When things go wrong, but turn out right 

A few weeks ago I decided to try out a Channel Mum hack for making playdough. It showed the lovely Emily Norris making (non edible) playdough with just three ingredients.

• Cornflour

• Conditioner

• Food colouring

I took lots of photos to show the process and end result, so I could write a post about it.



BUT…. I just couldn’t get the consistency right. It was either too wet or too dry. I tried adding more conditioner, more cornflour. But it wasn’t meant to be. Every time I got what I thought was the right consistency it would start to crumble. It ended up more of a gloop, which my kids loved anyway. So no Mum points were lost. Phew!

A few days later I decided to try again with a recipe which was ultimately the same but substituted the cornflour for normal flour and it worked. Hurray! Me and my two middle boys had a great time making it, I didn’t take any photos this time whilst making it but, when it was finished and I realised how well it had worked I thought I would take some pics to share on Instagram and to say how easy it was to make… That’s when it all went wrong.

I popped upstairs to get my phone, leaving the boys playing with the playdough. I came down to this.

They had tipped a cup of cordial all over the table soaking the playdough. I’m not going to lie I was frustrated, why do they have to destroy everything?

* I know they weren’t destroying they were experimenting, but I’m tired and hormonal and yeah.

Anyway, we managed to sort the situation by adding more flour (after drying and cleaning the table). This is what we ended up with. Not too shabby and it’s the soft playdough EVER as verified by my eight year old who said it felt like “rainbows and dreams”.

Zachary got some great sensory feedback from it and was using his whole body to play with it, including his knees. We also got out the Easter biscuit cutters (that were never used at Easter) and the boys had loads of fun with these too.

But before we managed to sort the playdough and have all this fun. We had sprinkled the table wth flour to knead the wet playdough and the kids absolutely loved it.

Flour was everywhere including on our shoes. Zachary and Darwin helped to clear it up. They were drawing shapes and doing mark making, saying different letters and numbers. It ended up being lots of fun. I found a new activity for them to do and it’s super cheap too.

So things never worked out how I planned, but the boys learnt a few things about cleaning up, working together and got to work on some important skills which will help develop their literacy and numeracy. Most of all they fun.

That’s two happy little boys, albeit a bit floury.
Thanks for reading

Cherrysnotmyname 🍒

Cherie 💕

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Our Favourite Five [July]

This month I am joining some fellow bloggers who participate in Surburban Mum ‘s link up Our Favourite Five I found out about this last month when my fellow Mummy blogger Mrssavageangel participated. I highly recommend popping over and checking out their blogs and if you like what you see, subscribe.

The Idea is that you pick out the Top Five Things that either you or all your family have enjoyed that month. It’s  a great way to remember the good things about the month and who knows you may even inspire or be inspired. Here are our TOP 5

 

Number One: THE PARK

When it’s the summer holidays and you have three boys to keep happy it can quickly get expensive. When it’s been raining and you’ve  been stuck in the house, sometimes you just have to get out. We love the park, it’s Freeee! The kids get fresh air and a run round. Win. Win. Win.

Oliver (7) normally ends up making friends, Zachary (3.5) just loves the freedom and Darwin (1.5) loves to climb. We like to keep it fresh by going to different parks with different people. Sometimes we will have ice cream, sometimes we will take a ball and other times snacks for a mini picnic. We are certainly making the most of the park whilst it is still summer.

Number Two: SWIMMING

Swimming has normally been something I haven’t been confident enough to do with the boys on my own and pool rules state I can’t as you can only have two under eight. I have three. This month has provided a few opportunities when I have only two of the boys to go swimming and Oh My! They are all well and truly water babies.

Oliver has been having swimming lessons for 12 months+ and is pretty confident in the water. Zachary has absolutely no fear and once he has his arm bands on there is no stopping him. Darwin loves to splash (no surprises there). It’s a lovely activity that allows for some Mummy and son time and it gives us all a bit of exercise and wears the boys out. As Oliver has a leisure card and Zachary and Darwin are free as they are under four, I get a discount as Zachary’s carer it is a grand total of £3.15 per swim session. Not bad at all.

