Monday, 22 February 2016

The Wingate Centre....

Around 18 months ago, I discovered a little gem tucked far away in the Cheshire countryside.

You would be forgiven for not knowing it was there really but when I discovered the Wingate Centre, then our 'Funday's really did change for the better!

I have kept this wonderful place to myself for far too long that I think it's time I made other families aware if you didn't know about it already.

So after the most scenic drive there down lots of country lanes and passing through pretty little villages you arrive at the centre.

The centre offers residential accommodation and recreational activities for children and young people with special needs.

I have never used the accommodation side of it so I am only going to talk about the fab services I have used with DS.

When we book, we always start off with some time in the gym.
Now the gym is something else and most definitely DS favourite part of our visit.
There are trampolines galore, balance beams and soft play items to say the least.
DS is always taken care of to a very high standard by the awesome gym instructors who I have to mention have a fantastic way about them and good awareness of autism!

I particularly like how the instructors ask me how he is and what sort of few days has he had and what more, they listen to what I say :)

Since using the gym, DS has learnt some new positions on the trampoline as well as how to balance and walk along the beams - including the high beam!

From the gym, we will eat our lunch in the dining area and then go up to the fab sensory room.

What I love about this sensory room is that you make your child's sensory experience as dark or as light as you like with an optional black out curtain. There are comfy bean bags and some interactive colour programmes that DS enjoys at every visit.

From here, we will then go out into the lovely 3 acre outdoor area.

Again, DS loves having a play outside whether it's wind, rain or snow!

There is an extensive trim trail that DS makes a beeline straight for as well as swings and lots and lots of space!

The view is stunning from here which is something I never fail to enjoy.

Also the garden is very safe and secure which is something that is very important to us as DS has very little awareness of danger.

From here we always head towards the front of the centre as there is a small sensory garden.

As DS loves the sensory feedback he receives from smells and scents then as you can imagine he is in his element smelling all the herbs in the garden.

Needless to say, that the Wingate Centre have thought of literally everything! There are lots of accessible toilets within the building as well as disabled changing rooms.

When we visit, we are pretty much there for the whole day as there is so much to do and play there.
As a parent, I can relax as I know that the building is safe and secure for my child :) as well as the understanding that staff have due to the nature of the centre.

We never fail to have a fun, interactive and educational visit here and it's something we enjoy as a family.

Check out the website:

I know that there is much more that The Wingate Centre offers but I have only talked and commented on things that we have personally used.

I would be interested to know if you have used the centre and if your young person enjoyed it, leave me a comment if you have :)

Hope you have had a lovely weekend, back to school tomorrow for us!

Love Amanda xx

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Shrove Tuesday...

Watching two very young cats play with each other in the school grounds this morning had me smiling.
They were a right little comical pair and very entertaining to watch! :)

They chased and played with each other up, down and around a tree!

Just seeing something like that had me smiling all morning :)

I was in a meeting all day today but when I arrived home, that's when Shrove Tuesday really began! :)

I have often mentioned how I am still very much a child at heart! lol I have always loved Shrove Tuesday and would look forward to flipping the pancake once I had got home from school.

My Dad was King of flipping the pancakes in our house :) as he could flip it really high and always catch it again! Though, there was he one time, he did his legendary flip and the pancake stuck to the kitchen ceiling! :) I actually think I wrote a story about it in school the very next day with drawings of it and everything! :)

Anyway, back at home, I quickly mixed four, eggs and milk and whisked together using my electric whisk.

As my Dad taught me, I decided that I was going to introduce DS to the family flipping pancakes technique and recorded us doing it :)
I'm struggling to upload the video here :( so its on my instagram account instead. 
DS really enjoyed it and keeps playing the video back on my phone whilst grinning away :)

Wedding Update

A couple of favour samples arrived this week which the boyf and I have fallen head over heels! We will be placing a firm order this week :)

Hair & Make-Up trials are all booked for very soon - can't wait! :)

Have a happy 'flipping' Shrove Tuesday! ;) 

Love Amanda xx

Friday, 5 February 2016

Pain Scale for Non-Verbal Children...

I actually cannot believe that it's Friday again!
I mean where on earth did this week go?!

I didn't quite get a 'free day' this week, just an hour here and there which I crammed with washing, ironing and other general housework.

DS still isn't right. We have been back and to the GP twice this week.

He is in some sort of pain and as I am his voice, I was a little firmer than usual with the GP yesterday insisting that something was wrong and how we must investigate further.

He took on board my concerns so we are going to get some samples from DS and send them off for testing. I also asked for some stronger pain relief for him.

DS's Dad took him to his house after the GP appointment but later phoned me to say how DS was screaming in pain :( I drove over to him and could see he was distressed. I gave him the new medicines and he seemed to calm down a little later.

I have kept him off school today so I can monitor closely at how often he is experiencing the pain, how long for and the intensity of it.

I feel so helpless and desperately wish there was a way that I could take on the pain for him :(

I recently came across this pain chart from Cerebra which I have pinned up inside my medicine cupboard.

