Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Zoo Enclosures

Today at school Jalen got to share a unit of work that their class has been doing over the past couple of months, on zoo animals and enclosures. Jay has been loving school this year and said his teacher is 'the best teacher he has ever had' as all they do is 'fun stuff' and don't do any work. I had to laugh and told his teacher, and she said it is funny as they love the work they are doing, but don't realise that they are actually learning and also doing numeracy and literacy at the same time. She said it is great as she can get away with getting them to do a lot more work in the afternoon, when they normally would be taking it a bit easier.

First of all Jay's class shared their work in the whole school assembly.

I don't think Noah was very impressed! :)

Then this afternoon the teacher invited all parents to come in for the last hour of school to see all the work they have been doing. Lucky Aaron didn't have to teach this afternoon, so he was able to come along as well. The kids had a great time showing their parents the work they had done.

Jalen's zoo enclosure and project was on boa constrictors and pythons. They had to research about their animal with a partner and then had to construct an enclosure for that animal. One afternoon they were all out on the netball court measuring out how big their enclosure should be, and then had to draw with chalk their enclosure, where they would put trees etc and any other things the animal would need. They then had to draw a birds eye view map of their enclosure and later on construct their mini enclosure.

Jay's looked great and he was very proud of it.

They also had to make their own powerpoint presentation which Jay was excited to show us.

Harri was excited to spend the afternoon in Jay's class.

Monday, 28 April 2008

My Water Boys

It seems that all my boys are doing lately is swimming! Over the past month or so, we have been able to arrange that Noah has an extra swimming session during school time at Punchbowl. He always goes swimming on Tuesdays when he attends Newstead Heights School, but now on a Friday I drop off Di and Noah at NHS and they get to have an extra swimming session, before catching a maxi taxi back to Punchbowl for the day.

A couple of weeks ago Harri and I stayed to watch the swimming session.

Just getting Noah into the pool is an effort! Lots of the kids are able to sit up in plastic wheelchairs, that are pushed straight down a ramp, into the water. However Noah decides he likes the bed better :)

It actually makes me laugh about all the occupational health and safety issues that schools have. At home we have to make do with anything (or in a lot of cases - nothing!), but at school there are so many rules in place to make sure that people aren't lifting kids on their own and that they have the proper equipment.

There is a new Teacher In Charge who runs the swimming on a Friday who is so great with the kids. They have 4 kids in the pool at a time (each has an aide) and they do lots of singing and fun games.

It is nice seeing the kids smile as they relax in the warm water. Because kids with Cerebral Palsy are using the pool all the time, the water is as warm as a bath would be. Noah often gives lots of smiles while in the water, and usually falls asleep as it is so relaxing!

It is so nice for Noah to be in the pool twice a week, as it really helps him to relax and get lots of movement that he normally wouldn't get sitting in his wheelchair all day.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Another blogger

Yes! We have convinced someone else that blogging is cool :) Check out Lisa's new blog. Go Wheeler team!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Maddi's 2nd Birthday

It's hard to believe that Maddi is 2 already!! Aaron was not impressed that Maddi was born on ANZAC Day as it means it cuts into his football watching time, but it is lucky for Maddi as it is a public holiday which makes it easy for all the family to get together for her birthday (after the ANZAC march).

After the parade today, most of us headed into town to go to Kids Paradise. Chloe (and Eden and Steph) and Mum weren't up to coming, which was a pity. The kids (big and little!) had lots of fun. I was tempted to go on the inflatables to try to hurry this baby along, but restrained myself and sat chatting most of the time.

After Kids Paradise we went to City Park for a little play and some party food and cake. Aaron also took the footy along for a bit of a kick. He had to get the footy in there somewhere!

The drizzle from the morning in Deloraine started to make its way into town, so we didn't last long at the park. The boys had lots of fun though, and it was nice to celebrate Maddi's birthday with her.


Every ANZAC Day we go out to Deloraine to watch Pop in the parade. I still remember marching with the school as a kid, and seeing Pop march down the street. As the years have gone on he has gone from marching down the street (and being very particular about marching in time with everyone else!) , to driving his scooter, to being driven in his car, and the last couple of years being driven on his scooter. Every year we make the comment that it is sad as it may be his last year that he will get to march, but every year he is there without fail :) As we got in the van this morning I heard Jay say to Harri that 'we are going to the ANZAC parade - its a special day where we say sorry to the people that died in the war, and say thank you to the others who went to war for us'. I doubt Harri had any idea what he was meaning, but it is nice that Jay understands the meaning of the day.

Good old Deloraine lived up to its usual reputation, and was foggy and a bit drizzly at the start of the march.

The boys loved watching the bands and everyone march down the street.

Dad and Pop were no where to be seen with the men and women marching, so we all thought they had totally missed it! They appeared right at the end though. Aaron said they must have been the grand finale. Pop even saw us when we called out to him and gave us a little wave :)

The commemorative service was quite short, but it was good to see a big turn out as usual.

After the service we ran into Nan who commented that I was 'looking quite pregnant'! She was a lot more polite to me than Uncle Jim who told me he was going to take a photo of me, but needed his wide lens!

Unfortunately Mum was home, sick (vomiting) and Chloe also hasn't been feeling very well so wasn't her usual self either. The good thing though was that Noah had the best day that he has had in a long time. He was so happy and settled all day - even giving us lots of smiles. It was nice to have him so happy again. We aren't holding our breath that it will last, but fingers crossed that tomorrow will be another good day.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Whirlpools and PFD's

Today is the last day of Jalen's Swimming and Water Safety Program. Harri and I have gone to watch about 4 times and it is amazing to see how much the kids have improved just in 9 days! The women who run the program are excellent and have got the kids doing some great things.

