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Afternoon tea for two at the Celtic Manor 

A few weeks back I went to a blogger Christmas group where I met a few local bloggers. During this event we were very lucky to be gifted a few things. 

One of those gifts was an afternoon tea for two at the Celtic Manor resort in Newport. 

I choose to take my nan, kind of a bit of a Christmas gift to her, and a birthday treat to myself. 

I was very impressed. I’ve passed the grounds many times on my way home from over the bridge, always looked stunning. The views didn’t disappoint. 

I emailed to ask for gluten free, and I was amazed. I don’t think I’ve had gluten free sandwiches like it before. Only recently the doctor told me to keep to a gluten free diet, normally I would have just eaten what was on offer, lately I can’t.

We arrived, nice and dry as the car park is underground. How cool is that! 

I was also lucky to see it all decorated for Christmas, it looks so pretty!

We were shown to our seat, offered pimms, I declined and went with an orange juice, I was driving and the weather out was horrible! My nan said it was lovely. We both went with the  coffee as our warm drink. 

   
 

The starters were lovely, both my self and my nan weren’t expecting much, a sandwich or two and a cake or two, so to start off with something totally in expected was a nice surprise. Loved the little hampers they came in too.

Next was the sandwiches and cakes. The gluten free bread was lovely, didn’t crumble, and tasted like bread! 

  

The cakes were to die for! I was surprised at how full I was getting, there was no way I was getting through five cakes and a scone. We were told we could box up the cakes to take home, so I ate blueberries in warm chocolate sauce. Blueberries have never tasted so good! 

  
I ate my scone with clotted cream and jam a few hours later when I got home, and I really enjoyed it! I’m now waiting on Z to go to bed for a coffee and another cake from my box! 

Being a first time for both my nan and myself to go anywhere for afternoon tea, I’m thinking maybe no place could be as nice as The Celtic Manor? Maybe I won’t even bother trying any others! I will be going back, even if just for the sandwiches! 

So I’d like to thank all the staff today for making my visit so nice. We both had a lovely day. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to try something new, I’m now looking for an excuse to come back and already told my mate it would be lovely for a wedding. 

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Birthday and Christmas decorations. 

I’ve been wanting to put my Christmas decs up for ages, but it hadn’t been my birthday, so I held off. Yes, I know early as its still in November. 

On Saturday It was my birthday. I should have gone to a Zumba Christmas party on Friday evening, but with my birthday being the following day, and J not being able to make it, I stuck to my vodka Friday night at J’s.

  
Yes, she has her Christmas tree up! My mate LJ, joined us too this Friday, well it’s not every week it’s your birthday! Me and LJ had a shot or two, think it looks quite pretty with the tree in the background! 

I also had cake! 

  
Happy birthday to me! 

Next week we’ll have Christmas drinks! Just incase things happen and Christmas will come and go before we have chance like last year, when I was sick! Hopefully this year we will have Christmas Eve Eve drinks! 

Today, I put my tree up, my theory is I can’t have a Christmas drink next week at J’s if my tree isn’t up, and I’m not going to have much time this week with work. Tomorrow after portage I’m taking my nan to the Celtic Manor for afternoon tea. Looking forward to that as never been before! Then hospital Tuesday, kids fit Wednesday, and G working Thursday, so it had to go up today. 

  
 
Z was quite excited, more so to collect the baubles off it! He’s not attempted to get the ducks off, just the balls. 

Could be a long 4 weeks! But I don’t care, Christmas is coming and I’m excited!! 

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One less pooch. 

Our Chorkie keeps escaping, we’ve lost her a few times the last few weeks, a lady took her in, since then she’s been heading that direction and sitting on her doorstep. I’m terrified she’s going to get hit by a car and killed. So we asked the lady who liked her did she want her, she initially said no, I was ok with that, she’s our dog. A few people said put her in the homes someone will take her in. No, again she’s our dog I’m not just getting rid of her. 

When the car isn’t parked outside the gate for Z to see it, we have a bad day, because the car isn’t where it’s supposed to be. I’m looking at getting a drive built after Christmas so the car is always in the same place, then I thought what about the dog she’ll always be escaping.  

Last night the lady knocked out door, said we’re we still looking at get rid of the dog as she hasn’t stopped thinking about her and would love to take her. So off she happily went, if she pines we’ll take her back, but I can’t see that happening. 

Our other dog has been ok, thought he may miss her, it is his daughter! But he’s much calmer, much quieter, and don’t even seem to be looking for her. 

I feel bad for giving away a member of my family, but I’ve done it for her safety, at least I know she’s safe, she’ll have all the attention she wants that I can’t give with a child and another dog! 

I hope she’ll be ok in her new home. 

  
This is my last picture of her 😦 but I’ll see her around I’m sure! 

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Donald!

Z didn’t wake until around. 8.30 today so he had a huge lay in, J and E were coming to IKEA with us, I was taking the bus so I could fit stuff in! 

I needed a new table, I suppose I could have kept his for the next few weeks, as that’s all portage is coming for, but he does use it to line things up, paint, do puzzles and I put his food on it. Not that he sits and eats at it all the time, so was just easier to go get one. At least he’ll get some portage use out of it! 

