Saturday, 22 November 2014

Developmental Delay and Our Son

My Husband and I had a meeting recently with a lady from the Special Educational Needs Department. The meeting took place in the nursery school Little A attends (we could see his little face bobbing up and down occasionally as he looked in the door window) Neither of us were really sure what to expect from this meeting. I guess we thought we would simply be talking about how to help A with his communication and speech, talk about positive steps we could all take and run through some good ideas for games he could play both in nursery and at home to help him.

We have both said all along we are not thinking he has any behavioural problems or learning difficulties. We still weren't really prepared to hear just how far back our little boy is. I would like to state here that I am aware developmental delays are common and he can catch up and I am aware that parents face much harder journeys with their children than this but I am still finding it difficult to process my thoughts and feelings and I hope people can respect that.

Throughout the meeting we all spoke about how A doesn't have much speech, has little understanding of questions put to him eg If you asked him his name he wouldn't respond, he hasn't a clue what you're on about! It was noted that he is a very social boy who maintains eye contact and has an overall enjoyment when in the class and gets on well in general. He doesn't interact much and isn't doing roll playing or imaginative play simply because he has very little physical speech (and without physical speech it's hard to have that in his head) he should be, at the age of nearly 4, using his imagination in that way and playing a little more with others and not so much on his own which he tends to do.

We had some great suggestions on ideas to help him start recognising colours and learning people's names and the nursery are going to supply us with a few bits to use at home which is just fantastic. We are being referred for hearing tests which I'm confident he will pass but that are necessary. In fact, he should have had that a fair while ago but he wasn't referred. He will also be referred to a paediatrician because there are concerns over his sleep which naturally would effect how he does at school.

In regards to the paediatrician, we are hoping to get some answers regarding his head banging at night which has always distressed is but we have been unable to get help for. As he is nearly 4 it's a behaviour he should be growing out of but he is no where near to growing out of it. I'm sure it's all to do with patterns of sleep and probably there isn't much we can do but I'm willing to see what a paediatrician makes of Little A and his whole development.

I guess what really threw me off was that the lady misunderstood the teacher and whilst talking about A she thought he wasn't even 3 yet and she was saying he was behind..when she realised he'll be 4 in a few months and starting school next September she said he is more behind than originally thought. And that just upsets me a little. You can't help but wonder if you did or didn't do something.

Anyway, it was a really positive meeting and we are still aware that of course milestones should be taken with a pinch of salt but sadly he's missing so many you can't turn a blind eye to that. Of course I am confident that we have great support especially as I don't think it's going to be easy!

Thank you to those of you who have read about little A in recent months and offered your support, especially when most of you face far tougher or longer journeys of your own. I very much appreciate it.

Cupcake Mumma

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Week That was: Captured

I've not participated in the lovely Hannah's link up for The Week That a fair while. Whilst we haven't actually been up to much, we've still had a fairly good week (despite the weather!)

Grab button for The Week That Was

Monday- I had Midge home from school after having a weekend full of coughing and being all bunged up. She was quite tired in the morning but perked up throughout the day. She helped me run Little A to school and pick up some bits in town. She decided staying off school was actually utter rubbish because she couldn't stay home alone and had to get soaked whilst helping Mumma with her errands! As she was feeling better we decided pop into Costa and we had a nice hot chocolate before getting A from school ( in the pouring rain!)

Tuesday- I got around to opening this months box from The Kawaii Shop. I love all the fun bits I get and I love happymail. Both children were in school today, I still had to do all the school runs because Hubby got overtime at work. We came straight home and put our pjs on and watched television that day! Otherwise it was a day for just 'getting stuff done!'

Wednesday- There was a break in the bad weather today, hooray! It was a crisp, chilly morning but It was nice to walk home without rushing in the rain. The moon was still out, against the bluest sky I've seen in a long time! We had a double rainbow later in the day which made me happy. I went about town getting some more Christmas gifts to stuff under my bed!

Thursday- Today I got more Christmas bits (I don't drive so I have to go back and forth to get stuff, I'm not obsessed with shopping!) I also had to scout around for a hero costume for Midge and Children in Need. Luckily pound stretcher saved the day! Little A decided he'd quite like to be a nurse, so while Midge was at a friends house he played with his new train set whilst dressed as a nurse.

Friday- I took a nurse and a Buzz Lightyear to school today, always fun! I ran some errands and sorted my house ready for some impending guests arriving tomorrow (excited! There's going to be a baby in my house for the first time in 3 years!) everyone is excited which is so nice. I picked up stocking fillers for the little ones and spent the evening cuddling up to hubby on the sofa watching the box.

Saturday- I'm currently waiting for Kat to arrive with 2 of her little ones. I've been making the rooms suitable and chilling out with the children while I wait! There's a Moses basket all set out, midge and A are excited and have planned to bunk up together tonight. I'm looking forward to lots of hugs, laughter and a take away treat!

