Friday, 28 December 2012

Ella's news...

Just managed to squeeze in one more update before the new year.  And I think it's a perfect post to end 2012 and welcome 2013 with...

I feel I must apologise for being so quiet recently.  I have neglected the blog, my emails, text messages and social events.  And the reason for this, I can now share with you...We are delighted to say we have news. 

Big, exciting, happy news...



Due May 24th 2013

For a long time after Ella was born, I often wondered if it would ever happen.  The thought of having another baby sat uneasily in my heart and my head for a long time.  They say time is a great healer....But Old Man Time has nothing on having Ella in your life.  She has taught me so much and I am a braver, stronger mummy and a better person because I have her.  I still have worries and uncertainties but I don't think they now differ to any other mum expecting a new baby.

Sorry to those of you we have seen recently and not told.  Due to Ella's little extra chromosome, we have had lots of decisions around ante-natal screening to make. Due to our results being a lot higher than we were expecting we decided to have an amniocentesis and to wait for the results (all ok so far) before sharing our news.  It's also becoming a little more obvious now too!


I will leave you with the words of the actress Sally Philips, who has a son with Down's Syndrome.  They have played on my mind since I read them many months ago and made me realise which scenario I wanted for us and more importantly, for Ella (She also touches on the reason why I chose 'A Different View' as the name for this blog...).  

"Either you say, “This child needs extra help so we’re going to devote everything to him.” Or you say, “This child needs siblings.” Both are equally good, but we felt there is a lot they can get from siblings, and vice versa. 

The siblings of special needs children are quite special. Absolutely accepting and totally loving, from birth.  

Someone who is different mentally and has a different way of seeing the world, is a wonderful trait. It’s a trait I wish there was another way of getting, but there isn't   And it does involve a degree of not having it fantastically easy..."

I have no doubt that Ella will be a wonderful big sister and take her new role in her stride. I can't wait to introduce her to her new baby sister next May. 


Hopefully more blog posts soon... Until then, have a happy weekend and a Happy New Year to you all xx














Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas is coming...

The run up to Christmas has begun and it's been busy already.  The tree is up, presents are being bought and wrapped, cranberry sauce is made and the turkey has been ordered...





Ella's Advent calendar


The Makaton charity contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if they could use the video of Ella signing 'star' in their on-line Christmas advent calendar.  I of course agreed and we waited patiently day by day, not knowing what number she would be.  We have learnt lots of new Christmas signs and Ella finally popped up on day 12... You can view the calendar using the link below...


Last Saturday was the South Manchester Down's Syndrome groups Christmas party and we had a lovely time catching up with everyone.  It was also good to meet new parents and their babies.

This time last year Ella and her friends were the youngest members of the group.  We were battling recurrent chest infections, Ella had her feeding tube and things like crawling, standing, talking and signing seemed a long way off...  What a difference a year makes! 



Fun in the sensory area with friends... 






Ella is most definitely more independent now and we really had to watch her. She disappeared numerous times - under the buffet table, through gaps in chairs and crawling off through the crowd at speed.  I had put her in a dress for the party which she was finding difficult to crawl in and was doing the 'legs straight walking with hands on the floor' manoeuvre  - until she found she could keep it out of the way by stuffing the hem into her mouth...  


She has suddenly become a very sociable and confident toddler, even when surrounded by lots of people she doesn't know.  She delighted the choir and audience by sitting at the choir leaders feet in the middle of the floor and copying the conducting actions (unfortunately I missed this due to talking to some new parents).  She spent the rest of the time stood on the floor in the middle of the stage looking up at the choir as they sang.



And then Santa arrived - I know she is still too young to understand who he is or what he represents but she enjoyed receiving her gift from him - he even got a high five...





We have also recently seen a huge increase in her understanding and use of signs and words.  She is copying new signs very well and then using them independently and in context.  Some of her newest ones are 'granny', 'Henry' and 'hot'.  She loves her music too, especially songs with actions...


I'm off to continue the Christmas preparations but if this is my last post before it arrives then a very Merry Christmas to you all xx










Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Celebrating 2...

It's been a hectic few days in our house.  Hectic, but lots of fun!  

To celebrate Ella's second birthday we hosted a party for her friends and family, opened her  many presents, ate cake and spent a day at the aquarium.

