1

Kids Christmas gift ideas!

Christmas is coming along quickly and I know what it is like trying to figure out what to get the kids in your life, be they be your own kids, nieces, nephews, friends kids and all  the others in between. 
Here is a little gift guide that will hopefully help give you some ideas of what to get them including; board games, arts & crafts, toys, clothes & chocolate! 

First up are some board games that we got sent to see what we made of them. We always find it difficult to find board games that Amellia enjoys as she is so full of energy and very easily distracted that they never hold her attention for long, but some of these games were even enough to keep her entrained for a good period of time.


Polar Panic is similar to a game of snap and pairs. Spread the cars out and then take turns to turn one over at a time. When you spot cards with one or more common fish on you quickly place your hands on them both and we shouted out “panic” too to add a bit of extra fun. Most matches wins and gets to do a little winner dance.. or so Amellia thinks anyway! She loved this game, simple, quick and fun!
It costs £8.40 which I personally think is a great price for a gift and a fun game that the family can all play together. Perfect stocking filler price too!

img_2479-1This game has got a great concept behind it. Find an item in your house or use one of the cards provided and place it in the box, then others have 22 times to ask you yes or no questions about what is in the box. My girl enjoyed playing this game with the fun of finding objects to go inside the box and asking the most ridiculous questions like “does it poo”
This game costs £17.95, which isn’t too bad for what you get but you could also make this up with items you have at home for a quick and fun game to play.

img_2475-1This game has won two gold awards for Best Family game & Best Problem solving game, you have to memorize 12 symbols in 60 seconds and then they will swap and change around the board. My girl who has just turned 7 needed our help (game is suited to 8+) but the hubby & myself had great fun playing it, especially him when he won. Its £20 which I think is a great price for a game that gets very competitive and lots of fun for older ones.

fullsizerender-1Amellias favourite game that we got sent was this one! You have to scratch and sniff the card then guess what smell it is and put down a memory to go with it. Inside the box is loads of different cards with different smells on them so it’s a game you can play over and over again. Amellia is always asking to play this game again and it held her attention so much that she asked to play another round right away. It’s a lot harder than you think to place the smells without a picture! This game is currently £19.95, I think its worth every penny and would be a perfect present to get all the family involved, enjoying time together and laughing at each other!

img_2468-1Fingerlings are said to be one of the most desired toys of 2018, they cost £16.99 and make a huge range of noises, blow kisses and react to how you treat them. The dinosaur ones you can either treat them nice and tame them or keep them crazy and untamed. Amellia really enjoyed trying to tame the t-rex, but Dylan for some reason was petrified of them. They weren’t a huge hit in my house if im being honest and were quickly forgotten about after a very short time.

img_2486-1This chemistry lab is going to be so much fun! It comes with the majority of things you need to do over 100 experiments and the things you need to add are simple things to find like salt/water etc. We have had sets like this before and they have required you to buy some things I had never even heard of so when this one came with more or less everything you need I was over the moon. I have got this one hidden away for a day when Ad is off so that he can watch Dylan while we turn the kitchen into a science lab, but I just know she is going to just love this set! £24.99 is a bargain for all that comes in this set!

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I’m saving this one for when I’m doing the chemistry lab with Amellia because Dylan is going to go crazy for this! He absolutely loves Peppa pig, numbers, counting, colours and posting so this has it all in his eyes.. minus letters! What I really love about this is that it talks in the actual Peppa pig voice, I find that toys often  have completely different voices to what they sound like on T.V and this really upsets Dylan. He needs the familiarization and if it is meant to sound a certain way and doesn’t it can really confuse him. This is an amazing toy, teaching kids many essential things and at £19.99 its one I am going to be picking up for a gift too! 

img_1539What kid doesn’t love slime and all things related! I’ve featured these products before from Zimpli kids here. They are a perfect stocking filler price ranging from £2.50-£7. We cant wait to try out the snoball play closer to Christmas time!

