Saturday, March 29, 2008


Parachoc moustache
The other morning I was helping to put Hannah's shoes on and was explaining to her what was happening that day. Where everyone was going. I said "and Mummy's going to work." To which she interupted me with a pretty clear spoken "Why Mummy?' and gestured 'why' too. It made me stop, in surprise, then with a huge smile I hugged her and told her why Mummy had to leave her to go to work. A moment of totally unexpected bliss.

Kit has been driving me nuts with his whys for ages (they have started to ease up thankfully). It just never occurred to me that this was a stage Hannah would reach. I never considered it a milestone - but there it is, another milestone. A few days later she was wanting to help cook dinner. So she was standing at our regular stove but her father was cooking outside on the BBQ - I was telling her about the stove top and where her dinner was being cooked - and got 2 seperate 'whys' in perfect context.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Show 2008

Swapped hats
Kit and Morgan
B1 and B2 put on a great show.
Hannah and a Banana
A good day at the show - each year the twins react differently to what they see. It was good to see that Hannah really enjoyed the abckids stage show - even more than last time. Those bananas ripped up the stage - I really enjoyed them too! Best of all for Hannah though were the teddy bears that came with B1 and B2 - unfortunatley I was too close to get a good shot but I tried. We didn't see as many animals this year but Hannah tells me that her favourites were the goats. lol. By the time we hit the showbag pavillion the brats were exhausted so they sat outside with their father while I scooted round as quickly as I could to get them their shrek and Dora stuff.

Princess Hannah

Hunting for Eggs

Everyone here had a good easter Sunday. We took the brats to the local church - our first visit there since we moved to the area - it seemed good and the attached school has an open day coming up - I wonder what their attitude towards inclusion will be? Then it was off to maraude with the rest of the family. After lunch a variety of smaller eggs were 'hidden' in the garden. It was the twins first Easter Egg Hunt and boy - they got the concept REALLY QUICKLY!!! The older cousins were very keen to 'win' - Kit doesn't really understand what that means but he figured out it was important. That night at home he asked me if he 'won' - and then said he wanted to have another hunt at home - 'so he and Hannah could win'. Little brat did well - no killer instinct though - once she figured she had enough eggs she sat herself down to tuck in.

The haul

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy World Down Syndrome Day

A day to celebrate Hannah's prescence in our family, the society and the world!

Easter Blessings

After watching videos in the afternoon the Brats decided to burn some excess energy bu jumping on their father!

Well - Easter is here - World DS Day has come and gone. We didn't do anything in particular to mark it - but we all had a great Good Friday. In the morning we had our oldest friends (from school) over for brunch with their children. One of our friends from school is in Canberra now - and she was up in Sydney for hte weekend so she was able to come too - a real treat! It was great to see her - we got her busy tattooing all the kids (and she and I gave ourselves one too after the kids were done). It is just lovely to watch 6 kids maraud around - having a ball. Our littlest is nearly one and crawling and standing like a champ - she really entered the foray in full swing!
Our tatoo parlour
That put us in the holiday spirit so we took a family trip to the video shop which the brats just love. It is a bit cold and overcast here so it was a good day for videos. Today is looking at houses (what else could I possibly want to do with my weekend?). Tomorrow will be church and a family lunch complete with easter egg hunt. We are also keen to take the brats to the Royal Easter Show - it is always a hoot.

Hannah's appointment with the pediatrician went well. He is really happy with her progress - said she was the brightest little kid with DS he'd seen!! (He was basing this on her ability to focus and stay on task for puzzles and drawings) So yes her father in particular is GLOWING with PRIDE. I too must say that I was proud of her - I HATE terms like 'high functioning' etc. After listening to his father brag, Kit asked if he was 'smart' - I told him very definitely that yes he was but that he also had a 'good heart' and that is even more important - because that is what I believe. Still I wouldn't be human if I didn't have a bit of a glow after the praise the doc gave Han. I love it when other people can see just how gorgeous she is.

He did however suggest a sleep test - with a view to removing adenoids and tonsils and having grommits put in at the same time. That is something I will get to soon - but we are in NO hurry to put her under the surgeon's knife again. He said that it would maximise her potential - by giving her more energy and stamina. I asked about dietary supplements - it is something I haven't actually got around to but have often thought I should try and see a naturopath or something in case supplements might help Hannah further - he suggested Fish oil supplement 'eye q' so I have bought that - much easier than surgery!

