Long time no blogging :o(

As it is quite a while since the last update I thought it was about time that we have a quick catch up.

So much has happened in the last couple of weeks that I really don’t know where to start.  The great news is that I am so happy to be able to say that Elliot has made AMAZING improvements over the summer.  It is fantastic to think that the little boy that we thought we had lost is reappearing.  I really don’t know how to describe the change other than it’s like we had a jigsaw with a few pieces missing, we have found the pieces and the jigsaw is now starting to form a  clear picture.  All the therapy programmes he has been involved in are really starting to pay off.  His speech is hugely improved his confidence is at an all time high and he is finding it easier to speak to adults, his sensory issues have all calmed down.  I.e he can wear his crocs without socks something that only a few weeks ago was a huge issue, he can leave the house without having to have a big routine and run up to leaving.  The daily melt downs have reduced and generally we are using the golden tickets to reward his good behaviour rather than having to use them to help him deal with “difficult” situations.  It still remains that socialising and interacting with his peers is really hard for Elliot but he is getting better at it and with all of his other sensory issues dying down hopefully the interacting with his peers will now become easier.

If anyone is reading this and skeptical that these “therapies” can help, Elliot is definitely a prime example of what a difference early intervention can make.  The difficulty is that it is a combination of things and I guess we have been really lucky in that we found the right plan for Elliot a lot by luck rather than judgement ;o)

To be honest in the back of my mind I am a little panicked, as I want to keep the momentum going and don’t want him to regress.  Especially as we have a big move ahead of us back to England.  I am in the middle of packing up the house and trying to locate what services may be available in the UK.  We are a little undecided as to the best course of action for Elliot when we go home, as I am pretty sure that if Elliot were to be reassessed the diagnosis would be quite different already.  Do we tell the doctors in England and the school about Elliot’s Diagnosis???  Or do we see if they pick up on anything themselves??  Even writing this I know the answer and yes we will tell them where we are with him.  I made myself a promise when we started this journey and that was to try not to compare Elliot to other children and that I would help him to be the best he could be “normal” or not.  As it happens with the improvements he has made this summer he is functioning very well and I am sure he would just be seen as a very shy boy with a few quirks.  I guess this remains to be seen…….

GOOD LUCK ELLIOT xxxx

The big pack-up begins…

The big pack has begun….  and this weekend has been a mega weekend 🙂

We cleared out the storage area in the garage on Saturday and have today sorted all the kids toys, their clothes and Vicky has sorted the kitchen stuff.  So, we just have to sort our own clothes and arrange for a shipping company to come and collect our gear 🙂

OK, so there is more to it than this – i.e. we still have to get the 7 bikes boxed up and we have a significant pile of things to try to sell via either Craigslist or garage sale (Vicky’s friend Muriel has kindly offered to help us with a garage sale at her house).

We have also pretty much decided that we will rent an RV and do a little tour of Southern California for our last week in California. Check this bad boy out 🙂 Be prepared uncle Tim, Disneyland, Lego land and Sea World is a callin’

The boys have so far taken it extremely well that their toys have been boxed up.  Elliot caught us and simply said “hey, what’s going on over here?” 🙂 We explained that some of the toys needed to go to England on a boat and that he needed to help us decide which cars etc he could keep here in the white house until we got on the plane back to England. This seemed to be the best course of action given we were caught somewhat red handed 🙂

We are hoping to arrange a collection for the gear by next Tuesday so that it can be sailing before we leave on the plane…

 

Mi Julie…

Simon has just picked up a brand new Santa Cruz Juliana for Vicky (affectionately called “Mi Julie” already) in brilliant white.  It is a really nice looking piece of kit, and is in need of a test ride v soon – hopefully tonight.

Kerrie got away last night in good time (although her flight was a couple of hours delayed) and we enjoyed a nice Chili’s meal on the way home.  Elliot was startving it seems – he wolfed his chicken and chips and helped Olly with his food – unheard of…

The packing has begun 🙂

We have made Olly’s old bedroom into the packing room – so far we have sorted our shoes into what is getting binned, what is going on to charity shops and finally, what we are shipping home etc.

We have started to go through all of our paperwork etc and need to make a start on clothes etc soon.

The ForkHall computers have been closed down ready to be boxed up so we will see how well we get on without them (given we are mac house now, this should not cause any issues but ….) – but it also signifies the fact that we need to clear out the stuff from the garage before we start using it as the storage facility for the boxes.

