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Fell off the wagon, back now.. Sorry!

First off, sorry it has been so long since I have blogged. We have had a lot going on and I kinda fell off the blogging band wagon, but here we go with an update and trying to get back on the band wagon.

Dylan currently does not have a school place, due to no school suitable having a place. This means that we are having to home school him for now until a place does come up but no one seems to be able to give us any clue of when a space may come up or offering us advice on what we should be doing with him while he is at home.
Mainly I have been trying to work on his self-help skills and eating. Encouraging him to learn how to turn the tap on, put soap on his hands and wash them properly, we attempted potty training again for a good few weeks and he just couldn’t get the whole needing to go thing so we have put that on the back burner for a while until he is ready and notices more of the signs. Making food a little fun with trying to encourage sensory play with food, just touching a new food before having one of his safe foods and getting out and about in the world.

He is starting to put weight back on instead of losing it so we are celebrating that greatly, even though it took 4 months to put 0.2kg on it is a plus instead of a loss. He now has the majority of his safe foods back, minus the mince but I am not giving up hope on that and have my fingers crossed it will be back shortly, or maybe some other form of meat and goodness!
Verbally he has came on, and it is incredible to watch him as when he was first seen we were told to not expect him to talk. His favourite thing to do is walk around counting, Dylan is at his happiest when numbers are involved. Encouraging his numbers in everyday situations and trying to do things that involve numbers but aren’t just counting or adding is something I have been trying to do. Sensory play but with numbers in that his has to get out, colouring in numberblocks, dot to dot to make a numberblock.. basically anything that I can put numbers into to encourage him to do it I am.
He has also have seen an OT recently which I wont go into here but will do another post about along with all the other things that have been going on with him and expanding on what I’ve already mentioned.

Amellia has started P4 and it is not going anywhere near as good as P3 went. She used to wish the weekends away so that she could hurry back to school to see her teacher and now she wants the weekends to never end. Neither are ideal, I mean I would much rather she enjoyed her weekends and her time in school so a happy medium of the two would have been perfect. Maybe one day she will find that, but for now I am reminding her I am here to chat to no matter how she feels and that if she keeps persevering it may start to get better sooner than she expects.

 

We have been enjoying a lot of family time and getting out and about together. I am hoping that the winter isn’t too wet so that we can keep exploring and enjoying these times together as indoor places are not Dylan’s favourite. Indoor places tend to be busy and noisy making it very hard to go as a family as what often happens is one of us ends up leaving early while one stays in with Amellia. This in turn causes upset to everyone as Amellia wants us to spend time together, Dylan ends in meltdown and as parents you feel guilty at having to go separate ways and defeated.

Here is to a winter where we can still go out in the open without getting too wet or cold and being back on the blogging band wagon as it is something I really enjoy!

-WeeOhana

 

 

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Our New Addition!

We welcomed a new little addition to our family last week!
Every Lilo needs a Stitch and our Lilo is no exception, so everyone meet Stitch! =]
img_9144The cutest little bundle of fluff I have ever laid eyes on, she is a Cavachon which is a Cavalier King Charles x Bichon Frise.  Toilet training is in the bag and she mastered it so quickly. I’m not sure if having an older dog here made it easier for her to pick up on but I was all ready for cleaning up puddles but have been extremely fortunate and not had to clean up many at all!

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She has already mastered sit and down, one smart little pup at 9 weeks old. Lilo and her are getting on well too, it took a little while before they were pals but they enjoying licking each others faces now and cuddling up together on the sofa on the odd occasion. It will be great once Stitch has had her second injection to get them both out and about as I feel bad leaving Stitch behind when we head out.

Amellia totally loves her and keeps asking when she can have a sleepover in her bedroom, but evil mummy keeps telling her no. She is really excited to be able to take her out on walks and to the beach for her first time.
Dylan is completely besotted by her. Every morning he is charging downstairs to check she is ok, when he gets in from school he is checking on her and is always wanting to cuddle with her. It took a few days of being pretty stern with him on the lifting front, but he got it alright and every now and then he does try to lift her but he knows he is doing wrong as gives you that cheeky little grin. When she first arrived he always wanted to put a blanket over her to play but after repetition of showing him how we play appropriately with her with her toys he quickly picked it up and what really helped with this was taking him to pets at home and getting him to choose her some toys to play with with him.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how she is getting on, how her first walks go and what things she enjoys. I’ll also do a more in depth post soon about how we helped Dylan learn how to interact appropriately with her so that if you are in the same position as us it can hopefully help you too.

 

 

 

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Our Favourite TV shows & movies!

Recently I was reached out to by HD Televisions Panasonic to share with you guys our favourite movie and tv show that we have recently watched. TVs simply amaze me now with how clear and crisp the pictures are. Sometimes you feel like you are actually there alongside the actors and tv presenters when they are showing you certain things and the kids especially love the colours being bright and crisp on there show.

I find it takes a lot more to grip you in to a tv show that you have to wait a week to see now that so many are accessible to binge watch on the wide range of on demand services.

At the moment my husband and myself have found a show on TV that we are really enjoying and are left talking about the previous episode for the week while we wait for the new one to air. If you haven’t watched it you should really give the good doctor a watch, I find that we can be laughing along with them then the next moment you are crying. It’s about an autistic surgeon intern while he pursues his dream of becoming a fully qualified surgeon. You also follow along with the other interns, their stories, how they then get to know him and what changes they make to help him cope. I think it’s a great program for raising awareness about autism and will hopefully help others who have watched it to understand a little more.

