Friday, 29 February 2008

Back to basketball

Jalen has been so excited as basketball has started back up again at the YMCA, since school has gone back.

This year they are doing things a little differently and Jay is lucky that he gets to still be in the 'easy' league for 7 and 8 year olds. We thought that he had to go up to the more serious league this year, but I'm glad that he gets another couple of terms to learn some more skills before it gets too serious, and they actually get strict on the rules.

At the moment it is all about having fun, and learning different basketball skills and rules. Jay especially loves going and playing games. It is nice that his cousin Henry is also doing it again. Hopefully when they divide them into teams they will still be in the same team again.

Watching Jay train makes me miss playing, but I can't imagine running up and down the court right now when I have this huge 'basketball' up my top! :) At the moment I am happy to just watch.

Thursday, 28 February 2008


This morning we had a physio appointment for Noah. A couple of weeks ago we caught up with Noah's physio who did a biomechanical assessment of him. She usually does one or two a year to just see how well he is, or isn't moving, and then shows us different things to do to help loosen him up or stretch different muscles.

It is really interesting watching how she literally measures things, such as the angle that he can get his hamstring etc stretched to.

The boys always love coming to St Giles. Harri always asks if we are going in the 'big room' as the gym area is a lot of fun, especially if there aren't any other clients around and they are allowed to have a play. If we have to go to the Seating Clinic that isn't as much fun, as we are usually just sitting and waiting for Noah's wheelchair to be adjusted.

Today our appointment was to show us some different ways to give Noah's muscles on his chest a stretch, as they are getting quite tight and short. His physio - Kerryn is great and has a lot of experience. The main problem that we are dealing with at the moment is that Noah has scoliosis (a curve and rotation in the spine) which is becoming severe. Many kids like Noah end up having to have spinal surgery to place rods etc in their spine to straighten it up as much as possible, as their internal organs become crushed as their curve gets worse. I hate to think that we may have to do that one day, but it is definitely looking like it may be an option for Noah in the future as he is getting worse, very quickly. We have different things that we do to slow the curve down, but there is nothing we can do to stop it. Hopefully we won't have to worry about having an operation on it for a very long time.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

A visit from camp friends

Today we had a nice surprise when a lady and her son, that we met at camp dropped in to see us. Her son Daniel was has Downs Syndrome and at camp he would stick his tongue out at me and would wait for me to do it back and then crack up laughing.

Today when he came in he was really shy and wouldn't even look at me. Then I sat in front of him and poked my tongue out at him and he cracked up laughing and was my best friend again! He grabbed my head and planted a big kiss on my forehead.

He sat down and watched The Wiggles with Harri and had a great time. As he was about to leave he grabbed my head again and gave me another kiss. It was nice to see them again and are looking forward to catching up with them again when I work during the Easter school holidays.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Dusted if off

With Aaron back to work and Noah being home in the past week (he is now finally back at school!), I have had to bite the bullet and dust off the hoist. It usually just sits in our hallway and collects dust. Whenever Aaron is home he does all the lifting, but now I have to do it myself.

We have had the hoist for over a year, but I hate using it. It is so fiddly and takes so long to first of all get Noah all hooked up, then moved and then lowered back down and free from it all. By the time I even think about doing it, I could have picked him up and put him in his wheelchair, and already be out the door.

Noah actually really likes being in it and is used to using one at school. It is nice seeing his face light up, when you are moving him up and down.

Most of the time I still just pick Noah up myself (when Aaron isn't around) and move him the fast way, but I know as I am getting bigger and Noah is getting heavier, I need to use the hoist more. In a few years I won't have any choice but to use the hoist, as he will just be too heavy to pick up. I guess I will just have to keep pumping those weights at the gym to make sure I am strong enough :)

Whenever I decide to use the hoist I need to make sure that I have a lot of time, as Jay and Harri both want to have a turn too, which takes another ten minutes! They think it is soooooo fun!

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Meeting Annie

This afternoon we made a quick visit to hospital, so the boys and Aaron could meet little Annie.

The boys were so excited to see her and were peering over to her and rubbing her and holding her hands.

Noah was so funny as he could hear Annie crying after she had a bath and his eyes got so big and he kept looking over in her direction. You could tell he was wondering what all the noise was about!

It was cute watching his reaction as he had a hold.

