Posted in journey to Zero waste

Month two on less plastic.

So I’m taking my reducing my plastic waste quite seriously, it’s coming up the end of February an I’ve not purchased a plastic bottle for myself, Z has had a few happy meals where he gets a fruit shoot, but I can’t stop him it’s not fair. In the two months I’ve only had one meal from McDonalds myself and that’s last week on half term when I was starving I did have the drink but didn’t have a straw. Next time I’ll remember to take my own food.

I’ve made my own toilet bombs melts and lip balm. Changed to soap nuts for my clothes and haven’t been using fabric conditioner. That’s a big one for me as I do love my conditioner next up I’ll attempt to make my own.

I’ve not purchased one single use carrier bag, I’ve always got a bag in my bag now, I’ve even had my keep cup used whilst out and about. I’m hoping that I’m making my mates more aware.

When Z had to get out of the sealife centre as it was too busy, my mate got me a new bag, I love it and it’s a nice size for my plastic free fruit and veg!

So in a few months I’ve made small little changes that are all adding up. I’ve not bought a plastic bottle of anything, sauce, mayo or squash, it’s all been glass. I’ve not bought myself any new clothes, I’ve not really gone back to eating meat and tend to by mostly quorn instead. I’ve ordered Z a reusable swim nappy, so that’s one or two nappies stopped going to landfill when it arrives.

I still have a long way too go but I can see less and less plastic going into my recycling every week

Posted in autism

When days out don’t always go to plan.

Not all day out goes to plan!

We headed to the sealife centre, I wasn’t planing on it being so busy! Headed for 11.45 thinking lots would be having dinner, mmmm how wrong was I!

It started because he couldn’t get in with the penguins, maybe escalated as he couldn’t see them out of the water like he can in folly farm, that’s what I’m guessing anyways. It was really busy, with buggies, screaming kids and lots of people. The one part he had taken his shoes off to ‘get in’ the water. Me saying no shoes on we can’t get in didn’t help, he could just see faces in the water but couldn’t grasp it was a tunnel. So speed walking commence.

There was a section you could touch certain animals, yea he wasn’t interested in touching any animal just playing in the water! So we moved out of the way and played with the clean water!

Luckily he was wearing his adventure belt to stop him fleeing.

We quickly moved around trying to find the exit, to realise he was soaking, the water had gone right down his sleeves and down to his waist, was far too cold to leave him so wet. So let’s add to his bad day by attempting to change him. Ended up in the ladies in the middle of the floor attempting a full outfit change. With Z getting stressed and by this point I was stressed it was time ten minutes ago to leave we just couldn’t find our way out! With Z stressing, throwing himself on the floor, trying to push his way through the crowds, he caught one lady, I’m chasing after him and she decides to whinge as I didn’t apologise to her. All I seemed to do was apologise to every one, sorry for him pushing your child out of the way! Sorry for him trying to clamber through your legs! Sorry for him screaming and throwing himself on the floor in front of your buggy. But I am sorry that I didn’t apologise to you too!

Towards the end it was much quieter, he stopped and looked at a few fish , but quickly moved on.

So we left, we got back to the car, he was still very upset I’d say. He looked at me once we got back to the car as if to say why? What part of that did you think was a good idea?!

We waited on the girls to come out to meet them for some food.

Z wasn’t going to eat as he really had munched his way through his cheese spread sandwiches and his drink in the car!! But for most of it he sat, watching his iPad in front of the fire!

When chatting away to another parent who’s asd son is now 19 I learnt that there’s always going to be struggles. Even at 19 she worries about loosing him in a shopping centre. Who really worries about loosing a 19 year old in a shopping centre? I’d not thought that far ahead, of course I worry now at 5 because he can’t say he’s lost, what if he can’t at 19? That’s the reality check here. Even if he’s lost to us and he’s not actually lost to himself imagine Just for a second how scary that’s going to be. I’d be going around the place screaming his name, not that he answers to it, worried shoppers what does he look like? 6ft, slim build….. you’re going to get looks like you’re crazy.

How Even though certain things may change like less meltdowns, the need to flee in a shop may pass, eating new foods, using the toilet, the worries will always be there. I’m looking forward to the days when he does actually try new foods or the hormones kick and he’ll want to sleep and he doesn’t run away!! Or when he can communicate his needs even just to say what he would like to eat that week because he’ll eat loads more then! ( I say crossing my fingers and wishing!)

