Saturday, December 31, 2011

For Auld Lang Syne, My Dear

To celebrate the ne'er here in Scotland  - and around the world  - we sing a song, to say goodbye to the old and bring in the new, to celebrate friends past and present and rejoice in those we love.

Auld Lang Syne asks rhetorically if, with friendships and loved ones specifically in mind, we should allow ourselves to  forgot the old times and all that has gone before?   I know that we shouldn't, for it is our past and the people from those days that have made us who we are today: each person contributing in some way to our lives, each one teaching us something about the world and about ourselves, too.

So tonight I will be remembering loved ones and friends, past and present, and the good and not-so-good times that we have shared, thanking them for all that they have done for me, and celebrating all that they mean to me.

To old friends and new, to loved ones true and dear, here's to the ne'er of twenty-twelve: may it bring you much love, joy, laughter and happiness.

"Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give us a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne."

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Things You Wish Yourself

As the days get slowly longer, as we see the first hint of Spring around the corner, as we look forwards to the fast approaching new year, I wish you all the things you wish for yourself...


The Things You Wish Yourself

As the snow falls gently down, gently down, gently down
Filling up the city streets, gently down, gently down, gently down,

May the season bring you joy
And find you in good health
But most of all we wish you all
The things you wish yourself.

As the season draws to an end, to an end, to an end
May you share it with a friend, with a friend, with a friend

May the season bring you joy
And find you in good health
But most of all we wish you all
The things you wish yourself.

The things you wish yourself
May be a better year
A wish for peace throughout the world
More laughter and less tears.

The things you wish yourself
And those you hold most dear
So raise a glass to times gone past
And welcome the New Year.

As the snow falls gently down, gently down, gently down
Filling up the city streets, gently down, gently down, gently down,

May the season bring you joy
And find you in good health
But most of all we wish you all
The things you wish yourself.

But most of all we wish you all
The things you wish yourself.

Ralph McTell

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I choose Joy - most times...

There were three in a bed

There were three in the bed
and the mummy said
"That's it! That's it!"
So she grabbed her pillow
and got right out...

Apart from our little trip away, I can't quite remember when I had a good night's sleep.  Sleep hasn't been the easiest thing to come by but it has alluded us even more in recent months.

When babies come along you know that you are going to be sleep deprived: you make a conscious decision to start a family and you prepare yourself mentally for a time of little sleep.  Then, when your baby sleeps through for the first time, you celebrate and do a little dance and think "ah, bliss, sleeps returns to nourish me..."  You are lulled into a false state of security, for then comes the first tooth, the first cold, the first night terror, the first wet bed, and you realise that this is parenthood and sleep a past acquaintance.

I had come to terms with the fact that there would be good nights of sleep interrupted by a few sleepless nights, but a catalogue of events have brought me to here, sitting at my computer, tapping away at 0300, seeking peace and solitude.

Eilidh, as you are fully aware has SMA, a condition which results in weak muscles and her inability to walk: it also means that she can't roll or move around in bed and so she gets uncomfortable and  wakes up and calls for "mummy" or "daddy", needing moved and turned and repositioned.  Sometimes she slumbers on, other times she needs a cuddle or a song to fall back to sleep.  From the time she goes to bed to the time she wakes - 7pm to 7am (if we are lucky!) - this might happen anywhere up to eight times.  It may only take a few minutes; it may take an hour or so - it all adds up to sleep interrupted though...

Eilidh shares a room with Niamh.  A few months ago Niamh came to me after a particularly wakeful night and said " mummy, i know that you are tired - I'm can turn Eilidh for you".  I looked at her, my heart breaking open a little, and took her into my arms, "you don't need to do that, Niamh, but thank you.  thank you so much. you are her big sister and I'm her mummy: you play with her and cuddle her and laugh with her, and I will look after her.  I will look after you both.  I promise..."  I realised then how much of an impact Eilidh's restlessness was having on Niamh - when Eilidh wakes, Niamh rouses a little and sometimes will wake fully too.  No wonder she looks so tired...

