Posted in Life

Mostly in pyjamas is moving soon. 

Hello, I’ve been a rubbish blogger lately because I’ve had lots going on, but I’m going to be moving this blog, I’ve lost my login details and so I can’t play around with this one on the laptop at all. And I’ve been learning how to use WordPress better lately so I’d like to make some changes. 

Please bear with me while I switch over. It will take a few days, the new blog will be at 

mostlyinpyjamasblog.wordpress.com

It’s not live yet but it will be the same blog, only better. 

I would be so grateful if you could follow me over there when I switch. 

Thank you. Love G. 

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Posted in Life

Winging it. 

I’ve had this idea for a while now, but I’ve not been brave enough to act on it until now. I’ve been afraid of failure but I have realised that the only way to find out if I can is to jump right in and try. 

I’m giving myself a 3 week trial run so if it doesn’t work out I can quietly slink away. 

I want to create a website aimed at, but not solely for, parents and carers of children and young adults with special needs. I want it to be an informal place, somewhere you can browse when you manage to grab five minutes for a cuppa. 

I want to provide information on where to go for support, advice and help. Information on different special needs and disabilities but also things like super quick recipes, for when you’re exhausted and need to throw something together in a hurry, relaxation and stress busting tips and book recommendations. And information on local services such as a good autism friendly hair dresser or an upcoming event. 

I’d like to build a community where we can all support each other. 

Every week I’ll have a section where a reader has a question or a problem they’d like advice, tips or suggestions for. Or just another point of  view or some support. 

And every week I’ll include a post written by a special needs parent or carer. I’ll try to cover a wide range of topics. 

I’d also like to have a section every week where we can all celebrate our children’s, or our own achievements so each week I’ll be asking if anyone has any achievements they’d like me to share. 

I really want this be a community so I’ll be open to suggestions of what people would like to see. And if anyone provides services or products for special needs and disabilities I’d love to feature them on the website. 

The website isn’t up and running yet, I’ll link to it is when it’s ready. I’m hoping to launch it in a few days. It’s going to be called Winging It because we are all winging it really aren’t we. 

I’ve set up a twitter page for the account @wingingitnews where I would appreciate a follow. 

I’ve already had so much interest and support since I announced this earlier today and I’m really excited about it. I’m going to try so hard to make Winging It a good thing. 

Posted in Life

The hardest thing. 

When you have a child with special needs the hardest part is not the diagnosis. Getting to the point where you realise your child needs a diagnosis is hard and the process of diagnosis is of course hard. But by this point you already love your child. You’ve loved them since you knew they existed and you know that a label won’t change who they are, your life has already gone down a different path to the one you expected. 

Seeing the diagnosis in black and white, reading your childs differences and needs is hard (but not the hardest thing). Honestly, it hit me like a punch in the gut, my heart broke a thousand times when I read through the diagnosis. You ricochet through a whole spectrum of emotions, anger, injustice, guilt, fear, you grieve for the life your child won’t have, but you adapt, you chart a new course.    Because love outweighs everything else. 

The ignorance you encounter is not the hardest thing. People look, and stare, and judge. People who don’t know and don’t understand give you unsolicited advice. 

“He doesn’t look autistic”,  “It’s bad parenting”, “I have an aunt who had a neighbour who knew a girl with that and they got better”.

You tire of explaining and justifying things, you tire of the looks but you grow a thick skin because, of course, you know your child. 

The hardest thing is not your child’s behaviour. It is hard, meltdowns can be frightening and exhausting, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been black and blue. A meltdown in a public place brings a whole new level to it, you try to help your child through it while all the time carrying out a risk assessment of all the possible dangers. I’ve had to lie on top of my child at the kerbside, because my legs were sore from being kicked and my arms numb from the punches, to keep him from running into a road during a meltdown, more times than I care to remember. But the meltdowns are not your child’s fault and you do everything you can to help them through it while keeping them safe. It’s not easy but you don’t even think twice about doing it and you’d do it again in a heartbeat. 

Functioning on ridiculously little amounts of sleep is not the hardest thing. I don’t know when I last had a good nights sleep, but I don’t begrudge the sleepless nights. I’d sit up for a thousand nights, and then a thousand more without question. 

I’ve read that autism parents have similar stress levels to soldiers and I can well believe that, because you become hyper vigilant, constantly monitoring and assessing every situation to prevent your child from becoming distressed or disregulated, but none of the things I’ve mentioned are the hardest thing. 

The hardest and most utterly soul destroying thing is the endless fight for your child’s needs. 

In theory there is a system, CAMHS for diagnosis, an EHCP (education, health and care plan) and an SEN caseworker from the local authority. After your child is diagnosed an EHCP is drawn up, which outlines your child’s special needs and · what reasonable adjustments schools or colleges need to make· what extra support or therapy your child is entitled to· what kind of school or college can meet their needs.

This is all supposed to make it easier to ensure that your child’s needs are met, and their rights are protected, but while it’s all very well having these things, they only work if the people involved all put the work in. 

