Posted in Events & Holidays

The 1st Family Holiday 2022

I’ve said it a few times but i’m saying it again, I am really trying to be more open to taking William to experience new things so, in for a penny, in for a pound as they say. Instead of another day out. We booked a weekend away! Talk about going from one extreme to another but you know me, I like to jump in with both feet and then act like I’m drowning 🤣

We booked a little cabin near Malton, Coopers Cabin to be precise. If you click the image it should take you to the link.

Coopers Cabin, Malton Grange Lodges

The cabin itself was lovely, although there was a slight hiccup when we got there, it hadn’t been cleaned which meant we couldn’t relax, they sent a lady (Louise) who was brilliant and compensated with a bottle of prosecco but the whole situation put a massive dampener of the start of our holiday especially with the kids already having a super long day and then not being able to settle down straight away. It’s also made me a bit worried about getting our security deposit back, because the cabin wasn’t as thoroughly cleaned as it usually would have been, I am concerned anything the previous occupiers may have done with impact us especially the hot tub as they state that if the filters need changing they will hold back the deposit, I highly doubt that the filters were checked and we notice there was scum around the filter entrance… we shall see what happens with the deposit. They have been asking me review them already but I shall wait until the money is back in my account.

The cabin was spacious and had a master bedroom with ensuite, a second bedroom with 2 single beds which Wilster and I shared and a pull out double (ish) sofa bed in the lounge. As you may be aware from our usual ‘Annual Hobman Family Holidays’ sharing a room with William is not ideal but its also not always horrendous. He woke me up the first morning by prying my eyelids open and trying to shove my glasses on my face whilst laughing like a physcopath, Thats was 3am… 😴 needless to say I mad my way to the spare sofa. The following day he woke me up by doing was I can only describe as physio, he was stretching and bending my legs and then quicky switched to torture by pulling my big toe and other toes in seperate directions but he also climbed onto my back at one point and fell back to sleep so it’s not all bad and I relish in that moment he wants me as comfort to go to sleep as it doesn’t happen very often.

I worried about taking William on a train but I embraced it and we were lucky enough to catch the Pickering steam train up to Goathland (Heartbeat Land) It was the trains first run out in three months due to the track side fires caused by the immense heat this summer. Sadly it was pulled off after our trip due to an issue with the coal so we were doubly lucky. The noise, smells, movements and people were all things I had thought about before taking the leap, not to mention Williams chair. I would like to give a big shout out to the staff at NYMR especially Adrian Sartain (not sure if I have spelt that right) but he was amazing and really looked after us and put me at ease on what was an anxiety inducing journey for me. I tweeted NYMR so that they would pass my thanks on to him.

I’m not sure why I was so worried because William often surprises me, I have an amazing video of William laughing and giggling whilst I will post to our facebook page. He thoroughly love the journey and proved once again that new experiences aren’t always a bad thing and don’t require my overthinking and stressing (not that I will ever stop) He is constantly surprising me, keeping me on my toes and not always in a bad way haha 🤣

Have you ever felt like an outsider? like you don’t really belong somewhere, having to try hard to fit in but never really doing so… I guess it’s the true sign of an introvert. Believe it or not this statement isn’t about William, it’s about me. I can honestly say that this weekend I truly felt a part of something. I felt so at peace just sat with my new extended family and talking about rubbish, being honest about parenthood, my relationship and not feeling judged in the slightest. I felt accepted without the pressures I have faced in the past to behave as those around me do. Not only did I feel accepted and welcomed but I know that William felt it too, Just look at these pictures and see how comfortable he was.

Our next excursion was Flamingo land, again I was worried. He likes the fair that comes to Hull but its not as expensive and easier to get home and back to his comfort zone.
The first thing I will say, is that it’s soo fucking expensive! We should have pre-booked but because the weather was due to be torrential, we chose not to and boy was that a mistake. £50 per person is daylight robbery especially for a 5 year old!

Flamingo Land has changed alot since I last went (about 18 years ago😱) but fundamentally it’s the same.
Little Miss absolutely loved it, she wanted to go on every single ride but sadly she isn’t called Little Miss for no reason and she was too small to go on the majority of the ones that took her fancy. The log flume was the one she was most looking forward to and she was too dinky, her dad did sneakily stand her in the splash zone at the side of the ride so that they got sprayed as the ride hit the water. I think she took it as a good consolation but we have vowed to take her back next year but measure her before as she needs to 3.6ft tall.
There were plenty of rides aimed at her age height group but they weren’t as daredevilish as she likes.

That being said, she did have an amazing time and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, including going round the zoo section.
Williams experience is a little more difficult to explain, he coped really well being inside the park but I don’t believe he got a great deal of enjoyment from it, at one point he even had a nap but then again I’m not surprised since he had woken me at 3am 🙄 He’s really hard to read during these situations so he could have really enjoyed, could have just tolerated it but I know he didn’t hate it as he always makes that clearly known 🤣

We ate out on both nights at The Smithy Arms, clicking their name will take you to their facebook page, I highly recommend them as their menu was varied, portion sizes plentiful (although if you order fish & chips, don’t be alarmed if half a battered whale turns up🐋) and their food was very tasty without charging the earth. The kids menu was brilliant (every kids meal included dessert) and they were very accomodating for William in his chair. If we book again for next year we will most definitely go back.

