Posted in Random nothings

Living with Autism Level 1

Autism Level 1 also known as Aspergers or High Functioning Autism, is a complex syndrome. You aren’t ‘autistic’ enough for people to realize you have it, but you aren’t normal enough for people to not notice you are ‘weird’.

And that is where we are right now. Abby’s results came in and she has Aspergers (yes we have know the whole time, but an official diagnosis was needed). So the official diagnosis really does not change anything, we are treating her the same, loving her the same and struggling with the same things.

Just an insight into her ‘world’ – she is 2 years and 10 months old – but her mental capability is that of a child 19 months older than her. So she is extreme intelligent and has the vocabulary of a child older than 4. But emotionally, she is only a year and a half. And this extreme gap causes her to have the knowledge of things around her, but not have the ability to react to it. Think – Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory. So yeah us, we are raising a pretty, girly Sheldon that is in love with dinosaurs and trains!

We are carrying on with therapy and I will blog more on what I found is working for us and what is not at a later stage.

I am really feeling for her at the moment. The last 2 weeks I have been very busy and there has been a lot of customers coming in to pick up products. This has totally thrown her system out. By Saturday evening she was a total mess as I have been at a market the whole day and she was left with hubby. Sunday she was even more clingy and slept with me the whole night, holding on to me. We wanted to go out for some ice cream but I realized that taking her out in public the way she was, would be a disaster. So I sent hubby to do the ‘chores’ part of our trip and stayed with her. I wanted to brush her (I will explain brushing in a different post) but her brush just felt too hard for me. I was desperate to give her input, so I remembered a back massager¬† that my sister in law gave me as a gift a few years ago. I found batteries for it and gave it to her. The amount of instant relief it gave was amazing. She was rubbing it on her legs, arms, tummy and even put it in her mouth. She loved the input she got. By the time hubby got back, she was calm and we could go out and have ice cream. She was VERY busy while out, but on average, it was a good outing. So yeah for massagers!

Today she was very needy. I had to stop my work often and go to bed with her. She just wants to be in bed hugging me. And it so difficult with a cheeky 4 year old in the mix that demands attention. But hey, tomorrow is a better day. Also – as an Aspie parent, you are always tired. Like always. So send coffee!! And chocolates!

We really want to thank Lorryn at The Mouse House. She has been amazing with Abby and we could not have asked for a better person to do the evaluation.

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Posted in Random nothings

A day in the life….

I am pretty sure I am living in a bad sitcom. Nobody has this much chaos around them in a ‘normal’ household.

My day started just before 5am with a very warm feeling down my back and Abby screaming: Mommy I’m wet!!! I got up, cleaned the bed (thank goodness for waterproof covers), cleaned us, got her back in bed. She then asked for a bottle so I went to get her a bottle. We slept for a while after that again. She woke up just after 8 and was in a horrible mood. I had to rush to the bank to deposit some money. Those who knows me, know I don’t drive. I have this irrational fear of driving. There is a word for it, but let’s just keep it at ‘fear’. So I take the Uber to the mall. Get to the mall, realize that I forgot the bank card on the dresser. Luckily I had the bank details and could make a deposit. And yes, I did put in the reference as “Dumbass” while making the deposit…. So now I have no money with me except for a bit of cash that I had in my purse. I take the Uber back, no point in staying at the mall.

Get home, all my wet washing is on the grass. The washing line snapped. I call our carer to come help. I have to hold the line with wet washing up while she takes it off the line. The two girls join in, hanging on the line that I have to keep up. Running under the wetting washing playing hide and seek.

Get everything under control and go into my office, after telling the girls to play outside and stop watching Youtube. 10 minutes later I am on the phone. Sky comes into the office and starts demanding to talk to me. I put the phone call on hold (luckily it was my mom). She wants to watch Youtube. I swipe her out of the office and carries on with the phone call. Finish the call and comes into the house. As I step into the house I see my wings I use for props on the kitchen floor. I get into the dining room, there is clothes and toys everywhere. Sky has trashed the house because she was upset with me. I follow the trail of toys and clothes to her bedroom, she is in bed (this is now 11am) with her wet grass feet, watching Youtube! I ask her what happened in the house. She starts crying screaming she will fix it. I am so upset that I walk out to my office. Sometimes it is just better to walk it off.

Lunch time Abby refuses to eat again. I tried giving her a sausage. She took the sausage and broke it into tiny pieces and covered the dining room table with it. We clean up and I go back to work. They played outside for a while with lot of screaming and fighting between the two. Every few minutes Abby comes into the office and demands I pick her up. Cries until I give in and picks her up.

I have customers coming in and out the whole time in this chaos. Orders streaming in for Father’s Day. I have to print and take orders and answers phones.

Hubby gets home and Abby asks for a smoothie. I make us all smoothies. Abby walks into the lounge with hers, slips, hurts her toe and spills everything on the floor. We try to give her some of ours, she refuses. Screams like somebody is killing her. She is so upset about the smoothie that she pukes. So now I am covered in spit, puke and smoothie.

