Stuff! And Things!

Hello! Yet again real life and raising children somewhat takes over from blogging. So here’s another quick update on anything and everything I can think of.

They both had haircuts and behaved so well:

The other week Audrey was feeling poorly with a high temperature, laying on the sofa under a leopard print blanket. I came down having got dressed and she said “Mummy, you’re the same as the blanket!” I was initially confused, I explained I was wearing a cardigan, not a blanket… when I realised my t shirt was leopard print! How proud I am of Audrey and these simple moments.

The winter has already meant a steady stream of germs, but there is no escaping it when they both go to nursery and we spend our lives at play groups and music groups with dirty toys.

Audrey’s current favourite song is ‘Hocus Pocus’ by Focus. It’s worth noting as we’ve been through various favourites;

‘Black Magic’ by Little Mix

‘Ice Ice Baby’ by Vanilla Ice

‘Sorry’ by Justin Bieber

‘We Built this City’ by Starship

They both currently respond well to Hot Chip.

We watch ‘Trolls’ at least three times a week, but just a month ago it was ‘Moana’ a go go, so who knows what they’ll be onto next?

Rex is currently obsessed by cars, lorries and fire engines. Audrey is very keen on books and dolls. They both love handbags.

I am starting to appreciate them both more and more. Just looking and listening and seeing how wonderful they are. This is when they are not fighting over a toy or throwing a tantrum over something incredibly minor.

They both love Christmas (the build up) so far and I’m excited to enjoy it with them.

Audrey was recently a poster girl for a local charity (Amaze), which we were thrilled to see.

Will try not to leave it too long before my next blog post, we have a lot going on (Down’s Syndrome Awareness wise and in general).

Stuff and Things 9

So, I’ve written two posts about Audrey’s physio sessions on a Friday and they are not physio sessions! Oops.

We were filmed last week by Katy (who is going to be featuring us on a fabulous website, relaunching in January 2016, don’t worry, full details will be supplied!) and Katy casually asked something about the physiotherapy and the woman leading the group gave a glare and corrected her – this is ‘Conductive Education’. So there you are, that’s what we do on Fridays that helps Audrey and upsets Mummy!

Getting Audrey out of a two-week virus with horrible face rash has been great, she is eating better, her face is back to its usual beautiful self and she is on form. Chatting and playing happily, in constant need of cuddles and then requesting to be put back down – she is bossy!

This week I went on a 2 day Makaton for Professionals Foundation Course which was great. I now know the signs from Stages 1 to 4 (plus some additional) and a bit of background, as well as teaching methods. I find Makaton and lots of early years education very inspiring and I’m excited to share more signs with Audrey and potentially move towards working in an area where I can teach/use Makaton regularly.

Christmas is rapidly approaching and if you don’t already know, I am a BIG FAN. I love mince pies and Christmas songs and twinkly lights and the general good mood that swoops across the country at this time of year. Audrey is still a bit young to fully understand the joys that await, but we are getting there… The dancing Father Christmas we get out every year was a bit scary for her last year – she’s loves him now. He’s had lots of cuddles and I’ve listened to his “Oh if Christmas makes you happy…” Song more times then I’d like to at this point in December and Audrey has already worn her Christmas jumper 3 times!

Today we had fun at a Christmassy version of a local music class we go to. I watched a little girl sit with Audrey and dance with her and they both checked out each other’s feet… Another little girl very kindly gave Audrey an elephant during the crazy scramble for toys and I was just generally loving seeing children just get involved with each other – not seeing any differences. 

Actually kids do often point and stare at Audrey; because of her glasses. In a shop the other day, I heard a little boy say “That baby had goggles on!” Which made me laugh. We also got on the bus the other day and a 4 year old thought Audrey was hilarious, she said “I’ve never heard a baby talk before!!”.

In other news, Audrey’s baby brother is giving me a good kicking, we are on week 29 and counting, but having two children terrifies me, so best to keep him in there kicking for a while longer.

Here are some snaps from Audrey’s Conductive Education… It’s so amazing to have a picture of her standing up/walking!


Stuff and things 8

So I’ve started a new job. I’m working 2 days a week and Audrey is at nursery, which thankfully I know she loves.

We had parents’ evening last week and whenever I told someone (workers at the nursery) that I was Audrey’s mum, they would say “Hiya!” And blow kisses. And tell me how socialble she is. I enjoyed parents’ evening a lot, because I felt so proud, I know that Audrey is a character and very memorable!

