Reasons to be Cheerful..... Part 2

I was delighted to receive the Happiness 101 award from Petunia recently! Like the Sunshine Blog Award before it, it was perfectly timed as the ideal antidote to my previous, more serious, SNA Post.

When I was a novice blogger with  very few followers (and no facebook to network it) way back in November 2008, I did a similar post listing 10 things that brought a smile to my face that week. I've just read it back with great pleasure and it's funny to see how different things are for us now. We were in a whole other place then! Literally, as we were between two houses at the time!

In order to claim this award I must 10 things that make me happy and then nominate some other victims...em recipients! This list of 10 is a little more challenging then my previous list as it has a "daily" element to it. So here goes......

1. FAMILY

Our little family....... Mr Jazzy, WiiBoy and I! Of course!

2. SNUGGLE TIME

 Starting each and every day with a wake up snuggle with WiiBoy. It really is the only way to start the day! In fact, it's a bit of a family snuggle too as he's usually in our bed so he gets squashy hugs from both sides! Luckily enough WiiBoy is still young enough to want and request numerous snuggles throughout the day so that makes me really happy and I intend to make the most of it while it lasts.



3. GOLDEN NECTAR


My morning bucket cup of tea. Oh God, I need that morning cup of tea and it's good to know I'm not alone in this....that right Jean?!! I wait until I get WiiBoy to school and then I come home and really savour that cuppa with toast and a read of my book. Bliss! It's gas I actually get a withdrawl headache by lunchtime if I don't have that morning cuppa! But it's ok, I'm not a closet tea drinker. I mean there's no hidden stash of used or unused Teabags hidden behind sofas etc to disguise my addiction!

4 LAZY MORNINGS.

 The days (very rare, I swear) when I get to take that cuppa and book back to bed and get some extra rest. Sure it's the simple things in life that does it. I now have WiiBoy in on my secret and on Mr Jazzy's golf mornings, or Easter school holidays, we both get to have brekkie in bed!! Heaven!

5 SECRET LUNCH-TIME TRYST

 (OK.... this one is written in italics and parenthesis, well there's no whisper font, as this is a secret. My big secret, daily  lunchtime tryst with sambo yet another cuppa and......... Home and Away! But, shhhhh.......don't tell! Promise? Wouldn't do my street cred any good if this got out!)

6. HOME.....

 Our extension. I'm still wallowing in the novelty of our "new" extension and love lying on the crescent shaped sofa reading my book (or listening to my new iTouch.) Especially when the sun is shining through our new velux windows. Even on a cold day if feels like sunbathing, so cosy is our extension!
 It's also nice to lie there, of an evening and see the full moon shine through the same velux windows...with all the lights switched off. Magical. It also makes me really happy to snuggle up with WiiBoy with nice cuddly blankets/Duvet and watch movies! Mr Jazzy also sometimes joins us!

7. .....IS WHERE THE HEARTH IS.



My new fireplace. When I'm not in the extension I like to sit in the sitting room, watch TV/read book/listen to/play with my iTouch ( did I mention how much I LOVE my new iTouch??!) and admire my fireplace! Sad, I know but I love the stones we carefully handpicked from the beach and I especially love when the candles are lighting! I know, I know....even Mr Jazzy thinks I'm loopy on this one! But look at the fireplace we had before.........



Now, you see what I mean! I never tire of the changes we've made in this house......

8. TV TIME

Getting my usually daily fix of SATC re-runs! I never tire of it. Of course I also love my weekly dose of   Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives!

9. GOING OUT

This is definitely not daily but I love the rare occasion that myself and Mr Jazzy get to go out. There's no chance of a night away on our own (no family nearby to mind him.... although The Cuz has offered so might take her up on that!) so I enjoy whenever we get to go out together. I think that's why we regularly go to pub for tea. It's our night out, even though WiiBoy comes too...... but we really do enjoy it.

10. FUN TIME

Facebook and Blogging. I know there are some who feel this is a sad existence but it's not ! It's fulfilling, enlightening and FUN! Just think of all the people I've met that I wouldn't have otherwise met and am now proud and honoured to call friends. Plus, think of all the friends of old that I've caught up with. Blogging keeps my mind active! Over active at times, to be honest, but it's fulfilling and fun and it's especially nice to get comments and new followers! And you know I'm not the most techie person in the universe so this has helped my computer and communication skills, and I wouldn't be ashamed or afraid to mention it in any C.V./ Interview if I ever chose to go back to  "paid" employment. So there!


Well, this post has been fun to do and has made me appreciate the wonderful life we have here in the Jazzy house! So, let me pass this on to other unsuspecting victims, I mean willing participants. Hmmmmm.....let me see...... OK..... I tag the following:

Irish Mammy @ Irish Mammy on the Run.