In all fairness him and E were good going around there. Half way through he had soaked right through his clothes, it’s ok I have spares. The only problem now is he’s too heavy for the changing units. So trying to strip him and put a new nappy on him is hard work. We stopped for some chips and a coffee or two, and was time to go pay. Again Z had soaked right though, this time was because the nappy wasn’t on correctly, I had no more clothes, so he had to come out in wet trousers, we had promised them a play at the park too. Was a quick 5 minutes play, then back to the bus! So as he was just in a nappy and Tshirt, I stopped at asda to grab a pair of trousers, always in retail parks there’s that big golden M, Z said Donald, I nearly crashed, and J said oh my god he just said McDonald’s, well Donald. So it wasn’t just me who had heard that! A few times since getting him home as I was telling G what he said he said it again, but wouldn’t say it again, then he was playing, out of no where I said Z Donald and he copied,  went ever so shy and hid! Won’t say it again. 

What a good day! I had a new table, Z had a rocking chair, and we had a new word! The Only problem now is he fell asleep at 3, so is still wide awake refusing to go to sleep. Long night maybe? 

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Portage

If like me you were lucky enough to receive portage for your child, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s one of the best things you can get.

Z’s portage worker has not only been absolutely amazing with him but been a god send to me. 

If you weren’t lucky enough to get portage, yes you missed out.  If you are just starting your journey with portage your in for a good few weeks / months. 

So what is portage, for Z it’s where she came and taught him to sit at a table and to start and finish an activity, to learn a bit of patience, to learn things are a two way deal. To learn he won’t always get his way and to teach him I think to love someone other than family . I think he really took to her, every time she left he cried. Who ever says children with autism don’t love or show empathy are wrong. He just shows it to certain people and if he does you are lucky and special. 

 She saw us at our best, she saw us at our worst. She saw the house a mess ( when she ran late and Z destroyed it!) and not once did she judge. She wiped snot and tears, and not always Z’s! The few times I broke she was the one to pick me back up. (With a little help from J I must add, she had the vodka!) I don’t think I broke that many times, but when I did she was the one who would be at the end of the phone, think the only one who heard me cry, to hear the I can’t do it, to see me cry. One of the only people who insisted and warned me a hug was coming! Out of all the professionals that come, she seemed to understand the struggles the most. She always had an answer, an idea, a new way to try. She not only spent time playing with Z, but spent time form filling, reassuring me that what I was doing was for the best, she put my mind at ease, which in turn made things easier when I was dealing with hard behaviour! She burnt in the sun and froze in the cold, just to make sure I was ok. She came to hospital appointments, I can’t say she held my hand but I’m sure if that’s what I really wanted she would have! 

She put me in touch with N, and even though I was hesitant to ring a random I’m glad she said do it. N has become a huge part of our lives now, and, again I think without her taking me in and introducing me to her little NAS family I would be somebody else. 

What does it mean now she’s gone, honestly I don’t know. Who’s going to pick me up if I break again seems no one else have seen or heard my tears. If on her travels she wanted to pop in to say hi, stop for a coffee, she would always be welcome. I’m sure Z would love her to come and tickle his neck! So Portage you are always welcome to come back and play! 

So from Z and myself we both want to say a huge thank you for every thing you have done for us this past twelve months and we will both miss you loads. Please keep in touch x 

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Soft play.

Today being Tuesday was back to indoor soft play centre. Been going here for about a year, Z loves it and the staff are great with him. Normally he’ll have a go on the equipment, go down the slide, then go line chairs up. Normal in we go, he don’t wait to pay, so they let him in shoes off and he’s gone, I pay and than catch him to take his coat off him. He went over and was watching a little boy take the soft play pieces up the slide, Z then lined them up. The little boy took one piece and threw it down the slide. Z looked, the boy passed it back to Z, Z put it back in his line, the boy  climbed back up and threw it back down, again Z watched the boy go down and pass it back to him. Then Z took the piece that the boy had given him and threw it down the slide, yup to the little boy! I was staring. Couldn’t believe it, looked back at the girls and the look on their faces they looked in shock! He played with the little boy for around 20 minutes. 

Then he was watching a grandpa build blocks for his grandson, the grandson knocked them over, Z picked one up and handed it to the grandpa to build up again. He done this with him and his wife. Looked them straight in the eye and handed them the block! Again shocked mam here!! 

Some other lady was clapping to her child, Z stopped handing blocks over went over to another lady and took her by the hands to clap, he had them all clapping! So, I would like to say a thanks to you guys for entertaining my child!!

I can’t believe how well he interacted with strangers, never mind another child. I’m starting to look forward to him starting school now just to see how well he’s going to come along. 

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3 am isn’t the time 

I love how much progress you have made these last few months, I love how recently you have found your voice! 

But 3 am isn’t the time to be shouting and screaming and banging. 3 am is actually sleep time. 

