Sarah

All articles by Sarah

 

What a wonderful thought it is that some of our best days of our lives haven’t happened yet…

Back when I first had Oscar, I remember thinking I didn’t allow myself to imagine, what life might be like too far into the future for Oscar, Chris and me. It just felt like too much to think about, too soon. The future was a scary place, you see. It was the unknown, I suppose.
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Popsa – An app that creates a photo book in 5 minutes!

Before I had children, I had had an image in my mind of the type of Mum i’d be. The type that would make the large majority of meals from scratch. The type that would make sure their kids always looked immaculate (because dirt and bogies were just gross) and the type that would document
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“Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out” 

Yesterday a Tory MP tweeted – “Window Lickin’ Twitter Trolls out in force today”. This, from a well respected, intelligent woman who has a following on social media of around 30,000 people and who apparently felt it was appropriate to post this. Shortly after the tweet went live, because of the backlash she had gotten
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In the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take

It’s National Adoption Week here in the UK this week (16th – 22nd October) and as in previous years, the need to find families for some of the most vulnerable children, remains at the heart of event There are many reasons why a mother might decide to choose adoption. But of all the reasons listed,
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Down Syndrome Awareness Baby Brain Apparel Leggings Giveaway

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. To celebrate our beautiful boys, Harps and I are teaming up to host a fabulous giveaway! A little bit of background for you… As some of you will know, I write the blog “Don’t Be Sorry” primarily all about my son Oscar, 5,
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Toy Box Tots

I don’t know about you but our playroom at home is full to the brim with toys. Dinosaurs, Lego, Pirate Ships, Paw Patrol figures, Cars and goodness knows how many Dollies… it always looks like there’s been a national disaster happen in there after Oscar, Alfie and Flo have got their hands on it all.
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It always seems impossible until it’s done…

So…. it’s just after 7pm. All three kids are in bed and almost asleep, after 7 whole weeks off for the summer holidays. Tomorrow, is a momentous day for us (and many many families like us across the land I should imagine), in that Oscar goes back to school (followed shortly after by Alfie and Flo,
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Ignorance is always afraid of change

“What a bunch of selfish stupid people. What kind of life are those kids going to have? No chance of independance, no chance of holding jobs, no chance of normal life. Stuck on disability pension for the rest of their lives …. And I am REFUSING my taxes being spent to pay for the stupidity
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Should we?

Sometimes, when you have a child with additional needs, it’s really hard to know how to play it. And by that I mean, when someone acts a certain way towards your child, it’s hard to know whether to say something or just let it go. Confrontation is not usually my bag, but when that comes
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Never stop learning because life never stops teaching

  There was a time, back in the day, when I would have cried at the drop of a hat. A rom com at the cinema would definitely have set me off. That TV programme Noel Edmonds presented on Christmas day (where deserving people got amazing presents) has been known to leave me a blubbering
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Right up our “Little Street”…

Those of you who know me well, will know how much I loathe Soft Play. I can totally appreciate it serves a purpose and for a lot of Mums and Dads out there, they wouldn’t be without it but for me, it’s basically my idea of hell. In my mind, anywhere that involves me crawling
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“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” 

This isn’t a birth story. I’ve written one of those way back when. It’s not even about the moment we found out, that the paediatrician that checked Oscar over, suspected he had Down Syndrome. I’ve talked about the language she used. The fact that she said she was sorry with a crestfallen expression. I’ve talked
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OXO Tot Review

Some of you will know that we use Oxo Tot’s Twist Top Water Bottle for Oscar’s drinks and can’t speak highly enough of the company. So we were thrilled when they asked us if we’d like to try out some of their newer products. First off was the Oxo Tot Perch Grey Booster Seat with
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“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should Dance”

They say that when you have a child, you become their biggest and fiercest protector. They also say the hardest part of being a parent, is watching your child go through something really tough and not being able to fix it. I think “they”, whoever they might have been, had a point. This time last
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Dreams won’t work unless you do

Early this morning, I was approached by Channel 5 News to go up to their studio in London to talk about whether people with learning disabilities should be allowed to earn less than the minimum wage. The reason they asked, was because today an article has been published in The Spectator Magazine, written by a lady called Rosa Monckton who
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“I am not here to change the world. I am changing the world because I am here”

There are times that I wonder if perceptions will ever change. Whether the message is getting through. If blogs like mine really make a difference or not. Don’t get me wrong, it restores a little faith to know, that if one or two people every once in a while, look at this blog and page
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A world without my beautiful little boy?