Clive @ Assistance Dog for Autism.

Nan P @ A Journey into Grand-Motherhood.

Tanya @ Teen Autism

Twiggy ( the Newby!) @ Ro Ro Row Your Boat.

Popsie @ The Crazy World of an Autie Mom

Andra @ The Perfect Storm 


And Patsyperdu @ The Odd Adventures of Dr Destructo  

Enjoy! It's fun to do and really great to look at again in the future! 

xx Jazzy

The Choking Game

This is a game played by teenagers and it's a game that does exactly what it says on the tin. The game involves teenagers choking each other to the point of collapse, to get high. It's also called The Good Kid's High as it's perceived as the good kid's alternative to doing drugs.

Now this is not a new game, it is a game that has been with us for generations, I'm told. I was not aware of this as I had a very sheltered upbringing you know, given that I was raised in a working class area on Dublin's north side! In my day the worse thing you could do was smoke. Or get pregnant! Drugs were around alright but not to the extent that they are today. I was of course aware that adults and celebrities partook in this shocking "game". Call me naive but I was not aware there was a "high" involved.

I was choked once.

I certainly didn't feel high afterward...or anything like it.

This is the video that brought this "game" to my attention. I was totally shocked by it and could only watch it once as I find it really distressing.








This Sky News report shows the immediate aftermath of some children being choked, but for obvious reasons does not divulge the precise methods used. You see them shimmy to the floor and then flailing about, as their friends are laughing in the background at the "hilarity" of it all.

It ends on a report about a child who died as a result of this game. The parents had no idea he was involved in such a frightening activity, but they did notice he had previously been listless and sleeping a lot.


There are more stories of children dying and of some being permanently disabled. It is strongly suspected that this 15 year old was brain damaged as a result of playing this game. (WARNING: this is another video I found distressing.)

In this aforementioned US report the 15 year old was without oxygen for only 3 to 5 minutes. He was found alone so no-one can be sure, but the Doctors strongly suspect he had been playing this game. Either alone or with friends.... and they ran off. After watching both these reports I wondered if not only friends carry out this horrific activity but if a group of bullies would coerce  a child that they are bullying into trying it? Perhaps as some kind of "acceptance" ritual........ so that they would video it, YouTube it and "have a laugh". My recent experience with children and how they can bully others via their Nintendo consoles, has made me more aware of  the bullying potential of ANY activity.


This reporter says that children play this "game" in groups OR on their own which is far, far more dangerous, as they are less likely to be found quickly.  The reporter also points out that it's not only teenagers playing this game. Children as young as 9 have been involved.

I find that truly shocking.

All reports I've seen warn parents to talk to their children. NOW.

The children are not afraid to talk about this game in front of their parents and even use the term The Choking Game. There are lots of other names for it, for example: Space Monkey, Cloud Nine, The Purple Dragon, Rising Sun, Roulette and Funky chicken etc.

Have any of those terms been used in your house recently??

An example of  the signs to look out for are: Depression like symptoms along with bloodshot eyes, complaints of headaches,  marks on the neck, even questions about the effects of strangulation, locked doors and disorientation after spending time alone .

Sound familiar??

Read here for more information about this disturbing game .....In 2008 it was estimated that between 250 and 1000 children die from playing this game each year (US figures, I think.). See here also, for more facts (read the PDF document).

I always warn WiiBoy about putting his hands around anyone's neck....either in play OR in anger...... especially in anger. There was an incident when he was younger that knocked me for six. It turned out he was only doing to someone what someone else had done to him. That gave me some relief...to know he got it from someone else and didn't just decide to do it himself. Obviously we worked hard on anger as a result. He still sometimes goes to put his hands around my neck (even typing this freaks me out)in anger but usually stops short. It's not a big problem anymore though, as I've told him my story. He now understands it doesn't take much to seriously hurt someone by doing this.........


Years ago, in MY teenage years,  I was walking through a local park, hand-in-hand with my then boyfriend, the love of my life! As I thought at the time. I was so young and foolish then! We were messing and slagging each other as we walked along. We stopped in a green clearing, with bushes in the centre. There was no-one else around.

I said something and my then boyfriend, jokingly, put his hands around my neck.

I don't remember feeling any pressure whatsoever.

I must have shimmied to the ground, because all I do remember is flailing about as I came to.


There was no-one laughing at the "hilarity" of it all. Tears were shed instead.

I certainly did NOT feel high afterwards. I felt sick and weak.

I even feel sick writing about it now, over 25 years later.