Our first holiday in my eyes was a huge success, don’t get me wrong, it was really nice to get home and relax but I would go back in a heartbeat and do it all again… And now starts the countdown to our next adventure 🥰

Get new rants delivered directly to your inbox.

Please remember to check us out, and follow us on our social media pages 🙂

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OurJOTS

Posted in Events & Holidays, Reviews

Paw Patrol Live – 07/08/2022

After the success of Peppa Pig, we were super excited to see Paw Patrol Live… Expanding Williams experiences and opening him up to new things can be so exciting but nerve wracking too. I made myself a promise that I wouldn’t let my worry or anxiety stop me from taking William to new places or events and I am trying my best to stick to it.

Obviously Little Miss came with us too, It’s great to be able to do these things as a family and brings us all so much joy to continue to blend our family into one. 👨‍👨‍👧‍👦

Paw Patrol ready x

So this photo is a bit misleading, let me explain from the beginning…
Trying to obtain access for Williams chair was a bit of a nightmare, I was diverted to ticketmaster who told me they could only deal with sales, despite their email being the one to contact in relation to accessibility. Then I was sent to the ticket provider which was Sky who said they couldn’t help me and I would need to contact the venue direct which I would have done had I not been told to go to all these other places… Sky gave me a contact email for Bonus and no one replied for over a week until I chased them and forwarded my original email. They were apologetic and swiftly organised the access for us but it should be much clearer on how to do this when obtaining tickets from a third party. I want to also add that there was an out of order sign on the lift meaning if access was required to the higher levels, it would not have been possible.

Disabled parking was brilliant, there are multiple free spaces on the road around the arena and we easily found an open spot despite the show being quite full. There are pay and display car parks very close by too however I can’t comment on the disabled spaces as we didn’t need to use these but parking in general seemed plentiful so if you are planning on going to the Bonus Arena, you don’t need to worry about that aspect.

The lobby was busy and loud, once again merchandise is shoved in your face, just like it was at Peppa Pig, we had already agreed that the kids wouldn’t be getting anything this time as they can’t expect a toy on top of a day out every time. I am glad we had made this decision in advance because they were selling holographic photo cards in which one of the Paw Patrol pups changes into your kids face… for £25!!! £25 whole pounds for a piece of card! Merchandise stands were place in the center of the lobby meaning you had to walk past it to enter the arena, because we had access tickets we entered via a different door but still had to pass this area should we need the bathroom. I don’t agree with this, I have said it before but it puts parents who can’t afford merchandise in awkward positions when their children want these items, we are in the middle of a cost of living crisis after all.

I can not comment on the disabled toilets as William didn’t need changing and when I needed to go, I used the women’s… I had a little look at the door when I went passed and from what I could see, you didn’t need a radar key but I wouldn’t quote me on this as I was desperate for a wee.

Back to the performance… William became upset as we entered the arena. You have to remember that its a large room with high ceilings so noise does carry. Our seats were in a good location but not as good as the chair spaces are Bridlington Spa, we were next to the entrance on the right hand side when looking at the stage meaning a lot of footfall passed us and a side view of the stage. Whereas at the Spa we had an elevated view of the stage which had a better view and no footfall. Both sets of seats were really good but when comparing them, Brid Spa wins hands down. The seats at The Bonus Arena are removable so I think there is maybe a better location for them to seat wheelchair users, even if its just to be away from the footfall as a few kids nearly walked into Williams front wheels.

Comparisons for disabled seating.

William continued to cry and be distressed up until about 20 minutes into the performance. The lights were super bright, the noise very loud and I was about to leave with him when he suddenly started laughing and clapping, I literally felt this wave of relief and laughed with him. I’m so glad I persevered and let him adjust to the noise, lights and surroundings but I did feel like the worst mom in the world for a while. That much so that I bought £15 worth of guilt popcorn, It’s like normal popcorn but at cinema prices 🙄

The popcorn was a huge hit as you can see, with Willster eating both buckets 🤣 but £15 is a bit steep and it wasn’t even at butterkist standards. More like a cheap packet from home bargains which goes to show what the profit margins are for these vendors at shows like this.

He enjoyed the show whilst he was scoffing his popcorn, we left just as the show was ending which was lucky because as we entered the lobby we heard what I thought was a confetti cannon or a minor explosion, unsure which 🤷‍♀️

I don’t think we would go to a show at the Bonus arena again due to how loud it is but it hasn’t put us off as we will definitely be going to more shows but at different locations. I’m grateful we had been to Bridlington Spa first otherwise my opinion may be different, We won’t be paying pantomime prices so if anyone has anyone has any recommendations on shows in which we won’t need to sell a kidney to pay for, please let me know 🙂

Much love 😘, M.x

Get new rants delivered directly to your inbox.