Since I have gone back to work, in combination with a poor sleep pattern, Niamh has crawled, quietly like a ninja, into bed with us during the wee small hours of the morning. I think that she is missing me during the day and needs to be near me during the night; on top of me, kicking, wriggling, star-fishing and duvet-huggingly near me!  Or perhaps she's just trying to get some sleep away from her sister and she is being clever in telling me that it's because she is missing me- who knows!  Invariably D will climb out of bed and go through to Eilidh's room to sleep and turn her, allowing us all to get a bit more sleep. 

This has been the pattern for the last five months and tonight, combined with D's snoring, I've had enough!  There is no easy fix, however.  No instant sleep remedy to be had.  We need to extend our house, build another bedroom, give Niamh her own room, regain our "marital bed"... Then there's Eilidh: a new mattress; a tilting bed; and, in time, perhaps ventilation, too - and yet none of this can guarantee us a night of sleep...

So, until we can build our extension - and planning is in - we will continue to do whatever it takes for us all to sleep a decent sleep.  Eilidh will get turned, Niamh will share our bed, D will climb into Niamh's bed, I will have early night's, and we will manage because we have to.  This is life with SMA (and a small house!) and we'll take each day as it comes...  I might, however, need to find a baby-sitter and a hotel room soon; sleep, we will be reunited...

And now, I will bid you goodnight; sleep well, my friend, sleep well.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The 7 Santas of Christmas Day

This Christmas I cooked for seven hungry mouths, each one grateful for the company of their family, each one thankful for the food that was placed in front of them.

For the first time in forty-four years, my amazing mother-in-law had her Christmas meal cooked for her: I think (and hope!) that we all took pleasure from her enjoyment of the occasion for she truly deserves to be cared for and waited on.  I didn't even make her wash the dishes...

As we sat down to eat and pull crackers and race Santas, I was again reminded of the importance of family - family is everything.  Each and every day, no matter the occasion, whether it be an ordinary day or Christmas Day, family is everything.  Yesterday was no exception; I was so very blessed to be sharing my day with my beautiful family.

“What is Christmas?  It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.  It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.”

Agnes M. Pharo

Friday, December 23, 2011

What will you be giving this Christmas?

Have you really thought about each gift you are about to give?  For Christmas is so much more than the presents under the tree or the food that you will eat:  for me Christmas is about the people that I will share my gifts with, the people that will be around the tree, the people that I love...

and to my family
my undying love and devotion

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Miss Mistletoe Fairy

She's beautiful, isn't she?  And she adorns my tree, perfectly and gracefully.  I treated myself to her this year and I am so very glad that I did because she makes me smile everytime I look at her and the girls adore her.  She fittingly represents the choir of angels who sang on high to announce the birth of Jesus and I hope that she graces my family and our christmas tree for many years to come.

Halinka is a talented lady and makes the most exquisite fairies and ornaments!  Please do take the time to have a look, you won't be disappointed... 

While going to get the link for this post I notice that she has recently added nativity ornaments too - I might just put them on my wish list for next Christmas...

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Nativity

I stood in a full nursery room today beside mummys and daddys, grannys and granpas, watching our little ones perform their nursery nativity "The Little Angel".  They sang with great gusto and confidence, and danced as if no one was watching: I was so proud of each and every one of them - able or disabled, child or teacher - for they had put on a truly magical performance.

"There's something special going on, special going on and I don't know what it is.  It might be happy, it won't be sad.  I'm sure that it will make me glad.  There's something special going on, special going on and I don't know what it is"

Christmas is a special time but The Little Angel wonders what makes Christmas so special.  It's not the snowflakes twirling, whirling to the ground, it's not the little Christmas puddings and the scrumptious food that we eat; it's not Santa Claus and his beard of white nor the presents under the tree: these are all indeed enjoyable and fun and very much part of a happy Christmas, but it's only when The Little Angel arrives at Bethlehem and finds the scene at the manger that she realises what makes the night so very special. 

Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and I was reminded of this today.  It's a powerful lesson for any child to learn and I'm glad that Niamh and Eilidh were able to take part in such a lovely nativity which told them of the intangible joy and excitement that Christmas brings but kept the story of the real Christmas and the birth of Jesus alive and special.

