3

Go with the flow!

Recently with Dylan I have learned that you really have to go with whatever is working for him that day. If it isn’t something that desperately needs done that day, isn’t important, or I can wait until my husband is home then I simply won’t do it if its something that he won’t cope with. Some people may see this as a little odd, that I’m letting my son control a lot of my life, but in reality; why would I take him to do the grocery shopping when hes having a bad day, just for him to have a meltdown in the middle of the shop. Which means he is very distressed, people stare so I get upset, he gets more upset as I get worked up trying to calm him so we leave. So; why would I put either of us through that? This is why most of my shopping is done online, or when my husband is home!

Today a friend of mine had a go with the flow light-bulb moment! She is a hairdresser and has been meaning to come over to cut my little mans hair for a while, his hair is a very precious thing to him and like a lot of autistic children he finds it very difficult when it comes to haircut time! So, when I went to the yard today she was there too sorting out her horse and was chatting away to me while Dylan very happily played with the shavings when she had a brain wave.

We decided why not have a go at cutting Dylans hair while he is really happy and relaxed in a place that he loves! She headed of to her car to get her hairdressing scissors, water spray and comb! He loved the water spray and played with this for a while to get his fringe wet and get him used to her! After doing this for a while I sat him on my knee to make sure hands and fingers didn’t get in the way! She snipped away and he was happy enough for the first few snips then he started to notice what was going on! With a quick few more snips it was done and after a few minutes he was happy to restart playing in the shavings like nothing had happened! It was over so quickly and he didn’t get too worked up which lead to him happily enjoying being at the yard again in a very short space of time!

He then went on to eat some of the horses food (which to me is bizzare seeing as it is nearly impossible to get him to eat any other human food than what he has already accepted into his very small selection of food he will eat), help me fill the hay nets and empty the wheel barrow!

All in all it was a very successful day! Fringe Trim, feeling lots of different textures and a happy little soul spending time outside in the fresh air! =]

It all boils down to.. pick your battles! Pick what is worth battling over and if it isn’t and its going to make everyone unhappy. simply do it when you get a chance! =]img_4144

WeeOhana x

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

Being Positive is Tough!

As a parent you are expected to always be positive, happy go-lucky and love everything that you do in your life that involves your kids. When you are with you kids or even around other kids, or any human really you are expected to have a smile, have lots of gossip to share and happy stories. Is parenting really all positive and great fun though? A simple answer no; no it isn’t.

Being a mum, a parent is really tough. I am currently a stay at home mum and  it is really tough, tougher than most jobs. You have to have a smile, willingness to do arts & crafts, answer 1000 questions, wipe bums, make snacks, do baking, colour, read books, play pretend, cook dinner, recook dinner as they changed their mind, and many other things.. all on a daily basis. You have to do all this while doing a dance or singing or whatever other thing your child enjoys and when they eventually go to bed and fall asleep you’re so mentally exhausted from keeping up this positive persona that you yourself are exhausted or you end up just sitting watching some mind numbing program on T.V.

Then when you see friends, especially friends who have children you are expected to gush to each other over how wonderful you children are, what new things they have learnt and just why they are simply amazing. All while showing them the latest pictures you have snapped of them, for your friend to then tell you how beautiful and wonderful your child and you do the same to them about their child. Just being honest here, but as much as I love my kids, I would love to not have to gush over them especially if I’m with a friend. In-fact I would love to be able to be open and tell them how I am really feeling, the struggles, share the lows as well as the highs. Recently though anytime I have mentioned a low to anyone they always come back with “Oh it will be fine”, “You never know, it will all be OK I bet” and all that positive cack. Now, I am one for trying to keep upbeat about all that I have going on but some-days I want to have a moan and a cry about how tough it is, and I want to have a friend who will talk to me like it is real life; For them to help me accept what is going on in my life. To help me accept it rather than fill my head with fluffy nonsense and denial.