We were really keen to not have too much of an age gap between Number One (Sophie) and a second. She seemed to take forever to be conceived and I was worried it may take a similar time frame again for the second (we weren’t getting any younger!). I was in absolute disbelief (in a
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Marvellous Monkey Music

This is Flo, Oscar’s little sister. I don’t often write about Oscar’s siblings, because I guess the idea behind the blog is about him – a little boy who happens to have Down Syndrome. But today it’s Flo’s turn. Flo is my third baby. So as I assume is the case in a lot of
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“Diagnosis is not the end but the beginning of practice”

“Wow, he doesn’t stop does he? He’s been running around all lunchtime. Superstar.” The statement was uttered by a slightly out of breath teaching assistant Oscar had apparently been giving the run around that lunchtime. I’ve been picking Oscar up from school every day at 1.20pm, which has meant he’s had his lunch, enjoyed some
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“Everyone wants to escape sometimes”

I suppose I should commend Oscar for his sense of adventure. And I suppose the fact that he’s determined and independent is a good thing, right? I listen to other parents talk about their children and how they never stray too far from their sides and I wonder why I ended up with three kids,
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“What makes you different makes you beautiful”

“It’s Oscar. Hi Oscar,” I heard a little voice shout over the noise of the preschool room. We’d just walked through the door and the boy who’d noticed us walk in came over and he and Oscar greeted each other with a big hug. It was a lovely exchange and made me smile. I realised
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If only closed minds came with closed mouths

A few weeks back, I did something stupid. I looked at something online, which I wish I hadn’t seen. I often see on social media, people getting on their moral high horse about various pages, groups, forums that have been set up, which say appalling and disparaging things about people with DS. I see that
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“I thought I would have to teach my child about the world. It turns out, I have to teach the world about my child.”

It might be the January blues or it might be because I’m on a diet (which, I’ve decided, is quite possibly THE most depressing thing in the world) but of late, I’ve been feeling a little low. I’m not one to dwell on doom and gloom, preferring to look on the bright side of life,
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I have not failed, I have found 10,000 ways that do not work

If I’m right, you’re probably thinking, that my child with additional needs would be the hardest work. I’m also thinking, you’re thinking, that the child with Down Syndrome living in our house, is more than likely to be the child to have the most behavioural problems and frustrations in communicating. Am I right? Well up
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“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”

This morning I received a letter. A letter that quite honestly made me feel sick to my stomach. The letter was from the local authority, letting me know that Oscar had been turned down for an EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan) assessment and was asking whether we want to appeal or take it to
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An open letter to the lady that referred to my son as a vegetable…

Last week a woman, Ursula Presgrave who “stars” in the UK TV show, Call Centre, caused outrage, by saying that “Anyone born with Down Syndrome, should be put down because it’s just cruel to let them lead a pointless life of a vegetable”. She posted this on her Facebook page which lead to a barrage
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“You’ve got your hands full”

You’ve got your hands full – quite possibly the most annoying overused phrase known to man. Or perhaps it’s just me, as most annoying to “all men” would be an over exaggeration but you get my gist. I’m talking about the woman in the chemist, the next door neighbour, the man walking his dog on
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“Never let fear stop you from living” – Happy 3rd Birthday Oscar

I remember on Oscar’s first birthday, feeling an overpowering sense of relief. The month before, he’d had Open Heart Surgery and my baby boy was now home, where he belonged. He was well again and both Chris and I just felt so very grateful. Today however, the day before his third birthday, I feel somewhat
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Family fun at Center Parcs

  I don’t know about you, but with two little boys, (Oscar- 3 years and Alfie- 18 months) and currently 7 months pregnant, the prospect of a long car journey or having to get on a plane, to go on holiday may have sent me over the edge. We had had three choices this year.
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Blog of the Year Finalist? – MADness

It may sound odd but I started writing originally, as an outlet. Somewhere where I could write my most personal thoughts down and once I started, I found I couldn’t seem to stop. It never even occurred to me that I would actually bother publishing it. I mean who would want to listen to me
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“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”

When I open my “Don’t Be Sorry” emails, the number one reason people often message me, is when they have had a baby with Down Syndrome and are looking for some sort of support. They’re reaching out, I guess. They’re asking how I felt in those early days, weeks and months. Asking me if it’s
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Out Of Sync?

I’ve had an emotional few weeks. And before you start feeling sorry for me. Please don’t. You see, my emotionalness (I know that’s not actually a word) is bordering on dramatic. I’m guessing it has a little to do with Oscar and some of the added worries we have along the way with him but
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‘All kids need is a little help, a little hope and someone who believes in them’

I remember in the mid 80’s, being around about 8 years old, taking a trip up to London with my family and being approached on the street by a man with Down Syndrome. I was walking a little way behind my family, not so that they were out of sight of course, but more than
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‘Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored’ – World Down Syndrome Day 2015

