New Blog!!!

I would just like to let everyone know that Mummy, Not Big Milk Thing has expanded!! – Now I know what you may be thinking; I barely have time for one blog let alone two. Well this blog is going to be written and managed by my husband Steve.

This blog will also only focus on one of the boys, Elliott, for reasons that will be revealed on that blog. The blog is literally just starting and Steve is going to be playing with it and tweaking its appearance etc over the next few days as he learns how WordPress works – for now I have set him up with the basics to get him started as well as write an intro. He will be fine with it, he works in IT so I give it a week before his blog is better than mine!

http://littleboywho.wordpress.com/

If you have 5 minutes please check it out and sign up to accompanying Facebook page and Twitter (Coming as soon as I can set them up)

Fireman Sam DVD Review – Helicopter Heroes

We were recently sent the new Fireman Sam Helicopter Heroes DVD to review and try out on Elliott.

Now this may be surprising but Elliott hasn’t watched the new version of Fireman Sam – he loves fireman, he loves the old “Postman Pat” style of Fireman Sam but he hasnt had an opportunity to see the new computer version of the Welsh hero.

It is hard to review this from Elliott’s perspective in a way because he isn’t at a point that I can ask him what his thoughts were etc so I will put my thoughts on the actual content and also Elliott’s reaction to the DVD…..in fact I have a video that I recorded to demonstrate.

Here are my thoughts. First of all I personally prefer the “old school” way of making the show – but then I guess it’s probably just because watching such animation reminds me of my childhood. The first thing I noticed was that Pontipandy had moved from the Valleys to the seaside and Fireman Sam is no longer a comfy looking inventor but a tall butch Welsh man with a deep voice – even Station Officer Steel seems to have had a trim and been on a diet! Dylis has lost her curlers and her little corner shop seems to have dramatically changed over the years into a mini supermarket!

Some of the many changes do make sense, for example the move to the seaside obviously opens up the possibility for emergencies at sea, but some others I’m not too sure about. Why does Sam need to be more Buzz lightyear in his appearance why can’t he be “ordinary” with his comfy jumpers and inventing shed? I grew up surrounded by fireman – lucky girl – as my dad worked closely with the fire service and I can guarantee none of them would have ended up on a calendar but they were all heroes for putting their lives on the line.

As an educational aid you do have to question the communities over use of the fire service but as they seem to have no police force or ambulance service I guess they don’t have a lot of choice. When the residents get lost in the valleys it is the fire service that respond to the alarm rather than the boys in blue. I’m also not sure how many fire services have their own helicopters but in saying that if its good enough for Postman Pat these days then its good enough for Fireman Sam!

Anyone with a 2+ year old boy will back me up when I say that helicopters are cool – you could slap a helicopter in the middle of Take The Highroad (wow that’s going back a bit!) and all of a sudden 2-year-old boys all over the country would be glued to the screen!

I personally found some of the voices really annoying, James in particular needs to possibly see a dr but really does any of this really matter? As a child I drove my mother up the wall by insisting that she read Noddy to me every night, which she hated, it didn’t take anything away from the fact that I loved Noddy and Elliott certainly loved this DVD happily chatting about what he was watching.

 

He was very engaged and happily watched every episode requesting more as the credits rolled – he went off to school, came home and asked to see it again – really what more could you want. It has everything a little boy wants, animation, helicopters, fireman, simple plotlines and adventure.

The DVD isnt very long, which to me is a good thing because I don’t want Elliott sitting watching endless numbers of episodes of a TV show and after 50 minutes of Sam this offers an end point where you can turn it off and move onto something else without restricting how much of the DVD the child can watch

I would say this is a must have for any little Fireman Sam fan and Elliott certainly enjoyed it as much as the previous versions of the show.

Meeting with Health Visitor

While Elliott was at school yesterday I went to see our health visitor. We havent been with this particular health visitor long but she seems to be doing her best for us and so I have to put my faith in her at this point.