Last but not least for this gift guide is Little Brian paint sticks! We absolutely adore these and make sure we always have them in our cupboard. Dylan loves painting but isn’t a fan of getting messy so these are just perfect for him and Amellia loves how bright and vibrant the colours are… especially on the day glow ones! The packs start at £4.50 which is a perfect stocking filler and you can get a set of 24 for £14.99 which would be an amazing gift for any kiddo! They also now do mini ones, fabric and chalk ones too, I cant wait to get my hands on the fabric ones and letting the kids go mad on some t-shirts! 

I hope you have enjoyed this gift guide, next week I will have another which will feature some smaller businesses with a range of products so you are sure to find something that someone you know will love! 

 

– These products were sent to me in exchange for a feature in this guide, all opinions expressed are my own honest ones.-

0

Time Apart!

I think whenever you have more than one child it is important to make sure they get to spend time with you separately and for things that fit there age or wants as well! Especially whenever one of the children in your family has a special need, as it really does effect everyone’s life in the family. I always find myself feeling guilty because whenever I take my pair out together it is aways known that if Dylan isn’t happy we will have to leave. As much as this isn’t fair on my little girl, it is what has to happen. She is very good and if Dylan isn’t happy whenever we get somewhere she knows that she gets five minuites then it is time to go. Unless I’m  having a day where I want to take on the world and can ignore the looks. I always feel incredibly guilty when we have to leave, especialy if we haven’t been there long.. i think it is hard as a mum as well to accept that your child doesn’t really enjoy what the majoirty of children love. A trip to the local park can be upsetting for both my children, as it could be too nosey/buzy etc for Dylan which then means we have to leave. It is also then upsetting for me as I then feel bad that my little girl has had to be disappointed etc! Though I am very good at keeping a strong front on infront of the kids!

My husband and myself decided that in the new year we would try and do things seperatly at least once a month with my little girl, as she loves things such as going out for dinner, going to the cinema or going shopping for some new clothes! These are some of the top things that my little boy really struggles with, but it isn’t fair for her not to experience these because of that! This month it was my turn, so I decided that I would actually bring her down to see my mum and dads new house in Dublin! Obviously this is something that I wish we could enjoy as a family, exploring a new city/parks/shops/restuarants/musuems but he really wouldn’t be able to cope at all, espeically with staying somewhere unfamiliar too! Hubby had the weekend off so me and my wonderful daughter headed off!

We have had a fantastic time! The drive down is approx two hours long, and she decided to chat the whole drive down. It was wonderful, we chatted about such a range of things, from why there was a tractor on the road to how come they hadn’t  invented time travel yet so that we could just appear at nanny annd grampys without having to sit still for so long! (Sitting still isn’t her strong point!) Once we got to my mum and dads it was bed time really, but not without a tour around the house and some food to fill her little belly!

The next day we all headed out for a walk around the park and to get some breakfast! It was a lot colder than we expected though so we really didn’t get too much of a walk done before everyone thought there hands were going to fall off! We then found a little market and got a crepe for breakfast and picked up some rather wonderful Macarons handmade by a little French woman, they were incredible! I am actually pretty annoyed I only bought one box of them and wish I had got another box to take home with me! They were just super scrummy! 


It was then home time to warm up and let grampy watch the rugby! We spent this time drawing lots of pictures, watching videos on the ipad and chatting to nanny about everything that crossed our minds! After the rugby was over and we were all bathed and ready we went out for some dinner! We went to a lovely little Chinese down the road, which served food nice and quick (perfect for kids!) it was also really tasty too so it was a winner! 

Today we got up and thought it didn’t look as cold as yesterday, so headed off to the beach for a walk.. wha a terrible idea! If you have me on instagram you will have seen how windy it was! If you haven’t you should add me, I would love a few new followers and people to follow! =] ;] (weeohana) << my instagram

After the beech we went to a park and for some lunch! We then popped to a nice little shop and picked up some dinner and Amellia loved looking at all the fish they had there for sale! 


It was then home time and Grampy had more rugby to watch! But not before playing a little!


