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We are always on the look out for new and exciting places to take the kids and especially ones that Dylan will enjoy and be able to roam around with as little danger present as possible. When we heard about a new soft play opening and accessible park with sensory garden we could not wait to try it out!

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I took him one day after school while we were waiting to pick up Amellia and thought we would be able to fit in some time at the soft play and the park. We headed into the “big house” as Dylan decided it was and went through to the soft play.
I’d heard a lot about the soft play so maybe my expectations were just set to high, but as soon as we went through the doors to the soft play Dylan did not want to be in it. His problem was that one side of the room was a big window and out of this window you could see the park. He just kept running to the window and the door which was alarmed and looked very easy to set off so I didn’t want to risk that. He was getting wound up pretty quickly that he couldn’t get out and a meltdown was just a few minutes away, so I decided scrap the soft play lets just head to the park.

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Now the park I hadn’t heard much about, but oh my goodness, it was absolutely amazing. It had a great climbing frame which was wide enough for wheelchairs to go up and had a rocking boat that they could go into and you rock, some big long slides that Dylan absolutely loved because he is a huge thrill seeker! A bouncy floor, swings, wheelchair swing, hopscotch, drums, giant xylophone, giant spiders web and I’m sure some other bits that have slipped my mind.

Dylan really loved the sensory garden which had all the musical things in and really enjoyed playing them and having a little dance while I played them.

We really enjoyed the park and will be making a regular trip here, I loved how brightly coloured it was because it made it all so eye catching to Dylan and I really loved how inclusive this park was for everyone. I’ve never seen a park like this before!
If you live in the area or further afield and are looking for an inclusive park I highly recommended giving this park a visit!

-WeeOhana

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Week 1 of medication!

They decided the best medication to try Amellia on first is Equasym XL.
It is a modified release stimulant, it starts to work within 30 mins of taking it and is then out of the system in approximately 8 hours. The reason I like this medication is that she can go without at the weekends as it does not need to be built up in the system over a course of days or weeks etc.

Amellia has started off on 10mg for the first week, will be going up to 20mg for the 2nd week and then up to 30mg to see if she gets any side effects and what helps her best. At the review in 6/8 weeks we will then discuss how these past few weeks have gone and how Amellia has felt about it all.

I know I have sang there praises here before but her new school is absolutely incredible. I really hope that her P4 teacher is as supportive and amazing as her current one. she is more than willing to give all the help, advice and everything in between that she can. I think that half the battle is getting the right teacher, especially when going through the process trying to get the right dose/medicine etc.

The first week Amellia was convinced that I had got her tablets mixed up with vitamins as she saw no difference in herself which is a positive. The only side effect that seems to be here at the moment is that her sleep has been effected, she has always struggled with getting off to sleep but this has made it a lot harder.
We didn’t notice any differences at home, but it only really works for a short period of time which is when she is in school. Her teacher though came out on the first day amazed! Said that for the first time since Amellia started the school she sat and wrote her spellings out all my herself without being prompted continuously to keep going and it was legible! They certainly were making some difference, and her personality was exactly the same!

Now we are up to 20mg to see if this helps her further and if it can help her interaction with peers and to sit for that little longer to be able to do worksheets etc in school.
Fingers crossed we continue on such a positive note with this journey!

-WeeOhana

 

10

The start of a new journey!

We started this year off with a rather big and unexpected thing.

Amellia had an appointment with a pediatrician to see what they thought and how to best help her in day-to-day life. Seeing as this was her first appointment I assumed that it was just going to be a chat with the paediatrician about our concerns, getting a first impression on Amellia and referring her on to a long waiting list if she thought necessary.
No referring on, no come back in a few months,  no we want to get in touch with the school and see what they say, we walked away with a diagnosis, a prescription and a review in 6/8 week to see how it is going.

Amellia got diagnosed with ADHD.

The pediatrician said that it clearly affects her every second of every day and that she needs the help as soon as possible to help her achieve all that she has. I was also told that they think she has dyspraxia, a social disorder, sensory issues and a learning difficulty. Though we are going to get her medication right and let her get adjusted to this before they investigate the others as this is the one effecting her the most at the moment.

It was a tough day for me as I said before I thought it was just for a chat. I suppose in reality we were expcting the diagnosis at some stage, but not that day and not along with the other things too. My mind is all over the show at the moment and sometimes I want to just cry and others im just so glad we have got her the help she needs and hopefully now once we have the medication sorted she will be able to achieve all she is capable at school and in life.