I’m going through a lot with my family at the moment and I have really realized who is there for you and who just wants to be your friend when it suits them. I have lost several friends recently, but hey. There loss right? I told a friend once we had been to the CDC clinic about Dylan how it had went, that they would need to discuss special schools etc next time we went back as he was too young .. her reply “Can we please talk about something positive?” … I know right! Well I just didn’t reply. It really upset me, when I needed a friend to chat to and really let my feelings out too, they blew me off. Acted like I was complaining about a stubbed toe or something. There we go though, that’s another example of why being positive and why being expected to be positive is tough. I’m sure any parent could see how this would be a hard, upsetting and life changing thing for me, but yet my friend still expected me to be positive? I’m sorry but that just doesn’t make sense to me.

So next time you see a friend,your partner, your parent whoever it is you normally talk too, tell them how it really is.If your finding something tough tell them, if you need someone to rant, rave or cry at. Do it! Please do not hold it in. If you don’t have someone you feel comfortable to do that with, I’m here. I’ll be your someone to rant,rave and cry at. Don’t be afraid. Head to my Facebook page and message me and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. I hate to think of people holding all there true feelings in, these emotions and words that need out; let them out. Your mental health is very important, and if you go around always being positive, one day it will catch up with you, trust me.

I asked a few of my blogger friends; Why do you think being positive all the time is hard? Here is how they answered! =]

Amy who blogs at The smallest of things said- “Because sometimes they push me until I’m hanging over the edge!! 😂😂
(kids sure do have a good knack at doing that don’t they! They always know the right (or wrong buttons to press)

Jemma who blogs here said- “It’s just so draining. It’s like wearing your fake smile for people you don’t like. You only have to do that for a little while if you see them, but with your kids it’s 12 hours a day-non stop!
Don’t get me wrong there are genuine positive moments but the majority aren’t true and soooooo tiring!
(I couldn’t agree more! That fake smile has to constantly be there. It isn’t fun always having to play pretend!)

Samantha at Porridge and Parenting answered- “Because it’s impossible to be positive 24/7. You could be the happiest person in the world whose glass is always half full but that is unsustainable all day every day for the rest of your life and essentially you are a parent all day every day for the rest of your life.”
(Too right, it is impossible! One day it will wear you thin if you keep up the act!)

Helen from mumatron says “I think it’s hard because it’s unnatural. It’s more normal to show a range of emotions.”
(It sure is! We were given emotions to show them, not to try and disguise them as this wonderful happy, positive person when we are feeling quite the opposite sometimes!)

Sarah who blogs at Whimsical Mumblings replied with- “I broke down into tears the other day in front of my children, and felt SO guilty. It’s hard not to show these emotions as well as they good ones. I honestly don’t think we should hide them though! Show your little ones it’s ok to express your emotions.”
(Don’t feel guilty Sarah, like you say yourself it is important for our little ones to see all the emotions that we have and understand that we can show them whenever we need to)

 

Do you find there is anything you feel you have to be positive about when you really don’t feel that way all the time?
WeeOhana xx

 

 

0

How To Make Your Own PECS!

The other night I made my own PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) for Dylan!
There are several stages of PECS, for the moment Dylan is on stage one as he has just started using them! PECS is a form of communication that is used with lots of children on the autistic spectrum but can be used with other children too.It is where they learn to relate pictures to the items that they want.

