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Villa & Swimming!

We stayed in this wonderful villa, it was perfect. It was a five minute drive to Disney World so was really quick to get to all of the parks and being in a villa rather than hotel room meant that it gave Dylan a lot of space to roam and relax in and space for everyone to get time away from everyone.

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There was also a swimming pool which was great. Amellia has always loved going swimming so I knew she would think it was incredible having one right there that she could go in whenever we were home, but Dylan hadn’t ever been to the swimming pool before so I wasn’t really sure what he would think. It took us a long time to get him used to the bath so I hadn’t wanted to push it further with water, especially considering that swimming pools are always busy and full of lots of different noises.

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We put his swimming trunks on and some arm bands and thought lets give this a shot, and he had an absolute blast. After being very cautious at the start and clinging to me he started to realise how fun it was jumping in off the side and splashing around. He also found it really funny to watch his sister jumping in off the side, she has no fear so was flinging herself off the side while singing and then coming back up and going and doing it over again. After seeing how much Amellia enjoyed being in the pool we are now going to get her some swimming lessons because she will really enjoy them, and I’m going to make an effort to take Dylan to the swimming pool to see what he makes of it. Seeing as he enjoys the water and it wont be all a new experience it will just be to see how he copes with all the noises and other people.

Everyone slept well and adapted to the different time zone really well. Having the villa made it a lot more relaxed when we had got home from the parks. It meant my mum and dad could get some peace while the kids got dinner and wound down for bed time and that the kids then had a lot of space to run about in in the mornings.

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It was perfect and I would recommend a villa over a hotel room, having the space, buying your own food, quiet little swimming pool, it just worked out wonderfully especially that it was literally only a 5 minute drive to the parks as well, Kissimmee is perfect place for a villa.

-WeeOhana

1

Flying!

I was rather worried about the flight because Dylan has never been on a plane and although Amellia has been on a plane it was only ever for short flights. Amellia is a high energy kid so sitting still is not her strong point so I made sure I had a bag packed with lots of new and exciting things for her & Dylan, you can see what I had in them here.

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We were flying from Dublin airport and they were more than accommodating, we got checked in easily and got to go through the priority lane for security which made things less stressful for Dylan as we didn’t have to que up. I also brought Dylan’s melatonin with us through the security and with it being over the 100ml I had a doctors note with me, but they said that wasn’t necessary, all they had to do was check the medicine in the machine and that they wouldn’t take anything of a child that is a necessity to make there travels as stress free.

We got to bring the buggy with us right up until we boarded and it was ready and waiting for us as soon as we got off too which was great. Everyone in the airport were amazing, friendly and more than accommodating but that than changed when we got on the flight.
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We boarded first and as soon as we took the first step onto the plan Dylan lost it. In hindsight we should have boarded last so we weren’t sitting on it while everyone else walked past us, but we thought if we got on first he would have time to settle, but he did not. The flight attended did not help the situation at all. Dylan was clearly visibly upset, he was screaming, tears running down his face and he just wasn’t a happy bunny at all. He insisted that he had to sit in his own seat and I explained to him that he was autistic and did not understand what he was saying to him but he kept saying to him, its only for five minutes, you have to sit in your seat. I tried to put him in his own seat and this obviously just made him more distressed. I had my mum on lookout then for when that flight attended was going to walk past as there was no way I was going to make Dylan stay in his chair. I was in tears with how upset he was, it was horrible.

I gave him his melatonin to try and get him to sleep because he was not happy and nothing was settling him, after his melatonin he got a little distracted doing stickers which helped him settle for a few minutes at a time, he then ended up crying himself to sleep and then slept the rest of the flight. I managed to get a little bit of a kip but not much as he was very fidgety and kept waking for a few minutes and needing reassured then went back over.
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On the flight home Dylan was more or less a sleep before we got on the plane so was perfect. I sang a few songs to him on the plane and he quickly fell asleep and slept the whole flight, night time flights are the best!

Amellia was an absolute gem. She was far too excited to sleep on the flight over and was having lots of fun going through everything in her bag, watching movies and chatting to grampy. She then decided to fall asleep.. 15 minutes to landing.
On the flight home she was wonderful again and we had a far nicer flight attended, she spent ages chatting away to Amellia and even brought her a special kids dinner too!
After having some food Amellia then curled up on nannys knee and fell fast asleep for the rest of it!

So; if your flying, make sure you pack a lot of different things in your bag that you know your kids like, if they have special needs make sure you make the airport aware of it, show them pictures and watch videos of airplanes to try and help them understand what is going to happen and hopefully you get a nicer flight attendant than I did on the flight out so they will be understanding!