She is moving up to the transition room before ultimately joining the over 2s, which is scary as they’ll all be walking and Audrey will be this tiny bum shuffler amongst them! But I do want her to move with her peers and I know it’s good for her to see typical toddlers her age – great motivation to copy them when she can. The sad thing is, she’ll be changing key worker and that’s just hard because we know she is attached to her current key worker (that’s the whole point, obviously) and I’ve really grown to love that bond they have. But onwards and upwards for Audrey!

Last week we also had two bits of good news- a thyroid test came back normal and Audrey passed a hearing test with (almost) flying colours! She couldn’t be completely signed off from hearing checks, as she has a small amount of fluid in her ear, so they need to check her again in the winter time (when colds etc are worse). Fingers crossed we’ll escape the need for hearing aids/gromits, but it may be that she needs them and that’s ok. Her speech is coming along very well.

They will also need to continue to check her thyroid, but at least for now we know she is ok.

We’ve got Daddy’s birthday coming up and then Audrey’s, so we are in for some busy weekends of fun. I’ll start prepping the Audrey turns 2 post now…


Stuff and things 5

So, you may have seen from my last post that I recently lost my job. The company I worked for had been struggling for a while, but when it finally sank it was still a shock for those involved.

Audrey had been ill for about 3 weeks, it started with a cough and cold, progressed to sickness, the cough hung on and she was off milk and/or food most of the time. Smiles were at an all-time low. We only really felt like she came back to us just over a week ago, when the smiles and claps returned and her baby-babbles reached an all-time high. She chatters all day now.

Workmen are ripping down a balcony from the back of our building and fixing the front facade, so Audrey’s nap times are fraught with banging, drilling and men shouting!

Anyway, her being ill, my job of 8 years ending abruptly (with salary owed), men on scaffolding watching us in our dressing gowns… it’s been a rough ride recently.

Last week (thank goodness), my husband had the week off. We visited my mum and brother (Nanny and Uncle Graeme) on Sunday and Monday, then I had my hair re-brownified (in preparation for interviews and money saving). Tuesday Audrey was at nursery and Ted and I went to see Nightcrawler. How odd it was to be alone for lunch and then in the cinema all afternoon!

Wednesday my mother-in-law (Bibi) came over for lunch and Thursday was another nursery day so… Ted and I went to see Interstellar.

Friday we had lunch with NCT pals. But now the spending must stop and the job hunt must get serious…

Coffees consumed: at least 10
Burgers: 4
Milkshakes: 2
Pastries/cakey treats: 4
Fudge: too much
Beers: check with Ted
Audrey smiles: too many to record


P.S. If anyone was paying attention when I teased Audrey having a modelling job… Sadly her photo wasn’t used in the end. But, if you’ve seen the Lidl wooden toy advert on TV this week… You’ll catch a glimpse of her friends Huxley and Zakir!

Stuff and things 4

A couple of weeks ago Audrey signed for the first time and the word she signed was…. DADDY! Of course it bloody was. We were naturally very excited and she is simply understanding language more and more, which is very promising. She shakes or nods her head and is a good (loud!) babbler, so I am also very hopeful that words will come soonish, we shall see…

We went to visit friends in London on Friday, so Audrey had her first trip up there, we used the sling rather than the buggy to make the tube easier to handle. She coped very well, especially considering the rammed train journey home and everything generally being very loud and crowded. We hit Borough Market and spent crazy money on crazy food… Fancy cheese, truffle honey and ridiculous donuts filled to the brim with custard. Our friends have twins arriving any day, so they needed the calories to keep their strength up!

Unfortunately Audrey has picked up a bug from nursery and has been on/off ill since Friday afternoon. Today was going to be one of my naughty days off, where I go to the cinema and relax whilst Audrey is at nursery… Unfortunately her raised temperature, lack of interest in food and incessant cough were impossible to ignore, so I am currently watching Nurse Jackie whilst she naps and then we’re off to the doctor at 11am.

Here she was yesterday lying on me, breathing through her mouth as her nose was so snotty…


Stuff and things 3 collides with special needs…

We went to a wedding reception in Hackney on Friday night. It was quite a big deal to be leaving Audrey with Bibi (Grandma Sarah) for the night, first time Ted and I had both stayed away without her. Sometimes I find it hard to relinquish control over Audrey… I never thought I’d be a routine mum, but I majorly am! I have decided to blame those first months when I was told not to leave Audrey longer than 4 hours without a feed… In those early days the pressure to “grow her” rested heavy on my shoulders and the slow, disappointing weight gain felt like my failure (since it was my breast milk trying to work its magic).

