A very special 18th birthday

My little miracle baby is all grown up, she’s made it, she’s beaten the odds and become a gorgeous healthy special young woman.  I can’t help but remember how it all began, with that fateful trip through the dim corridors of the hospital, when I was told I had a 70% chance of delivering a live baby.  And all those people who told us to baptise her in the hospital, “just in case”.  I always believed in her, I never doubted that she would survive and thrive, and so she has.

Before Smiley I would’ve run a mile at the idea if being a mum to a child with severe disabilities, but now I cannot imagine life without her.  Ever.

More here including lots and lots of new pictures

In memory of Dylan Thomas

Welsh poet and writer Dylan Thomas was born one hundred years ago today, but I wonder have my children even heard of him.  I’m not actually a big reader of poetry, but Dylan was different.  His words really got under my skin, and scratched those raw places in my psyche like nothing else could.

It was a family thing too: my third name was given in memory of his wife, and I have inherited a well-thumbed copy of Under Milk Wood that I always read aloud in a really bad Welsh accent.

More here

Gone Girl Gone: A Guest Review of the Mia Tui Minnie Amelie Bag

Something different today: a dear friend and published author, Patricia McAdoo, has written a review in her unique style of one of my favourite bags: the Minnie Amelie from Mia Tui.

Gone Girl Gone

Once upon a time there was a very muddled girl. Whenever she had to do the early morning school run, she would rush bleary eyed through the house wailing, ‘Where the hell are my car keys gone?’ And if anyone tried to help by asking where she might have left them, she would snap ‘I don’t know do I? They’re just gone!’

When she reached the top of a busy supermarket queue, she invariably dived red faced into her bag as people behind her shuffled from foot to foot and the checkout guy tapped his fingers on the till. She would smile a faint smile and mutter: ‘I just know my card’s here somewhere but it seems to be gone!

More here

Top 5 films on Netflix

I may have mentioned that Netflix kindly gave this family the opportunity to watch whatever we like for a year for free, giving me a whole new subject to blog about too.  This month I’m writing about my top five films on Netflix, and linking up Kate Takes Five’s Listography on the same theme.  No it’s not a coincidence.  Like I said, I’m blogging for fun right now, so there may be more of this.

More here

The future, imagined

It’s funny the things that happen on-line, the people you meet and connect with.  People who have the same interests as you, something I never thought possible: I used to keep really quiet about being an adult who watched Dr Who and read The Lord of the Rings, but I don’t have to do that any more.  There are also so many people whose politics I like, who worry about the present and think about the future.  And who, like me, have always read books that imagine how our future could look, even though it’s usually bleak.

Now that’s gone mainstream.  Between Divergent, The Hunger Games and numerous TV series, dystopian futures are having their moment in the sun.  So I got all excited when Jax at Liveotherwise blogged about dystopian fiction, and what was planned as a long comment on her post, grew into something else.

Read more here

Unpredictability and Style

I’ve decided that September is my favourite month of the year.  It’s a time for new beginnings and good intentions.  Family life here is unusual at the best of times, but in September at least it was blissfully predictable.  That gave me head space, to do things for me, time to think, solve problems, get things done.  But now unpredictability has crept in again, and every morning I wake up not knowing what the day will bring, or what plans will have to be changed or adjusted.  This is when working on my reasons to be cheerful becomes more important than ever.  And I have a big one for this week!

Road Trip

Read all about it here

Mistakes and Achievements

I wrote a post about autism this week, but I think it was a mistake.  Readers assumed that it was about my son even though he wasn’t mentioned.  More posts were planned, but it looks as though this blog will have to become a completely autism-free zone, to protect my son now he is a teenager.  That’s even though autism is the thread that runs through everything we do as a family.  I still write about it, and it’s good to let go of all those feelings, but pressing publish would be better again, and I know that I can’t.  It’s depressing and I think my blog has suffered.  That’s partly why I’m doing more linky posts, they keep me entertained, but perhaps not you…

So today it’s all about my reasons to be cheerful and striking mums again, and apologies if some of this is not new.

I am five

I didn’t even notice the anniversary, but my blog turned 5 this week.  It was begun with so little thought that it’s hard to believe that I am still writing here, and that so many lovely people are still reading.  Thank you.

Read more here

A message to everyone who thinks they want tax cuts

Do you have a parent in hospital?

A child in school?

A nephew with special needs?

An aunt with depression?

A friend who was burgled?

A neighbour who is homeless?

Tax cuts for you will reduce the help they desperately need. But apparently voters would prefer income tax cuts to improved public services.  If you are currently choosing between putting food on the table or heating your home, then I can understand why that would be your priority, even though any increase in your income is likely to be quite small.  But 44% of you?

Read on here