Life throws you some curve balls.

It seems an age since I wrote anything on here, a lot has happened in our family, good and bad but that is life.

December 2015 we had our final Christmas with my mum, we knew that she was living on borrowed time, her diagnosis of leukaemia came in August and she fought it so that she could see one last one with her cherished family , what a happy,  sad time it was, all the while enjoying the time but realising that she was not going to be here for the next one. She slowly went down hill in the new year and come March it was evident that she would not be able to stay in her house for any longer, to say that she was disappointed to go into hospital was an understatement, she was devastated and so was I, I felt that I was letting her down but she was unable to move,  and the hospice nurses were struggling to get her pain under control, (unfortunately she was allergic to morphine,)  in the last few weeks if I could have given her something to help her die then I would have but my hands were tied. I called in my brothers in the second week of April time to come and say goodbye, also my husband and I had a holiday booked and needed someone else to be there instead of me, I kept saying to mum that we would cancel our holiday and stay with her but she was adamant that we needed to go away and relax, well go away we would but relax no, the day before we were due to go away mum suffered a massive fit that was traumatic to watch,  I stood with my husband holding her hand whilst doctors and nurses rushed around to find some medication to help her, when we left she had no speech at all, I was devastated I would no longer be able to hear my mums voice, she also looked so stricken. The following morning we were going away so I went to the hospital to see her, all I got out of her was a shaking of one arm to shoo me away and mumbling that sounded like go, I left there in tears after giving her a last kiss and hug, I saw the doctor who said the end was very near, 24 to 48 hours at the most.

We drove to Cornwall, expecting a phone call any time, nothing happened that day, the following day we went for a walk to one of our favourite beaches, it was while I was alone walking on Marazion beach that my phone started to ring, it was my elder brother to tell me mum had gone, was I sad? Yes but also happy that she was not in any more pain.

What I should add at this time is that a week prior to her dying our eldest daughter had told us that she was expecting another baby, the delight of their news was overshadowed by mums ordeal but it was something to look forward to.

I grieved for my mum of course I did but I had done most of it before she had died, I had the privilege of being with her almost non stop since my dad had died in March  2014, I had been sleeping with her since September 2015 just in case anything should happen during the night, we laughed,  we cried, we reminisced and we celebrated special occasions together, I was so very lucky to have a mum who was one in a million, our relationship was special, she was my best friend, there is not a day that goes by when I don’t think of her, I miss her terribly but not as much as I thought I would.

Skip forward to December 2nd 2016 when I got a frantic phone call asking me how quickly could I get to Bristol? My reply about 2 hours why, well Holly is in labour and the neighbours are out so we have nobody to look after J! OK,  I’m on my way I say grabbing my bag and car keys, by the time I got there the baby had made an appearance, the excitement was more than I could contain, I slept fitfully that night,  because of excitement plus I was sharing the bed with my  3 year old grandson, that’s like sleeping with an octopus! The following day waiting to meet grandson number two was thrilling.

Life since then has been one big roller coaster ride, more of which I will tell you on another day.

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Four generations

Four generations

Glad that we were able to celebrate this day.

It’s been a long while since I came on here last, a lot has happened in that time, the biggest and best thing was the birth of our grandson, born on 13th November 2013, unlucky for some, but not us, we were so glad to be able to celebrate his birth with all of the family including my mum who has found reserves from somewhere to keep going through her battle with cancer, to be able to pass Jasper to her was something that I will hold close forever, it was like time had gone in reverse, because it felt like the time I handed her her first grandchild. Then of course we had christmas which was wondeful, we had the priveledge of having our daughter, her partner and new baby to stay for the holidays, it is such a special thing to be able to share this time, it made the fact that our youngest daughter was absent so much easier, having your children fly the nest is so hard especially at holiday times like christmas.

