Monday, October 29, 2007


Presents - I love them. Reading the marvellous book Gifts made me think about present giving and receiving a bit more - especially given I have just survived (I think) the merrygoround of our October birthdays.

Thinking back the best presents I have ever received:
An opal triplet bracelet that my husband bought for me when we were 18 and first dating. He had to save up so long to buy it and then I lost it when I was out shopping one day.
The shortie pajamas that my grandmother (Nin) used to make us all each Christmas. She was a pensioner - and a lot of love and skill went onto those pjs.
The pearl necklace that belonged to my husband's mother that he gave to me on my 21st birthday, not very long after his mother had died from cancer.
The Singer sewing machine that my folks gave me about 15 years ago - Dad had picked it up at a second hand shop. Also the all in one vertical record player (ghettoblaster) they got me when I was a teenager and that I still have stored in the garage despite P wanting me to get rid of it.

One of the things that marks out the above presents is that they were given with love, great thoughtfulness and sometimes sacrifice by people that I love very much. Gifts is such a book. The generosity of spirit demonstrated by each story, the honest telling of personal stories is wonderful - Thank you so much to all the contributers and the people who helped to put it all together - it is great - I love it. I was so excited when the bookshop rang to say my order had arrived. I read it avidly over the weekend and was not disappointed. Special thanks has to go to the wonderful contributions of Jennifer, Beth and Michelle - you are amazing women. I will definitely be recommending this one to any new Mums I hear about.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Missing You

Jillian wrote a post on whether your blog reveals the real you - or rather how much are you like your blog? I have to say that give or take some stuff I don't put on here - what you see is what you get. It made me think of how I enjoy reading certain blogs - of how strangers can be strangers and friends at the same time.

I still wander over every now and again to see if Em from 3 X 3 has returned to blogland and last night I tried to visit Rebecca at A Little Something Extra only to find her gone - and The Quiet Storm also. Rebecca's Always Chaos was one of my first intros to the online DS community - and I haven't looked back - except for occassions like these when I notice that like in life sometimes our paths cross with those of exceptional people and then they diverge again. Sometimes we are lucky to meet up with them again later in our travels, sometimes not. Like the people I have lost contact with in 'real life' I will think of these online friends from time to time for years to come I am sure and wish the God Speed whereever they are.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yes, the T Shirts were white

Edwardsville Journal

My in laws had a US exchange student stay with them earlier this year. We all loved her - she was great. She taught the violin. She is the reason Kit holds his ukelele under his chin sometimes and whenever we explain that someone lives far away (like the other day when I was saying Santa Claus lived in the North Pole so we had to write to him) he says 'near Anita'. Recently we had an in absentia birthday party for Anita - where Hannah cut the cake - if her speech was as good as Kit's she'd be saying the same things - she really loves Anita - was totally comfortable with her.

Anyway all this is background to the fact that Anita sent an email - she has been observing a young boy with DS play the violin and he is doing a pretty good job of it - she thought we might be interested as Hannah is 'quite musical'. The link to a news article about this boy - Emmanuel Bishop - is in the title of this post. What a small world hey? And how great that there are wonderful, generous people like Anita out there - she is going to make a great teacher.

Buddy Walk - NSW Down Syndrome Association

Hannah is on the home page in a pretty chocolately picture! There is also a photo gallery of everyone else at the walk on Sunday. It really was a lovely day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

We did it - our first Buddy Walk!

Yes after the bridge we bought Hannah a chocolate icecream ...
Well y worst fears about turning 40 have been confirmed! Off to the drs tomorrow for more blood tests - yes I am wearing out well before my usebydate it seems!

Lucky the Buddy walk went so well. There were 18 of us in all - gathered together to raise awareness and $ for DS - and to celebrate the wonderful gift that a certain red headed brat brings into our lives. My she ruled the roost! She fell asleep in the car on the way to child care this moirning she was still so tired! It was a great day. Everyone had fun. We walked across the harbour bridge and over to Lady Macquarie's Chair in the botanic gardens for a picnic.

Not quite so great is Kit telling his child care teacher that he went on the 'bloody walk' yesterday - yup - his speech is actually really good but for some reason - his buddy definitely sounds more like bloody.
Some of Hannah's fans -
Catch me if you can!
Too cool ...
Kit loves Captain Feathersword's 'blow me down' skit - here he and R are doing thier own version.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I turn 40 on Tuesday. I wish I was turning 30 but with what I now know at 40.

