Friday, April 20, 2012


I've preordered my copy of Kelle Hampton's book but am still waiting on my copy to arrive - every day someone posts a photo of it or comments on their copy arriving on fb - even some in made me so crazy I emailed B&N to see if I needed to worry cos my copy wasn't here yet...they have told me to relax...these things take in the meantime I check out other people's comments on it and I continue to read Kelle's blog....where today I found this quote which I consider to be truly inspirational.

"Life didn't go as planned for me, and I've never been happier. That truth is about the most valued thing I can give to my girls."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cafe De Flore

NSW DSA mentioned on their fb page that they had some free passes to see Cafe De Flore at the Circular Quay Dendy. Being school holidays and with Dad staying with us at the moment it seemed a perfect opportunity for a 'date' with my husband. I am not a huge movie buff so I read a couple of reviews first to make sure it looked ok and then we put our names down to go.

It was such a  rainy day in Sydney. I caught the bus in and Phil went straight from work. Just being by the harbour was lovely - the bridge was in the foreground and there was a misty cold rain covering everything and the bright gaudy lights of Luna Park shining in defiance of the dull evening. It was beautiful and I did try to capture the image but my little camera wasn't up tot he task I'm afraid.

Not being a movie buff I hadn't realised how much things have changed - we got a glass of wine each and went into the movie. Looking down the row of people around me I had to giggle - everyone was holding a glass of funny! Phil simply says I need to get out more and perhaps he has a point. After the movie we bussed it back to Leichhardt for another glass of wine and a bowl of pasta each. delicious.

We both enjoyed the movie. It essentially has 2 stories separated by time yet linked through 'mystery'. The imagery was gorgeous...I loved it. The music throughout the movie was also fantastic - it created such a  life and passion for the audience as well as the characters. It was clearly an integral part of the movie's ambience and I am rather tempted to see about finding a copy of it for myself I enjoyed it so much. The handsome dj reminded me of Paul Newman with his beautiful blue eyes and his energetic fit self. His lover was incredibly annoying though - I wanted to jump through the screen and chop her blonde curly hair off - she played with that mane in just about every scene - not sure why the filmmaker wanted her character to be that way but it drove me crazy and was no doubt partly why the ending of the movie didn't really work for me...I just could not see why the ex would want to be her friend at all.

I think I'd have preferred to have the two stories kept separate - the parallel between them was clear enough whereas the joining of the tales was unconvincing. The ending for my poor beautiful Laurent (the character with DS) was tragic but believable. I loved the relationship the film built up between him and his mother.

"Working with Gerrier, who has Down syndrome, was a wonderful experience, Paradis says, and she is convinced he made her better as an actress. "He's a very strong personality, he's a very smart little boy. He has such a great sense of humour and he is fast to react, and he has a grace that you can't act. It was just there and it's so natural. It was tremendous to have him as a partner. He was sometimes stubborn and we had to work around it, Jean-Marc and I. And Marin's parents, a wonderful family, gave us all the insights, all the ways to work with him and get along with him."
Read the full article here

Indeed watching Vanessa Paradis and Marin Gerrier was a wonderful experience - you could tell the people in the audience who were there to see how DS was portrayed - by our laughter. I had thought that I would need a whole bunch of tissues but in fact only needed one for the early part - where I also had a wee tear in my eye as I laughed because the traits of the character Laurent were so familiar as was the fierce love of his mother Jacqueline.

The ending of the movie did not work for me at all - that mistress's hair annoyed me the whole way through but Phil and I had a great night out thanks to DSA NSW and Icon movies....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


today was a lovely day. Hannah had a friend over and so did Kit. All the kids had a good day despite the rain, rain, rain....
Given the weather and their age (eye roll!!!!!!!!!!!!) I let them go 'online' for a bit... but the girls really preferred the ipad and some more traditional passtimes:
... a tea party and a Barbie dvd :)
I also contemplated with enjoyment and gratitude, the things that bring me joy:
my roses,
my little memento of Europe,
the water I am lucky enough to live by, and

my very very beautiful children, and
my quiet corner of the house, to be with my husband and to reflect....upon my many blessings.
One of the things that I didn't realise the first time the drs mentioned 'Down Syndrome' aka "The diagnosis" was the people that we would get to meet simply because we were lucky enough to have Hannah.