-WeeOhana

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Holiday!

I’ve been rather quiet on here as of recent, so here is a quick and short update as to why! I was off on the most amazing holiday in Disney World!! It was the most incredible holiday I have ever been on, and I am going to do a few posts for others who are heading over to have a bit of insight of the things there, how to get the disability pass they do and lots of others bits of advice.

What made it even more exciting was that we didn’t tell Amellia about the holiday until the day we were going. We went with my parents so we headed to there house and I told her we were just staying with them for a week so that she could get some quality time. Once we arrived I got Amellia to ask my dad what he had planned for us and he told her, she could not believe it. She asked me about 20 times “are we really?” Then my mum took her to see her and my dads suitcases and she went crazy! It was a really magical moment. They then took her over to the park while Dylan was happy pottering around the house to waste some energy before a crazy long flight!

I can’t thank my parents enough for making this holiday possible and so incredible. It was the break that I needed, seeing everyone happy, smiling, laughing and having the best time ever. Memories that we are all going to cherish forever.

Family are amazing. My family mean the world to me and I’d be lost without them.

-WeeOhana

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Airplane Bags!

This time next week we are going to be in Disney World! I cannot wait, its a big secret from little miss and she hasn’t got a clue. She is in for the most amazing shock! She is always asking to go down and spend time with my parents so we are going to tell her that we are going down to spend 2 weeks with them and then let my dad tell her that we are all going away to Disney, she is literally going to lose it!
I’m pretty nervous about the 9 hour flight.. Dylan should be ok once he has got used to the noise as he will happily sit and watch his Ipad, Amellia doesn’t like staying still for more than five minutes. It’s going to be an experience.. Ad made a joke about buying everyone on the flight a pair of ear plugs and handing them out at the start, I’m thinking maybe he actually should, lol!
I thought I’d share a little post of what I have in there bags for on the airplane, maybe give you some ideas for if you go traveling with little people!

Fully charged IPads with movies and YouTube videos that they know and love downloaded, new apps put on but also the ones that they use already, especially for Dylan. He is happier doing things that he is used to and knows how to do. I’ll do another post shortly with the apps he uses now, but here is the apps he loved last year and the majority of these are still played regularly. To go with the IPads I have also got two power packs so that we can recharge them when the kids hopefully sleep on the flight..

Colourings books with twistable crayons have been added too, if you haven’t seen the twistable crayons before they are amazing! We love them, so much easier than having to sharpen crayons etc. Amellia has got one of the Top Model books, they are full of outlines of people who you then draw clothes/hair etc onto them and Dylan has one full of Thomas the Tank engines!

Stickers, stickers and more stickers. Both of the kiddies love stickers so I have got a selection of different ones and have done that awesome mum hack of peeling off the outsides of them so the stickers come off easily without the kids getting angry at them and ending up ripping the stickers which then ends in tears. I have got them a book of blank pages each to stick them onto and to draw pictures on too.

Reading books, more for Dylan than Amellia as he loves reading and looking at books. I have got him an alphabet book, number one, shapes & colours. He has lots of alphabet toys but I didn’t want to bring them on the plane with us because if he gets mad and throws it then we will have to get everyone to hunt to find the letters to calm him, which would be pretty awkward! Amellia has got a reading book about Tinkerbell to keep her going.

I got a little set of play doh for Amellia to have on the plane, but not one for Dylan because he really enjoys eating and licking play doh.. yep he wont eat food but he just loves that horrible play doh taste. Typical. I have also got Amellia a Disney 3DS game so will be putting my DS in her bag for her to use and hopefully keep her entertained for a little while.

Finally i have put a few blind bags in as these bring a lot of excitement to little ones and entertainment while they play with them, oh and also headphones and noise cancelling headphones. Dylan currently wont wear noise cancelling headphones but I am thinking that if we are on the plane and the noise is really annoying him and wont just go away hopefully he will realise they help, along with favourite teddies for comfort!

What do you take with you on the plane? Any other things you think would keep my pair entertained?!

-WeeOhana

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Places to visit in Donegal!

This year we went to Donegal for the second year in a row and I am pretty positive that we will be going again next year. It is just such a lovely place, relaxed, quiet and beautiful.
We stayed in Portsalon which is right on the seafront and the beach in Portsalon was also voted number two most beautiful beach in the world by the observer magazine. As you can imagine it is simply wonderful.
I thought I would do a little list of the places that we really enjoyed so that if you are ever in Donegal then you will have some ideas of where to visit!

