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Goodbye to 2013

After what appeared to be a terrible year, I am extremely happy to be saying “goodbye” to 2013. Surely I am not the only one that has had a shocker of a year and that there must be others out there in this great big world who also experienced a very topsy-turvy year as well.  I would like to think so and would love to hear from others who went through a similar situation/predicament as us.

So what made 2013 such a terrible year? Well, there were lots of small factors that contributed and there wasn’t any “one” thing/event. I think that if these things had of happened on their own, it may not have been so difficult to handle. 

My partner loosing his job/ceasing employment was a major blow and certainly did not get the year off to a good start. What was worse was that he simply did not seem interested in finding another job in a hurry. Although we receive assistance from the Government, this is not a great deal and ought not be relied upon. 

Then our youngest son, Taj (aka Hypo-Child) cracked a major wobbly with me one night and rammed his head so hard into my rib cage in my back that he actually fractured several ribs. This was the first time ever that I have actually broken/fractured something. The fact that my “little boy” did it made it all the worse to deal with. This seemed to give my partner another reason not to find employment and so, as a result, our financial situation worsened.

During August came the news that I am pregnant with baby number 3. While this made me happy to start with, I soon realised that it was, in fact, horrible news. Sure, we decided to keep the baby but this seemed like another excuse for my partner not to seek employment.

It was as if I had come down with some contagious and/or debilitating condition that was going to prevent me from doing anything “normal” like housework and grocery shopping. Somehow my partner seemed to have forgotten that I have had two children before and, as a result, have been through two pregnancies – the boys didn’t just magically appear from nowhere.

To make things worse, my partner got morning sickness (sympathy) too. He doesn’t handle the flu too well so you could well imagine how poorly he handled coming down with morning sickness. At least he wasn’t sick during the night as well as during the day like me. Unlike me, though, he complained and complained and complained, saying that it was a good thing he wasn’t working otherwise he would have to have too much time off.

Telling my Mum about the pregnancy should have bought us closer together and mended old bridges. If anything, the opposite has happened. I now feel even further from her than ever as I have realised that there are some bridges that simply cannot be fixed. Both parties at either end have to want to make amends and, well, I am tired of being told how my life should be by people who are over 3000km away from me.

Now, financially, we could have managed. Honestly, we should have managed however spending wasn’t tightened and my partner continued to spend money in the same fashion as when he was working. Instead of cutting back and going without when we ran out of money, Cash Converters became extremely popular. Nearly all of our items of value are there, with the exception of my computer. Even my computer is a little scared as, when money is needed, it gets put into hock.

That means that the boys do not have their 3D DS consoles, nor does Tyson have his Android tablet. My engagement ring was nearly lost but thankfully we are able to pay some money to have the time due extended. Anything and everything of value that I used to have trinket and jewelry-wise is gone. I Phones and the I Pad are there too.

It is very depressing to think about and it makes me extremely sad, especially when it could have all been avoided. What is worse is that the boys are starting to understand why it is that Mummy is so upset about.

I guess I just have to hope that 2014 is going to be a much better year like I have been told that it will.


Baby due in April 2014

Yes, that’s right! There is going to be a new addition to Morty’s Mad House. Totally unexpected as we had thought that we were finished having children, the news caught both Steve and I by surprise, although it did explain why I hadn’t been feeling very well in the lead up to the doctor’s appointment.

I guess one of the biggest questions that I ask myself in relation to this baby is “Will this bubba be a regular child (NT), a special child (ASD) or a hypo child (PDD-NOS)?” Giving that we already have two boys within the autism spectrum, I don’t think that this is a strange question to be asking at all LOL!

Secretly, I am hoping for another hypo child. Why? Because I loved how Taj was up and about at an early age and has had very little developmental problems physically. Okay, intellectually Taj may be in a league all of his own but physically he is doing fantastic!

An attitude problem at the age of 7

Our youngest son, Taj, turned 7 at the end of March of this year. Since then, he has developed a little bit of an attitude problem. So far, this attitude problem is mainly happening at home and not very often in the class room at school. I’m not too sure about when he is out in the playground but seeing as nothing has been mentioned by any of the teachers, I shall assume that things are going okay there.

We always knew that Taj would develop with an attitude due to his hyperactivity however I don’t think either myself or my partner were expecting to be dealing with this type of attitude until he was, say, 9 at least. Taj goes from good to bad in a heartbeat. One moment he is all calm and ‘normal’ and then the next he is extremely hyped up, doing whatever he wants do.

For poor Tyson, a rapid change in Taj’s attitude can mean that simple playing can suddenly turn into an absolute horror where he is getting wrestled down to the ground, being kicked and punched the whole way down. What’s worse is that Taj does not understand that he cannot treat his brother this way and that he shouldn’t be kicking and punching him. I’m sure that Taj knows this but just isn’t comprehending.

It’s the same for my partner, Steve. One moment, Taj is all cuddly and loving and then the next. BAM! Taj goes totally hyperactive and either headbutts Steve or kicks him. Same as with Tyson, Taj is failing to understand why he shouldn’t be acting that way.

Thankfully, Taj is a little less hyperactive and destructive when it comes to me, although it wasn’t always so. I had to endure getting hurt when Taj was younger and didn’t have proper control over himself and his hyperactivity. I have had to endure years of getting hurt by Taj, not purposely of course, but just due to him having PDD-NOS and being too hyperactive from an early age. He has always been better with me.

However, when it comes to talking back and making demands, that is where Taj has changed. Gone is my little baby boy who would do anything and everything that he was asked, except tidy his bedroom. He has been replaced by a child who doesn’t care about peeing all over the toilet seat or pooing his pants at home. A child who constantly tries to fight with his brother and try and wreck havoc on his father. At dinner time, Taj would constantly try and kick Tyson under the table so that Tyson would whinge and carry on.

