I love someone with autism ๐Ÿ’™

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Today is autism awareness day. A few years ago I knew a little bit about autism but like most things, you don’t become fully aware until it affects you or someone you love. I now feel like an expert and my daughter teaches me new things everyday.
People with autism are not all the same, they are not all Rainman. It is a spectrum disorder. Below are just some challenges that people with autism experience:

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There are many things innate to the majority that a person with autism has to learn, such as social cues. These are things that we take for granted. I would not have been aware of this had my daughter not had autism. Watching her struggle is hard but as her advocate I hope I can raise some awareness so that when she is older there are more people that understand her and are willing to accept her and others with autism.

If it’s cheap and keeps the kids entertained, I’m on it

So this morning I attended a speech and language group with the Munchkinita. After eating all of the unhealthy snacks and asking for more (like I don’t feed her), we moved onto a table activity.
This was our third morning of speech and language and normally the Munchkinita runs off after snack but she quickly came back to the table when she saw paint in a bag.
It sounds so simple and I’m annoyed I had never thought of it before. You put paint into a large self seal food/freezer bag and that is it.
You can then use it as a wipeable board. The child can draw circles, lines, numbers etc. The child could also just squish the paint. My girls love squishing and feeling things so this could keep them occupied for a bit without making mess.
I went home and recreated this. I need to go out and buy self seal food bags because all I have at the moment are the small ones that you tie. It works but not as great :(
Anyhoo here is a pic of the bag after they squished it to death:

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Summer Holidays – Have I actually got it right?

I often dread school holidays. I always want the kids to enjoy themselves but I also need to work. Anytime I take off has a knock on effect to my bottom line so I have to plan carefully and be really disciplined.

The summer holidays last year were really difficult as I had all these plans but no car :( Public transport with toddlers in a pram was not working!

This year I have a set of wheels – lucky me! I have planned to work three days a week and devote two days and the weekend to taking my munchkins out. If we do not visit friends or family, we will explore different parks (weather permitting). Our budget is tight so we will see if we can fit in swimming, cinema and soft play.

So far it has been nearly two weeks and we have really enjoyed ourselves. I have been productive with my work and in keeping the house tidy(ish) and the munchkins have been fully occupied.

Yes, they are still arguing over Lego and I am refereeing but they wouldn’t be real sisters if there were no arguments ;)

Have I actually got it right these holidays? So far so good. Just five more weeks to go……

Stretching my relaxer

I had my hair coloured and cut at the beginning of December 2013. I decided to stretch my relaxer (leave it longer before relaxing) to avoid over processing.

My hair is also thinner from the years of chemicals. I have considered going natural but at the moment I do not have time to develop a new hair regime and manage growth. My only issue with the relaxer right now is thinner hair but otherwise my hair feels healthy and is easily manageable so if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

I went twelve weeks without relaxing. Did a lot of braid outs and Bantu knots which I absolutely love. When I air dried my hair in four donkey (big) plaits, I thought my hair looked natural and I rocked that look!
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At twelve weeks I made the dumbest mistake and applied relaxer without mixing in the activator. I’ve been relaxing my own hair for over fifteen years and I’ve never made this mistake. I had to wait a further two weeks to relax again and during those two weeks I developed a horrid virus and didn’t look after my hair. It was awful.

Plus, I relaxed while I was still sick as I didn’t want to leave it any longer – scared of breakage from the two different textures. I’ve ended up not relaxing it properly and I’m still left with two different textures. It is still manageable but I’m scared of breakage and fighting an inward battle of whether to relax again in a few weeks or just as normal – arrhghh

Any advice would be welcome or simple finger pointing and calling me dumb will also be accepted lol

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Munchkins’ Hair

20140130-191130.jpgHaving to look after my own hair is time consuming enough but now there are the munchkins. Two more heads of hair to deal with.

Afro hair is not easy to manage. Well maybe those are the wrong words, looking after Afro hair can be time consuming. It can not be pulled back into a ponytail and left. If I put the munchkin’s hair in a ponytail, two minutes later the hair band will have flown out and she would look like Don King’s love child.

My daughters have different hair textures. The munchkin’s hair is thick and of beautiful quality. She has typical Afro hair with tight curls that can not be left out. ย The munchkinita’s hair texture is much softer and the curls in her hair are slightly looser therefore her hair is easier to pull a comb through. I find her hair easier to manage although I love the quality of the munchkin’s hair.

To maintain their hair I wash it once to twice a month. I would wash it fortnightly but they’re of the age where washing their hair is like Hastings on 14 October 1066. I have to choose my battles so I wash their hair when I can.

20140130-191156.jpgI grease their scalp with Blue Magic and cornrow their hair. I plait their hair once a week but try to make tidy it up after a few days. I trim their hair every six to eight weeks.

I’m happy with the condition of their hair. I would do more with their hair if I had the time and didn’t have to fight with them. As they get older, I will teach them about their hair. I will teach them to maintain it themselves but I will also teach them that natural Afro hair is beautiful. I think my generation of black woman didn’t really have that message. We went through the curly perms and relaxers believing that those chemicals would “grow” our hair, as well as believing that extensions and weaves would magically “grow” our hair. The message we needed to receive was that our hair would grow if we kept it moist and trimmed and just looked after it.
My own hair is relaxed and for now I can not see me changing that as I have no problems with my hair, however, I want my girls to make an informed choice before they rush into chemically treating their hair. I want them to learn how to manage their hair and to love their natural curls.

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What I Forgot…

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Earlier on today I was listening to Destinys Child’s “Cater to You”. I remembered when I first listened to this song many years ago. I used to wish I had a man that I could sing this song to. I’d bring him his slippers, his dinner, his dessert and so much more.

However, now that I have that man, I completely forgot that I ever felt this way. He asks me to run him a bath and I’m like run your own bath stinky. Make your own drink, pick up your socks and don’t turn the sitting room into the Emirates when the football’s on.

Hearing that song again made me realise how much we seem to want, want, want and then when we get, we forget how much we strived for what we have and we become ungrateful and take that thing for granted.

I love this man. I wanted him for a very long time and now I have what I wanted, I seem to have forgotten the time before and all that I said I would do when I had him.

So I guess I better run his bath water- I ain’t drinking it though!!!!!;)