Hannah loves her ipod. Eventually we are hoping to use it to aid her communication and as a help at school too.
Kit opening his present from hannah
The birthday cake
Arriving at the party
The day before the twins turned 6 as we headed out the door to go to school - Kit came up with my old copy of the AAMilne book Now We Are Six. He thought that it would be 'appropriate to read it now'LOL!
Hannah flirting shamelessly with the trainee swim instructor just a few days before was showing him her big tummy and telling him she was 5 now - 6 soon. So for their birthday festival:
On the night before we went to Livvi's Place (a fantastic allabilities playground) with the grandparents and some extended family members. Then I came home and baked a chocolate cake, that wonderful young girl - my girlfriend's daughter made 50 cupcakes for the twins to take to kindy - so I iced those as well. Then I put up a few decorations, finished wrapping their gifts sorted lolly bags for the party on Sat and made sure their uniforms were ironed and ready for the next day.
On their birthday Kit woke up early of course and Hannah wasn't far behind. Yes we succumbed - Kit got a DS and Hannah an ipod touch. So yep - an expensive birthday - we got them each a small toy as well and they got each other a little toy too.
Then off to school. At assembly it is customary to call up the birthday kids and give thema s ticker and some applause. The twins loved that! Then they gave out their cupcakes at recess. In the afternoon tehy went to their Nan and Pop's - were they got more gifts. I picked them up and we raced home - for a couple of our closest friends were coming over for an early dinner of cake and pizza. Kit had the worst night - up constantly - saying he was hungry, that he couldn't get to sleep etc DH and I took turns at trying to calm him down. At 3 o'clock in the morning I was sitting up with him while he chomped on a banana!
Sat was dance for Hannah (they have a concert coming up so we couldn't miss it even if she wanted to - and she wouldn't cos she absolutely loves it!)
Then Kit had a green party cos his music class is moving up a level to the green book. A few hours rest - and down to the local gym for a kids gymnastics party. It was the windiest day - and as a teacher I know that always sends the kids a bit crazy but still - as the kids arrived fo rhte party - tehy were so hyped up and wild!! We had invited 24 kids - all from kindy excpet for a couple of close friends - one of Kit's from preschool and 2 little girls with DS (another little one form Han's EI and now from Rainbow club wasn't able to make it).
The parents are all so friendly and were also clearly ready to relax and enjoy the party. It was great. The kids had an absolute ball - the gym instructor was fantastic. That afternoon we brought two abosultely buggered kids home - they revived whowever to open all their presents - the number of which was obscene really - but I don't know how you can avoid it - we only asked the kids that they mention all the time - the ones they play with - and as a parent I always want the twins to pick out and take a gift - it is part of leanring to give after all. ANyways - they had a ball opening their gifts - and I have to say - sucha great mix of thoughtfully presented loot... no wonder the brats were happy. Then because Sat was actually my brithday - take away for DH and I - a nice bottle of chardy - lovely.
Today was a beautiful (windfree) sunny spring day - so I got loads of washing done, the kids played iwth their gifts, DH did some gardening, I got in a bubble bath - all good int he DOck - boy I feel so blessed on days like this!
Anyways some observations formt eh aprties and life in general.
hannah has started ot hang out with the girls at school. She has started to develop some lovely deeper friendships with acouple of boys (real sweeties) - and in many boys boys are easier - especially these ones because they are so motor driven! but ust lately witht he school really encouraging her to work within her reading group independently she has also developed a wonderful friendship with acouple of the kdis from there - and in particualr a little girl called G... who when we ask who she plays with - sounds so cute as G's name is long and difficult for her to say. The other day she brought a tear to my eye - 'G... is my best friend' she said.
At the party I briefly wondered how the other kids would react to Hannah and Kit's friends who also had DS. F and S. I wasn't worried as I thought that it would be fantastic for them to see that there were other kids out there - that Hannah wasn't the only little girl with DS. Well when F arrived I held her hand and took her intot e gymnasium. Now she is a beautiful little girl who we have known since she was tiny - she and Hannah were in group together for years of EI. She has better tone than Hannah and in many ways is much more like the stereotypical kid with DS - in that she has the beautiful smiley face and is more confident and gregarious iwith strangers and crowds. So when I introduced her and the instructor asked her age - one of Hannah's frineds a little girl called udrey - said to me 'Does she know sign language?'You could see that she was excited at the prospect of using her own signing skills to help another little girl - so I replied "Her speech is clearer than hannah's but you are right she has DS too. WIll you look after her for me?' I got a big smile and nods from Audrey and the gilrs with her. Later on when I was going through the photoes that DH took - there are lots with Hannah near F and Audrey and co around - in some holding F's hand. I am so proud of those kids. I think that they are great examples of inclusion.
Then S arrived a bit later. She knows DH better from Rainbow Club so I asked him to take her in. She also got in line and was enjoying herself. Later on he said that one of Hannah's friends a little boy called D - asked him if she 'was like Hannah?' To which he replied that yes she did have DS. D replied 'I thought so x thought she was just being silly.'
Everyone had a blast. Me - I am happy for htem to stay 6 as looong as possible.