Win A Grit Atom Scooter

Spring is going to be here soon and that means brighter days and the chance to get out and about a little more. I love the weather in late March we get some lovely days. I have linked up with the team over at Skates.co.uk to offer one of my readers the chance to win a fantastic scooter in time for the upcoming nicer days and arrive just in time for Easter.
The Grit Atom Pro Scooter now comes with an all-new Y-Bar design to keep you looking cool at the skatepark. With its high end parts, the Grit Atom Pro Scooter is light weight yet extremely strong and is designed to handle the needs of a first time pro scooter rider. The Nycore wheels are also a new addition and stronger that ever! The Atom is the perfect entry-level ride, providing excellent value for the money.
Features:
  • Total Scooter Height: 690mm
  • Suggested Ages: 6-12 Yrs
  • Bars Spins 360 Degrees for Tricks
  • Total Scooter Weight (estimated): 3.3kgs
  • Scooter Type: Fixed 1 piece Stunt Scooter that's not foldable, with fixed handlebar size (can but cut down after purchase)
  • Deck: Light weight 6061 Heat Treated Alloy Deck with Diamond shaped down tube -W: 100mm (3.9") / L: 483mm (19")
  • Bars: Hi Tensile Riser Handlebar - W: 460mm (18") / L: 500mm (19.6")
  • Fork: Hi Tensile Steel Threaded Fork
  • Wheels: 100mm 85A PU Nycore Wheels with ABEC 7 Bearings
  • Clamp: Alloy Double Clamp 31.9mm
  • Head Parts: Threaded Head Parts
  • Brake: Grit Super Coil Spring Brake
  • Grips: Soft Feel Grips

This fab stunt scooter comes in a range of colours and a great starter stunt scooter. For your chance to win just use the rafflecopter below. Do read the terms and conditions before entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Terms And Conditions
1. Open to Uk and Ireland entrants aged over 18
2. One winner will be chosen via the widget and announced on the widget
3. Winner will be contacted via email and has 28 days to respond to winning email before a new winner is selected
4. Your details won't be passed to any third parties
5. Entries made using software or bulk entries will be disqualified
6. By entering you agree to your name being shared on social  media as the winner
7. Giveaway op
en from 27th Feb 2020 till midnight 26th March 2020