In Portsalon there were two beach’s.
My girl loved the little one down the hill and it seemed to be very popular with the children staying in and around Portsalon. It was a lovely beach with some sand, rocks to climb on and you could also go pier diving here, they also had pedalos to rent, banana boat rides, a little shop with snacks and water sport gear, a restaurant, a bar and one thing that I would recommend you avoid- a take away chip shop.
This beach was very busy because of all that it had to offer. With Dylan not being a lover of crowds and I am very similar myself and would rather some space too we decided the other beach was better for us.
The bigger beach is a 5 minute walk from the little one, so it’s very handy. It is also beside the golf course in-case you want to play a spot of golf while away. I loved this beach because it has a lot of open space to walk, rocks with many rockpools to explore and it was so quiet! Perfect!

Another place we visited was Tropical world, it is a simply wonderful place. It has many animals that you wouldn’t generally get to see and all seem very well cared for and happy. It also has a butterfly house which is lovely and filled with many different butterflies. My little girl loved this part especially when one landed on her! They also have times for handling some of the animals, when we were there we got the chance to hold a snake and a bearded dragon! They also have a dinosaur part with moving dinosaurs, and a soft play bit too! You can come and go from here for the day too, and I would highly recommend the café beside here we went and all thoroughly enjoyed our paninis and the cake afterwards! It was delicious and very relaxed for the children too.
This would be a great day out for in the rain as the majority of it is inside and you could easily spend all day here.

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Somewhere else that we found that was good for in the rain, or just to do something a little different was a place called Arena 7. It has a wide range of things, we really enjoyed the arcade machines where you won tickets for those most amazing prizes we all loved as kids, bowling, pool tables, and the wonderful soft play. They also had a restaurant there that apparently is very good, but we didn’t try it as Amellia got a kid’s meal in the soft play and she thoroughly enjoyed it and it was all very reasonably price! We went here on a rainy day and were very surprised with how quiet it was, we had lots of fun here and what really made it a great experience was that on the door they had an autism awareness sticker.

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If you are looking for a spot of shopping Letterkenny has got a range of recognisable high street shops all next to each other. You could also head down to Donegal town for a spot of shopping in different little shops and to the craft village there which has some local craft in it and a beautiful little restaurant that was again very relaxed but particularly tasty! They were very accommodating for the children and said they could have anything they fancied on the menu and they would do a smaller portion! Perfect for my food loving little girl!

Another little spot to eat that is simply wonderful is The Curlew Café, If you love seafood you must visit here if you are close by! It is all locally sourced and in a really cosy and friendly little place. All of the food is homemade and the lady there is very welcoming and happy to chat with the kids. Along with being a lovely little restaurant it also has some beautiful unique crafts inside to. We went here last year and we visited this year and we will again next time we are in Donegal.
img_9131Rathmullen is also a lovely little village with a long beach to walk along, several restaurant, take aways, bars, play park and a boat that you can take across to the other side to do some more exploring! On this beach we found rather a lot of starfish and Amellia loved rescuing them and putting them back into the sea. Surprisingly we also found lots of starfish here last year too! Maybe you will be lucky to spot some too! =]
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There we go, a few ideas of where to visit if you are in and around Portsalon in Donegal =]
-WeeOhana

 

 

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Food Revolution Day!

I know.. Food Revolution Day was the fifteenth of May, but it sure does need a good old look into!

I heard the fantastic song the other day when browsing through YouTube for a song to listen too and I came across the song that Ed Sheeran wrote for Food Revolution Day! If you haven’t heard it yet you should really listen to it and you can find it here!

The first thing that really struck me was what Jamie Oliver said (Sorry Rapped :P) in the first verse

Half the world is starving with too little to eat
And the other half die from being obese

This is so true.. and incredibly disgusting! Did you know that 42 million children under the age of five are either overweight or obese! How horible is that, the only people to blame for that is there parents! It made me feel sick when I read that statement! How could someone be so uncaring and blinded that they don’t see what they doing to there kids! It’s easy to see when your child is getting obese/overweight, and you are the ones who choose what you feed them! If you use the excuse that oh, but s/he wont eat the fruit/veg and prefers all the processed food… I’m sorry but a bit of tough love is going to go a long way! Would you rather your child has a harder life because they then go on to develop heart problems and the such and then dying early because you didn’t want to have your child crying at you because you wouldn’t give them that extra chocolate bar!

We need to teach our children how to cook, get them involved with the cooking in the kitchen and they will then enjoy the food more and will be learning life skills for whenever they are older! Rather than living off convenience food! There is a huge range of healthy dinners that can be cooked in the same time as convenience food, it just means you have to do something rather than just turning on the oven! Use it as a family bonding time and all cook together! Children today, are the first generation predicted to live shorter lives than there parents, how horrifying is that! We should be moving forward, not backwards!

