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Normal? I think not!

I read something really odd on a Facebook group today. A lady was asking the group that because she is a stay at home mum her fellow thinks that when he comes home from work he gets to watch whatever he wants, chill on the sofa ignoring the children and what they want to watch and relax. She then makes dinner while he watch’s what he wants then she spends the evening watching his programs. She wanted to know if this was normal behaviour! What do you think? What happens in your house?

I personally think this is absolutely ludicrous! Firstly my little girl would not let my hubby come in and just chill on the sofa without jumping on him, quizzing him about his day and everything he did then filling him in with what she has done when he was at work. Then if he was to turn off the program they were watching, I’m sure there would be a fight! My reaction would also not be very pleasant! He has been at work all day, and yes I know that he works very hard etc and I’m not belittling that at all, but his kids want to see him. He should also want to see them too and share his experiences of the day and enjoy hearing what they have done!

Also I feel that a lot of stay at home parents really do not get enough credit! It is hard work, very hard work, it is enjoyable but tough. So why should one get to come in and just relax and forget about everything when the other has been at home with the children all day! Least the working one gets out of the house and some time away!

As for the who gets to pick what they watch at night.. in my house we are generally pretty good at deciding together. We generally have a series that we are watching together so will watch a few episodes or if we fancy a movie we will pick together! Obviously sometimes there are things that my hubby really wants to watch so I let him watch and vice versa but generally its a mutual decision with what goes on the T.V!
Why should one of us get priority?
We are both equal, not one better than the other.

WeeOhana xx

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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

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Family Walk!

On mothers day we went for a lovely little walk around Londonderry Park. It is simply beautiful! Dylan fell fast asleep in the car on the way over though so he had a nice nap in the fresh air in his pram while we enjoyed exploring the world around us!

Londonderry Park is a lovely little park in Newtownards. It has a fantastic play park, football pitches, cricket nets and lots of other things along with a walk around the outside of the park which has some lovely flowers and lots of space to run in which my little girl just adores! She is very much an outdoors person!

We started off with the walk around the outside of all the things they have available there, she had great fun climbing up the trees and looking at the flowers! Which were in perfect bloom!

She then had to find a stick to have a battle with her daddy, she picked herself a lovely strong stick.. and he got stuck with a very febal one that broke quickly.. but who could say no to that little face!

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After enjoying a great walk around, watching the planes that had just taken off above us and being bombarded with a zillioin questions about everything under the sun her and daddy headed off to play in the park while I walked a little further with a still fast asleep Dylan and a small and very fluffy dog! I thought she would be suitably tired after a big walk and a play in the park but nope.. she wanted to do the walk again, so off we went for a second time!
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It was a lovely trip out, filled with lots of questions, play, laughs, running about and many reminders about why I just love being a mum. ❤

Weeohana x

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How To Make Your Own PECS!

The other night I made my own PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) for Dylan!
There are several stages of PECS, for the moment Dylan is on stage one as he has just started using them! PECS is a form of communication that is used with lots of children on the autistic spectrum but can be used with other children too.It is where they learn to relate pictures to the items that they want.

I have seen lots of people who make these online and charge a fee for doing it then send them to you, I was very tempted to do this until I thought about how often I would need to order new ones as he got new interests, foods he likes etc. So I decided to have a crack at making my own and it really wasn’t that difficult! Took a little time to get all the things together and work it all out, but I did and I must say I’m pretty proud of myself with how they turned out =D So I am going to show you how I did it and what I used so you can make your own too! If you need any extra help/advice etc drop me a comment and I’ll be more than happy to help! =D

I already had a printer, which is the Epson Expression Home 322. I have had it for a while though so you may be better sourcing your own printer! Mine isn’t a very fancy printer but does all that I need and was a very friendly price! I then sourced a Laminator (Amazon.. my favorite place for finding everything I need/ want ;]) it wasn’t a fancy all dancing one, just one with good reviews and could do exactly what I wanted! (Click here to view it) Along with this I also ordered 100 Laminator pouches.. I’m not entirely sure why I ordered 100.. but when I see a good deal I can’t resist! ;] (Find them here) I then needed a paper-cutter as I wanted all the edges to be straight and nice! (This one!) and the last thing I ordered online was some Velcro! (Here) You will also need some paper and few bits of thicker paper too! =]