We have ordered proper bike boxes for the Santa Cruz bikes so that they are not damaged on the ship on the way to the UK.  We have also found that Summit Cycles in Los Gatos will box our other bikes for us for $55 each into cardboard boxes.

We need to arrange for a shipper to come and quote and then take the stuff away in the next 10 days ideally – that way it will stand a chance of getting back to the UK before Christmas…

 

Kerrie heading home… Time to get out gear shipped out…

After almost a month with us, Kerrie is heading back to the UK tonight.

This also signals the beginning of our pack up job as we have much to do to prepare for the shipping of our gear and ofloading of the stuff that we will not be bringing back to the UK in 6 weeks.

We also bought V another bike last night – hope to be collecting it before the week is out.  Basically it is a Santa Cruz (similar to Simon’s) and will be another mark for us to remember the good times we have had while out here as a family, plus hopefully it will help us get and remain fit once we do return 🙂

 

Napa weekend completed – including a tour of Jelly Belly factory :-)

We are home again now, but not before nipping over to Fairfield. CA to visit the Jelly Belly Factory 🙂

 

With it being a weekend, the factory was not actually producing, but the tour was still interesting.  Apparently 70 million jelly belly beans are made every single day 🙂

Daddy sampled a booger flavoured bean and a Pencil Sharpening flavoured bean – apparently they were both “pretty good” – whatever that means…

Sadly, they would not allow photography in the factory, so we can’t share any pictures of what we saw..

Finally, we have added all photos of the weekend in the gallery so they are available to see below:

