Hello

Over the past 2.5 years I’ve experienced more challenges in my life than ever before following the birth of our second daughter who has Down Syndrome and various health issues. Our friends and family have been amazing but I know sometimes they wish they knew more about what’s going on and how we feel about it. So for them, this should give some insight. For anyone else who finds this, I hope it is helpful in some way, whether you are going through a similar situation or not. I won’t only write about Izzy, but she is what has inspired this blog, having brought some wonderfully sweet and sharp lemonade to our lives.

Makaton - a lifetime game of charades 

7 February 2020  |  Tamsin Kingsley

Before Christmas Dan did his advanced Makaton training, and was surprised at the blank looks he got from friends and colleagues when he explained where he’d been. When you become immersed in a new world of all things disability related, it can be a shock to realise how different your life has become to before and to that of your friends. So Dan has asked me to do a blog about Makaton signing, which has become a huge part of our life, as Izzy’s primary form of communication...

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What’s the deal with specialist schools?

19 October 2019  |  Tamsin Kingsley

At the start of this term my Facebook feed was bombarded with photos of small people outside front doors in shiny new school uniform. Despite me still believing I have two babies, the time for us to think about school is creeping ever nearer, and it’s a minefield! Although not yet starting school until next year...

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Our neonatal experience

29 May 2019  |  Tamsin Kingsley

A few months back a friend of mine had a baby who was poorly and ended up on neonates. I was in text contact with her and as I tried to offer help and advice (probably totally unsuccessfully) a lot of memories and feelings came flooding back from my own time with a baby there. Many of these memories I hadn’t thought about since the time, so I thought it would be good to commit them to paper (or you know, a virtual cloud somewhere), as an important part of the lives of my whole family...

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Wouldn’t change a thing… would I?

21 March 2019  |  Tamsin Kingsley

This blog is at the request of my husband, Dan. We both often forget just how much we’ve learnt about Izzy’s various conditions in the past 2 years, and throw words like SATS, Makaton, Vapotherm and aspiration into conversation without a second thought, with an assumption that we will be understood. Dan sees a wide range of people everyday in the workplace for casual conversations and often realises that people don’t really have a clue what he’s talking about...

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Six things NOT to say to parents of children with complex needs

16 February 2019  |  Tamsin Kingsley

Before I start I just want to acknowledge that I don’t mind at all that these things have all been said to me... almost all have been totally well meaning, and most haven’t caused any upset or annoyance. I’m pretty sure I’ve said all of them to others at some point, but the last two years have helped me to realise that there are better and worse ways to phrase things. It may well not be the same for everyone, but these are all things that I’ve sometimes not found the most helpful...

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Tamsin Kingsley

Tamsin Kingsley

I am a 30 year old living in Leeds with my husband and two children. I am a full time mum and carer to Lauren, 4 years and typical, and Izzy, 2.5 years with Down's Syndrome. Izzy has complex health needs mostly due to her low muscle tone, and struggles with feeding and breathing, resulting in tons of appointments and hospital admissions. Both children are happy and full of life, and our family all love each other very much.

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