Mama OWL Blog: July 2011

I have a teenager

Thursday, 28 July 2011

I can't believe I am the mother of a teenager. My daughter turned 13 yesterday, when did she get so grown up? I made her a Twilight Saga themed birthday cake.

For those not "in the know" - the fondant apple is for Twilight, the frayed ribbon is for Eclipse, the sugarcraft red & white tulip is for New Moon and the chocolate chess pieces/icing chessboard is for Breaking Dawn.

The cake is vanilla & chocolate, very delicious if I do say so myself. I made everything except the flower (er, and the ribbon of course), and I had the chessboard printed on icing.

13th Birthday Twilight Saga Cake
13th Birthday Twilight Saga Cake
13th Birthday Twilight Saga Cake
13th Birthday Twilight Saga Cake

I don't like to say 'I told you so', but...

Friday, 22 July 2011

Being told that there is something 'wrong' with your child is one of the worst things you can ever hear. It doesn't matter how big or small that something is, it can be devastating nonetheless. How you deal with it is what is important, and I try not to make a big deal out of my middle son's special needs. Autism isn't who he is, it is something he has. It doesn't define him as a person, because he is a wonderful, affectionate and caring little boy and he would be that with or without ASD.

This week hasn't been a good one. Last week wasn't great either. Twice he got into trouble for hurting another child, and while he was not entirely to blame for either incident (six of one, half a dozen of the other), he did go too far and he had to be punished for it, and rightly so. I always dread July, and December. Logan knows that change is coming and he reacts quite badly when there are big changes to his daily routine at school, obviously Christmas time and the end of the school year are big changes and he certainly lets us know his thoughts and feelings about them!

This year we have had something new to contend with, on top of the diagnosis of ASD. We discovered a few months ago that his toe-walking wasn't just a habit, an outward sign of his ASD. On examination by a professional we have learned that he has tight hamstrings which mean it is uncomfortable, even painful for him to walk flat footed as "normal". Not only that, but he has a condition called Persistent Femoral Retroversion. The opposite condition to this is called Anteversion, you try looking up information on that and you will find it by the bucketload. Unfortunately for me, Retroversion is much less common, and information is very limited.

Persistent Femoral Retroversion appears to be a deformity of the hips, they face the wrong way, and causes "outtoeing", meaning Logan's feet point outwards, like Charlie Chaplin, and it causes pain and discomfort in the hips, which Logan suffers with even when walking very short distances. From the very limited information I have found (and I wasn't given any by the hospital), I have learned that an outward physical sign of this includes dimples in the skin. So, while I have been chastising myself for not having realised something was wrong sooner, I have now realised that I DID know, and I DID ask for help years ago.

When he was small, I found an odd dimple at the base of his spine, which was very deep. I took him to my GP who referred him to a Paediatrician. The Paediatrician told me it was nothing. So an outward sign of the problems to come was obvious years ago and nobody did anything. Myself included, because I let them fob me off. We're back at the hospital for another review of his hips and hamstrings next week and I am not leaving without an appointment for some form of bone scan, I want them to check him over completely because I feel they have missed something.

The moral of this story, if you think there is something wrong, then you stamp your feet until someone takes notice of you. I am seriously going to be their worst nightmare until they have checked my boy from head to toe.

SW Bacon and vegetable pie [Recipe]

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Serves 4
Ready in about 1 hr 30 mins

1lb 12oz/794g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and chopped
Salt and black pepper
7oz/198g carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3½oz/100g green beans, trimmed and finely chopped
3½oz/100g courgettes, finely chopped
3½oz/100g celeriac, peeled and finely chopped
Fry light
10oz/283g lean bacon, all visible fat removed, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 eggs
4 tsp dried parsley
7oz/198g fat-free cottage cheese with onion and chives
1lb 2oz/511g ham, all visible fat removed, finely chopped
3½oz/100g frozen peas
4oz/113g parmesan cheese, grated

1. Preheat your oven to 180c/350f/GM4. Boil the potatoes for 20-25 minutes or until tender, drain well, season and mash.

2. Meanwhile, boil the carrots, beans, courgettes and celeriac for 3-4 minutes, drain and set aside. Place a frying pan sprayed with fry light over a medium-high heat. Stir fry the bacon for 7-8 minutes. Add the onion, fry for 3-4 minutes and then set aside.

3. Whisk the eggs, parsley and cottage cheese together. Add to the mash. Add the cooked veg, bacon and onion, ham and peas.

4. Spray a medium-size pie dish with fry light. Add the potato mixture, sprinkle over the cheese and bake for 35-45 minutes.

Syns per serving: Extra Easy FREE*
* Add 6 syns if not using the cheese as a Healthy Extra

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