Basically we had long chats about Elliott, where he is developmentally etc, things he is doing and things he isn’t. She agrees with the school that he needs to be seen for assesment and she has made a referral for him to see a pediatrician who will then decide who we have to see next – It seems that we have to see an awful lot of people before we can see the people who can tell us what may be happening with our little boy. She didn’t give me a timescale but she has also given me a referral to attend some session on helping Elliott with his negative behaviours – wow this makes him sound terrible – basically he has negative behaviour like any other child but basically what the health visitor has said is that we may need more ideas for how to deal with them because of his current understanding issues.

I still can’t believe that I am typing all this – it has all happened so quickly. I think our whole family is struggling to get their heads around the fact that there MAY be something “wrong” with Elliott. To us Elliott is just Elliott and he has been following his own little path like any other child – we don’t have another 3-year-old to pull out of our sleeves to directly compare him with and his issues aren’t so screamingly obvious that you can’t miss them – apart from his obvious speech delay.

Walking away from the meeting I felt as though everything that could be done is being done and we are really lucky that all the right people seem to be trying to get Elliott sorted out as soon as possible so that we can help him the best way we can as quickly as we can.

When I arrived at the school I was handed the accident book as soon as I walked through the door – his second entry, the first being on his first day of playschool! – apparently his head had been in the direct path of a toy thrown by another child resulting in a bruise and a bump. The key worker who had been present when it happened said it was horrible because he cried and normally he never crys when he hurts himself. On the positive side though he apparently MADE A FRIEND!!!!!! The first time this has happened. They spent most of the afternoon together and played and kept insisting on hugging each other – this is something Elliott always does when he takes to another child. In light of everything it was such a lovely thing to hear.

There was some news on the SENCO; she has agreed to see Elliott but it’s the week we are on holiday! I knew that was going to happen. Margaret has said we should still take Elliott away so she is going to rearrange for another time – it’s just so frustrating but I think at the moment we all need the break and with all of this we are in for the long haul anyway.

Tough Week!!!

There are weeks that are sent to test us and I have to say this has been one of them and we have been on a major rollercoaster of emotions.

It all began last week actually. I arrived to collect Elliott from playschool as usual and I was called over to speak with the school manager, a VERY experienced and lovely lady Margaret. She basically said that they have concerns regarding Elliott’s development, or lack of, and that she wants to meet with myself and my husband to get the ball rolling to get him additional help and support. BANG!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think my head exploded.

I have posted on my blog previously that we have had concerns regarding Elliott’s behaviour at times and I can’t say that I am hugely shocked that he may not be exactly where he “should” be but still it came as a huge shock that things were that bad. At some things Elliott seems to be beyond his years but at others, like speaking, he is far behind his peers.

I will jump forward in the time line of last weeks events to explain where we are in this at the moment with Elliott and then jump back later.

We went for a meeting with Margaret on Friday and basically what she is saying is that Elliott shows some obsessive behaviours when it comes to toys etc and he doesn’t seem to understand all instruction and because his speech is so poor it is hard to tell what he is actually comprehending as you can’t question him. She said that speech delay isn’t uncommon and alone not normally a cause for concern but in Elliot’s case he does seem to be trying to communicate and it just isn’t coming. Also in a lot of children it doesn’t seem to stunt their social development and in his case it is. Also he doesn’t seem to have any sense of danger (something we have been saying for a long time) and his spacial awareness is poor and he is falling over more than he should be at his age – he was walking at 9 months so his physical ability has never been of major concern to us but she is correct in saying that he falls over a lot.

So what is the current action plan for Elliott? Well all the relevent forms have been sent off to the area SENCO (special educational needs co-ordinator) to get them to asses his educational needs, the SENCO covers all aspects of children who need extra help from those with Dyslexia to those with autism etc. On Wednesday I have a meeting with his health visitor to discuss the referrals she wants to do for him and the doctor is referring him to a pediatrician to see him also as he too feels this needs covering. So we have A LOT of appointments for him in the coming months and I am confident that if there is anything there with all of this going on it WILL get picked up on and we can deal with the situation to hand. At the moment I am trying to keep an open mind but everything seems to have been suggested from just speech delay to mild autism – either way its  A LOT to get your head around.and its a stressful time; partly because this degree of problem in Elliott we just weren’t expecting. He was always the first of his baby group to do everything from sitting to walking.

