ARE YOU AN ONLY CHILD?

Last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked me the question Daddy and I have been half expecting. With a slight ripple across your brow and your blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister?’

Are you an only child and did you know why you became one literally? Perhaps it is a health or a financial circumstance beyond parent’s control or unfortunate situation of loss of parent making it not possible to have siblings. The parents of an only son have written a letter to him explaining their choice and decision to him alone. The letter stated that mother found out ‘last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked a question Daddy and was half expecting. With slight ripple across your brow and your blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister?’ I kissed the top of your head, squeezed you closer and momentarily panicked about how on earth to answer. At four years and four months, you are clearly starting to notice many of friends at nursery talk of siblings or babies. And thankfully this time, you gave me a reprieve turning your attention straight to dinosaur story read to you.’ Last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked me the question Daddy and I half expected. With a slight ripple across your brow and blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister? But I know one day the ‘why’ will become more persistent. Daddy and I are far from alone in deciding to stop at one child. Apparently by 7years, half of all families in this country will only have one offspring. Not that it stops me from feeling occasional pang of guilt. I know there will be many positives to decision like our undivided attention for starters so you never know a prickly adjustment period when a new baby arrives. How about sibling rough and tumble you’ll miss out on? A constant companionship for better or worse? I cannot pretend it hasn’t been a real dilemma. Yes, there have been moments when my resolve wobbled particularly as you get closer to starting school so baby no more. Who doesn’t get broody when they see a tiny newborn enfolded in a mother’s arms. But deep down, I know we’ve made the most responsible choice. I just hope, as you grow older, you agree. The truth is Daddy and I would loved another child but quite simply are too old. We liked the idea of two or maybe more, Daddy even hoped for twins! We imagined you all together and nobody ever short of a playmate, bundling you all into the bath after a day at the beach or the park. Sometimes I do wonder if we left it too late to start our little family. After all, we’ve been together for 19 years. Will you wonder what we were doing all that time? know many positives to our decision of undivided attention, helps you thrive. But I turned 44 last year, a day you and Daddy helped me devour the birthday cake I’d made. ‘That’s REALLY old!’ you exclaimed. In terms of having another baby, you were right. More women are have babies well into 40s and beyond but risks proven to be grater for mum and baby not least Down’s Syndrome or other birth defects. I wonder if we left it too late to start family. After all, we’ve been together for 19 years so wondering what we were doing all this time? We met through mutual friends in our mid-20s, drawn together by similarities: we’re both driven, determined, sociable and aspire to wring the most from life. But like many of our generation, chose naively it turned out to let time slip by. Distracted by careers, Daddy as a chartered surveyor and board director, and me as a journalist, we saved like mad for our future, bought property, played hard and enjoyed exciting holidays all over the world. Sometimes I do wonder if we left it too late to start our little family. For 19 years prepared in advance for your arrival. Family and friends badgered us about settling down but we felt buying a home together was the greatest commitment. I know there will be many positives to our decision — all that undivided attention, for starters, and you’ll never know that prickly adjustment period when a new baby arrives There were the more important things paying off a mortgage, for example than a wedding to spend money on. As for having a family, conscious of getting older, of course, honestly didn’t think leaving it to late 30s was a problem. After all, many friends in a similar situation. And in February 2011 of 12 years together, finally married at a beautiful country house in North Yorkshire. By then we were financially secure, happy, had bought a spacious barn conversion and wanted nothing more than to have a little family. But three months after our wedding, early one cool, grey May morning, my own beautiful, adoring mummy your granny died. She’d had cancer for four agonising years, and in the end the doctors and nurses couldn’t do anything more to save her. If I had just one wish in life it was that Granny had lived to meet you. She would have been besotted by your mischievousness, love of being silly and making people smile traits you share with her. Losing her made me all the more desperate to become a mum. I wanted to love and nurture another little person the way she’d always loved my brother and me. I longed to watch her warmth, wisdom and trademark cheerfulness live on in her grandchild. Grief stricken, I barely ate or slept for months.Grief stricken, I barely ate or slept for months. I ran for miles at a time as a coping mechanism and lost a lot of weight despite being slim anyway 

I ran for miles at a time as a coping mechanism and lost a lot of weight despite being slim anyway. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when, after almost two years of trying to have a baby, doctors confirmed that the shock of losing Granny had caused my body to shut down. I was almost 40 by so we referred for IVF. That’s when something magical happened against all the odds. In late January 2013, I went to fertility clinic in outskirt of Nottingham for some initial scans before starting a treatment. After minutes, sonographer took off her glasses, wiped a tear from her eye and said: ‘You’re not going to believe this you are already pregnant!’ I was around five weeks, but there you were on the sonographer’s screen, a microscopic dot. I cried, and couldn’t wait to tell Daddy. We were elated you arrived in September that year by a planned Caesarean section. I adored you in an instant with your cute little face and love of a cuddle. When I delve into my handbag for a lipstick and instead pull out a toy car or a dirty twig from the park that you’ve put there, it makes me smile 