Midge at Costa//Little A dressed up//Double rainbow!//Yummy orange hot chocolate all prettied up for Christmas

My rather fantastic Kawaii Box//My travelling notbook which Midge has also filled in!//On Wednesday I voted in the local elections//The moon and a beautiful blue sky//I've booked Hubbys birthday gift from me, a lovely 1 night stay in a hotel together. I can't wait!

Cupcake Mumma

Monday, 10 November 2014

Not so Manic Monday..

I always dread Monday coming around. The weekend flies by, I never have much planned. Hubby is off playing football on Saturdays and then all of a sudden you're wishing Sunday wasn't coming to an end because Monday is the start of more soaking wet school runs, a whole day with no Hubby and well, it's Monday, I'm tired ok?

Today though was different. Midge still wasn't feeling great after spending the weekend coughing and not sleeping so I made the decision to keep her home, see how she gets on. I was so tired this morning and it did start with bickering. Over television programmes, then Netflix, then it was not sharing arguments I was so pleased when the clock reached 11am and we all got ready for the nursery run!

We escaped the rain and actually had a fairly nice walk together to nursery. I dropped Little A off leaving him happily playing with his big tub of wood, soil and dinosaurs and left the school cuddling Midge with one arm and walking at the same time. We haven't bonded like this in a long time. Well, it's not really surprising because we're never alone together. I didn't have much money but I thought stuff it, so we walked into Costa and sat down with our soya hot chocolates.

Before nursery we visited the library and Midge picked up a book on World War Two so we turned the pages and she asked lots of questions about words and meanings and photos in the book. I had no idea she was so into history and she seems to just love it like myself so I will definetly make use of this! She also expressed an idea of going to see a play at a theatre after seeing some Peter Pan posters on several buses.

We made it home to a surprise early visit from Hubby. He only stayed for well, not even 20 minutes! But he had managed to get an extra hour at work and wanted to see us despite needing to head back on the bus almost as soon as he got off it! I'll never grumble about his surprise popping ins from work though! We got utterly drenched on the nursery run and needless to say the day ended with onesies and jacket potatoes.

I was still pleased to see bedtime because Little A hasn't been in his bed much so sleep hasn't been on the cards much lately! I've done a bit of crafting tonight and started a book plus caught up with a friend which was nice..well we catch up everyday to be honest and I'd hate not to!

I hope you've all had a good Monday and if not well, here's to the rest of the week!

Cupcake Mumma

Friday, 7 November 2014

5 Reasons you should visit The Harry Potter Studio Tours

Recently I visited the Harry Potter Studio Tours as a birthday treat from my Mum. I had an amazing time. I've purposely not posted too many photos because I feel that I may spoil it for others who also want to go. I avoided all blog posts about the tour because I didn't want any sneak previews. There will be a few photos in this post so if you are the same way inclined you may want to move along. How about you read something from my archives instead *wink wink*

For those who are wanting to visit the Warner Bros Studios, here are 5 reasons why you should definitely book your tickets and if you've already booked your tickets,then these 5 reasons will build up your excitement for the big day!

1) Everything in the studio tour is FOR REAL. It is totally genuine, has actually been worn, held, touched, sat on (and more!) by the actual cast who starred in the Harry Potter films. It is where some of your favourite actors and actresses have stood,walked and acted. Probably the closest most of us will get to the cast of Harry Potter and it doesn't feel like a bad thing.

2) You really can't appreciate the hours of skill and hard work it takes to make these films until you see the props for yourself. Handmade wands, clothes, animals. Creatures beyond your imagination hancrafted and made to move. Books, cloaks, houses and...

3) The breathtaking sight that is Hogwarts Castle.

4) You get what you pay for, and more. We paid £31.00 for adult tickets and £23.50 for a child ticket. We spent nearly 4 hours at the tour and you can spend so much longer if wanted. You can take your time, wander at your own pace. You can find friendly staff to talk to who are full of extra, interesting facts rather than be led about the studios by a tour guide. You can read the factual information without rushing, take as many photos as you like, ride broomsticks and when there are events on (Dark Arts Week was on when I visited for example) you don't pay any extra to enjoy the experience.

Nagini at The Malfoy Manor

Charity Burbage's unfortunate death awaits her by the hands of Lord Voldemort at Malfoy Manor

5) Forget theme park rides in Florida, seeing the making of one my favourite books come to life in film was amazing. To see all the props and hard work that went into making these films was something I'd happily do again. For any Harry Potter fan who has read every book and seen every film, the Warner Bros Studio Tour brings to life the magic of JK Rowling's most brilliant characters and their journeys in the wizarding world. A side from dreaming I'm an actual witch going to Hogwarts, I'm happy that I can get this close to the magic of Harry Potter.