Please remember to check us out, and follow us on our social media pages 🙂

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OurJOTS

Posted in Events & Holidays

Peppa Pig Live – 23/07/2022

I despise Peppa Pig, in fact I think in my last post that I referred to her as a talking piece of bacon but lets be serious… she is an absolute brat but… the kids love her 🙄

Let’s put it this way, Peppa Pig Live was not exactly on my bucket list but William’s Aunty Debbie was kind enough to get us all tickets. She’s really good like that, tries to push me out of my comfort zone whilst be ridiculously nice haha. I would never have gone, not just because she needs to be in a sandwich but because I would have been so anxious about how william would react and if it would be too much for him but after our successful beach trip, I was all in.

I love our little blended family and this was the first big event other than Hull Fair that we have been to like this, so that added pressure maybe didn’t help my anxiety but despite this I was actually really excited.

The performance was in Bridlington at the Spa, starting at 10am so it meant we had to be fully on it in the morning to get everything in the car, the kids fed and sorted etc. Since the performance was in Bridlington we took advantage of being at the beach and the fact the weather was going to be nice and decided to make a full day of it so the car was pretty full with beach toys, blankets, picnic, the works.

A stressed but happy family at 8am 🥰

The drive down was easy, both kids were happy sat in their car seats as we sang along (badly) to cheesy music. It honestly felt like we arrived within seconds rather than 45 minutes.

So now onto some bad points… have you ever tried to find disabled parking in Bridlington? There is a place near the Spa but it seems to always be full. there are no sign posts indicating disabled parking anywhere. We parked at the harbour an managed to get a spot that had extra room to be able to get Williams chair out of the car, this wasn’t a disabled bay, just a lucky find.

Let’s talk about toilets, anyone with a child or a person that needs assistance in changing them will know that some disabled toilets are just not suitable. Imagine my surprise to find these… ‘South Cliff Gardens Public Convenience’
For the first time in forever, I remembered to take Williams Radar key and I am so glad I did… I’m not sure if I am overreacting but I feel like I have hit the jackpot for fully accessible toilets.
Handrails, space for moving a chair with a large turning circle, sharps/hazardous waste bins, adjustable electric changing table, in perfect working order and a fully working electrical hoist system. I was honestly amazed and had to take some photos (once I had changed William obviously) All the equipment was clean and worked perfectly. If you do visit bridlington and are in need of an accessible bathroom then I would highly recommend this one! 🏆

We made our way to the Spa with plenty of time to collect our tickets, I had called them in advance (a few times🤣) to ensure they had a wheelchair space available for us. I would hate to have to disappoint the kids if it wasn’t accessible to us once we had arrived. The staff had reserved us the wheelchair space and 3 accompanying seats in advance which meant there was no hustle and bustle once we had arrived. The spaces were in a perfect location meaning that we had full visibility of the performance but were also away from the bulk of attendees which I think helped William acclimatise to the noise. I think if the performance had been full then he may not have coped as well.

The show started and William was a little upset however he soon realised that he wasn’t been tortured (although I was 🤣) and that it was actually something enjoyable for him. He laughed, he clapped and ate all the snacks. He love it, as did Little Miss who was singing, dancing and joining in with interactive songs and I will only ever admit this once but it wasn’t actually that bad. The show focused more on a human rather than Peppa which made it bearable. I would even go as far as to say that I would take the kids again… Why wouldn’t we want to go when they both loved it so much?

We are back onto the conversation about toilets, the show was about an hour and twenty minutes with a mid way interval. They sold Mr Moos ice cream so Liam & Little Miss grabbed us some whilst I took William to the toilets. The disabled facilities where also baby change facilities which meant there was a large queue with it being a children’s performance. I understand when places need to do this but somewhere as large as Bridlington Spa should be able to have separate facilities or incorporate baby changing into the mens and womens toilets (because let’s face it, men change bums too but yet places tend to put the facilities into only the women’s! 😡)

The toilet was tiny, the first picture was taken with my back against the closed door, the second from the same location as the changing table was in sort of a recess.
The changing table was not suitable for William, It was not built to hold his weight… I thought I was passed having to change Williams bum on a dirty toilet floor, sadly I was wrong. If you aren’t going to have fully accessible toilets (handrails do not make you fully accessible!) then at least have a clean fucking floor! 🤢

The kids fleeced us for merchandise, Little Miss got a glittery pink tote bag and Will;ster got the Mr Dinosaur soft toy which was a massive success. I mean they were super expensive but worth every penny. The venue isn’t daft as they place the merch stand in a place that is unavoidable upon entering or leaving the performance and even had a gent who stood at the from of the stage before the show, advertising the toys. It may put some parents in a horrid situation in which they maybe can’t afford to buy their children these items in which they are having waved in front of their faces. Young children don’t understand that money isn’t always readily available.

Once the performance was over we headed off for lunch and went to the Stirling Castle. Little Miss had a cheeseburger kids meal and William had a sunday dinner, both of them did really well with their food and they were perfect portions for children. The pub itself was very accomodating, lots of space to navigate the chair, no overcrowding and patient staff who didn’t scoff when William started throwing his chicken on the floor, I do pick it up though. I didn’t check out the toilets but I would still highly recommend them for a quick lunch. Pricewise I think it was good too, about £35 for 2 adult meals, 2 kids meals and 4 drinks.