We then headed to our room and snuggled on the bed while everyone else was busy. I really enjoyed the time just laying there together and relaxing, something me and her never get t0 do anymore! Tomorrow we are heading home and I really look forward to the conversations we have in the car on the way home! Also to get home and give Dylan a really big snuggle,and my hubby of course 😛 

Hope you all have had a wonderful weekend and have a good week! 

WeeOhana xx 

10

Child Developmental Clinic

It was my little mans CDC appointment the other day, and I really did not know what to expect from it. I had asked several people who had been to them before and everyone gave me different answers, so I’m going to tell you about my experience and how it all went!

The whole day before I had so much nervous energy I ended up sorting out my whole kitchen, cupboards and the lot!  hadn’t expected to get much sleep that night but I must have worn myself out running about like a lunatic cleaning/sorting/worrying etc as I actually managed a pretty decent sleep! Which was a great start as it gave me the energy I needed to be able to listen and concentrate on what was being said.

We were called from the waiting room and met a lovely lady who explained to us what was going to happen during the 90 minute appointment and that there was six other people there to observe him .. so seven people to watch my little 23 month old boy, that seems like an awful lot right! Well it seemed like even more when you walked into the room and saw them all staring at you..all happy, smiling and welcoming faces just very over whelming! My little man wasn’t sure at all what to think, but they are all very used to that and they had everything under there belt, the winning one for him was bubbles! He loves bubbles, what child doesn’t! They then all introduced themselves one by one; physio therapist, speech therapist, Occupational therapist and so forth! The questions then came as he was being observed by all the people there and as one by one they all went over to him and tried to get him to do whatever it was they wanted.. from walking up stairs to making eye contact.

There was so many questions asked I can hardly remember any of them or how I even answered, my partner told me he was impressed with how well I handled them all and answered them all… So I’m thinking they weren’t really the easiest of questions and that is why I have forgotten the majority of them, mixed in with my anxiety I’m surprised how I even remembered to breath through it all let alone answer all these questions thrown at me!

They then went around the room and gave there feedback to us about there findings; one thing that I was worried about was the muscles in his legs being a little short as he is constantly on his toes and not only just a little bit he goes fully up on his toes and occasionally will even walk on the other side of his toes! His muscles are fine though and we were advised to get him some heavy boots to try and encourage him to walk flat footed otherwise he will end up shortening the muscles in his legs. I am now on a hunt for some cute little boots in a lovely size 5! =]

The speech therapist told me to work on his eye contact and that we would have a few appointments with her shortly to help and give me more ideas on how to get him to give eye contact. Then the others mainly spoke about how to try and help him in the world around him, doing lots of messy play to try and encourage him to get used to different textures and how everything in the world around him is. To try tight clothing when I take him out to see if this helps him to feel settled as its like getting a big hug and close contact. I got lots of ideas of things to do with him to try and help him get used to different textures etc so that he will then hopefully start to eat a lot more things! Did you know that your hands are very closely linked to your mouth, so hopefully when he accepts different feelings on his hands he may start to in his mouth too!

It then came back round to the lady who was asking all the questions and listening to what everyone said; she looked at us very seriously and said that it was Autism.
Even though I had expected this my heart sank.. I just needed to get out of the room. Away from all the eyes watching and all the ears listening and waiting for my reply.
She then went on to tell us that she couldn’t refer us to the Autism Clinic until he was two and a half years old, so that we would have to come back in six months for this and that when we were back we would also discuss where would be best for him to go to school and to apply for schools too then as it was important to get on there lists from the start to make sure he got a place.

I asked a few more questions about how long till certain appointments etc.. then quickly left after thanking them all.

Even though I expected this outcome, it was still a huge shock. I am still coming to terms with it and I’m sure I will be for a very long time. I’m really not sure how to feel about it all.. all I know is that our life has changed forever.

I love him & I always will, no matter what.

WeeOhana xx

 

18

The Start of a Long Journey

I’m not really sure what to write, or how to phrase what I write really, I just know that I need to write it somewhere as a place to get it out and as a sort of journal for what all is about to begin. Currently we are just starting a long journey with our handsome son to see what is going on with him. Our first step is Monday when he is getting seen by the audiologist.