There are way more reasons to go and visit the studios, of course, but why not go and explore them for yourself and have an excellent time!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

This Weeks Reasons to be Cheerful

Today I'm feeling a little blue so writing one of these posts is the perfect antidote I believe. I've had an earache on and off all day, it's something that always happens now it's cold but I still can't get used to them! It's also piddling it down which hasn't bothered me until now! Anyway, let's get on with some cheerier things shall we?

1) Fireworks night and Halloween are now all over for another year. This year both celebrations were so good and I have some lovely memories to keep. On Halloween I did my usual tea party for my two and their cousins. My niece stayed over night so we took her Trick or Treating which was good fun. Everyone was so polite and friendly. We had a lot more this year than last, perhaps thanks to Jack?

Firework night isn't something I go all out on. I guess I just don't believe in it and what it stands for. Having said that, I feel it's such a possibility for cosiness and memory making so I'm no scrooge! We had homemade fish and chips with butter drizzled corn on the cob for dinner, watched the neighbourhood fireworks, took some lovely photos, did our own sparklers and made our own version of s'mores (which I am now going to label free from Wagon Wheels! So watch out for that!)

2) I'm seeing my best buddy and 2 of her gorgeous clan next Saturday and I'm super excited..Bet you can't guess who it is? I've dug out Little A's Moses basket which has brought back memories! It's only one night but I'm still so excited.

3) Now half term is over I am pleased to be back into a routine. I get some quality time with Little A, Midge loves being back at school, the hours don't drag so much and I get some me time too- which is ever so important! I get a long hot shower, or to read in peace and do some snail mail. I also love that Little A and I are back to watching our morning trains after dropping Midge off. We love waving to the drivers, watching the birds waddle about looking for dropped bacon sandwiches but mostly I just adore watching how much A likes to see his train and watch it disappear around the bend when everyone is aboard. Isn't it great when your children just really love something!?

Lastly, we have heard back from the SEN department and they're going to observe A in nursery before having a little meeting with us which is such good news. Whilst I don't believe he has any specific behaviour problems or anything, he does need more help with his speech and communicating with him still isn't easy, even though I can see how different he is even from a few months ago. I just want to hear him talk to me like all the other children in nursery talk to their parents about what they want or what happened in their day. I'm happy to wait for it though.

Reasons to be Cheerful

Cupcake Mumma

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Goodbye October

My favourite month of the year has passed. I was born in October and grew up having the most wonderful fancy dress parties at my home so October holds real, wonderful childhood memories for me. Then there's Halloween which for me is harmless fun. We lit our Jack O Lantern and let people know we were Trick or Treater friendly! Everyone was polite. We even took Midge and A out with our niece who was doing a sleepover and they all loved it. I was so proud of their manners and they had so much fun!

I had a lovely day on my birthday with surprise flowers and thoughtful gifts from family, friends and even pen pals. Before the day arrived I was lucky enough to see the Harry Potter Studio Tour with Midge and my Mum. This was an early birthday gift and I loved it. It definitely makes October a memorable month now!

Of course I've loved, as I do every year, the joy of Autumn. The last colourful flowers, the gorgeous leaves, the nights in with a mug of soup and a duvet.

I will miss October but look forward to the next as always. In the mean time there are birthdays and Christmas to look forward to. Hope you had a happy October everyone!

Cupcake Mumma

Thursday, 30 October 2014

My Reasons to be Cheerful

I haven't been able to blog properly for some time and if you could see my current set up you'd understand why (laptop, keyboard, temperamental mouse, phone also attached for photos) as you can imagine it hasn't been easy to muster the enthusiasm to write! Nor has it been making me cheerful!

What has been making me cheerful though is my very recent trip to the Harry Potter Studios with my Mum and Midge. We all loved it, me more than anyone else. For someone with social anxiety I seemed to let go of all that. I was one of 3 shouting out proudly to being a Hufflepuff and I may (I did) get a little teary when the Great Hall doors were revealed (what can I say? I'm a true Harry Potter fan!)

Yesterday I had another reason to smile. My 25th birthday! I was spoilt by the family with a new phone, slippers, Care Bear PJ bottoms, books, stationery oh so much to be honest! My very wonderful friend Kat sent me a surprise vase of flowers ( with several of my favourites) plus a card and cupcake balloon. How thoughtful, I definitely had tears in my eyes !

I'm also enjoying half term with the children. We've bought our pumpkins, we're excited for Halloween tomorrow and we've made some rather cool orange glitter playdoh which we had fun with today. I'd love to hear what's been making you all cheerful too so please join in too!

Ojos World

Dennis the Menace Beano Annual 2015!

Yes! The two craziest and most unruly original rule breakers are back and this year they're making it big by hopping on the Beano town Express to London's St.Pancras station to create some fun and mischief throughout Autumn to get us excited for their fab new 2015 annual.