In an interesting way the only time I woke when pregnant with you was 3am. But then I would just use the toilet and go on back to sleep. Now these 3ams are getting longer. When you were a newborn I saw 3am by 4 you were back asleep, on the odd day you didn’t wake till 4 for a feed you were back to sleep by 5. It’s now waking at 2.30 and going back at 5-5.30. The only difference is now we have work. Can’t stay in bed till 8-8.30 were up at 7. 

So Z you need sleep in order to keep learning your new skills of shouting and clapping. I need sleep in order to keep you safe when your learning these new skills! Yes, you don’t do things lightly, you like to test me! Standing on the back of the settee and clapping. Learning to balance well! 

So please Z start sleeping! What’s going to happen when you go to school?! You’ll still need to get up in the mornings! 

I’m praying that this is just one of those phases you went through at around 18 months, that was again a tough one! If I’m putting certain development that your making at a younger age does that mean we’re hitting these leaps twice? 

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Start of a new week. 

Last week was a harsh one! Running on coffee and more coffee, made the little problems seem a very big deal. After last nights nearly 11 hour sleep I feel I can function that bit better this week, I’ll be ready to deal with what ever is going to come my way. I have a feeling it could be a lot. 

Z was turned down last week for a blue badge, in all fairness portage and her boss were fab again, printed letters out for me, even though they couldn’t understand why the letter I had wasn’t good enough. So last night I’m getting every thing ready, double checking I have all letters ready for the council Tuesday morning. All Z’s paper work, are all in one box, nothing else in this box, his letters, his reports the book. Last night as I was getting everything ready, went upstairs and G had taken post up and put it down in the spare room where he plays the Xbox. I noticed the catalogue, when did this come, oh ages ago. With some junk mail and a letter to the parents of Z. Was only his diagnosis letter that I was adamant I hadn’t received. So G was in my bad books, and portage and her boss have my apologies. I’m sorry! G is banned from picking any post up. Hate to say they were from the beginning of September. So when I see them next I’ll be all sheepish. I can’t believe he done it. 

On to this week, don’t have to see portage I’ll Thursday so won’t feel so bad, have his last prt of the early bird filming on Wednesday then off to a funeral, portage Thursday and hopefully vodka Friday! My week is flying by before my very eyes! 

I’ll miss soft play Tuesday and swimming Thursday, but as its now only J and E we can swap to Friday I’m sure! 

I think today is a lining up kind of day.

  
There are lines of things everywhere, from his dinner of flipper dippers, to ducks and minions. 

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Hospital appointments

What a day! Two hospital visits. 

Z slept last night, can tell he’s tired as he really didn’t want to wake this morning, but he did and off to work we went, he stopped for toast at nans before the hospital. Getting him in was a job in itself. 

He threw himself on the floor, he tried to run away, he threw himself on the floor some more, he kicked his shoes off. He ran. We got into the hospital and had pretty much the same. He wanted to take a poster off the wall I said no, and it started again. Poor doctor didn’t really get anything done. He did point to the ball, yes, point. Out of all the people we have met I think the only person that can get him to be calm enough to do what she wants is portage. ( maybe she’ll kidnap him for a few hours a week and take him to his hospital appointments!!) 

I was boiling, bright red in the face and stressed. It’s bad enough trying to get him in then fight with him to wait in the waiting area, luckly we didn’t wait long, and he was in. Think she could see I was stressed. If only she seen me later….. 

I dropped him off to nans to head to the early bird course, first thing when there was a coffee! After that 30 minutes or so I felt like a baileys coffee would have been more sufficient. 

Anyways, he was fine at nans, takes him home, some diner before sensory messy play. 

He fell asleep in the car, I was dreading getting him in to the hospital as I had to wake him because the only spaces available today were at the other end of the car park. Lots of disabled bays if only they had given him a blue badge, he wouldn’t have had so far to walk, be dragged or half carried! 

  
Messy play….

A table of weetabix, jelly, Rice Krispies and oats maybe awaited. He ran in and surprisingly touched the jelly. He then stayed the other end of the table. He played with the cars, dug them out from under the Rice Krispies  and the oats, held the weetabix. I put his hand in the jelly. He watched J eat the jelly, but stayed the other end. When we were talking he licked the car, so he had tasted jelly! He then licked his hands and went back for the jelly!! I couldn’t believe it. Even though he used to eat jelly for me before he won’t now. He didn’t want it to end, and played up coming out. I’m glad I have witness to the way he throws himself on the floor, kicks until his shoes come off and then run. Must have took me at least 10 minutes to get him out of the hospital. He was soaking from throwing himself on the floor in the rain, sitting up on the wet floor. Every time I had his hand and thought well walk now, he threw a curve ball and spun himself down. Everyone was stopping and looking, tried carrying him and he was throwing himself about so much it was unsafe! I did start to loose my patience, I wanted to stop and shout, I wanted to sit and cry, I wanted to walk away. But I couldn’t and can’t,if I walked away he wouldn’t have come running to me, he could have ran anywhere. So we spent 5 minutes sitting in the car, ok I sat he screamed and twisted and turned! Again I could have cried but I’m in the middle of a very full car park. So I drove on home. Yes with Z! He’s continuing to scream and throw at home, so I’m praying an early night is on the cards!