Then time to get sand between our toes, we grabbed our picnic stuff, beach wear and found a good spot on the beach. William immediately tried to run off into the sea. I think I upset him a little since I stopped him in order to change his clothes but once he was sorted he was off. Little Miss was a bit more patient and was happy playing in the sand rather than wanting to swim out to sea. Liam took William as far out as he could, William was laughing and splashing the entire time, then Little Miss was ready to go for dip. William had a bit of a shutdown at this point, I’m not sure if it because he was cold, the sensory aspect of wet sand, clothes etc or maybe he just wanted to be back in the water but he picked his usual position…

He reached out for my hand and stayed there for quite a while just blocking out the world (I think we all wish we had that ability and I would class it as a superpower.🦸‍♂️), once Little Miss was out of the sea, she decided to comfort him and stroke his back. I have the most adorable video but I am unable to share it as my video editing skills aren’t very good and wasn’t able to hide her face. She did something similar not too long ago and I shared a small post and photo to our facebook page. Check it out by clicking here. Kids are so amazing in the way they just assess emotions and react.

Our final little bit of excitement before heading home was on a search for seafood, ice cream and donuts. William got his sugared donuts that he usually has at Hull Fair but I think the excitement was too much for him by this point and he maybe only had one small bite at a push. Liam searched for a dinosaur shaped ice cream (George had one in Peppa Pig 🙄) as that was all Little Miss wanted but nowhere sold anything like that so he fobbed her off with mint chocolate chip claiming it was ice cream that dinosaurs eat, he’s lucky it worked to be honest although he did end up wearing most of it as she was sat on his shoulders eating it and it was everywhere 🤣🍦 I am definitely my dads daughter and got myself some welks and a lobster tail which I imagine would have been really nice but a seagull decided it would be nice too, so hit me in the head and took the lot 😫🦅 I manned it out though, waited until I was out of the crowd before whinging about it and asking Liam if it had pooped in my hair. I know I have a big forehead but its not big enought to be a landing strip for birds!

The journey home wasn’t as fun as the journey there, Little Miss was fast asleep within seconds of her being in the car and William decided it was the perfect time try and eat as much of his nappy as humanly possible. We had to do an emergency pull over on someone’s drive to sort him out… It was the most stressful 15 minutes of the day, having nowhere to pull over and knowing I couldn’t do anything to stop him but it was all new for us so we will remember this next time and make sure he is more restricted in his clothes because there will be a next time… We must be gluttons for punishment. Paw Patrol Live here we come! Plus another day out at the beach with the full Hobman clan! 😲😜

ItemScore
Parking5/10
(It is available but there isn’t much of it and it’s not well signposted)
Bridlington Spa5/10
(Customer care & seats would make it a 10/10 but the toilet situation would be a 0/10)
Peppa Pig Live10/10
(Highly recommend for young kids or those with special needs.)
The Beach8/10
(Very clean but not too accessible, had to walk quite far for a ramp to go down with the chair)
Stirling Castle7/10
(Food good but not great, price reasonable and pub clean.)
Company 10/10
(Is there anything better than spending a day with your family?)
Seagulls0/10
(They owe me a fiver for the seafood! Flying B*****ds!)

I would take a 100 seagulls to the head to have more amazing days as a family, we might not all be blood but history has shown it doesn’t really matter. Much Love, M.x

Get new rants delivered directly to your inbox.

Please remember to check us out, and follow us on our social media pages 🙂

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OurJOTS

Posted in Events & Holidays

Overcautious

I don’t think I have taken William to the beach in at least 3 years, when we think about covid, it must have been summer 2019, that means William was only 2 when we first went to the beach which sadly was the last time until recently.
Back in 2019 he loved it, we struggled to keep him out of the water even as it got colder. For a child that at the time hated having a bath, he loved the sea.

Riding the waves with Auntie Nelen & Kaylee 2019 x

So much has changed since that photo. I was worried it would be a huge sensory overload for him and it made me anxious about it, but it was one of those situations in which I wasn’t just worried about how William would handle it but how I would handle William and I’m not sure which I was more fearful about, and I think that makes me a bit selfish and sometimes it takes a while for me to put that aside. I am only human after all. 🤷‍♀️ I do wonder how many other things that I have been so worried about, that its stopped me from actually experiencing them or letting William experience them. As a natural worrier, I don’t think this will ever stop but as long as I take a breath, things will eventually become clearer in my mind and I will suck it up and leap into new experiences.

Well we took that leap, We had taken Little Miss on an impromptu beach visit and felt we should do the same for William. The thought of it gave me that feeling you get in your stomach, the one in which you aren’t sure if your scared, nervous, excited or about to shit yourself. 💩

We took Williams blue badge so we could secure a parking spot with enough space to safely put him in his wheelchair which was also close to places of interest for him. First stop was obviously fish and chips, because are you even at the beach if you don’t get some and since we visited Hornsea, it had to be Sullivans 🤤 William was a little picky but demolished his chips and battered sausage (Insert comment here from my dad🤣) after a bit of coercion and alot of my curry sauce.