To this day the thought of her cardiac paediatrician and heart surgeon makes me smile - they were such wonderful gentle men and without their skill and care we mightn't have Hannah still with us. Then all the 'professionals' who we established that peculiar not friends but more than prof-client status friendships with...and then there were the fellow travellers on this journey and their children. Some of these people that I count as good friends I have yet to meet in reality yet have shared frank and honest conversations with about all sorts of world, universe, marriage, kids and disability with.

One of these mums has a clothes business Buggz which has amazing and gorgeous kidswear. I have bought a few pieces off her for my little brat but this custom number is no doubt my favourite so far:
Hannah was so excited to get it that there was quite a fuss - after all who doesn't love it when a parcel arrives of something that you have bought online? Kit was clearly a bit put out that there was nothing for him. And so a little time later a gift arrived in the mail - from my friend - for Kit.

He wears them a lot - in fact he is wearing one now. They also came with a  lovely note about what a good brother he is... a note which I have put away safely because I know it is one that he will treasure.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 1 Holidays

It is holiday time here and we are having so much fun. Dad is here which really helps. On Tues Kit went to his first tennis camp which he absolutely loved - but by Friday he was over it. It goes from 9am - 3pm and he was exhausted. I think too that he may have been missing time with Hannah. He certainly was missing time mooching about at home in his pjs. Next time I'll just put him in for a couple of days. They were great there. There were lots of his friends from school plus an old friend from childcare and he made a new friend too - Ewan - so cute when Kit all excitement lead me outside to meet his friend Ewan.
I have been way behind in Hannah's medical appointments. It makes me feel guilty but I somehow just fail on this - which is made especially bad because that is one of the reasons I work part time!! Anyway on Tuesday after the easter Monday public holiday I rang the pathology lab to check on the use by date of a request for blood tests - Hannah's paed must have written one about 2 years ago, her GP last feb and here it is at April and I am finally getting up the courage to take her down for them - to be told that they only last for 1 year...sigh... so as it was time for an annual flu injection ( a priority following her seizure from a temperature just a couple of weeks ago - man I HAATE those things!!!!!!!!!!) - I did that on Tuesday and also got a new path on Friday I made the appointment for her blood test - and on Thurs night as I went to sleep I felt sick in my stomach.

I know that Hannah is my daughter. And I am so proud of her and love her so much. I am totally convinced that she is EXACTLY the daughter I need. Yet when stuff like this happens I question whether I am who she needs.... she needs someone who is able to keep up to date with all the medical stuff. Someone who can do an hours work each day with her on her literacy or numeracy rather than me... someone who will make sure she gets to the dentist like clockwork every 6 months... I am hopeless -  I procrastinate on all these medical appointments and parent/teacher demands. I dilly dally about them, I angst over them and eventually I get there - as if that is good enough. I know she deserves better but honestly for me it is the best I can do - I waited on the blood tests - until I was sure she was rested and healthy cos I really need that result to be good. How many of us harbour the secret nightmare of lukemia? Those of us who know the 'survivors'  I guess....I also had to wait until I was rested and healthy cos just the smell of that place makes me feel sick with the remembered fear of hospital stays so long ago now...
We have been busy doing nothing much but bits and bobs of craft like this effort - Hannah's paper making:

When she wasn't hanging around medical appointments Hannah has been enjoying lunch in the local shopping centre's food court. She has been experimenting with fashion and doing craft of various sorts with me and her Grandpa. She has been bikeriding too - and me? I have even managed some quilting time - pure luxury!

I have managed to get her to do at least 1 lesson on Reading Eggs each day. Now it is the second week I might have to step her 'work' quota up a little bit...we'll see...