Mothers Day Gift Guide

It's almost that time of year when we start racking our brains on what to get the Mother in our life and celebrate the greatness of all she is and all she does. I have been sent a selection of items to feature in a gift guide to make your job a little easier this year. Whether she has a sweet tooth or you want something more practical you'll find it here!
Nim’s Edible Teas are naturally vegan and made from a nutritious combination of air-dried fruit and vegetables. The flavours are as authentic as the fruit and vegetables used, which have been air-dried (not fried) to give the fullest flavour and nutritional value. Once the tea has been enjoyed, the fruit is fully rehydrated and ready to snack on. Enjoy the fruit teas on top of porridge and yoghurt or try the vegetable teas as an extra ingredient to soups and warming pasta dishes. So from tractor to teacup, there is practically zero waste. One portion of Pineapple and Kiwi tea provides 49% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C with Pineapple, beetroot and parsnip providing 42%. This Drink and Snack in one, is available online and through independent retailers. The loose leaf tea infusions are presented in beautiful boxes of 12 single sachets of 12g portions priced at £5.  
How about some gourmet popcorn from the popcorn shed? The UK's first super-premium gourmet popcorn brand. They have mixed texture into their popcorn through chunks of nuts, chocolate and dried fruit. The perfect gift for any popcorn lover! The mix of texture and flavour really makes it POP! Their popcorn is the first UK popcorn brand to be packaged in beautiful popcorn 'shed' cartons, each with its own unique personality and theme. The shed cartons are fantastically colourful and match the personality of the flavoured popcorn. No matter what your favourite is there is bound to be a sweet or savoury popcorn to suit you. The popcorn sheds retail at £3.50 per shed.
This Mothering Sunday, 22 March, show the most important woman in your life how much you care with an indulgent box of Guylian Belgian chocolates.  With options to spoil every mum and suit every budget, Guylian, which began with the founders combining their names, continues to follow Guy’s recipe and Lianne’s marbled Sea Shell designs to this day. Made using only the finest, hand-selected Mediterranean hazelnuts, which are roasted and caramelized to perfection before being blended with premium Belgian chocolate, Guylian’s iconic Sea Shell chocolates never disappoint! Available in a 250g box RRP £5 or for an even more decadent gift, a 375g box with 33 pieces RRP £7.50. I can't promise these will leave my house and make it to my Mother, I may have eaten them all by the time March 22nd comes round! 
Havaianas offer a wide range of styles that would be perfect for your Mother’s Day  gift this year. For the classic toe post lover the slim glitter are a real winner! Havaianas says: Everyone deserves to shine – and we think that we can start at your feet. We have gone big on glitter this summer with a range of sparkly straps, soles and colours. So you can shine bright all day long. These are availble in a range of colours, RRP £28. If the toe post isnt for you Havaianas have developed a slider based on their iconic Brasil Logo flip-flops. All the same benefits of durability and comfort, without the toepost. Complete your Havaianas collection with the new Slide RRP £26, the Brasil Slide are available in a choice of 8 colours from plain black to eye catching blue and yellow.
The wax melt bars from Sassy Shop Wax are £2.75 each and I was sent 4 from the permanent range to try out, Antique Bookstore, Rhubie Rose, La Vie Est Bon and Bedtime Baby. Each bar is hand made and there are so many scents available no matter if you like classic scents or ones like your favourite perfume. I think the antique bookstore is a more classic scent, I like the cedarwood and sandalwood tones you pick up as its melting. I instantly picked up the rhubarb in the rhubie rose as it melted away, it as really pleasant. My absolute favourite and ones that I will be definitely repurchasing were bedtime baby which reminded me of the kiddos were tiny and La Vie Est Bon which is my absolute fav perfume scent.
Give Mum the ultimate homemade pamper treat with So Bomb DIY Crystal Geode bath bombs. They let you treat your mum to a wonderful homemade gift. Children can easily create an awesome new colour changing bath bombs in the trending geode styles. Design your own unique gift and give your mum a pampering present she’ll adore. Watch in amazement as the coloured crystals magically turn the bath water a different colour as the fizzy bath bomb hits the tub! This lovely set retails at just £9.99 and is a fab idea for that special homemade gift.
Make Mother’s Day 2020 one to remember with il gusto, a delicious gift presented in our stylish Lady Shoe shaped bottle. The perfect gift for a special mum. Available in 350ml size (the above are 40ml samples) priced at £29.90. You have the choice of several types of vodka or gin. If the lady shoe isn't your style you could go for the heart decanter or diamond decanter, they are a really fab gift idea and much better than getting just a bottle of their favourite alcohol in a standard bottle.
How amazing is this tee from squiffy printThe t-shirt is made from super soft 100% organic ring-spun combed cotton & printed with eco-friendly water based inks & embroidered with sparkly gold thread. The direct-to-garment printing process means the print is always bright and will not peel off nor fade when worn & washed. This design is available on black, white, light pink or heather grey coloured t-shirts and in sizes small to xxl. You can personalise the wording on the rainbow to whatever you like! Check out their collection for Mums for gifts this Mothers Day.
The Fitzroy Tote bag from Lazy Luna is made of 100% cotton, rrp £12, perfect for use for your daily needs. The Fitzroy print is a little less casual and is perfect for those days out. Use your Fitzroy tote as your everyday eco-friendly bag. The Fitzroy print is screen printed onto cotton, and then carefully finished by their women-led producer group of skilled seamstresses. LAZY LUNA is an ethically conscious brand. All of our Lazy Luna products are designed in the UK and ethically produced by our Fair Trade partners in India. To keep the bag in its best state, make sure to hand wash it with cool water. 
Motherhood - The Unspoken' that is a perfect Mother's day gift and essential for every new mum. According to a study released in the online edition of JAMA Psychiatry, 1 in 7 women suffers depression in the year after they give birth. (These are reported cases, but there are still a lot of unreported ones). As evidenced, suicide is a leading cause of death for new mums but awareness is very low. The book fills this huge gap in perinatal mental health care services, reveals the unspoken secrets about motherhood, and, in the process, helps reduce the risks of postnatal depression. 
The Easiyo yoghurt maker os the ideal gift for your health-conscious, eco-friendly Mother. A system to make yoghurt at home and save lots of plastic pots being thrown away in the process. The above item shown is currently on offer here for just £9.99! Absolute bargain price. The system is really easy to use that even the kids can help Go check out my review of the EasiYo Yoghurt Maker.
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx


9 Years of Spud

When you become a Mum for the 4th time you think you've got it cracked, been there, done that and bought the t-shirt and nothing can phase you. When you are the Mum of children on the autistic spectrum you think you're invincible and can deal with anything. How wrong I was!! Spud has been testing my parenting skills in ways I didn't know possible! 
My labour was a 2 day failed induction that resulted in an emergency c section. I ended up having a general anaesthetic as they couldn't get the epidural in my wonky spine. I then struggled to wake up from my anaesthetic so spent hours in recovery. The picture above is me holding Spud in recovery, yet I don't remember it being taken. My first memory is being up on the ward receiving visitors 12 hours after he was born. Our first night together consisted of him being lifted out of his little crib, being placed in my arms to have a bottle and me waking up again to him being back in his crib. I can only presume that I kept falling back to sleep because of the anaesthetic. 
He was a chilled baby, happy to eat, sleep and repeat, he met all his miles stones early and was my earliest walker. Being the sibling of 3 other children on the autistic spectrum we decided we wanted him to go to nursery early to benefit from some early interaction. So we paid for him to go to the nursery 2 afternoons per week. He loved nursery and he flourished there, we never had any concerns over him being autistic, he was so different from his siblings in every way.