I’ve had my worries about him for a while, but it took me  until a few months to convince myself that I wasn’t just being silly and there was something going on. I then decided to book a doctors appointment and went armed with a list of my worries and concerns about what was going on with him. I felt like a crazy mum going in with a list, but the doctor there knows me well, was very welcoming and told me he was glad I had a list so that I didn’t forget anything. So after him checking over my little monkeys ears/throat etc we discussed what I was worried about, he decided that we needed to get the health visitor over to see him asap and to get the ball rolling to sort things out with him. One thing he said that really got to me was that “he will either progress from here, or start to go backwards.”

After speaking to my doctor I was hoping to have a weight lifted off my shoulders and him telling me that I was just being silly, not to rush him and so forth but as you can tell, thats not how it went. I came home and got on the phone to the health visitor to get her to come and sort us out. I had to wait a week until she was available to come over, and I’m sure a lot of you reading this are parents and you know how long a week feels when you are in panic and upset about your child.. little did I know the waiting time of a week was the shortest I would endure in this process.

When she arrived she asked me what my worries and concerns were and we got to have a good chat as he was having a little nap. My worries were.. I suppose still are!

  • He doesn’t respond to his name, no matter how loud you shout it. Though hears things like doors creaking etc. At the start I was worried he was deaf, until I realized it was more a selective hearing thing. (this is getting checked on Monday though as they have to clear his hearing before checking everything else)
  • He is 21 months and doesn’t say a word, he babbles a bit, but no words or sounds that mean anything to him. He used to say dada/dog etc and knew what they meant.. now they have disappeared.
  • He tiptoe walks, a lot. Like right up nearly as high as he can get.
  • Extremely fussy with the foods he eats.. Doesn’t really like lumps or bumps in his food.
  • Doesn’t brings toys over to show me/his dad or his sister
  • Isn’t keen on his sister sitting beside him, when she does he will try to bite her/pull her hair.
  • Very little eye contact, or response to emotions from others.
  • Head banging against a wall/floor (very upsetting to experience =()

As I told her these she asked me had I been on google and were these all big worries or just little things.. when I told her that I used to work with children with additional needs she started to listen a little more, and then when he woke up and demonstrated to her several of these things she then said that I was right to have a list written. She then plowed on to serious mode.. She told me that she hoped she would come here and see him and tell me that she would come back and see him in a few more months and that he would grow out of the things he did. Unfortunately she told me this wasn’t the case and she wanted to write down reports etc and get them sent off that night to get him on the list to be seen by the child developmental team as soon as possible. . This was at the start of July.

I have had a lot of time to take it all in, think things over and over again, worry, get upset, get annoyed and most emotions possible really. This is a real tough thing to be going through and to be left in the dark with when the ball will start rolling. I have his audio on Monday so at least that is something but I am yet to have an appointment from the child developmental team. I am going to ask them when I am in on Monday if they have a clue about time frame.. I think the not knowing when it is all going to start is the hardest.. Especially when I know that when the ball has started rolling it wont be straight forward and that it will be a long time after many appointments to know what is going on.

As his mum, I just want to make it all ok everything be fine and one day for him to wake and to have came on leaps and bounds. Be talking and everything.. but as the days and weeks go past, I know that wont be anytime soon. It hurts a lot, but I have to keep my brave face on, keep smiling and positive for my family.

One thing I have found through all this though is that you constantly seem to be on the look out for things that are different/worrying/wrong etc.. So I have tried to concentrate on the positive and enjoy what makes him, him. The way when he laughs, its from deep within him, he has the most wonderful and infections laugh and when you have discovered what makes him laugh you can do it 1000 times over and he will find it just as funny as he did the first time! How when you hand him something new he will inspect it in great detail, turning it over and over again in his hands looking at all the tiny little details on it. That he empties out the whole box of hot wheels to find the one with the red roof and then will grab any other one to have one in each hand.. then will go to the table and play with them for ages without anything distracting.. unless his sister goes near him! 😛  That he will pick the tiny bits off the carpet and place them in my hand and will do this until he thinks they have all gone! When he climbs up beside his sister and for the brief moment will sit beside her and how excited and happy she gets by this, and how at the park he will find a bridge, and go back and forth across this bridge the whole time we spend there chuckling away to himself. He does a whole load more that makes me so proud and privileged to have him as my wonderful son. I love him, and I always will, no matter what the outcome is.

