2

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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1

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

1

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!

0

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!

1

Kids Christmas gift ideas!

Christmas is coming along quickly and I know what it is like trying to figure out what to get the kids in your life, be they be your own kids, nieces, nephews, friends kids and all  the others in between. 
Here is a little gift guide that will hopefully help give you some ideas of what to get them including; board games, arts & crafts, toys, clothes & chocolate! 

First up are some board games that we got sent to see what we made of them. We always find it difficult to find board games that Amellia enjoys as she is so full of energy and very easily distracted that they never hold her attention for long, but some of these games were even enough to keep her entrained for a good period of time.


Polar Panic is similar to a game of snap and pairs. Spread the cars out and then take turns to turn one over at a time. When you spot cards with one or more common fish on you quickly place your hands on them both and we shouted out “panic” too to add a bit of extra fun. Most matches wins and gets to do a little winner dance.. or so Amellia thinks anyway! She loved this game, simple, quick and fun!
It costs £8.40 which I personally think is a great price for a gift and a fun game that the family can all play together. Perfect stocking filler price too!

img_2479-1This game has got a great concept behind it. Find an item in your house or use one of the cards provided and place it in the box, then others have 22 times to ask you yes or no questions about what is in the box. My girl enjoyed playing this game with the fun of finding objects to go inside the box and asking the most ridiculous questions like “does it poo”
This game costs £17.95, which isn’t too bad for what you get but you could also make this up with items you have at home for a quick and fun game to play.

img_2475-1This game has won two gold awards for Best Family game & Best Problem solving game, you have to memorize 12 symbols in 60 seconds and then they will swap and change around the board. My girl who has just turned 7 needed our help (game is suited to 8+) but the hubby & myself had great fun playing it, especially him when he won. Its £20 which I think is a great price for a game that gets very competitive and lots of fun for older ones.

fullsizerender-1Amellias favourite game that we got sent was this one! You have to scratch and sniff the card then guess what smell it is and put down a memory to go with it. Inside the box is loads of different cards with different smells on them so it’s a game you can play over and over again. Amellia is always asking to play this game again and it held her attention so much that she asked to play another round right away. It’s a lot harder than you think to place the smells without a picture! This game is currently £19.95, I think its worth every penny and would be a perfect present to get all the family involved, enjoying time together and laughing at each other!

img_2468-1Fingerlings are said to be one of the most desired toys of 2018, they cost £16.99 and make a huge range of noises, blow kisses and react to how you treat them. The dinosaur ones you can either treat them nice and tame them or keep them crazy and untamed. Amellia really enjoyed trying to tame the t-rex, but Dylan for some reason was petrified of them. They weren’t a huge hit in my house if im being honest and were quickly forgotten about after a very short time.

img_2486-1This chemistry lab is going to be so much fun! It comes with the majority of things you need to do over 100 experiments and the things you need to add are simple things to find like salt/water etc. We have had sets like this before and they have required you to buy some things I had never even heard of so when this one came with more or less everything you need I was over the moon. I have got this one hidden away for a day when Ad is off so that he can watch Dylan while we turn the kitchen into a science lab, but I just know she is going to just love this set! £24.99 is a bargain for all that comes in this set!

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I’m saving this one for when I’m doing the chemistry lab with Amellia because Dylan is going to go crazy for this! He absolutely loves Peppa pig, numbers, counting, colours and posting so this has it all in his eyes.. minus letters! What I really love about this is that it talks in the actual Peppa pig voice, I find that toys often  have completely different voices to what they sound like on T.V and this really upsets Dylan. He needs the familiarization and if it is meant to sound a certain way and doesn’t it can really confuse him. This is an amazing toy, teaching kids many essential things and at £19.99 its one I am going to be picking up for a gift too! 

img_1539What kid doesn’t love slime and all things related! I’ve featured these products before from Zimpli kids here. They are a perfect stocking filler price ranging from £2.50-£7. We cant wait to try out the snoball play closer to Christmas time!

