Resolving to drink beer and other reasons to be cheerful

It's that time of year again, when most of us make unrealistic resolutions and then fail to keep them. Not good for our bodies or our minds. So if I make any at all, I try to make them doable, like these four from last year that I mostly achieved.

For 2016, I have just one resolution so far: to start drinking Belgian Beer. What, you say? This is based on good science (apparently) and a book that recommends that we should consume more yoghurt (tick), full fat cheese (tick), dark chocolate (one of last year's resolutions) and Belgian Beer.  It's called The Diet Myth and I am seriously considering buying it. I've mostly stopped drinking wine, but the occasional beer sounds like a great idea to brighten my life.

And I have more reasons to be cheerful too:

My top ten of everything for 2015

There is absolutely no reason for this post, except to round off the year and satisfy my love of lists -- I  was a fan well before the term 'click bait' was ever thought of...

The Ups and Downs of Christmas


Christmas morning was almost perfect. A gentle start with none of the children awake before 7. We all gathered in the living room, a feat which involves rearranging furniture and pushing Smiley's wheelchair up a couple of steps too, so is reserved for special occasions until I get my act together and make more of this house accessible. Anyway, back to Christmas. The presents were opened at a leisurely pace. Smiley loved the family time together, my eldest added the sweetest note ever with the present she gave to me and it was lovely to see her delight when she opened the surprise presents that I got for her. And my son was calm and happy with his presents.

Reasons to be cheerful at Christmas

I wasn't looking forward to Christmas, but after a good week, with all the alarms on my phone firmly set to the 'off' position, I'm feeling unexpectedly cheerful after all and here's why:

Things I didn't understand in 2015

Just some random thoughts from an over active brain:

Sales


How are some shops always advertising sales. Like Every. Single. Day. I'm looking at you Harvey Norman...

Wheelchair Design


Why I can't have a wheelchair for my daughter that has everything I think it needs. Like a pair of cup holders, lights or reflectors, a rain hood with a cut out for her face that doesn't let the rain in (apart from that special kind of rain you get in Ireland that blows horizontally of course). Shopping net, small portable tray and with power steering so I don't get so tired.

Living a good life in the face of death and other reasons to be cheerful

Reasons to be Cheerful

Sometimes the death of someone you've never even met has a profound effect, and so it was this week with the passing of Andy Nimmo, husband of special needs blogger Steph Nimmo. For the past year, they have both been sharing some inspirational writing about living a good life with cancer and if you want to remember how to celebrate life, I recommend reading Steph's blog Was This In The Plan.

The smacking ban - now we need to help violent children

So smacking has been banned in Ireland. And I approve. It wasn't part of my parenting plan: it just made me angry and resentful as a child, and I agree with all the other arguments against it too. But I know parent who do smack, and who believe that it is their right , and that sometimes it is the only thing that works. I wonder what they will do now. I suspect many will continue, just not in public.

I also suspect that most of the people who support the smacking ban have no experience of children who behave in ways that push their parents beyond their limits.

That includes another taboo topic - children who are sometimes violent. The Irish charity Parentline has reported an increase in child on parent violence in recent years, but there is little coverage and even less being done to help families in this situation.

Smacking is NOT the answer to this problem either. At least in my opinion.

Reasons to be cheerful 11.12.15

Another week of crazy ups and downs. Thursday morning found me sobbing on the shoulder of Smiley's bus driver at 9.15 in the morning, as nosy rat-running commuters stared out through their fogged up windows to enjoy the show. Totes embarassballs as I might say if I was 30 years younger. Twelve hours later I was in the pub enjoying this with a great bunch of special needs mammies from my daughter's club, which made me feel very cheerful indeed.


What happens after dinner in your house?

I'm just wondering.

Do your teenagers help clear the table and load the dishwasher?

Do they play video games and watch TV, while you shout encourage them to do their homework?

Do you collapse on the couch with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, feet up, deep sigh and relax?


My favourite recipes from other bloggers in 2015


My cookery book collection is mostly old, very old, and my taste in food has changed. I rarely eat meat now and I love vegetarian cooking. The fridge is usually full of left overs, so I am that mum that picks a few of them and uses google to create a new recipe. Other times I spot recipes on a blogs that I just know will come in handy. So I thought I'd share some of my favourites from the past 12 months.

Note that due to health problems, I make all these recipes without acidic foods like garlic and lemon, and they still taste delicious.

If you fancy making any of these, just click on the recipe title.

A new job and other reasons to be cheerful

No, not me, it's Angel. After months of uncertainty and worry about her future, she made a decision this week to accept an offer for a "proper grown up job". Her words, not mine. I hope that it's the start of better things for her, and that she'll be very happy working there, especially as she can continue with the gymnastics coaching she loves so much. So that's my big reason to be cheerful for this week, but I have more, too...


Five Christmas gifts for the Netflix family

You know we're getting quite serious about Netflix here these days? Shows and films are discussed, blogged about, and anticipated eagerly, while the TV pages gather dust on a shelf somewhere.

But to do anything properly, you need the right equipment. And with Christmas coming up, what better time to invest in a few gadgets that would help any family to get the most out of their Netflix subscription. So here's a few ideas to get you started.