Monday, December 19, 2016

Coxsackie Virus

Poor Ryan came down with Coxsackie virus last week. Also known as Hand Foot and Mouth disease as its mainly recognized by small red itchy blisters covering the child's hand feet and around and inside the mouth. For the first few days Ryan was pretty sick so i took him to the ER. He had recently been at a birthday party and the child was recovering from viral meningitis which started with spots that looked exactly like Ryan. After some Internet scanning I found out that HFM is the leading cause of viral meningitis in children! Luckily as Ryan didn't have a high fever etc the dr didn't suspect meningitis thankfully. Ryan did have a particularly bad case of HFM as his spots were all over his body and very red and angry. Even after a week off school he still has many spots but most of the blisters have now scabbed over. Will probably take another week or so for them to disappear completely. Just in time for Santa!    Im so not ready for Christmas at all this year. Ryan being off school has really put us behind schedule and we had to cancel all the Christmas activities I had arranged for Ryan so it doesnt even feel like Christmas is just around the corner. Luckily the tree is finally up, and being tortured by the kittens who have already eaten their way through one set of lights. And we did get Ryan to see Santa as one of the shopping centres has a Santa for Special Needs each Sunday which doesnt have long lines and is available before the the shops even open. Its the little things that make such a big difference in life sometimes.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Meet Fergal and Oscar

Meet the newest additions to the Bradley Clan. I had been looking for a grey kitten for ages but turns out all grey, fluffy kittens are like gold dust (and expensive!) in this part of the world. So I settled on 2 little grey tabbys that are just the sweetest and that we have named Oscar and Fergal. 

 It was Oscar and Felix for a while after the Odd Couple but Felix wasnt really rolling of the tongue so Fergal it became. They have settled in really well. Getting on with the dogs. They are  loving playing in the trees but they are still a bit young to be out full time yet. Ryan has largely ignored them but no surprise there really. 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Best Daddy

To the bestest Daddy in the whole wide world. 
You carry me when my legs wont work, and give the best piggy backs
You take me to the pool and hold me up so I can splash and splash and splash. 
You bring me into your bed in the morning to snuggle, even though my elbows and knees could be considered methods of mass destruction. 
You have wheeled me when Im sure you would have rather chased me.
You have sat in hospital chairs many times beside me, slept in hospital beds even though my fever was so high the heat was unbearable you didnt let me go and prayed for me the times the doctors thought I might not make it through
You accepted me way before i was born, and promised you would love whatever life I was to live. 
You have never broken that promise, even though you have never heard I love you or even heard me call you Daddy
I do love you to the moon and back, and mommy thinks you are quite cute too. 
Happy Fathers Day!!
Love Ryan xxx

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


I thought we had dodged this bullet

I thought Ryan was "too old" now to develop seizures.

I may have been wrong

2 days ago Ryan came home from school and his bus driver and aide thought he had had a seizure. They found him unresponsive and shaking. He didn't come around for 3-4 mins. I called his doctor and she wanted me to bring him straight to the ER. To check for things that might have caused a seizure ......... dehydration, infection etc. He hasn't been sick recently but had been upset at school all week which is very unlike him. Had he been feeling unwell and we hadn't known? Dam you GATAD2B for making my child non verbal!

After a long wait in the Belfast Royal Childrens Hospital ER we saw the consultant and learnt he didn't have a fever and all his labs looked normal. We took him home and were told to follow up with his pediatrician.

Seizures scare me. I've seen how they can be uncontrollable. I've seen how they can rob a child of their current skills and warrant medicine that can slow or stop the acquisition of new skills. I've seen how they can take a childs life!

I thought we had dodged this bullet

I thought seizures were not known to be related to Ryan's gene mutation, but through Facebook have found out that 5 of the known 20 GATAD2B kids have had seizures.

That's 1 in 4


Not great odds after all

We will know more after we see the neurologist and have an EEG.

