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Happy ‘official’ Mother’s Day!

10 May

Happy (official) Mother’s Day to all the mums out there!

My day started very early in the morning. Around 5am to be more precise. BC woke screaming from a nightmare. He dreamt he was very cold. As he told me, between inconsolable sobs;  “No jacket”, “No hat”, ” No socks”, “No heater.”  Funnily enough, what he actually had was no doona (it was on the floor).

It took quite a while to calm him down. Who would have known being cold was so terrifying!?

We’ve had a few nightmares in recent times. I am on the look out for a good kids book that might help him understand than bad dreams ARE just dreams. Anyone got one to recommend?

Once we were up (and the central heating was pumped to high throttle),  things got better.

I learnt that a great remedy for forgetting about a bad dream is to declare it’s present opening time. And this is what BC made at kinder and gave me for Mother’s Day:

mother's day present

I love it.

And I now have to confess that I spent most of Mother’s Day working. All for the good family cause of HOPEFULLY buying a house later in the year.

I didn’t mind. I like the work that I do and I already felt as though I’d had a very special Mother’s Day on Friday.

On the way home I stopped to buy myself some new jim-jams and a lovely new bedspread set and I must confess that I couldn’t help but also buy a few really little gifts for my boys. I just feel so blessed to have such gorgeous, funny, loving children. I feel like  such a lucky mumma. AND we had fun opening them and playing together this evening.

I hope all you wonderful mums out there got just what you wanted for Mother’s day! You deserve it.

Mother’s Day

8 May

I know Mother’s Day isn’t officially until Sunday, but in our house, Mother’s day was today.

Why?

Because today was the day of the Mother’s Day lunch at BC’s kinder.

He’s been looking forward to it since he first told me last Wednesday.

Every day since then he’s asked me about 20 times – ‘When is Mother’s Day at kinder?’.

He was thrilled about me, and all the other mums, coming to kinder to have lunch with all the kids. He was also very happy about the (secret) present he was making for me.

It’s the first time he’s been excited  about Mother’s Day and I was surprised by how much it touched me.

This morning, from the moment he woke up, he was super, super excited. He asked me several times when I dropped him off what time I would be back. He even said ‘Don’t forget Mother’s Day lunch’.

He needn’t have worried, I’ve been far too looking forward to it too to forget!

I returned at 11.30, as scheduled, with a very sleepy little Bean (who’d been dragged from his morning nap to unwillingly attend).

We firstly did a dance with all the other mums and kids. I was proud that BC knew most of the moves.

We then dined on vegetable soup and damper, prepared by the children (both very delicious!) and a yummy slice made by a parent.

We ended with us being given a gift made by our children, which is still sitting on the top of the bookshelf.

BC insists I should be opening it today because today is Mother’s Day.

And I think he’s right. It feels like Mother’s Day to me.

But still, I am going to wait until Sunday to open it, only because I want to hold on to this warm fuzzy feeling just a little longer.

Since my own mother passed away when I was 17, Mother’s Day has always been a sad kind of day for me. All the advertising and happy family images just rubbed salt in the wound that I didn’t have that special person in my life any more. I’d learned to steer clear of the media in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day. (I had, and still have, other special days when I remember and celebrate my mum).

For this reason, Mother’s Day has never really mattered much to me since actually becoming a mum myself, but now that it matters to my child, it suddenly seems like a really, really special day to me.

I will look forward to Mother’s Day in future years when both BC and later on Little Bean want to celebrate this special day with me.

Happy Mother’s Day (for the ‘official’ Mother’s Day on Sunday) to all the mothers out there!! I hope you get spoilt rotten! You deserve it xo

Dear Blogosphere wish fairies…

7 May

Dear wish fairies,

Thank you very much for my 10 hour uninterrupted sleep last night, as requested in my blog post yesterday. I really appreciate your immediate action on this issue.

Seeing as you seem so willing and able to help me out, I just have a few other requests.

I have this gorgeous little4 year old boy who can’t walk independently yet. It would be great if you could just help him out a little and give him the strength, balance and coordination to take off on his own.