We then walked along the front burning off our food and desperately trying to avoid the little black beetles that seem to be out in force this year 🙄 Getting his chair on to the sand was a bit of a nightmare as we had to find a sloped entrance, pushing it across the sand took strength I didn’t know I had 💪 As soon as he was out of his chair, he was straight in the water. If I hadn’t have stopped him, it would have been a lot more than just a paddle but he absolutely loved it. I worried that the smell, sound and textures would be too overwhelming for him but he took it all in his stride and absolutely surprised astounded me. I think sometimes I am guilty of underestimating him, in fact I know I am guilty of it as this isn’t the first time I have been proven to be overcautious.

We ended our day with a cheeky trip to Mr Moos ice cream place, I had never been before but Williams uncle Jim had told us a few times about how good it was. Liam and I had what I would class as ‘Fat Bastard’ desserts, they were huge but got eaten 🤣 and since William doesn’t really like ice cream, he had a huge piece of cake and seemed to thoroughly enjoy trying to feed himself with a spoon, there wasn’t a crumb left on his plate.

As you can see he was truly exhausted after our little adventure and we are very much looking forward to our next one… Peppa Pig Live! Something I never thought I would do, Mainly because I hate that little bratty talking piece of bacon but also because I wasn’t sure how William would take to it but if we don’t try it we will never know!
I will keep you posted on how it goes as it’s a big thing for our little blended family but I’m sure it won’t be our last adventure.

Much love, M 😘x

Get new rants delivered directly to your inbox.

Please remember to check us out, and follow us on our social media pages 🙂

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OurJOTS

Posted in Events & Holidays

It’ll be lonely this Christmas 🎄

Any of you that have read past posts will be aware that I love and hate Christmas, there is no inbetween for me, I love time off work, spending time with the Hobman clan, giving presents, having copious amounts of chocolate in the house and even my dad making the same jokes he’s made for the last 10 years… (Kaylee and her heelies – they lasted 5 whole minutes…. up and down the drive once, where all the rubbish will go and how we would each have to take some home and the fact my mom’s turkey is dry) I’m honestly surprised that my mom hasn’t chinned him.🤣

I was genuinely looking forward to this Christmas, last Christmas our family was separated due to the government restrictions just like many others across the world, so it made this Christmas that bit more special. There are four generations of us: big nanna, my mom and dad, me and H and then William and Kaylee.

Williams letter from the fat man 🎅

Everything was planned to the finest detail, William would spend Christmas eve with his dad, come home for bedtime, read his letter from Father Christmas and his usual Santa book ‘Santa comes to Hull’.

As you can see, it’s been a tradition since the year he was born. x

I always sneak in a cheeky reading of ‘the night before Christmas’ as its my guilty pleasure. Christmas day, we would try to take things at William pace, I would be dressed and ready before he woke up, breakfast and then gifts before letting him chill out and finally setting off to my parents for lunch and family time… but that didn’t happen.

What do you do when your sons dad messages you saying he’s got covid and its Christmas eve and he’s got your son? Again, I shouldn’t have to say it, but this isn’t a post in which I slate William’s dad. Although when I read that message, there were a few expletives running round my head purely because of the ramifications of his message but I wish him no harm and hope that he and his girlfriend recover quickly, mainly because I need childcare for when I go back to work in January (Jokes 🤣)

After having a cry and getting angry, I made the decision to stay home with William in order to protect my loved ones. My family are all vaccinated and boosted but I just couldn’t take the risk, especially with big nanna. I would never have forgiven myself if she caught it from us.

William and I have been doing lateral flows each morning and so far, both have come back negative and hopefully they stay that way but I will keep you posted. 🤞 I’m not going to lie, it was a really difficult decision to make, not only did it mean I couldn’t be with my family on Christmas, but it also meant I couldn’t spend Christmas eve with L. Our first Christmas together and we couldn’t see each other until late Christmas night so that he could reduce the risk for family too.

I think Mud had it right when they said ‘It’ll be lonely this Christmas’ because it really was… William seemed to have a great day though. We opened presents, ate chocolates, and generally made a mess of my very clean house (only because I was manic cleaning Christmas eve as if Santa was a house inspector🧼)
William was a little overwhelmed as there were new things in the living room but because there was no panic or rush to be out the door, he could just take things at his own pace and seemed to enjoy exploring his new things. We even had all the presents open before lunch, except for the ones L brought on the evening.

I’m sure I said this last year but next Christmas is going to be the best one yet… At least I hope so x

Get new rants delivered directly to your inbox.

