Friday, October 20, 2006

Oodles of noodles

October is good food month in Sydney so last night we took the twins into the city to Hyde Park for the Night Noodle Markets. I think the photoes demonstrate how much fun we had!

One Mischievious Monkey
Before I go any further - can I just say that I had an absolutely revolting incident with a colleague today at work?? I HATE working this way - oh for the days of collegiality, vision, leadership, professional behaviour and respect ... the list goes on so I had best leave it there!

Our Hannah has turned into one mischievious monkey - some kids I know are natural climbers. Kit climbs a bit but he has been more interested in moving around, walking and running. Hannah loves standing on her own and taking a couple of steps towards an adult. When she tires of that she likes to climb so now I can't leave her anywhere unattended for - mmm - 20 seconds??!!!! The little brat just loves it!

Yes, they are undies on over her jeans. My Aunty Anne gave her two pairs for her birthday. Ridiculous I know but also very cute and they love them. Kit is wearing the other pair - and he even brought out a pair of mine and a bra to show that he knew what they were!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

TWO! Happy Birthday my precious ones. Watching you learn and grow has been wonderful. You have taken us on an unforgettable journey - and we are loving it! Congratulations on all of your amazing achievements so far. It is only the beginning ...

The brats had a lot of fun and so did we at their birthday party on the weekend. I know I should be embarassed but I was very proud of Hannah who at one stage in the afternoon demanded both 'More presents!' and 'more cake'! Kit had a lot of fun playing with SUbash in his 'boat' out the back. An excellent acknowledgement of thier turning two. Last year the party was really for us - a celebration and an opportunity to thank all our family and friends who had been so supportive during some tough times. THis year it was for the twins - they love singing Happy Birthday and really got intot he whole party thing.

Unfortunately our first 'Walk With a Mate' was on the same day - but I hear that it went very well and so hopefully we will be able to go and show our support next year.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Alma Park Zoo

The brats had great fun visiting a zoo when they were in Brisbane. Kit loved feeding the animals and was always grabbing for the feed bag - Mr Independence wanted to do it himself all thetime. Hannah bear was already tired when we arrived at about 10am but fought off sleep until we left at about 3 she was so taken by all the sights. She didn't like touching the beasties though. Her favourites were the Koalas (not surprising given her love of bears) and the pigs! Kit liked them all - he had a ball seeing all his book critters come to life!

With a Baa Baa here ...

Feeding the roos

Checking out the little chicks

Blinky Bill

Our mob
Hannah's new dress - a present from one of my Townsville cousins.

Kit's new T-shirt - from the same cousin

I have just returned from visiting my parents in Queensland. I flew up witht he twins on my own - lucky it was not a long flight - an hour and a half! Kit was wonderful and so was Hannah but she screamed during takeoff on the way there and refused to drink or chew or suck a lolly for me - so my bag of coping goodies was useless! Panadol seemed to help on the return trip though.

It was wonderful to spend some time with my parents and my sister and her husband and their little boy who is exactly one year and one day older than the twins. He is an absolute darling - but such a petrol head! One of my Aunties and her partner came over for a bbq too which was lovely and there were lots of goodies for the twins - some sent down form Townsville by another Aunty of mine.

My Mum has been very sick lately so it was really good to see her and to know that she is on the mend. Hannah played to the gallery of course and impressed her mum by consistently taking 2-3 steps between me and her grandmother. It is looking like my goal for her to be walking by Christmas is becoming more likely - such a good little brat. Kit had fun but is naturally more wary of strange places than Han is - they both missed their Dad too - their smiles were huge when he came and got us form Sydney airport - and Hannah wouldn't stop chatting and saying "Dad, Dad" all the way back to the car.

The twins and their cousin Daniel

How wild is this child???

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Carers Week - Oct 15 - 21

I don't consider myself a 'carer' and to be honest I feel uncomfortable calling myself one. I am Hannah's MOTHER - so why do I feel this way? I don't know. I know that 'carers' do amazing and important work but for me - at the risk of playing semantics - Hannah is first and foremost my most gorgeous daughter.

There are currently more than 2.5 million carers in Australia. According to Carers Australia they provide a service that is worth about $30 billion a year in wages and operating costs. We have two gov't payments available - one is means tested and the carers allowance is not. In an Australian Bureau of Statistics survey in 2003 - 19% of carers received the full carer payment. 20% had not even investigated the possibility of receiving support as they did not consider themselves 'carers'. 13% had never heard of the payment.

So I am one of the lucky ones - the doctors I saw when Hannah was born were diligent in making sure that I knew about the payment and they were happy to complete the form regarding the nature of her disability. This allowance that I get covers Hannah's EI cost and a bit more. Perhaps when she is older and her developmental delays become more obvious and affect her life choices more then I will start thinking of myself as a 'carer' too but I hope that I never feel more like a 'carer' than a 'mother'.

The survey showed that few carers actually took advantage of the respite available - I hope that Carers Week raises awareness of the service provided by carers and also an awareness of life in all its fullness - life when someone you love has a debilitating illness or a disability. Yes it could easily be you. Yet in a caring and civilised society it should not be cruelly burdensome or isolating but embraced as part of life. An important and valuable part of life. Where the person in need of care is recognised as an asset to the society. A person who gives as well as receives because after all isn't that what life is?

Lunching with Work Friends

The sandpit

The twins and I had lunch with some friends from work yesterday. The kids had a ball playing with our host's little girl who is about four months older than they are. Hannah played happily in the sandpit with Kit and Eliza. Then Kit and Eliza went over to another piece of play equipment. Hannah stayed happily playing in the sandpit. After a few minutes I got up and took Hannah over to where the other two were playing. I showed her where she could climb up and join in if she wanted to. One of the other Mums said to me as I went over to Hannah - "Oh she is having fun in the sandpit. Leave her there". And so she was but she had fun on the climbing equipment too.

Later the kids were back in the sandpit for a while and this time when the 2 'bigger' ones left and went back to the climbing equipment/playhouse - guess who was right on their tail? It highlighted for me in a small way how important it is for Hannah's childcare to do the same. Once she had an intro to that equipment she didn't need any coaxing to keep up with her peers - even though she is not walking and her speech is way behind them she played happily and enthusiastically with them. Needless to say both twins were very tired by the time we left that house!

The climbing equipment

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Queen's Birthday, Long Weekend