I have seen lots of people who make these online and charge a fee for doing it then send them to you, I was very tempted to do this until I thought about how often I would need to order new ones as he got new interests, foods he likes etc. So I decided to have a crack at making my own and it really wasn’t that difficult! Took a little time to get all the things together and work it all out, but I did and I must say I’m pretty proud of myself with how they turned out =D So I am going to show you how I did it and what I used so you can make your own too! If you need any extra help/advice etc drop me a comment and I’ll be more than happy to help! =D

I already had a printer, which is the Epson Expression Home 322. I have had it for a while though so you may be better sourcing your own printer! Mine isn’t a very fancy printer but does all that I need and was a very friendly price! I then sourced a Laminator (Amazon.. my favorite place for finding everything I need/ want ;]) it wasn’t a fancy all dancing one, just one with good reviews and could do exactly what I wanted! (Click here to view it) Along with this I also ordered 100 Laminator pouches.. I’m not entirely sure why I ordered 100.. but when I see a good deal I can’t resist! ;] (Find them here) I then needed a paper-cutter as I wanted all the edges to be straight and nice! (This one!) and the last thing I ordered online was some Velcro! (Here) You will also need some paper and few bits of thicker paper too! =]

Now, I am going to try to do this in a step by step stages so it is easy and clear to follow! =] I’ll try and not waffle as we know I do get carried away sometimes! 😀

  1. To start I made lists of what I wanted to make PECS on. I started off by just doing two, Snacks and TV Programs then thought of nine of each that Dylan liked and wrote them down!
  2. Next I searched online for clear and simple versions of these images! I found when I searched to put the words “White Background” after whatever I was searching as it means they won’t get distracted by looking at the whole picture
  3. I then made a folder on my laptop for each PECS board and save the nine images of each topic into the correct folders
  4. After finding the nine images I then went into the folder and selected them all. You do this by left clicking once on the first image then holding shift and left clicking again on the last picture
  5. When they were all selected I then right clicked on the images and selected the option print, which opened a pop up.
  6. When in the pop up I scrolled down the side of it which gives you the options of how to print the pictures until I got to one called Wallet. This meant that all the pictures could be printed off on one sheet of paper and would all be the same size!
  7. Then I used the paper-cutter to cut them all out. This took a while for me as I liked to make sure they were all exactly the same size! Very simple to do though with the paper cutter recommended above as it has a built-in ruler! =D
  8. I then put them into a laminating sheet with a good distance between them so that they would all seal correctly and wouldn’t peel once laminated.
  9. Once the PECS images were done I left them to cool while I laminated the thicker paper that I would be using for the background!
  10. I then cut out the images again, making sure I didn’t go to close to the image as I didn’t want the laminate to peel off them!
  11. Next I stuck 6 of the Velcro dots onto the piece of thick paper all evenly spaced of course ;]
  12. In the middle of each of the PECS images I then stuck the other side of the velcro dots on. (I know I said nine but have only put six on the page, this is so that you can change them about, or remove some and put the other ones on when things aren’t available!)
  13. Admire your work and feel very pleased with yourself! You have just made some PECS for your child which will greatly improve communication and hopefully make meltdowns less often as your child has a way of telling you what they want when they get used to the PECS =D

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These are the ones that I did,and I would love to see the ones you have done! Especially if this step by step has helped you! =D
I wish you all the luck on your PECS journey! =]
Also remember if you have any questions on how to do this etc, Just ask! I’m more than happy to help!

WeeOhana xx

0

Garden Center & Play Park!

The other day we took the kids to the garden center to investigate the new play area, but we weren’t too sure what we would find! We were really shocked when we walked around the corner and saw the most wonderful little play area!
The first day we went was a weekend so we really didn’t stay that long as there was quite a few older kids and after Dylan being pushed twice I knew he was going to lose his rag soon and didn’t want to push him too far after having already had a good 30 mins playing and everyone else being happy! We let the kids choose one thing each on the way out as they had both been fantastic and who doesn’t like treating there little ones every now and then!