Please remember to check us out, and follow us on our social media pages 🙂

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OurJOTS

Posted in Events & Holidays

Autism Night Before Christmas – by Cindy Waeltermann

Twas the Night Before Christmas
And all through the house
The creatures were stirring
Yes, even the mouse
We tried melatonin
And gave a hot bath
But the holiday jitters
They always distract
The children were finally
All nestled in bed
When nightmares of terror
Ran through my OWN head
Did I get the right gift
The right color
And style
Would there be a tantrum
Or even, maybe, a smile?
Our relatives come
But they don’t understand
The pleasure he gets
Just from flapping his hands.
“He needs discipline,” they say
“Just a well-needed smack,
You must learn to parent…”
And on goes the attack
We smile and nod
Because we know deep inside
The argument is moot
Let them all take a side
We know what it’s like
To live with the spectrum
The struggles and triumphs
Achievements, regressions…
But what they don’t know
And what they don’t see
Is the joy that we feel
Over simplicity
He said “hello”
He ate something green!
He told his first lie!
He did not cause a scene!
He peed on the potty
Who cares if he’s ten,
He stopped saying the same thing
Again and again!
Others don’t realize
Just how we can cope
How we bravely hang on
At the end of our rope
But what they don’t see
Is the joy we can’t hide
When our children with autism
Make the tiniest stride
We may look at others
Without the problems we face
With jealousy, hatred
Or even distaste,
But what they don’t know
Nor sometimes do we
Is that children with autism
Bring simplicity.
We don’t get excited
Over expensive things
We jump for joy
With the progress work brings
Children with autism
Try hard every day
That they make us proud
More than words can say.
They work even harder
Than you or I
To achieve something small
To reach a star in the sky
So to those who don’t get it
Or can’t get a clue
Take a walk in my shoes
And I’ll assure you
That even 10 minutes
Into the walk
You’ll look at me
With respect, even shock.
You will realize
What it is I go through
And the next time you judge
I can assure you
That you won’t say a thing
You’ll be quiet and learn,
Like the years that I did
When the tables were turned……

Get new rants delivered directly to your inbox.

Please remember to check us out, and follow us on our social media pages 🙂

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OurJOTS

Posted in Events & Holidays

Inclusion pt.2

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about inclusion, today I want to do a little follow up… specifically about pretending to be inclusive.

SEN sessions seem to be available for most places, trampoline parks, splash zones, swimming pools, ice skating etc, it’s a wonderful thing but let’s talk about the ‘inclusivity’ of it, theses are great ways to include our community for certain functions, but they aren’t inclusive at all.

These sessions are usually available at times in which it is not possible for most to attend due to school, unless I am mistaken SEN stands for special educational needs… education been a priority meaning these sessions during term time (in some places they are term time only) in a morning is just not practical, it’s a great promotion I suppose. ‘Look at what we are doing for our SEN kids!’ when not actually making it inclusive at all. When questioned the responses are… ‘well if it proves popular we will look at opening more sessions and time’ it’s a bit backwards isn’t it? A bit of a cop out.

Some places do it a bit better and offer more inclusive times, but most do not. Hull city council, I’m talking to you now specifically. You go from one end of the scale to the other, during school hours or encroaching on bedtime, I know I make it sound like you can’t win but why not open up a peak slot? Take a risk and be inclusive!

SEN swimming at Woodford leisure centre – 6.30pm – 8.30pm

SEN skating at the ice arena – 9.30am – 10.30am

Companies do not have to do anything tailored to SEN or disabled kids and the fact they do is admirable but they fall into thee same traps the HCC do, school times or bedtimes and its not far, I understand you can’t please everyone and at the moment these times suit William with him still been without a school place but what about all the kids fortunate enough to be in school… why should they miss out?

During the summer half term, sessions were opened for SEN swimming, and it proved to be so popular that it sold out completely. Surely this is an indication if not a massive fucking sign that these kinds of events can be profitable for businesses and the council but yet they are so few and far between that’s its insulting.

And don’t even get me started on trying to find an autism friendly showing at the cinema, I have spent ages this morning looking at all 4 (Odeon, Vue, Cineworld & Reel) of my local cinemas and haven’t been able to find a single one and when I say that, I don’t mean that I couldn’t find one suitable for William, I mean that I can’t find one at all! Maybe I’m not looking for the right terms but it shouldn’t be this difficult, should it?

Get new rants delivered directly to your inbox.

Please remember to check us out, and follow us on our social media pages 🙂

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OurJOTS

Posted in Events & Holidays

It’s beginning to look a lot like… the end of November

Its that time of year, people have started putting their Christmas decorations up and I excitedly point them out to William hoping to see some kind of flash of recognition or magic in his eyes but there is nothing, but that doesn’t mean it will always be this way and I cling to that. This is going to be Williams fifth Christmas which means as per our tradition it will be his fifth Christmas Mickey toy and this year, I will start the tradition for Little Miss.