Friday, May 22, 2015


When I took off Murphy's blankets after the winter I was horrified with how his coat was shedding, blotchy and bald in parts. The worst I had ever seen him look. I quickly got him on some linseed oil (usually would use flax seed but I cant seem to find that over here and linseed is pretty much the same) and prayed that after the shedding he would be fine. Well out 24/7 for an Irish winter seems to have agreed with him and his coat has come in healthy and beautiful, evidenced by the abundance of dapples which will only come out if the nutrition of the horse is good. For a previous "show" horse, pampered and fussed over for 13 years, to slumming it outside I would say hes looking rather well.  I'm glad I made the decision in December to move him barns. I didn't realise that due to all the rain Ireland gets most barn owners, to protect their fields, keep the horses in all winter over here. Yes, not like in New Jersey where turnout time is severely reduced due to cold, ice and snow, but the horses still get out at least a few hours a day, here they are in a sense on lock down. I just couldn't do that to him! So happy I found this place with huge fields, its very quiet but has the added bonus of only being literally round the corner from my house. I have dreamed of having him this close for years!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

7! Really ?!?

Happy seventh birthday, Ryan!!!

Wow, so hard to believe you are seven already !!! When did that happen !!! Mum was right, time really does fly by. Well since 7 is a totally momentous birthday (who doesn't remember their 7th birthday?? ) and this year has been a little momentous for all of us also, we decided to throw a pretty big party at the house. The last time we did this was for your 2 year birthday. We missed out on the first birthday party extravaganza as we were both not feeling too well. I was in the emotional throws of developmental delay and you had a 105 degree fever so we pretty much gave it a miss that year and put it off until the next. Truth be told I'm not a big lover of traditional big birthday party's for you. You don't really care about all the stuff other little boys care about like presents and cake and party games and pinatas. You cant really partake in alot of those things in the traditional sense so I cant see having a party for other peoples kids to enjoy. You are more interested in more simple things, being with those that really love you for you, enjoying swings with Daddy, or reading a book with Mummy, puzzles with Granny, or attention hoarding from cousins. So as this was our first year in a new house, new country, we decided to hold a party for family and close friends.  

First thing to do was to get the house ready, or rather tame the garden that had not been looked at all winter. Luckily it was the Easter break in Ireland so my mum was off school and able to lend a helping hand. The garden is definitely looking better, it still has a long way to go but its much much better than when we bought the house after lying empty for a couple of years. We have alot more plans for the outside of the house but we are trying to tackle them in bite size chunks as it just gets too overwhelming otherwise. 

I picked up the cake the day before the party. Shaun the sheep withthe cutest sheep cupcakes. We took Ryan to see the movie about a month ago and he loved it, chuckled the whole way through. 

The day was a great success. Many people from our past and present showed up including a few friends I hadn't seen in 20 years with their kids in tow. I think Ryan enjoyed his day surrounded by love. The only hitch was when I couldn't find the candles! Big mummy fail, but Ryan didn't seem to care.

I tell you this everyday, but I will put it in writing anyway Ryan, - I love you. I love you for the little person you are, not for the little person you might have been. I love caring for you, and making sure your needs are always met. I love taking you to your appointments and making sure you are always well taken care off, and you have a loud voice. I love playing with you, reading with you, lending you my finger, my arms, my strength for however long you need them. If I sometimes seem tired, sad or frustrated, please know that's it not you, its not your fault. You are and will always be my light. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Playroom Update

One of the first rooms we needed to complete when we moved into the new house was the playroom. Ryan has no fear of danger so with construction and cleaning going on I needed a room that he would be safe in when we couldn't watch him. 

Here's a reminder of how the room looked when we moved in, complete with alter. The previous tenants for some reason were using this room as a prayer room. We removed the alter, kept the bench, and painted trim and walls white. I decided to go with white walls as I knew there would be alot of color added with Ryan's toys. 

I covered the bench with a cushion. At some point I will add doors to the seat on the bench so we can use the inside for storage. 
Floors were painted with grey floor paint and an Ikea rug was added. 

The Borgsjo bookcase from Ikea was the perfect fit for the corner space, and provides lots of storage, the most important thing in a playroom. 

A chalkboard was added with an Ikea Ribba picture ledge underneath to hold duster etc, this ledge is also sturdy enough for Ryan to pull up to stand on. Ikea Fintorp containers serve great to hold chalk and pens, out of reach from Ryan when alone as he has a habit of writing on the walls. 

On the other wall we have a sturdy Ikea console table. I hope to put some picture frames above this for Ryan's own paintings.