There are things we have been given by the school to help Elliott already, the first is to start using PEC symbols. These are basically simple drawings that help to explain to him visually as well as verbally things he is going to be doing as well as choices he can make, for example if he would like toast or a biscuit – it opens the lines of communication and also encourages him to actively listen as well as say words.

The other thing is to simplify and adapt the way we ask him to do or not do things. Apparently young children don’t really hear most of what we say to them, their brains sort of edit things to the bare essentials. So when we say “Elliott, don’t run” Elliott probably only hears “run” so instead we have to say what we do wan him to do “Elliott, walk”. When you think about it the idea makes a lot of sense.

So that has been Elliott and enough for one week on its own if it wasnt in the midst of Elliott and I being ill with a horrible cough that has been making both of us unwell but then on top I have to go back to the dramatic events on Wednesday with Sam.

I had arrived at school to collect Elliott only to be called over, again, by Margaret to inform me that Elliott had needed to be placed twice in timeout for his behaviour towards the other children. Apparently he had been wrestling them to the ground and pushing them out of his way making them fall. At the time she described it as being spiteful, which sent my brain into another frenzy because Elliott had never been deliberately nasty to another child in his life – without “reason” – Later she did retract this statement and said he wasnt actually trying to hurt anyone, more that he just didn’t understand the effect of his actions on others and they were caught in his general bulldozer attitude. As this wasnt until the following Friday I was left with my head just spinning, in the space of a week I had gone from having an affectionate, if not over enthusiastic child that had a quirky personality and I few behaviour issues to having a spiteful child with developmental delay issues that need further investigation.

So we walk to get the bus and one is pulling off as we approach the stop. I manage to flag it down and unusually the bus driver actually indicated back in to allow us to climb aboard. I thanked him for saving me 20 very stressful minutes waiting for the next bus with and impatient Elliott and we got ourselves seated. Sam was in his pram in the buggy parking section and Elliott was sat next to me on the seat directly to the side of the pram. I zoned out at this point, wondering what on earth was happening to Elliott, imagining the worst and trying to kick my brain into being positive and less than 5 minutes after sitting down we went around the roundabout too fast, gravity took hold of Sams pram and before I knew it the pram was being tipped over throwing Sam out of the carrycot and onto the ground! He was left in a screaming crumpled mess in the corner next to the back door and the next seat. I let out a scream to stop the bus the type of which I never want to have to leave my mouth again. The man seating behind us also did so and while I raced to get Sam he grabbed the pram and reset it before it could go over anymore!

I just sat there on the bus shaking and in tears holding a screaming Sam and not daring to let him move too much for fear he had gone over on his neck, The driver asked if I wanted him to call an ambulance and the man who had witnessed the accident said “yes, if you saw it you would know you have to.” Elliott just kept shouting “baby, baby, baby hurt!” – he had witnessed the whole thing. I don’t think I dared look at Sam and was just sitting there shaking, the ambulance was called and we all just sat there and waited. My practical brain kicked in enough to phone Steve and tell him there had been an accident and to meet me at the hospital but that was going to take a while so I called my friend Ruth to come and collect Elliott asap so I didn’t have to deal with him and sort out Sam. She arrived and had taken him home before the ambulance had even arrived on the scene – it felt like forever and was around 40 minutes all in.

When they arrived they took Sam from me and said that he looked ok but they had to take him to hospital for a thorough check over so it was off in the ambulance to children’s A&E, where Sam has been FAR too often in his short life! There he was sent from triage to the day assessment unit where the Dr said he needed to stay for 4 hours under observation but could then go home. The next thing I know a senior registrar decided to look at him and he decides that Sam in fact needed to be kept overnight because he had an obvious head injury – he had a big red  bruise from where he had hit the ground – and he needed to make sure he had no injury to his stomach.

