Monday 6 May 2019

Easter holiday fun

Lately I've been finding it difficult to summon much motivation for blogging. There's so much I'd like to say and write about, but  reasons for not always being able to. Busy lives, carer burnout, pressure to perform perhaps. I've found it easier to write short daily updates over on my Facebook page rather than longer posts, but of course the downside of that is that the Facebook posts don't tend to have the same longevity or to be kept as a record in the same way.

Also, our girl with PDA is getting older and has started reading my blog more frequently. It's not that she's expressed any desire for me to stop writing just yet, but I'm more mindful of what I write and how I phrase things than I maybe was when I first started this blog as a kind of online diary.
stephs two girls grandparents
To try and break the blog post famine I decided to jump back in and start with a little update of the time we spent visiting my parents during the Easter holidays this year. It was such a great trip away, albeit a little on the short side, just a few days. We were lucky with the weather and I must have taken around a hundred photos in that time though, of the girls, sunsets and beach huts, so I thought I'd share some here!

My parents still live in the town I grew up in, a four hour drive away from where we currently live, so sadly we don't get to see them as often as I'd like. Sasha really struggles with travelling anywhere, via any mode of transport, so we do have to plan carefully where, when and what. The build-up to going can be quite stressful, to the point where I'm never actually sure she will agree to get in the car to go. I think it's partly travel sickness (thankfully she's only ever been sick whilst travelling once, but of course she can't forget that!) mixed with anxiety over travel accidents and her strong desire to just stay home where she has all her comforts and routines exactly as she wants them.
stephs two girls as bridesmaids
The last time we visited my parents was straight after my older brother's wedding in summer last year. That whole event was amazing of course; Sasha did enjoy the day (she was one of six bridesmaids), but at the same time it was very stressful for her. The knock-on after-effect meant that our time at my parents last summer was less relaxing overall, as Sasha was stressed and didn't want to leave the comfort of their home very much. This time, Sasha instantly felt more relaxed and happier when we arrived, so that definitely played a part in the fun times we had.

For the four days we were there this time, we took it easy. That is definitely the key to success as far as Sasha is concerned! We ambled down to the beachfront most days. 
stephs two girls on beach
Sasha loves the beach here, mainly because it is such a huge expanse that it appears quiet. There's few people who are crazy enough to go into the freezing water like Sasha, so she's almost always alone (apart from the times when she insists I follow her in, brrrr). She calls herself a 'volcano on two legs' and she really doesn't seem to notice a temperature which is turning others blue.... She also loves to dig channels as the tide comes in, a favourite past-time of mine from childhood too.
stephs two girls in cinema
One morning we booked to go and see a new film release at the local cinema (which we could walk to, a real treat). Sasha rarely wants to go to the cinema as she struggles to sit still for the length of a film and she's very choosy about which films she thinks she will enjoy. I think we're up to about six in total which she's seen on the big screen (and she rarely watches any others at home either). This release was a fun animation called Wonderpark; Sasha surprised me by deciding that she would have popcorn to go with it. That's a new food right there! Although she probably won't eat it again, she's already told me. We were the only people in the very small screening room for the trailers so we had a good laugh deciding where best to sit until a couple of other families came in right at the end. Later that day Sasha also asked to try an ice cream (from the hut where I used to work myself as a young girl) - she has eaten ice-cream before, but only on very rare occasions so again it was nice to see her try something different.
stephs two girls at annes pier
Another day we headed onto the pier, where there are hundreds of slot machines and game machines to play. We spent what felt like an hour (but was probably 30 minutes) pushing hundreds of 2ps into the slots because Sasha became fixated on trying to get a unicorn keyring to fall over the edge. We managed it once, then again... but they weren't the right colours! Fortunately we eventually managed it a third time before I lost the will to live or had to take out a second mortgage (I'm not sure which would have come first). 
stephs two girls on piano
Then the girls moved on to playing on a piano machine together, followed by our eldest hitting the jackpot for the tickets! Luckily she's a good girl and decided to share the winnings with Sasha... a whoopee cushion it was. They were both in such good spirits that I even managed to persuade them to pose for a photo.
stephs two girls on pier
Apart from all the digging and playing on the pier, the girls had great fun bouncing on both flat and bungee trampolines together. 
stephs two girls on trampolines
We also made a special trip to the Sandcastle Waterpark one day, and that venue was so good in terms of access for those with disabilities that I'm going to write a separate blog post all about our time there.
stephs two girls at sandcastle waterpark map
I think it's fair to say that this was a fantastic and much needed break for us; nothing too strenuous and of course lovely to be able to spend happy times with my parents, with my girls. Times like this are always appreciated!
steph and her two girls all smiling

stephs two girls beach shot

To find out more about our experiences, please check out our 'About Us' page. If you are looking for more information on Pathological Demand Avoidance, the posts below may help.

What is PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)?

Ten things you need to know about Pathological Demand Avoidance

Does my child have Pathological Demand Avoidance?

The difference between PDA and ODD

Strategies for PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)

Pathological Demand Avoidance: Strategies for Schools

Challenging Behaviour and PDA

Is Pathological Demand Avoidance real?

Autism with demand avoidance or Pathological Demand Avoidance?

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  1. Sounds like an amazing time. Love the photos x

    1. It was! I always love having lots of photos :)

  2. What a fantastic holiday. All the best things beach,cinema and ice cream. Sasha must have been having a great time if she was up for trying new foods. Great photos too x

    1. Yes, being calmer about her surroundings definitely helped with the new things!

  3. This looks like a few really wonderful days together by the seaside! And so many lovely photos and memories to look back on. Fantastic about trying new food stuffs as well xx

  4. Two new foods tried in a few days. That's fabulous! I guess that must also be an indication of feeling quite relaxed?

    1. Yes, definitely! Struggling to get her to try anything now we're back into school weeks :/


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