I took the boys up the hall to get a drink and Jay sarcastically said that he 'can't wait to have all that crying in our house!'. He acts like he is dreading it, but deep down I think he is so excited to meet his little brother.

Bec's sister - Louise and her kids Bella and Will were also there. It was nice to catch up with them again (notice Aaron keeping the boys entertained by making a chicken out of gloves!).

Goodbye Summer!

There is a saying here in Tassie that it always gets hotter once school goes back. Most years we have a mild summer and then school goes back and it gets so hot. It is not the case this year! The last week or so has had cold nights and last night I felt really cold and dragged out and extra blanket for Noah's bed. Aaron said to me that it wasn't that cold, but I felt freezing and knew that Noah would feel it too as he is usually colder than normal anyway.

Today we had Stake Conference in Devonport and as we were heading through Deloraine I commented to Aaron that it looked like there was snow on the mountains! As we got closer we saw that there was HEAPS of snow on the mountains! It is supposed to be Summer still! We haven't even reached March yet! I hate to think what this Winter is going to be like. I don't mind the cooler weather, but in Tassie the winter seems to last for 6 months. I can usually handle it as long as we have sunny days, just like today.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Annie Elizabeth Harrington

What a great day! This afternoon at around 4pm, Bec gave birth to a beautiful little girl - Annie Elizabeth.

She is absolutely beautiful and so tiny!

It was so nice to have a little cuddle. Scary to think that soon we will have one this small though! :) Well - maybe not quite so tiny since my three boys have all been so huge! :)

Bec looked amazing - you wouldn't think she just gave birth a few hours earlier! She was so calm and natural with her. Bec and Tone will both be great parents.

It is so nice to see them so happy. It is a very emotional day for everyone. We know how much they miss Andy, and are so glad little Annie is finally here - safe and well.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Anyone know a good carer/aide?

Well - it hasn't worked out with Alice. She has decided she is going to go back to uni full time and finish off the year properly and doesn't want to take too much extra on, so we are back to square one trying to find a carer for 4 hours per week at home, plus someone who is wanting to do some relief aide work from time to time.

This is so frustrating! First it was hard to get the hours funded to have help in the home, now it is just hard to find someone reliable, relaxed, willing and able to work!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Back to swimming

Today Harri started back at swimming lessons. I thought I had better get one more term of lessons in before the baby is born, and for weeks now he has been asking me to go swimming, so he was very excited today. Because Noah can't go to school at the moment he had to come along and watch. I was dreading that he would have a seizure or be grumpy while we were in the pool, but he was very well behaved :) It was funny watching the parents faces as I walked in with the boys. No one ever has any idea that we have Noah, so when they see me with the wheelchair they are really interested. I often get asked if he is my son.

Its amazing how much more confident Harri is in the water now! He told me he was getting in by himself and I wasn't allowed to help him and he just kept jumping in and going under and not caring.

While we were getting changed one of the Mum's asked me if we had spoken at the Make a Wish ball last year. I told her that we had and she said that she was there with her husband and said how much they enjoyed the talk and how she recognised Noah from the slides we showed. It seems like everyone knows Noah today! Last year we had to give a speech at the Make a Wish ball and then at the dinner for the Education Department within a week of each other! It was a scary week, but obviously both talks left an impact which is good. I hate doing things like that, but if I know it is going to help people understand more everyday life with a child with a disability then I am happy to do it.

We found someone!

I'm so happy as we have found someone to be Noah's relief aide at school and she will also do In Home Support at home for four hours per week. Her name is Alice and she also does some In Home Support for some of Di's other clients, so Di put us onto her. She is so lovely and in her 4th year at Uni, doing Education. She is keen to work with Noah which is nice. Today we met at school and went through some of his school routines etc. Next week she will be trained properly with Di (if she is well enough to be back at work) and will fill in whenever Di is sick. Noah was very spoiled today with the two of them, plus me fussing over him. We were 'excited' as we were hoping Noah would have a seizure while Alice was there, so she could see what they were like. He didn't let us down. Poor Noah - it is one of the few times I was hoping he would have one - and it was a beauty!

I'm so glad that we have found someone who I think will be really good - especially as it is getting closer to the baby arriving! I was worried that we still wouldn't have it organised by then.