But I digress… Our hotel was… scary, weird, cheap, but thankfully reasonably clean and very close to the wedding venue. It was a trendy London brewery, with free beer, so Ted was of no use to me from around 11pm that night to around 12pm the next day!

We returned via Arundel to collect the little monkey (who had been happy and fine with Bibi, of course) and our return journey to Brighton was a debacle. Cancelled trains led to a brutal all-round-the-houses 2 hour trip on the 700 bus from Littlehampton to Brighton.

Audrey of course slept for much of the journey, but she was also fed her (emergency purchase!) Ella’s on the bus.

At the front of the bus (as close to the driver as you could hope for), were two young male adults with special needs talking loudly and regularly checking in with their guardian, Holly, by shouting back at her across the bus. One of the lads proudly declared he was driving the bus and they were definitely enjoying the journey more than anyone else.

Pretty much every time we passed through a new town/village, they would get super excited;

“I know this place!!”
“This is where Frankie’s nan lives!”
“We’ve been here before!”
“Does anyone need Durrington station? Can you hear me? DURRINGTON? Anyone? We’re helping the bus driver!”

The highlight of this commentary being the moment we arrived in Shoreham and they saw a other bus they recognised;

“I know that bus very well. I know everything about that bus. We went on that bus all the way to Southsea…”
Holly: “Not with me, I’ve never been to Southsea.”
“No, we went with Frankie and she said ‘Never again'”.

This had half the bus in stitches.

Around this time a large, partially sighted young man got on the bus and sat near us. It became apparent he too had special needs and he started up a conversation, saying “I hope you don’t mind, I like to chat to people”. We were very obliging and he asked us lots of questions about where we worked, what songs Audrey listens to at nursery, where we’d been that day… But the main focus was Clark’s (his name was Clark) diving practice. He had been diving off the diving board most of the day and is gearing up to jump from the highest board.

He wanted to know what would we do if he was to dive from the highest board?

“We would cheer and clap.”

He then explained that he always shouted as he dived; “123 – UNIVERSITY!”.

The conversation was often a test of our intelligence and memory….

Clark: “What will you hear when I dive?”
Us: “123 – university!”
C: “First you’ll hear the ‘boing’ of the diving board, then you’ll hear me say ‘123 – UNIVERSITY!’, then you’ll hear a splash. What will you hear when I dive?”
Us (catching on): “The ‘boing’ of the diving board.”
C: “Then what?”
Us: “123 – university!”
C: “Then what will you hear?”
Us: “Splash!”
C: “Then what will you do?”
Us: “We will cheer and clap.”

Clark helped us pass the time between Shoreham and Brighton and finally we were home.

The presence of these people with special needs on the bus didn’t teach us an amazing life lesson – this story doesn’t have a climactic ending… It’s just that; of everyone on that journey, they were by far the ones having the most fun. Between me (practically in tears as we rushed to get food for Audrey, because I was so upset with myself for not being prepared and for her routine being thrown – I try to be casual, I fail!)… the woman who had a go at every train guard and for some reason was travelling all day and hadn’t eaten, but had no money to buy food… the people queuing in the road obstructing the bus… basically all of that stress – there were these journey companions who were bloody loving it! And a little bit of that enthusiasm did rub off – everyone had a giggle.

Oh to be a bus lover.

Unsurprisingly, no photos were taken during the above trip, but here is Audrey being red cheeked but beautiful today…



Stuff and things 2

So we had a relatively quiet weekend. Ted and I are both hoarders, so we aimed to get junk out to charity shops and look at what we really “need”. Ted is also obsessed by bread baking at the moment, so a high level of bread was consumed.

On Friday I was excited to meet the latest baby with DS on the block at our monthly pre-school DS group (the one with the fab uncle who came to meet everyone at the T21 picnic). I’ve seen other mamas comment on this – that exciting feeling when someone joins your club, but you know they will be feeling very different about it… Really lovely to see gorgeous little Elena though and meet her mummy and daddy. She is a month old now and doing really well. We met again for coffee on Monday afternoon, Elena slept the whole time. Ahhh those days…

Monday dinner time Audrey gave me such a “lift” by doing the most simple yet amazing thing: she fed herself with a spoon!!! Aaaggghh! Not sure how to get the video on here… You can see it in our Instagram though (@vickywooandaudreyboo). I just love that something so small is a big step forward.

At nursery, the had a collage on the wall to celebrate the book ‘Guess How Much I Love You” and Audrey’s picture was there, showing her enjoying the book!


In other excitement, Audrey has her first modelling job today! More info to follow, hoping her career takes off so she can buy us a house!!