Oh and she is on the 3rd percentile of the 'regular' growth charts!

Hannah loves helping out around the house - she is even good at putting things away - something I wish she'd teach her brother to do!
I appliqued Kit's top for easter - unfortunatley instead of a rabbit driving a car - he got a crazed mouse with rabbit ears in a car!! Oh well - Hannah's chick and easter egg basket turned out at least.
The brats LOVE going out for icecream and babycinos - here they are afterwards enjoying a ride in the big red car - Hannah always refused to go on it once the motor started - but she had no troubles this day - so long as she was in the drivers seat!


Friday, March 14, 2008

The last of Clive - farewell Puss!

At Nan and Pop's
Getting ready for Easter
dancing on the table
at music
Rescue me

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Clive the 'literacy cat' from child care came home with Hannah yesterday. She prefers dolls and 'babies' to play with but we will see how we go - Clive is meant to come on adventures with us and then hannah writes up (or mum does the homework!) so Hannah can report back to her firends about CLives week with us. Today he is coming swimming and to EI - so long as we don't forget to pack him!

PS - Kit's cat now has a tail.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Target had 20% of kids sleepwear so I bought the brats new pjs and robes - Hannah got Dorothy and Kit, Thomas. Part of the shopping spree was a plain sloppy Joe which I was hoping to applique a car or an aeroplane on but Kit requested a cat - so here he is - Black Max (minus tail - I will get to that - but by the time I realised I was onto my second wine - it had best wait I think).

For those of you who don't know - there is a perk to being a mum - better than the stereotypical teenage baby sitter - Babysitting!! It is a great gig!

SO what did I do last night? I arrived in time to share a glass of wine with S's parents. We chatted for a bit - she was asleep - then they went out for dinner - leaving a lovely lamb and lettuce stew for me to enjoy - yes they are great cooks!!

Once they headed out the door I ate my dinner, watched You Got Mail, read some of Peter Carey's new novel - His illegal Self, then I had a bubble bath in the gorgeous claw foot with all accompaniments. Baby S called out - but every time I raced down the hall she was snoring peacefully. SO I put on Sense and Sensibilty and lusted over the lovely Hugh Grant until my friends arrived home. MMM .... a totally lovely bit of R and R. I have requested that they book me in at least every 6 weeks.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, P was cooki9ng dinner as I left, wrangling brats intot he bath, convincing them that bed was a good idea - to the point where he shut the door on Han until she finally fell asleep just inside the door.

This babysitting lark is great! I need more friends to feel that they can ask me to babysit their children - the younger the better!!

Nothin Much

"Out here nothin' changes, not in a hurry anyway ..."
Yep - that is my life at the moment. Still in real estate woes, Hannah still has a cold so P rescheduled her appointment with the audiologist, still trying to balance home, work, kids and my own time.

Hannah and Kit went on an excursion to the Australian Museum on Friday with their Child care centre. I wish I could have seen all those little kids on the bus!! I was worried about Hannah as even though my MIL had said she would be able to go too - there was no more room on the bus - so Hannah was off on her first 'mainstream' excursion without any of her family there to look after her (besides Kit of course!).

The CCC have always been great baout having Hannah there - but it isn't always a smooth road - one of the costs of mainstreaming is the lack of expertise in working with Han, the higher ratio of kids (no extra staff allocation for Hannah) - and for a child like Hannah it hasn't always been ideal.

Hannah isn't the stereotypical 'down's kid' that people (generally who don't know anyone with DS!) might imagine. She is quite self sufficient, not very confident in engaging others in play or in joining in in their games - so at cc she tends to play alone or alongside other kids. She doesn't talk much but has good receptive language skills and enjoys following the routine - so is no 'trouble' - in other words sometimes she cruises thorugh her day without any challenging tasks - and she really needs those challenges to extend her play etc.

