Well it’s hard to believe it but the summer holidays are over! I’m sure there’s lots of parents breathing a HUGE sigh of relief but I’m not one of them! I love being at home with my Daisy Duck and tried really hard to make the most of the time together. The main problem being…my grand ideas of numerous days out and endless adventure go far beyond the reaches of my purse strings!! We had fun regardless, well at least I hope she did! Here’s a bit of a summary (or indeed a summery!) of Daisy’s escapades!
We didn’t waste anytime in beginning our summer holiday and packed up our travelling circus for a week in wonderful Wales! After doing a lot of research for the right place to stay, we managed to find a lovely bungalow that was very close to the centre of Abersoch. Perfect for walks to the beach, café and shops. The mountain of things we need to take for Daisy is unbelievable but once we’d unpacked and settled in it was just bliss. We were really glad to be joined by Daisy’s Uncle and Auntie for the first weekend and her gorgeous cousin Ruby who stayed with us for the rest of the week. Daisy enjoyed celebrating Ruby’s 10th birthday and had a bit of a late night when we went out for a meal – she loves a bit of a party though!With Daisy and Ruby calling the shots we had a fabulous week of beach fun, beginning with the annual crab catching expedition. Daddy was very pleased with the purchase of his new crabbing nets and they seemed to do the trick. We managed to get a haul of 15 crabs before the lure of a coffee and some lunch at Zinc café became too great! The holiday also gave us the chance to test drive Daisy’s new all-terrain buggy. We purchased this after seeing it at Kidz Up North (a huge exhibition dedicated to children with disabilities). It isn’t ideal in terms of keeping Daisy in the correct posture but it is light weight and manoeuvrable on different surfaces so it is perfect for short periods of use when we want to get her out and about more easily. Life is about compromise! She has lots of time in her postural equipment but sometimes it’s important to remember that Daisy is just a 4 year old girl who deserves the chance to go to the beach, explore the woods and go beyond the constraints of her ordinary wheelchair.It wouldn’t have been an Abersoch holiday without a trip to some of our favourite places – first on the list was Criccieth. It was a bit of a chilly day with the odd shower so after a walk up to the castle and a nosey round the lifeboat centre we took shelter in Cadwallader’s to have lunch and an ice cream sundae. It would’ve been rude not too. Daisy enjoys having a taste of ice cream on her lips and tongue as long as it’s sweet! We ventured to Glasfryn Park that afternoon to do some bowling – Daisy perfected her bowling technique by pushing the ball down the ramp by nudging it with her toes. She couldn’t do a worse job than her Mummy! We also had a couple of visits to Llanbedrog beach – Mummy and Daddy’s favourite place and it appeared to be Daisy and Ruby’s favourite place too. Daisy loved being in the beach tent and got to experience the feeling of sand in her toes. We know the health and safety brigade say tracheostomy children shouldn’t be near water and shouldn’t be near sand, glitter, animal hair, the list goes on, but Daisy’s going everywhere we go and experiencing everything that her family does. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not reckless but what it life without a small element of risk taking and adventure?!Perhaps the most ambitious of our adventures was the fishing boat trip around the St Tudwals islands. Even Mummy and Daddy would admit to being a bit nervous about this but as long as we are able to lift her onto the boat then we’ll do it. It was such a brilliant feeling to be away from everything and sailing round the islands, watching the seals and listening to the waves and the birds. We love being here and Daisy was so well. The sea air really agrees with her and she slept soundly and used far less suction catheters than we expected. We’ve already started saving for next year in the hope that we can afford two weeks there instead of just one!August saw Daisy use her Chester Zoo membership for the final time before it expired. We’ve been seven times since we bought it so it has been worth every penny. We’re definitely going to buy one again because it’s such a lovely day out for us all and the facilities are just right for Daisy. There’s a Changing Places toilet, smooth paths, low level viewing windows and they always make a fuss of her when they are putting her wheelchair on the boat ride. Ruby came with us and enjoyed the new dinosaurs bit too. The only problem was it was too sunny – we kept having to find some shade to give the girls a chance to cool off!Daisy brought her standing frame home from school for the holidays. The therapy staff from school helped to adjust it and make sure it was ready to use and Daisy showed us how tall she is and how well she tolerates being upright. She enjoys this stander far more than her previous one and would happily stand in there for half an hour if you’re playing with her. It’s going back to school in September but we liked having it at home and it was especially nice for Daddy who doesn’t normally get to see her in the equipment from school. The two of them even took the chance to do a bit of dancing to the Strictly launch show whilst she was in there! I’m not sure how impressed she was but at least he couldn’t stand on her toes!We had a lovely day out at the Ice Cream Farm in Tattenhall, Cheshire. We haven’t been for a couple of years and it is completely different. Daisy’s cousins raced off to play in the soft play centre but then suddenly reappeared because they’d found a bit that had a bubble tube and sensory lights for Daisy. They really wanted to show her so I managed to climb through with Daisy and they were able to all play together. They even got me to take Daisy down the slide! The video evidence is not flattering for anyone! We just LOVE the relationship Daisy has with her cousins and the fact that