 
Zachary was so excited this is how he went to swimming even though it was raining.

 

Number Three: Prepping for Tenerife 

This has been pretty exciting for me. We have been buying things to make sure we have everything we need from sun screen to shoes <see image above, Darwin’s new lightweight shoes from Clark’s a bargain at £20> I have loved buying the kids clothes from both the High street and smaller online businesses. Hubby has spent a small fortune in H&M their clothes are reasonably priced and practical, we love the leggings in the girls section for Darwin. The only problem is I have let the boys wear most of the pieces over here already, however I guess that just means we are getting more bang for our buck.

I have also bought Zachary an ICE ID bracelet, he has autism and can’t always communicate effectively. God forbid should he get lost this would help minimise any danger. I have also bought a second pair of reins and we have about 9 different hats between all three boys. I want to make sure they are protected and safe in the sun at all times. This is only my second time abroad (My first time was also to Tenerife five years ago for my honeymoon). This is our first family holiday abroad and i am very excited as  my Mum, Mother-in-law, Brother and Sister-in-law are all coming too. It’s going to be a real family affair.

  

Number Four: PEPPA PIG

Peppa pig currently dominates our screens and therefore our lives. Both Zachary and Darwin adore Peppa pig and when my niece came to stay we found out she too adores Peppa pig (seriously, what are her magical addictive powers?). She played with the Peppa pig toys and she sat quietly acting out stories,

Oh, so they are meant to be played with, not smashed and thrown and broken into pieces

-Sean aka Dad

That was Sean’s reaction to seeing the toys being played with appropriately. Peppa has managed to take over in the popularity stakes pushing Thomas and friends into second place, this was no easy feat.

I myself am not particularly keen on Peppa pig, particularly the portrayal of Daddy pig. Who is an Overweight, greedy, incompetent, bumbling male character. This does not sit well with me, but I guess that is my inner feminist** coming out, but that is a discussion for another blog post.

BONG. BING. BOO. BING. BONG .BING. BING. BONG. BINGLY. BUNGLY. BOO

[ ** I believe/ interpret feminism to mean equality and therefore it not about empowering women whilst emasculating men. just a though]

 

Number Five: NATURE

This month, I have particularly liked nosing at people’s gardens. I am in no way green fingered, but I love flowers and plants, although purely for their aestheics. I do not know much about them at all. this month I have taken lots of pictures of flowers, the colours are so striking and the shapes and sizes of the petals are very interesting. the boys and I have been pointing out the different colours we can see and if they are big or small. Zachary has started observing more and communicating what he can see “Owl’ it was a seagull, “white” it was a cloud and “spider” it was an ant, we don’t mind he labelled them wrong we are just glad he is sharing what he sees. Darwin has also learnt to say ‘fower’ too. We think nature is pretty cool and we love going on bug hunts and nature walks. Its great because you can do it all year round.

Zachary and I had a trip to Weston Supermare, if you would like to have a look at what we did, please check out our Stellar Story we also made one about a nature walk we went on, please feel free to look at that one also Look Mummy.

So, what have you enjoyed this month? Do you want to play along next month? I hope so

Thanks for reading

Mynamesnotcherry

The Kids Quiz

 

 I had seen this quiz on Facebook and decided to share the answers that I got from Oliver (7y8m) and Zachary (4y9m).

The Set Up

Without any prompting, asking your children these questions and write down exactly what they say. It is a great way to find out what they think.

Q1) What is something Mum always say to you?

O – Say Thank you

Z- Shopping. ice cream. Tasty. Bin

Q2) What makes you happy?

O – When I get to lie down with my Mummy and give her a big hug

Z – I na know

Q3) How does Mum make you laugh?

O – When she says seriously silly things

Z – *No answer given*

Q4) What makes Mum sad?

O – When someone dies

Z – Happy

Q5) What was mummy like as a child?

