Posted in Review

Mams nightout at New Theatre Cardiff – The Wedding Singer 

When I was invited * with a few of the local bloggers to go and see The wedding Singer at the New Theatre Cardiff, I jumped at the chance.  One being I’ve never been to the theatre and two I’ve never seen the Wedding Singer!

L-R Myself, Sally, Ali, Kerry, Georgina, Cathryn.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect! Maybe, secretly I thought that the theatre was for older people! I’ve never heard any of my mates say they are heading to the theatre, maybe because they’d have to travel or like me they’ve never tried it, I don’t know. I was surprised by the variety of people there last night, I spotted some young and some old the booking office age says suitable for 12 plus.
As soon as the show started you could really see the chemistry between the lead actors, Jon Robyn’s who plays Robbie and Cassie Compton who plays Julia. I didn’t know any thing about the show, but thought to myself these will get together, they look as if they were meant to be! I did think that maybe I may  have got it wrong at one point  but was pleased when I was right.

I loved the bright colours and was actually surprised at how well these people could sing, yes all of them. After the show I had to google the actors and was surprised that Cassie was a contender in the first series of X factor and also Ray Quinn who played Glen was in a later series of the X factor .

For those like me who’s never seen the wedding singer it was about a rock star (Robbie) who’s career had dried up and he became a wedding signer who ended up living in his grandmas basement. Then after being left at the alter himself went on to fall in love with the waitress (Julia) who was engaged to a rich guy! (Glen)


I really enjoyedthe show, the film was based in America in the 80’s this was shown in the show by the bright billboard signs that made an appearance through out the show and the clothes the actors wore. I loved how enthusiastic the cast were, Nick Winston done an amazing job with the choreography. There were lots of songs, each I later learnt unique to the film, except for two. The one being ‘Somebody kill me’, the other I can’t remember! I actually liked the song somebody kill me, and now I need to watch the film as  Jons performance made it quite funny. For people going to see this who’s seen the film they maybe disappointed that the original soundtrack isn’t sung but it made no difference to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the show.

I loved how the props were moved effortlessly and everything just rolled into one, I’m guessing for people who’s used to this it’s not such a wow that’s clever moment!

I’ve had a look on the New Theatre Cardiff website and I see they are showing the Grufflo and now I really want to try Z, if it’s a fun as last night I think he may enjoy it. As for me I now want to go and see the crucible, just as I’ve read the book and would like to have something to compare with.

Thank you New Theatre Cardiff I had a lovely adult catch up last night, I’m sure I’ll be back, maybe now I have the theatre bug?

* tickets were gifted to me for my review.

Posted in autism

It gets easier.

I’ve been told that many times in regards to autism, it gets easier. 

When? When he’s a teenager and wants to sleep? When he’s been at school for a few years and learns to use pecs at home? When everyone understands autism and we don’t get judged for a meltdown outside? When?!

Today I have been talking to another parent. Her child is 2, the struggles she faces are the same struggles we were met with with Z. Food, understanding, speech, the need for routine. 

I found myself saying it gets easier. Don’t get me wrong it’s still hard, we are not a normal family we never will be. Like today we went out for the day, we took it slow, buggy at the ready, we had one meltdown. That’s not bad for a day, I’ll write that post up tomorrow. 

When your child is 2, you do worry oh he’s not eating this, he’s not doing that, he’s different to his peers. Yes, he is maybe different to the people you know but he’s the same as somebody. Z was the same as that child, or that child is the same as Z was. One thing this child does reminded me of another little boy over on another blog, so he’s the same as someone else too. So if you do have to compare to another child compare to another child with autism. Yes they are all different but look and you will find similarities.

Looking back only two years ago when Z was 2 and autism was on the cards, things were different. Z was different. It was much harder than it is now. For one I didn’t know then what I know now, I’m guessing in another two years I’ll know more about Z than I do now. Two years ago I remember crying, remember thinking to myself I can’t do this. Remember asking portage what to do. I remember  the phase when he would scream to not get out of the car, we tried an object of reference it worked, we don’t need that anymore. When Z wouldn’t sleep for weeks, then at the time when he slept it was yes we’re over it. Now I know we’re not over it it’s just a phase and one that will go for a few weeks and come back for weeks. Life without sleep doesn’t get any easier, the knowing that it’ll go on for a few weeks but we’ll have a few days of sleep gets you through the no sleep! 