I was always a self-confessed scrooge; Christmas was never like it was portrayed in the movies and it always fell short of my expectations. There was no snow on the ground, we didn’t have a house full of people, all happy and playing board games. Don’t get me wrong, as a child our Christmases were magical… ‘Santa’ would fill little stockings outside our bedroom doors, and I would excitedly run into H’s bedroom. ‘he’s been!’ I would scream and the excitement would begin.
We weren’t allowed downstairs until my mom had been to pick up big nanna so we would sit on the top step waiting to hear the car pull into the driveway.
‘Santa’ always delivered except if it was something noisy… like the Christmas of 92 when H was severely disappointed at not getting a Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles whistle. Apparently, it was sold out, but mom and dad didn’t want something so noisy in the house so got her a ball instead haha🏀

I’m a weirdo and love giving presents to people, I love thinking about what I feel people will appreciate and putting thought and love into gifts and then seeing their faces when they open them. On the flip side and this definitely makes me a hypocrite, I am a terrible person to buy for, I hate receiving gifts and being expected to open them in front of people, purely because I cannot hide my reactions… my face always gives me away. My girlfriends and I do a Secret Santa every year and I flat out refuse to open mine, mainly because on Christmas day, I don’t really have a lot to open but also so that I can do it in private. Birthdays are the same too. I am super grateful to anyone that thinks enough of me and is generous enough to buy a gift, but I like the privacy of opening them alone.

William’s Christmases aren’t like the movies, or the ones I had as a kid, but we adapt to suit the kind of Christmas he needs, and we try to make it as special for him as he can handle. Separation can be hard as it usually involves two Christmases and two birthdays, but William can only just cope with one. Thankfully me and his dad are on the same page and can make plans which suit William without it turning into an all-out war and I’m grateful for that.

Last year despite the covid restrictions, William had what I can only describe as our first peaceful Christmas; everything was done at his pace… there was no rushing and no expectations. Peace and joy for all.

My tree is not yet up as I don’t know how William will handle it due to his pica and his obsessive need to eat objects, for the last few years I’ve ran interference but it’s not getting any easier. Putting my tree up is magical to me; it’s the same tree we had as children, so it brings back many happy memories for me putting on all the old but very loved ornaments and seeing them incorporated with our own newer ones.  I think my favourite is a little green one which is half open and contains the three wise men, I mean… I think they are the tree wise men, but they are so worn that they could be miniature figures of the Bee Gees. Staying alive on my Christmas tree 😂

My stand-alone ornaments have long been abandoned and are currently sat gathering dust in my spare bedroom/office, I think I may donate them to a charity shop as I imagine they will sell this time of year and I often like to take William’s old clothes and toys in for them to be sold for a good purpose and go to a good home. I used to try and sell things on Facebook but it’s not worth it as everyone wants something for nothing whether they can afford it or not.

I guess what I really want to say to you all, is enjoy the up coming festive season in any which way you decide to celebrate it.

All my love 😘 M.x

Posted in Events & Holidays

Its our birthday! … Pt.2 🎈

And just like that, we turn 2 (well yesterday to be precise) 😊

It’s been a crazy 2 years, we’ve been read in 59 countries, we have 3 social media pages (links below), our story has been featured in online magazines, newspapers and other peoples blogs, there have been many ups and downs but sharing it with you all has made things so much easier and I am grateful to each and every one of our readers.

WORLD DOMINATION MAP

Here are the top 10 countries in which we are read in

  • United Kingdom 🇬🇧
  • USA 🇺🇸
  • Australia 🇦🇺
  • China 🇨🇳
  • Malta 🇲🇹
  • Ireland 🇮🇪
  • Spain 🇪🇸
  • Germany 🇩🇪
  • Canada 🇨🇦
  • Cambodia 🇰🇭

I think the best way to end our little celebratory post is to share our most popular posts in the last 2 years.

all our love 😘 M.x

Get new rants delivered directly to your inbox.

Please remember to check us out, and follow us on our social media pages 🙂

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OurJOTS

Posted in Events & Holidays

The Hobman Holiday

It was that time of year again, the annual family holiday. The stress, the anxiety, the tears and that’s just me whilst trying to pack our bags 🤣

It was a new beginning this year as it was a pureblood adventure, cheeky Harry potter reference there 😜 Mom and Dad, with their two kids Me and H and our two kids Kaylee and William.
each year our numbers have dwindled, my dad jokes that the holiday metaphorically kills people off… he was fearful for his life, if mom hasn’t got rid of him in over 40 years, i think he may be safe 😂 It sounds crazy but this was my favourite trip yet and we have being doing it since 2017. I climbed the ingleton waterfall walk whilst pregnant with William. If you haven’t done it, please check it out by clicking here as it is beautiful.

Just like last year William loved stream walking, last year we went slightly later in the year and he had to be fully clothed, warm and in wellies but this year I got him some aqua shoes from amazon which were amazing as it meant he could scramble over rocks in the water. Kaylee was brave and they both went in, in bare feet 😮 Nanna planned on keeping her feet dry but William had other ideas and dragged her in with him but me on the other hand was all in, as you can see my feet are full submerged… I was not wearing aqua shoes; my sketchers will never be the same!

