My Sunday Photo

30 April 2017

"Photography is the beauty of life captured"


History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul - Lord Acton

April Roundup

28 April 2017

Dear friends,

Welcome to my monthly roundup an opportunity to look back at the ordinary moments that have made our month extra special. It is so easy to take for granted people, places and things and this look back really helps me to appreciate their importance and rejoice in the everyday memories we are making together...



Finding beauty in the everyday...


  • Watching the boys dance at school. Little man did Charleston and big lad Bollywood
  • Little man holding my hand and chatting away whilst we walked the dog
  • Reading my book in the sunshine
  • A new drum kit
  • Watching big lads pleasure and concentration when he’s DJ-ing.
  • Spring time in Holland - exploring the flower fields
  • Sunday morning beach walks in the sun
  • An Easter trip to the UK
  • Mini chocolate eggs… yum!
  • The first BBQ of the year with friends.
  • Time spent with family
  • Little man at Build a Bear, he was so excited
  • 2p machines
  • Friday nights - TV, drink, feet up. Bliss!


On the blog...



One moment in time with Imperfect Mum

27 April 2017

Welcome to one moment in time, a guest posts series, where bloggers share the stories behind special or significant photographs. I am kicking off the series with a photograph from our album. 

It may be a little grainy but I love this photo of the big lad and my nana. It has a really special place in my heart as this is probably the last shot of her that I have. 


Nana Dot was a major influence in my life growing up. She was an amazing woman, full of life and energy but most of all kindness. Her door was always open to anyone in need. Wherever nana was she brought fun, light and happiness. She was also very small, 4 feet 11 1/2 inches to be precise (she always said the 1/2) but what she lacked in stature she more than made up for in personality!




This was the last time we saw nana in her own home. We were over in the UK for the holidays and popped in to see her. I remember the big lad running in excitedly because he wanted to find out if he was bigger than nana. He ran into the kitchen shouting, Nana am I bigger than you now? Her reply made us all laugh, Wait a minute darling while I stand up straight. 

The look on his face should tell you that he was indeed taller and this photograph was taken as evidence. 

I have so many amazing memories of my nana; Saturday night sleepovers, the smell of pressed powder and lipstick, playing queenie who's got the ball, running for the ice cream van, a pint with a half glass, singing Doris Day songs on a Sunday morning, handwritten letters with a five pound note tucked inside... But this has to be one of my favourites. Proudly standing with her great grandson. A very special moment in time!

Read a poem to my nana here... 

Do you have a special photograph and story you would like to share? Then I would love to hear from you!

diaryofanimperfectmum.com

The Dutch are a strange bunch because...

26 April 2017

Dear friend,

Tomorrow  is a special day in Holland. It is King's day. A national Holiday where the Dutch celebrate their King's birthday and general Dutchness and join in with loads of festivities most of which will include a beer or two. It is a fun day for all! 

On days like this I usually find myself thinking about our choice to live in Holland and the differences between Dutch and English culture more. Rather naively, I didn't anticipate many differences but I guess when you fall in love you are looking for similarities not differences. After more than ten years living in Holland, I notice the differences less but they are there.



The Dutch are a strange bunch because...

1.
Text: They build the steepest stairs in the world - picture of steep stairs

2. They drive big family cars but have tiny car parking spaces.
3. They have huge windows but never shut their curtains
4.
Text: The Dutch love wearing Orange - a huge crowd all wearing orange
5. They don't eat pies or pasties
6. They hate people turning up at their homes without an appointment. Want to meet for coffee? Bring your agenda and plan it in, weeks in advance.
7.
Text: Dutch sit in circle and drink coffee at birthday parties
See the dutch circle party guide from Invading Holland.
8. They ask you how much you earn
9. Every decision is discussed and negotiated
10.
Dutch people don't queue - people crowding around the train
11. Dutch men drink lots of milk, at lunch time in the office you will see a colleague with his broodje en Melk (sandwich and milk)
12. They eat cheese and ham sandwiches and cake for breakfast
13. Anything deep fried is considered a Dutch delicacy.
14.
Kids are allowed to eat chocolate sprinkles on bread
15. They say the f word on the radio and TV
16.
The Dutch can ride bikes with 3 kids, a buggy attached and side bags full of shopping whilst carrying an umbrella
REALLY!
17. They clap when the film ends in the cinema and some cinemas still have intermissions.
18. The shops close on a Sunday and on a Monday morning.
19.
Dutch need little excuse to change out the flags

20. Everyone will speak English with you until a certain time when everyone will refuse to speak English and suddenly start loudly speaking Dutch at you. Now you know you've been integrated!

