Monday, January 29, 2007

For Sheena's Mum.
The twins' 'pope mobile'. They are about 11 months old.
Nostalgic Mum (not competitive Mum!)
I confess!!

Some time ago I gave up pretending that I am not a 'pushy' mum - after all I am enrolled to study Special Ed - hoping to understand the best options for my Hannah and other special needs kids. Now I have a much worse confession to make - I am just a tiny bit competitive Mum too - tomorrow is Hannah's first EI group session for the year. I love the two other mums and their kids that are also in the group. I am really looking ofrward to catching up with them and seeing how the little ones are going. But, there is this incy wincy part of me that hopes they haven't absolutely taken leaps and bounds over the break. Why do I have this mean spirited secret wish? I want my Hannah to shine! She HAS made amazing progress over the break. I am so proud of her and can't wait to show her off to a bunch of mums and professionals who I know will understand just how significant her walking and speech development has been. OK. I might be hoping that their kids have done well too - they are both pretty adorable too - maybe we can share the limelight, or maybe not ...

PS Child care

Hannah seems ot be settling in ok - it isn't the total disaster that it might have become. The new teacher is still getting to know the kids and an IEP needs ot be drawn up but so far so good. Fingers crossed that she has a really good and supportive year there.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thanks Michelle from Big Blueberry Eyes - as a staunch republican (as in non supporter of QEII being Australia's head of state) but a great fan of the well frocked royal I couldn't resist this link:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Eminence the Very Viscountess Shelley the Imaginary of Chipping Sodbury
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Not long ago Australia Day was an excuse for a long weekend. You didn't 'do' anything - certainly you never thought to wish anyone "Happy Australia Day". I must confess to being nostalgic for those times - when Australia day was a great excuse for doing nothing much ... maybe a bbq with friends. I don't like the nationalistic jingoism that has sprung up around it all these days - the 'contraversy' over the wearing of the flag - blah blah blah - I enjoyed invasion day as I have most years - a bbq with friends.

The brats had an absolute ball. I love watching how social and excited Hannah gets when we are out with friends and family. I can really tell the difference now as she is much less gregarious in an unfamiliar environment. She loves our friends K and R and particularly their children Rosani and Subash. So does Kit. As I said they all had a lot of tribal fun.
No sleep today ...
Rosani and Subash kindly tried to 'help' the twins have a sleep in their room - I didn't have the heart to tell them that they were hindering the process rather than helping! They read many books to the twins and lay down with them and patted them and their teddies etc. Everyone had a ball but I did worry a bit about how ugly dinnertime was goint to be with no afternoon nap!

Rudi cooked a magnificant feast of duck. We had a ball catching up with our wonderful friends and celebrating R's birthday. YUMMY! Brats sat up like little children with Rosani and Bash.

Kit learns cricket
I know I gave the intro rant about the evils of Australia Day but I did enjoy Bashie (my godson) and his parents trying to teach Kit the intracacies of cricket on that day - it was very appropriate.

PS I hold PM J Howard and his cronies Ruddock and Hanson and the rest of the morons responsible for making me feel shame about this country that I do have a very true love for.

Friday, January 26, 2007

1967 … the year that I was born …I liked this idea from Big Blueberry Eyes but didn’t really ‘get’ much from the US version so here is an edited Aussie one courtesy of Wikipedia and moi:

Prime Minister Harold Holt disappears while swimming in heavy surf at Cheviot Beach, near Portsea, Victoria (December 17).
Gough Whitlam defeats Dr Jim Cairns and Frank Crean to replace the retiring Arthur Calwell as leader of the federal Australian Labor Party
Indigenous Australians are given the right to be counted in the national census after a national referendum and legislation changing citizenship laws, but voters reject a third referendum question about breaking the nexus between the sizes of the Senate and the House of Representatives (27 May).
Harry Chan MLC becomes the Mayor of Darwin, becoming the first Australian of Asian descent to hold such an office
Ronald Ryan becomes the last man hanged in Australia, executed for the murder of a prison guard, which he committed while escaping from prison in December 1965. He was hanged on 3 February 1967.
The postcode system of postal address coding is introduced throughout Australia (July)
Federal Cabinet decides to drop the word 'British' from the cover of Australian passports, and agrees that it will have to amend the Nationality and Citizenship Act to change the designation 'British subject' on the inside of passports (August)
Folk-pop group The Seekers are named Australians Of The Year
The NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service is established
Sydney is rocked by a series of brutal underworld killings as rival gangs battle for control of the city's lucrative gambling and prostitution rackets
Australian Roman Catholic bishops publicly declare their opposition to the war in Vietnam (12 April)
Joan Lindsay's Picnic at Hanging Rock is published
This Day Tonight, Australia's first national nightly TV current affairs program, premieres on ABC-TV, hosted by Bill Peach (10 April)
South Sydney defeats Canterbury Bankstown 12-10 in the Grand Final of the NSWRL competition
Red Handed wins Melbourne Cup.

