Why I’m helping the PTA

raffle-tickets

People chuckle and tell me I am good for getting involved. They may surreptitiously raise an eyebrow at my keenness to join the PTA and help with this event or that event. I mean my son’s only been at the school five minutes and here I am helping with the raffle, helping with the bonfire, helping with the committee, attending every PTA meeting so far this term.

But honestly, and though I tell people it is, none of this is for me. All of this raises money for the school. And the truth is I, we, owe the school so much. Oscar’s Autism meant deciding where to send him to school, was one of the most stressful decisions I’ve ever had to make. But so far, I’ve yet to be proved that the mainstream school we chose was the wrong decision.

The school are due so much more than I can ever give them. In just this term alone, Oscar’s speech and behaviour and understanding and capacity has out and out exploded. And that’s not something I’ve done. Not something I could have ever done on my own. It’s a mixture of everything they’ve done for him and with him. Their patience, their insistence that he be included.

Yes I get involved. Yes I do my bit. Yes I raise funds. Yes I give back.

But no matter how much I do, or raise, or give to the school, it could never be as much. Not nearly as much…

As they have done for us.

 

I have learnt

A week. I’ve been a school boy’s mum for a week. Or in fact over a week. And I can’t quite believe it.

Maybe I should write a ’10 things I have learnt about school age children/having an SEN child in a mainstream school/the school gate’ post. They seem to be popular. But to be honest I’m not sure I’ve learnt very much about any of those things.

I know I’ve learnt that sending my child off to school in tears breaks my heart in ways I was absolutely not expecting.

I’ve learnt I can hold my tears back when he really needs me to. And that they will engulf me when I let them go.

I’ve learnt that having a child beg to stay home while hiding under the duvet, a thing he has NEVER done before, and yet staying calm and collected and kind but firm is ridiculously hard.

I’ve learnt I don’t care about what he’s actually doing in the day, as long as I hear he’s OK.

I’ve learnt how proud a silly little sticker can make me.

img_5964

I’ve learnt my capacity to stay on message is immense and, for Oscar, the very kindest thing I could possibly do.

I’ve learnt that when he’s ready to ‘tell’ me things he will.

I’ve learnt how amazing my son’s capacity for communication actually is, even if that includes play acting with his very favourite soft toys.

I’ve learnt that when Oscar asks to take a bear to school with him, I will secretly squeeze and whisper to that bear to please look after him.

I’ve learnt about my son’s capacity to find coping mechanisms quickly and appropriately.

I’ve learnt how quickly I can turn around a load of dirty uniform.

I’ve learnt that I was ready to let him go. And to have him come back.

I’ve learnt the joys of time.

I’ve learnt that my mind will still automatically jump to how to manage a situation for Oscar, even if he’s not there.

I’ve learnt how much people are rooting for Oscar.

I’ve learnt how supportive my community is. And how much I truly appreciate that.

OK, so maybe I have learnt a few things. Unexpected things, learnt through painful lessons. But learnt none the less.  I cried every day last week. But only one day so far this week. I didn’t cry yesterday. I didn’t cry today.

I’ve learnt that he will cope.

I’ve learnt that I will cope.

boy on path

On his way

End of an era

So here I am. Sat in my favourite Haslemere haunt. My plans for today much the same as the plans I’ve had most days since Oscar started preschool 19 months ago. Drink coffee, write words, catch up on social media. You know, stuff.

But today is different. In as much as it is the same, it really is different. Today is Oscar’s last day at preschool. They are having a big party in a local park tomorrow, but as far as walking him to the scout hut, dropping him off, and walking away, to any one of the local coffee hangouts, but more likely than not Dylan’s, alone, well this is the end.

I’ve cried this morning. I honestly surprised myself. I didn’t think I’d feel just so, well, sad. But I do. Wrapping the chocolates and writing the cards for his Keyworker and TA was hard. I guess that’s what happens when you leave these things to the last minute (typical me)!