A film that had us laughing the whole way through was the Netflix original ‘Isn’t it Romantic’. Rebel Wilson is such a great actress and in this movie she does not disappoint. At the start of the movie she believes that love isn’t for everyone and expresses her dislike towards Rom-coma several times, but during the movie she ends up living her nightmare and being in a rom-com. I’ll not say more as I don’t wait to spoil it with it only recently being out, but if you’re looking for something light-hearted and funny to watch it’s certainly worth putting on!

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My little girls favourite TV Show at the moment and has been for a long time is Yo-Kai watch. She loves that you can watch the episodes over and over again and must have watched each episode about 30 times over. It reminds me a bit of Pokémon, though she will argue for hours about how it is so much better than Pokémon and far cooler!
Her favourite movie is the Greatest Showman. When we first watched it we had a movie night full of snacks, laughter and love, now she often asks for the soundtrack to be played in the car and knows everything there is to know about Hugh Jackman! She loves anything with catchy tunes and something she can dance too.
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Dylan isn’t really into any TV shows or movies, he prefers very repetitive music, especially the gummy bear song, backwards. . it’s now what plays in my nightmares! Lol.

We are always on the lookout for something new to watch so would love to hear about a TV show or film that you have really enjoyed so we can watch it too.

-sponsored post-

 

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Softplay Success!

Finding a new place that Dylan thoroughly enjoys and caters to his needs is always a bit of a struggle and a huge success when we do. Recently we found a place that ticks all of the boxes and I hope that it will be a place your children can enjoy too if you live or are visiting the area.

When Ad is off work and able to go places with us I like to go somewhere new. It means that there are two sets of hands in case things don’t go our way and another set of eyes to keep a close watch while Dylan explores! It also means that if things don’t go the right way it is someone to talk to while I bundle him up to leave, help me ignore the judging eyes and grab the bags.

We headed to a soft play called Indiana Land and we couldn’t have found a better place to spend some time together! We paid £2.50 to get in, which is a bargain for soft play. There was only a few other children there, so nice and quiet for Dylan’s first time exploring.

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He was settled from the moment we got in and couldn’t wait to get exploring. It has a nice amount of empty space which gave lots of room for running around and some great slides, rope bridges, obstacles and a ball pit. Dylan really enjoys open space because when you go to a soft play or even a park he finds it very overwhelming trying to decide what to go on. He loved just being able to running without having to make any decisions immediately. He then took my hand and wanted me to go exploring with him. Which many soft play places don’t like, so I was really pleased that they didn’t mind me going on with him to help him familiarise and get used to everything there was to offer.

After a while it was obvious that he was getting overstimulated from all the running, jumping, sliding and just having a good time. Ad then spotted a sensory room!
It had a passcode on the door so we asked the lovely workers at the reception if we could go in and they happily opened it. Inside it was amazing, big bean bags to relax on, ear defenders, several different light features that you could change the colour on, timers and a fiddle board.

 

I really liked that it had a passcode because it meant that others couldn’t just come in and out while he was having his chill out time before heading out to run around again.
I’ve never seen a sensory room at a soft play before so this really is such an inclusive place.

Highly recommend here if you live around or are visiting the area especially for parents with ones on the spectrum/sensory needs etc as it’s a struggle to find places that cater to them and this place is perfect!

The only thing that would worry me about going on the weekends would be that the freefall may be open. It was locked when we were there as it was during the terrific tots time which was a big relief if it was open and Dylan took a notion to go down it we would have probably had to leave as once Dylan gets an idea in his head it is pretty impossible to distract him.

-WeeOhana

 

 

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Amazing & almost unbelievable progress!

This medication is seriously a life changer and for all the positive reasons!

So for the first week in school they noticed improvements but since going up to the 20mg we are being blown away by the changes. She is sitting to do her spellings, numeracy and literature work with only needing a few reminders to keep on task rather than constant ones. She is actually enjoying doing her work and is coming home really proud and eager to show me what she has done and how neat her writing is, which has come on leaps and bounds! Before her writing was pretty unreadable, now you can actually read what she has wrote and I am sure that in a few more weeks time with practice her writing will get even better.

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The even huger thing is that she was seen by her physio and she has discharged her! They thought possible dyspraxia when we first went to see her paediatrician as she couldn’t do simple things like stand on one leg for any length of time or walk along a line of tape, but now she can do it all so well the physio says she is actually ahead of peers for her gross motor skills!

Her physio is just lovely and said that she was so happy to be discharging her but also didn’t want too as Amellia is such a pleasure to work with and is full of character and love. She said that she has never seen such an improvement in a child from taking the medicine and that Amellia’s ADHD must have been affecting her immensely.

The only side effect that is currently around for her is problems with getting to sleep. This is something she struggled with before but it has got worse. We have bought some relaxation tapes and she has been prescribed melatonin but I’m only going to give this to her on school nights after she has tried to get over to sleep by herself first.

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She is still 100% herself, outgoing, chatty and full of love for life but able to focus now to have a proper conversation with you. It is simply amazing and to think when the idea of ADHD was first floated I wasn’t sure about medicating due to the worry of it changing her personality, that when I said to people I was going to give it a try and they thought I was crazy.

These changes are amazing and going to help her achieve her best in life that she can! This girl is going to do big things, I can just feel it!

 

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Sensory park!

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

 

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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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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!