Garden Party

Check out these lettuces!

I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name
No one recognized me, I didn't look the same

But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself

People came from miles around, everyone was there
Yoko brought her walrus, there was magic in the air
'n' over in the corner, much to my surprise
Mr. Hughes hid in Dylan's shoes wearing his disguise


lott-in-dah-dah-dah, lot-in-dah-dah-dah

Played them all the old songs, thought that's why they came
No one heard the music, we didn't look the same
I said hello to "Mary Lou", she belongs to me
When I sang a song about a honky-tonk, it was time to leave


lot-dah-dah-dah (lot-dah-dah-dah)

Someone opened up a closet door and out stepped Johnny B. Goode
Playing guitar like a-ringin' a bell and lookin' like he should
If you gotta play at garden parties, I wish you a lotta luck
But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck


lot-dah-dah-dah (lot-dah-dah-dah)

'n' it's all right now, learned my lesson well
You see, ya can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself

WHOO HOO The twins turn three tomorrow. How amazing is that? Just four years ago I thought I'd have to resign myself to having no children of my own. I knew I'd need some counselling to get me through - now I may well need therapy - but for a totally different reason!

The Garden Party went very well - I think everyone had a good time. I love the sense of family and community that comes from our best friends, their children, our family (well P's cos mine are too far way to come!) enjoying the spring weather - rampaging around our backyard and through our house. This year we had space to ask the families of a couple of kids from Hannah's EI - really nice people and gorgeous children. We also asked a few from the twins childcare - Hannah doesn't have any particular friends there - it is one of the reasons I really want to work on her social skills in her ISFP - so only 2 boys who were asked came - both friends of Kit.
One little fellow - Toby has been a good friend of Kit's since he started at childcare at 15 months. They looked so cute together. Their isn't much movie/older kids stuff here - but Kit has picked up a bit from Toby - so even though he has never seen Toy Story he recognises Buzz Lightyear and wanted one for his birthday. Toby arrived with his Buzz under his arm and one wrapped up for Kit - they then ran around all afternoon with their Buzzes under their arms. This afternoon when I put Kit down for his nap he told mem how Toby's mum brings Buzz when she collects him from Childcare - so can I do the same?
This may not be so - it may just be that I have come to know these families more closely and spent more time with them over the past 3 years but I had no concerns about the fmailies from Han's EI feeling comfy - but the two families from childcare - I think that they are lovely - but I don't really know them. Without something like a 'special needs' child to break down the barriers then adult reserve really inhibits friendships. I am sure they are lovely people but still I feel very guarded around them - not relaxed because I haven't 'sussed' them out enough.


Kit loves his:
1) Buzz
2) Mixing bowl, sifter, mixing spoons and star shaped cake tins
3) New guitar

Hannah loves:
1) Her Wiggles tent or 'house'
2) Pop goes the Wiggles dvd
3) Her new dresses - a giraffe one (from her aunt Betty) and some gorgeous ones made by Nin Nin.

Here are some photoes from their party:

PS I am a huge Ricky Nelson fan. My parents instilled in me a HUGE love of 50's/60's and Country music (very handy when we used to go to pub trivia every Tuesday night in the 'shams). I saw Ricky Nelson with them some time in the 80's at some tacky RSL venue no doubt - I still remedmber the white jumper I wore and the red rose I put on the stage - he was gorgeous! Gotta love a garden party - in fact my wedding dress remisnded me of the sort of frock I might wear should I ever be invited to a garden party at the White House.

Monday, October 08, 2007


The brats had SO much FUN running wild around the house and bouncing on their beds. I was a bit more wary givent aht Kit had dallen off a trampoline in the morning (onto concrete) and ended up with an egg on his forehead. Later after they were asleep and I was working on uni stuff we ehard Hannah start to scream - she'd bitten the back of her lip the poor darling and was bleeding. After lots of cuddles and a clean up - back to bed she went - to dream no doubt about being a rockstar with her brother.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Down at the station:
Last night we did our usual read one book each (of their choosing) to the twins. Hannah chose 'Down at the Station" - she was finishing phrases in it and doing actions too - our girl is just gorgeous.