Ella has loved seeing everyone, being sung to and opening her (many) presents.  She's a very lucky girl.  Saturday started with her opening her present from Granny - her first dolls pram which she absolutely loves...




This year, I delegated the most important job - the cake - to someone who had more time, skill and expertise than me.  I'm glad I did... 'Mr Tumble' was the brief and that's what we got...  


Ella's great grandparents couldn't be at the party this year. Ian's Grandad baked Ella a delicious chocolate cake which came accompanied by a lovely note...



We had a lovely afternoon with the house packed full of the chatter and laughter of our family and friends.  It was especially lovely to have all the people that we have met since  Ella was born, join us to celebrate her special day.  Amazing people and families we may never have met if she didn't have Down's Syndrome.

Sunday was spent at my mums and (even though it was a day early) we opened all her presents. She had a fab time with all the wrapping paper and playing with her lovely new things...




The plan for Monday, her actual birthday, was to visit Chester Zoo and see the animals (especially the brand new baby Elephant born over the weekend). However, as we got out of the car into the November drizzle and freezing cold wind, we decided very quickly that a day in the elements was not for us.... So we chose the aquarium instead.  And Ella had a ball.  She loved the fish,  refused to go in her buggy the whole way round and either crawled or walked.  Stroking the sting ray and splashing in the tank was a particular high point...











Here's to another year of fun Ella Bean.  Happy Birthday xx








Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Awareness, Understanding & Inclusion...

I am very privileged to have been mentioned in the Britmums SEN round-up this month.  The article is currently edited by Hayley Goleniowska a fellow blogger and mum to Mia and Natty (who has Down's Syndrome).  Her blog Down Side Up can be found here.

This months chosen blogs and articles come under the headings Awareness, Understanding and Inclusion.  You can find 'A Different View' mentioned under Inclusion.  The blog post I wrote about the M&S Christmas ad campaign is what gave me the honour of being included.


Happy Tuesday xx




Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Christmas come early...

Sunday was probably one of the last nice days of the year.  Blue skies, sunshine, crisp air - lots of layers needed.  Ella spent some time in her new wellies playing with the fallen leaves in the garden and watching with amusement as Granny and I kicked them up in the air....



And as the leaves fall, evenings darken earlier and the weather cools it can only mean one thing... 

...Christmas is on its way!

You may have noticed that the Christmas adverts have already begun to fill the commercial breaks and the shops are full of Christmas fayre.  And this may have passed you by (and that's kind of the point) but this year one retailer is demonstrating inclusion at it's best.  

Marks and Spencer have included 4 year old Seb White in their Christmas ad campaign.  He is not singled out, used as a clever marketing ploy by M & S or given extra camera time - in fact - blink and you miss him.  

He is cool, one of the gang, seriously gorgeous and just happens to have Down's Syndrome....

Seb's picture is also being used in 300 M & S stores so have a look for him next time you're in there.  

Using a child with Down's syndrome in such a high profile campaign may not seem like a big deal to some people, but it is. I don't know Seb but I feel incredibly proud and emotional whenever I see the ad on TV.  He is representing a whole community of children with all sorts of disabilities and showing the nation that he is more alike other children than different.  Perhaps the first step in breaking down the misconceptions held by so many.

It's not the first time Down's syndrome (or other disabilities) has been portrayed in advertising, but for Seb to feature in such a high profile Christmas campaign (in place of Marks and Spencer's usual celebrity filled festive adverts) for such a well known company is pretty much unheard of.

Through the use of social networking sites, blogging, the media, support groups, charities and more the Down's Syndrome community is thriving.  Parents and advocates everywhere are raising awareness, promoting positivity and telling their stories.  And the message that this advert is helping to convey is that our children deserve the same chances as other children. 

To be seen 
To be heard 
To be understood
To be included...
...in every part of our society.  There is still a long way to go but it's a great start by Seb, his mum and Marks and Spencers.   

Thanks to Seb, for those of us with someone in our lives who has that extra special something (whatever that may be), Christmas has most certainly come a little early this year.

Happy Tuesday everyone xx


Seb's mum Caroline has a Facebook page where you can keep up-to-date with his success!
Down's Syndrome - Raising Awareness and Shifting Attitudes





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