InstaLinkLove – week 63 #instalinklove 

By | November 18, 2017

Welcome to the sixty-third week of InstaLinkLove.  

I am really enjoying looking after the linky whilst Vicky, Ross, Grace and Ross settle into their live as a happy family of four.

If you haven’t joined us before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky. All you need to do is link up the URL from up to two of your most recent Instagram posts. We suggest most recent because this is better for interaction.

All you need to do is find your Instagram account on-line, click on the photo that you want to link up, click on “share post” and then copy and paste the link to that specific page.

 
The only condition is that you go over and like everyone else who links up.

Here’s my favourites from last week’s link-up:

Please remember the rules:

*You can link up to 2 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up.

It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community.

Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x

Facebook Comments

Small Steps Amazing Achievements #SmallStepsAA 14/11/17

By | November 14, 2017

Welcome to this week’s Small Steps Amazing Achievements, as Jane at @ourlitescapades and I co-host, the Linky is back with me this back.    

Thank you to everyone who linked up last time, we enjoyed reading your posts.
 

If this is your first time reading this, you can find out about the Small Steps Amazing Achievements linky here, we do hope you join in. Posts can be old or new and please don’t forget to visit and comment on other posts too, helping to spread the linky love.

Here’s the badge code if you’d like to grab it:

<div align="center"><a href="http://ourlittleescapades.com/small-steps-amazing-achievements/" title="Our Little Escapades" target="_blank"><img src="http://ourlittleescapades.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/SmallSteps.jpg" alt="Our Little Escapades" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Jane and I enjoy reading and commenting on your posts and sharing them via the #SmallStepsAA hashtag.

Here’s my highlights from last week’s linky:

@ordinaryhopes shared a post illustrating that Autism is not always the problem 

@mysquarepeglife has had a momentous chat with her girl 

And @kidsontour1 reminded me that a “can do” approach is far healthier for wellbeing than a “can’t”. We have a cardboard box lover here too!

 
Please pop your old/new posts below, we’re looking forward to reading them!

Facebook Comments

EHCP beckons 

By | November 12, 2017

D received her Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) at age 5.5, it was very much welcomed as she wasn’t coping in mainstream education at all and we knew that for her to go down the SN school route, she needed a Statement.

Her SEN Statement was refused at the first attempt and I remember feeling so absolutely powerless, very emotional and really quite baffled that someone who had never met our daughter and was unlikely to meet her, decides her fate based on budgetary assumptions, she was a number on a sheet.  

It was an extremely emotional time, on the occasions that D would enter the classroom willingly (not that often), she’d soon become overwhelmed by the sensory issues associated with a 30+ class and, as I understand it, spent most of her school day either outside in the hallway with her TA or – on the assumption she could be in class – on the lowest grade table because staff didn’t understand her needs.

One of her teachers described her to me as “flighty”. Nice eh? Mind you, this was at the same school who’d strap a Down’s syndrome boy into his buggy and leave him outside the classroom, unsupervised.  

So, a statement of SEN was very much needed, both to meet D’s future needs and to reassure us, as D’s parents, that she was in the most appropriate setting for her.

Luckily D’s Statement was granted after an appeal and within six weeks she was offered a place at SN school, somewhere where she has felt safe and with the smaller class size/higher staff ratio, she has flourished.  

She entered SN school too traumatised to read, could just about trace her name and totally unable to enter a busy classroom/dinner hall/assembly without being overcome and melting down.

She’s now 13.5 and the school are still working to her original Statement.  Every annual review the box that says “amendment needed” (or something) is ticked and then we’ll get a letter from the LEA saying they’ve checked it and it doesn’t!

Tomorrow though we take the first steps to transferring D to an EHCP, one that should see her through to age 25.   Finally!

Having a SN child (or children) can make for a large number of meetings and I thought I’d share our tips for preparing for them, it’s also a blog prompt for Family Fund for this month.

Write down what you want to mention:
It’s easy to imagine you’ll remember something you want to say, but write it down! Any meetings regarding your child can get emotional as you are concerned for their wellbeing and want the best for them, it’s natural to cry, we invest so much time and energy into trying to do our best.  Write it down and have a tissue in your bag/pocket.  Put a water bottle in too. 

Invite others:
If you have been consulting a professional (eg speech and language, educational psychologist) and you feel their input would benefit the meeting but they haven’t been invited, ask them to attend.  It would be reassurance for you, if they can’t attend, ask that they submit a report.
If you feel you’d get reassurance from a friend/relative being with you, bring them.

