Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Possum Tree 2014

For the past nine years, I have taken my boys photo in front of the same tree and I was hoping to do the same this year.  They still humour me, by letting me take their photo there and I'm hoping they'll let their old Mum do it for many more years.   It's known to us as the 'Possum tree' because we used to call it the 'blossom tree' but Harri thought we were saying 'possum' so we stuck with it. 

I almost kicked myself today when I drove past one of our old houses, and saw that the tree out the front had already blossomed a while ago.  I just couldn't go past taking one this year, even though most of the blossoms have already gone.
2013
This was taken not long after we got Milly. I think I was still looking at her thinking 'what have I done!!?'. 
2012
The first 'possum tree' photo since Noah and Aaron passed away.  I really noticed how Harri was catching up to Jalen's height this year, but now Jay has started taking off again. 
2011
This photo was taken just a month before Noah passed away.  He wasn't well, but we had no idea what was coming.
 
 2010
Poor Noah was still using his wheelchair that was way too small for him, while we waited for funding for his new one. 
 
 2009
How cute were Harri and Kobe!?
 
 2008
Definitely not the best photo, but I remember thinking 'just don't drop Kobe!' as I quickly snapped it, and couldn't get a better one because Harri kept grizzing that the sun was in his eyes.  It's funny the things you remember.  
2007
Such cuties. I miss having them this small.
2006
I remember looking out our lounge room window, and seeing how pretty the tree was so I dragged the boys out for a photo.  Who would've thought that nine years later I would still be doing it! 
Hopefully next year I'll catch the tree when it's in full blossom.  I'm definitely slipping! I bet Aaron was laughing at me today when I was cursing myself for missing it!
 
It's so fun and also sad to look back and see how much the boys have changed and grown, and how our family has changed.  I feel like we are in a much better place right now than we were even a year ago, and it's hard to imagine if and how things will be different even in one more year, but I hope that this time next year, we can reflect back on a good year. 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Real Imprints

Last week a lovely woman contacted me.  She said she had read my blog and was wondering if I would be interested in sharing my story on their website - Real Imprints.  They created the website because they feel that each person's life and experiences can be used to bless another's.

When they asked me if I would like to share my 'story' I felt it was a privilege to.  Any time that I can talk about Aaron and Noah is a blessing, and it's nice to know that I can share our story, so that people don't forget that we are a family of six.  There's just one third of us not on earth right now.

It took me a while to write out my 'story' again, and it surprised me as to how hard it was to write about what has happened, even though I live through it every day.  When I type what has happened it just doesn't seem real.  It doesn't feel like Noah has been gone for almost three years.

Thank you Tasha and Lindsey for asking me to share my story.  I am grateful to know that Aaron and Noah are not being forgotten.

You can read my story on the Real Imprints website here or by clicking on the picture below.  


http://realimprints.org/tragedy-strikes-again-and-again/



Friday, 12 September 2014

15

15 years ago today I became a Mum. I can't say it was the happiest day of my life, because Jalen's birth was actually very long and traumatic (it even says so in his child health book!) but after I got over that,  I absolutely loved being a little family.   Aaron and I decided we wanted to wait a little while before we had kids.  We got married young and wanted to enjoy being a 'just' a married couple, before kids came along. We had almost four years on our own, and we didn't really know what hit us when Jay was born!
 
He was a very hard baby as he had reflux, but we just thought all babies were like that (because isn't that what babies do: eat, sleep and cry - a lot!?) so we just dealt with it the best way we knew how.  When he finallly 'grew out of it' we realised how much pain it had been causing him, and finally at 6 months of age he started to sleep through the night, after some advice from the Child Health Nurse and persistence from us.  
 
Those first six months were hard, but Jay has more than made up for those hard days and nights since then.  He's such a great kid and I have no doubt that he was meant to come to our family first.  He's always been sensitive and caring and such a great big brother to all of his brothers, but especially to Noah. 
You hear a lot of horror stories about teenagers, but I'm still waiting for Jay to turn into a horrible teenager ;) He's been through so much throughout his whole life, and especially in the last three years, but he makes me so proud with the way that he just keeps going and is still able to see the positive things in life, despite having days when he feels really down. 