My little girl chose the unicorn and has named it..”Pink Fluffy unicorn, dancing on rainbow.” Not quite sure where she got the name from seeing as it isn’t even pink.. but as long as she is happy! She chose this unicorn as it is just like her little brothers rabbits that he takes everywhere! If we ever lost those rabbits there would be trouble! I am going to have to buy a few spare and swap them about so that he gets used to them.. I had intended for the second bunny to just be used at bedtimes.. but as time has progressed he has now taken a shine to them both. and he would take them everywhere if I let him!
Dylan chose the peter rabbit push along toy! As soon as he picked it up he wouldn’t put it down! I love the selection of toys and clothes they have at Donaghadee Garden Center, lovely little bits! =]

We headed back the next day as we knew there would be fewer people, or at least fewer big people with school being back! Dylan had so much fun!
We had a fantastic time! My hubby and I got a lovely little lunch, he had the stew and said it was phenomenal and I had a lovely painni! What was even better was that Dylan got to happily play while we got some food! He was so happy pottering about and exploring by himself!

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He loved this big wooden tractor a lot! You could pretend to drive it, climb all over it and move the gear stick! He had so much fun driving it, especially with our table where we were grabbing a bite to eat right beside it! He is very much a mummys boy at the moment and doesn’t like me being out of his sight! He even follows me from the living room to the kitchen!

It also has a lovely little wooden barn which has steps up one side with a little bit to explore up the top and then a slide to get down! You can also go under the barn too which Dylan enjoyed! He must have ran up the stairs then down the slide about 50 times in a row before he even started to tier!

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Another amazing thing that they have is a little ball shoot thing! You put the ball at the top and it rolls all the way down,he really loved this! So much so that I’m thinking of making one in my back-garden for him! Its a fantastic thing and so very simple to make as it is made using guttering!

I will be going back here many times, in-fact I think I am going to be a regular! A fantastic little place and undercover for Dylan to play in and quiet! It is also great because even though you get your lunch etc from inside the cafe it is closed off away from here so you aren’t worried about the noise etc annoying others who are eating!

Well worth a visit if you are ever near! =]
WeeOhana xx

 

0

Rice Sensory play!

Here is another simple, sensory fun idea for you to do with your little ones!
I bought a bag of rice from the supermarket poured it into our tub from IKEA that we use for our sensory play and dug out some stacking cups that we already had in the house!

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We had lots of fun pouring the rice out of the cups, it made lots of different noises when you changed the speed of the pouring and he had great fun using the other cups to fill up the big one to pour it out!
img_3783He wasn’t so fond of touching the rice even after playing with it for a while. Though he did let me pour it over his hands and he really enjoyed that! He did sit in the other sensory play that we did,but not the rice; I’m not quite sure what was different about the rice to the others that he wasn’t quite so keen on it! I  must try to work it out and then I can try and do a few more like the rice to try and get him used to it more!

So to end this post here is a lovely little video that makes me smile every-time I see it! What a handsome little man I have ❤
WeeOhana xx

 

2

The Ark Open Farm

We are very lucky to have a wonderful little farm just up the road from us, our flaw ithough is that we really don’t take advantage of it all too much.. and with Dylan I am always nervous of going there in-case as soon as he gets there he loses it, but our recent trip there proved to us, that we really have to go more! Especially seeing as this trip had to be cut short when he fell into a puddle and wasn’t too keen on his trousers being all wet and sticking to him! Before this happened though we were having a wonderful fun, so I thought I would share it with you =]

When we woke up it was a rather nice day, well it was cold but not windy or raining so that is always a big bonus here! My hubby was also off work, so he took little miss into school and came home and I told him of the plans for the day. We got our little monkey man all ready and headed off, I was slightly worried that as soon as we got there he wouldn’t be too happy as the smells etc are all different and I was holding my breath with my fingers crossed too that it wouldn’t be busy. It wasn’t busy and as soon as we got there we were greeted by a lovely and friendly dog. Dylan loves dogs so he was settled straight away, though he did want to just stay with the dog but with a little persuasion we got him to go off exploring everything else!