I know Z maybe completely different, he may be similar to this guy, he maybe able to talk and have a conversation with you enough to get by or he may never be able to communicate. He may stick to only eating his crap and he may never sleep! If there’s one thing I wish it would be that he will be able to tell me what he needs or wants!

It was lovely hearing from a parent of an older child, of a parent who’s not going to say oh yes at 19 everything is fine, because it’s not. Autism is still there, these small little children will grow into adults and I may be one of the few but I’d like to know stories of what I maybe up against from people who have been there who is going through it. When we go to groups the oldest is maybe 10 or 11, 19 is way older, way more experience and there are lots more stories to be heard. But what I’m finding the same is when I ask at want age did your child stop doing stuff the answer seems to be around 6-7. So I may only have two more years of finding lines everywhere. I may only have a few years left of nappies? I may only have a few years of food being dropped everywhere as thats when he’s not going to waste any and eat it all instead!! I’m hoping to only have a few more years of no sleep left!

But I don’t know. It’s gotten me thinking of when they are babies and you never knew that was their last bottle etc, will this be Z’s last line?!

So even though I wouldn’t call today a success we tried, we may have kinda failed! But I learnt other than I’ll still be worrying at 19, what Z is like now doesn’t mean he’s going to be like that in 14 years time!

Posted in Review

What The Ladybird Heard Live Review

As my previous blog post mentions I was quite excited for this one!

Z has read the story many times, and even though he doesn’t speak I’m sure he’s taking in a lot more than I’ll ever give him credit for. I’ve been telling everyone our plans for this week, obviously saying the theatre for What The Ladybird Heard! This week he’s been ‘reading’ his book, I say reading as I’m sure he is in his head!

All ready, we were a little earlier so my plan was grab the tickets * and maybe head to get him a doughnut, Z knew where he was going, and would not leave the theatre! He was dragging me upstairs, at one point I carried him outside but he was on the floor screaming so we went back in!

obviously being early we had a little wait. A cry, a throw myself on the floor attempting to get to the door and a packet a crisps later all was well!

We were greeted to a farm!

I loved the fact that it looks so basic but keeping within the colour scheme of the book. Reading the program later Lydia Monks was actually involved in the development!

With Emma Breton, the farmer, Emma Carroll as Lilly / Ladybird, Benedict Hastings and Lanky Len and Edward Way as Hefty Hugh it was a fun packed hour.

With the show running slightly late, half way through we’d ran out of crisps to keep Z still!! The first fifteen minutes or so, where the actors were getting the audience involved with animal sounds and making the animals, which were pretty impressive! did seem to go a little slow, but they even managed to get a reference to the Gruffalo in! Guessing that was wasted on the children! I know the show was aimed at 3 plus, but feel maybe it was for a little older with the audience participation, unless that’s just because of Z and his needs. E is 4 she could join in and enjoyed herself even though she had never read the story. When asked at the end did you enjoy it? She replied yes, and her favourite part was the Ladybird!

I enjoyed the way they sang (to me) the main part of the story, ‘The horse went neigh…..’ the singing always got Z’s attention and he would look and smile straight away. The other children seemed to like looking for the Ladybird!

With the use of such simple, colourful looking props I thought they made the story come alive, it was told well and if you hadn’t read the book you’d know the story from the show. With the cow and the cats singing and talking added that little bit more fun into it I thought. Using certain lines from the book Z knew what he was watching as he would smile to himself even trying to copy at one point!

What The Ladybird Heard Live is on an international tour, it’s on at New Theatre Cardiff until 25th of February before it moves on and you can buy tickets here .

I was gifted my tickets in exchange for a review all opinions are my own.

Posted in autism

Knockdown moments

When you’re at that I’m ok place, we’re doing ok, I have this autism parenting thing as good as I’m getting it right now.

Lately you’ve thrown nits at us, you’ve thrown no sleep at us ( again!) you’ve thrown meltdowns, lost teeth,you’ve also thrown new words, high fives and plenty of progress.

Autism has brought us friendships, nights out, getting to know new people and most importantly it’s brought us laughs and memories.

Autism also brings me those knockdown moments I’m calling them. They come when you least expect them. You’re in your we’re doing ok place. When Z first started at Sen school I’d be gutted passing the school he was signed up to, to see his ‘classmates’ run around with one another, form friendships, see photos online of trips, concerts and parties. These pictures of groups of children with the missing child, the child that never made it, the child who still has to be on file incase he’s ever mainstreamed and that’s the school I still choose. The friendships the parents make all laughing drinking coffee there I should stand not at an empty gate. But I got over it like I say I made new friends. Friends that get us. Get our difficulties and accept us, accept the sleep deprived zombie looking Mam that’s begging for coffee! We’re not the strange ones! ( ok maybe we’re still the strange ones!)