Also, he finds talking quite tricky. If you could help him out with his oral-motor control and give him the power of easy speech, then that would be great. Taking care of his saliva control would also be appreciated.

In fact, I know quite a few beautiful children who could do with similar help. If you’re not too busy, a cure for cerebral palsy would be fantastic.

Oh, and finally, and sorry to seem a little greedy, but I have about 5 kgs of weight, mostly around my middle that I just can’t seem to budge. If I could wake up tomorrow and find that gone, then that would be great too.

Yours very gratefully,

Dianne

A star!

25 Apr

Remember how we attended the ‘Longest Cake’ event in Melbourne?

Well, BC scored his picture in the Newsletter about the event. He is at the bottom of the first page.

What’s The Buzz April Newsletter

It’s an interesting read, but the whole document is a big download. Sorry!

They raised an amazing $53,000 for the event! Not a bad effort!

I tried to cut and paste the pic on it’s own, but alas, I lack the technical skills. Maybe someone knows how I could do it?? ***Edited to add: Thanks to Ellen ( from To The Max) for adjusting the pic so I could insert it into to this post. I really appreciate you taking the time to do that for me Ellen!)***

So thanks to Ellen, here’s the pic on its own if you just want a quick peek:

bc-at-longest-cake

New Shoes!

18 Apr

BC’s new shoes have arrived!

I can’t believe how fast the cogs of funding moved on this one.

I was so sure the process of application, approval, funding availability and delivery would take so long, that I chose these sandals instead of a pair of winter boots:

nextstepsandals-blueleather

Never mind. They look cute enough with socks on, and these days, our winters are so short that it will be well worth him having the sandals through summer.

Also, because they have velcro rather than buckles or laces, he can take them off himself (and hopefully will later be able to put him on himself too).

The whole process took 3 weeks. WOW! The way it should be, really.

The boots provide excellent heel and ankle support and help with keeping his feet in a good position for walking.

After looking everywhere for a supplier of these European made shoes, I discovered the main supplier in my city is within walking distance from our house! This meant going in for a fitting and collection was barely a chore at all.

The saleswoman said he’ll probably get 12 months wear out of them. After which time, we SHOULD be able to apply for further funding for another pair.

Just two days after getting them, I can see him walking better in his kaye walker.

Yippee!

Happy Birthday Little Bean!!

25 Mar

Today, my beautiful little Bean turned 2.

I know he doesn’t get a lot of attention on this blog. I wish in real life I could give him more attention too.

He spends a lot of time in the car, a lot of time at appointments that are not for him. A lot of time being told ‘no’ and ‘wait’ and ‘later’.

Let me tell you about a few of the things he likes to do. He likes to sing. He likes to dance. He adores the Wiggles and knows most of the moves to most of their songs. He loves to twirl and twirl around until he gets dizzy and falls and then gets up and does it again. He loves to laugh. He loves to eat bananas and apples and chicken and watermelon and rice-crackers, but not much else. He loves to go to the park and swing, and swing, and swing. He loves to give kisses and cuddles. He loves to watch trains, travel on trains, even to see a train track. He loves to take his brother’s kaye walker for a spin, but always gives it back when his brother wants to use it. He loves to take his father for a walk (fabulously the other evening, all the way to the shops, with his dad already wearing pyjamas). He loves to stand and watch elevator doors opening, clapping at the people who come out like they’ve just won a race. It always makes them smile. He makes a lot of people smile. He makes ME smile.

Thanks for being so beautiful little Bean. And so patient. And so caring. I promise that we will have more time together to do special things for just the two of us.

little-beans-birthday

Happy Birthday my gorgeous boy!!!!

Talking lesson.

23 Mar

It’s been AGES since we’ve had a speech therapy session.

BC’s early intervention centre does a lot of individual assessments in the first term of the year, so it takes a while for actual therapy sessions to get started.

I’ll be honest and say a big part of me doesn’t mind the break. It’s exhausting fitting everything into our week. We spend a lot of time in the car.

Also, these days, I feel a lot more confident about helping  BC developing effective communication skills because let’s face it, I know a lot more about this sort of thing than I did 4 years ago ;-).

Having a background in teaching English as a Second Language has helped a little too.

I know what a phoneme is. I know what a plosive is.

But, now that we’ve had a break from therapy and BC’s speech has made such gains, it was great to get some feedback on where we are at the moment and also build on  some new strategies.

BC’s speech therapist was VERY impressed with his willingness and ability to attempt making long sentences. It has reminded me that this time last year, we were really happy if he’d just say single words.

A year ago, if he wanted something to eat, he would use the makaton sign and maybe say ‘eat’. These days, he says ‘I’ve got a rumble in my tummy’ (thank-you Bananas in Pyjamas!).

A year ago, he never asked questions. Now, he asks them all day long – ‘Where are we going tomorrow?’, ‘Where are we going after that?’, ‘Who’s looking after me today?’, ‘What are we having for dinner?’.

His articulation is still not great. I understand most of what he says, but others often get it wrong.

He has a PODD communication book. Man, are these ever great. Now that BC is a little older, he LOVES his book. He brings it to people, he navigates his way around it and he gets frustrated when he’s unable to use it to find what he wants to say.

BC’s speech therapist was very impressed with his progress. She was able to point out some things that I don’t know much about -like the fact that he has much better control of his jaw movements. That his tongue is moving more independently. Cool.  We’re going to do some work on his open mouth ‘oo’ sounds and his ‘b’, ‘p’, ‘f’, ‘d’ sounds which he’s still having a lot of trouble controlling. Saliva control remains a priority too.

I’m also going to do some training in the ‘PROMPT’ system that his therapist uses. I LOVE this system. I can’t wait to learn more.

In the car on the way home, BC asked ‘Mum, when are we having a talking lesson again? I love talking lessons’.

Me too BC, me too.

This woman walked into a pram….

19 Mar

So, this woman walked into a pram…….

Sounds like the start of a bad joke, but was actually what happened to us at the pool this afternoon – I had my first ever experience of ‘pram rage’.

I was standing with Bean in the pram, waiting for BC, in his walker, to catch up with us in the foyer of the swimming pool, when a woman who was walking past, not watching where she was going, stumbled over the pram.

She looked at me.

I looked at her and smiled.

She looked at me again. She shook her head.

Then she said “Well, don’t you think you should say something?”

I considered ”Um….nice towel?’ but got the feeling that wasn’t what she wanted to hear.

“You just ran into me with your pram!” she shouted (loudly enough for people to stop and stare).

Stunned (but still smiling) I told her “Actually, I wasn’t moving. You walked into the pram.”

“You’ve got an attitude problem!” she shouted. “Sort yourself out!”

Sigh.

I didn’t bother saying anything else as she stormed out the door, but part of me really, really would have loved to mail her video footage of the ‘alleged incident’ so she could see what actually happened. It’d be nice to have my name cleared (I have a clean pram driving record up until now).

It reminded me of an incident that happened years ago when BC was still a baby and in a baby carrier on my chest. I used to talk to him all the time, telling him everything I was doing (stimulate those neural pathways!).

A woman walking past with 2 small children heard me say ‘No, I don’t like the look of those” (I was talking about some mouldy punnets of strawberries) and she was CONVINCED I was talking about her children.

She called me quite a few names unprintable in this G rated blog. I tried to tell her I was talking about the strawberries. But that just made her more cross. So, again I just smiled and sighed with relief when she walked away.

I ran into that woman (not physically of course!!!) quite a few times after that. I always felt very awkward and guilty as though I actually HAD done something wrong. Thankfully I haven’t seen her for ages.

I really, really hope I don’t see the pram rage lady again. She was scary.

Despite the ‘pram rage’ incident, once we were in the pool, we had a GREAT time.

And I have some exciting news (exciting with a little ‘e’).

BOTH my boys blew bubbles in the water for the first time.

YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Water baby Bean did it first. Because there were lots of claps and cheers, BC decided he had to have a go too.

He blew bubbles twice until the count of 10. This is the first time he’s even TRIED to blow bubbles.

