Yesterday we had Joe's appointment with the paediatrician, a very nice lady doctor. I think it went well. She said that she could very quickly see that Joe had some quite subtle but definite behaviour issues and, to cut a long story short, she is referring us to the Social Communication clinic, which will be checking for autism. So I asked if this meant she thought he was on the spectrum and she said yes. We could have quite a long wait ahead of us, but at least we are one step closer now. I had a meeting with Joe's teacher and the school's SENCO this afternoon. They have set Joe some more "little steps" targets - I am honestly so impressed by how they have dealt with this, his teacher and T.A. have been really wonderful. When I told them that it was possible autism, the SENCO put her hand on my arm and said "and how do you feel about that?" (I could easily have lost it at that point, but somehow didn't). The truth is, I feel in a bit of a daze. I know that Joe will (eventually) get the support he needs and, if it is autism, he is only mildly affected. I have avoided looking on the internet as I could easily become overwhelmed with information. It's hard to know how to deal with as we are still so far away from an actual diagnosis and, until we get that, we are almost in limbo. So that's where we're at right now.
As a result, I've been in an odd mood today, unable to focus on anything very much. But I did manage to make a batch of cookies - recipe found on Attic 24 here - and they are the most simple and delicious cookies I've ever made. Go and make yourself some now. They won't last long.
I suspect not. These are supposed to be Strike Me Pink Raspberry Jam cakes, from Cherry Cake & Ginger Beer. One of the things I wanted to do this year was try more new recipes - you know how it is, you spot a recipe in a cookery book, or magazine, think "that sounds yum, I'll make that one day", and then never do. Well, that's how it often is with me anyway! I do quite a lot of baking, but it's always the same few tried and trusted recipes again and again. So today I made these. I expected them to come out looking more scone-like but they just spread out on the tray instead. Hmm, maybe I added a bit too much milk, the dough was rather on the sticky side! But, still, they tasted delicious!
Tomorrow is actually the last day of school so today I have putting the teacher gifts together. I mentioned yesterday that I would be making chocolate fudge - it went from this:-
and finally, to this:-
Luckily, there was some left over for us too! It's so delicious and very easy to make - it's the chocolate pistacio fudge recipe from Nigella Express. Usually this is all I would make - I tend to keep our teacher gifts fairly low key, after all, they could be receiving 20+ other parcels of sweets or cookies, but for Joe's teachers I did want to do something extra, to show our appreciation of the extra help he's getting, so I made these:
Little felty robin ornaments, made using a kit from one of my favourite web shops. And a couple of little simple fabric bags to put them in. I hope they'll like them. I was back at school yesterday afternoon just to sign a couple more consent forms for the referrals for Joe - I had a wasted trip to our GP yesterday morning (not the doctor's fault, to be fair), so the school AEN lady is making the referral herself - although she said there could be up to a 40 week waiting list!! But they are already doing things to help him in class and I am just so impressed with how quickly they've got on the case.
Enjoy the rest of the week!
Yesterday afternoon was spent cutting out big Christmas tree shaped signs from thick cardboard for the school's Bazaar on Saturday. My cutting technique obviously needs improving - I was gripping the Stanley knife so hard that my right thumb went completely numb and it's still tingling now, a day later! Luckily, it hasn't prevented me from doing other stuff so today I have managed to do some knitting and sewing without too much trouble. I've been quite keen to do some sewing today, purely out of a feeling that I really ought to try and earn some money from my
habit hobby, so I'm going to try and use up some of my stash and build up a little collection of things so that, if I do decide to do a craft fair or similar, I won't have to go into meltdown trying to make loads of stuff at short notice. Anyway, today I had my first attempt at making a fabric basket:-
Not too bad for a first attempt! I'll definitely be making some more of these as they look nice but are really quite simple to make and don't use too much fabric. So, after finishing the basket and feeling quite pleased with myself, it then seemed like a good time to make some cakes!
Yesterday I got out our advent calendars, in preparation for this morning. We have two - one is a fabric/felt Christmas tree with little numbered pockets, from which each day a decoration is taken to hang upon said fabric/felt tree, and the other is a cardboard, fold out stable design, with slots for all the different Nativity characters to be slotted into one day at a time. Last year the kids would take turns, alternating between the two designs, but yesterday Joe decided that all the characters for the card calendar had to be put in straight away, and it didn't seem worth arguing over, so we now have a completed Nativity scene.
