An Open Letter: To my Sons Teacher

An Open Letter: To my Sons Teacher

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This will probably be a long one and I am already emotional as I type this first line!

From the bottom of my heart I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for Xavier in the last 15 months since he joined this wonderful school. We had such an awful fight to get him there but it honestly is the best school EVER. Even as I walk through the front doors into the main corridor the feeling of calm and happiness washes over me like a huge wave. It is incredible!

I remember my sister was with me when we brought Xavier in for his first settling in session. At this point he was quite upset with me that I was moving him to another school again but was very intrigued. We pulled up outside and he was quite blown away just by the building! We came into the classroom and the other children were just on their way in from playtime. The first one into the classroom was James. His little eyes lit up and he had the biggest smile when he saw Xavier. Both my sister and I were fighting back tears at this point. The children obviously knew Xavier was coming in but he received the most wonderful welcome.

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I can hand on heart say that with the love compassion and understanding that you show, it has changed Xaviers life. He has never had that before. He has been branded as lazy or naughty before. You have been so easy to approach with worries or concerns and you have gone out of your way to make sure all of Xaviers needs are met AND more! He is such a happy child now. He is full of confidence, he has friends, he is eager to try new things, there is next to no meltdowns at home now, you don’t even know he is there. Before he joined this wonderful school we had explosive meltdowns and violence due to frustration almost on a daily basis. You’ve not just changed his life but ours too. I honestly cannot thank you enough.

He comes home from school excited!! That in itself was an alien thing before now! He tells me he has been to a cafe and shared a pot of tea with his friend Marlon. He tells me you’ve all had olympic week at school and he has come home with the “Spirit Of The Games” Award! He was over the moon with his trophy. He tells me how far he is getting with swimming lessons!

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At Parents evenings we actually have LOTS of work to look at! We used to have literally a few sheets of paper before! His work is incredible! His imagination is just WOW! His school report blew me away! He is for the first time in his school life doing amazingly well! He is learning, progressing and growing! I am so so very proud of him.

This snippet from his school report! I don’t even know how to do half those things!!

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He has been on a 3 day residential trip and LOVED it! I never thought I would see the day that he would stay away from home! He had the most amazing time and as you told me when I came to collect him…. He didn’t want to come home!

He honestly is a different child, he is eating more foods and trying new foods, where we struggled to get Xavier in the bath, we now can’t get him out of it! Xavier narrating the school Christmas performance was very emotional and a huge mile stone. He refused to be involved at his previous schools! He is now interested in starting acting classes in September which he has never had the confidence for before!

So Tom, Thank you! For everything. For believing in my son, for understanding him and how he works, for taking him under your wing, for helping him flourish and grow and showing him that school IS fun. For showing me that I was right to fight for him.  We will miss you next year as Xavier will have a new Teacher. Its nice to know that Xavier will still see you around the school though. In Xaviers eyes the next teacher has HUGE boots to fill!

Have an amazing Summer!!

THANK YOU!

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My Girl and Football

My Girl and Football

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This girl…. my girl!

So proud of her!

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When still in Primary School and just before her 10th Birthday, she was at an after school football club… someone was there from the local football club and picked her out afterwards and said they are looking for players to join the girls team and would she like to come along to a training session?! She had only ever played football over the road from our house on the little green with the children in the street. We were all very excited!

She went along to the training session and obviously impressed the coach as a couple of days later I had a call to say they wanted to sign her up! WOW!

So paperwork done ad she was officially a player for Crawley Town Girls U11s team! She is about to embark on the new season in September as an U15 player! Where does the time go?!

A couple of weeks ago we had the girls End of Season Presentation afternoon! The girls had a new coach at the beginning of last season and after a massive confidence drop he has helped her build that back up! He believes in her! When he called out her name for Managers Player Award at Presentation Afternoon she was gobsmacked!! I could have popped I was so proud!! She has come so far in 4 years. She loves the game so much, all the team have an amazing bond! They are amazing to watch!!

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She has quite a collection of trophies now but this one I think means a great deal to her! She has some from Tournaments over the years, others from presentation evenings and league and cup winners and runners up trophies and medals! When she got home from presentation afternoon she sat and polished them all! They now have pride of place on my new sideboard!

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I love supporting her, I love watching her play and grow! I am a massive footy fan anyway so to be able to watch my daughter play is awesome!! Long may it continue! She dreams of England Ladies! I told her if she works hard anything is possible!

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She is about 5ft 9in and has size 8.5 football boots!! I should have shares in Adidas and Nike with the amount of football boots and Astro boots we have had to buy in the last 4 years!! Hopefully her feet won’t grow too much more! Bring on next season!! I cannot wait!!!