Confused

So sorry for not posting anything on here for a while but have had a difficult few weeks, at the end of July we broke up from school for the summer holidays,the weather was beautiful, I had lots of days out and catching up with friends to look forward to. Two days later the devastating news came, my mum was diagnosed as having terminal cancer, myeloma of the pericardium to be exact, to say that it was a blow was an understatement, after undergoing 15 months of hell, with an abdominal wound the size of my fist after bowel surgery went wrong, we were looking towards the exciting future, a grandchild for me and my husband, and great-grandchild for my parents. We are still anticipating that mum will be here to see the new arrival, but it is all tinged with sadness, sadness because the outlook is that she will not get to see the baby grow into a little person with character, I hope that he/she had some of the get up and go that mum has,the resilience and strength that has seen her overcome so many setbacks during her life. Mum was born in 1943 to an unmarried teenage mum, who didn’t have the strength to stand up and be counted as an individual, so mum was raised by her Grandparents, and lived with her aunts and uncle, the eldest of which was 17 and the youngest 6 months old, my mum was called names and basically not treated very nice but became a wonderful person who is my loving and caring mum.

Baby wrap

snuggle blanket 007

snuggle blanket 004

snuggle blanket 006

snuggle blanket 005After finding out that our eldest daughter is having a baby, I have looked at things I can make for it, yesterday via the web I found a baby wrap, it looked simple enough and came with a PDF pattern to download, putting it together was like a jigsaw it came on 8 separate pieces of A4 paper with no numbers to link, just the briefest of written links on 2 of the pieces. Well today I made it, it took me about 3 hours, most of that taken up by a sewing machine that did not want to feed the material through, to say that I am pleased with the result is an understatement, it looks fab even if I do say so myself, I even added a handmade label, that has a link to my name. My nan used to make all my dresses when I was small, I thought that it was too difficult and declined to pursue it when at school, what a mistake I made.

From mum to:-

Have had the pleasure of announcing to friends and family that my husband and I are to become grandparents, Hubby says “that he is not old enough!” “Pah” I say, old enough in my eyes, and a good one he will be too. It’s so exciting, I have had a real task in keeping it quiet for weeks now and it been excruciating, it only seems like yesterday that we brought her home from the hospital, with all the neighbours in the street waiting to welcome her, roll on the next 5 + months.

Where has the time gone

This time 24 years ago I was a new mum, and my husband was, I am sure, in a state of shock, you get handed a writhing, crying bundle, that you look at and think how do I know what this thing is going to need 24 hours a day for the next however many years? All I can say is that it couldn’t have been that bad because we did venture to have more, and our daughter is a well balanced, caring individual, who we are proud of!

Training to Thrive

I have found out that I will be attending a Thrive course through my work, to say I am pleased is an understatement, it underpins all the work that I do with the little people I have daily contact with, Thrive is a programme designed by a group of educationalists and psychologists, that aims to replace the missing emotional markers from a childs development from the age of zero to eighteen, so that they are able to learn, love and play without all of the stress that they normally have, below I have copied some of the information from the web site so that you may get a clearer idea of what it involves.

The six building blocks or developmental strands

Thrive™ uses a developmental framework to clarify the connections between emotional and social development, behaviour and learning. Child development can be depicted as six building blocks of experience, each with accompanying tasks and opportunities. These translate into six fundamental aspects of learning for emotional and social development:

Learning to be

Learning to do

Learning to think

Learning to be powerful and to have an identity (Power and Identity)

Learning to be skilful and have structure (Skills and Structure)

Learning to be separate and secure in your sexual identity (Separation and Sexuality)

These can be thought of as six areas of competence. Each area of competence has related tasks and desirable experiences to make the most of learning. The diagram above makes ‘learning to be’ or ‘being’ the foundation on which other experiences are built; this is the model that is used throughout the programme.

Sequential emotional development
As the child grows the developmental strands come ‘on-line’ sequentially – however, once they are in place, they remain available and open to growth throughout life. This means that our developmental tasks can be addressed at any point in our lives; we are truly life-long learners when it comes to brain and emotional and social development.

Recycling the tasks of emotional learning
The Thrive approach talks of this as ‘recycling’; we recycle our developmental needs as they arise and until they are met. Our changing circumstances throughout our lives also present us both with challenges to be addressed and opportunities to learn or relearn from our experiences. Until we are supported to understand and act in ways that are different from our familiar, predictable responses, we are likely to keep meeting similar challenges with the behaviours we have used before – even if they were not successful last time.

Developmental strands and learning needs
Each building block is linked to three learning needs. You can recognise the most urgent learning need by observing the young person’s behaviour. Thrive™ then recommends specific one-to-one responses and various teaching strategies, and explores the implications for the school as a whole.