But I admit I struggled emotionally for a long time. Within a space of under two and a half years went through the two significant events in a woman’s life losing my mum and having a baby of my own. Not having Granny around at that time was heart-wrenching. During the three days that you and I were in hospital, I longed for my mum to walk in, beaming and saying: ‘Aren’t you a clever girl? He’s absolutely gorgeous!’ When Gramps came alone to meet you for the first time, he hadn’t seemed more solitary since Granny’s death. In the months that followed, I’d take you for seven-mile walks in pram along the canal paths and country trails close to our home and tears would roll down my cheeks as I daydreamed about Mum walking by my side. When I delve into my handbag for a lipstick and instead pull out a toy car or a dirty twig from the park that you’ve put there, it makes me smile  What I’d give to have just one photograph of her cuddled up cheek-to-cheek with you. Daddy was wonderfully sensitive and supportive. But at times I felt very alone, as many women do after having a baby. The impossible sadness was juxtaposed by the unrivalled joy you brought to Daddy and me.I know that watching you with a little brother or sister would be a delight. But another baby now? I was 40 by the time I had you. We quickly decided it was more important to enjoy you, rather than focus on trying for another simply because the clock was ticking 

You make us laugh uncontrollably often every day with your funny little ways and your constant chatter and wonder at the world around us. I was 40 by the time I had you. You’re as affectionate and loving as you are boisterous and wilful, destined to be strong-willed given our own personalities! And even when you’re throwing a tantrum we wouldn’t want it any other way. I know watching you with a little brother or sister would be a delight. But another baby now? I was 40 by the time I had you. We quickly decided it was more important to enjoy you, rather than focus on trying for another simply because the clock was ticking. After all, there are so many couples who’d give anything to have just one child. And who’s to say it would have happened a second time, given how long it took us to have you? Plus, at what point do you draw a line under the disappointment of trying and failing? Besides, we’d found being a family of three suits all of us. I am still able to do a job I love while you’re at nursery three days a week. More importantly, Daddy and I are able to focus our attention on you rather than feeling torn between more than one child. Your energy knows no bounds and I have to run you like a dog every day to expend it. I’m not sure I could cope with another little one fizzing with such effervescence. You have always loved your sleep, too: And imagine if you had a sibling who wailed all night for months. That said, I can’t deny the occasional well of sadness: the ‘what ifs’ and fear you’ll miss out on the fun of having a sibling. If I had just one wish in life it would be that Granny had lived to meet you. She would have been besotted by your mischievousness, love of being silly and making people smile — traits you share with her Since I’ve always been so close to my own little brother your uncle Robbie, 42, who loves to tickle and dangle you upside down. Daddy and I have often looked wistfully at our friends with four kids: they’re never without a ready-made playmate. On the other hand, we know siblings who fought terribly as children and barely speak as adults. We know lots of gloriously happy, and well grounded, sociable, selfless children including your brilliant cousin, Saffron, who’s five years older than you. It was adorable watching you playing together on the beach and in the pool on a recent family holiday in Spain. How I chuckled listening to the two of you animatedly discussing favourite or not vegetables in back of car. Nobody ever questioned our decision although there are friends who still tell us: ‘Go on, have another!’ Some people assume things of an only child that they are spoilt because they don’t learn to share. Or they miss out on so much. But Daddy and I will ensure you never feel isolated or become spoilt. Bracing ourselves to hosting lots of play dates sleepovers. We’ll do everything to encourage you to continue to be sociable caring confident little boy you already are. What I’ve realised more than anything is there is actuala much shorter answer to your question. Quite simply, Daddy and I feel enormously fortunate to have one healthy, happy, hilarious little boy who fills our lives with magic every day. We have never been left wanting more.

 