When he would scream in certain shops I didn’t know why. Now I know it’s a sensory overload, currys being one. I just thought well there’s lots of TVs meaning bright colours give him something to look at. Now I know that all those TVs on, all showing something different, lots of bright lights, the music playing in the background, lots of different screen savers on the laptops, the speakers playing different tunes, to even the numbers on the microwaves must have been sensory hell for him. Without the main lights as they are different to your normal shop lights. Yes I didn’t know that either until I went in without Z to try and find out why.

Communication. This is still a daily struggle. I’ve learnt to understand Z’s needs. Simple things like if we are out and he passes me my bag he wants a drink. He’s not actually saying to me drink, but I know what he wants. I think I’m getting quite good at understanding his needs. He’s getting better with trying to get me to understand him, by taking me by the hand to say the kitchen, then it’s a guessing game as to what he wants. If he can’t find his beaker he’ll bring me in a bottle of squash. If he can’t reach the squash he’ll bring me in a bottle of water, then take me by the hand to the kitchen for the squash. Going back two years ago the way he’d get what he wanted was by going through the recycling bin looking for the empty smoothie packet so yes we have progress. 

Food, two years ago I was scared he wasn’t eating the correct food or not enough, he wasn’t trying to use a spoon. Now, if he eats four boxes of micro chips that’s good enough for me. No he won’t eat anything, but we are working on new foods, new foods come old ones go. Who needs a spoon when you have fingers? We have a smoothie for breakfast and one before bed, he has one portion of fruit and veg there, some days he’ll eat an apple some he won’t, sometimes he’ll eat raisins others he won’t. I hate the amount of food we waste but I can’t not cook anything new. 

This is only some of the ways Z has progressed and I suppose I have too. You just learn to deal with it, two years ago it was scary, it’s still scary but now we’re on a 15 and not an 18! In two years we’ve come a long way. I don’t have portage where she would know the answers, know that I’d had a bad week and do her best to help and to ring at the end of the week to check up on us. Now it’s just me. 

It’s not only me who’s had to ‘deal’ with it. I think I was more on board from the start than my husband, he accepted it, but understanding it is completely different. I think it’s taken him two years to finally start understanding a little, he still don’t understand it all but he’s learning, just like we all are. 

We fought for Z from day one, we will always be fighting for him I know that, and as we are fighting for him he’s teaching us so much more. There’s nothing more I’d love for him to talk, to tell me what he wants, I am learning that you don’t need words to show someone what you want. You also don’t need words to tell them you love them, I take the cwtches randomly off Z and the kisses to mean that I love you too Mam. 

Posted in autism, hospital

Ecg and bloods.

Pinning Z down at the hospital doesn’t become any easier, I’ve just learnt to hold him with his back to me so I don’t see the fear in his eyes and just hear his scream and cries. 

Yesterday we had another go at the ecg and getting bloods for genetic testing. 

Watching the birds on the roof!

He was quite happy to go into the hospital, into the waiting room, and the ward. The staff were great and gave him his own cubicle. Obs were done he was weighed and his height measured, he really done quite well. Next up was the medicine to make him go to sleep. It should take around twenty minutes the nurse said after we had forced it down him. Don’t think the poor nurse was expecting him to be strong and put up so much of a fight! But three of us managed it. This was around 9.45, 10.30 he was wound, he was climbing the bed trying to bounce on it, trying to climb over my head. The medicine must have had some effect on him as he did seem a little wobbly on his feet. Trying to get him to stay on the bed was a mission in itself. 

At around 11 I thought he’s going, got quite excited but he continued to fight it.

At this point because he was tired plus he had been up since around 5 I said I would go get his buggy and try pushing him around. The staff went to get us a buggy save me going to the car. I think the wards should have one disability buggy as he was quite confined in a normal buggy! 


But it worked! By 11.20 he was sleeping, an hour and half later! 

