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The Lodger, The Summer (so far) and Us

The summer break is going fast. It's not summer holidays, as in The Lodgers world a holiday is where you pack a suitcase and go somewhere, so it's summer break in this house.  Infact, it's summer break in the new house, our new home. 
So realistically, lots of suitcases were packed and boxes.... so many boxes. 

But we are here, having made the huge decision to move across the country, we are slowly unpacking boxes as we settle into our new home. We have been full-time residents in the west of Ireland for a little over a month now. It's been busy, hence the lack of updates on The Lodger and Us.

Usually, when we go quiet, we are facing a challenge and you might be expecting me to write about the challenges the Lodger has faced with the epic change that is moving house. I can, hand on heart, declare that The Lodger has settled into his new home without a hiccup. He spends his time walking around telling us how much he loves this house, our new house. He's happy. We're happy and it truly feels like home. As corny as it sounds. 

A boychino in the new cafe!

So what has the Lodger been up to, you ask! 
Well, he turned 6 years old. I know. I can't believe it either. 

He spent his last day being five being hilarious, as he celebrated doing everything for the last time as a five-year-old. 

'This is my last breakfast being five, my last morning snack being five, my last lunch being five, my last afternoon snack being five and my last dinner being five'.

It was the first of his birthdays that he had lots of questions about why he was in the hospital as a baby. 

'Mum, I'm going to be six tomorrow! Mum, tell me the story of me being born!'

So I told him, the story of his birthday, of how happy mum and dad were to have their baby boy, of how the nurses and doctors wanted to mind him, of how mum and dad missed him when he stayed in hospital and of how happy everyone was that he was ok. 

In a way, it was therapeutic to share The Lodgers birthday story in a happy way.  

The Lodger is six!

'Mum, my first house was the hospital. Three weeks living in the hospital, Mum. Wow, I love this. I've three houses. Hospital, my old house, the new house.'

'Mum, who minded me when you weren't there?'
'Mum I love the nurses and doctors!'

The Lodger knows the story so well. He loves hearing how the NICU nurses loved minding him as they got to cuddle him as they fed him, as he was bigger than the tiny premature babies. He loves looking back at his first days' photographs and revelling in the joy of being in a hospital.  

'Mum, what did you and Dad do when the doctor let me go home?'

I filled The Lodger in on the celebration, of all his visitors from family and friends, his team! 

'Mum, it's my birthday tomorrow!'
'Mum, when is it tomorrow?'
'Mum, what about my cake?'

Ah, the cake. 

As usual, the Lodger set us a challenge. Over the years we've carved watermelons into trains and pirate ships, we've had berry sticks and greek yoghurt but this year, The Lodger requested a farm cake. 
Pinterest, my usual, go to for inspiration, provided me with zilch. 

The Lodger has expectations of how things will be and look. In previous years, the carved watermelon train cake caused him to have a wobble, as it didn't look like a cake cake. He was used to seeing cake cakes in books and movies and other peoples birthdays. We always strive to make the Lodgers birthday a happy day for him.  He always makes sure everyone has their favourite cake on their birthday, even though he knows he won't get a slice of it. So, we created a farm made of fruit with a little help from Playmobil. (Thank you playmobil!) It was a surprise for him. Last year, to avoid a wobble, we'd given him a sneak preview of his pirate ship cake but this year, we decided to see how a surprise would go down.....

The Lodger returned from his birthday walk. We blindfolded him, lit the candles and held our breaths, as we told him to look..... 
'WOW, I love my farm cake!' 

The farm cake

Phew, parenting win. Take that PWS! 

The Lodger has had a busy summer so far. Apart from turning six, he also had a ring bearer obligation at his uncles' wedding. A job that we sprung on him about an hour beforehand, to save our sanity from all the questions. He just did it, no hassle. We were all proud. A lovely long weekend was spent celebrating with family and new family as The Lodger calls them. Welcome to the team. Though the ceremony did come second to the milking demonstration at the farm! 

We met our new neighbour and as we're open about The Lodger and PWS, I filled her in. She was apologetic that she hadn't brought him sweets and I just smiled and said ' You must have a sixth sense, The Lodger has what we call a special tummy, so he can't have sweets but he'll be delighted to help me look after this lovely new plant!'

It's not a lie. He will be delighted, he loves having jobs.

We've had many walks in the woods across from our house. We've had visits from family and friends. (You're welcome anytime, just give us a shout!). We've had drives around the countryside, picnics on the beach, we've found a new doctor and chemist (a highlight for the Lodger). We've adopted three kittens and got the Lodger a bunk bed (two parts of his negotiations filled. The Lodger doesn't forget!). We've found cafes to visit for boychinos. We've been taking part or been cheering at triathlons. We're having a lovely summer. A calm summer. A really lovely, calm summer.*

*Well 90% calm, PWS is still and always will be part of our world, so there's been a handful of crocodile moments but mostly a calm, lovely summer. 

The Lodgers kittens! 


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This is Real

This is real.
This feeling. 
This comfort.
This feeling of being surrounded by like-minded people.
A warming safety feeling.
No stress.
No panic.
No fears.
The joys of the Prader Willi family weekend.

A time when you release your child to the elements, safe in the knowledge that if anything was to happen the Prader Willi Police (PWP) are everywhere. Watching. Like undercover agents hiding in the shadows. But not actually in the shadows. 

We are a fun crew. A happy crew. A proud crew. We look out for each other with a nod and a smile. A simple nod of 'I've got this, fear not'. It's lovely to embrace these moments. The Lodger loves these weekends. If excitement wasn't sometimes such a chore it may well be exciting. A time when he can meet all his like-minded friends and enjoy the freedom although he's being watched by so many knowledgeable eyes. 

Another dad once told me; "We, the parents are the experts of this syndrome". And those words have never left me. 

As I …