But when you see these it does stop you in your tracks, it reminds you that you’ve really not got this! You may have it today but tomorrow is a different day. You are not the same as everyone else, you are reminded of how behind Z is in ways, you are reminded that he’s not part of any social group, you are reminded that he is different and the life you had planned out is completely different. Your child isn’t just on the need help table, it’s at the need help school. You are reminded that you are constantly tired, mentally and physically!

It also reminds you of how far you’ve came, how much progress one small child has achieved, how hard it is each and everyday yet everyday that small child struggles there’s always that toothless grin, a hug and a high five! You are reminded that every night there’s no sleep he’s learning something what I don’t know! But he’s learning how many other 5 year olds are learning things at 4am?!

That need help school is one I never want Z to leave, cross his name off the list he’s not leaving! He has way more amazing opportunities than those of the children in his should have been class, they are working at 5, they have exams at 7 they don’t get to learn through play, to go swimming every week sometimes twice a week, access sensory rooms, have fun throughout school. Z does! He’s not in struggling in a class of 30 he’s thriving in a class of 11 with teachers who love him like their own.

I’m guessing those knockdown moments will always come, they’ll come when kids his age make their communion, finish primary, head to town alone for the first time, leave school and find a partner and settle down.

Of course Z may achieve 50% of those who knows, you still mentally prepare yourself for the knockdowns that can hit at any time and always when you least expect them

Posted in Review

What The Ladybird Heard Live.

Everyone knows this story right?!

‘And the cow said ‘Moo’, and the hen said ‘cluck’…….. one cat miaowed while the other purred……

‘And the ladybird said never a word’

No?

Just me then! ( if you did you read that fast didn’t you!) if you haven’t heard of it ask your children.

The book What The Ladybird Heard published in 2009 written by Julia Donaldson, you know the author of The Gruffalo, and illustrated by Lydia Monks, is coming to New Theatre Cardiff directly from the West End to entertain children 3+ before heading off on an international tour.

I’m very excited to be able to take Z on his second theatre experience, I’m hoping that as my love for the theatre grows the older he gets it’s something we’ll both enjoy together. We both know this story, I know he’s covered it at school and it a well read book at ours.

The story is about two robbers Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len trying to steal the farmers prize cow, but with the tiniest animal of all – the ladybird stopping them!

With the help of the woolly sheep, the hairy hog, the fat red hen and the dainty dog it’s looking to be an action packed 55 minute adventure of original songs, live music and plenty of laughs with plenty of audience participation and I for one am so excited!

What the lady bird heard live is playing at New Theatre Cardiff 22-25th of February, ideal for the end of the half term blues, some where warm and fun!

You can book tickets here prices start at £11 and you have a showing at 2pm on Thursday and 11am And 2pm Friday – Sunday.

*Im receiving my tickets in exchange for a review. All reviews are my own.

Posted in Review

The sound of music

Went to see the sound of music last night at New Theatre Cardiff.

This wasn’t one I was excited to be going to see.

Yup, you’ve guessed it, never seen the film. Despite working in Austria and this being on once a day every week I’ve never seen it. The dance in the show last night I remembered from Austria as at the time I thought it was a little like welsh dancing.

Each time I go to the theatre I’m taking much more notice of the surroundings last night I noticed how big the stage actually is. I loved how easily the props were used, with bookshelves and a stain glass window for the Abby, then at the family home the stairs looking like white marble and gold! The doors and windows at the front and back with the mountains in the background.

With not knowing the story of the sound of music from the show last night I’m not sure if I really know the whole story.

It started with Maria played by Lucy O’Byrne in the Abby with Mother Abbess, where we learn that Maria has to go to be Governess for the Von Trapp family. Where she could sing where she wanted and not just in the mountains. When they sang My Favourite Things, I knew I knew the song but I had thought it was from Mary poppins! The theatre teaches me something new each time! Captain Von Trapp played by Neil McDermott, he was in control of his children and his staff using a whistle, everyone would jump to attention. Maria didn’t from the start and we could see the relationship build with the children. It was mentioned that the children had played many pranks on their old governess so they would quit, from the start we could see that Maria had a good relationship with each child. She taught the children to sing and helped Captain Von Trapp to love his children as he would have if their mother was still alive. He was the kind caring loving dad and not the in charge man we first met.

