Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Shrove Tuesday...

Watching two very young cats play with each other in the school grounds this morning had me smiling.
They were a right little comical pair and very entertaining to watch! :)

They chased and played with each other up, down and around a tree!

Just seeing something like that had me smiling all morning :)

I was in a meeting all day today but when I arrived home, that's when Shrove Tuesday really began! :)

I have often mentioned how I am still very much a child at heart! lol I have always loved Shrove Tuesday and would look forward to flipping the pancake once I had got home from school.

My Dad was King of flipping the pancakes in our house :) as he could flip it really high and always catch it again! Though, there was he one time, he did his legendary flip and the pancake stuck to the kitchen ceiling! :) I actually think I wrote a story about it in school the very next day with drawings of it and everything! :)

Anyway, back at home, I quickly mixed four, eggs and milk and whisked together using my electric whisk.

As my Dad taught me, I decided that I was going to introduce DS to the family flipping pancakes technique and recorded us doing it :)
I'm struggling to upload the video here :( so its on my instagram account instead. 
DS really enjoyed it and keeps playing the video back on my phone whilst grinning away :)

Wedding Update

A couple of favour samples arrived this week which the boyf and I have fallen head over heels! We will be placing a firm order this week :)

Hair & Make-Up trials are all booked for very soon - can't wait! :)

Have a happy 'flipping' Shrove Tuesday! ;) 

Love Amanda xx

Friday, 5 February 2016

Pain Scale for Non-Verbal Children...

I actually cannot believe that it's Friday again!
I mean where on earth did this week go?!

I didn't quite get a 'free day' this week, just an hour here and there which I crammed with washing, ironing and other general housework.

DS still isn't right. We have been back and to the GP twice this week.

He is in some sort of pain and as I am his voice, I was a little firmer than usual with the GP yesterday insisting that something was wrong and how we must investigate further.

He took on board my concerns so we are going to get some samples from DS and send them off for testing. I also asked for some stronger pain relief for him.

DS's Dad took him to his house after the GP appointment but later phoned me to say how DS was screaming in pain :( I drove over to him and could see he was distressed. I gave him the new medicines and he seemed to calm down a little later.

I have kept him off school today so I can monitor closely at how often he is experiencing the pain, how long for and the intensity of it.

I feel so helpless and desperately wish there was a way that I could take on the pain for him :(

I recently came across this pain chart from Cerebra which I have pinned up inside my medicine cupboard.

It is designed specifically for non-verbal children which I liked.
I know when DS is experiencing pain or discomfort just from looking at his face and I think most parents and carers will be the same as we know our children well but still, I think it's worth keeping this handy as a visual reminder to behaviours or clues that we sometimes may miss - especially if we have a lot on our mind that day!

The boyf and I were discussing this today and he has suggested that I get DS to be seen privately.
I can certainly see his thinking! DS is seriously struggling and we seem to be getting nowhere fast :(

I think I will try and hold on until we get the test results and see if that shows anything up, if not, then I will be taking the boyf up on his suggestion.

In the meantime, I will keep plugging at helping DS to be as pain-free as possible and help in anyway I can.

As I type, I can hear him happily singing which is a sound I have always loved :) I just hope that I hear much more of it over the weekend than I have over these last few days!

So to cheer the little Superstar up after dealing with such a hard week, I popped a load of flour into a bowl for him to have a little sensory play with :)

Who doesn't love the feel of silky soft flour between their hands right? :)

As predicted he loved it and was even throwing it about like fairy dust hence my kitchen floor! lol

He even kindly popped some flour into my glass of water! Needless to say, I passed on drinking the rest of it! ;)

This is the DS I know, happy and free-spirit :) even though it means lots of cleaning after him! lol
Good job he is absolutely gorgeous is all I can say! :)

Have a lovely weekend!

Love Amanda xx

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Mummy of Special Needs Date Day...

I love getting together with my 'Special Needs Mummy Friends'.
I have a group of friends and we all have at least one thing in common, and that is we are all Mums to children with special needs.

These ladies are simply awesome! :)

We all know too well of the battles that we have to endure for our kids, we support each other and no matter what is going on with us, we always make each other laugh! :)

We get together often at different things and this week we all met up for lunch.

