Nеw Yоrk Home Inspector – Hоw Tо Chооѕе Onе


As a customer whеn уоu саll about a hоmе inspection, оnе оf thе fіrѕt quеѕtіоnѕ you will аѕk wіll bе “Whаt dоеѕ a home іnѕресtіоn include?” аnd “How muсh dоеѕ іt соѕt?”. Yоu wіll hеаr a dollar fіgurе and a lоng memorized ѕріеl аbоut рlumbіng, foundation, roof, furnасе, еtс. etc. Chаnсеѕ аrе those аrе nоt thе аnѕwеrѕ you аrе looking for, bесаuѕе уоu are nоt аѕkіng thе right quеѕtіоnѕ. A better quеѕtіоn mау bе “Whаt dоеѕ a hоmе inspection dо fоr mе, thе buуеr?” or “How аrе уоu qualified tо do the inspection?”.


Aѕ a hоmеbuуеr, a home inspection іѕ a wау fоr you tо fіnd оut if thе hоmе іѕ as it ѕееmѕ to bе оr is their аnу unѕееn рrоblеmѕ you need to knоw аbоut uрfrоnt. Dереndіng on thе rеѕultѕ оf thе hоmе іnѕресtіоn report, уоu wіll hаvе the орроrtunіtу tо change certain соndіtіоnѕ оf the соntrасt. The mоrе information уоu hаvе аbоut thе product thе еаѕіеr іt іѕ tо mаkе a decision оn thе рurсhаѕе. Yоu wоuldn’t buy a car without taking іt to a mechanic. Yоu dоn’t buy сlоthеѕ wіthоut fіrѕt knоwіng they wіll fіt, іn most саѕеѕ you wіll trу іt on. Whеn a mесhаnіс lооkѕ аt thе uѕеd vеhісlе you are about tо рurсhаѕе, he wіll check еvеrуthіng fоr уоu аnd lеt уоu knоw іf thеrе іѕ anything wrоng wіth thе саr. Yоu thеn can buу іt “as is”, уоu саn nеgоtіаtе a lоwеr рrісе to іnсludе the рrісе оf the rераіr оr уоu саnnоt mаkе the purchase at all. Buying a home is nоt any different. A thorough home іnѕресtіоn will gіvе уоu thе іnfоrmаtіоn уоu nееd to make a wіѕе dесіѕіоn whеn іt соmеѕ tо the рurсhаѕе оf уоur hоmе. Thе home іnѕресtіоn wіll make уоu аwаrе оf anything wrоng іn the hоuѕе.


Whеn сhооѕіng a hоmе іnѕресtоr for уоur prospective home, уоu wіll wаnt tо оbtаіn a copy оf thе іnѕресtоr’ѕ standard оf рrасtісе. Thе ѕtаndаrd оf рrасtісе rесоmmеndеd іѕ from thе Nаtіоnаl Aѕѕосіаtіоn of Cеrtіfіеd Hоmе Inѕресtоrѕ. Aftеr reading thе ѕtаndаrdѕ уоu wіll knоw thе mіnіmum level of rероrtіng уоur іnѕресtоr wіll рrоvіdе. The bеѕt hоmе inspectors wіll gо beyond thе mіnіmum.


A lісеnѕе tо practice іѕ nоw required іn Nеw York Stаtе. A lісеnѕе іѕ thе ѕtаtе’ѕ mеthоd оf letting уоu knоw thе inspector hаѕ past a minimum competency tеѕt and аlѕо mау have аttеndеd a trаіnіng рrоgrаm. Thе ѕtаtе оf Nеw York іѕ licensing ѕtаtе. The hоmе inspectors working іn Nеw Yоrk аrе rеԛuіrеd tо hаvе a lісеnѕе. A lаrgе number of thе hоmе inspectors аrе certified because bеfоrе Nеw Yоrk bесаmе a licensing ѕtаtе, thе hоmе іnѕресtоrѕ tооk thе time аnd thе еffоrt to be сеrtіfіеd by certain оrgаnіzаtіоnѕ ѕuсh аѕ thе National Aѕѕосіаtіоn оf Certified Hоmе Inѕресtоrѕ. Thіѕ оrgаnіzаtіоn is thе ѕtrісtеѕt on it’s mеmbеrѕ, and hаѕ соntіnuіng education rеquіrеmеntѕ it’s mеmbеrѕ muѕt mееt tо rеnеw their mеmbеrѕhір each year. Thеrе аrе hоmе inspectors in оthеr states gоіng the еxtrа lеngthѕ fоr thеrе сlіеntѕ аѕ well.