The ecg was done, next was bloods. In all fairness the staff were great, they came to him not to make him any more distressed and risk waking him up. 

Bloods. Doctor and a nurse,you will need extra people! He woke, in the end there were three nurses the doctor and my self holding him. They weren’t even going to risk attempting to get blood from his hand as he really is that strong! Managed to get it it from the one foot until he pulled and it was out, next foot he screamed and cried, but we had managed it. As soon as his socks were back on he was fine. 

Now it’s just waiting for all the results and praying that everything is ok. I’m sure it will be and it’s just to get more bloods from a child who’s been diagnosed with autism into the database. 

Posted in blogging

Liebster award

Yea! Another liebster award, this time I’ve been nominated by Zoe who blogs over at Lycrawidow thank you for the nomination. 


So the rules are;

  • Thank the person who nominated you – and display your award with pride
  • Answer the eleven questions put to you by the person who nominated you
  • List 11 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate and link to other bloggers that you think are deserving of this award
  • Give them 11 questions to answer and let them know they’ve been nominated!

So 11 random facts about me. 

  1. I used to be a children rep. 
  2. Z is an ivf baby.
  3. I’m classed as morbidly obese 
  4. I’m a fussy eater!
  5. I dye the underneath of my hair red.
  6. I’m a pretty good drinker 😉
  7. I don’t wear makeup. 
  8. I prefer to attend a funeral than a wedding.
  9. I still have my two nans alive. 
  10. I’m a steward down the principality stadium. 
  11. My house is always a mess! 


1) Do you have any piercings? If not, would you consider one? 

I don’t have any any more, I used to have the top of my ear and my nose pierced, I would love to have them re done and add to the ear too. 

2)If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be? 

I think it would be to be able to read minds. I’d love to know what goes on in Z’s head! 

3) Why did you start a blog?

I started just to blog to keep an online diary of Z’s milestones and progress. Then autism was mentioned and diagnosed so I thought if I kept blogging and I helped one other person it was worth it.

4) Mayonnaise or Ketchup? 

Has to be mayonnaise. 

5) Ski holiday or beach holiday? (With or without the kids!) 

I’d love to be able to take Z on a ski holdiay. As I was a children’s rep in the alps I learnt to love snowboarding and would love Z to have experience of the deep snow! 

6) What is your biggest fear? 

What will become of Z if anything happened to me tomorrow. 

7) Do you drive? If so what do you drive? If not do you use public transport or lots of walking? 

I drive a mini bus for work, my car is a Suzika vitara and I love it!

8) What was the last book you read?

Before I let you in. 

9) Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?

I think my favourite one is my a-z on autism, as for my least I’m not too sure. 

10) What are you struggling with the most right now?

Right now I’m at the hospital waiting on Z to fall asleep so we can do an ecg. 

11) What was your first dance song? If you’re not married what is your “couple song”? 

First dance was  Ed Sheran  Firefly. 

Up next are my 11 questions. 

  1. What is your favourite book? 
  2. If you could go anywhere in the world,where would you go and why? 
  3. Where was the last place you went on holdiay.
  4. Do you have any tattoos? If so how many and do they have meanings. 
  5. If someone said you could do out any room in your house which room would it be and why?
  6. Favourite chocolate bar.
  7. Summer or winter and why? 
  8. What other blogger would you really want to meet with?
  9. A night in with food and a mate or a night out in a bar with a group of mates? 
  10. Preferred social media ? 
  11. If you could ask anyone a question who would it be and what question would you ask?

The people I nominate are Badass mrs A! Relentless purple and Mrs Bear! 

Posted in Review

Little angels pants.

I was lucky enough to be sent a pack of Asda Little angel day and night pants to review. 


I was quite excited to see Asda getting involved with new nappies aimed at older children. 

Z is still in nappies, we have to use pull- ups as the nappies we were using were rubbing him as they were getting to full.

First impressions I was pleased, they are a lot bigger than pull-ups, meaning less poonami explosion and change of clothes! They seem a lot more absorbent. 

The design is a little boring with just footballs but that’s ok, Z isn’t interested with what’s on them anyway. One was used that night for bed, the following morning Z was a little damp, but he does often wake up a little damp around his vest. 


