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

Squidgydoodle Craft box Review & discount code!

The weather on the weekend was absolutely horrible. If we had of went outside I think we would have looked like drowned rats in 0.2 seconds, so when the postman rang the doorbell and handed over a package for Amellia I knew exactly what we would be getting up to while spending a day hiding inside from the rain!

img_0261When we opened it up and discovered that it was full of arts & crafts supplies to make unicorn & rainbow things we couldn’t wait to get stuck in!
It came with a lovely little brightly coloured booklet that explained to you how to make the things & what I really loved was how simple they were. We have had boxes like this in the past and I have had to make half the things for her because they have been so complicated.
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We got stuck in making the first item which was a unicorn horn. Everything you need to make all the items are inside this little post-box friendly sized box, which makes it even handier as you shouldn’t have to run to the post office if you aren’t in when it’s delivered. Amellia particularly loved the rainbow crayon and being able to be a dabbing unicorn.. trust my kid!

Next up we got stuck in with the painting and cracked on with the next two things to make! One was a rainbow scrapping which is where you use a little bit of cardboard to cover over a stencil and then remove the stencil to be left with a coloured rainbow and the next was a rainbow rain unicorn. The rainbow rain unicorn was a lot of fun to make. We used the box to stand it up in and then you mixed a little water into the paints and sucked it up with a pipette and squirted it at the top of the page.. I thought this was going to be messy but by some miracle Amellia manged to keep all the paint on the page!

After completing these I thought that they were not going to be quite as pretty as we had hopped.. but after waiting for them to dry and removing the bits we needed too..

I was more than impressed with the bits of art we had created together!

The final thing was making rainbow slime which we decided to wait till after dinner to do this incase it ended up really messy. Amellia is generally pretty good at making any task messy, but for some reason today she was actually pretty neat with everything we did! She was very impressed with the rainbow slime we made as it was a liquid until you tried to pick it up the it became a solid. She had lots of fun playing with it before it was time for a story & bed!

img_0306We really enjoyed doing this box together and it kept her entertained all day as we spread out the arts and crafts during the day. They were simple enough that I could leave her to do the colouring etc while I played with Dylan and with me going away and coming back she was always very proud to show me what she had done.

I love that these boxes are all handmade & prepared by a lovely lady who also runs a blog where she shares other arts & craft which you can view here.
All the activities where easy, very enjoyable and left you with great pieces of art.
Intact we enjoyed it so much I have already ordered the Halloween & Winter Wonderland box!! My one complaint.. I wish they did monthly boxes!
If you fancy trying one out head over to the shop here and use the code LOUISE to get a 10% discount which is valid until the 9th of December.
You will find a range of different craft boxes, party boxes, mini crafts and seasonal craft boxes.

-WeeOhana

Disclaimer – *I was sent this amazing craft box free of charge to review; all thoughts and opinons are my own honest ones*

3

Lentil Sensory Play!

Dylan’s regression in food has made me want to do a lot of sensory play with him. We do sensory play rather regularly but I want to try to do a little more and hopefully this will aid in helping him get back to at least eating the few things he used too.

Sensory play in our house always has to be with dry items, I’m hoping that if I find something dry that he really enjoys playing with I can then start to cook a few bits of it at a time and he wont notice the change. Then he will accept the change naturally without even noticing it!
Recently we did some sensory play with red split lentils. I chose these because the orange went with it being Halloween and they were bright and colourful. I added in a few objects with simple names so that I could name them to Dylan, I am going to use the same objects in all the sensory play that we do to hopefully help him learn these words.
Repetition is key!

He really enjoyed burying the objects and finding them again, his sister really enjoyed doing his sensory play with him and it really helped them to connect a little and have fun together.

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She was burying her hand and he was finding it then she was helping him to bury his hand and finding it again. I love seeing them play together, it’s a rare occurrence but a simply magical once when it happens.

-WeeOhana

4

Simple Sensory Fun!