Typically, yesterday morning I woke up with a hacking cough and stinking cold!
During the night, the boyf heard me struggling to breathe as I was all congested so he went off to get the Vicks Vapour Rub and rubbed it on my chest (no jokes please lol) to help me breathe and sleep more easily. Now that's love! <3

Anyway, determined not to have to cancel our 'Mummy Date' I put about 3 layers of foundation on my very red glowing nose! You can see the tell tale signs of a cold here lol

I wasn't able to taste the food as I am all congested up but I went to see these Mums not so much the food :)

I was told by one of these ladies that she has a surprise for me, I had no idea what it could be!

Then she revealed the most gorgeous canvas for the boyf and I!

Totally handmade! :)
I absolutely love handmade stuff and this was perfect! It's going on my wall at home - how lovely is that? :)

The boyf loves it too and like me, can't believe how much time and effort had been put into it for us.

I told you these were awesome ladies! <3

I'm off to stock up on tissues for this cold and to make myself a hot drink.

Have a good Thursday! :)

Love Amanda xx

Monday, 1 February 2016

A Lovely Weekend...

Well from a rubbish week, I had the most lovely weekend with DS! :)

As usual, it went far too fast for my liking :/ but we do tend to cram a lot into them :)

Saturdays are reserved for 'Mummy & DS' funday. I love spending time with him and having him all to myself! :) I have had this little arrangement in place for several years now and it works beautifully.
Both myself and DS love our day together and it's something I plan on doing for many years to come.....or whenever he gets fed up of spending the day with his Mum! haha

We visited our fave autism club and played in the cool sensory ball pool together.

On Sunday we took DS to his usual swimming session and then I had a couple of free hours in the afternoon so in my true 'productive mode' inner programme kicking in, I set about batch cooking!

It was a cold, windy and wet day here in Cheshire - you know when it rains sideways :/ so what better day to do a load of home comfort batch cooking starting with tomato soup :)

What I love about home cooking is that not only does it taste better than pre-packed processed stuff but it's also healthier, you know exactly what's gone into it (keeping an eye on salt and sugar amounts) but it's also very thrifty! :)

A healthy nutritious bowl of warming soup works out at just 32p a bowl!

I also made some healthy flapjacks for work and school lunch boxes which works out at just 6p per portion!(once it's cut and portioned up of course)

I love it when the whole house is filled with delicious baking smells.

I was just on the end of washing everything up when DS arrived home - perfect timing.

Wedding Update:

This morning I had my appointment with the registrar to give my 'notice of  marriage'.
The boyf did his ages ago so I am well lagging behind him! lol

It turns out that my middle name has been spelt incorrectly on his appointment! I have a 'normal' middle name but it's spelt very unusual.

Very similar to how the name 'Rebecca' can be spelt 'Rebekah'

The boyf knows how it's spelt so I can guess what's happened - he has just told the registrar my name at his appointment but not mentioned how it's spelt so it's been spelt the common usual way!

So that's another appointment to correct that to make sure our marriage certificate has my name right! lol

I blame my parents! :)

Have a good week and stay safe in this howling wind!

Love Amanda


Friday, 29 January 2016

A Rough Week...

It's been a rough week this week and that's putting it mildly.

The week started off with a 2.30am A&E visit with DS but thankfully he seems to be much better now.

I've got some major concerns and issues in regards to DS which is rolling into other things like school and clubs :( I will go into those concerns and what's happening with it all another time, I'm just not ready to quite yet.

As I write, I can often forget that other people read this blog as I seem to use it as a 'dear diary' type of tool which isn't a bad thing in some ways I suppose :)

Stress, stress and a bit more stress has been hanging around me this week.
I have very much felt its presence in everywhere I have gone to and everything I have done!

I have mentioned before how busy my days are but this week I have felt that I have had to chase the days, playing catch up and just about keeping my head above water!

As a result, I have been a bit forgetful, nothing major but going to the shops for something and leaving with other stuff other than what I went in for!
I know everyone has done that but I've been doing it at a ridiculous level!

This morning after dropping DS off to school, I took my car to get new tyres.

It's about 40 minute drive to my favourite tyre guy but well worth it as he does brand new tyres at such good value! So with four brand new tyres on my car, I drove away.