One thing that I am adiment on and that I made very clear to the pediatrican is that if I feel the medication is changing her personality I will be stopping it. I want it to help her settle etc but I do not want her bubbly and fun loving personality to go. She reassured me that we would find the right medication for her to keep her personality.

What I found incredibly amazing from Amellia and showed just how self aware she is was when the pediatrican asked her how she coped in school and Amellia said she wished she could sit still longer to learn and that she got annoyed at always having to move.

Amellia is aware about her diagnosis and about the tablets that will help. I have also made her very aware that it may take a while to get the right dose. We have also started a diary that we are doing together each night to keep a check on how it is making her feel and how she feels about it all.

Over the next few weeks I’ll share more as I come to terms with it and how the medcine etc works for her, how she feels about it all etc to help anyone else who is in or goes through the same thing.

-WeeOhana

 

7

My handsome little chap.

I’ve learnt how to view the world differently
To see it how you do
And through your eyes it’s a very scary place.
I will keep helping you to see the good
And promise to always do things at your pace.

I will always go with what I whole heartily feel is in your best interest
Not what others want me to believe is best
I won’t let them push me to do what they think is best.
You are my child
I have your best interest at heart, not them.

You amaze me everyday with your quirky little ways
Lining up your toys
Spinning in circles.
Blinking your eyes like crazy to some strange sounds
Watching the same 10 seconds of a video over & over again.
You repeat words and phrases until I repeat them back to you.
You can find letters in all sorts of things
Often leaving me puzzled looking at what you were staring at.
When we go out I hear you reciting the alphabet or counting random objects
It’s adorable, and helps you to regulate.

You are absolutely incredible
Everyday you amaze me
You try so hard to succeed
I am so proud of you
My handsome little boy

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Christmas time changes

Christmas time is upon us and I am so excited this year. Last year I just wanted Christmas to be over and done with and couldn’t wait to get the decorations away which is so unlike me. I’m so glad this year I am back to full Christmas love & excitement.

Christmas decorating and Christmas time in general is a little different in our house than it would be in most households. Dylan doesn’t cope well with change, for example I took one thing out of the living room to make room for a bit of Christmas and he has dragged it back in very single day since. We decorate slowly and the tree goes up last. This year we will be putting the tree up on the 16th, plenty of time to enjoy it before Christmas but not too long that all the decorations being taken off and lined up and sorted into colour several times a day wont drive me so mad that I want to take it down.

After Dylans birthday on the 9th I’m going to slowly start to add little Christmas bits around the house so that it is slowly changing rather than all of a sudden his safe space is completely different. I know he is going to love all the lights on the tree, but his love for collecting and lining up things that are the same he will just be in overdrive all the time.

We have a lovely little Elf in our house called Max, Amellia totally adores him. We have a pretty lovely elf in our house who doesn’t do all that much to be honest. He moves around and leaves little notes of encouragement. On the weekends he will leave some small gifts which are generally arts & crafts related to Christmas like paint your own decorations, santa letter kits and things like that. Dylan does not understand the Elf malarkey but it is loads of fun for Amellia.

Advent calendars are done different in our house as well, because lets face it give a number obsessed kiddo something with numbers all jumbled up on, he’s gonna open all the doors in the right order in one day and get very distressed if he cant. I open his for him and then give him the item from the advent calendar, this year we got him a playmobil 123 one as he is loving it at the moment! Every morning when I have given him a piece that has come in the calendar though he looks at me like I’m mad and goes and puts it away in the box with the rest of the playmobil and then carries on with his morning. I think when the 25th comes and I don’t give him a bit of playmobil to put away he is going be so confused about why this new morning ritual has changed but we couldn’t let him go without an advent calendar!

Both the kiddos Christmas plays are coming up and I really can’t wait to see them both. Amellia is all bizz because she is singing at the very start of hers and has been singing the song constantly for the past few weeks, I must say she does have a simply wonderful singing voice. Dylans will be adorable just seeing them all together and hopefully taking part in a little sing a long to a few good old Christmas songs. Amellia is really excited as she is coming along to see his too, it’s on her last day of school so she wont miss anything at all as we all know that is a day just full of chaos!

Hope you are all enjoying getting in the Christmas spirit and your kids are enjoying it too, even if it is in a different way to how you used to enjoy Christmas.

-WeeOhana

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Gifts from Small Businesses!