There was a love relationship between the oldest daughter Liesl ( Katie Shearman) and Rolf (Jordan Oliver) was nice to see them sing and dance across the stage to Sixteen Going On Seventeen. Each child who was played by three different actors were brilliant, they were very confident and that was great to see from even the littlest. They each had a part to play throughout and done it very well.

When Maria went back to the Abby after she realised she was falling in love with Captain Von Trapp and Mother Abbess told her love works in different ways and she went back to find that Captain Von Trapp was getting married to Ursula, until Captain Von Trapp set eyes back on Maria.

They married, then every thing changed when the Nazis wanted him. They fled to Switzerland using the mountains. I loved the end when the net was showing the mountains in the background, and the family fleeing up the steps looking like they were in the hills.

I took my mam along to this, she had seen the film so knew what to expect, she was a little disappointed that certain songs were in a different place to the film, but not seeing the film this didn’t stop me from enjoying the performance. For one that I really didn’t fancy as much as others I’m glad I went. Even if it was to learn the song wasn’t from Mary Poppins!

I do think that as there were quite a few children in the audience that maybe the starting time should have been at the earlier time of 7 like other family shows have been in the past as it’s a long show of 2 hours 40 minutes.

Sound of Music is at New Theatre Cardiff Tuesday 13th – Saturday 17th February and you can get tickets here. *

* I was gifted my tickets for a review.

Posted in Uncategorized

Why?

I’m pretty sure Z likes mess, he likes everything everywhere.

Earlier on was treating his head for nits, I hate nits and I hate autism the same time.

Anyone swear we were murdering him just applying the stuff, the wet, oily slippery stuff.

Takes the two of us to get it done, husband washes his hands, as he’s done and puts the clothes in the wash Z runs upstairs.

By the time G gets up the stairs after him, in less than two minutes he was greeted to this.

That is everything swiped off units and wardrobes including shelves. Things broken, things smashed.

A five year old in full meltdown mode because his head had to be treated.

An hour and half later it’s tidy or as tidy as I’m getting it tonight.

Makes tea, Z’s playing up stairs. I put all his balls away in the sensory room to be met with wallpaper ripped off, the mirrors pulled off the wall.

Next up bag for school goes upstairs and he had pulled everything out again. I shouted near enough in tears that all weekend I’ve cleaned, I’ve picked toys up, books up, jigsaws up. I’ve swept food up, washed clothes and it looks like I’ve done nothing nothing at all . As I shouted Z came running down and emptied all the balls back out.

When the social worker comes here tomorrow she can see the mess see the mass destruction he causes, what do I do put all his toys in the bin?

Posted in Review

Flashdance The Musical.

Another amazing night at New Theatre Cardiff for Flashdance The Musical.

Before the show started was chatting to a few other people and was pleased to find out that this time I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t seen the film!

Waiting for the show to start we had a a safety curtain with Lights and Flashdance in bright pink and purple.

When the show started, the intro song What a feeling, my first thought was it was like being back at the Madonna concert when I could only pay attention to the dancers, they were the best part of that show! Last night I was thinking there is no way they can keep up that level of amazing dancing through out, but they did. My legs and arms ached for them!

When the safety curtain went up and we could then see how fit each and everyone of them were I was in awe! Honestly, Joanne Clifton who plays Alex in the show even has a six pack! Yes I wouldn’t have known this as no I don’t watch strictly either! All through the first half I kept thinking Hurley looked familiar, or his voice sounded familiar, when I looked at the program Hurley was played by Ben Adams from the 90’s band A1! Wonder if stars actually get star struck too working alongside big names?!

The story is set in the 80’s, in a town where everyone wants something better for themselves. Alex of course, who dreamed to be a dancer, she was working as a welder and dated the boss, Nick Hurley, who at seemed to have it all when everyone else in the town was struggling. The girls work in a bar as dancers, this is where Alex first met Hurley, they are often poached for the strip club down the road that ‘pays’ more. Alex’s friend encourages her to apply to the dance academy but with no official dance training she’s reluctant. Hannah played by Carol Ball, is like Alex’s mento and encourages her to try out for the academy when she put her request in. Then she finds out that Hurley had paid money and she didn’t get the chance all by herself she wants to leave, goes to say by to Hannah and finds out she’s died she uses that as motivation to go anyways. She won them over with her own unique way of dancing.

What I loved is the fact that they used the props as props to dance to get them in position and also the use of the lighting at the audience so the stage was all light up for the big changes, something I’ve not seen before!

The audience were all up clapping at the end again to What a feeling! You could see how enthusiastic each and everyone of those cast members were, at 10pm they still had more energy than I do at 10am!