He wore them to school and came home in the same clothes as he went in with, meaning there wasn’t a poomami explosion!

They are not as flexible as a pull-up meaning as they are pull up pants we did have to be careful as to not to rip them as there’s no Velcro to stick them back together. 

I was disappointed with the price. When going to buy them, at £3.87 for 10. This goes to 9 for the L. These are the same price as a pull-up. Pull-ups are not really used as nappies they are there for accidents in the beginning of toilet training stages. Ten pants lasted a day, with one as a spare. Counting the one he wore to bed, one when we got up, four sent in for school, one change when home, another change around six and one before bed at 9. That’s 9 changes that one day. Looking at a packet a day, and hopefully no sickness, or no excessive drinking that day.

Going on the price of £3.87 a day, a weeks worth of nappies here cost £27.09. A normal pack of little angels size 6 nappies  there’s 30 nappies in a pack for £3.75 so already 12p cheaper, and your getting an extra 20 nappies. So one pack would last three days, you can get these on offer for £10, 90 nappies for £10. A weeks worth £10 with spares, I’m paying nearly £20 more. I think this is slightly unfair. When the word disabled is mentioned everything goes up in price, as if having a child with additional needs isn’t hard enough without the extra expense. 

As these were more absorbent than a pull-up because they are more a nappy than a training pants, for long car journeys or a full day out I would purchase them. I know I could go further without having to worry that he would leak through. 

Hopefully there will be deals on like normal nappies that make affording them much easier as then the more people who purchase them the cheaper they can become! 

Posted in autism

Regression or a time for a new skill ? 

These last few weeks I’ve learnt not to take anything for granted in regards to Z. 

When he was two he was flying through at 35 piece jigsaw puzzle easily. Then he stopped. Now he struggles with a 9 piece. When it happened I was a little gutted. That part of you that’s excited  that your child is advanced compared to the others his age in that one thing, everything else he’s behind. Then other children catch up and over take and we’re back to being behind. 

He had a fascination with letters and numbers, we quickly learnt that he knew his numbers, we’d have lines of numbers, going in 10’s 20’s to 17’s to 100’s. Now this was impressive. Until he showed us what he could do with letters. We had lots of words from shadow to stupendous. Then over Christmas he stopped. 

It was at the back of my mind has he regressed, have he forgotten that he can spell these words? I know it’s common in children with autism. 

Tonight for the first time since the week before Christmas he brought out his numbers and we had them in 10’s and 25’s. Yes he’s not forgotten. I was so relived to know that some where it’s still stored in his little head. 


It’s like he’s ill and he regresses. Looking back it seems the way it goes. 

At 15 months he was in hospital and after that his eating was restricted to dry foods. This Christmas he had what everyone has had just that viral infection that no body can shift. His sleep has been badly effected since Christmas. Now he’s gone to only drinking from his beaker, he would drink from anything. The smoothies have changed colouring packaging and he refuses point blank to drink them. 

But, there’s always a new skill emerging. The other morning it was snowing, he came down and kept looking out the window whilst sitting on my lap, I said it’s snowing, go look out the window. Up he got, ran and looked out the window. Tonight I said, come here give me a hug, he came running over and arms reaching out for a hug.

How long these new skills will last I don’t know. I know I can’t get my hopes up that they’ll be here permanently because they could go as fast as they have come. 

Let’s hope they are here to stay, hope all his new sounds eventually make more words and those words make sentences and those letters remember how to make words! 

For now I have to take each day as it goes, take in each new skill! 

Posted in A's view of the world, A's view of the world

How much do I love you? 

For last week’s Mother & Toddler group we made “How much do I love you?” hands. I decided to make a laminated instruction sheet as below, to show the parents what the finished article should look like:  How to make “How much do I love you?” hands.

• Take 1 sheet of card and draw around your child’s hands

• Let the children colour in their hands using crayons and pencils

• Write on each hand “How much do I love you?”