The carers in her new room have been getting to know her. They have been doing some one-on-one work with her - and she has been making good progress as a result - for example they were very excited to say that one of her main carers there had got Hannah to say - 2 words, loudly! - She said "No wee!" - so you can guess the preceding events ... Still I don't think that they really knew Hannah - the fun loving, cheeky, excited little girl that runs wildly through the house - that Hannah is only seen by her family and those she loves best - like her friend Rosani.

SO I was absolutely overjoyed to see the teachers - tired after a big day out with 30 3 - 4 year olds - talking excitedly about how Hannah 'had come to life', how the carer that had spent the day looking after her - had enough photoes to write a book just on Hannah, How they had had so much fun together, how it had been 'really moving' to see the joy on her face. Yes mainstreaming has its costs but on days like those I feel so optimistic that it is worth every bit of 'missed' structure in her day. They now know what Hannah is like when she is comfortable and with people she loves. How good is that???

Kit also had a good day - sat on the bus with his best friend. He excitedly told me about some of the things that they had seen - but not too much because he said that now we had to take him there! So I guess that is an excursion for the family in the near future.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A quiet week. Both brats are doing well. Hannah has her first cold of the year - naturally - as she is to see the ENT today for her 4th ear check in 12 months - the last 3 have all had poor to bad results but she has had a cold each time! I took her to our local dr on Tuesday as if he could see any obvious inflamation or fluid I was going to postpone the ENT but he says it looks ok (from what he could see as there was dried wax blocking his view). Hope it goes ok. It is one appointment that I have managed to farm off to P as work is starting to get hectic with the students' first assessment coming up.

Hannah loves cooking at the moment and often brings out this kids cookbook to look through.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Well another week gone by and still no home to call our own. We missed out at auction on Sat. I didn 't really mind - we are trying not to let it upset our weekends but tonight I must admit to feeling a bit of 'here we go again' about the whole thing. Let's hope something turns up soon.

My best friend had her 40th on Sat night at the restaurant linked above. The food wasn't that great (good though!) but the setting and the company was sensational! It was with our old friends - a few of whom P knows from primary school - most of whom I know from highschool etc - lovely company. The brats were ably minded by thier grandparents. It was Mardi Gras night so the bus trip home was entertaining too.

One conversation I have had recently was with an old aquaintance - about protectiveness has been on my mind. Her SIL has a 2 yo with DS. This person is lovely, capable and 'authoritive' (a teacher to boot!). I just don't think that an outsider gets it. The primitive imperative to 'protect' your child that all parents know about is so much closer to the surface for the parent of a child with special needs - and this little girl like Hannah had heart surgery very young. I took the opportunity to gently suggest this to her - her SIL sounds like she is doing great and I bet the little girl with DS is a darling too. It did remind me that sometimes as a special needs Mama you are even closer under the peer telescope and that judgement can be so much harder - we put enough pressure on oursleves to do the best by our more vulnerable kids. I don't think that was my friend's intention - she is doubtless concerned for her neice and her brother in particular and I hope would have felt she could talk to me more freely but still I felt for the SIL (not that she said anything 'bad' about her mothering but she did comment on her protectiveness). I wonder how many people I know talk about how Shelley is 'coping' with Hannah - little do they know - it is an amazing experience - rich, rewarding and terrifying - and yes I am very protective of her - in everyday I am more alert to the need to 'spring into acton' on her behalf than I am for Kit - it is simply that the needs of each child are just different and until you have a child with special needs you may not realise how close to the surface some of those feelings can be.

For example, I forgo some intensive therapies for Hannah to have the opportunity to be 'included' fully at childcare - I think the benefits outweigh the costs. On Fri they are going on an excursion - I want her to go and enjoy the experience - yet I also know that the bus trip will make her so anxious that they may decide to leave her behind. I have no idea how she will go on the day - my wonderful MIL has just emailed that she will be able to go with them on the bus - perceptive as always - knowing Hannah almost as well as I do - she recognised my fears and has organised so that she will be able to go - and oversee Hannah's first mainstream exursion. Overprotectiveness or just great and appropriate love and support?? Unless it is your child who has the vulnerability I really don't think you can fully get it.

Sorry no photoes but the brats have had a lovely weekend - at the park, playing with their grandparents, mowing the lawns and visiting the hardware store. I hope you have a good week too.