Did you ever go to cough

…………..and throw up instead? It starts with a little tickle in your throat, you cough to clear it and *shock horror* there is an almighty mess to clean up. You stand there, dazed, and say, in your most pitiful voice ‘but it wasn’t me, I don’t even feel sick!’
My experience of the above was mainly during pregnancy, but there is a verbal equivalent that happens regularly and has nothing to do with hormones. I blurt out a thought that has somehow managed to form without my knowledge. It bypasses my brain and comes straight out my mouth. When it’s out I think to myself ‘Where did that come from?’. It tends to happen when I am stressed or have had too much coffee. Oh alright, yes, that is quite often!

Our visit to The Shed (Andra ) last September to have my son diagnosed with Autism qualifies as one of those stressful times. Afterwards I was trying to process a lot of information and make decisions without knowing what I needed to make decisions about. I contacted an acquaintance, who has a child with autism. This turned out to be a fantastic conversation. She provided a lot of information, including the contact details or our now shared, and fabulous, ABA Tutor (The Royal Advisor).
At some point during the chat, a verbal upchuck spattered itself across the conversation ‘Oh thank God we already have Her Cuteness, we might have not had her if we had known about HRHs’ autism’. Where did that come from?
(NB gentlemen) Women talk, about everything, including the finer details of having another child, or not. I have had this conversation with friends more times than I can recall, about their situations as well as my own. I am not in the same position as these friends now, not anymore.

Now the friends that I talk to about this have special needs children themselves and are considering this decision from a different angle. I don’t know how I would handle such a big decision, if I had to decide with the knowledge that I have now.

We had our third child before we found out about HRHs’ autism, and had already decided that Her Cuteness would be the last baby. Initially we based our decision to have a third child on my absolute and unshakable belief that I would regret not having a third child in 10 years time, when it would not be possible. I still stand by that belief and feel just as strongly as I did 18 months ago. As ‘a lady of a certain age’ (18 with a lot of experience) we also felt we should have our third sooner rather than later and this is how I ended up with a 16 month age gap between my last two children.

16 months is not a ridiculous age gap, although quite a number of people have questioned my sanity. It is hard work, especially for the first 6 months. Throw a special needs child into the mix and yes, it complicates matters, but it is do-able, no doubt about it. I will add that I spend an unreasonable amount of time watching Her Cuteness for ‘early signs’. She appears neurotypical, but only time will tell. I take heart from her graceful girlie pointing and amazing eye contact.
Jean and Blondie are responsible for my mental clean up, along with some friends who have SN children asking me if I had concerns about having another child or how I made my decision to have our third. They opened my over stuffed suitcase, disturbing the lids on a few of the boxes it contains, and I could no longer ignore the leaking from the ‘baby’ box. I don’t understand this particular box, being honest. Ok, I said something silly, but I can’t figure out why I feel bad about it as it wasn’t a negative observation, just a statement of relief. Maybe it is like a jigsaw and all the little boxes are connected. Or it is possible some boxes are having an identity crisis and I am doing something that a psychotherapist could get excited about.

I am going to go dig around my brain now, to see if the spatter is all cleaned up. I will do this very carefully so that I don’t hurt myself if any little shards of guilt  remain in the spatter. When I have it all cleaned up I will get my husband and children to sit on the suitcase so that I can zip it up, as best I can. Just before I zip it up I will tweak the lids on all the boxes, to make sure they are snug.