Disclaimer: I love living in Holland. You can read my Why I am proud to call Holland home piece here.


This is a revised post.

We are not all on the spectrum!

Dear friend,

Twice this week I've heard this phrase used in slightly different forms;

I'm so Autistic or
I'm sure s/he's on the spectrum. 

Twice this week it has stopped me dead in my tracks but both times I've said nothing just smiled or said, That's OK!  As it has suddenly dawned on the other person who they are talking to and they have immediately back tracked or apologised. But is it OK?

I’ve seen/heard the word “autistic” used as an analogy for:
  • Abnormal social behaviour
  • Obsessiveness over something or someone 
  • An advanced knowledge of something
  • Fidgeting
I don't want to come across as an arse difficult and I don't want to be a bore about autism but every time I say nothing it feels like I am letting my son down.

It is not OK to use a disability in this way...



The fact that people believe that their husband/son/friend may be autistic tells me that they most likely misunderstand what the autism spectrum actually means. The autistic spectrum is not linear, you can not be a little bit autistic (that is a myth). Please see this amazing cartoon from Rebecca Burgess that explains it brilliantly. Autistic people will have a set of individual traits in different areas of the spectrum they are not all the same!

I often hear people saying analogous things, and not just about autism. How about, “I have to keep my house so clean and everything put away. I am so OCD" or " I can't remember anything I'm sure I have alzheimer's." This type of language is said often in jest but does that make it right?

Perhaps the use of 'autistic' as a personality quirk has increased because of a common misconception that has been bandied around.

Everyone is a little autistic! 

Articles in leading newspapers have run with sensationalist headlines declaring that Every one of us is on the spectrum.

No we are not all on the spectrum! 

Autism is complex... 
  • Experiencing a taste of what autistic people live with does not make someone autistic, not even a little bit. I like to know whats happening and I don't like last minute changes but I am not autistic. The ‘autistic’ analogy latches on to some of the superficial characteristics of the typical autistic person. It is at best Stereotyping and at worst insulting. 
  • Trying to normalise my sons disability by stating, I do that too or I'm sure my friend is autistic as he doesn't like change, is not showing solidarity with me. You can’t support difference by pretending that it doesn’t exist.
  • It feels as though it has almost become trendy to have a touch of autism like in the 'noughties' when geekiness suddenly became cool? Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates apparently all 'have a touch of Aspergers' if you believe some press.  (Can you feel my eyes rolling?) 

Autism is a clinically identifiable disorder. Getting a diagnosis is complex, it is emotionally challenging and the autistic label does not come easily. Don't belittle it.

Please do not use analogous language. Don't reinforce the stereotypes! If you hear others doing so then challenge their thinking. Be brave.

I am not comfortable with analogies about autism as I believe it perpetuates unhelpful stereotypes. Autism is not just a personality quirk. 


What do you think? 


#PointShoot Week #6

25 April 2017

Do you love making photos of your family? Do you like to record the everyday memories you are making? Then this could be the linky for you. Come and share your photo story posts with me. You can share your days out snaps or any fun, special, touching moments from your week. It can be one photo (including Instagram posts) or a series of shots with words or without.


Welcome to #PointShoot Week #6

This week's featured post comes from Otis and Us with this beautiful photo of her daughter at the wishing tree. I love how Mrs S has captured the wonder of this special moment.



Feel free to grab your featured blogger badge!

diaryofanimperfectmum





A photograph is the pause button of life.

We are open from Tuesday 6 a.m. until Monday 6 a.m. (so there is plenty of time to link up.)


Link up your weekend pictures!

Rules:

  • You can link up to 1 post per week! Be sure to paste the Point + Shoot badge on the post you would like to link up 
  • Comment on my post to say hi! 
  • Comment on at least 2 other links – share the love, it is what linky's are all about. 
  • It would also be great if you could share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #PointShoot) on your social media channels to help grow the community. I will also retweet all your posts via Twitter if you mention me in your tweets! (@imperfectmumx
  • Finally, if you could please follow me on (Twitter, Facebook Instagram and Pinterest) that would be fantastic!


diaryofanimperfectmum



There's a new linky host in town on #PointShoot

Help me spread the word. (Click above to tweet.)




Introducing one moment in time, a guest posts series, where bloggers share the stories behind special or significant photographs. 