Wrapped gifts

He felt it. Of course he did, he always does. He picks up emotions in the air like the smell of freshly baked bread. And it affects him. He cried and told me he was “sad”. That he was “crying from my eyes”. But he couldn’t tell me why. He doesn’t understand that he won’t be going back to his nursery again, and I don’t really know how to make him understand. I’ve all sorts of exprience of preparing him for things that are coming up, that are yet to be, but no idea how to explain the things that won’t be anymore.

The walk to preschool was harder than usual, but he ran in just as happy as ever. I feel like I should give him that. One last day when it’s all ok, all the same. Maybe I’ll regret not trying to prep him better somewhere down the line, but at the moment, for who he is now and what I know about him, this is the right way.

Myself, I thought I was prepared. I’ve been counting down the weeks, for weeks. And now here I am. And all that prep has made no difference. Because as much as it’s his last day, it’s kind of my last day too. The end of an era, the end of my routine. I will never be a preschool mum again. And while that is my choice, and a choice I still stand by, I didn’t realise it how sad it would make me feel. How lonely.

But I owe it to him to focus on the positive. So happy last day at preschool my beautiful boy. Let’s concentrate on the fun we’ll have this summer and the awesome school you’re starting in September. And mummy promises not to let you see her cry.

Much. Thank you card from Gin Bunny Prints

Mrssavageangel Slimming World Week 14

I know, I know. I haven’t written one of these for the past two weeks. That’s due in part to the boy being off on his preschool Easter holidays. I find it so hard to concentrate when he’s around, particularly to write these posts, where I have to think hard about what I want to say. And if I’m honest it’s also in part because I’ve not had much to say. I gained 3lb over the Easter break. I stopped trying so hard when we went away and then it was so difficult to refocus when we came back. Why is that? Why is it so hard to fall back into negative habits, but so hard to stick to new positive ones?

Anyway, I’m disappointed with my results over Easter, but actually when I think about it (and look back at last year’s blog post) it’s almost exactly the same as what happened last Easter. And I pulled it back then. That’s good to know.

So this week, I actually started, albeit very slowly, to turn the tide, with 0.5lb off.

image
So I’m back to having lost 13.5lb, dipping just back under the stone. And as that makes me sad, and I don’t like feeling sad, I need to change that asap!

And I plan to do that with the aid of a slow cooker.

My friends have been going on about their slow cookers forever, and this week I finally capitulated and got myself one. And I swear I may never use the hob again 😉. First day I had it I made bolognese and then on Saturday I got hold of the most enormous piece of brisket Waitrose were selling off cheap. Oscar loves watching the Buzzfeed Tasty videos at the moment (over and over!) and they occasionally have slow cooker recipes. One that really caught my eye was one with a huge piece of chuck steak. So when I got this brisket I had to try it. I halved a load of new potatoes, some carrots, placed half the brisket on top of the veg, seasoned and added Worcestershire Sauce, a splash of water and, 5 hours in, a couple of springs of rosemary and thyme. 6 hours on high and BOOM! We had the most amazing dinner. So amazing I didn’t get any pictures 😞. Anyway, the plan was to freeze the other half of the brisket and make pepperpot stew later in the week. Didn’t happen. We just had exactly the same meal on Sunday! Basically we ate half a cow this weekend! Half a delicious cow, mind. And this week I’ve already made Pork Vindaloo from the Slimming World Curry Heaven Book. I made double the amount and one half has already gone in the freezer and the rest is for dinner tonight. I’ll report back next week!

Syn free Slimming World pork vindaloo in the slow cooker!

Syn free Slimming World pork vindaloo in the slow cooker!

So other than slow cooked deliciousness, my other discovery over the past few weeks has been chicken burgers! When I wrote about how much I loved Heck sausages (they’re a freezer staple in this house and we buy them in bulk online!), the very lovely people at Heck Food sent me some of their Chicken Italia Burgers to try. Each burger is only one syn each and blow me if they aren’t blooming gorgeous! And so flipping versatile! I’ve had them as just delicious burgers with jacket potatoes and veg, but they’re fab chopped up and added to things too.

Heck Chicken Italia Burgers. In all their glory!

