7

Honest & Open

Something I have always found important Is being honest and open with my children at a level appropriate to there understanding.

Recently Amellia asked me where she lived when she was a baby, and I told her that we used to live with nanny & grampy when she was first born, she then went on to ask who came to the hospital with me and I told her that nanny did. She looked at me a little confused and said that daddy came with me to the hospital for Dylan.

I then told her that we met daddy when she was only a few months old and that we moved in to his house after she had turned one.

She looked up at me very seriously and I was wondering how I would answer all the questions she might have but she just said one simple sentence that just summed it all up perfectly. “Well that makes my daddy an extra special daddy then because he chose me and wanted to be my daddy”

My heart melted, she couldn’t have got it more right. 💝 Ad loves her and treats her just like his own, as do his wonderful parents. She has an incredible bond with them all and is totally spoilt rotten.

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 Do this.
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

16

Why telling Siblings is important

This is something that I feel quite strongly about. It is because when I was younger it was never explained to me what was going on, why my brother was treated differently, why he had his outbursts or why he treated people the way he does. Obviously back then I was very upset, felt excluded and very confused but now when I look back on how I felt I feel extremely selfish. That I really missed out because of not having someone explain to me that was going on and why he was being treated differently etc. Between me and my brother there is only one year and 8 days so we were extremely close in age and we were very bonded. I love him dearly and always will, especially now that I understand his ADHD.

Therefor I have made very sure to keep Amellia involved and updated with what is happening with her little brother. She is extremely tuned in with him though, She spotted before us things he was doing or that he wasn’t doing that she thought he would be doing. One day she compared him to a friends child who has autism, and asked if he would always be like her. She also got incredibly worried whenever he wasn’t talking and started to ask us when he would start talking or be able to say her name or anything at all. This was when we decided it was time to tell her that things were slightly different with him and that we can’t  put a time on when he will start talking or if he ever will. We are pretty sure that he will talk because he makes lots of different noises and sounds etc, but it is hard for her seeing her friends with brothers and sisters around his age talking, running about, going swimming together etc.

Whenever we explained it to her we kept it nice and simple, that he would learn in his own time and that we would all have to make changes. We didn’t say too much too her as we don’t have an official diagnosis yet and we also didn’t want to say too much and confuse her. So we told her a few things and then let her ask whatever questions she had and told her that whenever she had any questions that she could just ask us. The next day she came up to us and made me so happy she told us “mummy I don’t mind if Dylan is different, I love him anyway.” I had to sneak off to have a cry, it was just wonderful  an incredible thing for a five year old to have said.

I think it is incredibly important to tell siblings, they will then understand why you have to make differences for them, why there has to be changes and why certain activities or things they enjoy just aren’t as easy to do anymore and why when telling them off it has to done differently and allowances have to be changed.

We are incredibly lucky parents to have such an understanding daughter. If we have to leave somewhere because he doesn’t like it she is perfectly ok with that (as much as I hurt for her) if she has to wait till another day to go to the park because he is having an off day she is ok with that, if he wakes her up in the middle of the night, shes ok with that too. she will come downstairs and lay with me until we get him sorted. She really doesn’t get enough credit for how wonderful she is. I always try and make sure she gets to do the things she wants to do even if it is in a few days time, and that she gets to spend 1:1 time with one of us as much as possible so that she can go to the park and can leave when she is ready, so that she can go swimming, so that she can be a child and forget everything that is going on at home that makes her life so different to a lot of her friends.

This is the reason why I will always keep her up to date with what is going on with Dylan, so that she can feel included along the way and so that she can have as big an understanding as she can about him.
Special needs does not just change the child’s life who is living with the special need it changes everyone’s in the family.

We are all still getting used to the changes, his quirks, dislikes and likes, but we are doing it together as a family. Learning as we all go. I don’t think there has been a more relevant time to reinstate what my blog name stands for; Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.

WeeOhana xxx

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

 

8

Blackberry Jam!

I made this with my little girl, we had so much fun and it was super simple!

