7

Honest & Open

Something I have always found important Is being honest and open with my children at a level appropriate to there understanding.

Recently Amellia asked me where she lived when she was a baby, and I told her that we used to live with nanny & grampy when she was first born, she then went on to ask who came to the hospital with me and I told her that nanny did. She looked at me a little confused and said that daddy came with me to the hospital for Dylan.

I then told her that we met daddy when she was only a few months old and that we moved in to his house after she had turned one.

She looked up at me very seriously and I was wondering how I would answer all the questions she might have but she just said one simple sentence that just summed it all up perfectly. “Well that makes my daddy an extra special daddy then because he chose me and wanted to be my daddy”

My heart melted, she couldn’t have got it more right. 💝 Ad loves her and treats her just like his own, as do his wonderful parents. She has an incredible bond with them all and is totally spoilt rotten.

4

Don’t dwell…

Must Not Dwell.. (1)

I have started 2018 with a bang and completed my online course that I singed up too to extended my knowledge on autism with a pretty impressive 100% on all modules.
I am pretty chuffed and it sure has given me a nice little boost of pride and self-confidence to start the year with.

The course I completed was compiled of these modules;

  • Understanding autism
  • Autism and communication
  • Autism and sensory experience
  • Autism, stress and anxiety
  • Autism: supporting families

I found out some facts from doing this course that I wasn’t aware of, but the majority of it I knew from living daily with an autistic child.
I think this course would be beneficial for people with very minimal knowledge on autism, but if like me you live with autism in your life daily then it probably wont provide you with much extra.

I learnt some facts that really shocked me and admittedly scared me too.
Did you know that only 15% of autistic people are in full-time employment? 75% of the population are in full time employment.
I mean.. how crazy is that, and how does that give me any hope for Dylan. It seems absolutely bizarre that the percentage is so low and really unsettling for parents of autistic children.

At least 1 in 3 autistic adults are dealing with severe mental health struggles due to lack of support. 70% of autistic adults believe they are not getting the help from social services that they require and they also said that would feel a lot less isolated if they were given the support they need and what I believe to rightfully deserve.

It’s crazy, it really is.
The future scares me, it really does. Its something I try to not think about too often because it worries me, really worries me.
What does it hold for us, how well will we cope, how we can get the best for Dylan possible and all while keeping the balance of family life right too… it’s a lot to think of and far too much to dwell on.

-WeeOhana-

7

Hello 2018.

Hello 2018

Hello 2018, nice to meet you.
I know your going to be a tough one, it isn’t going to be an easy ride and I can’t prepare myself or my family for what is to come.

One of my goals for 2018 is to try and put myself first more often, be it when buying the shopping getting the meal I really fancy even though it might not be Ads favourite or going out for a long walk by myself once he gets home from work if its been a tough day, or even grabbing a bite to eat with my sister.
I’m hoping that this will then help to keep my mind set straight as much as possible and that when it does start to fault I will know sooner and be able to reach out for the support I need before it gets really bad again.

Another thing I want to work on which is something I have always been useless at and I have asked Ad to work on too is talking about emotions.
We have so much going on and I think it is really important that we try to be as open as possible with each other about everything. How we feel, what’s upset us, when we need a break, if we just want to cry, no matter what it is we need to be open with each other.
Otherwise we wont make it through this.

To keep me smiling and to help find something positive in everyday even when its been the roughest day I started a little hashtag #inspirehappiness365.
I plan to do one post a day on Instagram for 365 days of the thing that made me happy and smile. This will help me to look for the positive in the rough and also remind me to post on Instagram at least once a day.
Your more than welcome to join in if you would like!

I hope you have a fantastic 2018 and you have set attainable goals rather than pie in the sky ones!

-WeeOhana

0

Hopefully Planning can help.