I felt really sad on Harri's birthday, but Jay's birthday hasn't been as hard.  I think because he is so easy going about it, that it doesn't put as much stress on me.  Harri is not one to let you forget when his birthday is, but Jay hasn't talked as much about his.  He was so grateful for each and every present, and as he walked out the door to go to school this morning he yelled 'thanks for everything!'. 
He asked a couple of months ago if he could have a sleepover with his friends from school, and as much as I wanted to say no, I was happy that he wanted to have some fun with his friends, so tonight I have six of his friends sleeping over.   It's going to be a big night of pizza, junk food, video games and watching superhero movies.  I just hope I can sleep through it all. 
 
He actually has some lovely friends, three of them have been friends with him since Kindergarten.  
Nicole the awesome Cupcake Fairy offered to make him his cake, and he knew exactly what he wanted - an Agents of Shield cake with cupcakes around it with logos  of different superheroes.He absolutely loved it and Kobe said they're the best cakes in the 'whole, whole, whole whole world!!!.
I feel very lucky to have a kid as great as Jay.  He makes me laugh so much as he reminds me so much of Aaron.  Almost every day I say to him 'are you right Aaron!!?' as he does something that is exactly what Aaron would've done or said.  He has the same sense of humour as Aaron and is very quick witted.  He loves being compared to Aaron as I tell him about things that his Dad used to do.  It always makes him laugh.  
 It's hard to believe my baby is 15, and I wish I could just freeze time right now because I'm loving the age he is at.  He always asks me how my day has been, and isn't scared to show me affection, even in front of his mates.  It's been nice to have him come and visit me in my bedroom tonight, to thank me for letting his friends come over, and to see how appreciative of the things I have done for his birthday.    I'm so proud of him and I have no doubt that Aaron would be too. 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Father's Day

September is a harder month than usual with two birthdays and Father's Day.  I haven't thought too much about Father's Day this year, but I couldn't help but think about it because Kobe has been talking about it for a couple of weeks.  For some reason he is really grieving a lot again the last couple of weeks, and keeps saying things like 'I love the photos of Daddy and Noah, but they just make me so sad' as he looks at them on the wall.  One morning he just kept crying and saying 'I just wish so much they didn't die'. 

At school his teacher told me they would decorating mugs for Father's Day and asked me what I wanted Kobe to do. I told her I would ask Kobe, and suggested that he could make it for Grandpa instead of Dad.  That upset him and he said he really wanted to make it for Dad, and that he wanted to take it to the cemetery for him.  I told him that I think that Daddy would love it, especially if we put some flowers in it for him, so that is what we did.  He was sure that Aaron would love the Hawks colours he put on it. 


We took it up yesterday, because we knew we wouldn't get to the cemetery today.  Kobe has been crying a lot all week, especially one night when he came home from school upset because he said a boy in his class said 'yeah your dad died!' as they were talking about Father's Day.  I told him that I'm sure the boy wasn't being mean about it - he was just saying it because he knew that his Dad had died, but he was so upset about it.  

At the cemetery he made me laugh because he was pretending he was playing football with Harri and they kept tackling each other.  It was nice to see him not so sad about Father's Day.   I'm sure Aaron would've loved it. 
We were very sad to see a fresh child's grave, right next to Noah.  I can't help but wonder how old they were and what happened.  I feel sick thinking about what his parents are probably going through right now. 

Today after church we had a Father's Day lunch at my brother Eden and his wife Steph's house.  It was a beautiful day.
Dad loved sitting out in the sun, watching all the kids kick the footy around. 


I couldn't help but to go back to Target to get another t-shirt that mentioned 'Dad' on it for Kobe.  He loves it.
 
On the way home we went to see the progress on my Mum and Dad's house, which my brother is building.  It's exciting to see it going up, and it will be nice for them to have some more space again. 

It is hard to hear lots of people talk about Father's Day when Aaron isn't here, but I'm grateful for kind friends who contacted me as they knew it may be a hard day.  I was actually feeling okay about it, until I saw families at church together, and then it hit me.  I just wish things were so different.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Footy Colours

This week at school we had 'Footy Colours Day' which was actually renamed 'Sports Colours Day' to cater for those crazy people who don't love footy.  When Jay was taking this photo I asked him if he remembered how Dad used to have 'Footy Colours Week' instead of footy colours day.  He said he didn't, so I told him how Aaron used to wear a different geurnsey to school every day for a week.  Jay thought it was very funny. 

We are having beautiful spring days now, with cool mornings, but beautiful sunny afternoons.  I told Kobe that he probably needed to put a jumper on in the morning, and could take it off at school when it got warm.  He made me laugh when he said 'but I want to show off my muscles!'. 