A few days ago the kids were asked to all walk around the edge of the pool to create a whirlpool affect. The kids then had to do different things with the whirlpool going - float with the current, try to swim against the current and then try to swim away from the whirlpool. The kids thought it was great fun, but it also taught them a lot about how to be safe if they are in a current, and how to get out of it.

During this week they also had to bring along some clothes to wear in the pool. They then had to practice survival strokes, in case they ever fell in while they were in a boat etc.

They have also been using PFD's (I have even learned some things this week - I would have just called them life jackets, but the kids know the difference) and have practiced what they would do if they ever fell in with a PFD on.

Everyday after they get back to school from swimming they have a swimming journal that they have to fill out which reinforces what they have learned that day at the pool. It is amazing to see how much confident Jay is now in the water, and good to know that he has learned some survival techniques in case he ever needs to use them. This morning his teacher and I were saying it is a great program run by the Ed Department but it is a pity they don't start it in grade 1, rather than grade 3. Jay is looking forward to doing it again next year.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Noah's 'new' carer

Today Noah's 'new' carer Angie, starts doing In Home Support after school. She isn't really 'new' to us, as Angie was Noah's second aide at school last year. This year Di is his full time aide as they needed Angie to work with another boy with special needs in Kinder. Angie had mentioned to Di that she was after some extra work after school, so we jumped at the chance to grab her to do 4 hours of In home Support. We haven't been able to use our 8 hours a week of In Home Support, since Bridget left at the end of last year.

It is great to have Angie as she already knows Noah and all of us. She also has a son who has special needs, who is a lot older. She asked me if it is hard to have people in the home as she couldn't imagine ever having In Home Support herself if it was available back then, and I told her that it actually is hard at first. At first I didn't want any In Home Support as it's hard having 'strangers' come into your home, especially while you are having tea etc and you just want to have quiet family time, but we started to really appreciate the help in the home as Noah got older.

It is also great for Noah to have the physio and massages that he needs everyday, and it gives us more time to spend with the other boys without having to worry too much about Noah. I told Angie that now we just appreciate the help, and you get used to other people being in the house.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Warm Autumn Days

The weather lately has been unbelievable for Tassie weather. It did get cold for a week or so, but warmed up again. Aaron and I switched our doona on our bed from the Summer one to our Winter one about a month ago, but then it got warm again, so we had to switch it back! I even went out and bought the boys some new winter PJ's and then it warmed up! The last week or so we have been having such warm Autumn days with the sun shining and mild nights as well. Of course we tell Steph that our weather is always like this :)

Today we thought we had better make the most of the nice days that we have left and took the boys to the park.

They loved playing in the Autumn leaves.

And of course no trip to City Park is complete without a visit to the monkeys.

The count down is on....

It is a good feeling when you are finally counting down the weeks of your pregnancy, rather than how many weeks you are. Today I am 35 weeks - only 5 (more likely 7 for me though!) weeks to go. I am looking forward to getting this baby out, but also nervous to think about the pain I have to go through to get him out, and am still hoping that Noah settles down before he arrives, so probably the longer I have to go the better at the moment.

Today we went to the park and I tried to hide my big tummy under my top :) I don't think it worked very well though :) Today at the gym a lady asked me how long I had to go and I told her 5 weeks and she said 'oh wow, are you having twins!?'. Not good for the ego!! Yesterday Aaron made the statement 'I'm not saying you're fat, but you have got a lot bigger in the last week'! That was his nice way of saying I am huge :) When I told him off he then tried to justify what he said by saying 'it must be because your hair is down - it makes you look bigger'. For the next few months I am wearing my hair up everyday! :)

Friday, 18 April 2008

It's finished!

Today our landlord came and put up the blind in our new kitchen, which means it is totally finished! The last couple of weeks we have had the painters here, the floor done and now the blind put up. It looks so nice, and it is hard to remember what the old kitchen looked like. I just wish the house was ours now!

I am feeling very spoiled having a dishwasher. It makes things so much easier - especially in the morning before school as I can just chuck everything in the dishwasher and the kitchen looks clean. It is not such a drag after tea to clean up anymore. Now I have no excuse for cooking - especially over the next 5 weeks or so. I don't mind cooking tea, but Aaron is the one in our family who loves making cakes and biscuits etc. Now I may even do more of that :)

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Another blog

After much encouragement (pestering!) my cousin Anna has finally started her own blog. Check it out!

The Stingrays

Today Jalen started playing basketball with his new team - The Stingrays. He was excited to start playing games again, rather than just practicing every week.

He did really well, scoring 4 goals.

It is nice for him to be one of the older, and more confident kids this year. At the end of the year he may have to move up into the older league where it will be a lot more competitive, and not as flexible with the rules. Its great that he can build up his skills until then.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


It nice for the boys to be able to spend a lot of time with their cousins lately. Today Chloe came and spent the day with Harri and I, while Eden and Steph checked things out for their kitchen.

After lunch we decided to take Chloe for a play at Punchbowl Reserve. Steph said she hadn't been there before and she loved seeing and feeding the ducks (she did share some of the bread with herself as well! :)

It was such a nice Autumn day - I love days like today where it is sunny but not too hot. Harri loved helping Chloe and showing her all the fun things to do.

Harri kept saying 'Chloe is my friend' and I kept reminding him that she was his cousin. Sometimes he calls her 'Uncle Chloe'. I think it will take him a while to work it all out.

It was nice to spend the day with Chloe. I think she is getting used to us now :)

She was very excited to pick up the boys from school. She was so happy to see Noah and said 'No No!' and gave him a kiss. All the way home she kept asking 'No No?', because he was behind her in the van and she couldn't see him. It is so nice how most kids respond to him and are excited to see him.
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