Now whenever I'm in a town and time permitting, I like to have a good nosey around the charity shops. I have a good idea where they all are in Cheshire towns now, so I parked up and walked around.

I decided last night that it would be in my best interests to clear my diary for today so I had the time to chill a bit and go at a slower pace.
I just love charity shop browsing and I actually kick myself for not discovering it in my teenage years!

As I'm drawn to pretty much anything vintage, you can imagine my face lighting up every time I discover something with a vintage-y feel to it especially of its something that we use to have when I was a child! :)

I felt that after such a stressful week then I needed to do something that made me happy and just to take some time out for myself.

As I was walking around, my tummy was rumbling which reminded me that I hadn't eaten tea last night or breakfast this morning (too stressed out!) the cold wind was howling making my hands cold so I looked for a little vintage teashop that I could grab a cup of tea from.

It wasn't long before came across this cottage one which looked so cute so I went in.

It was pretty quiet and so pretty inside with lots of original and cottage features.
I sat by the window and watched people rushing past in the wind.

It felt really nice just to sit and do nothing (apart from start writing this post!lol) and to think or worry about anyone but myself for 20 minutes.

I was miles away deep in thought and though I faintly could hear a voice in the background, I had no idea that the waitress was stood right by me asking me what would I like?! That's how far away I am in my thoughts right now! lol

I apologised and ordered a pot of tea and homemade tomato soup ;) those who follow me on Instagram will know how I love making my own soups :) this one was very good :)

I realised a long time ago, that not only looking DS is mega important but looking after me is too.

I need to be well and fighting fit in order to deal with all the challenges that a child with autism will bring from time to time.

I am sure that we are now entering into another challenging period and like the others before, I need to tackle it and get over it.

Sitting in that teashop today and doing nothing was glorious! Being on my own meant that I was able to think properly. I'm sure that I need to do more of that a little more often!

In some ways, I wonder if I need to simplify stuff around me. Am I involved in too many things?
The answer is probably yes but at the same time no.
That is a difficult one.

You see, as a parent of a non-verbal child with autism and learning disabilities, I can never really relax. I am always watching and monitoring his behaviour to the clues to what he is trying to say. To ignore that would be like ignoring someone when they are trying to have a conversation with you!

Because I have first hand experience of parenting like this then I do my best to help other parents in similar situations. I can't not.
The problem with that, is that I sometimes get too involved. I want to take on peoples battles and go in there to present their case myself! All the time DS is in my mind which is my driving force for pretty much everything I do.

I am getting better at that bit now though lol

So with it being Friday, I am going to end this rubbish week with a large glass of wine and a positive outlook for the weekend!

Have a lovely weekend and stay safe in Storm Jonas!


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Forever Friends...

I hear all the time how parents of children with autism feel isolated and a bit cut off from the community.

Everytime I hear something like this, I feel sad. I think how wrong it is for a parent/carer to feel like that :(

Fortunately, I am really blessed in that respect as I have some awesome friends who are just fab and include me and DS in practically everything! :)

I would like to tell you about one friend in particular as she is pretty special to DS and I :)

Meet Cate.....:)

I met Cate on my first day of High School aged 11 years old. We had come from different primary schools at opposite ends of the town so had never met before and were put in the same form.

My first memory of her was when our form tutor started a 'Getting to know each other' session and wanted us to write our names on sticky notes. I remember overhearing her laugh and say that there was no way that she was going to put her full name as it was a tad embarrassing to her! (her middle names are not embarrassing by the way! lol) a bit of a joke and banter started between her and our tutor and I remember thinking how funny she was! :)

We became best friends and had a great little group of boys and girls with us! :)
I could tell you lots of funny stories over the years but this post would be a mile long if I did! lol

We moved through the years within school, Cate even moved in with me for a short time when we were 18 and then she moved to North Wales. I would go and visit and often would stay over at her house.

The day DS was diagnosed with autism, Cate and I had planned a girly shopping day in Liverpool. I remember coming home from the clinic really upset as the autism diagnosis had come out of the blue so was really unprepared for it! (I later learnt that the paediatrician was unaware that suspected autism had never been mentioned to me which she later apologised for).