Take a picture:
I don’t mean of the meeting attendees, but a picture of your child, show the people there your child, a reminder that you’re talking about someone rather than “x” on a budget sheet. 

If a video of your child would help demonstrate needs, ask if it can be played.  Make sure they are clothed though, just in case it’s refused a play due to a lack of clothes. 

Are we set? Hopefully, as long as my #scarfeet behave and I’ve had a coffee, I hope so.  

Because our D is depending on us and we want the very best we can for her.

Facebook Comments

InstaLinkLove – week 62 #instalinklove

By | November 11, 2017

Welcome to the sixty-second week of InstaLinkLove.I am really enjoying looking after the linky whilst Vicky, Ross, Grace and Ross settle into their live as a happy family of four.

If you haven’t joined us before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky. All you need to do is link up the URL from up to two of your most recent Instagram posts. We suggest most recent because this is better for interaction.

All you need to do is find your Instagram account on-line, click on the photo that you want to link up, click on “share post” and then copy and paste the link to that specific page.

The only condition is that you go over and like everyone else who links up.

Here’s my favourites from last week’s link-up:

Please remember the rules:

*You can link up to 2 images per Instagram Account per week.

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up.

It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community.

Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x

Facebook Comments

HD Brows and me

By | November 8, 2017

One advantage of being a blondie is that any (unwanted) hairs don’t show up as quickly as they may for people with darker hair, but a disadvantage is that some hairs might not show up at all!

I’m talking about eyebrows, which can really frame your frame and make such a difference to wellbeing and photos.

A few months ago, before my op, I tried out a procedure I hadn’t tried before for my eyebrows – HD brows. I’m now a firm fan and – I haven’t received a free service or been paid to write about this – I thought I’d pop down what happens during an HD brows appointment in case anyone was wondering what goes on.

The whole procedure takes about half an hour and it’s not as painful as I thought it would be, but as it involves waxing, it isn’t painless, it depends on your pain threshold.

I went to the beautician who looks after my nails so was very familiar with her and as the procedure involves lying on a bed-thing, I didn’t want someone I’d never met before.

First up, we discussed which colour I’d like, I have very pale eyebrow hair and didn’t want something too obvious, just a mid-dark brown that would enhance my eyes.

Here’s my brows before the procedure:

I had darker hair in these photos btw so definitely needed some brow definition.

So, once we’d decided on a colour, it was tint time! For this, as my hairs are so pale and fine, a larger area was covered so that all the hairs were tinted.

This photo makes me laugh so much, I look like a pair of slugs have slithered onto my forehead!

After a few moments with the tint on, it was wiped off and then the shaping started.

Warm wax was used next, to define the shape, under my brow line, above my brow line and between my brows. I expected this to hurt but as the wax is warmed and it’s a very quite removal of the waxing paper, it was okay and all over very quickly.

Then it was time for threading to capture any remaining stray hairs, again fairly pain-free and a strange almost elastic sound as the hairs are taken away.

After each procedure I had a mirror to look at so see how it was progressing and whether I was happy with the colour and shape.

And this was the result afterwards, my brows are more defined and I have a nice shape to them, especially the arch wards as that is where I have the finer eyebrow hairs.

The tint lasts quite a while here and I only need the full HD treatment about every 3-4 months, in between times (about 2 months) I have a tint and tidy-up, which is as it sounds, another tint and removal of any hairs in order to keep the shape.

I was chatting in crochet group to the ladies afterwards, one lady has her brows tattooed, which need re-doing every two years or so and the price of HD brows four times a year versus tattooing every two years works out more or less the same, this may vary in other areas.

During the first few post-op weeks when I didn’t feel like doing anything to my face bar a bit of mascara (my eyelashes are very fair too), it was good to have the treatment beforehand as it made me feel a bit better.

Have you tried HD brows?

Facebook Comments

Small Steps Amazing Achievements 6/11/17 #SmallStepsAA 

By | November 6, 2017

Welcome to this week’s Small Steps Amazing Achievements, as Jane at @ourlitescapades and I co-host, the Linky is back with me for a few weeks whilst Jane and her family enjoy their Disney holiday.

Thank you to everyone who linked up last time, we enjoyed reading your posts.

If this is your first time reading this, you can find out about the Small Steps Amazing Achievements linky here, we do hope you join in. Posts can be old or new and please don’t forget to visit and comment on other posts too, helping to spread the linky love.

