Archive | October, 2010

Melbourne Marathon

15 Oct

We did it!

Last Sunday S and I both achieved personal bests in our fourth outing for the Melbourne Marathon.

It was a beautiful day, perfect conditions for running early in the morning and then for walking once the sun came out.

I can honestly say that I completely enjoyed my 10km run. Surprised about how much I enjoyed it in fact. My first ever run in any organised sort of event (I’ve only taken up running a few months ago).

Leading up to the event, I’d been saying that all I wanted to do was finish the race. But once I started running, I realised that I didn’t want to just finish it, I wanted to ran as fast as I could. There was such an adrenaline rush in running alongside so many other people.

I ran the 10kms in just under an hour (and I mean JUST under – 59:16). I got a stitch at the 8km mark which slowed me down. I am hopeful of getting an even better time next year. YEP. There will be a next year. I am hooked on running now. Next big event will be 14kms ‘Run For the Kids’ (for the Royal Children’s Hospital) in March next year. Will start training tomorrow.

I had a good 2 hours to rest in between the 10km run and S’s 4 km walk. He was all geared up to walk as far as he could, but  his real goal was the final lap around the MCG.

I was proud to see him walk further than he ever has before (and we’re sold on the Crocodile walker. It’s definitely the choice for next year). He rode the most part of the walk on his bike.

And he excelled in his efforts at the G.

He practically raced around in his walker and then when we were about 20 metres from the finish line, he decided to ditch the walker all together and WALKED all the way across the line. I am 100% confident that next year he could do the WHOLE lap of the G without his walker, unaided.

AMAZING. AWESOME.

It’s times like this that I can really reflect on how far S has come. Last year he walked the lap with his walker, but it was a struggle towards the end. He was so tired.

This year, he was flying.

He has developed so much more strength and endurance. And he just seems a whole lot more mature. He is almost a school boy. In every way.

On the way home he told me he can’t wait for the Marathon again next year. And he told me than when he’s 10, he wants to do the 1okm run with me.

I’ll be there at the start line with you S. I believe you can do anything that you put your mind to. You are my inspiration.

A, B, C, D….

5 Oct

A

A is for action! This Sunday S is doing his fourth walk as part of the Melbourne Marathon. This year, it’s a 4km walk and S is really hoping to do the final lap of the MCG without his walker (he wants to try using his sticks instead). We’ll see how he goes! I am doing the 10km run. I have never been part of a race/fun run before, but I have proven to myself I can last the 10km distance over the past month so I am looking forward to it.

We do the Melbourne Marathon events to support CPEC (Cerebral Palsy Education Centre) which S attends. If you are at all in a position to do so, you can donate to support this great cause here.

A is also for aches. I don’t know what I have done, but I have a very sore neck. I can hazard a guess that it has to do with carrying around a post-operation delirious, inconsolable 17kg 6 year old at the hospital last Thursday. Been to the chiro once. Hoping the second visit tomorrow will make it right. I am determined to run on Sunday even if it means a stack of panadol to dull the pain. Fingers crossed it won’t come to that!

A is also for baby A. He has started to crawl and this week has started to pull to stand on the furniture. SLOW DOWN baby A!!! I want you to be my little baby for much longer than this :-).

B

B is for birthday. S turned 6 during the school holidays. I can’t believe my little boy is 6. This was the first year that his birthday was not at all overshadowed for me by the memory of his birth and how everything went so wrong. This year, I had not even a flicker of sadness or grief. It was a celebration of life. A celebration of how much he has grown, how much has has achieved and how lucky we are to have this gorgeous boy in our life.

B is also for Ballarat. Which is where we went on the train to celebrate S’s birthday. I am sure I’ve mentioned before that my boys are train-mad. Going on the ‘big’ train was all that S wanted to do for his birthday, so we did. The trip was 1.5 hours each way. When we arrived in Ballarat we walked to the lake (which was a bit further than we had expected!), had a lovely picnic in the sunshine and then took a taxi back to the train station so we wouldn’t miss our train back. It was a lovely day out and we’ll probably return to Ballarat one day soon to explore further.

C

C is for computers. I have been meaning to share this great website with anyone who hasn’t discovered it yet: starfall

It’s as good, if not better than any iPad app we’ve found for teaching literacy. Both my boys love it and I’ve been very impressed with S’s increasing skills at using the touch pad on the laptop to access the site, which does require some fiddly movements.

C is also for Croc. A Crocodile Walker that is.