Whats Going On??!!

Whats Going On??!!

Well…. I don’t know where to start!?

Xavier has blown me away!! He is changing so much!

He has been REALLY funny with food textures since he was …. well since he was tiny.

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When he first went onto solids he was fine, he loved his grub…. in fact, he loved it so much he would scream the place down when it was finished!

Then when we moved onto small lumps in his food he really struggled and used to heave quite a lot and choked on his food a fair few times as he just couldn’t seem to handle the “bits”. Obviously back then we had no idea about the Autism.

Recently he has been a lot more inquisitive about foods I’ve been cooking. I make a lot of meals from scratch and he seems to want to try things which he never used to. He never used to eat ANY meats apart from mince, sausages or burgers. Other than that he was pretty much a veg eating monster (which is not a bad thing!!).

There was literally a handful of home made meals i could cook that everyone would eat, other than that I have been cooking 2 or 3 different meals a night which is just a nightmare.

I remember a year or so ago I had cooked a half leg of lamb in the slow cooker. Its so tender it literally falls of the bone. One of my favorites!  I was carving the meat and he asked what it was and asked to try a bit. So when i had picked my jaw up off the floor I let him try some. He wasn’t keen but didn’t make a fuss and instead of running to the bin to spit it out he ate it and said no thanks. So often he would have a roast and all the trimmings but minus the meat.

Last week was my Mums birthday and Mum and Dad put on a BBQ. Now we know burgers are a safe bet. Xavier loves a burger!! So he had a cheeseburger and some of the other crisps and bits and bobs that were available. Towards the end of the BBQ he wandered into the dining room where all the food was and came back into the garden with a chicken drumstick in his hand!! He tucked in and finished it!  I nearly fell off my chair!!!

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I HAD to take a photo!!! See! He ate chicken!! 😀 Yes this really is a big deal!

But wait…. it doesn’t end there…

Sunday (19th June) we went to visit my parents first to see Dad for fathers day! Spent a few hours there then went on to Mum in Laws to see Father in Law. Mum in law had said previously she was going to cook us a dinner. I LOVE someone else cooking for me! She does a great job too! So she slaved away over a roast! She cooked a roast beef dinner… as she knows what Xavier is normally like with meat she done him a couple of sausages instead. She by chance asked him when dishing up if he wanted a little bit of beef to try on his plate (both of us thinking he would say no) and he agreed!!! He tried the beef, loved it and asked for more!!!! Blown away doesn’t cover it!! So so amazed!!

There’s more…. YES REALLY!!!

Tonight for dinner I was undecided. I had some salmon to use up that none else likes so I cooked up Pulled Pork and done fries and coleslaw with it for Ed, and both the kids. Again this is something Xavier has never eaten before!  I put it on his plate unsure of what his reaction would be. Ed and the kids sat at the table to eat whilst I sorted my dinner out. I turned round to check what he was doing with his dinner and his plate was almost empty! He did finish the whole lot and there was hardly a speck left on his plate!! He loved it!!!

What is going on??!!! This is INCREDIBLE!!! He has changed so much with his eating habits. It’s brilliant! It makes my life as cook so much easier too!! I am so very proud!

Well done Xavier!! I did mention to him that eating all these great new foods would put hairs on his chest!! In true Autism style I then caught him looking down his top!!! HA!!

WellDoneXav

France 2016

France 2016

Car all packed up ready, excited kids, hubby and I checking and double checking that we have got everything…. Right!! Off we go!

We got about 2 miles from home, just come off a roundabout which takes you onto a dual carriageway towards the M23. Car starts revving as if I have my foot to the floor, all power has died and to my horror I look out of my rear view mirror to discover my view is completely obstructed by THICK white smoke!! On to the hard shoulder we go!

GREAT!!!

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I had not long changed over car insurance which included my breakdown cover… So I ring them and they tell me they will come out to us within an hour…. not so bad. BUT because we were still within a 2 week period of taking out the policy I had to pay £75 for the recovery truck to rescue us!! Could really have done without that when you’re off on your holidays!! Breaking down was enough of a kick in the teeth!

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Izzys was crying as she was gutted we weren’t going to be able to get to France! Xavier was having a complete meltdown up on the bank at the side of the road because he thought the car was going to blow up. He was shaking. I was quite shaky myself to be honest.

We waited about half an hour and I had a call on my mobile from the recovery truck driver saying he wasn’t too far away. Great news. So we got towed home. Back to square one. We had no front door key as both Mums had them to come in and feed the cats. Luckily Eds mum only lives around the corner so she was round in a few mins once we had called her to tell her we were home.

Called my parents to let them know we were back too. Basically will cut a long story short but Thanks to the Bank of Mum and Dad we were able to hire a car for 8 days and get on our way to France and still have our holiday!! For that I will be eternally grateful!!