Here’s the badge code if you’d like to grab it:

<div align="center"><a href="http://ourlittleescapades.com/small-steps-amazing-achievements/" title="Our Little Escapades" target="_blank"><img src="http://ourlittleescapades.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/SmallSteps.jpg" alt="Our Little Escapades" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

We enjoy reading, commenting on and sharing your posts using the #SmallStepsAA hashtag. 

Here’s my highlights from last week’s posts:

Max had a great Halloween to the delight of @marylinmuir

@kidsontour1 has an interview with her son and I found the answers very enlightening 

And 

@grumpycarer shares what is indeed a major achievement 
The linky is open until midnight on Friday 10th November, please link up with old or new posts below, we’re looking forward to reading them x 

Facebook Comments

Our T at 15yrs 

By | November 5, 2017

Wow, how on earth can time pass so quickly?  It doesn’t seem 15 years yesterday since we welcomed our son into the world.  In typical T-fashion, he wasn’t early or late, but bang on his due date.  

These past few years have seen challenges for T; from the realisation that his primary school wasn’t meeting his needs and a school move in year 5, to his autism diagnosis at age 10, then the appeal to ensure he got into the most appropriate secondary school for him and this term, the fact he now takes two trains and then a walk to school as the school bus service ceased.

Through it all, he’s kept (mostly) constant with his main passion remaining football, as it has been from 18 months old.   He could identify all the teams in the Premier League by their badges at age 2 and would carry laminated top trumps football cards and a badge sheet everywhere.  His nursery teacher would know that T would update her on all the football scores every Monday morning, such a good memory for stats even then! When playing, he is luckily a good left-footed player and has seen team (and club) changes but seems settled in his current team and enjoys the fact that his team plays as a team and his team mates take it seriously.  Because T does, very.

He sticks to the food he’s always liked to eat and, despite the fact he’s studying nutrition as part of his GCSE course, sticks to the bland “white” foods he’s always eaten – toast, white bread with bovril, weetabix, yoghurts.  The only fruit he enjoys are blueberries and in his typical “all or nothing” attitude, will very easily polish off the majority of a white loaf or a punnet of blueberries during an evening.  

As well as football being his passion, watching YouTube takes up a “lot” of his time, it can get a little bit frustrating trying to hold a conversation past three grunted answers or actually getting yourself heard because the headphones are always on, but it’s his calming, regulating method after a day at school (not to mention the challenges of the journey).

T’s presents yesterday were very football-focussed, the new FIFA game (perhaps Sainsbury’s will now stop suggesting that game to me during online shops), the new Home and third kit shirts and shorts for the team he supports and various other bits.  I had a little chuckle when he presented us with a “wish list” which included designer sliders, no doubt because he’s seen the players he admires wearing them – no, Just no.  Fortunately he seemed pleased with his haul.

GCSEs beckon in the next couple of years and that will be a challenge, T has the most amazing memory for facts and stats, I hope he doesn’t get overly stressed and gives them a good go.

We just want him to be happy and hope that the next 15 years don’t pass by as fast!

Facebook Comments

Our T at 15yrs 

By | November 5, 2017

Wow, how on earth can time pass so quickly?  It doesn’t seem 15 years yesterday since we welcomed our son into the world.  In typical T-fashion, he wasn’t early or late, but bang on his due date.  

These past few years have seen challenges for T; from the realisation that his primary school wasn’t meeting his needs and a school move in year 5, to his autism diagnosis at age 10, then the appeal to ensure he got into the most appropriate secondary school for him and this term, the fact he now takes two trains and then a walk to school as the school bus service ceased.

Through it all, he’s kept (mostly) constant with his main passion remaining football, as it has been from 18 months old.   He could identify all the teams in the Premier League by their badges at age 2 and would carry laminated top trumps football cards and a badge sheet everywhere.  His nursery teacher would know that T would update her on all the football scores every Monday morning, such a good memory for stats even then! When playing, he is luckily a good left-footed player and has seen team (and club) changes but seems settled in his current team and enjoys the fact that his team plays as a team and his team mates take it seriously.  Because T does, very.

He sticks to the food he’s always liked to eat and, despite the fact he’s studying nutrition as part of his GCSE course, sticks to the bland “white” foods he’s always eaten – toast, white bread with bovril, weetabix, yoghurts.  The only fruit he enjoys are blueberries and in his typical “all or nothing” attitude, will very easily polish off the majority of a white loaf or a punnet of blueberries during an evening.  