Heck Chicken Italia Burgers. In all their glory!

One lunch time I was planning to have burger, beans and mushrooms, you know, separately, then I decided to just mix them all together and accidentally invented a lunch time ‘Quick Casserole’. It was amazing and so filling!

image

My own invention the ‘Quick Casserole’! Beans, one Heck Chicken Italia Burger and chestnut mushrooms. 1 syn for the lot!

And then another day, inspired by a picture on the IG account of @Shanonnagain58, I had a crack a Mexican style breakfast burrito. Chopped burger, with spicy scrambled egg in a BFree Wrap (1 x HEB) with a side order of mushrooms (I love mushrooms can you tell!). It made so much burrito ‘filling’ that I had trouble picking it up! Amazeballs!

image

My attempt at a Heck Burger Breakfast Burrito! 1 Syn + 1 HEB for the wrap.

Who knew a burger could be so much more than just a delicious patty on a bun? I’m just off to place another massive order of sausages (seriously I think I have a bit of a problem with these sausages 😉 ) and I’m totally going to order burgers this time too!

So this week I’m feeling much more positive at my own capabilities than I have been. At least I am today (don’t you find it changes from day to day?). So lets take this a day at a time 🙂

love

Lisa

xxx

 

I honestly love these burgers. They are so delicious and at one syn each so easy to fit into the Slimming World plan. I’d like to thank Heck for gifting them to me. I was not paid to write about them and as always my opinions are my own.

 

 

 

 

Slimming World Update – Week 91/92

Hi there

How’s your week been? Or should I say weeks? Yeah sorry about that. Symptomatic of the wider issue I feel. That’ll make sense in a minute.

Anyway, last night’s weigh in was a gain, same as the week before. Well, you know, that’s what you get from eating home made biscuits and cheesecake and banana bread and ice cream and crumble (Crimble Crumble for your FND fans!) and drinking wine and beer. It’s not rocket science guys. I didn’t gorge. I just ate. Ate things I wanted to and had missed. Ate and drank socially and in good company. Ate because my will not too has left the building.

Because you see I just don’t care as much as I used to. But then I’m dealing with stuff every day I didn’t used to. My meals are all healthy and planned and delicious, but what comes in between is not. The first few days of every week (after weigh in) are positive and thoughtful, but then something happens or something slips and the rest of the week falls into the abyss too. I’ve heard about people talk about this feeling but until fairly recently this wasn’t me. I could live my life the way I wanted and still lose weight. But something’s changed. People tell me all the time how well I’ve done and I don’t know if that’s wonderful or awful. On one had it’s lovely reminder to give myself a little pat on the back, but on the other hand it makes me feel dreadful because I know I haven’t come as far as I set out to. I want to feel that high of getting off the scales with a well earned loss, I do. I just don’t want it enough at the moment.

And there in lies the problem.

I still weigh more than most people who join ever will. But I can wear clothes I never dreamed of and look better than I ever thought I would. I’m not saying I’m giving up and going back to how life used to be (seriously I’m not OK!) I’m just kind of happy bimbling along here for a bit. And that’s why last night, after a fantastic discussion with my consultant and my group, I’ve decided to reset my target to 6 stone loss and maintain for a bit. Slimming World allow you to reset your target to anything you feel comfortable with at any time in your journey and I just think I’m not nearly focussed enough to push myself forward at the moment. But staying here? That I can do.

I don’t want you to think me a failure. I honestly never considered this an option before (trying to maintain), but once we talked about it, it just felt right. For me. For now. I’ve come to dread every weigh in, mostly because I know I have to write about it. I know it’s only pressure I’m heaping on myself, no one else is making me feel this way, but removing that pressure from a life that has plenty of other stuff going on (new, uncharted, scary, sad stuff) seems not a bad thing to do right now.

As my plan is to stay at target for a while, these posts could get awful boring. So I’ve decided to give the updates a rest. I still write plenty of other stuff you can read, should you feel inclined, but unless I have something positive and interesting to say I wont be writing the weekly updates for a while. I hope you can understand.

So long and thanks for all the fish

xxxx