they want to include her in things is just brilliant.We got a letter home from school before the holidays telling us about activities that were on during the summer. I almost didn’t read it because I assumed it wouldn’t be any use for us but then I saw the Wheels for All sessions at Robin Park. I decided to book her on and see what it was like. There was a huge selection of bikes, trikes, hand bikes and the Velo+ which Daisy would use. This is a bike with a platform on the front for a wheelchair to go on. It is a amazing idea and it was a lot easier to use than we expected. On the first session we took Uncle Nigel, Granddad and Grandma with us and we all had a go of riding with Daisy. It was a chance for Granddad to see what his new hip was capable off and it rose to the challenge! If we had a spare £8,000 we’d buy one and he could take her out all the time! We had another session at the end of August and we really enjoyed it again. We’re hoping to be able to do some more of these sessions during term time once Daisy has settled in to full time school.Daisy has also had a bit of a party summer – beginning with a lovely visit to The Crafty Paint Pod in Frodsham for Lucy’s birthday. Daisy really enjoyed herself (as did Mummy!) and use her fingerprints to make a mermaid for her wetroom. When you add tea, cake and chat into the mix, it was our idea of a perfect afternoon!The second party was for slightly older guests of honour…Great Grandma and Grandad’s Diamond Wedding! We had a lovely family meal at Houghwood Golf Club and Daisy enjoyed everyone being together and being able to go out on the balcony with her cousins.Daisy then had a double party day with Daniel’s and Thomas’s party in the morning then racing to Finlay’s party in the afternoon. She really enjoyed herself and we made sure that she got to enjoy herself on the trampolines and we attempted the big slide at both places. I have to admit that the climb to the top was like something from the Krypton Factor and you can only imagine me horror when we got to the bottom of the slide and Grandma told me the camera hadn’t worked! Back to the top we went but I nearly didn’t make it! It’s times like that that make me realise that Daisy is getting to be a really big girl and I won’t be able to carry her around forever – something I don’t like to think about!Much to Daddy’s frustration, Daisy and Mummy fancy themselves as some sort of horticultural experts. We love planting seeds and Daisy has her own little greenhouse to help them grow. We got some sunflower seeds in February to plant in memory of her friend Harry. We can’t say that we’ve done anything special other than remember to water them but they are absolutely HUGE. I don’t know how big they usually get but when we had strong winds a few weeks ago, one of them snapped so we went on a emergency mission to get tall canes to support them. I bought 8ft canes and the sunflowers were still much taller than the canes! They have been beautiful to look at and Daisy has enjoyed spending time in the garden this summer. We are hoping to get the seeds out of the sunflower heads and keep them for planting next year so Harry’s sunflowers can keep going.
Daisy and her cousin Kian are both starting school this September so there won’t be as many chances to go out for the day together apart from the holidays. We decided to have a little trip to Southport together before they both officially grow up and go to school! I have to confess to never having been to Southport beach, pier, etc before so this was new territory for Daisy! They all really enjoyed themselves and had some fun on the beach (although it was less of a beach than I expected!). We had a lovely walk along the prom and the pier and then squeezed on to the train to have a breezy ride to the end of the pier and back. Granddad was waiting given the responsibility of minding all our possessions – Lily was bothered about not being able to find him when we got back so was shouting from the train ‘We’re looking for a Granddad, a wheelchair and a buggy!’. Luckily there was only one man fitting the description and we were soon reunited! Daisy also enjoyed a ride on the carousel. We know how to life!!As the summer holiday was nearing an end, we had time for a couple more adventures. The all-terrain buggy that we have been using on our days out can also be towed behind a bike. We hadn’t tried it out yet but I saw an advert for ‘Ride the lights’ in Blackpool. They close the road to cars all along the front and cyclist can ride through the illuminations before they are officially turned on. We decided to give it a go because if it was a complete disaster then we could just come home and never speak of it again! The main issue was where to put Daisy’s suction machine because there isn’t a tray underneath this buggy so with the machine on Mummy’s back and Daisy being towed by Daddy, we set off along the prom. It was really busy and there were people of all ages taking park. Thankfully it was a success and we all had a great time. We’d definitely do it again next year and hopefully Mummy won’t be quite so rusty on her bike by then!Last weekend brought with it the event of the year…the Wigan 10k! After watching her cousins completing the children’s 1k race in the pouring rain on Saturday, we were a bit worried about whether it would be too wet and cold for Daisy to be out in her chair. We were so pleased on Sunday when the weather improved and we were able to get ourselves ready to secure Daisy’s 3rd Wigan 10k medal. Daddy was going to walk with us this year – partly to make it easier for Mummy so someone could help with carrying the oxygen and equipment and partly to be Daisy’s pacemaster! It was a brilliant atmosphere as always and it was lovely for the three of us to enjoy it together. Thanks to Daddy’s rather strict pacing we managed to beat our previous time by over 10 minutes! Goodness knows how I’ll beat that next year!!Well that was Summer 2016. It went by far too quickly but I think we achieved a lot and made lots of memories. Now, how long is it till Christmas?!