I knew that the wonderful weather was sure to come to an end at some stage, so when it took a turn for the worst we decided to have some simple sensory fun!
I hunted through the house for things so that we could all enjoy, I came across some shaving foam and decided that now would be a good time to try it again with Dylan as it was about a year ago that we tried it before and he really hated it!
I wanted to try to add something to the shaving foam so that it would make it a little different, though we didn’t really have much!
I thought sand would be a great idea so headed out to the shed thinking that we had some left for going in the sandbox.. but we didn’t! Though we did have some very fine gravel left over from when we set up Pudges new tank! Perfect!

So; what you need to have this simple sensory fun in your house is;

  • Shaving Foam
  • Sand/fine grit
  • bowl to mix it in
  • animals etc to put in it if wanted
  1. Add the shaving foam into a bowl – As much as you want to use to play with!IMG_8567
  2. Then add in the sand/fine grit and mix up. – Again just as much as you want for how gritty to make it IMG_8572
  3. Finally I put it into a container that we for our sensory fun and added some animals to try to encourage Dylan to play with it and get his hands dirty!
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What I learnt from this simple sensory fun was that Dylan is still nowhere near ready for play with shaving foam, as soon as he touched it and it wouldn’t come of his hands instantly he was trying desperately to get it off!  I quickly wiped them clean and he shot off to the living room and into his tent for safety.
Amellia really enjoyed playing with it though and burying and finding the animals!

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This is real simple sensory fun, hopefully your little ones like it as much as Amellia did and don’t react with disgust like Dylan!

-WeeOhana

13

Sensory Play with Orbeez!

Recently I purchased some Orbeez to do some sensory play with Dylan and for Amellia to enjoy too!
If you haven’t heard of them before they are teeny tiny little balls when they arrive and then you soak them in water for a few hours and they expand up to 200x there original size! They are really impressive things and are really relaxing to play with if I do say so myself!

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I put his favorite toys in to encourage him to play with them. I thought that he wouldn’t be keen at the start but he loved them and dove straight into burying his Twirlywoos in them and uncovering them, then getting me to bury them again so he could get them out. We did this for quite some time and then he started to lift them out and look at them very closely!
IMG_7103I took this as an opportunity to go over his colours again and he had lots of fun shouting out which ones he knew and trying to pick them up as they are pretty slimy! We then also counted them when he was lifting them out!

IMG_7122He then was enjoying it so much he decided to dip his toes in and then stand in them! He really enjoyed it and had lots of fun!

When Amellia got home from school she also had loads of fun playing with them, she enjoyed putting her feet in them too and feeling them on her hands!

I would really recommended trying these out with your children for some sensory fun!

These are the ones that I ordered, but there are lots of different options to choose from! I think I am going to order him some of the extra large ones they do to see what he makes of them too!

-WeeOhana

11

Speech & Occupational Therapy.

Recently we attended Dylan’s appointment with his speech therapist and his occupational therapist! We learnt a lot of new things, got lots advice and some more referrals to get Dylan the help he needs!

First off I’ll tell you about the occupational therapist who was very positive. She said that he has good fine motor skills for his age, but to keep working on using his fingers etc for being able to do buttons, zips and little things! To do this, I am going to continue using his posting toys, his ring stack and other toys like those to encourage his fine motor skills to grow! We have also been told to encourage him to have some tummy time, which is going to be a lot harder than it sounds to implement! I am going to try to get him to colour while lying on the floor, and to do his pop up toy etc while on the floor too! This is to try and encourage him to accept pressure and weight on his tummy and this will also help to build up his neck muscles which are essential for life! While doing this I also need to encourage him to sit at the table when he is doing things as well! This will help to build up his concentration and get him used to sitting still for a period of time in preparation for school! While he is sitting playing with a toy at the table I need to ensure that he gets used to changing toys, and doesn’t get so fixated on the one that he enjoys.