Births of note:
17 April — Barnaby Joyce, politician
20 June — Nicole Kidman, actress
8 September — James Packer, businessman
16 December — Miranda Otto, actress

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tom Bass - The Falconer:

The dove of beauty - Thine eyes are as the eyes of a dove ...

Last week I watched a great doco on SBS about the Australian sculptor Tom Bass. It was an intriguing show and he is clearly a very interesting and thoughtful man with a striking resemblance to Santa Claus.

In one segment he was describing his totemic philosophy of sculpture and discussing one of his works which he reated for the University of NSW. It depicts a horse rider, a falcon and a dove among other things. He said he got the idea from a poem but unfortunately I can't recall the poet. He also said something along the lines of the falcon of intellect needs to be tethered as unbridled technology could obliterate the beauty of the dove.

And so what should we tether the falcon of our intellect with? Love, compassion, humanity? An openness to the surprises of life. Sometimes they are the best bits. Bits like a diagnosis of DS - doesn't end one world without opening up a whole different and quite spectacular other world. A world that I am blessed to know thanks to Hannah.

Dinner at the Bay Tinh for Jacqui's birthday was as much a success as you can expect when you rock up to a restaurant for dinner with 5 kids - 3 of whom are 2 year olds! Kit loved making up the rice paper rolls - carefully putting suace on each of is creations.

Hannah wanted to use the chopsticks and gave it a good go but when that didn't go as well as she would have liked she found that they also make pretty good drumsticks.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Visiting Allison

I have a dear friend that I have known for about 7-8 years I think. She live on the 'wrong' side of Sydney so today was the first time the twins and I ventured over since September last year. She has a 6 month gorgeous little boy and Eliza, who is about 4 months older than the twins.

The twins (and I) had a great time today. A simple lunch and an opportunity for the kids to play together. Kit and Eliza have grown and changed since our last visit - especially in looks and speech development. Hannah bear has also changed since last time.
Like last time, today she spent quite a long time in the sandpit with the other children and on her own. But this time eventually it was her own initiative that took her over to the cubby house. Last time she needed some help and as she was only taking small steps with assistance she commanoed over the structure. This time she walked over to it and climbed similar to the other 2 kids. She loved it.

What a difference 3 months can make!

At one point my friend asked me if I thought that more children with DS were being born because of the later ager of women having children. To be honest I don't know the answer to her question but I did get to say that many mums of DS are 'youngens' because they don't get 'the testing'. Blah Blah Blah ... I talked a bit about my feelings re all this - Allison much less crudely seemed to be implying that having a child confined to a wheelchair would be worse than having DS becuase it limits what you can do so much! (Mmm ... not a competition ... but did I mention that perhaps it was Hannah's intellctual disabilty that might cause me more concern?? ...) To which the response was something like: "but she'll be fine, she can do things. There is a girl at --- she catches the bus and works --- ". This is not a complete transcript of our conversation and I don't want to misrepresent my friend in any way - what I want to say is how I love that about her - in some ways she has NO IDEA! In others she is so spot on - it is why she is someone that I am glad to have as my friend - she really does just see Hannah as another kid running around her yard and at the same time she talks about DS when she wants to like it is 'just another topic of conversation' - not some awkward hurdle. So there it is - she is a great friend. She doesn't fully get it (how could she?) but she accepts Hannah and is there to listen if I need her too. I am so lucky to have such good friends.

Needless to say that all three toddlers where plum tuckered out after a very busy day. Kit went to sleep talking about playing at Eliza's house and I am sure Hannah is dreaming about it tonight.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The twins have a lot of fun dressing up and trying different things. Here are some pics of their antics - all initiated by Hannah when I left them to thier own devices.

Ready to go cruising on a sunny day

American style wearing of Dad's hat ...

Dad's hat ... Hannah found this in our bedroom and brought it out to play with - see how clever she thinkg she is!

Cooking with Hats on

Trying on Kit's shorts

Monday, January 15, 2007

"Outside of a dog, a book is Man's best friend. And iside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx

Twins - these brats like to share their books too

Hannah listening to Aunty K read a story

Kit listening to the same story

The twins enjoying a story being read to them by their Aunty K.

Current top reads as chosen by the twins:
any Hairy Maclary by Lynley Dodd but particularly Scattercat and Caterwaul Caper
Down by the Station
Goodnight Little Bear
The Three Bears
We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Rumble in the Jungle
Brown Bear, Brown Bear

There is a great kids playground at Patonga - Hannah refused to wake up at first - she curled up ont eh park bench with her head in my lap. She looked so sweet!

One of Hannah's hands -
I guess that pinky does look a little crooked.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

God grant me the Serenity to know the difference ...

Thanks to Camille at Simplycamille for reminding me of my centre.

Tomorrow the twins return ot childcare after a 4 week break. They have absolutley loved having Mum and Dad home all that time - visits from grandparents, a week at the beach ... I hope tomorrow isn't too great a shock for them.