Recently my head seems completely filled with everything that is going on.
If I’m not going to an appointment that week, I’m making one and having to check that it wont clash with the several other appointments that area already made. Then with everything that is going on my head never seems to stop thinking, worrying, planning and mainly just trying to get my head around it all to understand it.

To try to help with organising appointments so that they aren’t all constantly buzzing around in my head and to enable me to make them when I am out and not having to call once I’m home to either change or cancel if he already has one I purchased a lovely little handbag size monthly planner. What makes it even more wonderful is that it has some lovely little motivational quotes throughout it too. It is really beautiful and even better than I expected when I ordered it.

What I really like is that it has a month on each page, so it is quick and easy to see when I am free for appointments and when I am not.
I am rather looking forward to filling it in and even more excited now because I was invited along to the opening of a lovely little stationery type shop called Smiggle.
They sell a variety of things, from scented pencils, gel pens, backpacks, lunch boxes, games, jewellery etc! Everything was so bright and colourful in the shop, and I really loved that the items aimed at boys were brightly coloured.

The members of staff in the shop were so wonderful with Amellia as she was very excited by it all. One of the ladies took Amellia around and showed her some of their fun and exciting pens that they do and helped her choose a few items that she would like. She decided on a pen with a unicorn on it that fires, a boxing owl pen and a set of highlighters.

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I now have a lovely little selection of scented gel pens, highlights and a few other bits and pieces to make my pocket planner even easier to see who is doing what.
If you are near a Smiggle you should really pop along and have a nosy around, I bet you wont be able to resist all of the cuteness!

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-WeeOhana

*-* *disclaimer* I was given some of these stationary items from Smiggle free of charge to include them in a post *-*

5

Time goes too fast!

Next week my baby girl is turning six and I just can’t believe it!
In some ways time seems to have just gone so fast, but in others it feels like moments were so long ago!
She has grown into a crazy, hyper, loving, button pushing, understanding and majorly beautiful little girl!
She stole my heart the moment she was born and we got through a really tough time together at the very start of her little wonderful life on this earth. She came when I needed her the most and is now such a beautiful little ray of sunshine!
If I ever feel down, she will do anything to make me laugh, if I’m feeling like a giant child and I just want to mess around then she is always very pleased to join in and if I ever need a hand (majority of the time) she will help!

She got her main birthday present early, it was a ‘big’ girls bike!
We decided to give it to her early so that she could use it for a while during the summer time before she headed back to school. She really enjoys going out on her bike, but I hope that with not using it as much over the winter that she wont forget how to do It and lose her confidence, I will have to try and get Ad to take her out often.
Obviously we have got her some things for on her birthday but we have decided to not go quite so mad as we did for her last birthday and Christmas.. it was rather a lot!

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I can’t thank Ad enough for all the support, love, encouragement, care, compassion, fun, and many other things that he shows Amellia. They completely adore each other and she really does idealize him!

Ad; Thank you so much for everything you do for us, you treat her wonderfully and we all love you too the moon and back! Always & Forever.
Amellia; You are an incredible little girl, I am so proud of you for everything you do! Just please.. Stop growing up so fast!!!

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6

Think about you.

Trying to keep on top of your own mental health is really vital in life.
I feel that it is really essential to try to keep a check on yourself whenever you have a child with additional needs.
It does completely take over on all of your thinking, planning, time and very quickly you can get very worn down.

You need to stop, breath and think about you.
How are you feeling?
– If you aren’t sure, talk to someone. A friend, partner, someone who understands. If you regularly feel low, that you can’t take much more contact your GP for a chat.

When is the last time you did something for you?
– Have you managed to have some time to yourself or with other adults to actually relax?
I don’t mean just tidying when the kids have gone to bed, having a coffee, I mean something properly for you. Make sure to visit your friends, get out of the house and go for a walk, go to the shops and only look at things for you, do something that you enjoy and try to make it a regular thing!