Edit on 7th Jan to add:

A contributing factor to this post is that I have been asked, quite a bit recently, about how we made our decison to have another child with friends expressing worries and concerns but wanting another child all the same. I didn’t have to make that decision but I think I would base it on the same question as I did before ‘How will I feel in 10 years when I can’t have another child?’ All I can say is that I don’t have any regrets whatsoever. For anyone that is considering this decision have a look here, I found it this morning and it reflects my own positivity about my third child (without the verbal upchuck).

A seed of social interaction

My regular readers will know I have 3 children. Firstborn is 7 years old, The King is 26 months old and Her Cuteness is 10 months old. Each child is besotted with the other, in their own way. Her Cuteness thinks her two big brothers are wonderful and loves to follow them around the house and join in their activities. Firstborn spends a lot of time playing with the younger ones. This gets a bit hectic as they love the rough and tumble games. I spend my time sitting on the edge of my chair waiting to lunge in (gracefully) and rescue whichever child is about to hit the floor. I can move quite quickly when necessary!

HRH quite likes Her Cuteness, but he finds her difficult at the same time. She rarely gives him a moments peace, as he sees it. She has a natural curiosity about her environment whereas HRH likes what he likes. She wants to join in with everything that goes on, he wants to play on his own terms.

Any toy he has, she wants. If he is eating, she wants scraps. If he sits down to watch Agent Oso (his new favourite and a nice change from Little Einsteins) she starts climbing on him. All she wants is to interact with him. All he wants is a bit of quiet time. When he hears her squawk he runs into the kitchen, hides under the table and peeps out at her as she crawls up the hall looking for him.

Sometimes he will try distract her with one of his less favoured toys and then run, but it rarely works; she is too clever for that. Of course, there is the very valid point that, while HRH is quite good at sharing, he also knows that Her Cuteness has not grasped that concept yet. He is perfectly happy to share toys etc with someone he knows will give them back.

What is a parent to do? Yes, The King needs his space, as does any child, but Her Cuteness just wants to play with him. She sits there, looking at him, smiling and babbling, waiting for him to notice her. She accepts any attention gratefully, even Hunky Dory’s (green, crinkle cut).This always ends in ‘No, HRH, do not feed the baby’ as Her Cuteness coughs like a cat with a hairball while I try to fish out the offending crisp.

Over the last 10 days or so I have noticed a development. They have reached a truce and found one game they can play and enjoy together. One child stands at each end of the radiator and they take turns to hit it. The game begins when one child goes over to the radiator and the other notices. Each child has begun the game and each child has joined in, so it is not one child initiating the game all the time. They have developed their own set of rules and each child hits the radiator 2-3 times, no more, no less. As they do so they look at each other, wait for turns and smile at each other.

This may seem like a very small thing to somebody else, but to me it is huge and I love to see them playing it, even if I do have to cover my ears as they get more into the game. They are interacting and enjoying something together.

It’s a good beginning, and even better that they happened upon it themselves. It is such a simple game. I have not started actively encouraging them to play the game, I don’t want to force or push it. I will let it evolve for a while, I think, and just give verbal encouragement during the game. I can reinforce the concept of sharing and taking turns, for both of them. Our fabulous ABA Tutor will guide me through this so that I get it ‘just right’.

So, if you call to my house bring painkillers and/or earmuffs. The coffee is good, but I can’t guarantee it will be a quiet visit!

The Back of 2009

I had a ‘day off’ today. My parents looked after the children and I went shopping………..for the children! I ran into someone I know and she passed a comment about me being glad to see the back of 2009 as we had a bad year.

Now, I have to admit, I am a bit put out by that statement. I don’t think we had a bad year at all. Alright, it was a busy year, at times difficult, but not bad.

Her Cuteness was born last February, a very welcome addition to the family. She has brought enormous girlie joy to a household of boys. After having two boys we are still amazed, on a daily basis, about how much of a ‘girl’ she is (the little monkey) and enjoy her so much. I won’t be sending her back to the stork!