That day was a difficult one and Cate was just lovely! I decided to still go ahead with our girly date even though my head was completely somewhere else! Cate never ever said but it must of been a bit like  I wasn't there to her - sort of there in body but not in spirit :/
By the time I got home that evening I was in a better place and had got over a lot of the shock :) which a good chunk of that was down to her! (not to mention the numerous glasses of wine I had consumed!)

I think Cate checked in on me everyday after that for about a fortnight! lol

Also every time I am poorly, this little trouper has lovingly cooked up meals for us all and delivered them to my house - she is like my own little "meals on wheels" service, not to mention what an amazing home cook she is too! :)
I have lost count of the delicious meals I have ate from her good cooking!

As well as all this, she is terrific with DS!
DS loves her car so every time she pops round, she always gives him a little drive around the cul-de-sac before she leaves :) and no matter how pressed she is for time, she always does this and lets him have a little play of her headlights, washers and wipers :) - how many people would do that??
As you can imagine, DS adores her! :)

I have to say, that when you have friends with neuro-typical kids, it's easy to think how they are probably not going to get it and lots of things we do will seem pretty alien to them!

I can honestly say that I have never seen Cate look at anything a bit quizzical that I do with DS instead she has a good awareness and will ask me stuff if she's unsure of anything :)

Really I could go on singing this woman's praises as I have LOADS more examples to share but I think I best stop there! :)

I would absolutely love to think that every parent of special needs children has at least one friend like Cate and if not, then I think I will start up a campaign so that every parent/carer does!...... or just simply clone her! :)

Last weekend, we arranged to eat, dance and be merry and when we got to the restaurant, the table was decorated with birthday balloons! (sneakily done by her)

Not only did we have a fantastic night but Cate surprised me with a gorgeous flower cake with 'Happy Birthday' on one side and 'Just Engaged' on the other! :)

It was layered with different tones of pinks and tasted delicious!

It will probably come as no surprise that she is going to be one of my stunning bridesmaids at my up and coming wedding as I don't think every friendship out there spans 26 years to date!!

Now, next on my to do list is how to clone someone............;)

Friday, 22 January 2016

Free Day & Wedding Update...

Today is my first 'free' day this week.

I  absolutely love having a day to myself where I don't have to rush off anywhere so after dropping DS off at school guess what I did? Relax? Read? Visit a friend.....?

Noooooooo. I walked through the door hung up my coat and scarf, rolled up my sleeves and started filling up a hot soapy bucket of water! Oh yes! I was on a cleaning mission! :)

I was determined that today was going to be a productive day so I started by cleaning the inside of all the windows with my cool squeegee thingy and then I moved outside to clean all the windows and frames on the outside finishing off cleaning the front door and outside light :)

I then came inside and blitzed the rest of the house :)

It's lunchtime and I've just finished and sat down with a cup of tea, not bad going considering how much I have done and I started around 9.20am.

When DS is at school, I am absolutely terrible for trying to cram as many jobs that are difficult to do when he is home into the day.

If you remember one of my new year resolutions was to rest more and as I knew I would, I am finding it very difficult to do.......but I am always trying lol

We have a lovely and a little bit busy weekend ahead of us :)
It consists of DS and I going to some lovely autism specific activity sessions which we both love and enjoy :) I always find the weekends go too quickly which leaves me pining to spend more time with him :(

Moving on to our recent engagement, I kinda promised that I wouldn't be clogging up this blog with wedding stuff so I won't but as I have been asked questions about our up and coming nupitals then I thought I would write a mini update here :)

First off, I really want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone that has sent us best wishes and congratulations! <3 We are both mega excited! :)

The venue is booked for this year along with a few other bits and pieces and the first batch of invitations went out this week! (we do have more to prep and post though).

It's a second wedding for us both and as I was married in a church the first time round, I was really drawn to a civil ceremony in a beautiful location so that is exactly what we have gone for :)

The registrar is all firmly booked for our date and I have an appointment to visit next week to give my 'notice of marriage' (the boyf has already done his) so we are mega excited and every so often we will look at each other, pull excited faces and go "eeeeeeee" which is just something silly we do but always makes us both crease up laughing! :) :)

Will do a separate post sometime on how we have planned this day a little differently taking into deep consideration of DS and his sensory issues and what we have decided.......but for now I have to dash!

Have a lovely weekend! :)