O – Ummm, she was very good at literacy and she was very kind. I remember you were a teenager and you left the door open and Aunty Sabrina came with you and got ran over. **

Z – Shops

Q6) How old is Mum?

O – 30

Z – No *starts laughing* 

Q7) How tall is Mum?

0 – Ummmm, I would say at least 50 cms

Z – My socks

Q8) What is Mum’s favourite thing to do?

O – To sit down and cuddle me

Z- go to the shop. Eat. Back in the box. Darwin

Q9) What does Mum do when you are not around?

O – Watch TV

Z – Shop

Q10) What is your Mum really good at?

O – Literacy

Z – Uh

Q11) What is your Mum really NOT good at?

O – Maths, she is absolutely terrible at maths even I am better than ou and I am only seven. *hystericsl laughter*

Z – Owwwwwwwww

Q12) What does your Mum do for a job?

O – Look after Zachary and Darwin

Z – Catch the throw

Q13) What is your Mum’s favourite food?

O – Is it prawns? But now you don’t eat meat or fish, sooo Veggie burgers?

Z – NO! *shakes head*

Q14) What makes you proud of Mum?

O – When I get good attendance and when I am kind.

Z – Blue Mum, Pink Mum

Q15) What do you and Mum do together?

O – Watch movies, read books, sometimes we have a date and go out together to do something fun.

Z – Together walk

Q16) How are you and Mum the same?

O – Because we are mixed raced and kind

Z – Party

Q17) How are you and Mum not the same?

O – I play the Playstation 4, you don’t

Z – Bridge

Q18) How do you know that Mum loves you?

O – Because you always give me hugs and kisses and you tell me

Z – Choo Choo

Q19) What does Mum like most about Dad?

O – That he is loving

Z – Sleep. Daddy sleep. A toilet

Q20) Where is Mum’s favourite place to go?

O – A restaurant like Nandos or something

Z – Playground house my

Q21) How old was Mummy when she had you?

O – Twenty something

Z – Ice cream, I Playground 

Final thoughts

I really enjoyed this and thought some of the answers were pretty funny. ** I would just like to explain, that Oliver hasn’t give the the whole story about when my younger sister got ran over. There are a few things I would like to clarify. First I was not a teenager, I was not responsible for her. She stood on her toy truck and unlocked the front door and followed me, she came out into the road from between 2 cars on her toy truck and was unfortunately hit by..Get this…Meals on wheels….I am not making this up.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to speak very briefly about speech and language. I have a very limited understanding, But I thought this quiz showed excellently how a child can have the ability to speak yet have delayed understanding and communication skills. Zachary’s vocabulary is constantly expanding yet he is often unable to understand questions, or follow lines of conversations etc. Zachary also struggles to change his line of thought, so prior to this quiz we had spoken about walking to the shops to get apples, eggs and ice cream and I said after we would go to the park (or as Zachary calls it the playground), You will notice that those words feature a lot in his answers and that is because he is not actually answering the questions, but repeating something which had been said to him earlier or stating what he wants to do. I used to get upset when he would do this, however now I am that he is responding and engaging, even if it isn’t at he level we wold expect. We celebrate every development. I hope this might help people to understand that there is more to speech and language than just being able to speak, I know i never really understood this before we began on this journey with Zachary.

Thanks for reading

Cherrysnotmyname

March 10th 2015…. A date to be remembered 

So, March 10th. It feels like a date that should be recorded, a date that will be forever etched into my memory. It was after all the day my middle son Zachary was officially diagnosed as having Autistic Spectrum Disorder,ASD. At the tender age of 3 years and 4 months, he is fairly young to have such a big label attached to him. Along with the recently acquired one of Sensory Processing Disorder, SPD. We have been on the journey that lead us to this point for almost a year and in all honesty it is no surprise he was given this diagnosis, in a way it was what we hoped for, I’m not sure if that is the right phrase to use, obviously nobody ‘wants’ their child to have ASD… Imagine a heavily pregnant woman cradling her stomach with a big smile on her face saying ” I hope he has my green eyes, his Dad’s thick brown curly hair and ASD” this is not something that happens. As I said we have been on this journey for almost a year and if he was on the spectrum, I wanted to know as soon as possible, so we could get him the best early intervention available. He has already had so much and now he will continue to get the help and support he needs, anyway as per normal I digress.

