today was mostly wet and miserable. This afternoon while Lucy napped, Ella and I cuddled on the chair and watched some TV.  It's very rare these days that it's only Ella and I - makes every little snuggle more important xx

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Living arrows 13/52 - my little artist

Ella just loves drawing. She often asks for 'paper' and will sit and draw at her little table for ages. It seems to be the one activity that holds her attention and calms her inner whirlwind for a time. Her favorite thing to draw at the moment is a face, asking you to draw her a 'big circle' and then she tells you to draw a mouth, eyes, ears, nose, sometimes glasses and always curly hair! 

Last summer we came across a fab easel in a local charity shop. During the hot days it lived with her chalks, crayons and paper outside. When it got cooler I put the easel in the kitchen with the intention of putting it away until the summer but I found Ella would gravitate to it and it was useful to keep her occupied while I was in the kitchen. So it has become a permanent feature. And she's getting good at 'mark making' - lines, scribbles and attempts at circles too. I often come into the kitchen to find a new 'picture' on her chalkboard (and sometimes she even decorates the kitchen cupboards too...)

Monday, 24 March 2014

Living arrows 12/52

After a couple of weeks of illness and teething, our happy girl is back...

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