Until next Monday (at least) Noah is still home from school. It was nice today to have him up there for a couple of hours and to have all the kids come up and say hi to him. There are a lot of new teachers at school this year, and two of them came up to me today and said hi and said that they were at a talk that Aaron and I did last year at a dinner put on by the Education Department. The talk was about Inclusion, and our experience of Noah going to school. They both said how much they enjoyed it and wanted to come up and meet Noah which was nice.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Wii Fun

We had so much fun at Chrish's house playing his Nintendo Wii, that I caved in when we got home and surprised the boys by getting one. We didn't spend as much money as we thought we would in Sydney, so when we saw them on special at Kmart when we got home, I told Aaron I would go down and put one on layby. When I got there I changed my mind and decided I would just buy it and surprise them all. It was also the first day of school, so I thought it would be a nice surprise when they all got home from school.

I talked to Aaron during the day and told him that I just bought it, and he was like a little boy at Christmas! When I picked up Jay from school he asked if I had put one on layby. I told him I had and he was very excited. I wasn't going to tell him I bought it until the very last minute (after we had had the big talk about trying hard at school this year) but when we got home Harri went into my bedroom and came out carrying it (and it was very heavy!) and stands in front of Jay going 'ta da!'. Jay's face was priceless!! He just stood there with his mouth open and then just about wet himself with excitement!!

It is so funny watching the boys play it. They get so excited and into it. Harri has surprised us and is getting pretty good at it!

I like it so much more than the Playstation, which I have never been into. It is fun actually standing up and moving around like you really are playing tennis, golf, ten pin bowling or baseball. It is especially lots of fun when I beat Aaron :) The first night Aaron and I played it together after the boys went to bed and we were both so hot and sweaty. We must have looked hilarious jumping around our lounge room playing tennis! It definitely gives you a work out - maybe I won't have to go to the gym so often! ;) The next morning I woke up with sore tummy muscles and a sore right arm!

It's a great motivator too - I have never seen Jay so keen to do his jobs after school, and to do some reading or homework before!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

American Night

Tonight we had our monthly family tea at Mum and Dad's. The theme was 'American' which was interesting as we all tried to come up with something really American to eat. We came up with hot dogs, sloppy joes, and Amarillo cheese fries (one of Aaron's old favourites from Lone Star). We had to have salad and fruit to even up all that fat :) For dessert Steph made a yummy Mississippi Mudcake which was like chocolate mousse/cheesecake. It was delicious. We also had pumpkin pie and caramel pie.

It was great to have Eden, Steph and Chloe with us, although after last night, they probably wish they were back living in NSW! We all talked about what we were going to do for Easter and how we were looking forward to seeing Chrish and all being together for the first time in ages.

It was very noisy and chaotic with all the grandkids together for the first time, but also lots of fun. Dad had fun pushing them on them on the swing and kept calling out 'quick Lisa - this is a good camera moment!', knowing that I would be blogging about it later on! Mum said at the end of the night that she felt like she hadn't had tea as she was busy running around trying to sort out all the grandkids!

It was nice to see 'little' Alex again and to see how much he had grown up and is now doing lots of smiling. Just seeing him though reminds me of how much hard work it is going to be, to have a newborn again.

We had a great laugh as Steph caught Jared reading the 'ezibuy' catalogue, so she just had to grab a photo of it. Not the usual magazine you would normally catch him reading! Jared tried to delete the photos, but didn't realise that there were more than one! :)

After tea we attempted to get a photo of all the cousins together.

Talk about laugh! The first couple of photos were not too bad, and then Alex decided he had enough, and then not long later, all of them had enough!

Dad went to collect the eggs from their new chooks, so we made him go and put them all back as we had hoped the boys could go and collect them. Poor Dad - the things he has to do to amuse us city slickers! The boys then went down to collect them and the whole time Harri was freaking out about the dog, and then the chooks! He is turning into Jay!

One chook was out, so Jay had fun trying to catch it.

In the end Eden thought it would be easier for Jay to hold Chloe, and for Eden to catch the chook. I'm not so sure though! Chloe looked almost as big as Jay!

Harri wouldn't go anywhere near the chooks, but made Jay get all the eggs. He very proudly showed them off though - like he had done all the hard work of collecting them! I think I probably heard from Dad about ten times that we don't bring the boys out to the country enough!

Noah cracked us all up because as soon as Aaron picked him up to put him in his wheelchair to come home he had the biggest smile - even though he was half asleep! He is such a rat - he always smiles when it is time to go home!

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