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

2

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

11

Guilt.

Something horrible has been taking control of me recently, and its guilt. An over load of guilt.

I can’t help but think of what has caused all this for Dylan.
Did my body mess up his growing?
Did I hold him too much?
Did I not hold him enough?
Was it the co-codamol I took when pregnant because I couldn’t walk?
Is it because he was formula fed?
Should I have tried breastfeeding?
Did I not stimulate him enough as a baby?
.. there is such a long list and I could go on forever.
I keep going over everything in my head, every single little thing.

In reality there is no single thing known to cause Autism, but I think it is natural as a parent to think over and over again what you could have done different that may have changed the outcome.
I’m trying to overcome this guilt as quickly as I can, but as soon as I think I am taking a step forward, I seem to fall backwards into this silly way of thinking.

Baby steps though, I don’t want to force myself to get over this and then it hit me like a ton of bricks in the future when I think it is gone..

Anyway.. small little post today about guilt!
Is there anything you feel guilty about?

WeeOhana x

 

 

0

Sensory Success

My little girl is currently visiting her nanny and grampy for a few days so I decided that I would try to do some painting with Dylan! It means we get the peace and quiet he needs for new sensory things and that she isn’t diving in the middle of it all! Today we did a spot of painting! Well by a spot.. we did two hours worth of painting!

At the start it looked like it was going to go the same way as whenever we last tried it, which wasn’t very well. He was keen on any part of the painting at all, but he sat in his high chair and enjoyed watching me use the paintbrush and painting a little picture for him, he then got brave and decided that this looked like fun and was using the paintbrush by directing my hand on the paintbrush!

After thirty minutes he then took the paintbrush by himself and was happy to paint the page but as soon as he touched the paint was screaming for me to wipe it off. I had accepted this as a huge success as he was happy to touch it with something he was holding and was trying out something new!

Next thing I knew.. he was painting his tummy and his arms! He had it everywhere and was as happy as a pig in muck! I was jumping about the kitchen celebrating and being ever so delighted for him it was just simply wonderful.. so wonderful infact I started to cry tears of joy! My baby boy was painting, and getting it everywhere, he didn’t mind it on his skin, infact he loved it on his skin. He doesn’t like to touch anything that will stay on his hand when he takes it away, but today he accepted paint.
Today my boy enjoyed something that kids love doing.

1

Learning Curve to friendship <3

Amellia has been working really hard on building up her relationship with Dylan. She understands that he is a little different to others and that he doesn’t enjoy touching, close contact or really playing with her. Though I’m sure you can see how this is very difficult for a five year old to have to understand, and to follow through with. This is especially hard for her as she is basically the polar opposite of Dylan!

She wants to shower him with love and care. She wants to play with him 24/7, kiss and cuddle him and have in-depth conversations about what they are building with the Duplo blocks.. but she has slowly learnt that this isn’t going to get her very high up in Dylans popularity list. When he was building she used to go over and try and help and he would get frustrated at her and hit out, I always found this very hard to watch and explain to her over and over again. She wasn’t doing it out of badness, she just wanted to play and engage with her brother like she would other children. Whenever she then came anywhere near him he would hit out, try to bite her, scream etc at her.. and he still does now but not to anywhere near the same extent. They are both learning how each other work. She knows that if she goes and does something he can’t explain to her he is happy by himself so he will shout or do something else to show her, he has also learnt that not every time she walks past him or sits near that she is going to interrupt what he is doing.

I have seen huge progress between them recently, like all of a sudden they have clicked. They understand each other that little better and she understands why he is a little different and has accepted that she needs to treat him a little differently. Friday, was a huge moment for them. We came down in the morning when they had both awoken and Dylan was pottering about and Amellia was waking up and doing some drawing on her ipad.. when Dylan tottered over to her and sat up beside her all of his own accord. She then handed him her Ipad by choice and showed him what she was doing. She knows he really enjoys drawing so straight away he started to draw, he then took his little hand and placed it on hers. The squeal of delight out of Amellia was just magical. She didn’t want to move and declared this day to me as “The best day in her whole life” This is something that she has been waiting for, for a very long time!
img_4845They then sat like this for the next ten-fifteen minutes swapping whoevers hand was on top, while I melted with happiness for my little girl. This is the connection that she has been dying to get from her little brother since he was born and finally her dreams were coming true ❤
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I had seen that the friendship was growing rather steadily recently, like something had just clicked. She seemed to know when he didn’t want fussed over but was very quick to jump in when he was in a playful mood or was doing something she could do along side him! She did a lot of running about the house beside him before he would even acknowledge that she was there, but now he is looking for her when he starts running about, its magical.

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The other day they had lots of fun out on the trampoline together and Dylan got very upset when she got off, so she then got back on and bounced with him again! Then before she left she handed him a bit of chalk to draw with a zipped the trampoline up so he couldn’t get off by himself! This showed to me that she understood his cry was for her to come back, she then found something to distract him before she left and she also made sure her little brother was safe and couldn’t get hurt.

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This was on Thursday, she had gotten into the car beside him, and as you can see by her face, she is being careful not to touch him too much with her arm! He stayed a minute or two longer then was ready to depart and go back to the trampoline. His most favorite thing in the garden!

They are slowly working each other out, but today has been a big step in the right direction. I couldn’t be more proud of them both. When you have your sibling who understands you and supports you, it can really help you along.  ❤

WeeOhana xx