Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘holiday

Wordless Wednesday 05 Sep 12

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Our family rode this ancient big wheel on the pier. It was rusty, creaky, and of course, we got stuck at the top. You can fret your way around, or just sit back and enjoy the ride. We like feeling the wind in our hair.

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 5, 2012 at 9:07 am

Away

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It was beautiful in the Drakensberg mountains.  There was a stillness I wasn’t used to.  A calm to our days.  It was about peacefully breathing fresh mountain air, rather than rushing around to schools and therapy appointments.  You know what I wanted to do when we first got there?  Tell you about it.  But being all the way up in those mountains, we were far away from an internet connection.  And a sensible, forward-planning kind of person might have stocked up on credit for her own wi-fi hotspot, but I’d left that woman back in Johannesburg.

The funny thing about email, Facebook, Twitter and yes- this blog- is that I hadn’t realised how long a week would seem without them.  Little did I know when we first arrived and I was unable to check in, that a storm would take out our internet at home for the week after we returned.  I was already feeling antsy.  Still, it wasn’t going to hurt me to be offline for a week, after all, there were other things to be doing.

My parents, both confirmed Facebook fans, were also feeling the disconnect.  It didn’t help that their business calls weren’t getting through without Skype to route them to their phone.  Spectrummy Daddy had no such luck in escaping work- his Blackberry was fully functional, and kept him in the the throng of one of those crises that always seem to happen if we go away.  The grandparents got to busy themselves with Pudding and Cubby, giving me lots of free time in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

Unable to write, I turned to my other special interest: photography.  It was the perfect place to practice different techniques, and almost every direction I looked in I found something I wanted to snap  Then some strange things started to happen with the camera.  Maybe if we’d been back home, I’d have just stopped using it.  No doubt I would have taken it to a camera shop to look at.  But I didn’t.  One day we went to a wildlife reserve, and the first time I picked up the camera, the shutter mechanism broke.  Really broke.  Beyond repair broke.  Gone and we can’t afford to replace it kind of broken.  Sigh.  All this was going through my mind as I was taunted by an adorable giraffe scampering right by our car, and image after image I was desperate to capture.

Now, I’ll be living in South Africa for another two and a half years.  There’ll be ample opportunities to go to reserves, game parks, and safaris.  But I couldn’t get out of the frustration I was feeling, try as I might.  I couldn’t just enjoy the moment.  I was angry with myself because I couldn’t just enjoy the moment, when everyone else was managing to do just that.

Not the first time, I’m reminded of how similar I am to Pudding.  I feel all the frustrations of not being able to communicate easily, and not having things go my way when I try to escape into my own world.  But I’m the lucky one, this kind of situation occurs rarely for me- it is the way my girl experiences this world.  And she manages to do it with a whole lot more grace than I can even begin to muster.

I was glad to get back home, even if it has taken until now to get reconnected.  The funny thing was that Pudding was all happiness and ease in the mountains.  We had a week with improved communication and far more relaxed interactions, including lots of cuddles with the grandparents.  I’m curious about whether it was the altitude that had such a positive effect on her.  Or perhaps she just needed to get away from it all.

At least I got some photos for future Wordless Wednesdays before my poor camera went to the great developer up high.  It was great to get away, but I’m so glad to be back.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Happy Holidays!

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I meant to write a post on Christmas Day, to wish you all happy holidays from our family to yours, but the only photo I have of us all together is this one, and I realized that it looks like we are in a very comfortable and festive jail.  Not really in the spirit of the season, but a fair representation of living here.  So in the style of not-so-great photo-journalism, here is our Christmas in pictures.

So, as you can see, Santa came.  Or Father Christmas as we call him in England and South Africa.  He enjoyed his whiskey and cookies, and I’d like to say Rudolph enjoyed the carrot, but that was actually Pudding who gnawed on it.  I had to stop her before she ate the whole thing, and shook my head at the strangeness of a child who chooses carrots over cookies, and a mother who stops her.

Pudding awoke at the usual 5am, but we made her wait an unbearable (for all of us) hour until her brother woke up to go downstairs.  Eventually her demands of “I want presents” became loud enough to rouse him.

One of the great things about raising third culture kids is that they are exposed to many different religions and cultures, and we embrace this fully, while honouring our own traditions.  One of the weird things is that you end up with photos of your kids opening Christmas presents while sitting cross-legged on a Muslim prayer rug.

And another great thing is that Christmas is an opportunity to support the local economy.  Pudding had her own very specific requirements that didn’t lend themselves well to sourcing locally-produced items.  We did, however, find this hand-crafted chair for her doll at a local market.  It broke moments after this photo was taken.  Kind of glad the rest of our stuff came from Melissa and Doug or Lego Duplo.

It isn’t difficult to find gifts bigger than the boy himself.  The way he has been eating this holiday season though, we’re expecting a growth spurt any day now.

I told you she was Santa’s little helper!  Once her own unwrapping was done with, Pudding assisted us too.

Love is not indulging your husband by surprising him with Chuck Taylor Converse All Stars with his special interest- Batman.  Love is being seen out in public with him wearing them.

And for most of the rest of the day, it was about play.  Here we are tricking Cubby into developing his fine motor skills.  Probably doesn’t hurt that he is learning about counting, shapes and numbers too- with us as parents he needs all the mathematical help he can get.

Pudding played by dressing up in the same outfit as newly-shorn Kelly doll and telling her a story.  Maybe I joined in likewise- you can’t tell because I’m on the other side of the camera, thanks to Santa bringing me a new lens to replace the one I broke back in the US.

And the rest of the day I pretty much spent making this: my most perfect turkey yet.  The kids ate about two mouthfuls, of course.

That was about it for our Christmas.  It was quiet, cosy and drama-free, and I know what a lucky autism mama I am to be able to say that.  Of course, I did take down the tree the next day- a return to our version of normality is a present to us all.

From my family to yours, I sincerely hope you had a wonderful time.  And if not, I’m sincerely glad they are over for another year.  Extra-special holiday love to you all.

Wordless Wednesday 21 Dec 11

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A lot has changed in two years. Happy Wordless Wednesday, and Happy Holidays!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 21, 2011 at 7:39 am