We’ve just borrowed one from CPEC. We’re trialling it as an alternative to the Kaye Walker. I can see some definite advantages. It is easily a smoother ride, has much better manoeuvrability  than the Kaye walker and is very quiet. One of the biggest drawbacks of the Kaye Walker is that is makes a heck of a lot of noise when you use it. We only borrowed it yesterday, but already today when we went horse-riding, I was impressed with how well S could use it. The only real drawback of it is that it folds down much larger than the Kaye Walker and is heavier. This is problematic when we are out and about and S gets tired. I love that with the Kaye Walker I can just fold it and throw it over the top of a pram/chair. It’s also very good for taking on planes. SO, we are now considering getting the Croc and trying to source a second-hand Kaye walker so that we can have the best of both worlds (the Kaye Walker we have now belongs to CPEC). S has been using a Kaye walker since he was 2. We know it’s quite possibly “too easy” for him (which was also the opinion of the physio at the gait lab when we went late last year), but he doesn’t quite have the coordination in his hands/arms for sticks (although we do have some of those that we are trialling too). Anyone got any thoughts on any of these options or even another alternative?

D

D is for dental work. As mentioned above, last Thursday S had his long awaited dental work done at the RCH. Under a GA he had 5 teeth removed (3 from the front and 2 from the back – one of which was infected already :-(). He also had 6 teeth capped. So now he looks like a pirate. OR as Bron (from BigBrotherLittleSister) has suggested, like the bad guy Jaws from James Bond (who I wasn’t familiar with until she mentioned it). They didn’t keep his teeth (and I didn’t think to ask them to), so I told S that the tooth fairy just needed some proof he’d been in hospital to have his teeth removed. We put one of his hospital bracelets in a glass next to the bed and the tooth fairy found it and left him $15 (I think she figured he deserved $3 a teeth for going through such a big operation). After giving S a number of options of what he could do with the money, he has opted to donate it to his friend Cooper who is doing a 1km walk to raise money for kids in Cambodia.

The hospital experience wasn’t quite as bad as I’d worried it would be. However, watching him go under the GA was far more traumatic (for me!) than I had anticipated. Watching him fight the gas and reach out for me with desperation and then suddenly go limp with his eyes rolling into the back of his head. Yuk. I walked out of the room in tears. To those who have had to go through this on more than one occasion, I have to ask – does it get easier? For you and for them?

S didn’t remember it at all (as the anaesthetist had promised me he wouldn’t) and nor did he remember waking up delirious and complaining of being in a lot of pain. Some extra Nurofen didn’t help, but a dose of Tramadol finally did the trick. Along with the massive spew he did all over me. So after a very trying 45 minutes he was fine and ready to tuck into some ice-cream and jelly.

On the way home, he was very upbeat about the day, recounting all the different events to me as though we’d just been to the circus or a party of some sort. I love that he’s such a trooper and can focus on the good bits of anything.  I’d also give some credit to how much we  had talked about what might happen, the several ‘My first stay in hospital’ books we had read and also the wonderful staff at the RCH who treated him with great care and respect. But having said all of that, and despite S already telling me that he can’t wait until his next operation (seriously!), I am so glad that’s all over and done with.

D is also for DUCK. Which is partly a reference to the dentist who’d strung us along over the past 12 months telling me that S’s teeth were fine – QUACK!!!!

But also in reference to M’s latest trick.

Yesterday, as I was loading up the washing machine he called me into the kitchen saying ‘I found the duck!’. And he had. On the fridge, he had indeed used our FridgePhonic magnets to make out the word ‘DUCK’. I messed up the letters and asked him to do it again. And he did. He also could make out the words DOG, PIG, SHEEP and BUG. He tried for ELEPHANT but got more of a EKIFHENGTHE instead.

He is 3.5 years old this month. I already knew that he could recognise all the letters of the alphabet, but I was quite surprised and impressed with this new trick. I am  also very sure that he learnt this from using the Build A Word iPad app which features all those animals. Goes to show that the iPad is a very nifty learning tool.

Now if I could only get him to toilet train……

And finally, D is also for Dynavox. Just saw this online this morning: DynaVox Maestro. Anyone know anything more??? I believe this has just been released?

I’ve been promising a review of our new DynaVox V for a while and will promise again, but will give this very brief overview here: It’s amazingly dynamic and very easy to use. It has features that the P2Go is miles away from having (as yet!). However, it is also huge and heavy. AND it takes at least 5 minutes to start up. Which occasionally has meant that by the time it has started up, S has actually forgotten what it was he wanted to use it for.

Fingers crossed this NEW device might give us the best of both worlds (and fingers AND toes crossed that the price will be as accessible as the device!).

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