A lovely young lad came up to us when we were looking at the cows and asked us if he would like to see a baby chick.. I was a little apprehensive as we all know how rough kids can be, and just how delicate chicks are! The young lad held the chick for Dylan too see, and he loved stroking the chick and just staring at it! We were made to feel in no rush and the lad chatted away to us about the chicks while Dylan happily was stoking and staring at the chick! When he started to get a little grabby he put him back in with the other chicks and went on his way. I think Dylan would have stayed there all day just watching them walk about, he sat on my knee and was so happy just watching them all walking about, eating and having a little drink!
We then moved on to see the goats, there was some tiny little baby pygmy goats who were very young. They were so cute and kept escaping from there pen for a little walk about! They were just adorable, though my little man didn’t have much interest in them I would have happily have taken one home.. though I’m pretty sure the hubby wouldn’t have been too impressed! 😛

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We then went into the barn where they have a range of animals! Some more goats, sheep, lambs, alpacas (I think!), reindeer and some bunnies! The young lad from earlier was there and happily got out a rabbit for him to see, and he loved stroking the rabbit.. though quickly found its ears and like most, thought these looked great to pull.. so the bunny went back in, away from his grabby hands!
Dylan then proceeded to run up and down the barn (he loves big spaces to run and walk about!) until he spotted a sheep! It was love at first site! He stood by the lamb stoking it, smiling and laughing, it was simply wonderful to see him to happy and engaging with something!

After playing with the sheep he then spotted a cow in the barn! (Plastic) He swiftly took a seat on the little stool and started to try and milk the cow, it was wonderful as he was very hands on, didn’t mind the water on his hands and was having so much fun! With Dylan we have a real problem with water and bath times so it was simply wonderful for him to be having some fun with water and not having a care in the world when it got on his hands or wellies!

We then headed off outside to have a play in the park and too see the other animals outside.. completely unlike how his sister would have been Dylan walked straight through the park without even a second look and was straight down to look at the ducks and swans in the little lake they have there! It has a lovely little wooden and very safe walkway out to it and you can stand on this and watch the birds, after doing this for a while we headed back out to continue on our travels!

He found a puddle, a muddy puddle and he wanted to jump in it! There wasn’t a chance I was going to stop him from doing this because as said before water is one of his least favorite things! He splashed about in it for a while and then we carried on to see the owls, peacocks and the other birds they have outside!

 
We also headed into a wonderful little wooden Noahs Ark they have which had a giant connect four in! He played with this for a long time with his daddy, getting picked up to slot one in (working on his depth perception & engaging by going to daddy to get lifted to put the token in!). They had lots of fun doing this, everyone was all smiles and laughing! =]

We headed onward to the forest walk.. or we attempted too. Dylan found another muddy puddle and was jumping in this, but then stopped to have a look about and his welly got stuck resulting in him falling backwards and landing bum first in this lovely muddy puddle! I knew it was going to happen but just wasn’t quick enough to stop it happening! Bad mummy >.<

We then had to head home as he wasn’t a happy bunny having a wet and muddy bum, though I’m thinking he secretly planned it so we have to go back another day to see the animals again ;]

All in all it was a fantastic day out! Dylan felt lots of new textures, had fun with water, met new animals, got lots of fresh air and had a lovely time with mummy and daddy! I’m now convinced Dylan should be a farmer and I need to try and get out to lots of places with animals, as he really came out of his shell, was making vocal noises, engaging with us and the animals, accepted a person he hadn’t ever met before, smelling lots of new smells and feeling things he hadn’t felt before!

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We will be back soon and I look forward to our next trip to The Ark Open Farm!
If you are in the area I really do recommenced a visit!

WeeOhana x

1

Liebster Award!

My new blog post today is the Liebster award! I was awarded this by the lovely Laura who blogs about life with her three wonderful boys! Thank you so much and I can’t wait to get cracking with this! =]

A quick summary of what this award is; ‘Liebster’ is Germanic in origin and can mean dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute and endearing.  This award started back in 2011 and exists only on the internet, given by bloggers to fellow bloggers to encourage connection and support within the blogging community, and to aid in the discovery of new and upcoming bloggers.