The King was diagnosed with Autism, but he had it anyway we just got to find out about it, and we were lucky to find out at the young age of 23 months. We have also gotten to watch him make amazing progress over the last three months since he started ABA. So much so that I think I will start calling him ‘The Wonder King’ from now on. As with Her Cuteness, every single day he makes us laugh and smile, so I won’t send the diagnosis back either.

I took a quiz on Facebook last night ‘How good is your life’ and I scored an 8 (out of 10). The result said ‘You’re a generally happy person. Obstacles in life get you down… for about five seconds. Then you tackle them like the trooper you are’. 5 seconds is an exaggeration, but replace it with ‘two or three days’ and it would be reasonably accurate.

Does it really come down to attitude? Maybe to ‘outsiders’ it looks like we had a bad year, but I have to disagree with that perception.

I expect 2010 will be a busy year, at times difficult, but it will also be an exciting year. Firstborn will make his First Communion and the younger pair will go from strength to strength and I am really looking forward to this. There will also be some unexpected events I am sure, but we will worry about them, and deal with them, as they happen.

If anyone can tell me why I am cross about what this lady said, please, feel free to share it with me. I don’t like being cross and this is bothering me. I know its probably because the ‘bad year’ comment was directed at The King, but maybe I am missing something.
On a happier note, to all my new friends, their families and children, I hope you all have a fabulous and exciting 2010. I look forward to what lies ahead, for all of us. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge with everyone, whether it is through a blog or via FB. All of it is invaluable, as you all are too.

It’s all over, including the shouting

I have often wondered, looking back over old photographs, why my mother  always looked so wrecked in our Christmas family photos. Now I know, I get it! This was my first Christmas with three children and wow does that third one make all the difference. I also understand why she used to drink so much coffee.

Last Christmas HRH had not even begun his regression and at 14 months old he had very little interest in Christmas. Now, one year and a diagnosis of autism later, my new found knowledgable friends had advised that autism and Christmas do not mix well. So we devised ‘the plan’.

I was very nervous in the run up to the big day. We had Christmas Day in our house, with an Aunt and Uncle of The King. They came and stayed overnight on Christmas Eve. The Uncle, very cleverly but also innocently, wore cords and a lumpy jumper on Christmas Eve and this gave HRH great sensory joy. Said Uncle sat very patiently on the couch for over an hour while HRH ran his hands up and down the jumper/trousers combo over and over. Sure what else would you be doing on Christmas Eve? By Christmas morning HRH was well used to the guests and they were not ‘extra’ onto the excitement of presents and an over excited 7 year old.

St Stephens Day was the day I was worried about most. My husbands entire family gather at his parents house on St Stephens Day. There are 11 grandchildren in total, ranging from 10 months (Her Cuteness) up to 13 years old. It gets NOISY. It always has done but I never had to consider the noise before, not the way I did this year. We brought both cars in case I needed to bring HRH home, to peace and quiet. We also arrived early to allow him timeto adjust to his surroundings before everyone arrived. Again, HRH did well. Either Mr Loyal Servant or myself were in his view at all times and he was free to be with us or spend some time with the other children. He came and went as he pleased and kept himself very level.

Most of my husbands family have not seen HRH since his diagnosis and therefore had not seen PECS in operation. The first time HRH made his sentence and handed me the sentence strip one of those ‘loud silences’ took over the room. It may have been an awkward silence, but I suspect that it was a ‘being impressed’ silence. I got a bit giggly as I am used to being impressed by The King, but it’s good to see him have that effect on others too! This is what I will remember from the day, the chance for others to see how amazing my little boy is and that autism is a part of him, it does not define him.


I enjoyed both days, but I am also grateful that Christmas is once a year. I found myself constantly watching HRH for ‘signs’ of everything, frustration, sensory overload, tiredness etc. Careful planning (and a dash of good luck) on how we would approach the holiday and deal with him won the day for us, but it takes its toll. Luckily there are no photographs of me over the last few days because I know I would look far more wrecked than my mother ever did!

So, it’s over, and there was no shouting after all.