The speech therapist was very pleased with his improvements on making eye contact and that he made a very big indication of communication with me when he came over to me and took my hand and walked me to the door to indicate he wanted to leave. She has  said that I need to try to find things that are very motivating for him so that he will start to learn that through communication he can get what he wants and it is a positive thing! I am going to start to put only a few mouthfuls of juice in his cup and encourage him to bring his cup to me when it is empty rather than going and sitting in the kitchen and screaming, and putting toys up that he really likes so he can see them but has to take me over to where they are so that I can pass them down rather than him just screaming. It will be hard, and take a long time for him to pick up on what he has to do to get what he desires but we will get there!
She said that when we are setting targets for him to achieve we need to set ones that are very small and are in reach, and that we are not to add speech to any of our targets for him. She was very positive, but said that it may be some time before he speaks as there are a lot more stepping-stones to go across before he gets to the speech. She said that he is making progress but it is all very slow and tiny, tiny baby steps! I am starting to get used to the baby steps, and celebrating the mile stones as we get there rather than being disheartened by the ones that we aren’t or haven’t met yet.

They are also referring him on to a dietician due to his very limited diet, though have said that the best way to encourage him to eat a few more things is through messy play. Once he accepts different feelings on his hands and arms then he is one step closer to accepting it in his mouth! I have lots of messy play plans, with very slow stepping-stones to getting them messier and messier.. first we are starting off with a box of pasta with only 2 or 3 cooked bits in, and then adding another 2 or 3 cooked bits in after a few weeks of accepting the first few bits of cooked pasta!
She has also refereed him to go on a DIS (Developmental Intervention Service). This will be a 5 week course where he goes for 1 hour a week for five weeks! He will be in a small group with several other children where they will try to encourage them to interact, and many other things! She started off and told me “unfortunately there is a waiting list.. its 12-13” When I heard that I sighed, thinking that she meant months.. another big wait, but then she finished it by saying “weeks” I nearly jumped out of my chair with excitement! That isn’t long at all!
The speech therapist and occupational therapist also want to see him on a regular basis, but not to regular, every 2-3 months. They said that there would be no point seeing him every week as it just wouldn’t be beneficial for him as it is all such baby steps, and if we are seeing them that much and he isn’t making great bounds of progress each week it is also harder on the parents. I really like Dylan’s speech therapist she is very caring, and seems to really understand how hard this is for the parents as well as the child.

We have his CDC review appointment the end of next month, where they will be referring him on if they think it is necessary and doing his education plan… I know that he is going to be refereed, but I know that it wont make this appointment any easier. I know that hearing it from a professional will be really tough. I am already worrying and stressing about it, when in reality; I can’t change the inevitable, nobody can.

-WeeOhana
x

9

Sensory play outside! =]

It has been simply wonderful weather here for the past few days and we have spent lots of time out in the back garden relaxing and enjoying the safe space we have.

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We recently purchased them that wonderful little Smoby activity car that you can see, it is wonderful! Has a great sized slide on it, a wheel you can turn and it has a horn with several different noises, a key to turn and to make it even more wonderful the bonnet opens and you can put whatever you want in it! It also then comes away from the car for if you want to wash it or empty out whatever you have put in it! The reason we went for this activity car is because Dylan can get in and out of it himself and climb up and go down the slide by himself too!

Today I decided instead of putting the expected of sand into it, to put some soil that I had from planting my pepper plants into it to see what he would make of it!

He got stuck right in and really enjoyed it! He was shovelling it up and filling the plant pots up and then emptying them! He was having lots of fun and played with it for a long time!

He wasn’t keen on it getting on his hands and when emptying out the plant pots was very careful not to touch it with his hand and was always using the shovel when moving the soil about! He had lots of fun though and was happy doing this for a long time so I am hoping with a few more days of sun and playing with the soil he will start to touch it with his hands!

My precious little man, who means the world to me ❤
WeeOhana x