This award is fab, as it gives me the opportunity to share some new things about myself, find some new bloggers and show you some of the blogs I enjoy reading that I hope you will too! =]

The rules…

  • Thank the person who nominated you – and display your award with pride
  • Answer the eleven questions put to you by the person who nominated you
  • List 11 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate and link to other bloggers that you think are deserving of this award
  • Give them 11 questions to answer and let them know they’ve been nominated!

On wards to answering the questions! =D

1.What is your favorite book and why?

  • Hmm, now that is a tough one! I read books and I have to read before I can fall asleep at night! I have a lot of favorite books, though an all time fave is Harry Potter! The magic behind them when they first came out was incredible, my mind was full of wonderful and unthinkable new things. There was always a lot of excitement around the next one coming out and I was always quick to get my hands on it to find out what happened in there next year at Hogwarts!

2.What do you do that you know you shouldn’t?

  • Many things 😛 I think one that my kids aren’t too keen on is always making sure whatever they are eating isn’t poisons.. especially if its sweets, I have to try it first.. just in-case you know, something really bad happens.. 😛

3.Bath or shower?

  • I really love a nice long relaxing bath watching whatever I am currently hooked on! Especially with a Lush bath bomb ;]

4. Who is your most embarrassing celebrity crush?

  • Peter Andre…

5. What does your morning routine look like?

  • Actually I’m pleased to say my morning routine is generally pretty calm.. my kids wake up early enough so we can have a nice relaxed breakfast and then my little girl gets herself ready for school while I get myself ready and then Dylan, then we hop into the car and take her too school and on wards with whatever we have planned for the day!

6. When did you last wear a hat and why?

  • I can’t remember exactly when.. but it would have been in January sometime when it was really cold and I was going up to do my horse! You have to keep your head warm and snuggly!

7. If you could meet any fictional character in real life, who would it be?

  • Ummmm.. you have me stumped! Sora from Kingdom Hearts, he counts right? I love that game and he is such a lovely friendly guy who is friends with lots of Disney characters so we could all chill out and have some tea and cake =]

8.Chocolate or Crisps?

  • Crisps and dip ❤

9.What is your favorite family holiday destination?

  • Disney Land.. I have been before and we are currently trying to save a little so we can take the kids! A wonderful, magical place where everyone has a fantastic time!

10. What is your favorite TV boxset?

  • Vampire Diaries.. Can’t believe its about to end though ='[

11. Sum up your life in no more than ten words.

  • Crazy, unexpected, twisting andturning, learning and changing, Loving.

Now for 11 random facts about myself!

  1. I love music!
  2. I am very sarcastic!
  3. I wear contact lenses or glasses.. without them I can’t see a thing!
  4. Taking pictures for everlasting memories is one of my favorite things
  5. I have been bitten by a snake
  6. I fell in love with a cactus today. . hes beautiful and called Jimmy.
  7. Stationary is my weakness..
  8. I have 11 GCSE’s
  9. My favorite colour is green
  10. My car is also a cactus ;]
  11. I have two little black dots in one of my eyes, I call them my eye freckles =D

I’m going to limit myself to five people who I think are deserving of this award.. otherwise I would nominate a whole heap!

  1. Rebecca
  2. Jools
  3.  https://iautismblog.wordpress.com/blog/
  4.  http://littleladiesbigworld.co.uk/
  5.  http://livingwithajude.co.uk/

Now for your 11 questions!

  1. What would you be doing right now if you weren’t blogging?
  2. Why did you start blogging?
  3. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? (minus blogging!)
  4. Whats your favorite movie?
  5. If you could own any car what would it be?
  6. Whos your favorite band?
  7. What did you have for dinner?
  8. When you were younger what did you want to be?
  9. What was your favorite book as a child?
  10. Playstation or Xbox?
  11. Would you live in your pjs if you could?

 

Enjoy! =D

WeeOhana x