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PRACTICAL USES OF SALT

TO EAT IS A GIFT FROM GOD

 The youngster from Missouri is a keen footballerThe Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:13 that the ability to eat and drink with joy and satisfaction is everyone’s gift from God. So people should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their work this is God’s gift to man. Moreover be grateful and thankful to God and enjoy this gift from God by sharing your food with family and friends. So when a teenager was unable to swallow food he became ill not able to teenager was left fighting for his life after his esophagus was torn by a ham and cheese sandwich he ate. Alec Hebblethwaite, 14, spent 106 days in hospital diagnosed with chronic immune system disease eosinophilic esophagitis. Alec Hebblethwaite, 14, in the hospital after terrifying injury. The schoolboy’s mum Kasey Hunter, 35, first noticed something was out of ordinary last April when he ate a cracker during football practice and threw up blood. She took him to the ER where medics said he had scratched his esophagus and told him to stick to soft foods to give it the chance to heal. But the following month, Kasey took Alec to Walmart between football games to grab a snack and he choked on a ham and cheese sandwich. He was rushed to hospital with chest pain and doctors discovered his esophagus was RIPPED but when they tried to fix it with surgery found the wound had become infected. He later ate a sandwich after playing football which ripped his throatHe ended up spending the summer in intensive care, fighting deadly sepsis and having several operations where doctors warned his mom he might not make it. In November seven months after Alec’s first trip to the ER – doctors determined his extreme reaction caused by eosinophilic esophagitis. The rare condition causes white blood cells to build up in lining of tube connecting the mouth and stomach, which can lead to tearing and choking. Alec has to stick to soft foods and cut out rough foods and bread is believed to trigger previous flare-up because it can expand and cause irritation. Alec Hebblethwaite, 14, in hospital following the terrifying injuryHe later ate a sandwich after playing football which ripped his throat. His mum first noticed something wrong when he started coughing up blood after eating a crackerThe youngster from Missouri is a keen footballer. The Mum-of-three Kasey, of Kaiser, Missouri, said: “They said that if we had waited 12 more hours before taking him to the hospital he would have died. “We thought it was just chest pain he was complaining about but the doctors did a swallow study and found out there was a hole. “The doctors said they had never seen it in a kid before. It was very scary. “To stand there and look at your kid and there is nothing you can do for them… You just want to take it all away but you’re not able to. “I had no idea that this could happen. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that crackers and sandwiches would be able to do this.” He medical condition worsened after it was discovered he was suffering from an infectionHis medical condition worsened after it was discovered he was suffering from an infection After choking on sandwich on May 21, Alec, who lives with Kasey and her husband, construction worker Matthew, 36, was admitted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. There doctors tried to perform surgery to repair esophagus but were forced to delay it after opening his chest to find suffering from infection. Alec was transferred to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was admitted to Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. He had a chest tube and drain inserted to help get rid of infection and later surgery to remove his gallbladder infected. Alec, discharged on September 3 and was diagnosed with the rare condition until two months later. He said: “At first I didn’t know anything was wrong at all I just felt like a bit of sandwich stuck in my throat. “But after I found it really hard to get up and my throat hurt. I was in a lot of pain. “I don’t remember most of my time in hospital but there was a time when I wasn’t able to walk, which was very scary. “I knew things like this could happen but I didn’t ever think it would happen to me.” Alec still goes to hospital every few weeks for dilation, where a balloon is inserted into the esophagus to stretch it, to make it easier for him to breathe. Help family with medical and travel costs donate: YouCaring site: https://www.youcaring.com/alechebblethwaite-830977


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WORE TOO MANY CLOTHES

 Ryan filmed himself on Twitter as he confronted BA staff and airport security guards who refused him to fly for having 'too many clothes on'

BA passenger kicked off flight bound for England for wearing too many clothes. Ryan Hawaii was stopped at Iceland’s Keflavík Airport for wearing EIGHT pairs of trousers TEN shirts. So BRITISH Airways passenger claims was kicked off a flight to England and arrested for wearing too many CLOTHES. Ryan Hawaii says he tried to get round luggage allowance rules at Iceland’s Keflavík Airport by wearing eight pairs of trousers and ten shirts. Ryan filmed himself on Twitter as he confronted BA staff and airport security guards who refused him to fly for having ‘too many clothes on.’ The man, real name Ryan Carney Williams, was denied a boarding pass after wearing the excess items that didn’t fit in his suitcase. Was reportedly prevented from boarding an EasyJet flight the following day after the second airline heard about the previous day’s drama. After being stopped by security staff while trying to board the BA plane, dispute escalated into a row he filmed and posted on Twitter. Captions video “SMH @Britishairways” is a slang for “shaking my head,” “so much hate.”nintchdbpict000378465485On Twitter he wrote: “Held at Iceland Keflavik airport with no baggage put all the clothes on and they still won’t let me on. Racial profiling?” Shortly after the confrontation police were called and had to pepper spray him and wrestle him to the ground, according to local media reports something which British Airways dispute. Once Ryan gave his report to the police at the station, he was sent back to the airport for a flight he had booked with EasyJet for the next day. Was again prevented from flying due to pilot made aware of incident. Ryan pans down to show how many articles of clothing he is wearingRyan pants down to show how many articles of clothing he is wearing. The passenger said he was held at Keflavik International Airport. He posted: “And AGAIN! Refused from 2 flights in 2 days for no valid reason.” Ryan claims he was stuck in the airport without money or any belongings because his suitcase had been checked. Two security guards in high-vis jackets approached him as he asks: “Why can’t I get on this flight?” A woman waves her finger and replies: “Do we have to call the police?” Another scene shows BA check-in worker raised hand so not identified. On Twitter Ryan said he is a clothing designer and artist from Catford, South London. He later claimed EasyJet refunded him on third attempt at leaving. A spokesperson for British Airways told Sun Online: “We give customers a wide range of fares to choose from to meet their needs. “Our hand baggage only fares from Iceland are low as £47 each way, designed for customers travelling without any hold baggage. “We understand customers’ plans can change so they can choose to pay a fee at the airport if they need an extra bag. ​ “We explained policy to the customer, and arranged an alternative flight to London.”​ A spokesperson for EasyJet said: “The Captain and ground crew were concerned about the reports from previous day so provided a refund and he travelled with another airline.” It is interesting stories coming up daily on length people go to, to beat system.