Firstborn – The Wise Man

Firstborn, age 7 (and a half) rarely gets a mention, like Mr Loyal Servant. I expect this is because they are both out all day whereas HRH, Her Cuteness and I have a 24/7 relationship.

Firstborn is making his First Holy Communion this year, so it’s a big year for him. The little mercenary has been planning how to spend the money for quite a few months now. I have to say though, since they started the process in September he is more inclined to talk about the religious aspect of it and wants an iPod from Santa so that he can put his favourite hymns on it!

One of the big issues that has come up with HRHs’ diagnosis of autism is ‘trying to make sure all the children get equal attention’. Her Cuteness can join in with some of HRHs’ learning programme (she does an amazing ‘all fall down’ for Ring-a-ring-a-Rosy) and she is doing well. It is more difficult with Firstborn as he is considerably older than the younger pair and has different interests.
Firstborn is a chatterbox, a bit giddy and flighty, with a fantastic sense of humour. He is also thoughtful and a bit of a worrier at times. I think I don’t give him enough credit for his understanding of his little brothers difficulties.

Oh, but Firstborn is amazing. He accepted his brothers diagnosis without batting an eyelash and at ‘News’ in school stood up and said ‘HRH has autism’ and explained it to the class (HRH is very shy and can’t talk yet). They were unimpressed, in only the way 7 and 8 year old children can be, I was delighted with that. I wasn’t quite as delighted when Teacher was eyeballing me after school that day and I had to go and explain to her, because I wasn’t prepared. However, she and I agreed that she would let me know if she felt Firstborn was misbehaving or showing difficulty with the situation at home.

Yesterday, he blew me away.

Firstborn had his school play and parents were invited to attend. He knew Mr Loyal Servant couldn’t go and wanted to get the play recorded so that his part of ‘Wise Man’ could be appreciated by his Dad.

As I dropped Firstborn to school he said to me ‘Mam, I’ll see you later, if you can make it’, with a meaningful look. I was speechless and then absolutely determined that I would make it. I knew how much it meant to him, but he also knew how difficult it would be for HRH and would have been willing to accept our non-attendance at his big moment.

Our Tutor had only mentioned Firstborns’ maturity regarding HRHs’ autism during the week and I hadn’t noticed, or maybe I had just taken it for granted because I was used to it.

So Firstborn gets another ‘big moment’ here, where all my friends can admire him for a minute. He deserves it! He performed his role of ‘Wise Man’ very well in the play and does it just as well in real life. Once again I get to be a proud Mum.

When obsessions go askew

We have an emerging obsession in our house with my non-verbal 26 month old, The King. I have heard of this in children with autism, but this is my first time watching one grow, as he was just diagnosed recently. Any strong interests he had prior to this I just didn’t see them developing.

It started slowly with an interest in letters. He displayed a particular fondness for the letter O. B followed and D is now fighting for attention, but he has moved onto being more interested in full words.

He is able to recognise quite a few words now, a lot of them learned from the language building DVDs we bought. The rest he has picked up from his favourite books and the sleeves of DVDs. He spends ages browsing through his books and DVDs, therefore I spend ages browsing through books and DVDs with him, reading the words out to him. He points (yes, he points!) to the word he wants to hear. He loves to wear t-shirts and sweatshirts with writing on them and has favourites.

Yesterday, I wore a sweatshirt that I have not worn in quite a while. It’s a short sweatshirt. I hate the gap between waistband and sweatshirt when I sit down so I tend to go for longer, cosier tops. I am just too old to be trendy and put up with a draught on my back! So this sweatshirt doesn’t come out too often. It’s grey with orange writing on it.

The King fell in love. He rubbed it, he hugged it, he kissed it and spent a lot of happy time pointing at the letters and getting me to read them out. He even rubbed it with his bare feet at one point. He was enthralled with the ‘new’ word.