• Cut the 2 hands out and place them to one side

• Take a piece of white paper and draw a straight line down the long side of the page and then cut out this strip

• Use the strip you have cut out and fold backwards and forwards like a concertina

• Open your concertina strip and lay it flat and then write “I love you this much” across the strip

• Take the strip and glue one end to the left hand card and the other end to the right hand card

• Close the hands together so that you can see the words “How much do I love you”

• Open the hands to read the message “I love you this much!”


The children loved drawing around their hands, but my favourite part was colouring the hands in. I couldn’t take a picture of everybody’s today because we ran out of time!

 

Ogmore Beach

On Monday I went down my Uncle S’ house with my mam and dad. My Uncle had planned that we were going to be learning about all different types of rocks which was loads of fun. He had printed out a special quiz to go with some of my work and he said we could go to Ogmore Beach to look at rocks. I was very excited to go to the beach because I hadn’t been for a long time.

As we were driving to the beach I read through my work and started answering questions on my quiz of rocks. I had to wear a big warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves because it was freezing cold. As we started walking down the beach we saw loads of big rocks, so Uncle S told me a bit about each one. My dad helped me go around some of the rock pools and we found cockles, limpets, mussels and more.  

 

I loved running down by the sea but my mam had to hold on to me because it was very windy. I also promised my dog Andrex that I would pick up a stick for him so I chose a big one for him to play with! As we were walking along the beach I spotted something weird so my mam and I walked over to it. I was so excited because I had found a jelly fish and I named him Jerry!


I also collected some flat stones so that I could paint on them for school work. When we went home I did my quiz and I had 11 out of 12!

 

St. David’s Day

For St. David’s day I am hosting a Welsh evening at my house and my family are welcome to come. I will be dressed up in a rugby shirt and will be making yummy welsh cakes and leek soup. My nephew will help me make daffodil and dragon bunting and I will paint 2 jars to put daffodils in it. I will hopefully read a poem and draw pretty welsh pictures.

The biggest project I have to do is make a welsh costume for my build a bear named Pookie. Will post pics when done!

 

 

 

Posted in A's view of the world

Dog hearts, sewing and environmental studies! 

For this week’s blog I have decided to write about last week’s Mother & Toddler Group and what I have done during my week.  But first of all I would like to apologise for not incIuding last week’s picture of the spaceship that we made in Mother and Toddler group. So here it is!

On Monday I went down my Grandma’s with my mam and dad. I saw my auntie, uncle and grandma and I helped them cut trees. I also did some maths work and a spelling test with my mam.  

 After we visited my grandma we went down my Uncle S and I did some environmental studies with him. We looked at the different stages such as Evaporation, condensation and lots more. I have homework from my uncle S which is to draw thunder and lightning and label what it is doing. We were going to go to Ogmore Beach but it was raining too heavily for my uncle to come with us; so hopefully we can go next week.

 On Tuesday I did some maths with my dad and then I had to go to the dentist to have 2 baby teeth taken out which was not fun LL. Later I did some Spanish with my auntie G which was fun.  At lunch-time I made omelettes for me, my mam and dad. I have also planned what I will do for this week’s mother and toddler group but I will tell you about that next week!

 For last week’s baby group, we made dogs out of love hearts and here are the steps to show you how to do it:

• Make templates of different sized love hearts (some large, some small) and cut them out using card and scissors

• Stick 2 little love hearts on the back of the big love heart to form the ears. (You can use glue, cellotape or pritstick)

• Colour your dog using crayons or coloured pencils

• Add a pair of googly eyes

• Add a small pompom for the nose

• Add 2 slightly larger pompoms below the nose to form the mouth

• Colour a small tongue below the mouth

It was easy to make and the children loved the idea for a valentine gift because of it’s heart shape.  

 

 I have also been learning to sew by hand with my Nan and I am currently learning the following stitches:

• Tack

• Running

• Chain

• Blanket

 I will be making a small purse using the different stitches and I look forward to showing you a picture when I have finished!

Posted in autism, hospital

A weekend stay at the hospital. 

Friday night we ended up taking Z to a&e, he had been a little grumpy all week. I blamed tiredness as he hadn’t been sleeping either. 

Thursday night he took himself to bed at 5.45 and slept at the side of me until 7.15 when my alarm went off. He came down got his drink and went back to bed. Grumped when we tried to get him dressed again I just thought maybe he’d had too much sleep. 

