Friday, 20 May 2016

Riley's bug hunting tips

Bug hunting is one of Riley's most favourite things to do, he's such a typical boy!
It's so easy to do, it's as simple as going outside and looking for bugs! 
Riley in his bug hunting attire

Here are our top tips to help make sure you find some interesting little bugs to keep your little bug hunters entertained for hours at a time, again and again!
A basic kit list that you need would consist of:
  • A clear container ideally a plastic tub or jar with air holes so your little discoveries can be fully examined before being released back into the wild. 
  • A spoon for picking up your creepy crawlies.
  • Camera or notebook and pencil for noting down your findings, you can then research more once you get home and see what kinds of bugs you have discovered.
  • Magnifying glass

We thoroughly recommend this kit from The National Trust website

Before you start it's good to remember....

Be careful to avoid any nasty stings from either bugs or surroundings such as nettles.

Be gentle not to squash any bugs.

Search carefully and quietly, handling the bugs as little as possible to cause the least amount of disturbance as possible.

Any stones or logs should be replaced back to where they were afterwards.

Where to look......
  • Window frames and sills
  • In walls of buildings 
  • climbing plants 
  • cracks in paving slabs and rocks
  • In and under plant pots
  • guttering 
  • flower heads 
  • In grass
  • Under stones, pebbles and logs

Recording your findings: 
  • What colour is it? 
  • How many legs does it have? 
  • How big is it? 
  • Does it have wings? 
  • Where did you find it? 
  • How does it move?
  • Is it eating anything? 
We hope you have lots of fun and find loads of interesting bugs! 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Our journey begins....

Today I signed the form for school to refer Riley to PCAMHS (Primary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) for further assessment. 

It feels like a mixture of emotions to see someone else write .....'shows significant signs of ASD' (autism spectrum disorder) about your child if I'm totally honest. I think even though I know what's in front of me I still have had that little bit of denial in me and I think I will until someone actually confirms autism with a proper written diagnosis. 

Richard Brooks who attended the last meeting at school is pretty experienced in autism and he said ....' It's fairly obvious Riley has autism' and that felt weird to hear. I still feel like I'm imagining it or making it out worse than it is and I think this is partly because a lot of people have reassured me about Riley's traits and features in the past, which I know they were doing to support and help and reassure me but I'm sure this has made me lack my own parenting instincts if I'm totally honest. 

Even though we have been 'in the system' and supported by various professionals, from play workers to speech therapists, since Riley was first referred to a paediatrician aged 2, I feel today marks the start of our diagnosis journey which I'm expecting to be a fairly long one, months if not years but we are finally on the road to getting Riley the support he needs and deserves to grow and develop to his full potential.

Apparently the wait for the first (of many) appointment is up to 18 weeks though they do tend to acknowledge the referral fairly quickly.

So today has been pretty significant and a bit of a reality check for me so trying to get my head around it all, need to get the kids in bed and open some wine and relax in the bath I think :) 

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Hello May!

Is it really May already?!! So what does this month have in store for us... 

Keira has her SATS in a few weeks, she is so laid back about it and is actually looking forward to doing them I think. She has been revising lots, she's surprised me how calm and unfazed she is! I dont remember the school being quite as focused on them when Ellie did them like they are this time round. We have had letters home giving advice on reducing the pressure on the students and what we can do to encourage them and help! Early nights, good breakfast in the morning, stuff like that. We should get the results in July sometime.

We have our first ASD support group next week which is on once a month at the local play centre, I'm really looking forward to talking to others who can relate and advise me as they are going through the same stuff themselves. I have lots of support from friends and family you can't beat first hand experience can you?!

The kids all have their routine check ups at the dentist so fingers crossed that goes ok. Riley has a tooth growing behind another so I will mention that (not that the dentist will be able to miss it!), I'm sure the girls had the same and once the teeth fell out the ones behind straightened up on their own so I'm not overly worried. Riley still hasn't lost any teeth yet but we have a few wobbly ones so shouldn't be long.