Now, I am going to try to do this in a step by step stages so it is easy and clear to follow! =] I’ll try and not waffle as we know I do get carried away sometimes! 😀

  1. To start I made lists of what I wanted to make PECS on. I started off by just doing two, Snacks and TV Programs then thought of nine of each that Dylan liked and wrote them down!
  2. Next I searched online for clear and simple versions of these images! I found when I searched to put the words “White Background” after whatever I was searching as it means they won’t get distracted by looking at the whole picture
  3. I then made a folder on my laptop for each PECS board and save the nine images of each topic into the correct folders
  4. After finding the nine images I then went into the folder and selected them all. You do this by left clicking once on the first image then holding shift and left clicking again on the last picture
  5. When they were all selected I then right clicked on the images and selected the option print, which opened a pop up.
  6. When in the pop up I scrolled down the side of it which gives you the options of how to print the pictures until I got to one called Wallet. This meant that all the pictures could be printed off on one sheet of paper and would all be the same size!
  7. Then I used the paper-cutter to cut them all out. This took a while for me as I liked to make sure they were all exactly the same size! Very simple to do though with the paper cutter recommended above as it has a built-in ruler! =D
  8. I then put them into a laminating sheet with a good distance between them so that they would all seal correctly and wouldn’t peel once laminated.
  9. Once the PECS images were done I left them to cool while I laminated the thicker paper that I would be using for the background!
  10. I then cut out the images again, making sure I didn’t go to close to the image as I didn’t want the laminate to peel off them!
  11. Next I stuck 6 of the Velcro dots onto the piece of thick paper all evenly spaced of course ;]
  12. In the middle of each of the PECS images I then stuck the other side of the velcro dots on. (I know I said nine but have only put six on the page, this is so that you can change them about, or remove some and put the other ones on when things aren’t available!)
  13. Admire your work and feel very pleased with yourself! You have just made some PECS for your child which will greatly improve communication and hopefully make meltdowns less often as your child has a way of telling you what they want when they get used to the PECS =D

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These are the ones that I did,and I would love to see the ones you have done! Especially if this step by step has helped you! =D
I wish you all the luck on your PECS journey! =]
Also remember if you have any questions on how to do this etc, Just ask! I’m more than happy to help!

WeeOhana xx

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Garden Center & Play Park!

The other day we took the kids to the garden center to investigate the new play area, but we weren’t too sure what we would find! We were really shocked when we walked around the corner and saw the most wonderful little play area!
The first day we went was a weekend so we really didn’t stay that long as there was quite a few older kids and after Dylan being pushed twice I knew he was going to lose his rag soon and didn’t want to push him too far after having already had a good 30 mins playing and everyone else being happy! We let the kids choose one thing each on the way out as they had both been fantastic and who doesn’t like treating there little ones every now and then!

My little girl chose the unicorn and has named it..”Pink Fluffy unicorn, dancing on rainbow.” Not quite sure where she got the name from seeing as it isn’t even pink.. but as long as she is happy! She chose this unicorn as it is just like her little brothers rabbits that he takes everywhere! If we ever lost those rabbits there would be trouble! I am going to have to buy a few spare and swap them about so that he gets used to them.. I had intended for the second bunny to just be used at bedtimes.. but as time has progressed he has now taken a shine to them both. and he would take them everywhere if I let him!
Dylan chose the peter rabbit push along toy! As soon as he picked it up he wouldn’t put it down! I love the selection of toys and clothes they have at Donaghadee Garden Center, lovely little bits! =]

We headed back the next day as we knew there would be fewer people, or at least fewer big people with school being back! Dylan had so much fun!
We had a fantastic time! My hubby and I got a lovely little lunch, he had the stew and said it was phenomenal and I had a lovely painni! What was even better was that Dylan got to happily play while we got some food! He was so happy pottering about and exploring by himself!

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He loved this big wooden tractor a lot! You could pretend to drive it, climb all over it and move the gear stick! He had so much fun driving it, especially with our table where we were grabbing a bite to eat right beside it! He is very much a mummys boy at the moment and doesn’t like me being out of his sight! He even follows me from the living room to the kitchen!