They are moving from the babies room with a maximum of 5 under 2s and 2 staff to the next room up - 13 toddlers and 2 staff. One of the staff is a new person I haven't met yet, the other is a girl who was in the babies room last year although she isn't the one that Hannah bonded with the most. Needless to say all the other kids are walking and talking in typical patterns. My Hannah is walking independently now but not for very long bursts. She is familiar with the room but I know she will find it all very overwhelming and intimidating for a while yet.

I ran into the director (a maternity replacement) today and she suggested I gatecrash a meeting she is having on Tuesday with the head of wherever these Ed people come from. The woman is coming out for paperwork but she is the one who will assess whether Hannah 'needs' additional support in the bigger room. It is very hard to get and they have already said last year that Hannah doesn't need it. I am not very hopeful and am feeling a bit lacklustre about it all I am afraid.

So yes it is timely that I recall my mother's favourite prayer:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A present from his Godpapa on hearing that Kit had been seen wearing one of his sister's frocks.

Our holiday at Patonga

Patonga is a wee fishing village north of Sydney. It has a fish and chip shop/General Store at one end and a council camp/caravan site at the other. In between there are two streets. We have just returned from holidaying in one of the beach front shacks there. This was the view from our front porch.

The swing in the front yard

Hannah's party dress ... she looked gorgeous!

Driving ...

Last week the twin's cousin Jacob turned two - he still sin't too sure about his present from his parents but my brats were eager to have a go in it!

Kit dresses up ...

All the talk of getting ready for Jacobs party and mum and Hannah wearing dresses had Kit quite jealous, until ...

but not to be worn to the party ... just out for brekky with his godmother - we're not that modern out west!


Back from holidays and I can't sleep even though i am dog-tired. I tried to keep my mind off the mental to do lists but instead found myself considering careers for the twins - again. Hannah for the circus. Kit has a choice or preferably some of each of the following in his future: cello player, pediatrician (preferably of the cardiac variety) and Elvis impersonater. So what do I hope for my darlings? I want Hannah to find work that is satisfying, fun and challenging. I want Kit to find work that is individual, creative, giving, caring and fun... Lord knows what the fates will bring them but I hope it is close to my wishes at least!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hannah and the Circus

Even some of my dearest friends who know my slightly odd sense of humour look a bit askance when i say that I think Hannah would be great in the circus. She has a lot of flexability, incredible nerves of steel and the most sublime sense of the ridiculous. I don't know how any circus could pass her up! I can just see her with all her determination being one of the bareback riders, or swinging through the air above the big net, or taming the wild beasts with her charm, or cycling around with the poodles or mastering the puppet show. She has already started a bit of a puppet collection that she just loves. My Hannah bear brings a lot of laughter and joy to us - particularly to her more serious twin - I think the audiences of the Big Top would be lucky to see her perform. Still she is only 2 and I am sure that there are lots of other career options that she will want to consider down the track ... she loves singing, dance and drums ... maybe something in that line? Whatever it is I want her to be highly visible and 'out there' as Tarenne from All 4 my Gals might say: DS Rocks! or at least my Hannah Bear does.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Christmas is over and here comes the New Year ...

Here is Kit on the bike Santa brought for him. I'd like to find one in tricycle form that can cope with Hannah's short legs - it is great for going to the park.

Lucky one of our good friends got these outfits for the brats. We were cooking up a storm prior to Christmas - they not only helped make the Christmas cake they also iced and decorated it. We made some wonderful chocolate chip cookies, some relish and some fudge too - these cooking outfits will definitely come in handy around here. My Tupperware sifter arrived too - it is fabulous for the brats to use - much more child friendly than just shaking the colander which is what I have been doing for years.

How gorgeous is my girl??? I love this photo that Pop took of her admiring herself and her new dress on Christmas Day.

Here is the brats sharing a bowl of ice cream that afternoon.

Well it is with a bit of sadness that I farewell the Christmas season - this one has been wonderful. My parents were down from Brisbane as was one of my sisters and her 3 year old. The twins just loved everything about the season - giving and receiving presents, singing - so much singing in this house!, baking, having Mum and Dad home all the time, the many social activities etc. We took them to the children's mass at St Bridgits. It was lovely to go with their grandparents. HTere was a children's pageant which was wonderful. Kit has been particularly enthralled with 'The Little Drummer Boy' since then as they had 2 little boys drum their way down the aisle as part of the mass. Soon it will be time to dismantle the decorations and put away the Christmas cds that have brought so much fun this year.
Last night we welcomed in the new year at home - a bbq with treat dessert for the brats and then a grown ups bbq with 2 of our very best friends. A lovely way to look to the future - I can't wait to see what it brings - my Hannah bear is wonky walking more every day - I wonder how long it will be before it stops amazing me and just becomes 'normal'? She is speaking more too which I just love. Kit is pedalling on that bike and in a few months no doubt he will be able to go far by himself on it - mastering the steering may take a bit longer of course. They are moving up into the bigger room at childcare - I hope that change goes smoothly. And somehow I am hoping to study part time. I hope that we and everyone in blogland has a great new year. God bless.