10

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

1

Verbal; but not happy.

Recently I have been finding things really tough..
Obviously I am over-joyed by Dylan’s progress, being able to know the names of colours and to say the sounds for the majority of the letters in the alphabet, don’t get me wrong, that’s incredible.
I’m really proud that he can do these new things and that I can hear his voice, but it is still not communication with another human.
It’s also slightly odd to celebrate your child’s first word when it isnt a sterotypical first word. As parents you always discuss when they are babies and they are growing up.. ohh will they say mummy or daddy first and you always have a little sort of joke and competition about it. (Even though we all know dada is likely to be the first as it’s the easiest to say!)

My child’s first word though, was “brown” he loves saying it and he gets so excited and is really pleased with himself when he knows the colours of things, but its tough.
As a parent, your heart always flutters when your little one calls out for you, be it mum, mummy, dad or whatever name they have for you. It’s special and you will always recognise when its your child calling for you even if you are in a park with lots of children shouting it at the same time.
Don’t get me wrong, I will automatically recognise Dylan’s little voice even if it is just shouting out colours; I mean I don’t think I have ever heard a child be so excited over colours or the alphabet before, but he really loves them.
He loves me and I know that he does, he shows it to me in other ways but I still just strive to hear him call me “mummy.” In reality, no one knows when this will be. It could be tomorrow, or it could be months and months away.

Though I also feel very guilty for feeling like this, I should be so ecstatic that he can do this, its incredible clever, wonderful and I can finally hear his voice.
I shouldn’t be letting my own selfish needs to be called mummy cast a shadow over this moment. Unfortunately though I just can’t shake the feeling niggling away at the back of my mind.
I think also with some people saying things like “oh that’s great, he is going to be fine now!” is just really bugging me. How does this make him fine? Yes, he can tell you what colour your pencil is if he wants to, or what letters you have printed on your top, but he can’t tell you how he is feeling, what he wants, or what’s annoying him. It is still all a huge guessing game for me, one that is extremely exhausting mentally and physically.

I think one of the hardest things about this all is the unknown. There is no book, rules, or general things that they all do at a certain age or time.
Unlike with my daughter she had milestones to meet between certain ages and the majority of children do these things in the ages set down.. but Dylan and other children like him.. it’s all the unknown, there isn’t any milestones he should reach at a certain age it’s just all about going with him, working with him and whatever he does next we will celebrate greatly, but what is it that we will be celebrating next, no body really knows and I think the unknown is a very scary thing for the majority of people.

-WeeOhana

3

A Voice! <3

Super Proud, emotional, over-joyed, amazed, the list goes on!
Today I have heard my little mans voice for the first time! He is starting to learn his colours and loves the alphabet. He knows the sounds of nearly all of the letters in the alphabet, but today he started to say some colours! Its the first glimpse we have heard of his voice forming words.

This sort of thing really makes the hard times seem a little less tough. This isn’t easy, infact; this is the toughest thing I have ever done in my life.

 I don’t know how I am doing it and keeping a smile on my face. Often people say to me “I don’t know how you are doing this?” I’m never quite sure how to reply to that.. because I’m not sure how I’m doing it. Honestly, I’m going with the flow, doing my best I can for him to help him and encourage him, I try to enter his world rather than forcing him to join ours. I do it, because I am his mum and if I didn’t, then who else would, I do it because I love him, because he is my son, because he deserves a happy life as much as you and I do, because he is clever, funny, handsome, adorable and perfect in every way to me.

-WeeOhana x

3

Deliveries! =D

This week we got a few super cool deliveries!
One of them was a super amazing soft play mat that I had won in an auction on Facebook! If your interested in buying some soft play for in your house or business etc. I would really recommended checking out one of their auctions here!! They do them pretty regularly and there is always a bargain to be had!
When I saw this mat there was no way I was going to let it slip through my fingers!
It is the perfect size to fit in the little play corner we have in our room, blue and pink so means both my pair are happy and some wonderful stars stitched on to add a little magic! It is about the thickness of a gym mat, so wonderful for when the kids are throwing themselves about and works wonderfully as a head protector whenever Dylan decides to bang his hand.
Another winning feature on it for me was that it folds in half easily with a little grab handle, perfect for when we are having people over, or want a little floor space for train track building etc! Also very simple to clean, a quick baby wipe and it looks perfect again after any spills! I was more than impressed however with how quick I received this, I won the auction on Thursday, paid after dinner on Friday, it was posted on Monday and at my door on Tuesday morning! Wonderful quality, lovely customer service and super speedy delivery, I will be ordering some more shortly!
Here is a little video of Dylan enjoying dancing on the new mat to his favourite toy, BeatBo

 

