Poogate: The hilarious tale of a badly timed poo

This is the hilarious tale of a badly timed poo. (Turn away now if you are of a squeamish disposition.)

Poogate: You have to see the funny side

It so happened that as we embarked upon our school hols tour, we discovered a non-functional front headlight. Illegal and dangerous, we booked into the first car service dealership not more than an hour away from home. It was to be our first port of call.

As we neared the pit stop, Natty called out from her back seat throne "I've got headache in my tummy."
Her  clever way of saying tummy ache. 
"We're nearly there darling."
"No, headache in my tummy. I need a poo poo."

Fabulous Book Feedback from our Youngest Customers

Fabulous feedback from the readers of our little book is what motivates us most.

Fabulous book feedback from Downs Side Up's youngest customers is what motivates us. Thanks to Brídín Nic Dhonncha for permission to use this photo of his sons.

Publishing your first book is a daunting process 

Really it is. It feels like sending a much-loved child out on their own into the big wide world. There's a little bit of your soul within those pages and you don't know where they will end up.

Daddy Downs Side Up Turns 60: A Man in Our Words

This week Bob has reached a milestone birthday and we brought the extended family together this week to celebrate his 60th year in style.

Daddy Downs Side Up celebrates his birthday

We congregated at London's large and luxurious country house hotel The Grove for an weekend of food and wine, spas and garden walks, laughter, memories and a few well-placed tears.

I wanted to create something unique, something personal to mark the occasion. So we wrote the following piece together. 

A Year of Advocacy, Collaboration and Inclusion

What have we achieved? What have we learned?

The highs, the lows, the collaborations and challenges that made, or nearly broke us. 

Where will the next year take us? 
Who knows. But here are just a few of the moments from 2014 that have shaped our campaigning and advocacy.

The highs and lows of 2014 for Downs Side Up

Saying goodbye to the year with gratitude: Remembering the greatest gift of all

Christmas is a time for us, a time to simply be, to enjoy and remember. A time for gratitude, and for us, a time to recall receiving the greatest Christmas gift ever.

Family Downs Side Up (I'm behind the camera)

My fingers can never quite manage to meet the keyboard, to tap out those precious memories to share in blog form. So many posts in my head but once in a while it's important to pull the online plug and focus solely on family.

This December, as always, my mind turned to our wonderful medical saviours over and over again. From the time of Natty's birthday on the 6th December until the anniversary of the day we were allowed to bring her home from the neo-natal unit on Christmas Eve, 8 years ago, I slip constantly into an emotional reverie. 

What are your top Christmas books to share with your children?

What are you reading with your children this Christmas?

Oh how I love the lead up to Christmas. 

To be honest it's the most emotional time of the year for me, the busy-ness of trying to finish various writing deadlines, the rushing, wrapping, buying, lists, more lists, lists of lists, the baking, the school appointments and commitments, the community gatherings, the dropping of gifts to friends and neighbours. 

The desperate attempt to tidy the house, clear the way and make the beds before our guests arrive to share that special time with us. It's busy, I feel tired, but I cherish this time. Illness invariably creeps in trying to scupper our festive plans. But we try to keep a clear cool head and carry on.

Mainly we love keeping it simple in our house. It's about baking and eating and walks and films and board games and music. We sing together and craft and act and read a lot.

Each year we buy one or two more Christmas books to read and share together throughout December, and now that Mia, our eldest is nearly 11, we have quite a collection. 

So what are our favourites?
Well, we put it to the test, asked the children, did a tally of requested reading this month and this is what they came up with:

Our top books for sharing with children this Christmas

Christmas wishes from Downs Side Up

The Goleniowski family would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a healthy and fulfilling 2015.

Christmas wishes from Downs Side Up with love and gratitude

May we take this opportunity to thank you for your support throughout the year. Our internet community has worked together more closely than ever, collaborating to create a powerful team, advocating for better understanding and inclusion.