I’d say you have to go watch it, just to see them dance! You can buy tickets here . Flashdance is at the New Theatre from Tuesday 6th – Saturday 10th Feb 2018.

I was gifted my tickets for a review, all opinions are my own.

Posted in journey to Zero waste, zero waste

Home made toilet bombs!

Ok not sure they should be called toilet bombs will that word get flagged up?!

Not sure but any how’s, today I attempted them, I’m think I’ll be fine with my toilet bombs as the bath ones are called bath bombs right.

A few different versions came up when I googled how to make some and like baking they had measurements,

Me, I don’t do measurements I chuck things in and hope for the best!

You will need

Bicarbonate of soda. Citric acid. Essential oil. Water . Bowl and I used a fork and a spray bottle.

I mixed ( in the plastic container that my reduced salad came in the other day!) the bicarbonate of soda and citric acid together whilst adding in a few drops of essential oil, I could only find strawberry scent when I was out yesterday, had no idea how much to use so quite a few drops later my house smells very strawberryish!

I wasn’t sure how much water to add as I didn’t want it to fizz everywhere and then wouldn’t fizz again so I sprayed a little in again whilst mixing, of course the water was reacting as soon as so I quickly transferred it into the mould.

I left it for around 40 minutes then went to check on it. I had visions of it being like that porridge book I read as a kid! But it didn’t keep expanding, and stayed like this.

Next up I scrapped the excess off the top, back into the boil, I’ll see if it can be used to make more.

I’ve only popped out the one, it didn’t crumble which I’m taking as a win! Ok it’s not super strong and wouldn’t take much to crumble, but staying together I’m pleased with.

And guess what……

It worked…….

It fixed away lovely, and my bathroom smells of strawberry.

I think next time I’m going to go with a lemon smell it may have that fresher smell about it.

But for now my first attempt at zero waste toilet cleaner has been a success! All in all I paid around £3 for what I needed and made 11 toilet bombs, I still have at least half of the box of both boxes left and lots of oil. If the scrapped mix works I may get another 2-3 out of them so 14 toilet bombs for £3 I’m taking as a win!

Posted in less plastic

February a new month

So January came in quick and I think left quicker than it came!

I attempted veganuary and of course my less plastic.

As for veganuary I didn’t do too bad, I didn’t go complete vegan as eggs are part of my poor diet other than that one small piece of chicken in lemon sauce whilst out having lunch that was me done. No McDonald’s, no bacon or sausage when I’ve been out for breakfast.

Will I keep at it? I quite liked the veggie food, my only problem is most of it contains wheat, so it’s hard going but I have eaten lots more veggies!

Less plastic

I haven’t bought a plastic bottle ( can we not count the four that came with Z’s happy meals please as everything they offer is plastic and I’ve not yet bought my keepy cup!) when shopping I’ve bought squash in glass bottles, more j2o than plastic bottles of pop, or cans that’s are either loose or the big packs in cardboard, no plastic. I’ve been out and not used a straw, I did go to J’s for a few drinks and I did have a straw left my paper ones at home but I used the same one all night, whilst feeling guilty!

I’ve not bought one single use plastic bag. I said no to bags when offered for my loose veg, I was annoyed at one point when unpacking I realised the lady had put something in a plastic bag maybe something silly like flour that was in a paper bag to start with. I’ve not sent in a single plastic bag with Z’s pack lunch as I ordered him a reusable wrap, I’m now waiting on my reusable bags for his lunch. Ok I did wrap some up in kitchen towel but I’m noticing I’m making more of an effort to not just use it, that’s what my reusable kitchen towel is for. There for the one I have here is lasting a while same as toilet paper. If we’re low we don’t seem to use as much so it’s one roll out at a time! I’ve made a few changes like bicarbonate of soda to clean and vinegar. Small changes to get the pooch off dried dog food in non recycled packets to either tinned food and more left over foods. ( he’s loving the change! Wonder what the vet will think 😬) even simple things like I’ve not bought my Yorkshire puddings but attempted to make them, along with attempting to make granola bars.

I know I still have a way to go, next up is when my razor needs changing to get a safety one, I’m still looking at getting Z reusable nappies / pull ups for the home. Of course my keepy cup.

It’s all been really good for my black bin and it’s only going out every two weeks with one full black bag and excess nappies now if I can get bigger reusable ones that’ll go down again in the end I’ll have zero waste which is my aim. Eventually!

I also need to start getting fresh fruit and veg from the market or local greengrocer. They are my February challenges.