If I’m truly honest, just over 2 and a half years ago, before I had Oscar, I wanted to be someone that treated people with additional needs just the same as I would treat the next person. But the truth? I felt uncomfortable. I felt especially uncomfortable around their parents. I didn’t understand how they could possibly be ok
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World Down Syndrome Day 2015 – Don’t Be Sorry’s Video

Today marks the first day of Down Syndrome Awareness Week (16th – 22nd March) with World Down Syndrome Day 2015 #WDSD15 on Saturday 21st March So I thought I’d do something I’ve never attempted before! I’ve put together a short video clip, all about my little boy Oscar and our journey so far. I remember
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Comparison is the thief of joy

At the park this week, there stood a father with his son. The son can’t have been more than 5 years old and was asking his daddy if he could have a go on the roundabout. His dad’s reply: “You can have a go on the roundabout if you tell me what force is created for
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Happy New Year – We won and turned one!

As 2014 draws to a close, and the coffee creams are the only lonely chocolates left at the bottom of the Roses tin, it’s time to reflect on the year past. It’s lovely to look back to see how far Oscar has come but not only that, next week it will be a year since I
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Having a 2 year old is like using a blender without a lid

Today started off pretty badly. The Roberts’, (that’s us by the way) had a 4.45am start. For the past week or so the boys have been getting over nasty colds, which at night has left them coughing. I swear, as soon as you tell someone that your baby’s sleeping through the night, 9 times out
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Junior Caring Cutlery – Oscar’s Review

Every couple of months, Oscar is given new sets of targets from his Therapists. Our latest from his Physiotherapist, is walking up the stairs, rather than climbing. Speech and Langauge is all about encouraging different sounds. Portage works along side the Speech Therapist who encourages learning through play, giving him games and activities to carry
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Behind every great kid is a mum who is pretty sure she’s screwing it up

Today I did something that I’m not proud of. I mean it was a low point in my parenting life so far. I was calculated and thought about it before I did it which makes it even worse. I lied, to make myself look better. One of Oscar’s therapists was coming round at 11am. I
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You must be the change you wish to see in the world

I remember going to church every Sunday as a young girl. I don’t remember much about it, only that I played Mary in the nativity play and that they made me ride in on the back of a donkey, (the part of the donkey played by a taller… Ok, slightly rotund kid) and that one
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Here’s a little bit of advice for you. ADV

There are two types of advice. The advice you ask and are grateful for… And then there’s the advice people choose to give you, regardless of whether you wanted it or not! Take last weekend, for example. I was SO grateful for advice. Oscar was very unwell, we were away in Ireland and I was
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The 2014 MAD BLOG AWARDS

What started out at a bit of a rubbish week – a catalogue of events that I won’t bore you with, that was topped off by clipping another car and smashing my wing mirror to pieces, actually in hindsight, turned out to be a pretty amazing one. I truly can’t believe I’m writing this… But
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“No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future”

My very best friend’s mum has Alzheimer’s. She’s 66 and was diagnosed with it just over 5 years ago now. As far as she is concerned, life is good. She is, for the most part, blissfully unaware that gradually she is slowly losing her memory, reasoning and judgement. For my beautiful best friend however, every
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There’s no BUDDY like a brother

Today in the park I took my eye off the ball. And by the ball, I mean Oscar. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt today, it’s to never take my eye off the ball. Especially in a children’s playground. I’d taken Oscar and Alfie to the park whilst Daddy was out cycling (how nice a
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‘Rivers know this: there is no hurry, we shall get there someday’

Tomorrow, Oscar has his first “settling in” morning at his new nursery. He’s not officially starting until the beginning of September but I have to admit, I am full of mixed emotions. Will he be ok? Will he fit in? Will he be able to cope? Will they be able to cope with him? I’m,
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Womb for rent (Baby Gammy story)

As I watched the BBC news last week… Ok, I’ll rephrase that; While Chris watched the BBC news last week and I happened to be in the same room on my iPad, I heard the headline “Thai surrogate baby boy with Down Syndrome left behind, while twin sister is taken home by parents”. In all
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Anyone can be a father, it takes someone special to be a dad

I’ve spoken about Chris before. Chris is my husband; Mr Social. He loves people. He loves life, in fact. He loves sport. He loves beer, perhaps a little too much. But his energy is infectious. He’s the person who makes me laugh every single day. He’s the person his friend Tom describes as “The guy
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Oscar turns 2

Well Oscar’s birthday weekend was a great success. We’re exhausted, as it was non stop but we all had a fab time! Unfortunately, leading up to his birthday, Oscar had been pretty poorly. He’d had an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, which had really wiped him out for a good week or so. I was in
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Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart

I wish I’d had a crystal ball the night I gave birth to Oscar. So that when they told me they suspected he had Down Syndrome, that I could look at the “me” now, 2 years on, and see that life isn’t over, or sad. If anything, it’s actually pretty fantastic. I felt like my
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