We have had a good weekend. Growers markets yesterday were a bit crowded (more than usual as Oct is 'good food month') but we soldiered on. Once we got home we pottered around the house, cleaning and I did a bit of reading for Uni. As P cooked a delicious steamed chicken idsh for dinner nad I did some study the brats ran around playing together happily ( I love watching them do this - mostly they were making musci and 'driving' in their car - aka a couple of little chairs lined up - too cute).

After dinner they insisted on inviting P and I into their playroom which they had 'decorated' for a party (using some of the costume leis etc) then we all sang Happy Birtghday before they took turns at cutting the 'birthday cake' and sharing it with us. Bliss - a lovely evening.

This morning I took them to an informal 'playgroup' for want of a better term. There were 4 kids with DS and 3 without. The idea is for the kids to socialise a bit with each other and do some physical activity - like playing ball. They had a good time so we are going to try and keep meeting at each other's houses for a while and eventually maybe at a local park - if it works out.

This afternoon I weeded and mulched - garden party is looming nearer! More decorating to do this week and yes I will post some party pics once the big event is over and done with!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Swinging ...
I am really enjoying Tricia's Get it Down for Oct - although it is also giving me plenty of reasons to procrastinate on that essay I am meant to be writing!! Opting for a quiet day so I could do some uni work I took the brats to the 'sandy park' this morning and am meant to be doing soe uni reading (not blog reading!!) while they sleep. Still a good day - here are some pics from the park:

Rowing team ...
Have I mentioned how much I love the new area we have moved to? It isn't far from our old suburb which we also loved but here there are at least 3 other kids nearby that have DS - a girl about 6, another who is 4, Hannah at nearly 3 and a little boy who is 1. So we are going to try getting them together with siblings for an informal playgroup - just to see how they get on and to give them an opportunity to socialise with each other. We are going to meet at one of the familiy homes and a couple of us will watch the kids while the rest of us steer clear and let the children direct their own play. I hope it works. If it does we will try and make it a regular activity. I think it is important to have friends that are 'typical' as well as some that are disabled. Have I said how much I like living in this area?? Now I just have to save the pennies so we can afford to buy nearby!

People First

Smelling the flowers ...
Yesterday I read a wonderful post on "But she doesn't look like she has DS ..." - from memory it is from Lovely and Amazing - well worth reading! Today as I was reading the Sydney Morning Herald - there were two articles related to autism - or rather people with autism - one had a heading about an 'autistic man' and the first line in the other referred to 'autistic children'. It reminded me of yesterday's post. Is this the first and last battle against the unspoken prejudices our kids experience? One of the mum's in the news article was quoted as saying "he is a gorgeous and happy little boy ...". When will others see a person, a child with many abilities before they see the disability, the stereotype, the difference?

So here she is - a little girl - gorgeous, happy, SO determined to keep up with her twin - who happens to have Down syndrome. Her focus and persistence amaze me. Yes doing things that Kit picks up so quickly take her longer (usually) but oh my - she sticks at it until she has got it - like riding these bikes - we got Hannah the tricycle for her birthday - and she loves it but she also wanted to have a go on Kit's bigger bike too - and no one could persuade her otherwise!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Check out these Gummies!!

Hi there - Christina at Prince Vince is participating in Get it Down 31 for 21 for Oct. And she has some GREAT gumboots to giveaway to support October - A month for raising awareness about Down Syndrome. Check them out! You can use the link in the heading of this post.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cover girl

Guess who is one of the beautiful faces to make it onto the cover of DSA (NSW) fundraising calendar??? Check out the cutie in the bottom right hand corner.

Also I had been angling to give Oct a bit of a DS profile in our local parents/kids mag - Sydney's Child - so I wrote a letter responding to one of their articles and made sure I mentioned our buddy walk. I also managed to give a plug to Lifestart - Hannah's EI provider because they truly are fabulous. And Yay - they published it - so mission accomplished. They run a column each month - D3 - diversity, disability and diagnosis - the article I responded to was a very good one about being a special needs parent. Lucky for me my letter coincided with their annual D3 issue - so that increased my chances of getting the publicity I wanted for DS.