WeeOhana. xx

 

2

Delamont Park

Today we had a lovely family day out, and you are from Northern Ireland or are over here visiting I really suggest visiting Delamont Park! It’s just a thirty minute drive from Belfast center and a five minute drive from Downpatrick It’s also a very affordable day out, we have found that many places you will go and visit cost rather a lot of money for a family of four to get in, but to get into Delamont Park was a tiny amount of £4. Which is amazing considering all that is there!

There are several different walks and are all sign posted and you also get a map whenever you go into the park which shows you where the routes go, how long they are and what you can find along the way! We opted for one of the shorter walks because we had the children with us, and we didn’t fancy having to carry little miss around the walk when her legs got tired! We went for the 4km walk, there are ones which are also shorter than this and also longer so there is a walk for everyone to do! The only thing I would say is that on the map you are given it doesn’t give you any sort of idea of the terrain, the path was excellent and very easy to push a pram along, though is very stony. I think having our baby jogger GT made it easier to push with the big wheels I’m not sure how easy a pram with slandered wheels would have been to push! My little girl found it a little difficult as a lot was uphill which we hadn’t really thought about, but she kept going with a bit of encouragement! She particularly loved seeing the sheep along the way and stopped at every one to try and entice them over with some grass..this didn’t go in her favor! Along the walk were some incredible views, and things to stop at. Several little stone beaches, a bird watching area, and many more but we were enjoying the walk so much we didn’t stop at these things, though I will make a point of ensuring we do this when we go back!

When we first arrived we started with our picnic, there was so many benches and open bits of grass to sit on so lots of space for whenever it is busy to enjoy you picnic without many around you! My little one was eager to sit on the grass and have hers, so this is what we did and had some lovely little sandwiches before we headed off on our adventure! #

After our walk we went on this wonderful little train which is designed to look like Thomas, it runs along a 1KM track and was really enjoyable! The little ones loved being on a train and really enjoyed it and I took in some of the wonderful views around while really cherishing the time we were spending together!

Next stop was the play park, what little ones don’t love parks right! Well this is one that is truly going to be enjoyed by any park lover. It is just wonderful, lots of wonderful wood climbing frames, slides, puzzles and much more. I really liked that they had a climbing frame for all ages! There was a big and a little one like you would find in more parks, but also a medium sized one too, which my little girl really enjoyed. She likes the big ones but wants you to go up them with her and with it being a bit busy, I wasn’t for climbing up with her and getting in the way of everyone! She went off and enjoyed the big one for a short while but wanted to play with her brother so spent a lot of the time on the little one with him, which was great as there was no one else on it! There was also a zip wire which she really enjoyed. As well as there being some great climbing frames/ balancing things/slides etc there was also a lot of open space to run about. My little boy really liked this as he likes to just potter about and explore the world around him rather than climbing on climbing frames and going on swings etc!

 

Beside the park there was also one of those metal gyms that are becoming increasingly popular, and there are also some of the single gym items placed along the walks too! Just in-case you were wanting to go there to jog/workout ..

We ended our day by then going out for dinner and coming home and having a lovely bath! Both the kids are now fast asleep in bed, and we are just about to settle down to watch a move! All in all we had a fantastic day and will be back to Delamont Park very soon; in fact we enjoyed it so much we are going to get the season pass so we will be visiting it many more times! I will let you know if we find anything else about in Delamont Park that we think is a must see while there.. but for now, you should really go there, enjoy the peace, views, beauty and nature. Oh & the park and the train if you have little ones with you!

Let me know if you go for a visit and what you think! =]

WeeOhana xx

 

4

Simple Must Try Fun!