It was a very scary thing to happen, for both of us and it could just as easily have ended differently. Thankfully, I lived to tell the tale but I have often wondered how much more pressure would it have taken for me not to wake up? What would have happened then? There was no-one around and there were bushes nearby..........

I know there is  lots of   controversy  surrounding the death of  Robert Holohan . This 11 year old boy (with ADHD) died tragically at the hands of his 20 year old neighbour, Wayne O'Donoghue, in Cork, December 2005. The main controversy seems to have been about how precisely he died. The defendant said that he died accidentally. He had thrown stones at his (Wayne's) car and there was some "horseplay" involved whereby Wayne had Robert in a headlock. He subsequently lost consciousness and died. Accidentally.


Now, I am NOT getting into the ins and outs of this case. All I want to say is that, due to my personal experience I have always accepted that it was very possible for this poor child to have died accidentally in this manner. All it took was a little more pressure to have been exerted in just the precise spot, for it to occur.


There were, of course other possibilities put forward and Wayne's actions AFTER the event were totally unforgivable. But I am NOT getting into all of that! I just want to point out how easy it can be to seriously hurt someone by accident.

In my case I like to think that my companion would not have acted in the same fashion, and he did have First Aid training.

So, please be on the lookout, and talk to your children NOW.


xx Jazzy

VOTE FOR BALLYOWEN MEADOWS SCHOOL FOR AUTISTIC CHILDREN: In The AIB Better Ireland Awards

 AIB's Better Ireland Awards Programme has funding up for grabs for Childrens Groups all around Ireland. There are a number of Autism specific schools out there looking for funding to allow them to continue, or start providing, much needed Therapies for the children.
 

Ballyowen Meadows School for Children on the Autistic Spectrum is one such school. The school is based in Stillorgan but is currently operating from Loughlinstown while the original school site undergoes major re-development. This school is a cause close to the heart of all of us, here in the House of Jazzy!

The school has approximately 40 children in small groups and does fantastic work with these children. Sometimes the school is a stepping stone to get a child ready for Mainstream school (ahem!) or a different Specialist school.

 To VOTE for this school to help them fund their very important Swimming, PlayBall and Horse Riding Therapies etc; please click here . Click on "Cornelscourt" Branch on the map and follow instructions.

Alternatively you can text your vote by:


Texting CORNEL followed by a space , followed by B to 51303

You can vote once a day by Text (standard SMS rates apply)  AND by email (Free).

The funds are allocated as follows:



The group receiving the highest votes will be given €5,000

second place €3,000

and third place €2,000



The more votes the more funds....so PLEASE GET VOTING!!

THERE ARE ONLY 10 DAYS LEFT, SO PLEASE VOTE EVERY DAY IF YOU CAN.


MANY THANKS!! 

xx Jazzy

Hope SPRINGS Eternal...

......As we walked down our lane (with a happy refrain) last Sunday.

It was a lovely sunny day, which was a nice change after all the recent  long cold, dark days! I decided I'd had enough of seeing WiiBoy parked in front of a screen and got us all wrapped up for a short walk down our lane to the beach.

It's been a while since we'd been on this walk. We've been so busy, you see. Would we remember the way I wondered!

Of course we did.And we brought some carrots with us.....


 

                                                      .............. To feed the horses.
Just as we ran out of carrots the foal appeared.......



...so he had to make do with a pat on the head!

So, off we went to our lovely stoney beach which is literally a stones throw away, if you'll pardon the pun!

WiiBoy was delighted because the tide was out....


And it wasn't long before he got his coat off....

 

And got straight down to work....


Making tracks and damns and re-arranging the flow of water, just like he did last time!

He gets such fun out of this. An Engineer-in-the-making?? An Entrepreneurial Engineer, that is ;-)

Eventually I dragged him away and we trotted back up the lane. On the way we found some hay and took some with us....

                                                    .......so the foal got fed too!!

Back home, change of clothes then out on the trampoline!!

 

Oh, don't you just love these days? Now, it was cold but it was SUNNY! It's been sunny and cold for the last two days which makes me think spring is here and it won't be long 'til summer. Happy Days!

'Tis enough to put you in good humour!

But has Spring sprung?

WiiBoy constantly tells me Spring begins Feb 1st, because that's what he's taught in school.

On the radio yesterday we were told "Yippee, it's Spring...1st of March!"

According to a texter to a radio station, and Yahoo answers  Spring will not be Sprung until March 20th, the Vernal Equinox.

So there! Glad we got that one sorted.

For now though, I'll just sit back and look at this one last photo from last year and dream about being on the beach again, very soon, watching WiiBoy splash about in the sea with his pals!

 

I hope you're experiencing some nice weather wherever you are and are feeling that Spring bounce in your step!

xx Jazzy
- DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS -