Wednesday, September 29, 2010

SEW: Escape - Part 2

Two weeks ago for Special Exposure Wednesday I told you about Ashlea's attempt at a near naked dash down the ramp.  Since then she has tried something far more daring.

It is school holidays at present in the land down under, and the weather is GORGEOUS.  We have been enjoying having the kids friends over to play.  On Monday I was out the front saying good-bye to some visitors.  Emma was inside, Audrey was with me, and Ashlea was.... not where I thought she was.

I thought she was inside.  However, while I was out the front I heard a little voice calling out "Mummy".  I turned to see her here:

This is our front gate.  She is about to crawl out it and onto our driveway.  As shocking as that may sound, there is worse to come. To get to this point, she must have crawled out the front door:

And down those 3 steep steps.

(Please excuse my front entrance way - yes I do use it to store equipment).

I almost had a heart attack when I saw her.  

After shrieking "What are you doing???", I asked her: "Did you go down the steps head first or feet first (her physio is trying to teach her feet first)?"

Her answer:  "Yes."

Me:  "Head first or feet first?"

Ashlea:  "Feet first"

I got the feeling however that I was being given the answer I wanted to hear, rather than the actual answer.  We don't have security cameras so I can't verify that she was telling me the truth!

Nowhere is safe and no door can be left open otherwise my little escape artist will give it a go.  I guess I should be (and I am) thankful at this new development!  It is so normal to have to watch your child every minute when they are learning to be mobile, its just that with Ashlea it has been so slow to develop that I got lulled into a false sense of security.  Ashlea has been mobile for awhile now (I think she first crawled 18 months ago),  but this adventurous streak is something new.  And delightful. 

And just a little bit freaky for Mummy!

For more Special Exposure Wednesday click here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Emma lost another tooth today.  The remaining middle one is wobbly, as is the one on the top right (left as you look at the picture).

Anyone want to put any money on when she loses the next one?  I think the top right one will be gone by next weekend.  Any takers?

I LOVE this stage - its so cute!

Friday, September 24, 2010

School Holidays and Perhaps Another Milestone??

Its school holidays!!!  I'm really looking forward to these holidays. We have very few appointments, and are looking forward to having lots of friends over to play.  I can't believe my big girl is 3/4 of the way through her kindergarten year!!  Nor can I believe that my babies are nearing the end of their year at preschool.  Thankfully they have another year at preschool as the thought of saying good-bye to our preschool teachers and other Early Intervention workers is too sad - I'm glad I can put it off for another year!

Speaking of preschool, Ashlea has reached another milestone this week.  The milestone of being deliberately naughty - and enjoying it.

On Tuesday at group time, the teacher was speaking to the class. Ashlea was sitting with the class.  What do you think she was doing?
a) Listening intently to the teacher (hahahahaha - have you met my child?)
b) Fidgeting and wriggling but being generally quiet
c) Crying uncontrollably
d) Screaming (happy, deliberate screaming, not unhappy wailing) over the top of the teacher. Repeatedly.  And laughing when asked to stop.  And then keeping on screaming whenever the teacher tries to talk.

If you guessed option D you were correct.  She even had to be removed from the group for a little time out, AND because she kept it up she had to have consequences at play time - no ladder climbing (her favourite).  Too funny.  Even though it was frustrating for the teachers they could also see the funny side, and they think she has a pretty good sense of humour.

At play time her SN teacher encouraged Ashlea to apologise to the other teacher.  This is how it went:

Ashlea:    Sorry
Teacher:  What are you apologising for Ashlea?
Ashlea:    Noise
Teacher:  Thank you for apologising.  Now, you're not going to make noise next time are you?
Ashlea:    No


Ashlea:     AAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHH (starts yelling again).

Not sure how much success they had, but I am pretty proud that she has the mental capacity to be deliberately naughty from time to time. The fact that she finds it funny is icing on the cake!

What do you think?  Can I claim deliberate naughtiness as a milestone???

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SEW: What's Wrong With This Picture???

Life can be tough when you have a disability.  Not only is it hard to get a turn on the 'fast bike' when your sisters are so much quicker than you, but they also take off with your equipment!!

In their defence, Ashlea is NOT allowed to use that walker without an adult being within arms reach.  AND Ashlea gets her own back.  Last night Emma was sitting on the floor doing some homework when Ashlea crawled over.  Ashlea was in a silly mood.  She kept grabbing the pencils out of Emma's hand while she was trying to write.  She was reasonably successful much to Emma's frustration.  Emma is bigger and stronger though and was able to get the pencils back.

Ashlea's response?

To lay across Emma's book.  And not move.

Except for laughing of course.

For more Special Exposure Wednesday click here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

How good has the weather been in Sydney this weekend???

We haven't really done much, but the fact that the sun was shining, and it was warm made all the difference.  We went outside.  In t-shirts.  I LOVE the warmer weather.

I can't tell you how much difference the ramp is making to our lives!  Ashlea can easily access the backyard just like her sisters.  If we leave the door open she can just crawl out and see what is going on.  It is fantastic.  I'm not sure how her knees are going to survive once it is full summer and she isn't wearing long pants, but at the moment it is great and has given her such freedom.  For the first time EVER, I've been in the situation where Murray has asked me "Where are the kids?" and I've been able to say "They're outside".  Meaning all of them are outside - pottering around.  Without me having to help.  Fabulous.

So, here is what we got up to.

We had lunch outside...Mummy's little yobbo's...

Jumped on the trampoline...

This is Ashlea's version of just have to repeat it again and again and again...

Emma lost another tooth...

And has at least another 3 wobbly ones.  She gets very annoyed if I call her Fang, but it fits perfectly at the moment...

Audrey expressed her displeasure at yet another photo being taken...

And we borrowed a power washer to try and finally get rid of the last vestiges of bat poo.  If this doesn't work, we will have to declare the poo officially 'clean' as it has been washed many, many times now.

Who wants to come over for a play in the school holidays?  I promise it is clean!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A little confession...

I need to confess something.  I hope you won't think any less of me for this.

OK, here goes...

I really, REALLY want to see Oprah when she comes to visit Sydney.

Anyone know how to get in the ballot for a ticket?

Even if I don't get a ticket for the show, I may have to go and join the crowd around the Opera House.  Anyone want to join me???

In other news, all is quiet in our neck of the woods (I know, I really shouldn't say that out loud).  We are still basking in the glow of Ashlea's new found ability to walk in the kaye walker.  We have practised a few times this week, and every time I still feel completely blown away by my little miracle. And yes I do still have the desire to swear when I see it, as it is just so damn amazing.  I don't usually get teary - I think because I am still in shock - but occasionally someone else's reaction will be so beautiful that it will make me teary.

Like Emma's reaction (imagine the volume getting louder with each statement).
Emma was so excited to see Ashlea trying to walk - it was one of those bittersweet moments, where I was so proud of Emma for loving Ashlea the way she does, yet also reminded that this is kind of different to 'how it was meant to be'.  I love that Emma loves Ashlea so unconditionally - if you ask Emma how she feels about Ashlea she'll say "I just love her" - and that she is so proud of her little sister. So proud of my big girl.

Also, there have been a few other people who have burst into tears upon seeing the video - particularly people who can remember back to when Ashlea's very survival was unsure - that has been kind of lovely to know that there are other people who remember, and who get what a big deal this is.  For some reason I have been thinking back to that time over the last week.  At church on Sunday the sermon touched on the topic of suffering, and how suffering binds us to each other.  I was thinking back to the time the girls were first born, and it's true that we were bound to everyone at church at that time. EVERYONE was praying for the girls, and as time wore on particularly for Ashlea - for her very life.  It was amazing to be able to rely on our church family at that time.

I don't know why it has been on my mind this week.  Maybe her amazing effort last week has brought up all those memories and associated emotions?

She nearly died.  She was never expected to walk.

Now not only is she alive, but she is thriving.  Now she can walk in the walker.

What's next?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Special Exposure Wednesday: Escape!!

Miss Ashlea loves to escape out an open door. Like most kids, if she can see an open door she will crawl (usually at top speed) straight for it.

The other day I was getting her dressed and had to leave the room to get some things, and when I came back she was gone. The kids had left the back door open. She was making her get away.

No mum, I am not coming back inside!!

Click here for the rest of Special Exposure Wednesday.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Who'd Have Thought?

Who'd have thought Miss Ashlea would be able to do this?

I know I have posted a similar video in the past, but you will notice that in this one, she isn't being held up by the physio.  She is walking ALL BY HERSELF.  Sort of.

Who'd have thought?

How do you think I reacted?

Jumping for joy?

Weeping with happiness?


I swore.

I did worn the physio first.  But the only words that seemed to convey how amazing this achievement is were:
That's f***ing awesome.
I know I have a few delicate readers that will find that offensive, but seriously, how f***ing awesome is it???

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Special Exposure Wednesday: More Raspberry Blowing

As most of you know, Emma started school this year. You may be wondering what she has learnt?

Reading? Yes.

Writing? Yes.

Maths? A bit.

The thing she is proudest of learning, she has learnt from the boy who sits next to her. He has taught her how to make fart noises by blowing raspberries into your hands. Of course Emma thinks it is hilarious.

And of course Ashlea does too - and now tries to do it herself.

She hasn't quite got it yet, but just give her time...

Someone pleae tell me they grow out of the potty humour stage???

For more Special Exposure Wednesday click here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Or should that be Happy Carnivore Day???

Most people give their dad's socks and jocks for Father's Day.  We went for something different and tried to give Murray a heart attack.  We started with bacon and eggs for breakfast, followed by strawberries and cream.  Yum.  For lunch we fried more bacon, and for dinner we switched animals and had a lamb roast.  On top of that was all the yummy licorice and chocolate from his Darrell Lea Dad's bag.  I can feel our arteries hardening and our teeth decaying as I type.

Needless to say it was a lovely Father's Day.  Very quiet - it is just our little family as Murray's dad is in QLD and my dad passed away 3 years ago.  Aside from all the eating, we just hung around the house, played outside in the warm sun and then ate some more.  Lovely and relaxing.

Murray loved receiving his gifts from the girls.  Emma had bought him some more of those 'useful' items from the school stall, and the twins had hand painted coffee cups at preschool.  I took photos of him with the girls but seeing as he (and they) stayed in their pyjamas all day they are less than flattering pictures!  I did get a couple of cute ones of the girls - in pyjamas - so I will post those...


I'm not sure what kind of crazy games your kids play, but what you can't see in the photo is that Emma was sitting on a 'nest' made from sticks and waiting for her egg to hatch...

Audrey - looking worried.  Emma was suggesting that they should camp out in the backyard over night. You can sense Audrey's enthusiasm can't you?

And Ashlea - I had just asked her to do something for me - this is her "Will I or won't I" face...

And her decision - of course not - then laugh hysterically...

Happy Father's Day!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Work Update

Last week I posted about feeling stressed.  I'm still feeling stressed and overwhelmed.  And tired.  I'm sure you can all relate.  The thing I'd really like more of - and unfortunately you can't buy it in a can - is ENERGY.

This week I asked at work about increasing my hours.  Basically I pitched it like this:
I'd like to go from 1 day a week to 3, but I can only do certain days, can only do mornings, would need to leave early and would need a parking space in case of emergencies.
Most employers I imagine would not be impressed.  Mine?
Sure - let me work out some details and I'll get back to you. 

Not sure when I'll start though - I want to wait until after the coming school holidays as I really feel like I need a rest - and would have to take leave straight away to look after the kids anyway!

My biggest worry is how I am going to get everything done.  I also feel guilty and sad that 3 days of the week I won't be there in the morning when my babies wake up.  I know Murray will be here, but it will be sad having to wait until 3pm to see them.  I have to keep remembering that Emma will be at school and the twins will be at preschool for 2 of the days so I wouldn't really see them much anyway - AND they'll be having a great time.  The other day they will be with my mum which they love and are used to because she minds them currently when I work.

I guess the other big stress about working more hours is that the whole situation seems so precariously balanced.

Everything should be fine.... long as....

the kids don't get sick,
I don't get sick,
the kids don't take turns being sick for days on end,
nothing happens to Grandma,
the car doesn't break down,
Ashlea doesn't have appointments on my work days (um hello, renal clinic and botox),
Ashlea doesn't end up in hospital,
and the list goes on.

Seriously how do people manage their job and their parenting and caring responsibilities?  Fortunately my employers know about 'our situation' and are very understanding.  I actually think their knowing about our situation is what makes them so accommodating - all the bosses have young kids and I guess from their perspective I'm living their worst nightmare.

Please tell me this is do-able!!

I guess I can just try it and see what happens.  If it doesn't work out I can always go back to just working one day a week.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Special Exposure Wednesday: SPRING!!

It's the first day of spring and I am very excited thinking about all the lovely warm weather ahead of us.

The good news in our house is that our brand new (FREE) ramp is finished.  The girls love running straight from the back door down to the yard.  Ashlea LOVES to run down it in her walker.  Unfortunately I have no photos to prove this as I have to have a very firm hold on her walker while she is doing it!

Audrey prefers this method:

Although she and Emma would both really rather ride their bikes straight from the backdoor but I won't let them.

We have enjoyed getting out in the backyard more with the slightly warmer weather lately.  Sometimes Ashlea goes out in her walker...

And sometimes she just crawls...

Aawwww - one more twin cuddle to finish off with...

PS For those who have been following our story - the bats appear to have stopped crapping in my yard. YEEHAA - we can play outside again.

Don't forget to check out the rest of Special Exposure Wednesday.