The night went well, Steve came in with Elliott to bring us a change of clothes etc….never a good thing for a man to pack a bag for hospital – I had a nightshirt and nothing else and Sam didn’t have anything to play with except a cuddly toy. Sam had to have his own room as he is only 4 months old and he was finding his white box very dull and was understandably unsettled anyway so the only thing that would stop him moaning was walking him around the corridors so that he could flirt with the drs and nurses – they all soon fell for his charms and wanted to take him home. At around midnight he was still awake and fractious and I was beyond exhausted. I  took him for yet another wonder and as we went out of the door it swung back and banged him on the other side of his head!!! I couldn’t believe it, after everything he already had going on! He eventually settled down, the dr checked his now second head injury, which had now disappeared – at 2 am his obs were taken and then we recommenced our uncomfortable nights sleep. Sam currently wont sleep on his own – what baby doesn’t want to be cuddled 24/7 – all the hospital had provided me to sleep on was a recliner chair and it wasnt either comfortable or practical to sleep on with a 4 month old so needless to say I didn’t sleep all night.

In the morning I was given cereal as I’m breastfeeding – thank goodness as I was starving having hardly eaten at all the previous day – and after a once over by the dr and a bunch of medical students Sam was allowed home on the understanding that if he displayed any symptoms of head or stomach trauma he was to return straight to the hospital.

We ironically got the bus home – I figured if we waited for Steve we would still be there at lunchtime – and funnily enough I got Sam OUT of his pram on the bus, something I am sure he was also grateful for.

By Thursday evening Sam had developed the same nasty cough etc as Elliott and I had been suffering and although he displayed some of the symptoms we were supposed to return to hospital on I was pretty sure that they were co-incidental due to the cough and so had him double checked at the Dr’s the next morning who confirmed this.

All in it was a VERY stressful week that I am happy to see the back of! I have a lot more to say about Sams accident but for now that is the outline of the actual events, and also explaination as to where we have been this past week. I have so much to blog about at the moment its untrue – I have product tests to write up for Nuby, Bambino Mio, BumGenius, Fireman Sam AND Wow toys as well as other bits and pieces – as well as a peice on the photographer Saraya Cortaville; who had taken stunning pictures of both of my children this past year and who recently did a shoot with Sam. I havent forgotten anything. I have a long list sat on my machine and I am working out a blogging schedule so that I can get on top of it all.

I am going to try to keep my blog up to date with what is happening with all these meeting, tests etc for Elliott – I always try to make my blog informative and with it in mind that someone may find the things that happen in our family useful to them in some way and this si another journey I think it could be of benefit to take you on from day one.

 

Back to School and Halloween!

Like many children it was Elliott’s first day back at playschool today. He has been going since January because I was told that as all the pre-schools in this area are privately owned the only way to make sure he would b able to go at 3 would be to pay for him to go from 2! Well we managed to hold off till he was 2 years 3 months and he started this January.

Elliott LOVES school and he RAN in this afternoon, barely stopped to give me a kiss goodbye and even walked out if the door with a picture!

Here he is ready to go –

In the meantime the postman brought Sam’s halloween costume so of course he had to try it on for size…

He’s such a round baby it had to be a pumpkin for him really, in fact Elliott was also a pumpkin on his first Halloween 3 years ago

Now anyone viewing this could be forgiven for thinking that Sam already having his costume in September is down to incredible forward planning on my part – wrong! I am just really thrifty – I bought Elliott’s costume well in advance that first year because I figured he would be around a moth old at that point and I wouldn’t have gotten around to it; in fact he was only 2 weeks old and the 0-3 costume was enormous, but what I discovered was if you buy it on eBay in September people havent started thinking about Halloween yet so you can snag yourself a bargain before the rush starts. For instance Sams costume above cost less than £2 including postage!

As for Elliott this year, well he is a bit more complicated – as usual. In the past he has been the above pumpkin, a spider and last year he was a very cute vampire. I have decided that, again in the interest of being thrifty, I wanted a costume that he could get play value out of, not one that would be destined for the loft until Sam needed it. So, if I can pull it off, he is going to be HARRY POTTER!!!

Elliott loves a bit of Harry Potter and is often seen running to the kitchen for chop sticks to use as wands. I am hoping that if I put together a nice outfit it can go into the dressing up box and he can get some real play value out of it, rather than a one night only special. So I am Ebay bound and with school uniform so cheap at the moment, with all the shops fighting for those precious pounds it also it shouldnt cost the earth, hopefully…….well watch this space on that one!