It also has a lovely little wooden barn which has steps up one side with a little bit to explore up the top and then a slide to get down! You can also go under the barn too which Dylan enjoyed! He must have ran up the stairs then down the slide about 50 times in a row before he even started to tier!

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Another amazing thing that they have is a little ball shoot thing! You put the ball at the top and it rolls all the way down,he really loved this! So much so that I’m thinking of making one in my back-garden for him! Its a fantastic thing and so very simple to make as it is made using guttering!

I will be going back here many times, in-fact I think I am going to be a regular! A fantastic little place and undercover for Dylan to play in and quiet! It is also great because even though you get your lunch etc from inside the cafe it is closed off away from here so you aren’t worried about the noise etc annoying others who are eating!

Well worth a visit if you are ever near! =]
WeeOhana xx

 

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Porridge Play!

Today I decided to do another different and fun sensory play for Dylan! This time again using something that was safe to be eaten, just in case he decided to taste it or my dog got some of it! I had thought about putting sparkles in it or dying the porridge oats but then again I thought I would rather leave it safe to eat!

I made this really simply/quickly and very cheaply! We actually had all the things I used in the house already, but if you don’t it can be bought for very cheap or you can use whatever you have in the house!

I started off with a container the same one that I used for the pasta play, got out some porridge oats and filled the container so that the bottom of it had a nice layer on it, then added some diggers and it suddenly looked very cool!
img_2999At the start he wasn’t too sure about the feeling of the porridge oats though he was happy to drive his JCBs through it if it didn’t touch his hand.. though in time as he got more and more used to it slightly touching his hands he then dug in! He absolutely loved it! He was picking it up and burying his cars under the porridge oats, scooping the oats up with the diggers and then he started to used the diggers to scoop up the porridge oats and put them in his mouth! He was using the diggers like little spoons, it was wonderful he was happy chewing on it and feeling it in his mouth! He then proceeded to  sit in the container with the oats and sprinkle it over his legs and his feet, it was simply wonderful to see. He was having so much fun.. Though he then decided to empty the whole lot onto the floor which I wasn’t too pleased about but thankfully with our new wooden floor down it is easy to clean so I left him too it! He was than laying in it, running through it and having the time of his life. It was simply wonderful, I am really enjoying doing all these different sensory play ideas with him! I think I will do a few more dry ones before moving onto squisy/mushy/wet/sticky kinds of things as they are the things he really doesn’t cope well it. I want to keep it as fun and enjoyable as possible!

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Do you have any ideas of different things I could try or that you have tried? =]

I have also just made a facebook page and and an instagram account where I put things on daily that we do or that have tried out and enjoyed! If you have enjoyed my blog I think you would enjoy them too, please check them out and give me a like and a follow if you want, I would really appreciate it! =] @WeeOhana << Facebook Link! =] @WeeOhana << Instagram Link!

WeeOhana xx

 

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Sensory Pasta Play!

This morning we woke up to a cold and wet day! Horrible, especially when I have two little ones to entertain as school is out for half term! I was trying to think on my toes of what to do with them that was a little different to the usual coloring or toys that we have! I decided on something sensory to try out, hoping that if my little man didn’t just dive in he would copy his sister and at least give it a try!

I hunted in the cupboards to see what I could find and I hunted out some pasta! Some sensory play, that isn’t to messy and wouldn’t stick to my little mans hands which is something he really doesn’t like! I had some swirly pasta and then i broke up some pasta sheets into a bowl.

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I then put the bowl on the floor and picked the pasta up and dropped it into the bowl so that it made a different noise and he came running out to see what was happening and he dove straight in! I was so happy, he was picking it up and running his hands through it all the time while laughing away. I then found a bigger container so that he could move them about a bit more and sit in it if he decided to.

He loved it, he was putting it between his toes, and even decided to take a little nibble on a bit which is truly incredible with his very strict diet and unwillingness to try anything different.

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A very simple sensory play, but it was very effective!
Next time I am out I am going to buy a few bags of different kinds of pasta and color them all different colors, so it is even more visual for him! After a week or two of playing with the pasta i am then going to start to put a few bits of cooked pasta in at a time, only a very small number at the start and then slowly building. I know slimy things are not his favorite and is the reason he wont eat several foods (ham,pasta,etc) so I am going to do it very slowly and hopefully he wont notice the change and will accept it very well! =]

weeohana xx