Collected him early from school as he had a hearing test. I thought maybe he was going in for a ear infection but as he was having a test anyway there’s no need to disturb the gp. He didn’t co-operate he lay on the floor wanting to sleep I thought it was because he was up most of Wednesday night. The nurse looked in his ears, they were clear, no fluid either which was there last time. 

Friday he went to school, said he’d had a good day when I collected him. He went straight to my parents, it was Friday night after all. At 7, my Mam rang asking what he had done to his arm as he wasn’t moving it. Then when I got there less than five minutes there was a small red mark and it was a little swollen. 

A&E, nurse saw him quick, that was that, an hour later another nurse came, she looked at his arm now the redness had spread a little. She said it looks like an infection, I was worried about a break, as he wasn’t using it, she said it’s unlikely to be broken and infected but wanted an X-ray so when the doctor came he wouldn’t then need to go for one.  This was at 8.15.

12.15 doctor one calls us, by this point Z is half asleep in his pram, she checked him over. Listened to him breath, eyes, nose and throat. Then told us she was going to look at the X-ray.

In walks doctor one with doctor two. Who told us to strip him. He asked where a bruise on his leg had come from, I said I didn’t know. He asked where a mark on his food had come from, I explained his trainers. He asked where a graze on his elbow had come from, I said I didn’t know and when I was asked when I noticed it, I said when the nurse was looking at him at 7.30, but I would be questioning school as they note everything down, and it must mean he was outside without his jacket on. His reply oh so three unexplained marks. He then asked us had we burnt him, we both said no, have you used any chemicals on him. By this point my husband was speechless I replied of course not. He told us that there’s three unexplained marks on him so we need to go to peads to answer questions over abuse. Abuse, yup, all because I didn’t know where a bruise and a graze had come from.  We walked out behind him, asked him which way to peads, oh don’t follow me I don’t know the way and I’m off to my next patient, you can’t go alone you have to be escorted by a nurse. We felt like criminals.

When we got on to the ward it must have been close to 2am. Z was fast asleep, the doctor there took one look at his arm and said cellulitis, got a needle in his hand, got blood and started him on antibiotics. 

When we asked on Sunday about the abuse allegations he told us that he wasn’t looking at abuse as it wasn’t unexplained it was cellulitis, and the graze on his arm had most likely caused the infection. I asked about the bruise he said he’s a four year old child, and as a doctor they expect children to have brusies. 

The staff on the ward were brilliant, they tried him with different foods, all of which were left. They gave him his own cubical to make his stay easier. They tried him on a few antibiotics as he was just spitting them out after they wanted him to take them orally. The hospital gets a bad rep, I can see why with A&E one doctor for a Friday night to cover emergency care, a&e adults and children and all other admissions. But the ward staff were great.

Now I’m actually scared what happens when Z needs a&e again, he’s going to he sees no danger and is 100 mph all the time. Will the next doctor see abuse in his notes and will I be met with social services?

I understand doctors have jobs to do, they need to safeguard children as too many slip through the net. But I do think there’s ways to speak to parents. 

I have complained and yes I do want an apology.

Posted in A's view of the world, A's view of the world

Mother and Toddler group and kitty cat

Mother and Toddler group and kitty cat. 

For this week’s blog I decided to write about what I did in Mother and Toddler group and making my cat.

 

Last week I came up with the idea of making paper plate spaceships for the children in play group. We made them by using one paper plate, a cut out alien and paint.

The first thing we did was to cut the plate to sort of look like pac man and then we let the children paint it. The last step was to colour in the alien and stick him to the plate. I really enjoyed making one and so did my cousin.

 

I also forgot to put the picture of my butterfly on for last week’s group – so here it is!

 

To make my cat I used my nans old sock, sewing needle and thread, stuffing and felt. First, I placed the sock inside out on a flat surface and then I drew two cute ears on the sock. Next I sewed around the lines and cut around the ears. Then I turned it back to the right way, stuffed it and I sewed up the bottom. ​Finally, I added some paws using excess sock and drew eyes, a mouth and nose on a piece of felt. I cut around the felt and sewed it on to the cat.