Do you have a special photograph and story you would like to share? Then I would love to hear from you! All you need is one photograph with a 300-500 word post describing why it is significant to you. Share your memories with us...


diaryofanimperfectmum.com





My Sunday Photo

23 April 2017

"Photography is the beauty of life captured"



I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills When all at once I saw a crowd A host of golden daffodils Beside the lake beneath the trees Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. - William Wordsworth

Point Shoot: Siblings Project April, a Tip-toe through the tulips

21 April 2017

Dear friend,

Welcome to my new Photo series Point Shoot  I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus. This week sees my Siblings Project post for April and a very seasonal tip-toe through the tulips.

Spring is my favourite season and we are incredibly lucky to live in Holland and in the Duin and Bollenstreek, an area characterised by coastal dunes and flower fields. We are surrounded by beautiful fields filled with tulips and daffodils and the hyacinth are starting to come out too. It is simply beautiful and smells amazing too!

I have been snapping pictures  of the boys in these fields since they were tiny and so what better place to take some snaps for the siblings project...

Now I'll let my photos do the talking...








This month has been about stepping out. As the weather has got better the boys have been playing out more and spending more time with friends. This has meant that they have spent a bit less time together. But they remain just as close.

The big lad has faced a few challenges this month and has been quite stressed. We have been preoccupied with trying to support him and it has been lovely to watch the little man step in and also step out and give him space when needed. It is almost like he has an instinct for it. 

The Pokemon obsession has continued and they have moved on from the games to the cards. Spending most of their savings from the UK on them. Luckily their was enough left for a trip to Build a bear, I think I enjoyed it more than little man. Will it be his last visit? He is really maturing and does not want to be seen as the baby at all! 


The boys have both ventured further into the world of music this month. Big lad has now got his own DJ set to practice at home and little man a drum kit, the neighbours joked that they will be moving. I loved setting up the kit my old music teacher would have been very proud!

Happy Days!





A Glimpse into our autism: Chewing

19 April 2017

Dear friend,

Yesterday he ruined another new jumper. His sleeves and collars seem to be permanently wet at the moment. I know he is self soothing, I know he is using it as a way to deal with his anxieties but I must admit that it is making me feel anxious.

Many people don't understand. If he was still a toddler then it would be easier but all people see is a tall, handsome young boy eating his clothes and think why aren't you making him stop or he needs to grow out of that ?! The invisible nature of his disability is taunting us again...


Chewing is his form of stimming. Something that he does to relieve anxiety and comfort himself.

Stimming is a repetitive body movement that self-stimulates one or more senses in a regulated manner.

When everything around him seems frightening or out of his control the repetitive nature of chewing can help him self soothe and stop a meltdown from happening. We understand and I strongly feel that he should not be stopped from stimming (as long as it is not harmful) but not everyone gets it!



We have experienced a chewing obsession before (when he was 7)  a speech therapist recommended we use chew necklaces to support him, to save his clothes and help our bank balance. They worked! But I did witness one child cruelly snatch the dog tag off his neck on the play yard and ask sneeringly; What is that?

Now he is 10, he does not want to wear the necklace, he is embarrassed and I understand that! But the chewing isn't stopping if anything it is getting worse. At the moment he is not able to control the impulse to chew so we have to look at a way for him to do this safely. And seriously we can't afford to keep replacing his clothes either...

As a mum I am caught between wanting to support my son and wanting to protect him from any potential teasing from others.
Butterfly with coloured jigsaw pieces pattern with text

Perhaps more importantly we need to try and work out what is causing his anxiety and address that. Where is the chewing happening the most? At school or home? How can we help him manage his anxiety better?

Yesterday he ruined another new jumper. His sleeves and collars seem to be permanently wet at the moment. I know he is self soothing, I know he is using it as a way to deal with his anxieties but I must admit that it is making me feel anxious.

Many people don't understand. If he was still a toddler then it would be easier but all people see is a tall, handsome young boy eating his clothes and think why aren't you making him stop or he needs to grow out of that ?! The invisible nature of his disability is taunting us again...



A glimpse into autism is a series of short letters that explore how autism effects us on a day to day basis. Disclaimer:  this is our experience not all autistic people are the same.


In Holland we use Educadora webshop and chewigem to buy the dog tags and chubes

More autism awareness posts...

#PointShoot Week #5

18 April 2017

Welcome to #PointShoot Week #5

Do you love making photos of your family? Do you like to record the everyday memories you are making? Then this could be the linky for you. Come and share your photo story posts with me. You can share your days out snaps or any fun, special, touching moments from your week. It can be one photo (including Instagram posts) or a series of shots with words or without.

This week's featured post comes from Renovation Bay-Bee with this beautiful shot from Pepperbox Hill.