Swimming in Ingletons outdoor pool is always a highlight for me and sadly last year it wasn’t open due to Covid but this year it had undergone a refurbishment and was open, we took full advantage and booked it privately. If you are in the area (maybe after the waterfall walk 😉) check it out, here’s the info. The pool is kept amazingly clean and has disabled changing facilities which made getting William ready and changed afterwards a dream. The staff as always were super friendly and helpful.
I worried about Williams bowel problems meaning we couldn’t swim as irs super difficult to find swim nappies in his size, I mean look at the issues we had with standard nappies 🙄 however there is website called splash about which sell specialised wetsuits without the specialised price. check it out here. William is modelling the ‘Jammer wetsuit in cobalt blue’ the website claims that this is the first and only wetsuit to provide faecal leak protection 💩 well I am not sure if that statement is true but it does work and for less than £30 you can’t go wrong! I will definitely be buying the next size up when it’s needed.
The blow up life vest was an absolute waste of £13, not including the link as I wouldn’t want anyone else to waste their money. It claims to be designed for children ages 3-6 years but was huge on William who is 4 and a half despite tightening the straps as far as they would go. I also deemed it unsafe as it kept tipping him upside down which meant he could have no independence in the water. To add insult to injury, the material was so thin that William bit through it within 15 minutes so it got abandoned in the pool bin.

I want to talk about something that happened after swimming when we went for a cream tea to celebrate H’s birthday, something that happens a lot… I would like to throw out that I do not currently have a blue parking badge for William but I have applied for one and until I receive it we are not eligible to park in disabled spaces so we don’t however it does make parking in standard size spaces a nightmare, we try to get into a mother and child space but these aren’t always available. The place we chose for our cream tea is divine but doesn’t have mother and child spaces  so we pulled into 2 spaces whilst we unloaded william, his pram and the essentials (there were numerous other spaces available) the reason we did this was to protect the cars on either side whilst we remove Wiliam from the car as it can be difficult and he often kicks the car door which can cause damage to our car and those around us. I will reiterate her that there were numerous other spaces available. A “gentleman” and I use that word ironically decided to pull up behind us and comment on our parking, baring in mind it was easy to see we were trying to remove William from the car. There was only myself, William and my Mom there at that point. Firstly the “gent” had no reason to comment as there were multiple spaces and I personally think we were doing the right thing. He also commented when he thought it was two women on their own but shit himself when my dad stepped in who was in a car travelling behind us. Comments like this are the reason I suffer with anxiety when taking William out in the car (Baring in mind that I don’t drive so rely on other people) making comments to women on their own can be intimidating and this guy blatantly wasn’t aware my dad was with us and I genuinely believe that had my dad been visible at the time of his comment that he wouldn’t have made it.
There are too many people in this world that think its ok to make judgemental comments about others without knowing the full facts, you read about it all the time in the papers. people leaving notes on cars in disabled bays because they don’t look disabled or people commenting as people with hidden disabilities use disabled toilets. Its crazy that people think this is acceptable!

William did so well with his walking whilst we were away and because the cottage was at the end of a lane in the middle of nowhere, he had the freedom to walk at his own pace and explore his surroundings, he struggles walking when he has to be controlled because of traffic or needing to be somewhere at a certain time which is why we have asked for a referral to wheelchair services to try and get funding towards his own adapted stroller, however this was sent in september last year and we are still chasing it now 🙄 Just like everything else he needs.
Picture one is so special, I know it may not look it but it genuinely brought tears to my eyes. During our walk I was tickling his neck with a piece of wheat and when I threw it away he picked another one and passed me it so I would tickle him more… he is doing so well with his object exchange.

Sleepwise wasn’t ideal whilst away, I was sharing a room with William which meant I couldn’t go to sleep until he was asleep and I have to wake up when he woke. Unfortunately on the Wednesday he didn’t go to sleep until the 3am and then on the Friday woke up at 3am so needless to say, I need a holiday to recover from my holiday haha. He found great comfort in his tablet whilst away which he sadly broke however thanks to Amazon’s no worry warranty, he has a free of charge replacement due any day now.

The holiday as a whole was hugely successful and William did so well with the changes to his routine, he loved being with all his family and as always took a huge shine to his grandad. We got a little wet going out for our evening meal which threw William a little out of sorts (third pic) however he soon came round and enjoyed his dinner.

I won a bad parent award as I had accidentally packed a small pack of nappies by mistake, thankfully I have Amazon prime and was able to get some to us, not next day as we were the middle of nowhere but within 2 days which is pretty bloody brilliant. I felt like I had gone back in time having to pay for them again… honestly I was so angry with myself and don’t know what I would have done had I not been able to get any 😥

It was really nice to have some much needed family time after a year and a half of lockdowns, isolation, shielding etc and I look forward to doing it so much more often 🥰

I have a little confession to make, I started dating… I’ve spoken on here about how I don’t know if I would ever be ready or how to introduce someone to William but it just sort of happened in the most natural way. He’s an amazing person and William immediately took to him and his daughter which is more than I could have ever asked for.

I share a lot on here about Williams journey and how I handle things (or sometimes dont), but this is private for now. It’s happening, I’m very happy, as is William and that is all that matters.

Much love 😘, M. x

Get new rants delivered directly to your inbox.

Please remember to check us out, and follow us on our social media pages 🙂

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ourjourneyontothespectrum/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/OurJOTS