I have a meeting at school about Riley next week too which is pretty significant, it's to discuss the report that school are sending to PCAMHS for further assessment and is with a man who is amazingly experienced in Autism and knows his stuff when it comes to ASD and has already helped us loads. I'm dreading reading the report and seeing my son described in black and white by someone else, on the other hand I'm hoping it will give me the confirmation that I'm not imagining things and it's not all in my head. I'm fighting for this diagnosis for Riley to get the support he needs and at times i worry it comes across like I'm a bad parent who needs an excuse for her sons bad behaviour. I just want to be told it's not my parenting at fault and Riley isn't misbehaving, he can't help the way he is! I know it's not but you know what I mean. Ok rambling now so I'll leave it there!

We have a few family birthdays this month, my uncle and my granddad who don't live local so we tend to just send a card in the post or via Funky Pigeon, I love their cards!  Its also our anniversary at the end of the month, we will have been together 9 years, (It's feels like longer though haha!) Im not sure what we will do as it depends on hubby's workload, getting a sitter etc. 10 years next year so we'll definitely do something, I would love to go to New York but that doesn't appeal to hubby, not his kind of place. Got to do something though to mark a decade, maybe renew our vows (even though we have only been married 3 years!) any excuse for a good old party eh!

Hoping the spring weather kicks in soon as I think in the past week we've had all 4 seasons in each day! Come on sun, let's be having you!!😎

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Lexie's first trip to our new library

Our local town is currently under going lots of development and has been for the last couple of years, we have a new Tesco, Sainsbury, a cinema, multi-storey car park and also a brand new civic centre which houses the council services and our new library which has recently opened plus LOADS of new houses!

This morning I went and had a nosey around and registered Lexie at the library so we can borrow some books each visit as she is really showing interest in them recently especially the touchy feely ones and I was so impressed! It's absolutely amazing compared to our old dull and boring library we used to have, so much bigger and brighter and definitely more up to date. 

Friday, 22 April 2016

General update

I'm sorry I've been so bad at updating this year! I can't quite believe we are half way through April already! I definitely think as you age you notice time, even weeks fly by so quick. 

Life really is so short and this year especially has shown this with all these celebrity deaths, I can't believe it so many legends taken in such a short time and most to that awful disease. Heartbreaking it really is.

On a brighter note, we are all doing ok ...

Lexie is nearly 15 months now and is running around and has such a character! She has all of us wrapped around her little finger, she's so cheeky!! She says 'hi ya' to everyone, you'd be surprised at how many people ignore her, bless her cotton socks! Some ignorant so and so's out there! She has 11 teeth and loads of fly away curly hair, she's sleeping so much better than she was and eating everything, (including cat biscuits! Don't ask!) she has a cracking sense of humour and is definitely a daddy's girl!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Update on my fitness and weight loss

Ok so my New Years resolution was to lose weight so I started Slimming World and joined a gym!

I went to my first SW meeting on the 8th January and I have to say it was soooo much better than I was expecting! The consultant was lovely and all the other people at the group were really friendly and I learnt so much staying for Image Therapy after weigh in. My starting weight was 9 stone 4lb. I know to some people this is a great weight but I really do look like I weigh a lot more than this because I have such a small frame and fat in all the wrong places!!! I want to lose about a stone possibly a stone and a half.

My first week went well and I was so surprised with what and how much I could actually eat, I was amazed with my 4.5lb loss the following week. I went on to lose 1.5lb the next week then I maintained for 2 weeks and then lost 1.5lb and for my 1/2 a stone award

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Lexie's 'smash the cake' 1st birthday photoshoot

I thought I'd do the shoot a post of its own as it was such a lovely experience and will be an amazing keepsake to show the kids when they grow up.