Before dinner I quickly have to go drop a few things all over town and I go with my friend while hubby keeps the children home. Before the first stop hubby send me a message. Abby in pain because she asked Sky to stop playing her little guitar, it was hurting her ears. So Sky hit her with the guitar. Leon punished Sky now both girls screaming.

I just stopped at the first stop and hubby send me a message again. Abby’s safety / comfort toy broke. It is a soft toy and the tag (it is the tag that is the most important to Abby) broke off. I just dropped another item and rushed home. I phoned home in the mean time and talked to her. She was sobbing so much she could not really hear me. We rushed home and I fixed the toy. At least hubby got her to hold the tag while waiting for me and it did calm her in the mean time.

At least we are at dinner now. I dish out. Kids see there is broccoli on the plate. Abby starts: I don’t like broccoli, I hate it, it is yukky. Sky sits with a long lip, she hates it as well. Abby spits all the food except the chicken out. Now she demands my chicken.

She finishes my chicken and now wants to do their stickers (they get stickers every night to put into their sticker collection). But Sky is sitting on her plate like she has nowhere to go. (She can go 2 hours without a problem). We carry on with the stickers and Sky joins us later. Abby has mostly duplicates and now demands her sister’s stickers. There is some slapping and screaming.

It is 8pm now and I am done. Forget bathing them. They are both in bed by 8:15.

Screw this day, Screw screaming kids. Screw life….

Posted in Random nothings

Farm Fresh Veg at a bargain price!

Yes you read that correctly! I just have to share this with you, as I know we all try to save money as much as we can at the moment – you know with petrol prices thinking they are rocket fuel all of a sudden!

So I found this girl at a local market a while back and then saw on Facebook that she delivers to Port Elizabeth weekly, also to Despatch and Uitenhage. I bought some of her products at the market and really loved the quality and prices! So was glad I could connect with her later. I literally bought a fridge full of vegetable for under R300 today from her! All already cut and ready for the pot – seriously, you have no idea how much that part means to me. If there is one thing I hate more than doing dishes; it is cutting vegetables.

I thought I would share some of her combos with you – and no, she is not paying me for this post, she doesn’t even know I am posting this. I am just nice like that ūüėČ

 

HAMPER 1- R120
Processed Veg

1 x 1kg Cauliflower Florets
1 x 1kg Shredded Cabbage
1 x 1kg Diced Pumpkin
1 x 1kg Deveined Spinach
1 x 1kg Carrots

HAMPER 2 – R132
Processed Veg

1 x 1kg Cauliflower Florets
1 x 1kg Brocolli Florets
1 x 1kg Butternut Diced
1 x 1kg Stirfry Mix
1 x 1kg Carrots
1 x 1kg Shredded Cabbage

HAMPER 3 – R100
Processed Veg

1 x 1kg Grilled Veg
1 x 1kg Butternut Diced
1 x 1kg Chunky Mix Veg
1 x 1kg Pie Mix (Diced potatoe and carrots)

HAMPER 4 – R110
WHOLE VEG

1 Cauliflower
1 Brocolli
1 Whole Cabbage
1kg Onions
1kg Carrots
1kg Gem Squash
1kg Butternut

I also bought some frozen things – at some real good prices…

~ Baby carrots 1kg @ R25
~ Peas 1kg @ R30
~ Green Beans 1kg @ R28
~ Pumpkin Chunks 1kg @ R25
~ Country Crop 1kg @ R25
~ Cut corn/ Sweetcorn 1kg @ R25
~ Mixed Veg 1kg @ R25

REAL FARM BUTTER ~ Oakland Westcoast – Salted 500g @R58

FRESH HOMEMADE PIES FOR YOU TO POP INTO YOUR OVEN FOR THOSE COLD WINTER NIGHTS yum yum

* Chicken
* Spinach-Potatoe-Cheese
* Cheese and Bacon
* Venison
* Beef and Onion
* Pepper Steak

Sold per batch (12)
Choose 1 or 2 fillings per batch
@ R175 per batch (R14.60 per pie)

Mini Piez (24)(AWESOME FOR KIDDIES LUNCHBOXES)
Choose 1 0r 2 fillings per batch
@ R145

FAMILY PIE @ R75 (Milktart size)

I ALSO SELL CHICKEN, CRUMBED CHICKEN POPS, NUGGETS, SCHNITZEL, STRIPS, SEAFOOD, RIBS, GLUTEN FREE PRODUCTS, FRESH VEG STRAIGHT FROM THE FARM AND MUCH MUCH MORE

Best part about this – you will be supporting a local business. Stop buying overpriced food from Woolies when you can get better and cheaper right here and make a difference in a person’s life.

 

Posted in Random nothings

How to make compost on a budget

I am on mission – to make compost for my garden – on a budget nogal! And let me just start off to say what I know about gardening is dangerous! Our first batch of Checkers Mini Gardens all made it’s way to the compost heap because – well – it all died! So we have 18 new ones that we planted today and I am determined to make it work! If I can let potatoes grow, I can make these other plants grow as well.

So this is more a ‘okay help’ post than anything else. Here is what I know:

1. Compost need moisture
2. Compost needs heat
3. Compost needs carbon
4. Compost needs some sort of insect to come and eat it.
5. You need to turn compost so that it does not become a soggy mess.