The next delivery was one that took a little longer than I hopped, but boy was I pleased when it arrived! My sister sent me a link with what was the most perfect t-shirt I have ever seen. I then proceeded to look on the website and discover more and more amazing designs.. Luckily I had to be pretty controlled as the postage cost goes on weight of parcel and you can only have a certain amount in one parcel.. so I ordered us all one each of these t-shirts, but got a little disheartened when they didn’t do them small enough for little Dylan.. this didn’t discourage me though! I proceeded to place my order.. and discover that they did hoodies too! I mean .. check out this t-shirt!  (which I now have as a hoodie too)
img_6129So yes.. considering my blog name, and that this is also our favorite Disney movie I needed all of the things! I’m super impressed with how soft the t-shirts are, but I am very deeply in love with my hoodie.. fluffy on the inside, nice big hood, just perfect!
You can check out what they do here! They have three different designs each day that are at a cheaper price than the rest, but the others are also really reasonably priced and with some super awesome designs you wouldn’t find elsewhere!

 

-WeeOhana
x

3

Mount Stewart!

Recently I decided to become a member of the National Trust! I don’t know why I haven’t done it before with so many great properties so close to me, but I decided that I would get a lot of use from it this year with both the kids able to enjoy it now!
Our first trip out using our membership was to Mount Stewart. We had heard about the new park that had been built there and when we woke up on Sunday and it was a glorious morning I decided that once I had fed and watered the kids I would take them out to see what the new park was like!
Amellia was very excited and just couldn’t wait to get going, and was even more excited when I let her know that it was only a 15-20 minute drive. A beautiful drive to along the Strangford lough with a spectacular view of Scrabo Tower!

When you go through the gates to Mount Stewart if you are wanting to go to the park go straight on at the round about and park in the first car park on the right! Once parked and you have everyone bundled out of the car, you then head to the little hut just in front of the car park! We got greeted by a lovely man who chatted to us about the park and told Amellia & Dylan to have a wonderful time! He then pointed us in the way of the park.. walk down the path and first left is up to the park but it is a barked path so not great for prams! We choose the second left so that I could push the pram up easily.. well not really easily it is a pretty uphill path but it was ok, We stopped to admire views and then hunted out the entrance to the park!

img_5865The park is based on letters wrote by Lady Londonderry while she was away in Spain to her daughter. They are trying to get these books republished so that they can help the park come alive to all the children who visit but for now you can check out some snippets from the books here.

As we ventured in I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting to find, I thought it would be a cute little park, but I was wrong, It was an amazing, large, very open, with wonderful made play features in! Whenever we arrived nobody else was there as it was early on a Sunday morning, so it made it perfect! I parked the pram in the middle of the park, lifted Dylan out and we set out exploring!

My little girl loved spotting all the wooden animals about the park and was on full charge mode to find them all in a record-breaking time! There was lots of them all crafted into different animals! I was so impressed with them all, the detail on them was incredibly! By the time Amellia had raced around and found them all, Dylan was still busy inspecting the first on he found in great detail! My favorite was the cute little octopus & Amellia loved this rabbit the best!

Onwards to explore! There was stepping-stones.. well stepping logs in this case! Climbing frame, balance beam, seesaw and lots of other wonderful things all made out of wood! It was just simply amazing. While Amellia was happy exploring and climbing on everything possible, Dylan really enjoyed pottering about in the big open space in the sun!

At the far end of the park there is a big open space which Amellia and Dylan spent a long time in, drumming on the stepping logs, running about and digging in the dirt! Dylan really enjoyed this as he has only just accepted the feeling of dirt on his hands, so they both sat down for a while and played in the dirt.. and ended up covered! Typical!!
There was also a big wooden chair at the end.. which I tried to get a lovely photo of my pair in.. obviously it wasn’t successful, when do those pictures ever go well, right!?
img_5920We spent two hours here, running about, laughing, climbing on things, watching a honey bee on a flower, practicing our balancing and enjoying being outside without being to restrained on where we could wander! Dylan wanted to stay there for a lot longer than I expected, he normally really likes new places like this for about thirty minutes then realises that it is somewhere new and starts screaming to leave. I think what really helped here was that we had gone so early so we were the only ones there, there was lots of open space between everything so lots of room to potter about and enjoy the fresh air and it was such a large area that I only had to turn him round a few times to keep him close by so that I could see Amellia too!

When it was time go he came over to me and put his arms up, so I picked him up and walked about for a little while showing him the wooden animals again so that Amellia could have minutes before leaving!

We then were going to go to the cafe to grab a spot of lunch.. but silly mummy forgot her purse, doh, so we had to head home for some lunch! The kids cannot wait untill the next time we visit, which will be very soon and I will remember my purse next time!

You should be sure to pop by and visit Mount Stewart if you are wondering where to head for a day out with your family! I will be sure to let you know about all the other hidden gems around the Mount Stewart gardens whenever we have explored further!
-WeeOhana x

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