I have always felt like I didn't know how to parent him, I was so used to parenting a child with autism, it was routine, expected and what we all knew. So for a child to come along that does all the usual things, like have tantrums, give you lip and break your fine-tuned routine it threw us! For the first time since L was born in 2004 I felt out of my depth, which for the parent of 3 autistic children felt weird, I had dealt with so much with the other 3, but there was a 4-year-old whos behaviour made me cry!
I have never had to discipline my ASD 3 as they generally aren't rule breakers, as long as the routine was as expected life ran smoothly. Spud wanted to challenge every routine we had, but then he isn't autistic so didn't need to the routine like his siblings did. We had to stop lumping him in with his siblings and remember that he was different, he was just little boy, life wasn't so polarised and difficult for him, he just wanted to be a 4-year-old and push the boundaries.
Spud is a rule follower (generally), he aims to please, is fantastic at school and very smart. He flourished when he started big school, he did take some time to settle in, he was quiet at first but soon found his group of people and hasn't looked back. At home its a different story, he is still cheeky and tests us. I tell him its bedtime and I go up an hour later and he's hiding under his duvet playing his iPad. He never wants to eat what I'm making for dinner, he doesn't put his clothes in the laundry basket and I have to ask him twice to do everything. But he wouldn't be him without these slightly annoying personality traits. I'm already sure the teenage years aren't going to plain sailing, so here's to the next 9 years!!
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

College When You Are Autistic And Not Academic

My oldest leaves school in a few short months and school and studies haven't been the easiest ride for him. This ha left us wondering what college would look like for him, as you are now required by law to stay in education till 18 unless you are employed. We all agreed that an educational type course such as A levels wouldn't be appropriate for L, he isn't the most academic, so we looked at alternatives. His go-to person at school suggested a course that our local college offers that is more tailored to his needs.

He attended an interview last week and has been offered a place on a course called routes, there are 3 different types of routes courses, routes to employment, routes to skills and routes to education. They are all confidence based courses specially scaffolded and supported for children with EHCP's. He will do various types of confidence buildings, learning life skills, shopping, paying bills, cv building, interview practises and various work experience placements. This course will be for one year and provide a stepping stone and the skills that he will need for the longer term plan which is a supported internship.

He can officially start a supported internship when he is 17, I feel from speaking with his key person that a few of the routes courses will step him in good sted. So he may even do routes for 2 years and then go on the internship programme when he is 18. The supported internship will see him at college 1 day a week and in a work environment 4 days a week. It will be fully supported and the employers in the programme are fully aware of supporting their needs.

When we started researching options for L we were surprised at the options he had as someone who didn't to just want to do a standard A level course. We are all happy with his choice and he is so looking forward to a new challenge. He is most excited about independent travel, college lunches and only having to attend 3 days a week!! These are obviously all things that concern me as an autism parent LOL The independent travel is the most concerning as he will be getting a bus aline and walking to college down the main road. We have over the course of his high school education taught him road safety and he crosses a busy small road to get the school. His new college, however, involves crossing a busy motorway junction and slip road. We plan to do some trips with him in the summer holidays to get him used to the route he will take. There is traffic lights which gives me a little peace of mind but I know I will be sat worrying until he gets home each day.
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

Bowel Saga Update

If you read my post 48hrs post botox you will know about Pops bowel issues. We have now been for her follow up appointment following her botox injections. We knew within a few days that the botox hadn't worked. The doctor did tell us beforehand that there was only a 50/50 chance the procedure would work, but he thought it was still worth a go. I agreed, she's been waiting this long so what difference did a few more months make on a 50% chance that she wouldn't need to have a stoma and colostomy bag. 

We are now on the waiting list for her operation and looking at 3-6 months for the operation. We have already had her pre-op assessment and signed all the consent forms. I also signed a form agreeing to any general surgeon doing the procedure, this will speed up her waiting time. I have had a long conversation with the play specialist last week and they now have a list of things that need to be put in place to make her stay as comfortable for her. Luckily Pops loves hospitals, I have a feeling this may be the visit that changes that. We are in for a minimum of 3 days and the maximum of 10, the length of stay is dependant on her reaction to surgery. This is the first time she is having real surgery and not just a quick procedure. 

The operation itself will take between 2-3 hours, a cut will be made in her tummy and part of her colon will be pulled out and stitched to her tummy. Once healed it will look a bit like a strawberry on her tummy. The colon has no nerve ending so it won't be sore to touch. She will be a bit tender for a few days while the stoma starts working. A colostomy bag will be stuck over the stoma and that will collect the waste from her bowel. This means no more nappies and she can't wait!!

It's going to be a big life adjustment for her, but a positive one once she's used to it! She is desperate to go swimming and wear nice girly clothes, all things she cants do when wearing nappies or pads, she just wants to be a normal 11-year-old girl. I will be blogging throughout her surgery, recovery and life with a stoma.
Thanks For Reading
Mandy
xx

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