So that is what I know. I have started it in a little wire basket and hopefully will grow it bigger soon.

Now it’s your turn to give some tips. Help!!

Posted in Random nothings, Sensory play, SPD Tips

Pod Swing Review

So everybody on our SPD support group are raving about these pod swings. You don’t see a sensory room without one. So when I saw some on a sale, I got 2. I know the “science” behind it, but still was a bit skeptical. How can a bag hanging from the ceiling help? Well, it does!! We just had the garden services in and that usually cause huge amounts of chaos in this house. As soon as the first lawnmower starts Abby starts running, hides in her room and won’t come out from under her blanket. Today she got into her swing and stayed there for more than half of the cut. She did then get scared and came to sit with me on the couch. But that is a HUGE improvement. She found a safe place!! Thank GOODNESS!

Her sister on the other hand, needs a lot of input as well, so she is using it as a crazy swing. The amount of times I had to tell her to calm down on the thing in the past day, is crazy. She kicks and swings and goes wild. Which is also great, she is getting the input she needs. Both our girls as SPD, but totally different problem areas. Living with 2 girls under the age of 5 both with SPD and one with Autism is sometimes (okay always) chaos. So every single thing that we can do to bring some calm, we are doing. So is the pod swing worth it??

EVERY SINGLE CENT!!!

We are busy converting our whole home into a sensory room / area. So I will be posting more about that soon. Winter is coming in SA and every SPD fear the cold. Not only is it difficult to keep jackets and shoes on them, but also difficult keeping them busy. This mom is on a mission to make this Winter work.

 

Just some specs:

The pod swing can take up to 80kg.

It is attached to the roof. I will create a post to show how to install it soon.

It is sturdy and safe

It has an inflatable seat for comfort.

Posted in Activities for little ones, Random nothings, Sensory play, SPD Tips

How to survive Easter with your SPD / Autistic toddler

Easter is a time of chocolates and egg hunts and fun! Right? Now take away the chocolates… And the egg hunt. What do you have left? You can’t ignore it, you have another child that wants those things. They see it on Youtube. It is not fair to not celebrate Easter as we are Christian and it is an important season for us. So what do yo do? Well, you become creative!

Here is some tips on having a chocolate and noise free Easter:

  1. Use other things as gifts. We got some amazing dinosaur egg bath bombs from Life with Jacqueline   these actually have little dinosaurs in the middle! Win for everybody!
  2. I got them each a bunny from Rosemary at Food, Art and Craft market    as well as from Robyn at Ripleycatco
     
  3. I made them bunny ears Рthese can be purchased from me at Geek World 
  4. I also made them Easter T-shirts, these can also be bought from me at Geek World 
  5. In place of chocolate eggs, we bought empty egg containers form Mambos and filled them with jelly beans etc. We also made them some geeky Easter egg boxes with sweets in them. Also available at Geek World 
  6. Bubbles! Bubbles always win!
  7. We got them “Grow a Bunny” eggs from Ackermans. They go in the water and then a bunny opens up
  8. Color code your eggs. You do not want the kiddies to have a melt down. You know that it is going to happen in anyway, so try to avoid it for as long as possible. Each child has their own color to collect. That makes sure that they both have the same amount. We have a large garden so we do it at home. If you don’t find a park near by that is not as busy as the main parks.

Good luck, may the force be with you!

Posted in Random nothings

Why it takes me an hour to make 2 slices of toast

How to make toast in the Muston household.

  1. Takes bread and put in toaster
  2. Turn around to see Abby standing in front of the fridge. Demanding ice cream for breakfast.
  3. Hand her the ice cream
  4. She licks it. Puts in down on floor.
  5. I go pick up ice cream and put back in freezer for later
  6. I realize she is naked. Go search for where she peed on the floor. Find pee in my room. Clean the floor
  7. Go take the toast out of toaster.
  8. Sky pops in, see toasts and takes it
  9. I turn around to see Abby grabbing cookies from other cupboard. I give her 2
  10. Puts new bread in toaster
  11. Abby puts cookies down on floor.
  12. Abby demands pear
  13. Hands her pear
  14. Send both girls to lounge to sit and eat their food.
  15. Turn to toaster
  16. Takes toast out.
  17. Hear girls fighting in lounge. Go to them. They are fighting about one praying to the other one’s God and that is SOOOOO UNFAIR.
  18. Lesson in “God lives in everybody’s heart who wants Him there, He is everbody’s God not just yours. We share God”.
  19. Go to kitchen. Toast is cold, but Abby follows me and takes my toast
  20. I put more bread in toaster.
  21. Abby demands cookies with sprinkles. I say no. Followed by a 10 min tantrum.
  22. Sky demands more food while Abby gets off the floor to go get my WIFI headphones because ‘her sister is so damn loud’.
  23. Sister accepts challenge and starts screaming as loud as she can at headphone wearing Abby.
  24. I scream at them and throw them out of my kitchen.
  25. I put spread on my toast.
  26. I go sit to eat my toast.
  27. Abby takes toast and walks off
  28. Screw this, I can loose some weight in anyway.

This is a very very real story. I wish I made it up.