This year I have been getting the majority of my presents for others from small businesses and if small & local they are an even bigger win. Kids toys are pretty hard to find but there is a few items for kiddos featured which are a bit different to just toys as we all know every kid has far too many to even decide what to play with nowadays! Mainly though are presents for older loved ones. Some of these items have been bought for others.. so if you know me & we do gifts, ignore the things that look like you would like them, lol!

img_0261First up is the fab arts & crafts boxes you can order from Squidgy Doodle. A lovely lady makes these up in her house and has a whole range of different craft boxes on her website with many different price options. You can order a seasonal box which means the little one you order it would get 4 boxes throughout the year to help them learn about the different seasons through art. She also does a range of boxes from unicorns to pirates. Check out our full review here which also features a discount code!

Buying for someone with a sweet tooth? Then take a look at these Zaeire Artisian Chocolates as they are bound to love them.. They are handmade in Wexford and have won a gold star award from The Guild Of Fine Food. They are absolutely incredible and my favourite was the honeycomb one. The chocolate Christmas items for the kids were really enjoyed too, lovely thick chocolate so it didn’t melt really quick while the kids were holding it. Dylan really enjoyed the snowman!

Another item for the kiddos is something that will help their imagination expand and soar. WannaBees create little packs that encourage and help children’s imaginations by being a fun prop. Amellia received the teacher pack and its fab, inside it is packed full of things. Registration, weather, writing, reading records, stickers for good students and much more. She really enjoyed using this pack with her dolls and it kept her entertained for a whole afternoon! They do several other packs too so I’m sure you will find one to suit the little person you are looking to buy for.

An amazing and very local shop that is perfect for food lovers of every kind is Indie Fude. They only stock items  from the island of Ireland and are the loveliest staff members you will come across. They do hampers all year round which are always great for gifts, and an even bigger bonus is that they are provided in eco-friendly packing. They can make hampers starting as low as £5 which is perfect for teachers, if you go in for a chat or drop them a message they will be more than happy to help you sort out the perfect hamper for whoever you have in mind!

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Another local business is Inspired by Thea. A lovely lady hand makes clothes in her home for little ones in many funky fabrics. Dylan & Amellia both love these clothes as they are so soft and comfortable! Use code Dylan10 for 10% off.

Any Disney fans? The friendliest of ladies opened up a little business called Hakuna.Majournals recently and it has really took off for her. She makes diaries & notebooks from Disney books, after I received my first order I had to get my hands on some more! They are fantastically priced, wonderfully made and she will even go on a hunt to find you just the one you want which is absolutely incredible. Perfect gift for a Disney fan, and can’t wait to get my hands on mine again on Christmas Day, thanks hubby!

I totally love ElephantBum so much. It’s ran by a lady who handprints T-shirts & jumpers. She does some lovely little designs and some incredible quotes. I have made several purchases through the year and plan to order some more in the new year!

We got sent the Chewymoon box which is full of individually wrapped healthy little snacks for little ones and you also get some stickers! Who doesn’t love stickers. Amellia really enjoyed these and they were perfect size for popping into her bag for her snack in school. You can sign up to this box of snacks to receive them weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

 

I have more things on the way from some small businesses I have found and will share them with you over on my Instagram as they arrive and will be doing more posts in the future where I spread the love for more that I discover along the way. If you know any small businesses please share them below in the comments!

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2018 has gone too fast!

I hope 2019 goes slower than 2018, This year seems to have just flown by at an alarming rate and I’m not sure how I feel about it!
Adrian and myself have been married 5 years this January, Amellia is now 7 and Dylan is 4 next week!

They say time flies when your having fun, I think our time had flown because we have been so stressed and had so much going on! This year especially I feel like I haven’t had a moment to think or process anything that has been going on.

Amellia has changed to a new school which is absolutely incredible, and in a completely different league to her old one.

Dylan has started nursery with a very rough start but seems to be enjoying the morning class a lot more so is sorted for a little while.

Amellia got referred to a paediatrician who we will be seeing in February, and has been seeing lots of therapists throughout the year.

Dylan got his official diagnosis and is now starting to say words! This time last year he didn’t even attempt to say or make any meaningful noises so it is absolutely incredible. Never give up hope.

We added two little guinea pig buddies to our family who are totally adored by us all and have the quirkiest little personalities and enjoy squeaking at us every time the fridge is open.

Adrian & myself got out for one night together without the kids, drank too much and ended up forgetting half of the evening. What we can remember was a great time though and we thoroughly enjoyed.. next year if we get out together we will try and be more controlled with the drink. lol!

Amellia has shown us just how incredible she is at spelling and is making us super proud by achieving top marks every single week.

Dylan now has a huge love for Duplo and is constantly building towers bigger than himself and knocking them down.

To round it up, its been a very stressful year full with many high highs, and low lows. Hopefully 2019 will have a few more level moments for us to catch our breaths and we will be able to continue to do what is best for our kids and maybe if we are really lucky get two nights out together!