Sunday, 30 August 2009

Pool Party

Kylie and I were both pregnant at the same time with Jalen and Patrick. We did our prenatal classes together and Jalen and Patrick were born about three weeks apart. A few months later I remember when Kylie told me she was pregnant AGAIN! At the time Jay was still a very unsettled baby (who had reflux till about 6 months old) and there was no way I could imagine having another baby so close together. Kylie was a very busy Mum with two babies in two years when Lauren was born just a couple of weeks after Patrick's 1st birthday.

How cute were Patrick and Jalen at about 7 months old (and I can see a lot of my other boys in Jay!).

On Saturday Patrick and Lauren had a combined 9th and 10th birthday party at the Aquatic Centre. Jay was excited to be invited. The boys used to see each other quite regularly before they started school and then we lost touch for a few years. It has been great to be back in touch with them more again over the past year or so.

The kids had a great time playing lots of games in their own little area for the party.

Harri kept the poor girl busy as he wanted to play basketball a lot.

After a swim the kids then went upstairs for party food...

and of course Kylie slaved over a hot oven all morning to whip up this beautiful caramel mud cake ;)

and to finish off the kids were all given their own little gelato - yum!

Thanks for a great party Patrick and Lauren. We hope Lauren has a great birthday at the end of the week.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Cafe Theatre

Last year for Stake conference weekend our church had a talent night. This year's Friday night activity was a Cafe Theatre where each ward was asked to put on a short act.

It was held at the Deloraine Community Complex. It is a great place as it has different levels to sit at, but unfortunately we were stuck on the floor all night because of Noah's wheelchair and had to watch all the acts looking through bars in the front of the stage, and all night I was chasing Kobe who kept wanting to climb up the stairs to the next level.

The first act was the stake presidency. They were hilarious. I can't even remember what they sang now, but they kept on pulling out some hand moves which were cracking everyone up.

The youth from Deloraine did an awesome dance to the song 'We Go Together'.

West Ward did a very funny story to do with the scripture theme 'if ye are prepared ye shall not fear'. Sarah and Belinda absolutely cracked me up. Check out Belinda's glasses and wig! Sarah's character got her mission call to New Zealand and Jack got his mission call to 'Epping Forest' which he was VERY excited about!

I just about wet myself laughing at Sacha's performance of a lady in the airport getting knocked around by all the passengers. She got knocked over by Jack who was VERY prepared and had a pressure bandage in his backpack so he could help her.

Jalen loved the whole night and was cracking up all night at the different acts.

Harri was so excited to know that he was going to see his friends there. He said to me on the way 'can you sit with Oliver's Mum and Taj's Mum so I can see my friends?'.

It was nice to see Pop there. He said he had been looking forward to it all week. Unfortunately he had a fall when he got back to the home and is now in hospital with a broken hip (I think it was his hip).

Aaron was in East Ward's skit and I had no clue what he was doing in it except that it was something related to being prepared in the area of 'physical education'. Of course he came out in his Hawthorn gear.

He was cracking everyone up as he kept flexing his 'muscles' (not sure if he has many! ;) and falling to the ground doing push ups - I was actually surprised he did a few on his toes! :)

I had no idea he was going to do it, but he came out with a sign that said 'free Buddy' after the controversy of Buddy Franklin being suspended for two games. Of course he got a few laughs.

I totally missed the whole of Devonport Wards skit as Nicki asked me to look after Alex and Maddi. Alex is a real Mummy's boy at the moment and didn't want anything to do with me or watching the skits, so we had to go out. It took him a while to settle, but he finally did and then started to enjoy running around with the rest of his cousins and other kids who were all out with their parents as they were all very ratty and tired - Kobe included!

We got home very late and the boys all flaked it on the way home. Jay and Harri woke up this morning and were cracking up as they couldn't remember getting home and being carried to bed and slept in their clothes!

HawksKids Stars!

This morning the boys appeared on HawksKids from their interview they had in Melbourne at the MCG. We actually missed it, but got to watch it online. It cracks me up as it shows Jalen feeding Harri the answer that the guy wanted him to say and the guy cracking up as it was like the fourth take!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Back to 'Normal'

Lately I've been having a lot of people ask me how Noah's leg is out of the cast and I realised I haven't been keeping up to date on my blog with how Noah's leg has been. I actually find I don't often write a lot about Noah and it's not because I don't want anyone to know what is going on, but it's because I don't want people to feel sorry for him or us, and I also don't want people to think we are looking for sympathy or praise as we aren't. We love Noah, but there are a lot of things that we wish could be different.

I guess no one can really know what it's like to have a child like Noah unless you have one yourself, and although I don't want sympathy I want people to be aware of what it is like as I think it can only do good for people to understand more about Noah and the condition that he has. I guess that means I should post more about him and the things that he and we have to deal with every day of his life - that was the main reason why I started this blog in the first place - so we could record all the daily things that we do - the good and the bad.