We were travelling by Eurotunnel and Ed had called them when we had broken down earlier and we were told our ticket was valid until lunchtime the following day, so once we had hired the car and knew the registration of the car we called them back. This was approx 4pm. They were very accommodation and helpful which was great as we had already had such a stressful day! The next available train they could fit us on to was 7.30pm so we agreed and set off for Folkestone.

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We arrived for our train in plenty of time so we went for a bite to eat in the terminal. There are various shops there and a few different places to eat. Once fed we headed back to the car and got in the queue for our train. Boarding was all very well organised and straight forward. There are safety and security announcements into the carriages once on the train. You are allowed out of your car during the journey too. So we got out and stretched our legs. The journey time is 35 minutes and a trillion times better than the ferry! I really am not a fan of boats! This was perfect!! Smooth ride and the journey seemed to go really quickly!

Before we knew it we were in France!! YAY! Bonjour!!!

Only thing is …. it was just getting dark and we knew we had a 2 and a half hour journey ahead of us to the campsite!! Now Hubby doesn’t drive so it was all on my shoulders. I was in an unfamiliar car, in a foreign country, on the opposite side of the road, in the dark….and it had been a very stressful day and i was VERY tired!

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These two beauties were absolutely amazing considering the stress that was radiating off me and Ed! Xavier coped incredibly well!

I was struggling as the car was really uncomfortable, I was having to overtake lorries in the fast lane and it was scary, I was tired, so very tired… Ed kept putting the air con on in the car which was freezing, but in the hope it would keep me more alert. I was concentrating so hard my brain actually hurt! I had to stop for a break at one point, as much as I just wanted to get there, my back was killing me and I was exhausted! We pulled off the motorway into services but i missed the turn for the carpark and we ended up sitting in-between loads of parked up lorries!! I had to get out and have a cigarette. I was stressed to the max by this point… well what I thought was the max!

We got back on the road, bearing in mind we had already done this journey 2 years ago, came off at the junction that was on our directions print out. Or so we thought…. again… long story short WE WERE LOST!!! We were driving around all these little towns and over all these little roundabouts, they all looked the bloody same, in fact some of them probably were as were driving round in circles!! I can laugh about it now but at the time I was close to a nervous breakdown. By this point too at was about midnight. It was like a bloody ghost town so no-one was even around to ask. NOW I was stressed to the max!!

Ed got on the phone to the campsite to let them know we were lost and they worked out that we had come off the motorway far too early and pointed us in the right direction and told us what signs to look for and follow. TWO HOURS later and we started recognising things from before and FINALLY we reached our destination! I felt like an absolute zombie!!

We were given the keys to our home for the week and we emptied the car and went straight to bed!! It was 2am!!!!

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The next morning, after a very beautiful lay in and probably the best sleep I’ve had in a long time, it was coffee and pain au chocolate time on the decking and time to start our little holiday!

We wandered into the town, got a bit of food shopping at the Intermarche down the road, wandered around the familiar campsite that we fell in love with 2 years ago. The kids couldn’t wait to go to the man made beach there. Its fabulous.

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The water is freezing though. But it was so quiet as we went in term time and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. It was wonderful.

Xavier new found water confidence blew me away on holiday. He has come so so far! He was letting me pull him around the swimming pool by his hands as he kicked his legs behind him. I videoed him going out quite deep at the man made beach with a rubber ring around him then him kicking his legs till he got back to shore. This is the boy who used to scream blue murder just getting in his bath! I have so much to thank his amazing school for. So very proud!

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We had a meal out in the on site restaurant which we didn’t do last time. It was a tiny bit expensive but sod it! We deserved it and it was absolutely delicious!! I had steak and chips with a red wine sauce. The others had speciality burgers. Everyone was very impressed with the food and service and for me it was nice not to cook for an evening!! Beautiful meal!

We spent so much time on holiday laughing. I mean real belly laughs! I was laughing so much I was crying at times and that was so lovely and so needed. We all needed it. It was such a lovely holiday despite the nightmare start. We spent a week of quality time together. No strops from the teen, no meltdowns from the boy, just good quality fun and happy times…. just the 4 of us!

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Xavier will probably kill me for that photo but its a memory, a reminder of the silliness and messing around that was plentiful whilst we were away! Its such a beautiful, serene and lovely place that we do enjoy visiting. We have been twice now and even though we had the issues at the beginning, we would do it all over again.

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We left earlier than we needed to for our train home and were able to get on an earlier one which was another fab thing about Eurotunnel! We got back to the UK in no time and had a (THANKFULLY) smooth, breakdown and hiccup free journey home!

