Mixtape Monday (4)

Im linking up with Mixtape Monday again, I always find it difficult to choose my favourite songs because there are just so many songs that I love, but my absolute favourite song ever always stays the same,
In the ghetto, Elvis Presley

Clara Unravelled

Pick a positive : linky

I started the Pick a positive linky a while back but recently I cut back on blogging and tweeting a bit because…reasons and I hadn’t kept this linky going so when http://adventuresofanunpreparedmother.wordpress.com asked me if she could take the linky over I was more than happy for that to happen. It means I can join in when I can but I have no pressure to run it, this week I’m joining in because I happen to have a few positives, so here goes…
The kids broke up for summer 😊 (we don’t have to think about school for ages)
We found out Ollie needs glasses…he looks awesome in glasses!
Three of the kids are off camping for a week, the girls go tomorrow, the 17 year old went yesterday and whilst I will miss them a lot I know they will have a lot of fun.
We had a lovely sunday dinner together today, if I may say so I do a good roast potato, my mum popped in during dinner and while I washed up she dried the dishes for me (always nice and very rare in my house)
I finished my day with a crusty roll with cheese and a glass of indian summer cider (ginger and cardamom flavour).
We watched Stand by me this evening together, I love that movie!
And my final positive is that Im so happy to see this linky being kept going, I’d love to see you join in 😊

So, fall asleep love, loved by me… for I know love, I am loved by thee.” – Robert Browning

I just had to share this because I came across it yesterday and I think its just beautiful.
To me it conveys the words that are meant every night when I kiss the kids goodnight, or when I get a goodnight hug from one of them or even the goodnight salute when a hug is not easy.

Its just utterly perfect!

Word of the week

My word this week has to be


It was a long school year, with a horrible beginning, I don’t want to go on about it because its over but autism + Ollies old school = dreadful tells you all you need to know.I have spent much of the year fighting for an asd placement, meetings appointments etc, as well as that the 16 year old took her GCSE exams and then the general hoo ha that comes with having kids in school, the 5:30 alarm, packed lunches, uniforms ( washing them, ironing then, getting them ready) signing notes and forms, its all over school is out for summer, I can relax knowing that Ollie has a placement in an asd unit for september, knowing the 5:30 alarm can be turned off, I dont have to worry about packed lunch or uniforms or anything to do with school.
We can all relax catch up on some sleep, get some sunshine, do stuff together, go to bed too late. We have time we dont have to be anywhere, so we can be wherever we like, there are no meetings, no appointments, just time.
It was a tough school year but we all got through it, now we can breathe and relax

The Reading Residence

Our summer bucket list

The summer holidays are a bit strange here, although the kids are all offschool, college, uni I don’t actually get to see much of most of them.
The eldest only surfaces when he wants to be fed and watered, the 17 year old is going away with church for a week of camping, and otherwise He mostly turns up when he’s hungry or needs clean clothes, the 16 year old is doing work experience for the whole summer and also football training in the evenings so I will barely see her, the 12 and 15 year olds are also going on the church trip for a week then when they come home they will be going to wales for almost 3 weeks my least favourite bit of the summer so that leaves me with the 18 year old and Ollie.

They both have autism and are both very difficult to get out of the house, Ollie gets out the least at the moment but I cannot bear to not get out of the house, I get very bored very quickly if I haven’t been out, even If its just for a walk, I need to feel the sun on my face and just going for a walk is a great mental boost, I also think that if you’ve been out its nice to come in and appreciate being home.
So Ive talked with Ollie and we’ve agreed that we will go out and do something on every third day of the holiday.
Im also trying to talk them both into coming with me for evening dog walks, thats not going well but I wont give up.

Last year I made a bucket list for the summer holidays and we did everything on the list so I’m making one for this year too.
It cant be anything too adventurous but its nice to have something to aim for.

things I want to do
Read 6 books from my to be read pile
Finish “i know why the caged bird sings”
Watch all the episodes of criminal minds (I’m up to season six of nine)
Blog every day in august (I did this last year, it was a nice personal challenge to see if I could come up with something every day, it may just be photos, it may be book reviews, maybe even a poem or two, whatever my blogging brain comes up with)
Watch stand by me and pretty in pink
Have a night out with Sue (my friend who is coming to london)

things I want to do with Ollie
Walk to the windmill
Walk to the duck pond
Go to mums 3 times, take the scooter and let Ollie scoot along by the thames
Go to the august autism screening at cineworld, its a movie called Nut job and it looks really good
Go to asda for lunch 3 times (once a week)
Walk through the cemetery after lunch at asda (3 times)
Sit and listen to Ollie read every day
Walk the dog in the evening
Play yahtzee, frustration, a card game every day
Go swimming

things I want to do with all (or most) of the kids
Have proper sunday dinner together every week
Go to the cinema
Go swimming
Walk to the windmill for ice cream
Have movie nights together
Go to battersea park zoo
Have a picnic
Go to bishops park
Let the 3 littlest have a “sleepover in the living room”
Take flowers to the cemetery every weekend

Its not the most exciting bucket list but hopefully its things that are achievable with Ollie, I want to get him out in the sun as much as possible.

Ive also told the kids that we are going to try what I’m calling technology free tuesdays and thursdays which went down like a lead balloon quite well .
I want to encourage them to do other stuff because we all spend too long looking at screens. I want them to read more, play board games, card games together more, do something creative, get out more, spend more time together and also I want them to learn to actually do nothing and relax and sit and ponder, watch the world go by, appreciate just being a bit more, without relying on technology to entertain them all the time.

Im looking forward to the next six weeks and really hoping I can tick off everything on our bucket list.

Do you have a bucket list for the summer?

Whats the story : (6)

I absolutely love the photo of Ollie, we were at his new school last week for one of his transition afternoons (he has a place in the asd unit) the visit hadn’t started too well but by the end I had been able to leave him in the classroom for a little while, when I can back he had been chatting to a teacher and had built this tower, he looks very very pleased with himself


 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg


I take both of my autistic boys to our local hairdresser because they don’t cope well going for haircuts, the local one is mostly where all the old ladies go for a blow dry,a coffee and a natter in the morning so its usually quiet in the afternoons which is perfect for my boys. I also popped in for a chat with the hairdresser before we started going there so he knew about the boys.
My mum also goes there to get her haircut, she was there yesterday and the hairdresser told her that her grandsons are wonderful boys and both extremely polite and well behaved and that he doesn’t know any teenager as polite as mine.
I’m always proud of them (all of them) but its so lovely to hear things like that from other people 😊 and its lovely when people see beyond their difficulties and just see them for the lovely boys they are