So thank you to each and every little girl and boy that took part in the nativity today and a big thank you to all the teachers who made it possible - it really was a joy to watch!

And Niamh, as for your question "mummy, why isn't Joseph Jesus' daddy?": go and ask your daddy...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Little Star

A bright light appeared in the sky last month; a little star, new and twinkling brightly.  She twinkles through the dark, turbulent air and the difficult miles to shine upon her mummy and daddy, trying to reassure them that she is happy and at peace: but their tears still fall for they have lost their precious, beautiful daughter forever.

My heart goes out to them and they are in my thoughts and prayers: I cannot begin to imagine the pain that they are experiencing; I cannot imagine losing a child and I cannot begin to imagine losing Eilidh to SMA.  But that is what has happened to this mummy and daddy; their star Estella was eight months old when she lost her fight with SMA 1 - they knew that she had "no tomorrow and no forever", but they loved her every moment she breathed and now she shines upon them, guiding them through the darkness until the end of time.

God Bless, Estella.
Sleep tight, sweet baby.

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."
Eskimo Proverb


This post, written in December 2011 was never published but saved as a draft until now, July 2012.

Little Fingers

A Christmas Card for Eilidh arrived the other day.  I watched her as she grabbed it and looked at it and even bit the corner of the envelope: and then I realised that her little fingers were too weak to open it.  Although she can sit up and feed herself chocolate and cake and hug her baby tight, she can't rip paper (or open a bag of chocolate buttons!).

So this Christmas, we'll be wrapping in tissue paper - she can definitely tear that apart quickly!  We'll have to ask others to do the same too; we can't deprive of her the joy of opening her presents...

Sometimes you experience a moment - and this was one such moment - that puts Eilidh's SMA into context... "oh, that's how weak she is..."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Booger Alert!

Day 2 in Sneezeville: the boogers are out!

Mucus, Snot, Boogers and Phlegm!


Karvol, Beechams and Calpol a plenty.
Running noses, streaming eyes and coughs galore...


and for those not in the "know".... the definition of  booger  - slang  - a piece of dried mucus in or from the nose.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Blanket of Love

Each stitch was knitted with love to keep a little baby warm until we can hold them tight in our arms and bless them with our love. 

 This was my knitting project for tiny t...

Special thanks to peter rabbit for modelling xxx

And thanks to Purl Bee for the wonderful pattern and Loop for the beautiful wool - I would highly recommend these sites to all knitters extraordinaire.

Monday, December 05, 2011


I am very much in need of some positive affirmation today.

Some days, I know that I am doing a wonderful job: some days I think very differently and I don't believe it to be true at all.

Today is one of the latter; if I am wholly truthful, the last week or so has been a struggle...

I remind myself that I am not alone, that friends and family, far and wide are living with their day to day - whatever that may be - and that life does carry on.  It might be a rollercoaster, but it's life as we know it. 

So here's to me, and here's to you...

we are truly amazing!

But we need to remember this:
We need to be true to ourselves. 
We need to believe in ourselves.
And it's ok to have a "down" day, too... 

"Everywhere I'm turning
Nothing seems complete
I stand up and I'm searching
For the better part of me

I hang my head from sorrow
Slave to humanity
I wear it on my shoulders
Gotta find the strength in me

'Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am

Still when I'm a mess,
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes, I'm a Superwoman

For all the mothers fighting
For better days to come
And all my women
All my women sitting here trying
To come home before the sun

And all my sisters coming together
Say yes I will, yes I can

'Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am

Still when I'm a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes, I'm a Superwoman

When I'm breaking down and I can't be found
And I start to get weak
'Cause no one knows me
Underneath these clothes
But I can fly, we can fly, oh

'Cause I am a Superwoman
Yes I am
Even when I'm a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes, I'm a Superwoman

Let me tell you, I am a Superwoman
Yes I am, oh yeah
See, even when I'm a mess
I still put on a vest
With an S on my chest
Oh yes, I'm a Superwoman
Said I'm a Superwoman"