It is designed specifically for non-verbal children which I liked.
I know when DS is experiencing pain or discomfort just from looking at his face and I think most parents and carers will be the same as we know our children well but still, I think it's worth keeping this handy as a visual reminder to behaviours or clues that we sometimes may miss - especially if we have a lot on our mind that day!

The boyf and I were discussing this today and he has suggested that I get DS to be seen privately.
I can certainly see his thinking! DS is seriously struggling and we seem to be getting nowhere fast :(

I think I will try and hold on until we get the test results and see if that shows anything up, if not, then I will be taking the boyf up on his suggestion.

In the meantime, I will keep plugging at helping DS to be as pain-free as possible and help in anyway I can.

As I type, I can hear him happily singing which is a sound I have always loved :) I just hope that I hear much more of it over the weekend than I have over these last few days!

So to cheer the little Superstar up after dealing with such a hard week, I popped a load of flour into a bowl for him to have a little sensory play with :)

Who doesn't love the feel of silky soft flour between their hands right? :)

As predicted he loved it and was even throwing it about like fairy dust hence my kitchen floor! lol

He even kindly popped some flour into my glass of water! Needless to say, I passed on drinking the rest of it! ;)

This is the DS I know, happy and free-spirit :) even though it means lots of cleaning after him! lol
Good job he is absolutely gorgeous is all I can say! :)

Have a lovely weekend!

Love Amanda xx

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Mummy of Special Needs Date Day...

I love getting together with my 'Special Needs Mummy Friends'.
I have a group of friends and we all have at least one thing in common, and that is we are all Mums to children with special needs.

These ladies are simply awesome! :)

We all know too well of the battles that we have to endure for our kids, we support each other and no matter what is going on with us, we always make each other laugh! :)

We get together often at different things and this week we all met up for lunch.

Typically, yesterday morning I woke up with a hacking cough and stinking cold!
During the night, the boyf heard me struggling to breathe as I was all congested so he went off to get the Vicks Vapour Rub and rubbed it on my chest (no jokes please lol) to help me breathe and sleep more easily. Now that's love! <3

Anyway, determined not to have to cancel our 'Mummy Date' I put about 3 layers of foundation on my very red glowing nose! You can see the tell tale signs of a cold here lol

I wasn't able to taste the food as I am all congested up but I went to see these Mums not so much the food :)

I was told by one of these ladies that she has a surprise for me, I had no idea what it could be!

Then she revealed the most gorgeous canvas for the boyf and I!

Totally handmade! :)
I absolutely love handmade stuff and this was perfect! It's going on my wall at home - how lovely is that? :)

The boyf loves it too and like me, can't believe how much time and effort had been put into it for us.

I told you these were awesome ladies! <3

I'm off to stock up on tissues for this cold and to make myself a hot drink.

Have a good Thursday! :)

Love Amanda xx

Monday, 1 February 2016

A Lovely Weekend...

Well from a rubbish week, I had the most lovely weekend with DS! :)

As usual, it went far too fast for my liking :/ but we do tend to cram a lot into them :)

Saturdays are reserved for 'Mummy & DS' funday. I love spending time with him and having him all to myself! :) I have had this little arrangement in place for several years now and it works beautifully.
Both myself and DS love our day together and it's something I plan on doing for many years to come.....or whenever he gets fed up of spending the day with his Mum! haha

We visited our fave autism club and played in the cool sensory ball pool together.

On Sunday we took DS to his usual swimming session and then I had a couple of free hours in the afternoon so in my true 'productive mode' inner programme kicking in, I set about batch cooking!

It was a cold, windy and wet day here in Cheshire - you know when it rains sideways :/ so what better day to do a load of home comfort batch cooking starting with tomato soup :)

What I love about home cooking is that not only does it taste better than pre-packed processed stuff but it's also healthier, you know exactly what's gone into it (keeping an eye on salt and sugar amounts) but it's also very thrifty! :)

A healthy nutritious bowl of warming soup works out at just 32p a bowl!

I also made some healthy flapjacks for work and school lunch boxes which works out at just 6p per portion!(once it's cut and portioned up of course)

I love it when the whole house is filled with delicious baking smells.

I was just on the end of washing everything up when DS arrived home - perfect timing.

Wedding Update:

This morning I had my appointment with the registrar to give my 'notice of  marriage'.
The boyf did his ages ago so I am well lagging behind him! lol

It turns out that my middle name has been spelt incorrectly on his appointment! I have a 'normal' middle name but it's spelt very unusual.

Very similar to how the name 'Rebecca' can be spelt 'Rebekah'

The boyf knows how it's spelt so I can guess what's happened - he has just told the registrar my name at his appointment but not mentioned how it's spelt so it's been spelt the common usual way!

So that's another appointment to correct that to make sure our marriage certificate has my name right! lol

I blame my parents! :)

Have a good week and stay safe in this howling wind!

Love Amanda