HIGH SCHOOL SUSPENSIONS

Pupil sitting exam

4,000 NI pupils suspended from school last year. More than 4,000 pupils were suspended from school last school year, according to new figures published by the Department of Education (DE). A total of 4,048 pupils were suspended in 2016/17 a fall from 4,156 in 2015/16. The number of pupils expelled rose from 19 in 2015/16 to 33 in 2016/17. Under third of suspensions were given for physical attacks on other pupils or staff. So 6,805 suspensions were issued by schools in 2016/17 as some pupils received more than one suspension. The most common reason was for persistent infringement of school rules. 1,426 suspensions were given for physical attacks on the pupils while 571 were for a physical attack on a staff member. There 135 suspensions for substance abuse and a further 51 for alcohol abuse.

More boys suspended

The majority of the pupils suspended were from post-primary schools, 74 pupils in years 1-4 and 201 pupils in years 5-7 in primary schools suspended. Around three-quarters of the pupils suspended in 2016/17 were boys. Most suspensions from school only last for a few days, but a school can suspend a pupil for up to 45 days in a school year. The statistics are supplied to DE by the Education Authority. There had been a rise in the number of pupils suspended in the year prior to 2016/17. In 2014/15, 3,647 pupils received a total of 6198 suspensions. That rose to 4,156 pupils receiving a total of 7078 suspensions in 2015/16. There are currently around 314,000 pupils in Northern Ireland primary and post-primary schools. Does these trends in NI reflect on the picture as symptom of boys requiring attention in early years including cadets from 5 years old. The world throws so many things at children struggling with other issues displayed in the behaviour. Some need support and schools need more help to address huge numbers forming the tip of the iceberg. What underlying causes makes boys especially to display indiscipline, lack of conformity and compliance, taking instructions and obedience of leaders in Authority? Are they sleeping properly and eating brain foods to nurture their minds? Is there an alternative help in place to train and help them acquire skills and use their talents? Could one size fits all perhaps be unsuitable for some causing such behaviours due to pressure to achieve?

DO YOU KNOW YOUR COFFEE

Lavazza PED 2017-11 SpagnaLibroHow much do you actually know about coffee? There’s more to coffee than often what is written on the board in your local cafe. Is your knowledge more burnt milk than cold brew? People took a quiz to find out how much they know about coffee. Coffee is not just a caffeine delivery system for the underslept and overworked, a drink to be choked down on the run to work. Coffee is a delicate art, one perfected over centuries of history and world culture and tastes. It’s a passion spans the globe: from Ethiopia to Australia, Istanbul to Rome, coffee is king. But how much do you really know about what you’re drinking?

Where was the coffee plant thought to have been discovered?

""
Columbia
Ethiopia
Italy

How important is coffee to the people of Italy?

Not very
A lot
Basically nothing is more important than coffee

Is not being provided with coffee grounds (not those sort of grounds) for divorce?

No
Yes
I think you’re being very dramatic

How did the cappuccino get its name?

From the coat colouring of capuchin monkeys
From Italian friars
From Roberto Capucci, the Italian fashion designer

Does drinking lots of coffee make you a genius?

Maybe?
Obviously
No, but if you have any info that I could use to back up my weak theory I’d be glad to hear it

What’s the difference between a caffè macchiato and a caffè corretto?

One has milk in it, while the other has alcohol
One is a single shot of espresso with milk, the other a double shot with milk
A caffè corretto is a caffè macchiato with extra water

Where does the most expensive coffee in the world originate?

Colombia
Indonesia
Brazil

A proper Italian espresso has a crema. What is crema?

""
A dark, distinctive taste
The ability to mix well with foamed milk
A tawny-coloured foam on top

What is the average age of a barista in Italy?

""
19
32
48

At what temperature should coffee be served?

""
60C/140F to 70C/158F
70C/158F to 80C/176F
80C/176F to 90C/194F

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