Friday, May 28, 2010

Winter Flowers

Kit has always been a snuggler. Hannah is a cuddler too but not of soft toys. She might have been 'putting them to bed' all day but at night she dumps them without ceremony at the end of her bed before she goes to sleep. Until now - one night when we were having trouble getting her to sleep I gave her a cuddly gingerbread man (The Shrek one) - well he has definitely become her cuddly - just like Kit has his Armstrong bear (named for the family who gifted it to him when he was born).

Dress ups for gold colour day at school...
Well winter is well and truly here - the weather has been windy and wet. Poor Kit hasn't been to soccer for a couple of weeks and even the ducks would have been complaining on Wed. The twins are going well at school. Hannah is pushing a few boundaries but over all is going well. I am so impressed with her reading!!
I finish teaching fo rhte semester next week so that makes me feel a bit festive - not that long until te mid semester holidays. Yay!!! Dad is back from his holiday at his house in QLD so that pleases us all - especially Hannah who would tell me every few days while he was away that she 'want Gra NOW!'.
I put my name down for research project about DS and numeracy - there is a session about it tomorrow - so hoepfullyt hat will be interesting. I also have Uni exams coming up and as usual am flying by the seat of my pants in organising time for it. Still I am learning a lot which I will be able to use to help me undertand the learning process for both Kit and Hannah.
I cleaned the house up recently - and as usual - to celbrate a good clean up I bought some flowers - and then I played around with my new 2nd hand camera ...
Hannah is so SLOWWWWWWWWW with her eating. She is always the last one to finish. Tonight we were all sitting around watching masterchef while she finished eating. When she was done she got down from the bench. Came over to me and said "Thank you for dinner Mummy". How cute is that - what a fantastic kid - no idea where she got those manners from...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mothers day

Lovely time of year here in the Dock although it is starting to get colder now. The twins spoilt me terribly on mother's day. Breakfast in bed - with them in the bed too (??hmmm)- and then lunch with the extended family. The school had a mothers day stall which the twins were very excited about. They went in separately with their different focus teachers and low and behold I got 2 sets of heart shaped measuring spoons. Very nice actualy as I don't have any measuring spoons and we do cook a lot here. They were very proud of themselves. Kit also did some craftwork which was sweet.
School athletics carnival went well. Everyone enjoyed themselves even thought he weather wasn't great and we all had to make a run for it and end it all a bit early when the drizzle became a downpour!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Holly Hobbie

I used to collect Holly Hobbie when I was young - I still have a vase and DH has a coffee mug with his name on (of which he denies ALL knowledge BTW!). Anyhoo - Kit and Hannah are mucking around on the computer WAY TOO MUCH as they do on the weekend and suddnely Hannah wants to print - a template for a holly Hobbie dress up doll. She loves it and keeps it by her bed. Then a week later they are pestering their father again (the coloured inks are running out and it is NOT a pay week...) to print another template - a Holly Hobbie house. Kit follows the instructiosn cuts out the bits and stickytapes togehter a house that Hannah loves. What a wonderful brother, and how fantastic that a little bit of my own childhood gets to be relived through my daughter? I will have to scour the op shops for a piece of Holly Hobbie for each of them to have as their own.
PS If you don't read Mainstream Musings - Hannah is doing so great at school. It fills me with the most joyous pride - I don't expect her to be top of the pops - but she is loving school and the school is welcoming her - and is starting to really see the unbelievable gift that she is to the community. The special ed teacher is mighty impressed with her literacy skills - and I know in my heart of hearts - it isn't cos of 'all the work I do' - no way - it is just because that is how our family is and that is how talented our kids are. The glory - every single little bit of it - belongs to my coraegous and wilful redhead - who knows that she is different but does what she does to perfection. I love her exactly as she is. I am so proud of her - and so happy with our choice of school...God is good.

Sunday, May 02, 2010


Hannah and Kit brought home their first 'Homework Book' this week. I must confess to not being a huge believer in homework - their school doesn't expect anything too onerous - read their reader to a family member each day, some sight words. Then - for 'bonus' if they like some acivities to colour in if they get done - 20 star jumps, setting the dinner table twice, saying a prayer, drawing 6 things from their reader etc. All fine - except I already do speech drills with Hannah each morning - and there really isn't huge amount of time left - she has been so tired this past week getting back into school routine.

Anyhow - she has swimming lessons (mainstream) Tuesdays and Rainbow Club (children with disabilities) on Saturdays - as well as music. Now she has been going to this music school since she was 2. And LOVIN it - but it is getting harder now they are learning parts of the keyboard. In fact this year Kit moved on to the next level but Hannah repeated - that was fine by me - Hannah clearly needed it - she is good at the rhythm and dancing activities etc but the finemotor of playing as well as reading the music notes really challenges her.

So - I chatted with DH - perhaps it was time to pull her from music - I was facing a lesson where she hadn't practised for 2 weeks and only practised once in the past week. When I got to the class I spoke to her teacher - who immediately said that she wouldn't charge me the full cancellation fee - but would be happy to ring me to discuss it all.

The lesson began. Hannah beamed the WHOLE time. And I cried. I am not really sure why - but I guess because it hurt to think that I'd have to pull her out of something that she enjoys because she ahs Down Syndrome. She played terribly and when they had to play a rhthym on a drum - she (as well as a couple of others) were a bit out of time. But not so bad that I would say she definitely not continue. The playing skills is so hard but she does know a little - it just takes her longer to find the keys and the backing music plays pretty quickly. One game is 'echo' - or 'my turn, your turn' and last year Hannah was always out of sync and copying the teacher as she did actions rather than staying one step behind like she was supposed to. I watched her this week - she got it EXACTLY right. When it comes time to 'solo' she is keen - her little hand goes up and she is so proud of herself. She stands and faces the class, says her name and the title fo the song she will play - not that anyone understands her much!

She wants to play soccer but can't - due to her neck xray reslts. I had been thinking that perhaps a dance class - for kids with speical needs was the way to go. A physical activity that sdidn't rely upon 'practice' in the same way that playing an instrument does. Instead all lesson I thought about ways to make it work. How to make it easier (for Hannah and myself) to practice regularly in amongst all the other stuff we do.

Her teacher was very open - from her point of view Hannah is going fine (except for the playing part). She hasn't had a student with DS before - and doesn't know what is 'usual' or not for them. I said perhaps if I could buy one of her 'wobble boards' (laminated cardboard keyboard) that Han could practice on that - she seemed quite happy to see that I was willing to let it go at least another term. When she gets in some new wobble boards she will pass on an old one for me. I am hoping that putting apiece of cardboard in front of Hannah will make it easier to 'practice' piano without adding a whole other homework activity into her schedule. Fingers crossed it works. Cos she really does enjoy it.

Oh - and the clouds - Kit came in wanting to take a photo - he saw a dragon in them - and I can see what he means...