How could this be a problem? I hear you cry. Picture the scene:

Spring is here and a mother brings her toddler out for a walk. He has a very specific ritual to be followed while walking (that is another posting) but skip the initial 10 min’s and mother and toddler end up at the street name signs. The street name just happens to include the letters O, B and D. The child spends many happy minutes pointing at letters, squealing and flapping his hands in excitement. The mother watches over him, enjoying his excitement. She notices a group of teenagers approaching, about 14 or 15 years of age.

One of the girls is wearing a trendy tracksuit, discreet makeup and is beautifully accessorized. The tracksuit has a short jacket and the Mum shudders at the thought of the draught on the childs’ back. The young girl is tall and thin, in only the way teenage girls can be. She has put a lot of effort into looking like she just threw the clothes on and ran out the door. She is a lively girl, chatting and laughing with her friends. As the group approach the Mum and toddler the girl turns around to walk backwards, telling a story to her friends. The Mum freezes……………..

OH DEAR GOD…………….the word ‘Hottie’ is scrawled across her bum……………………

Those of you who are parents of children with autism know that this situation could actually happen. It is highly likely that The King will feel somebody up someday, in pursuit of his love of words. At 26 months he will get away with it and although I will be very embarrassed, I will laugh too. Its hard not to laugh sometimes.

To all other readers – If you are the person The King approaches please do not be offended. He is short at the moment. I promise I will do my utmost to teach him about social boundaries before he can reach chest height.

Autism in Ireland – The Bloggers

When my son was first diagnosed with autism I was at sea. I didn’t know who to contact, I didn’t know where to go to read and gather information and I didn’t know where to get support.

I stumbled on a Facebook support group and was clever enough to join it. This is an amazing group of parents, willing to laugh with, cry with and give support to each other. The social element is invaluable and there are regular meet ups for coffee and occasions such as Christmas parties.

From this group I found a tool, the one tool that made the biggest difference to how my family coped with the adjustment to autism – the blogs. Several of the parents in our FB group blog and when I do manage to get ‘me time’ I love to sit down with a cuppa and browse through them. There is a wealth of information, experience and tips to be gathered, all presented in layman’s terms with a dash of humour and a lot of insight.

I did find it hard to locate the blogs and keep track of them. This leads me to the point of this post.

I have set up a fan page on FB called Autism in Ireland – The Bloggers. Any parent who takes the time to share their experiences with others can have their blog listed, if they so wish. As each blog is updated with a new post I will update the fan page, or the blogger can. Readers will also be able to comment on the FB page if they are unable to do so on the blog itself.

Members of FB can visit this page and link to blog posts they have missed. This is a public page therefore anyone can visit and learn a little more about life with autism. Parents of newly diagnosed children can direct other family members and friends to the page and they will, I hope, take the opportunity to learn a little about the ups and downs that go with the diagnosis.

To follow the page click on the FB box on the right of this post. You must have an FB account to be able to follow Autism in Ireland – The Bloggers page.

Thanks to Planet-Outreach and Tazzymania for being my testers (and support). I also want to thank the parents who take time from their very busy lives to share their experiences with us. I can’t thank them enough for the difference they have made to my journey with autism.

One teeny tiny telephone

I was aware of The Kings’ ‘resistance to change’ issues well before he was diagnosed with autism. I had figured out to buy 3 pairs of the same wellies in increasing sizes so that we don’t have to ‘change’ them for quite a while. I have also learned to buy items such as toothbrushes, socks etc with same designs/colours, in bulk. Then, when new ones are needed I replace it with ‘same’ and he doesn’t realise the ‘newness’. It has worked well.

With other things, where buying in bulk is not possible, we plan ahead. We purchased a new car seat for HRH last weekend and it has been in the house where he can sit on it and get used to it. This weekend we will move it into the car, where it will sit for another week and then we will move him into it. As buying car seats is not a regular occurrence we are winging it a bit, but I am hopeful the transition won’t be too stressful for him, or us!

I got caught out today though, I didn’t plan ahead because I underestimated the importance of the teeny tiny details. The problem? our new telephones.