Dont miss out!

As a child I spent many a day watching Dennis the Menace with my brother and just like many others we loved it a lot. This year, The Beano Annual features all of your favourite characters from Dennis and Gnasher as well as The Numskulls, The Bash Street kids and Minnie the Minx all creating havoc in cartoon sketches, quizzes, puzzles and more.

Little A can enjoy these more simple cartoon strips with less writing featured.

One of our favourite pages so far

Enjoy the 75 years of Beano fun at one of our most iconic London Stations or enjoy it right now at home with your very own wacky, cheeky, full of fun Beano 2015 Annual. Priced at £7.99 I'm thinking this is a fantastic annual to get under the Christmas tree this year.

I was sent a free copy of  the Dennis the Menace Beano Annual 2015 in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and photos are, as usual, my own (unless specified)

Cupcake Mumma

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Create your own Cards and Gift Tags!

I'm really pleased to be writing this because the bits and bobs that came in the post for me recently were from blogging friend Joy and I do like to help a fellow blogger when they have great ideas. I also love anything paper related being obsessed with stationery, notebooks, craft bits and anything else you can think of!

I made a promise to myself this year to get more creative with birthdays and other occasions by using the bits I've collected over time in my craft drawer. I also wanted to use up my various unused stash of cards that have started cluttering my desk! Ultimately the task was to not spend very much at all on cards this year and opt for being creative instead. I've done really well and will do the same next year!

Joy who blogs at Daisy Row has just started selling little 'do it yourself' gift tag and card packs on her other site Station Harry, with Fab Rick and the Yarnbirds and here on Facebook.

I've never made my own gift tags before because I grew up just writing the recipients name on their gift but gift tags look so much nicer and I enjoyed making these. I got a pack of materials including fabrics, ribbons, paper and small embellishments plus a few stickers.

In my second pack, Joy sent me pre folded cards with envelopes, plus the above to make some pretty cards. Little A helped me with a couple too, he does like to be involved with sticking!

These cards and gift tags were really good fun to make and I even have some bits left over to keep my craft drawer stocked up! I think all ages can enjoy creating with Joys packs. My favourite items included were the various papers and there were some lovely embellishments for me to use too. I'm not so keen on fabrics because I think they look a bit messy and I always end up with frayed edges! I think the fabrics would look better for crafting if they were cut with some funky craft scissors (like zig zags) so perhaps I should invest in some!

Please do pop over and visit Station Harry etc and view Joys' packs which can be made up to your own specific theme (colours, seasons, occasions etc) and Joy even sells (nice and early!) packs ready for Christmas.

Gift tag packs are priced at £1.75 or two for £3.00 and card packs are £2.75 or two for £5.00. I received a pack of each free of charge in return for an honest review.

Cupcake Mumma

Saturday, 11 October 2014

International Day of the Girl

That's what today, the 11th October 2014 is all about. Raising awareness of the inequality and stolen decisions thousands of girls around the world suffer daily. 

As a woman living in the UK I have many rights. I will not be forced into marriage by my family. I married young (at 23) but I did not ever worry that I would be married to a stranger, or a relative stranger at the ages of 15-18 like 41,095 young girls are today. In some countries, forced marriage happens even earlier and it is heart breaking to hear of young girls having their childhood stolen, being forced to marry and start a family so young.

I started a family when I was 18. I was pregnant at 17. Many young girls across the world are much younger when they discover they are with child. Many girls fall pregnant after suffering a sexual attack (rape) whilst others who are still young but enter puberty (start menstruating) are seen as able to bring children into the household. Whether they'd want to or not.

47,000 women (of which young girls are included) die due to unsafe abortion every year. Think whatever you like about abortion, right or wrong, every female deserves a choice when it comes to having children and changing their lives forever. Especially when a girl finds out she is pregnant after being raped. We should always have a choice to continue a pregnancy after suffering a sexual and violent attack, the impact on mental health can be massive and it is important that these girls have information, support and options. Sadly they don't, and  today 191 child brides will die during labour.

International Day of the Girl is about raising awareness for these bright, strong and intelligent girls. They should have rights, they should have education and they should options just as boys and men do. They should not be forced to marry, to die in labour, to carry unwanted children conceived through crime. They should not be one of the 8,000 girls to suffer female genital mutilation (FGM) (a destructive operation, during which the female genitals are partly or entirely removed or injured with the goals of inhibiting a woman's sexual feelings.) in Africa or one of the 54 girls under 15 HERE in the UK today.

Please consider signing this petition to help Plan UK do all they can to fight for these girls and their futures. Please follow PlanUK and visit their website here for more information. It's incredibly important to use our voices when those who are in need cannot always use their own.

Every girl deserves a future. So I lend my voice to this day and hope that one day, every girl will have the same options and choices as we are so lucky to have here.