After all it isn't as if we've been hanging around doing nothing!

And Kit's sunset shot:
We did go to a birthday party for one of the little girls in their year at school on Sunday and both brats had a blast. I have also organised 2 days this week for 'play dates' for both of them - to try and provide opportunities for them to develop deeper friendships. Hannah is so excited about the little girl she is playing with tomorrow - she doesn't go to the same school as my guys anymore but Hannah still talks about her all the time and refers to her as her best friend. She was so excited to know she would be playing with her tomorrow that she set up her Pippi Longstocking teaset ready for tomorrow...Here is the teaset - not as Hannah had set it up (she wouldn't let me pack that away so I have simply moved it to a shelf in the loungeroom for her to play with tomorrow)

Monday, April 09, 2012


Easter began with both sad and good... I got to mind my so very delightful niece overnight - while her family was packing because they are moving to Western Australia for a couple of years. We are going to miss them so very much but it was wonderful to wake up to the sound of Chloe singing in her cot at the end of our bed and the twins were very pleased to have her meet them after school.
Hannah loved having a 'girls' play on the trampoline while Kit was over the moon to be immersed in playing with his cousin (8 year old) from Brisbane - Daniel ended up staying here for quite a few nights which was great.

On Wednesday Daniel's parents came over for dinner and to take him with them for a couple of nights. That afternoon we all went to the local library to get some holiday reading supplies.
 Dinner included my rather 'arty' fruit platter :)
After performing at an open class for her dance class for children with a disability (which Kit ahs started attending this year and loves...) Hannah decided it was her turn to 'compose' a track. She demanded we get Kit to help her refusing our offers to help.
On Good Friday the sun was shining and as we were having a break from entertaining it was a perfect opportunity for pottering about the house and doing a bit of cleaning. We went over to our good friends' place for lunch and that evening my sister dropped Daniel over at our place because the next morning we all went to ....

Phil has a thing for the Easter show - at 7 years this is at least the third time if not the 4th time the twins have been. At 7 they are a bit more opinionated. The night before Hannah was asking me what the Easter Show was so we put the 3 kids on the internet and they started to look about - needless to say the showbags caught their fancy. They were happy to watch the circus and Alvin and the CHipmunks. Hannah saw the animals and I made them all go tot he gardening section and the fruit displays in particular but it wasn't long before we had to give in - they really especially wanted to go get their showbags and then take them home so they could play with their prizes. We had agreed to buy them 2 bags each. Grandpa came too and he added 1 showbag to their lot...

I had to search out the kewpie doll stand - but it was there - Hannah chose to go with the more modern 'mermaid on a stick' but so the popular culture of her generation evolves from mine... and like every other mother before me I have to accept that she is not my clone...(pity though - there was this gorgeous traditional dolly in a red polka dot frock that I just loved!)

 And of course a pair of 'Harry' glasses from the HP showbag.
For Easter I decorate a Christmas cake I made last year. It was pretty good!
At mass on Sunday morning the priest was talking of praying for those 'who need help with their 'diction'' according to the 'extra child in his 40s that I took to mass ( :D) and about praying for light upon our darkness - be our darkness sorrow, depression, addiction etc. He mentioned that even when it is hard to see that light - that it is there...the Light of Christ. Now I have had a really enjoyable but busy couple of weeks and on Sat I did end up in tears feeling totally overwhelmed with keeping up with everything... but standing in the stalls listening to Fr's words - Hannah leaning against me - I had to smile... she is the light God gave to me, and she isn't difficult to 'see' at all -  I feel so very very blessed to have her in my life. She is my perspective and centres me in a way that I am still learning about. She IS light.

We minded our friends' puppy - and got to take her for a couple of walks too. Lunch was at my inlaws - another farewell to the family heading off to WA this week. It was lovely to spend time together. Today was Easter Monday and we were quite lazy although Phil did take the kids out to wash the car and I made a rather yummy fish pie for dinner...