Ingredients

  • Blackberries
  • Sugar (same amount as blackberries!)
  • Lemon Juice to taste

Method

  1. We first of all started off with going blackberry picking to get our most important ingredient! My little girl had so much fun doing this, we walked along and she picked the ones she could reach and pointed out too me the ones up high for me to pick! Obviously taste testing some as we went along! 😛
  2. Next we measured out how many blackberries we had, washed them under some warm water and then put them into a bowl! (we didn’t have a large amount)IMAG1719.jpg
  3. Then we mashed the blackberries up with our potato masher! This was lots of fun and a bit messy when she decided to see how fast she could do it..IMAG1722.jpg
  4. The sugar then is to be added, for us this was 1 and a half cups as we had one and a half cups of blackberries! Then mix it all together. Now is when you can add the lemon juice to taste if you want! We added a tiny little splash.IMAG1724.jpg
  5. Then pour the mixture into a saucepan, bring it to the boil while continuously mixing it! Once it has reached the boil, reduce the temperature down and stir it for a few more minutes.IMAG1725.jpg
  6. Finally find some old jam jars preferably to put it into! We didn’t have any so we used some bowls with lids that we had in the house, so anything can do really! Pop it into the fridge for a few hours to cool down. IMAG1729
  7. Find some nice bread and enjoy! .. Again we didn’t have any nice bread in the house and she was an eager beaver to try something that she had made! So we put it onto a bit of toast and really enjoyed it!
    IMAG1740.jpg

I hope you enjoy making this and that you find it as yummy as we did! If you do, let me know! =D
WeeOhana!

0

Blackberry Picking!

Today I had a lovely morning out with the kiddiwinks! We headed to a lovely little village called Groomsport! Its a little village by the sea, is very peaceful, beautiful and has many things my little ones love!

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We started off by going for a little walk along the front, counting the boats we saw, blowing the dandelions that we found and making lovely wishes, then we discovered a place that we hadn’t found before! A little National Trust walk called Ballymacormick Point, I don’t know how I haven’t found it before or walked along there before! It was wonderful and even more so because we found some ripe and very yummy blackberrys! My little girl loves all kinds of fruit and veg and was very excited to try some blackberrys that she had picked straight from the bush!

As we carried on our walk I had a hunt in my handbag and managed to find a little ziplock bag, my little girl jumped with delight at the thought of collecting some and taking them all home. We carried on with our walk and kept collecting them while we were discussing what to do with them, a little lady who walked past us stopped for a chat with us as my little one was eager to show her all that we had collected! She suggested that we could try making a pie or some jam and that was that we were settled on making some jam once we got home! (recipe) The hunt carried on and we came across a honey bee! (She loves bugs too :P)

The honey bee was collecting pollen and was fascinating to watch, we watched him as he went from flower to flower and she asked me question after question! She asked me so many questions that she didn’t notice her little brother stealing the bag of blackberries from her hand.. he then decided to squish them and she broke out in laughter as we watched all the juices in the bag go everywhere (thankfully not over anyone!)

We then turned back after picking some blackberries to make our jam and headed for the little shop to grab an ice lolly and a drink then on-wards to the wonderful little park! The park in Groomsport is wonderful, not only do you get to enjoy a lovely view while your little ones are enjoying themselves, a big and a small climbing frame and there are gates all around it so a little one cant wander off. Wandering off is my little mans favorite thing, he loves just tottering about and exploring and wouldn’t have much interest in the park so when it is just me with them both it is pretty hard for either to enjoy! With him not being able to escape and wander off it was perfect as he could just dander around the park while she had lots of fun on the climbing frame/swings etc! He then found his favorite thing and one of the only things he will play on in a park.. a bridge! He loves just walking back and forth across the bridges, he would happily do that all day long if you left him to it!

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After the park we headed to the little paddling pool and she had lots of fun running about in it as she had come prepared wearing some shorts! My little monkey man was safely back in his pram and enjoying the views and after that we headed home to make some delicious homemade blackberry jam! I’ll pop the recipe up shortly for if you fancy giving it a try! Here is the recipe! Very simple/fun and delicious!

WeeOhana x

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