We LOVE France!

Who are you to judge??

Who are you to judge??

Be warned…. this may get a little ranty!!!

Who are you to judge the lady whose little boy fell into the enclosure with the gorilla? Do you literally have your eyes stuck to your child every single second of every single day?? How shit do you think that lady is feeling? How about the the enclosure should have been more secure so a child wasn’t able to get through? How about stop judging unless you are the worlds most perfect parent who has never made any mistakes and your child is impeccably behaved and has never left your side for a single moment and given you that heart in throat moment? How about animals shouldn’t be locked up in zoos, they should be free in the wild where they belong?

Who are you to judge the “weirdo” walking down the street talking to himself? There you are laughing and pointing. How about he has mental health issues and that person in their head who they are talking to is their only friend? How about they have been bullied all their life for being a little bit different? You don’t know them, their life or what they have to deal with on a daily basis!!

Who are you to judge me (or anyone else who does the same) for trying to earn a living and build a stable future for my family? I post on social media promoting products I’m passionate about, products that have helped me and my children. What I do is not a scam. I’m not the type of person to get involved in scams or pyramid schemes. I’m not going to promote dodgy products to friends and family. I love what i do yet get so much grief for doing it! The people who do judge funnily enough no NOTHING about what i do yet are quick to throw uneducated opinions around about it. It won’t stop me. In fact it makes me want to push on harder and harder to prove all the haters wrong.

There was one situation recently and I won’t go into detail but I judged a situation with a friend and took action to try and help that person and it got thrown back in my face so I won’t be doing it again. I didn’t hurt that person, in fact I thought I was doing them a favour as I care about them but I was so very wrong!! I’ve learnt from it now though and will never be making that mistake again!

We are all entitled to opinions but i think really so many people need to know when to shut up and keep their opinions to themselves. I don’t think they realise the impact they can have on someone. Words can hurt and really send people into a downward spiral. Words can make a situation so much worse than it needs to be. Words can be downright nasty.

Just think…. next time… before you open your mouth or type something…. THINK…

think how your words are going to impact things.

Maybe just keep those opinions to yourself.

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Snoopy & Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie Review

Snoopy & Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie Review

We were lucky enough to be sent a copy of this movie to review!!

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I loved Peanuts as a kid so was quite excited to have a trip down memory lane and at the same time introduce my kids to it!!

The film is wonderful and both kids were engrossed from the moment it started. Its so sweet, the characters are all still exactly the same just the animation is a little more up to date!

The story is really cute! Charlie Brown is trying to impress the new girl in his class at school and goes to huge lengths to do so!

I am going to interview Xavier about the film and let you all in on his thoughts of the film:

Who is your favourite character from Snoopy & Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie?

Xavier: Snoopy because he is incredibly funny. I mean whats not to love about him?

What was your funniest/your favourite scene in the film?

Xavier: Definitely the bit where the Red Baron (the plane) kept popping up in every scene, the first one was the funniest because the plane flew over at the most awkward moment which made it 100 times funnier.

Did the film make you laugh and keep you entertained?

Xavier: Yes it did, it was very entertaining and I liked it a lot. It made me laugh a lot.

Will Snoopy & Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie on DVD make a good half term watch?

Xavier: Yes definitely! I think everyone will love this film!! Even the Mums and Dads!!

It really is a wonderful film that all the family will enjoy!! We thoroughly recommend it!

We didn’t get the chance to watch the extra features on the DVD but will definitely be watching the film again so will check those out then!

ABOUT SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN: THE PEANUTS MOVIE:

  1. In SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN: THE PEANUTS MOVIE, good ol’ Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved Peanuts gang appear as you’ve never seen them before in a brand-new feature film from the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of Ice Age. Join everyone’s favourite eternal optimist, Charlie Brown, as he embarks on a heroic quest, while his beagle pal Snoopy takes to the skies to pursue his arch nemesis, the Red Baron. It’s a hilarious and heart-warming adventure!

    SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN: THE PEANUTS MOVIE is directed by Steve Martino (Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!) and produced and written by Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz and Cornelius Uliano. Paul Feig (Spy, The Heat) and Michael Travers are also film producers.

    With the DVD fans can go deeper into the world of SNOOPY AND CHARLIE BROWN: THE PEANUTS MOVIE with a selection of fun-filled special features! Watch all-new Snoopy Snippets, Step-By-Step drawing tutorials, dance and sing along to everyone’s favourite Peanuts song, as well as Meghan Trainor’s lyric and music video, behind-the-scenes of Meghan’s music video plus music from the movie at your fingertips – using Snoopy’s Playlist to jump directly to your favourite songs!

*I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have

volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid

for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial

integrity.

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