Last week, school called me to let me know that Joe's case has been looked at and a behaviour specialist will be coming to do some proper observations of him. I feel relieved that things are moving along, but it's still frustrating waiting, and also not knowing what the outcome might be. We had a particularly fraught bedtime last night so I dug out my old copy of Beyond Toddlerdom and as I was flicking through it, actually started to wonder if he might be just a little bit ADD - some of the characteristics listed did sound remarkably like him. Oh dear, this post has gone off on a tangent, this wasn't at all what I was going to write about!
What I was going to write was that I've been tagged for a meme by emzeegee and the hungry three, who makes the most amazing cakes and also writes a superbly witty blog. Apparently, these questions appear in The Age (which I'm assuming must be an Aussie newspaper), but there are almost 30 questions and I don't think my brain can work that hard, so I'm going to cheat and just pick out a few!
My first relationship was... with my husband! I did go out with one other boy when I was 15 but it only lasted 4 weeks so it doesn't count! I met Peter when we were both 17 through some mutual school friends and we got together a couple of weeks later at a school disco. I think I knew straight away that he was the one - too slushy for words, I know, but true.
The last big belly laugh I had was... at the girly get together the other weekend. We were at a friends house and, after we had eaten, the girl hosting the party demonstrated a game where you put an after eight mint on your forehead and then try to get it into your mouth without using your hands. She then proceeded to raise her eyebrows up and down, wrinkle her nose and generally pull the most ridiculous faces while the after eight gradually slid down her face, leaving an attractive trail of chocolate behind. I haven't laughed so much in years although actually, it was not so much a belly laugh, more hysterical giggles, laughing so hard that I could barely breath, let alone speak.
At the moment I'm reading..The Wizard of Oz, believe it or not! I read my mums childhood copy when I was a child, but the other day when I was in WH Smiths buying some books, they had an offer of various childrens classics for just £1 so I picked it up. I've only just started reading it again, so can't really say yet if it is as I remember it, but I'm hoping that Joe might want to listen to it as well.
At home I cook... as little as possible! I do the kids' dinners and the occasional roast or bolognese but, generally, Peter is the cook of the household. Except for cakes of course - I am the dessert chef!
Ok, that's it for now. It's really cold again today and my fingers are beginning to sieze up. I think I need to go and make some cakes to help me warm up!
I made some little bun cakes today and, on the way home from school, asked Joe what colour we should ice them.
Did he mean some cakes red and some green? Oh, no. He wanted each cake to be half red and half green. Well, not a cupcake design concept I'd pick myself, but I gave it a go.
Yikes. Still, at least they taste nice!
Have a great weekend!
Today is William's birthday. I can hardly believe my baby boy could be 11 years old.
He is on the borderline between being a child and a young adult. In the last year or so he has become so much more independent - not wanting to walk to school with me anymore, even though I'm going that way anyway, spending every available free moment out on the field with his friends. He's not really interested in toys and is more than happy to receive money as a gift, with which he intends to buy himself an ipod. He is growing up so fast - this time next year he will be at secondary school, which doesn't seem quite possible. Tomorrow he's off with Peter to watch West Ham play for his first time. But he's not too old to still want a birthday cake covered in sweets!
Happy Birthday my baby boy!
A friend gave me this recipe and I made it for the first time yesterday. It's so delicious and easy I thought I'd share it with you.
4oz digestive biscuits, crushed
1/4 pint double cream (150ml)
6 floz sweetened condensed milk
Juice and zest of 2 large lemons
7inch flan dish
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the crushed biscuits and mix well. Turn into the flan dish and press around the base. Put in the fridge to chill while you make the filling. Mix the double cream and condensed milk together. Add finely grated lemon zest, then slowly beat in the lemon juice. You can adjust the amount of juice to suit your taste - I added all the juice and it was really zingy, which I love, but Peter found it a bit too lemony. Pour the mixture into the flan dish and chill for several hours until firm. Decorate just before serving - whipped cream, grated chocolate - whatever you fancy - although it is delicious just as it is!
I am definitely going to be making this again, it was so scrummy! Do let me know if you try it.