As well as football being his passion, watching YouTube takes up a “lot” of his time, it can get a little bit frustrating trying to hold a conversation past three grunted answers or actually getting yourself heard because the headphones are always on, but it’s his calming, regulating method after a day at school (not to mention the challenges of the journey).

T’s presents yesterday were very football-focussed, the new FIFA game (perhaps Sainsbury’s will now stop suggesting that game to me during online shops), the new Home and third kit shirts and shorts for the team he supports and various other bits.  I had a little chuckle when he presented us with a “wish list” which included designer sliders, no doubt because he’s seen the players he admires wearing them – no, Just no.  Fortunately he seemed pleased with his haul.

GCSEs beckon in the next couple of years and that will be a challenge, T has the most amazing memory for facts and stats, I hope he doesn’t get overly stressed and gives them a good go.

We just want him to be happy and hope that the next 15 years don’t pass by as fast!

Facebook Comments

InstaLinkLove Week 61 #instalinklove 

By | November 4, 2017

Welcome to the sixty-first week of InstaLinkLove. 

I am really enjoying looking after the linky whilst Vicky, Ross, Grace and Ross settle into their live as a happy family of four.  

If you haven’t joined us before, then this is the easy-to-use linky which helps you get your Instagram posts a bit more interaction and interest. 

Thank you to everyone who linked up last week and welcome to those who are back for more and those who are first-timers.

This is a really straightforward, no stress (none of us need that in our lives!), easy to use linky. All you need to do is link up the URL from up to two of your most recent Instagram posts. We suggest most recent because this is better for interaction. 

All you need to do is find your Instagram account on-line, click on the photo that you want to link up, click on “share post” and then copy and paste the link to that specific page.

The only condition is that you go over and like everyone else who links up. 

Here’s my favourites from last week’s link-up: 

Please remember the rules:

*You can link up to 2 images per Instagram Account per week. 

*Please remember to visit and “like” the other pictures linked up.

 

It would also be great if you could share your post with the linky on Instagram using the hashtag #instalinklove to help grow the community. 
 

Thanks and really looking forward to seeing what you’ve been up to on Instagram this week x 

Facebook Comments

Wooden toy gift ideas from @Hapetoys 

By | November 2, 2017

Being a mum and someone who has worked with young children, I absolutely love the wide range of educational toys that are available, toys that teach children new skills without them necessarily realising it.

I also have a love for wooden toys, the whole retro type feel, as well as the knowledge that the toy has been crafted to last and doesn’t need batteries (hurrah!).

Hape Toys sent over a range for us to take a lot at and, yes with the “C” word approaching, here’s what we thought, in age order:

Retro Play Walkers (from 10 months):


Aren’t these amazing? Perfect for that retro feel and available as a VW Beetle or VW camper van.

They are super-de-dooper easy to put together and not only is the handle adjustable but, when your child is starting those first hesitant pull-ups, there’s also a speed reducer.


The attention to detail is fab and, as you’ll see, there’s plenty of room to transport favourite toys around:

Prices start at £37.85 from Amazon.

Suitable from age 12 months is this rather fab Shake and Match sorter, I love the educational possibilities with this, from colours to shapes and a bit of stacking too.  

The base has elasticated handles so can be carried around, or looked through and the shapes have little beads in the middle so make a very satisfying rattle when shaken!


Both the base and (all bar two of the) shapes could be used as eye pieces (spot the cat!).

Excellent for developing hand-eye co-ordination and so many play opportunies aren’t there? Prices for this start from £12 from Amazon.

Wooden puzzles:

We’re massive fans of wooden puzzles here and this “Five Buses” one (suitable from 24 months) has so many possibilities for play and learning:


Firstly there’s the stacking element, from small to largest, you can incorporate finding the pieces by colour or size, looking at the passengers (both humans and animals) and make up a journey for them all.  
Great for encouraging social skills and hand-eye co-ordination.


I really like how easy the pieces are to get out, see the hole at the back in the picture.

And, from age 3 years, a really cool cat puzzle:


As per the buses one, there’s an easy to play hole at the reverse and, as with the previous puzzle, easy storage in the plastic holder (hurrah, no pieces to step on!).


The pieces are great, slightly trickier to match the shapes as it’s from 3 years but so many play opportunities, look out for the sleeping cats, the jumping cat and the happy cats, plenty of scope for “which cat is red, how many cats are asleep?” etc.

You can find these puzzles in the Hape section at Debenhams or via Amazon.


What do you think? Where do you stand on the wooden v electric toys?

We were sent these items by Hape for review, our thoughts and words are our own.

Facebook Comments