The Food Revolution Day this year, is fighting to put compulsory practical food education on the school curriculum! I think this is a great thing! It will help children to start to learn about where there food comes from, whats in it, what is best for them and there children when they are older and how to cook lovely, healthy and tasty food!  We need to give our children and possibly our grandchildren the best life we can and providing them with these skills is desperately needed for our children to lead, happy, healthier and longer lifes!

Like Jamie Oliver says and i completely agree with;

This is every child’s human right!

From Jamie Oliver to Everyone;

If you can help me get millions of people to sign this petition, we can create a movement powerful enough to force all G20 governments to take action. Food education will make a difference to the lives of the next generations, so please help. I can’t do it without you.

So please; Sign the petition here then share it with your friends!
Lets kick obesity in the ass and give our children a better chance at life!

WeeOhana xx

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Flying with a baby/toddler! 

Traveling with little ones is always going to be a bit of a tasks! Especially whenever you are flying as you then try to ensure that they are quiet and happy so that they don’t disturb everyone elses flight too! Having been on four flights with a three year old a three month old last month I’m going to share with you what I did and how I entertained them! Two of the flights were three hours, that was our lovely visit to Portugal and the other two were an hourish each, and that was to Wales! 

I will start with my little three month old, he was a delight to travel with! You Just obvioulsy have to make sure you have enough milk, some teething rings, a rattle and if they use a dummy one of them too! My little man doesn’t really use a dummy much at all but I took one for the take offs and landings so that his ears didn’t pop! He was such a dream to travel with, minus the extra luggage and so forth that you had to bring! If any of you are taking a little babies away I hope they travel as well as he does! 

Now onto the three year old, hyperactive little girl.. She was actually really super to travel with, which I was shocked by! I expected her to be running up and down the plane and then going nuts whenever she had to sit still! So here is all that I did to encourage her to sit still! First of all I went out and bought her, her own little suitcase! It had wheels on it like everyone elses (She loves to be the same), it also had straps on it so that if she got tired from wheeling it or we were getting on the plane it was easy for me to pick up and put on my back! I also choose one that was appealing to her, it is a lovely shade of pink with a purple front pocket and a picture of Sofia the First on it! She was overjoyed by this as Puple is her favorite colour and Sofia the First is a popular T.V show in our house! I then went about filling it with some lovely goodies that she hadn’t seen before & kept the bag hidden before the morning we went! One of the first things I should tell you is that she also currently loves, Yo Gabba Gabba so I tried to get some items that were related to this! Firstly I got her a set of Yo Gabba Gabba books that were simple and repatitve so that she would be able to join in when reading! Brightly coloured pictures in them coupled with reading them in rather stupid & embaressing voice kept her assumed for a short while & they were also great night time reading before bed on holiday! Another great thing that she has is a kids tablet, Nabi. I took this the night before we were flying and put on some new apps that she hadn’t seen before and a few movies to entertain her during the flight. This then with a pair of headphones was a charm! I hadn’t really thought about using headphones with it before, but it stopped the constant quizzing and everyone else having to listen to what she was playing/watching! It seemed to make her concentrate a lot more on it! She watched the Moshi Monster movie after playing a few apps(i’ll do a post soon with the apps we love) and then fell asleep while watching, so that was an hour of peace when I didn’t have to worry! Also in her bag was a Frozen Magnetic scribbler which attached to the bottom had a little book with a story in it and step by step pictures of things to draw! I wasn’t sure that she would use the book much and expected her to do the usual manic scriibbling, but she actually concentrated really hard to copy the pictures, similar to this I also had in a colouring book which came with colours on the front of it! My little girl also loves sticker books and finding the right place for stickers to go, so I also had one of those hidden in her bag! One thing that I had in her bag that she was too little for really was a younger verision of a tommagotchi, she played with it for about five minuites then go bored of it! The last two things that were in her bag was a much loved lalaloopsy doll and a teddy. She loved these greatly because she is a lover of role play and getting everyone to make her toys talk to her! When at the airport I also let her choose a magazine!

When on the airplane, I would advise to sit them beside the window, then during take off and landing you can look out the window with them and explain what is happening and they can see the views! Wave bye bye to your house and then Hello to the hotel! She got a ‘Snack Pack’ when on the plane too and she found this very exciting and that it was special airplane food! 

Well, I hope this has helped at least a little bit & been interesting!  If your going on Holiday, Have a fantastic time!

WeeOhana xxx