Last but not least for this gift guide is Little Brian paint sticks! We absolutely adore these and make sure we always have them in our cupboard. Dylan loves painting but isn’t a fan of getting messy so these are just perfect for him and Amellia loves how bright and vibrant the colours are… especially on the day glow ones! The packs start at £4.50 which is a perfect stocking filler and you can get a set of 24 for £14.99 which would be an amazing gift for any kiddo! They also now do mini ones, fabric and chalk ones too, I cant wait to get my hands on the fabric ones and letting the kids go mad on some t-shirts! 

I hope you have enjoyed this gift guide, next week I will have another which will feature some smaller businesses with a range of products so you are sure to find something that someone you know will love! 

 

– These products were sent to me in exchange for a feature in this guide, all opinions expressed are my own honest ones.-

6

Understanding is impossible unless you have walked it yourself.

Having an autistic child is something that is impossible to understand unless you have walked it yourself.

The sleepless nights because they don’t sleep, and when they do your mind is going at maximum speed thinking of how to help them better tomorrow, what you can do that won’t cause a meltdown, if they will ever get a job, be able to live independently, cook, dress appropriately independently, tell you how they are, ask for what they want, say where hurts, if they will ever have a partner.. and many, many other things.

The worry when they won’t eat and have an extremely restrictive diet if they will be able to keep healthy on the select few things they eat. When they stop eating a certain food and you are left with even fewer foods, and they are losing weight and no one has ideas or provides you with help to get them eating more.

When they go into school in floods of tears clinging to you and you worry and stress through the day if they have settled, are they ok, will the school be honest with how they were, will they forgive and are they happy,

Buying new clothes entails turning the items inside out to see how they will feel to them and having to hunt out clothes that don’t have seams, and when they decide they like something and will wear it happily bulk buying them in every size to ensure that your child will go out with clothes and shoes on.

When you go somewhere they have enjoyed having your fingers tightly crossed so that nothing has changed and hoping it will be really quiet so that they can enjoy it and it won’t start a meltdown.

Will they ever make friends and have a proper friendship with even just one person. Be able to go to the cinema together, out for a walk, lunch, or even just have a conversation together.

How are you going to be able to cope with meltdowns when they are older if they are still lashing out, head butting, and how will I prevent them from self harming when they head butt the walls, hit themselves, scrab at their body, pull thier face..

Would someone else be looking after them better and providing them with better chances and helping them more than you are.

What happens if you end up in hospital and have to spend time there, how will they cope, who will look after them because no one knows them like you do and an even bigger worry.. what happens when you die, who will care for them like you do, love them and understand them like you.

The constant fight for help from services which are meant to want to help but show you the exact opposite.

The need to cuddle and protect them when they are sad, overloaded, having a meltdown but infact it just makes them worse and the only thing you can do is watch and ensure that they are safe and are not harming themselves.

Ignoring the stares, tuts and comments made when out in public and your child is having a meltdown and you can’t do anything to help them or stop it.

And the over whelming feeling of continuous guilt.

-WeeOhana

7

Halloween

I’ve never really celebrated Halloween before, the past two years Ad has took Amellia out to do some trick or treating but I haven’t really got in the spirit of it and left it up to those two to do together, but this year is different. I’ve decided for the first time I’m going to celebrate with them!

Time goes really fast, far too fast. It feels like this year has gone faster than normal to me so I want to embrace all the opportunities we get to spend together and if it means opening up to new things and trying them out well.. I’m going to give it my best shot for the kiddos! Soon enough she will be charging out the door to her friends rather than wanting to spend time with us, so time to make the most of the times we do have together and she wants to spend with us!

For her birthday party this year she has asked to have a Halloween party with her friends in the street so I said why not! I’ve been out and bought lots of decorations, a pumpkin piñata, light sticks, stickers, Halloween shaped crisps/chips/chicken nuggets and everything else I could find! These kiddos will not be leaving with an empty tummy or an empty bucket anyway.

I’ve bought us all matching jumpers which we will wear all the way through to January! The wonderful elephant bum and teequo worked together on them and I’m totally in love. I always buy jumpers from elephant bum and have only recently found teequo after getting these and they will be getting an order soon from me because they do Disney ones & I totally adore Disney! 😍 check out how awesome these ones are that we all got;

Anyway I’m off to decorate the house and get into the Halloween spirit 😀 how do you celebrate Halloween?