Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gro Your Own Fairy Garden

Our home is being extended and adapted to suit our family needs; the walls are painted and paintings adorn them, bringing colour and life to the inside of our home.  We have been so busy with the inside that we have neglected our garden which is now full of rubble and weeds and is not so life affirming.  We love pottering in the garden and this year we have missed the little seedlings and colour that spring and summer offer.  When I got the chance to do a wee review – my first! – I, rather tentatively, agreed and, after an afternoon of fun, I am so glad that I did.

The girls were so excited as we set up in the garden under the grey summer sky,  the drizzle falling silently around us.  We started with the basics, the MiracleGro Grow Your Own Herb Planter and three packets of seeds – basil, coriander and chives.  We added a “feature” tree – aka rosemary – from our local garden centre and started to plant our seeds: fingers and hands clarty, giggling as every last one of the seeds was poured into the little planter; I think that we might need to thin out the seedlings in weeks to come!  With the seeds gently covered and watered, and the drizzle turning to gentle rain, we ventured inside to decorate our garden with butterflies, bunting and fairies.

The end result was magical and the final flourish was the fairy dust, sprinkled liberally, to enchant the garden to life.

What started out as a dreary Tuesday turned out to be fairy beautiful: 

Little hands enjoyed the easy planting in the MiracleGro Gro Your Own Herb Planter and Eilidh was able to easily access the planter from her wheelchair.  The summer weather hasn't been too kind this year and the planter would have been perfect to do some indoor gardening on the window sill, dry and warm, too.  Our own little planter garden is now in our greenhouse and the girls are expectantly checking for signs of life, knowing that Olivia the fairy is keeping a watchful eye over the plants, sprinkling a little magic over them whenever they need an extra bit of love.  And in a few weeks we’ll have herbs to add to some of our favourite dishes, sown by the girls and sprinkled with fairy love.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sleep - a rare commodity

Sleep remains a rare commodity at no.21.

Sleep deprivation certainly is a great form of torture, both mental and physical: although, I should admit, D is taking the brunt of it.

There are nights when the perfect storm occurs, when Eilidh is unwell and restless, Niamh is needy, D is working late and I am on call, but all we can do is baton down the hatches and ride it out, hoping for a few hours of sleep, dreaming of a night of respite.  All too often I feel myself wanting to shout “just be quiet! just go to sleep! PLEASE…” and I feel like such a terrible mummy.  Each time I want to shout I think of the book that my brother bought me for Christmas but knowing that other parents often feel this way too doesn’t make me feel any better.  There is many a night when

"Bleary and dazed I awaken
To find your eyes shut, so I keep
My fingers crossed tight as I tiptoe away
And pray that you're f****** asleep."

but my prayers often go unanswered...

As the building work nears completion, we are ever hopeful that our sleep will improve as the girls will go into separate rooms.  Niamh will need some tough love as we try to get her to sleep in her own bed for a full night – it’s been 11 months since she slept on her own, 11 months that she has slept cocooned in my duvet, 11 months that she has cooried doon, savouring me for herself during those night time hours.  Her sleep will improve, I am certain of that.

I worry about Eilidh though and, in turn us.  I don’t think that a new bed or a new mattress will make a difference – yes, she might be more comfortable but she will still be unable to move herself into a comfortable position so she will get annoyed and cry out, looking for us to turn her, to make her more comfy.  Everyone dreams of a comfy night sleep, corried doon in the duvet; I worry that Eilidh might never achieve this.  I read of others with SMA 2 who struggle to find sleep and I worry more, but – and I know that this is selfish – in truth, I worry for D and I.  I worry that we will struggle with the sleeplessness over time; I know for sure that it affects my mental health and D is trying to protect me by taking on more of the responsibility, but that means that at times he struggles too…

I don’t know what the answer is - some tough love and perhaps a new bed - but for now we will continue to take each night as it comes, dreaming of (and praying for) a restful, peaceful night and hoping for some respite soon. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stars in her Eyes

photos by rufus


Niamh graduated from nursery recently.  There she was in her hand made gown and mortar board in the front row of the Class of 2012, singing with great gusto and confidence - if a little out of tune! - and enjoying every minute of it.

Her name was the first to be called for a certificate of recognition: "Responsible Citizen" no less!  When I asked her later why she had got the certificate, she answered, "For my hard work and help in the outdoor nursery..."  I am so proud of her; proud of the little girl she is now and all that she could be.  I am in awe of my daughter - her kindness, gentleness, confidence and sense of fun - even though she drives me to despair at times...

We sang with them and we laughed as the Medley came to a close with a rousing rendition of what has become the Family Centre Anthem (based loosely on the original, I may add).  After the singing and the awards - and every child was recognised for their achievements - we mingled with other parents, eating strawberry tarts and drinking orange juice (no bubbles unfortunately...), and marvelled together in disbelief, "where has the time gone?" and "my, haven't they grown!". 

Time has moved on, my children have grown in front of my very eyes and perhaps it's time to take stock and reflect on who they are today, but for the moment it's time to say goodbye to the fun days of nursery...

Friday, July 06, 2012


I know a very wise woman – although I wouldn’t admit to her that I think that she is wise for she is also a formidable wee glasgae wifey…

Through the struggles of the (ongoing!) house build, a text arrived and with the little bleep came these words:

many of our fears come from fatigue”.  

The wise woman had spoken and her words spoke the truth.  

I knew that this time would pass, that the dog-gone tiredness would subside, that our house would be returned to us: but life, at that moment, felt so hard.  

There was her message and I paused, this will pass. This moment will pass; just as the clock hands move and the earth rotates around the sun, this will pass.  

I don’t often give this wise woman credit where and when it is due, but she is wise and I do love her.  

And the woman?  She's my mother-in-law; a very wise woman.

Perhaps I should listen to her more often...