The kids were very hyped all day at school with their sports colours on, and it was fun to see my EAL students excited to get involved, proudly wearing their Hawks scarves that I and another teacher gave them.  There's nothing like doing a little bit of brainwashing about who the best team is ;) One of them said he wanted to go for the Kangaroos and I told him that was okay, but he was then sent to 'time out' ;)

I miss Aaron and Noah all the time, but I think about Aaron so much more when things like this are going on.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Double Figures

Today Harri is 10.  I can't believe I have two boys in double figures!  He has been hanging out for his birthday for months.  He hasn't had a party with friends since he was seven, so had been asking if he could have a party this year.   I'm not a fan of parties, especially when I have to do them on my own, but I knew how much it meant to Harri, so told him that he could have one this year. 

He decided to have it at Zone 3 so he could play laser tag with his mates.  He has some lovely friends in his class at school and it was nice to have them celebrate with him on Saturday. 
He loved having a party with his friends, and all the stress was worth seeing him so happy. 
The lovely Cupcake Fairy, Nicole made him an awesome birthday cake.  He is so obsessed with basketball, so he asked for a Miami Heat cake. I was very grateful that I didn't have to worry about a party as well as the cake - thanks Nic :)
He woke up early this morning and came running into my room saying 'it's finally my birthday!'.   He couldn't wait for Jay and Kobe to wake up, so he could open up his presents.
The birthday person always gets to choose what we have for tea, so of course Harri chose Maccas.
On Saturday I realised I didn't have a card for him, so I told him I didn't have a card to see what he would say.  He cracked me up because he said 'well, that's disappointing! Usually a family at least gives their child a card to let them know how much they care!'.   Talk about make me feel guilty!  So I had to jump back in the car to get him a card, even though we had been out all day.  Kobe came home from school with a cute card he made for Harri, so I don't think he will have any doubts about whether Kobe cares :) 
Harri was more than happy to choose a mud cake from the supermarket for tonight.  
He went to bed very happy and told me it was his best birthday ever, because he got to have a party with his friends, and had a great day today.  Birthdays are really hard, so I'm glad he was able to have a happy day.  I'm just glad that it's over.   It's hard having to plan for birthdays by myself, and to put on a happy face so the boys have a good day.  It's days like today when I really wish Aaron was here. 

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

How funny is the ice bucket challenge that is going around at the moment!? In Australia the ALS ice bucket challenge is known as the MND ice bucket challenge.  It's such a fun way to raise money and awareness for such a great cause, and some people have decided to use it to raise money for other causes.  I've heard a few people complain about the ice bucket challenge, but I think it's such a great way to raise awareness (I actually had never really heard of ALS before now), raise money and have fun and some laughs while doing it.    Hopefully everyone who is doing it, is actually donating to a good cause as well, whether it be ALS/MND or some other cause.

I first saw the ice bucket challenge a couple of months ago, when some people in Australia were doing it to raise money for my cousin Lanai's son - Lindsay.   He has a brain tumour and has needed a lot of money to pay for treatment in the USA, because medicinal marijuana is not yet legal in Australia.  He has had some amazing results being on treatment in the USA, and it's so hard for them and the whole family emotionally, financially and physically to keep going back and forth for treatment.  They were recently on the TV show 60 Minutes and you can watch it and read more about it here.  Before Lindsay was diagnosed I would've been totally against legalising it, but since his diagnosis I have learnt so much about how it can help so many people, and hope that anyone who is not sure about it, would also take the time to learn more about it. 


Lanai and Lindsay's friends who did the ice bucket challenge raised enough money to pay for a ticket for Lindsay to return to the USA again for treatment.
I was nominated about a month ago (thanks Kym...not!) and was under the impression that if you didn't do that ice bucket challenge, that you had to donate instead.  Hopefully people who are doing it are donating as well.  I thought that it was probably more beneficial if I made a donation, so I did that instead, even though the boys have been begging me to do the challenge, because they wanted to have a good laugh.


My boys have been hanging out to be nominated to do it, especially after a couple of teachers did it at school.  Finally this week they were nominated and couldn't wait to do it. 


Here are the videos of my boys doing their challenge.




Kobe cracked us up as he looked like he was about to cry, but acted all tough like he was fine with it :)



They each did it separately and then wanted to do it again, so Alison dumped a bucket over all of them at once, but surprised them as it was actually warm water :)
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