They were both so thrilled. It reminded me, yet again, of what great motivation sibling rivalry can be. ;-).

A love story.

2 Mar

I haven’t forgotten about writing my other ‘Sydney’ posts, but I have been really really busy since I returned. I will write them in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this link to a video of a story that featured on Australian TV on Sunday night – I hope it’s accessible to everyone as it’s a really lovely piece about a couple with CP who married and have two teenaged children. It’s a little bittersweet, as society haven’t always been accepting of them (and listen out for the story about when he asked for her hand in marriage ;-)), but it’s mostly a really lovely story about two very determined and caring people who love each other dearly and who have refused to let their disabilities define them.

‘A different love story (their title, not mine!)

Enjoy!

Guest Posts from the kinder team….

18 Feb

Well, this is SORT of a guest posting…. LET me explain.

We are loving BC’s new kinder. His teacher and regular assistant are FABULOUS, CARING and PASSIONATE about what they do. It’s lovely to watch.

AND BC’s new kinder assistant is AMAZING, DEDICATED, MOTIVATED, INFORMED and just one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve come across in recent years. She’s also the mother of a 7 year old girl with cerebral palsy, so she knows a lot about CP, inclusion and advocacy. AND she’s a lot of fun. BC told me so tonight.

One of her suggestions was for me to place an exercise book in BC’s bag so she, the teacher and the other assistant could communicate with me. I did as she asked and wrote a short paragraph in there this morning, as I was neither there to drop off or pick up BC today.

About an hour ago, as I was checking through his bag, I remembered the book, so thought I’d check to see if there were any messages left in there for me. I was expected maybe a sentence reminder or something I’d forgotten and a simple sentence about his day….

Guess what I found?  THREE pages of notes, one page from each of the staff members and even a strip of very cute photocopied pics from the day.

WOW.

I can’t tell you what this means to me. This hardest part of having a child with limited communication skills is not being able to share in experiences he’s had when I’m not around. It just hurts that he can’t TELL me what he’s done, what he’s enjoyed, what may have upset him etc.

I’ve been trying (in vain) to get BC’s child care centre to give me ANY kind of information about what he’s done during the day, things I might need to do, bring etc and I’ve had next to nothing.

So THREE WHOLE pages of notes about his third ever session of kindergarten was overwhelmingly special.

Once I read the book, I sat down with BC. We used his PODD communication book, signing and speech to talk about the activities and other things mentioned in the book, looked at the photos and talked about the different kids. WOW. He was so animated and excited. It was AWESOME.

AND just so you know what I know now, I can tell you he had a fab day today. Don’t take my word for it, here’s just a few excerpts from the book:

Ms B (our new assistant)

“He was using his communication book great. I added the word ‘dolls’ to his things list as we had water play outside (washing baby dolls). He then chose ‘sandpit’, ‘swing’ and ‘bridge’. Ms J (teacher) is happy to make a little bag to put on his walker for his communication book. She has some dinosaur material. I asked BC if he would like that he said yes. He also thanked Jenny. He is such an adorable boy and a pleasure to work with”

Ms J (teacher)

“I will take measurements for the bag and make is ASAP. BC has really enjoyed today’s session. Inside he had lots of fun in home corner, pretending to eat fruit and have afternoon tea. He had a fit of the giggles when Miss C was racing in and out of home corner and they pretended to talk on the phone. He did a fantastic job packing up the tea cups and dishes…a very happy session!”

Ms E (regular kinder assistant)

“BC raced after me to check out Miss M’s treasure and then indicated he wanted to go in the cubby house. In there he played with Master L. BC covered him up and he began to snore. BC thought this was a good idea so he got into bed and Master L covered him in a blanket and BC began to snore! It was such fun that everyone wanted to join in. He had a wonderful time”.

It’s all simple, simply stuff, but thrilling in just how ‘normal’ it is (sorry, I hate that word, but I think you get what I mean!) and I hope you can see why I am already looking forward to savouring the next instalment of his kinder diary (as I’ve decided to know call it!) on Friday……..

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