So, yes, even though this was what we were expecting it still hit me like I was being slapped round the face by a ton of wet bricks. I know, I know I mixed up my phrases, but that’s what it did to me. I couldn’t think straight. I laughed. I laughed uncontrollably. My husband Sean  had to apologise for me. I do that when I am nervous, I laugh… It is like my brain says…”hey, how can we make this situation any more uncomfortable… Bazinga! Laugh and don’t stop laughing for at least a minute”. I will say I think part of this is down to the way they present you with the diagnosis.

We were back at the Child Development Centre, CDC, they sent me and my husband into a room to read through the report on our own. Here are some of the comments from the report, reading these make me smile as these are just part of who he is.

“He could be almost ‘over-confident’ in his approaches to unfamiliar children”

 “Zachary was observed to flap his hands when enjoying himself. Some fist clenching was observed”

“Zachary’s eye contact was variable. At times he would look in the general direction of someone, but focused on their forehead. At times he could be intense and stare” 

“Zachary was unable to select pictures of objects according to their functions or attributes, eg, something we kick, drive or eat” 

“Zachary did not respond to big or little even with signs and gestures”

We were then joined by our Health visitor, HV, she read through the report with us and said. “It doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know and there is no diagnosis, I am going to ask them what stopped them diagnosing him as clearly something did”. We were a little confused and in all honesty a little disappointed.

At the end of the thirteen page document the assessment summary concluded with this 

” Zachary is a lively enthusiastic little boy who has been making good progress as of late, however his development is still a concern. Zachary is experiencing difficulties in three key areas, communication, social interaction and flexibility of thought and behaviour” 

This left us very perplexed as we thought all they have done is describe our son, we know this about him already hence all the assessments and early intervention work in place with him. after a small discussion with the HV we were joined by the diagnosing Paediatrician and the Teacher who had been present at both assessments at the CDC. We discussed the report and issues that had been raised since our last visit and at the end the Paediatrician read the assessment summary and said “and therefore we are diagnosing Zachary with ASD, do you have any questions?”. This is when I began to laugh, it just seemed so unexpected. After my laughter subsided we spoke seriously about what this diagnosis meant for Zachary and the rest of our family. We already have him down for a nursery this September, the SENCO is amazing, a real salt of the earth type.The CDC knew of both the SENCO and the pre school nursery and agreed it would be ideal for Zachary. When we visited the nursery she spoke of the importance of finding out what behaviours were due to his ‘condition’ and what were due to him being a 3 year old boy.  This made me very happy and I thought Zachary won’t get anything past her and they will challenge him which is exactly what he needs.

We discussed options for schools, the possibility of getting an Education Health plan EHC and he has also been referred back for Speech And Language Therapy, SALT. We left the building knowing that nothing had changed and yet at the same time everything had changed. We walked away saying “Our son is autistic” no maybe, no probably, no possibly. It is what it is. It’s funny because you place so much importance on that diagnosis. Yet Zachary was still Zachary, a happy go lucky, energetic, loving, little boy with some issues and the biggest brightest smile. I am relieved he has the diagnosis, because I know it will bring understanding, patience, tolerance and above all acceptance from many people towards him. I know through school he will continue to receive the help and support he needs and through all the different people working with him, his willingness to learn and the love he has from all of his family and friends. Zachary is going to have such a full life, I can’t wait to watch him grow. I’m excited to be a part of his adventure. So March 10th, the life changing day, where nothing really changed at all, it’s kind of extraordinary, just like Zachary.

Thanks for reading

Cherrysnotmyname 🍒