With my little girl just starting preschool we have been trying to find ways to keep her busy but aren’t that strenuous as she is coming out of preschool exhausted and grumpy! She is really enjoying herself which is such a great thing and I’m starting to get used to the afternoon classes rather than the usual ones! This week is her first week of being in everyday! The hubby came home from work and was greeted by an exhausted me (my little man has lost his great sleeping ='[) and a hyper, yet grumpy girl as she was knackered! Until he announced that he had a fantastic idea! I sighed.. expecting it to be something utterly ridiculous, loud and messy… to my surprise it was not!
He looked at me and said “i just need some string and a hanger?” I was a bit suspicious.. what could you do with a bit of string and a hanger? This did not sound like fun.. it sounded like a big old let down! My oh my was I wrong!
I watched as he tied a bit of string from our door handle to the fire place, then ran upstairs and appeared with a hanger and my little girls favorite teddy/puppet who has fittingly been called “Monkey” .. I’m sure you can guess, he is monkey! She was bouncing about the place asking me what it was for and she was getting very excited… and I just was just very confused by it .. he then announced it was a Zip-line! I still couldn’t see how.. until he showed us!

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As you can see by the look on her face.. this was one of the best things she had ever seen! She thought this was so fantastic! Such a simple idea and she had hours of fun! Everyday since she has had the zip-line!

So all you need is a length of string and two places to hang it.. the higher the better and a kids trouser hanger!
Little miss got a bit concerned that it would hurt her lovely toys, so we got them to “hold” on with there hands!
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This is how monkey and how he held on! =]

Such a simple thing, yet entertained my little ones for ages and the dog! She thought it was great trying to catch a moving target.. Little miss didn’t appreciate this too much though so Lilo got a pigs ear and was happy as Larry to let the Zip lining continue! =] Little Miss loved it so much she even had to facetime nanny so that she could see the fun monkey was having!

Do you guys have any simple things that your little ones love?
If you try this let me know what your little ones think! =D

WeeOhana x

4

Nursery, Toddler & Puppy!

Hello you lovely people who visit my blog! =]

Woohhoo I have been blogging for one year today, I started this last year!
Thank you for everyone who has followed me so far and I hope you enjoy it! =D

This past month has been crazy, my little girl has started nursery, my little boy is trying really hard to walk, I have started a new venture, puppy training and all the other things that come along with life! I’ll fill you in on the exciting bits! =]

Nursery.. it’s a bit strange at the moment as they are starting them very slowly! So much so that she has told me that it is boring as they don’t have enough time to do anything and they just do story time. I do think that half an hour is not long enough at all for them to settle. I think it would be better if they were in everyday and build the hours up. She is in random days at the moment and doesn’t have a clue if she is coming or going! Thankfully they do start a bit more normal soon, so I’m sure she will love it then! She just can’t get her head around when is going! I am excited for it to start normally, though I do wish she had got a morning place as it would make it a lot easier to get up and go out. It would also mean that you could actually do something else with the day!

My little man is very eager to walk, so eager actually that he will let go of the sofa at the edge move his foot then fall flat on his face! He just needs to get the balance down! I can’t believe that he is nine months old now! It seems to have gone a lot quicker with him than it did with my little girl, though I am going to thoroughly enjoy spending 1-1 time with my little man! Not sure he is going to enjoy it quite as much as I do though.. he spends his days following his big sister, watching everything she does and stealing her food!

Puppy training is going well! She very rarely has accidents during the day now, and when she does it generally is my own fault as I haven’t picked up on her little hints! She loves going for walks and is perfect on the lead and walks happily by your side.. untill she sees another dog or human! But thats just normal, she also is learning the basics very quickly! I am taking her to a puppy class which is one day a week for an hour for five weeks. It is really good! It is more just for the tips and to be reminded of what is sort of the obvious really! It’s great though as she gets socialized with the rest of the dogs that go and she gets to see lots of new people!
Pictures of her first visit to the beach to make you smile! 😀
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Have you ever took a puppy to puppy classes? Did you find them helpful!
How are your little ones settling into school now?
Anything exciting to share?

I’m going to do another post now about my new venture! Eeek.. it’s exciting! =D