 I have spent years fighting for my sons rights, particularly his education and the stress has taken a huge emotional and physical toll. Every time a battle is won there’s a new one. I’m not asking for anything special, just what my son is entitled to and yet it’s uphill all the way, chasing things up, acting as a go-between for departments that don’t know their arses from their elbows, (metaphorically) beating down doors, although I’ve felt like actually beating down a good few doors. And it’s just not good enough. 

My child deserves better, I deserve better, all children and parents deserve better than this broken, run down system. 

We don’t have the time or the energy to fight for every single thing because we are putting everything we have into parenting our children, helping them to reach for the stars, because we know that our children can achieve, and yet we must fight. We fight until we are exhausted. Until we feel we can’t fight anymore, and then we pick ourselves up and we fight on. There’s no end to it, as an adult my son will still have needs, will still need support and I know from experience with my older autistic son that it’s even more difficult to access any support when they are older. 

The hardest thing is becoming just another cog in the system that seems to go round and round without ever getting anywhere. 

I wouldn’t change my boy, if I had a hundred more lifetimes I’d choose him again every time, and then a hundred times more, but I’d change the system to one that actually works for the children it’s there for and works with the parents rather than against them. 

Posted in Behind the blog.

Behind the blog. Introducing @TheQuietKnitter

Today I am absolutely delighted to feature kate, not only a favourite blogger, but she’s also one of my most favourite human beings. 

Tell me a little about you …..I’m Kate, I’m mum to 1 human child of the toddling variety and 2 canines. I’ve had a fascination for books as long as I can remember and most of my spare time is spent reading or knitting. 

How long have you been blogging for ? 
I started blogging about 2 years ago, but really did it for me as a way to do something constructive with my time when the wee one napped and it all took off from there.  

What inspired you to start blogging? 
It was really just the idea of having a place to write down my thoughts on books and it sort of grew. I’ve always read as a hobby and some lovely online friends encouraged me to share my posts as they thought the reviews were really good.  

What do you blog about? 
Mainly books that I’ve read, occasionally I will post about something less bookish but the majority of my blog posts are book reviews or blog tour spots

What’s your favourite social media platform? 
Probably Twitter. 

What blogging aspirations do you have for this year? 
Keep on as I am really, reading and reviewing at my own pace and not feeling the need to compete with other bloggers out there. I do want to try and participate in lots of blog tours as it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers who share a similar taste in books. 

 Tell me about a blog you love to read…..Oooh there are so many! I read a variety of blogs, parenting blogs are ones I read every day, as well as fellow book blogs. But I do also enjoy reading ones from academia sources.

Do you blog anonymously? If so why? Do you think you will always remain anonymous? 
Sort of anonymous, I’m The Quiet Knitter….few people really know the person behind the tag other than the fact I’m called Kate.  

Do you vlog? If not are you considering it? 
Nope and nope.

What’s you’re favourite post that you’ve written? 
Oh my word, that’s an evil question…..I don’t think I have a favourite post, each of my posts has had my heart and soul poured into them, each is different from the other which makes it really hard to pick a favourite….is there one you think stands out most as your favourite?

Editors note: honestly I enjoy ALL OF Kate’s posts. She is an A⭐️ book reviewer and I know her book reviews are honest, if you’re ever looking for a good book Kate’s blog is the place to go for recommendations. 

Do you write other than on your blog? 
The weekly shopping list and meal plan 🙂 

No, I just witter away in my blog, I don’t have the skills to write anything else.

( Editors note; she absolutely does have writing skills! 😊)

What advice would you give to a new blogger or anyone trying to grow their blog? 
Be yourself, don’t compete with others and enjoy the experience. 

Where to find Kate https://thequietknitterer.wordpress.com/ (please pop over and have a look at the Kate’s blog) 
https://www.facebook.com/The-Quiet-Knitter-Book-Blog-133213730508487/ 

https://twitter.com/TheQuietKnitter

Thank you for taking part Kate. 

If you’d like to take part email me at gretheplus7@yahoo.co.uk

Posted in food, vegan, Vegan recipes

Gnocchi with basil and tomatoes. 

I had never tried gnocchi before so I decided now was the time and bought myself a packet. 

I cooked it the same way o make my favourite pasta meal. 

  • Packet of gnocchi (I used one with no egg) 
  • Punnet of cherry tomatoes (quartered) 
  • 1 red onion (finely chopped) 
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped) 
  • Large handful of basil (torn) 

I cooked the gnocchi on a pan of boiling water for three minutes. Then drained it. 

While I was doing that I cooked the onion and garlic, in a good glug of olive oil, on a low heat. 

Then I added the tomato, basil and gnocchi and cooked for 2 more minutes. Stirring to make sure the gnocchi picked up all of the flavour. 

There was enough for 3 servings, with a slice of warm crusty bread. 

I’m (still) terrible at photographing food but it was absolutely delicious.