We purchased new handsets last weekend (lots of shopping last weekend). However, today the ‘new’ phone rang while he was in the room with me. I noticed his concerned look as I was talking, but didn’t think more about it. 15 minutes later a phone (with a ring sounding uncannily like our new phones) was shown on his language building DVD and he became extremely distressed, the kind of deeply confused and distressed that we only see on rare occasions.

He whimpered and sobbed, inconsolable. The tears stood out in his eyes and he clung to me like he was trying to climb inside me. It was heartbreaking. A friend of mine saw this kind of distress one day, months ago, and she was shocked and upset for days afterwards. She even had bad dreams about it. That is the only way I can explain how scared and confused he can get, and how devastating it is for others to see it.

I did what I normally do when he is upset (be it deep distress, cross upset or impatient upset etc), whispering ‘Mama is here, Mama loves you, Mama will help’ over and over, rocking us both. After a while, between sobs, he said ‘Mama Mama’ in a very soft voice.

He has recovered now and I have left the new phone where he can see it and get used to it. I did some role play with it too and he held it to his ear, copying me. I think, now, it might just be the new ringing sound is the problem. Tomorrow I will try ringing it a few times from my mobile phone and see if that helps him get used to the sound.

As for the ‘Mama Mama’ I would be thrilled if it was words and not just copying sounds. Last night he was cross going to bed and Mr Loyal Servant said he called ‘Mama’ but we weren’t sure if it was the real thing or not. It could be that he is beginning to use the actual word. Time will tell.

So it was a big day in our house and I have learned not to underestimate HRH and his need for stability, down to the smallest detail.

‘Preservation of sameness’ rules and ‘Mama’ rocks.

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I am 2 years old, a bit shy (pffft to the know-it-alls who say I have poor social skills) and I can’t talk (yet). I have been a great boy this year and just wanted to give you some hints for the big day.

1. I would like to meet Munchkin and Hetty. I am afraid of vacuum cleaners you see, but Hetty looks friendly. I have heard that Munchkin is a lovely girl and I know she would understand my fear. In our house, Her Cuteness has been acting as human hoover, with the advantage of building her immune system, but Mrs Loyal Servant seems to find this stressful. I really need to work out this vacuum cleaner problem.

2. Please can Bob explain all things manly to me, particularly electric showers, drills and hair clippers. I am afraid of these too but Bob is a man of experience and knowledge and would be really helpful. Also, I fancy his slide!

3. I would love Bratty to show me the PECS application on iPhone. I will instruct Mrs Loyal Servant to release funds and purchase the phone. If Boo could help me out with some tips on how to deal with little sisters I would be very appreciative.

4. I would love to picture exchange with Wiiboy on everything Mario related. I even have my own wiimote, one I chewed on when I was younger, so I get to have a wiimote when my big brother is playing. Mario is my favourite character on Wii.

5. I have to meet J as I like aeroplanes too. It is vitally important that J brings his little brother along to distract Her Cuteness and who knows, maybe love will blossom between the pair of them. If Her Cuteness is not distracted she will try to take our planes and eat our Hunky Dory’s (green bag, crinkle cut).

6. Butterfly sounds gorgeous and I think an older woman might keep me on the straight and narrow. Valentines Day is only around the corner you know!

7. I badly want to meet Clive. I LOVE dogs.I am trying very hard to say the word dog but can only manage ‘dah’. I just get so excited when I see a dog. Mrs Loyal Servant is going to put my name down for an Assistance Dog and I can’t wait.

8. Dr Destructo and I were diagnosed around the same time. It would be lovely to have a friend to share the journey. Besides, he has a dog.

9. I would really enjoy meeting Button. I was impatient to hear more after therecent cliffhanger, but thankfully the happy ending was posted today and I can relax a little.

10. Finally, I left the most important until last, in case you have difficulty with retention of information (Grandad says that happens with old people too). Please can all of Mrs Loyal Servants’ friends on FB and her blogging friends have an amazing Christmas. I would love for all of them to have a peaceful, prosperous and exciting year in 2010.

Yours sincerely,

HRH, The King.