Are you just holding on, or are you standing up tall? 
– 
Standing up tall? Fantastic! Though if you are just holding on, feel like you are at the edge, stretched too your limit, at the edge. Seek help. With kids with additional needs you never know what is around the corner and you don’t want it to be the thing to tip you over.
Your child/ren need you. More so than others, if you won’t fight to get them what they need, who will? GPs are very understanding and supportive. Don’t make an appointment for a few weeks down the line, take the emergency appointment and get seen that day. You need it.

Yes, you may have been here before and got back on your feet, and forgotten it for a while, but it will come back when you least expect it.
Please don’t feel embarrassed, scared, afraid, just make that phone call.
Your family and friends may tell you that it will all be ok and that you are ok, but you have to feel it too, and I’m sure if you are in this position you do not feel it.
Them shrugging off what you tell them, ignoring it, or just replying with the generic “you will be ok.” That is not enough.
Go to the doctor, talk it through with a professional and then tell your family and friends you are getting help and you would like their support.

Sometimes family and friends are so used to seeing your strong exterior, your fight, your smile and get up and go that they can’t see how much you really are struggling deep down.

You can do this.
Support is out there.
Don’t be fobbed off.
Your family need you.

 

 

1

Seaforde Gardens & Tropical House

Recently I took a little trip to Seaforde Gardens and tropical house with the kids and my brother!
If you haven’t been before you are really missing out! It is a simply wonderful little place with lots to do, see and explore!
We headed here on a Saturday and I would advise if you are going to head up for opening time, rather than later on in the day. When we arrived it was very quiet, so quiet in-fact that we had a brief moment of thinking it may not be open yet but it was! Though when we were leaving the car-park was full and it was really filling up inside the Tropical house.

When we first arrived we headed straight for the Tropical house to see the butterflies, terrapins, parrots, and a variety of reptiles! As soon as we walked in there was a kaleidoscope of butterflies swooping around and they also had a lovely bunch of flowers by the door so that you could watch some of them eating too! As you walked around they had little tables with sugar-water in bowls on them, and Amellia really loved watching the butterflies drinking using their proboscis. After watching the butterflies for a while we then headed into the next room which had some little terrapins and parrots in, Amellia and her uncle found it rather amusing to watch one of the terrapins try to climb out of the water and then it was on wards to the reptile room which had a snake, some cockroaches, giant snails and a few other reptiles!

We then headed out to the gardens and the maze. The gardens are simply beautiful and are filled with lots of beautiful flowers, and many peacocks happily walking about in them too. We had lots of fun exploring the gardens, smelling all the flowers and we spent a rather long time lost in the maze! It is a lovely little maze, not too big that you get really lost or annoyed at where you are, but big enough to be enjoyable and a little confusing so that you have to think about what you are doing!

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After that we went to the little play park which had a few swings slide, monkey bars, wendy house and some grass to run about on. It was a lovely little park and both of the kids really enjoyed playing here and after a play we all needed our bellies refilled so we popped to the cafe.
Next time I go here I will be sure to pack a picnic. The cafe was ok, but its menu was very limited of; ham, cheese or tomato toasties, pancakes, and some cakes. The drink selection was also minimal and didn’t have the usual things on it. Everything was home-made and the pancakes were tasty, but the toasties were pretty disappointing. They filled a spot though and we will be more prepared next time and take a lovely little picnic to enjoy at one of their many picnic benches .

We then headed back into the tropical house again before heading home. This time it was pretty busy inside, but we were lucky enough for a butterfly to land on my hand and I then placed it onto Amellias hand too, She loved looking closely at the butterfly and seeing all its different colours! We then sat on a bench and she found a caterpillar so wanted to hold it and put it back to safety after inspecting it in much detail too.
It was then home time after a lovely day as it was starting to rain and was getting very busy.

It was a simply lovely day and Amellia really enjoyed getting to spend time with her uncle! We can’t wait to head back again next summer!

For a list of other places to visit in NI click here!

-WeeOhana