SAM_3290.jpg
SAM_3290.jpg
SAM_3291.jpg
SAM_3291.jpg
SAM_3292.jpg
SAM_3292.jpg
SAM_3293.jpg
SAM_3293.jpg
SAM_3294.jpg
SAM_3294.jpg
SAM_3295.jpg
SAM_3295.jpg
SAM_3296.jpg
SAM_3296.jpg
SAM_3297.jpg
SAM_3297.jpg
SAM_3298.jpg
SAM_3298.jpg
SAM_3299.jpg
SAM_3299.jpg
SAM_3300.jpg
SAM_3300.jpg
SAM_3301.jpg
SAM_3301.jpg
SAM_3302.jpg
SAM_3302.jpg
SAM_3303.jpg
SAM_3303.jpg
SAM_3304.jpg
SAM_3304.jpg
SAM_3305.jpg
SAM_3305.jpg
SAM_3306.jpg
SAM_3306.jpg
SAM_3307.jpg
SAM_3307.jpg
SAM_3308.jpg
SAM_3308.jpg
SAM_3309.jpg
SAM_3309.jpg
SAM_3310.jpg
SAM_3310.jpg
SAM_3311.jpg
SAM_3311.jpg
SAM_3312.jpg
SAM_3312.jpg
SAM_3313.jpg
SAM_3313.jpg
SAM_3314.jpg
SAM_3314.jpg
SAM_3315.jpg
SAM_3315.jpg
SAM_3316.jpg
SAM_3316.jpg
SAM_3317.jpg
SAM_3317.jpg
SAM_3318.jpg
SAM_3318.jpg
SAM_3319.jpg
SAM_3319.jpg
SAM_3320.jpg
SAM_3320.jpg
SAM_3321.jpg
SAM_3321.jpg
SAM_3322.jpg
SAM_3322.jpg
SAM_3323.jpg
SAM_3323.jpg
SAM_3324.jpg
SAM_3324.jpg
SAM_3325.jpg
SAM_3325.jpg
SAM_3326.jpg
SAM_3326.jpg
SAM_3327.jpg
SAM_3327.jpg
SAM_3328.jpg
SAM_3328.jpg
SAM_3329.jpg
SAM_3329.jpg
SAM_3330.jpg
SAM_3330.jpg
SAM_3331.jpg
SAM_3331.jpg
SAM_3332.jpg
SAM_3332.jpg
SAM_3333.jpg
SAM_3333.jpg
SAM_3334.jpg
SAM_3334.jpg
SAM_3335.jpg
SAM_3335.jpg
SAM_3336.jpg
SAM_3336.jpg
SAM_3337.jpg
SAM_3337.jpg
SAM_3338.jpg
SAM_3338.jpg
SAM_3339.jpg
SAM_3339.jpg
SAM_3340.jpg
SAM_3340.jpg
SAM_3341.jpg
SAM_3341.jpg
SAM_3342.jpg
SAM_3342.jpg
SAM_3343.jpg
SAM_3343.jpg
SAM_3344.jpg
SAM_3344.jpg
SAM_3345.jpg
SAM_3345.jpg
SAM_3346.jpg
SAM_3346.jpg
SAM_3347.jpg
SAM_3347.jpg
SAM_3348.jpg
SAM_3348.jpg
SAM_3349.jpg
SAM_3349.jpg
SAM_3350.jpg
SAM_3350.jpg
SAM_3351.jpg
SAM_3351.jpg
SAM_3352.jpg
SAM_3352.jpg
SAM_3353.jpg
SAM_3353.jpg
SAM_3354.jpg
SAM_3354.jpg
SAM_3355.jpg
SAM_3355.jpg
SAM_3356.jpg
SAM_3356.jpg
SAM_3357.jpg
SAM_3357.jpg
SAM_3358.jpg
SAM_3358.jpg
SAM_3359.jpg
SAM_3359.jpg
SAM_3360.jpg
SAM_3360.jpg
SAM_3361.jpg
SAM_3361.jpg
SAM_3362.jpg
SAM_3362.jpg
SAM_3363.jpg
SAM_3363.jpg
SAM_3364.jpg
SAM_3364.jpg
SAM_3365.jpg
SAM_3365.jpg
SAM_3366.jpg
SAM_3366.jpg
SAM_3367.jpg
SAM_3367.jpg
SAM_3368.jpg
SAM_3368.jpg
SAM_3369.jpg
SAM_3369.jpg
SAM_3370.jpg
SAM_3370.jpg
SAM_3371.jpg
SAM_3371.jpg
SAM_3372.jpg
SAM_3372.jpg
SAM_3373.jpg
SAM_3373.jpg
SAM_3374.jpg
SAM_3374.jpg
SAM_3375.jpg
SAM_3375.jpg
SAM_3376.jpg
SAM_3376.jpg
SAM_3379.jpg
SAM_3379.jpg
SAM_3380.jpg
SAM_3380.jpg
SAM_3381.jpg
SAM_3381.jpg
SAM_3382.jpg
SAM_3382.jpg
SAM_3383.jpg
SAM_3383.jpg
SAM_3384.jpg
SAM_3384.jpg
SAM_3385.jpg
SAM_3385.jpg
SAM_3386.jpg
SAM_3386.jpg
SAM_3387.jpg
SAM_3387.jpg
SAM_3388.jpg
SAM_3388.jpg
SAM_3389.jpg
SAM_3389.jpg
SAM_3390.jpg
SAM_3390.jpg
SAM_3391.jpg
SAM_3391.jpg
SAM_3392.jpg
SAM_3392.jpg
SAM_3393.jpg
SAM_3393.jpg
SAM_3394.jpg
SAM_3394.jpg
SAM_3395.jpg
SAM_3395.jpg
SAM_3396.jpg
SAM_3396.jpg
SAM_3397.jpg
SAM_3397.jpg
SAM_3398.jpg
SAM_3398.jpg
SAM_3399.jpg
SAM_3399.jpg
SAM_3400.jpg
SAM_3400.jpg
SAM_3401.jpg
SAM_3401.jpg
SAM_3402.jpg
SAM_3402.jpg
SAM_3403.jpg
SAM_3403.jpg
SAM_3404.jpg
SAM_3404.jpg
SAM_3405.jpg
SAM_3405.jpg
SAM_3406.jpg
SAM_3406.jpg
SAM_3407.jpg
SAM_3407.jpg

 

Napa weekend

We drove up to Napa, CA last night to the hotel that will be home for the next two days – the Best Western, Premier IVy just North of Napa. It is a nice clean place with a small pool area outside – hopefully we will get to test out these facilities in the next 24 hours.

we went out in search of a family suitable restaurant last night and ended up feeling pretty disappointed – not really located any nice restaurants at all, let alone one that is good for the kids 🙁 We ended up dining in the crappy Mexican restaurant next door. Think we need to do some research before we head out tonight….

Mummy and Auntie Kerrie have gone out on a wine tour today so the boys went for breakfast at Denny’s just south of the city and then to a toy shop. On the way back towards to hotel (the boys wanted to go back to play with their new toys) we found that there was a car shown the centre of Napa with some incredible models from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s on show. They were all concourse models in terrific condition and some of tem were single owner cars !!! we have taken plenty of photo graphs of these items and will post them as soon as we get back home – there really were some crackers in here. we had to cut the tour short because Elly and Olly demanded to go home to play with their toys and this whinging just got too much. Not before we had seen an incredible condition VW Bus in red with red leather interior that was for sale – very tempted to call and make an offer…..