Feel free to grab your featured blogger badge!

diaryofanimperfectmum





A photograph is the pause button of life.

We are open from Tuesday 6 a.m. until Monday 6 a.m. (so there is plenty of time to link up.)


Link up your weekend pictures!

Rules:

  • You can link up to 1 post per week! Be sure to paste the Point + Shoot badge on the post you would like to link up 
  • Comment on my post to say hi! 
  • Comment on at least 2 other links – share the love, it is what linky's are all about. 
  • It would also be great if you could share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #PointShoot) on your social media channels to help grow the community. I will also retweet all your posts via Twitter if you mention me in your tweets! (@imperfectmumx
  • Finally, if you could please follow me on (Twitter, Facebook Instagram and Pinterest) that would be fantastic!


diaryofanimperfectmum



There's a new linky host in town on #PointShoot

Help me spread the word. (Click above to tweet.)



Book Corner: My Brother is Autistic

17 April 2017

My book corner choice this month is: My Brother is Autistic by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

I told my teacher that I wished more kids understood autism, because if they did, then maybe they'd give kids like Billy a chance!

We ordered this book to help our youngest son understand more about his brother's autism (read more here). We had some books at home but the title of this book seemed to fit our purpose precisely. I was initially draw to it by the title and then the wonderful illustrations by Marta Fabrega.


My Sunday Photo

16 April 2017


I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer perspective. 




Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.


The team have the chance to become champions next saturday, fingers, toes and eyes crossed they make it. Its been a great season and they have improved so much!

Point Shoot: Fun at the beach

14 April 2017

Dear friend,

Welcome to my Photo series Point Shoot. I love capturing the ordinary moments and special times with my camera, looking at our life through a lens gives me a clearer focus.

This week's Point Shoot is Fun at the beach. This series of photos was taken on our Sunday morning walk on the beach. Another beautiful spring morning, if a little windy. The little man was in fine form and had us all rolling with laughter.

Now I'll let my photos do the talking...







Happy Days!

Autism awareness video

12 April 2017

Dear friend,

This is autism awareness month. I have been quite critical of these months as I see them as stunts. I do not feel they get to the heart of the matter but then I saw this year's campaign from the National Autistic Society and it made me cry!

Please watch this clip because I believe it is a really good representation of what my son experiences every day.  You may have seen this before as I am excited to say this film went viral with over 56 million people viewing it on social media! But please watch it again and think about how it would be for you if you experienced this every single day.  Thank you National Autistic Society for really getting to the heart of the matter.



Autistic people can get overloaded by everything around them. It’s like all the senses are firing, all at once. Like there’s no filter. Like they’re getting too much information.
Over 99% of people have heard of autism, but only 16% of autistic people feel the public understand them. That’s why we created Too Much Information. It’s time we challenged the myths, misconceptions and stereotypes that mean that 79% of autistic people feel socially isolated. It’s time we help the public to understand autism, the person, and the change they can make. -
National Autistic Society



You may also like to read this post: A Glimpse into our autism: Yesterday he held my hand...


How can you make a difference? Share this post. Share the video. Accept!


#PointShoot Week #4

11 April 2017

Welcome to #PointShoot Week #4


Do you love making photos of your family? Do you like to record the everyday memories you are making? Then this could be the linky for you. Come and share your photo story posts with me. You can share your days out snaps or any fun, special, touching moments from your week. It can be one photo (including Instagram posts) or a series of shots with words or without.


I have had a bit of a blog rebrand this week and have also taken the opportunity to update my twitter handle. You can now find me @imperfectmumx The badges have been updated to include my new handle.


This week's featured post comes from the lovey Lisa Pomerantzster or rather Gatsby. I love this shot!

Feel free to grab your featured blogger badge!


diaryofanimperfectmum





A photograph is the pause button of life.

We are open from Tuesday 6 a.m. until Monday 6 a.m. (so there is plenty of time to link up.)


Link up your weekend pictures!

Rules:

  • You can link up to 1 post per week! Be sure to paste the Point + Shoot badge on the post you would like to link up 
  • Comment on my post to say hi! 
  • Comment on at least 2 other links – share the love, it is what linky's are all about. 
  • It would also be great if you could share your post and the linky party (using the hashtag #PointShoot) on your social media channels to help grow the community. I will also retweet all your posts via Twitter if you mention me in your tweets! (@imperfectmumx) 
  • Finally, if you could please follow me on (Twitter, Facebook Instagram and Pinterest) that would be fantastic!


diaryofanimperfectmum



There's a new linky host in town on #PointShoot

Help me spread the word. (Click above to tweet.)



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