During the night when he woke up, instead of staying quiet Taj started talking really loudly whilst playing with his toys, his room lit up by the LED nightlight plugged into his wall. While I didn’t wake up to the noise during the night (heavy sleeper), poor Steve and Tyson weren’t getting nearly enough sleep to be able to function properly throughout the day. Telling Taj during the day that he needed to keep the noise down during the night wasn’t enough to make him stop.

What did make him stop was Steve getting up, opening his door and telling him to get back into bed. I think it scared Taj more than anything because he didn’t hear him coming. This happened a few nights in a row. We started getting Taj up between 6am and 6:30am, even if he had been awake during the night, we still got him up. This has helped make Taj sleep most of the night.

As for the back chatting, well, we are still working on that. Excluding Taj from activities that he likes when he has been naughty seems to be helping. Unfortunately, Taj is the type of child who can keep himself amused with just about anything and, although upset to begin with, doesn’t seem to fazed at missing out.

So what we are doing at the moment to help combat this attitude problem is we have taken away his 3D DS and have restricted his use on the iPad. This has resulted in a slight change in attitude but not as much as we thought it would.

Hopefully, over time, this will change and Taj will start being nicer to his brother and father.


Mosquito Repellent Bands – The Mess-Free Alternative

Although it’s autumn here in Perth, Western Australia, the weather is still unbelievably hot with temperatures often getting above 35 degrees C. These are normally the temperatures Perth sees during the spring summer period, not during the middle of April. With sunset being at 6pm and the temperatures dropping thereafter, trying to enjoy the cooler air of a night time is near on impossible due to a mosquito problem in the area.

With my eldest son, Tyson, being allergic to mosquito bites – the area swells up, welts then bruises – I have had to search for a method of keeping him safe whilst letting him enjoy the cooler evening air. There are a numerous ways of repelling these nasty little insects – greasy, smelly spray on insect repellents and bug bands. Sprays can be unpleasant to the nose, especially to children who are on the autism spectrum.

With the price of bug bands in the local shops, I had to search online for a cheaper alternative. I was extremely pleased to find that an online shop called Focal Price that I shopped with frequently sold bug bands at a very low price. Hoping that Tyson would like the smell of citronella, I purchased quite a number of bug bands.

I really needn’t have worried about Tyson and the smell of citronella as he loves the smell. Best of all, Tyson isn’t bothered by the band and will wear them willingly.  Featured below is a YouTube video of Tyson with a bug band.

These bug bands are the real deal even if they are extremely cheap. If you would like to purchase your own bug bands from Focal Price, please follow the link that is posted below.

Pure Natural Aromatic Mosquito Bug Lock Repellent Band

I normally purchase about 6 bands per purchase. Shipping is free and your items will be sent via Air Mail, depending on how large your overall order is will depend on whether or not it is sent via Registered Air Mail. The benefit of this is that you are provided with a tracking number.

If you live in an area that has a large number of mosquitoes, give these bug bands a try. You will be glad that you did =D

Quad USB Charger – is as good as it sounds

USB Quad Charger

At a mere $10, I simply could not resist purchasing one of these USB Quad Chargers from Focal Price. With all of the devices that we have in the house these days, there never seems to be enough power points. In our house we have an iPhone, an iPad, 2 3D DS and my Samsung mobile phone, which all seem like they need charging at the same time.

With this little device though, I am no longer searching frantically for a power point. I can charge the iPhone, iPad and my Samsung mobile at the same time using just ONE plug, leaving other power points free to use for other items – like the Wii.

What I love most about this charger is that it lights up bright blue when it is turned on. If, like me, you are someone who likes to conserve electricity and turn items off at the switch, then this light up feature is great for making sure it is either on or off.

iPad 2 AU Plug Charger with Quad USB Ports (White) ONLY $9.99!

2A 10W Quad USB Interface Charger with US, EU, BR, AU Plugs (White) $15.89

No Play Date For Tyson

For any parent with a child in the autism spectrum, being asked if your child can attend a play date is extremely big news.

A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a parent who wanted to know if Tyson could come over for a play date. Apparently their son had been nagging his mother about when Tyson could go over and play one afternoon. Whilst I was writing my number down on a piece of paper, I quietly explained that Tyson has autism to which she replied “that’s okay, I kind of figured that there was something there” and that it wouldn’t be a problem as she worked in child care. We agreed that she would contact me once she knew what her work schedule was and when Tyson could go over.

I haven’t heard from her since. When I see her in the school corridor, she acts as if I am not there. I have tried saying hello but get no reply.

Are there really people out there in this day and age who discriminate against children like this? For some unknown reason, I thought we wouldn’t have that kind of discrimination here in Perth. Okay, I have come up against parents who have refused to let their children socialise with Taj because he is do darn hyperactive and crazy, but Tyson? He has the best manners and is extremely helpful whenever possible.

Thankfully, Tyson hasn’t been asking about the play date and seems oblivious to what is going on.

I, on  the other hand, am not very impressed.

Teach Me Applications for iPad

If your child within the autism spectrum loves computer games where they earn coins for completing tasks, there is a very good chance that they will also love the Teach Me applications.  There are several versions of Teach Me which cover all different stages of learning.

Tyson, my eldest son (ASD, 8) loves Mario and especially loves the games where he has to collect coins. When I explained to him that I had a new app on my iPad that would allow him to collect coins for tasks, he was pretty excited. Even when the tasks became a little more difficult, Tyson remained focused on obtaining coins for doing a job well done.

Here is a photo of Tyson using the Teach Me First Grade app 😉

Tyson using the Teach Me First Grade application for iPad with Taj watching.