I found the company on Facebook and the pictures looked amazing so I booked the shoot quite early on, I think Lexie was only a few months old! I paid £49 and this included a 2 hour shoot with pre cake pictures, the cake and a choice of different outfits to wear and also a print of my favourite picture. Other pictures could also be purchased for additional costs.

The photographer arrived and set up. I was expecting lots of mess obviously but the way they set up made it so easy to clean up and pretty much mess free! They used a disposable backdrop which was on a roll which they pulled down and taped to the floor and at the end they simply cut it off and swept the cake into the middle, folded up and put in a bag and took it away with them! They did it all even though I was ready with the dustpan and brush!!

The choice of outfits was amazing, tutu's in every colour imaginable, necklaces and bows for the little girls and cute little vintage style braves and cute hats for the boys, just adorable! It was a very hard choice but in the end I went with a Minnie Mouse dress for some pre cake photos as her birthday theme was Minnie. For the actual shoot I chose a dark pink tutus with matching hair bow and a pearl type necklace which Lexie loved playing with and this helped keep her attention from crawling off the set!!

I was unsure how she would react to the cake and wondered whether she would get stuck in or hate the mess but she surprised me! She patted the cake a few times so we opened up the cake and gave her a spoon and she soon got stuck in and took a mouthful! 

We got some great pictures and what really helped was the bond Lexie built with the photographer, she loved him! The photos were viewable within 24 hours via an online gallery. I found it really hard to narrow the pictures down so I ended up purchasing 3 other ones in addition to the one included in the package. 

I chose a Minnie Mouse one, a pre cake tutu one, a post cake tutu one and also a post cake tutu one with a 1st birthday hat on! I paid £119 extra, not the cheapest but the pictures are adorable and in my opinion worth every penny! Plus Lexie is my last baby so that's my excuse!!

The only downside to the whole experience is the waiting time for the pictures is 6 weeks which is disappointing but shows how busy they are which goes to show how great the pictures are again! 
Update....... Pics have arrived! 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

My 2016 resolutions - how am I getting on?

My New Years resolutions were to lose weight! I only want to lose 1 stone, maybe a stone and a half max and also tone up my tummy muscles a bit. 

My plan was to eat better and start exercising so I joined slimming world at the beginning of January and I have to say I'm loving it! So far I've lost 6lb and at weigh in on Friday I'm hoping for another 1lb loss so I can get my 1/2 a stone award certificate. I love going to the meeting as they are so helpful and really motivate me for the week ahead!

This week I've also joined the gym and plan to go 3 times a week for an hour each time. I had my induction last Friday and went for an hour on Monday and also did a spinning class this morning followed by an hour in the gym so all going well. I am going again Friday and have also booked a Pilates class. Lexie has been going into the crèche at the leisure centre where the gym is and seems to settle fine for the hour she there and the 2 ladies who work there are lovely.

I'm hoping the exercise doesn't have a negative effect on my weight as I've heard some people gain due to muscle gain when they begin exercising!
I have definitely noticed a change in my mood and I feel generally more energetic and happier within myself and I actually feel rather proud that I've done it all on my own (no moral support from friends etc...) but I have to say it was nerve wrecking but I did it and the worst bit is over now!

Onwards and upwards from here on!!

Lexie turns 1

Where has the last year gone?!! I'm feeling a little sad that my last baby is no longer a baby! 

She turned 1 last Thursday and took her first steps 2 days prior to this so can I now call her a toddler?! 

Monday, 28 December 2015

Lexie's 11 month update

This is nearly 3wks late! It's Lexie's 1st birthday in 10 days!! Nearly birthday time!!! Noooooo my baby is growing up too fast.

Weight - last weigh-in was a few weeks back and she tipped the scales at 22lb 5

Clothes - 12-18 months, bagged up her 9-12 months clothes this week.

Feeding - she'll eat anything and now she has a few more teeth I'm not too worried about what I give her as she can chew better now. She eats what we eat most of the time. She loves blueberries

Teeth - 6!! 4 at the top and 2 at the bottom