Anyway - back to the leg! The first two weeks were not fun at all. Noah was in a lot of pain and having to have morphine regularly to keep him settled. We could hardly move him at all without him crying in pain and the worst thing was not being able to pick him up to comfort him as it was just too painful for him. We had to give him sponge baths for two weeks which was a pain, but we had done before when he had some serial casting done after having botox in his calf muscles.

After having the cast on for two weeks we went to the fracture clinic and I told the Dr about how much pain Noah was still in and how much morphine I was having to give him to keep him comfortable. I really didn't think the bone was healing very well at all. He said he needed to get the cast off to check that it wasn't a pressure sore from the cast so they took it off. In the meantime Noah is in agony as they are moving his leg around - even after I dosed him up with morphine before we went in there.

After the cast was off we saw that he did have a pretty big pressure sore on his heal, so the Dr straight away assumes that is where the pain is coming from. I disagreed with him and said that I understand that would've been causing pain, but I still felt he was getting a lot of pain from his leg and wasn't feeling comfortable about how things were going. The Dr then grabs his leg where the fracture was (!) and starts moving his leg around and says 'it's not moving at all - it's healing really well - if he was getting pain from his leg he would be screaming right now!'. I looked at Noah who was in agony the whole time - pulling faces and drawing his arms up into his chest. I was so upset and told the Dr that I know my son and he isn't a 'normal' child and doesn't show pain like a 'normal' child does and that he was showing me he was in pain. The Dr then disagreed with me again and said ' we'll put a splint on it and then bring him back in two weeks'.

I was really upset and asked him if he could prove to me that it was healing properly by doing an x-ray and his reply was 'no, I can't do that'. I asked him why and he replied 'I work for the government' (meaning that he was trying to save them money). He then left me with the guy to put his splint on. The guy could tell I was obviously upset and said to me that if he were me he would believe the Dr as he was a very good Dr (he is actually the head orthopaedic Dr at the hospital!). I told him he may be a good Dr but he needed to see that Noah was in pain and not treat him like he was a normal child as he isn't and that he surely shouldn't be in so much pain two weeks after it was fractured.

When they took the cast off I could see how swollen and crooked his leg was. I asked them if that was normal and they said it was as the only way it would be straight was if they operated and they didn't want to put Noah through an operation to have his leg straightened if he didn't need to have a straight leg (because he doesn't walk).

We took him home with the splint on and were told we could take it on and off for bathing and to give his leg a break from it now and then. Everytime we would take it off he would be in a lot of pain, so I rang our GP to explain how upset I was with the treatment we had at the hospital. He arranged for Noah to have an x-ray done to confirm that it was healing and thank goodness it was. He said that because of Noah's condition it could be easy to break it again (oh great!) and we just had to be extra careful as it was going to take some time before it was completely healed.

Two weeks after the splint was put on we went back to the fracture clinic. The same Dr saw us and said that Noah's leg was now fine and that he no longer had to wear the splint. I asked him why he was still in pain and he said it was all related to the muscle and we should start 'gentle physio'. Check out Noah's left leg - it is so swollen now and you can even see how crooked it is in this pic.

After having 4 weeks off school, Noah finally went back to school last week. The physio was not happy at all with how the hospital dealt with it and said they should've operated right from the start. She has been fantastic and actually rang the hospital and spoke to the Dr we dealt with and really told him off! She said at first he got his back up and then after a while he was apologetic and said he didn't realise how much it was going to affect Noah to have a crooked bone. She is realy worried about how it's going to affect the muscle around the bone as his muscles are tight already, so we will now have to look at doing a lot more physio to compensate for it.

Last week we had a bone density scan done of Noah's whole body and his paediatrician rang me a couple of days ago to say that the results weren't great, but they also weren't terrible so we now need to decide what we do about it. Noah does have osteoperosis which is common in kids who have Cerebral Palsy and who are also on a lot of medications. Next week we see a specialist who will help us decide whether Noah should have biophosphonate therapy which are infusions of a medication which can help to increase bone density.

On Noah's second day back at school I got a phone call to say that Noah had a really long seizure compared to normal - over a minute and a half. They are usually only about 30-40 seconds long so they were quite worried as he seemed to be taking a long time to recover afterwards. I went up to check on him and he was back to normal, but pretty sleepy.

The worst thing about the broken bone is that Noah's health has taken a step back. He had been doing really well after having a lot of treatments from our friend Marlo who is a bioresinance therapist. His seizures had settled right down and before we had seen her he was neauseous all the time. After a few months of treatments that had all settled down and he even had some days that were seizure free and he no longer wanted to vomit all the time. He is having a lot of seizures every day again and wanting to vomit all the time. I talked about it with our chiropractor and also Marlo and they think it is stress related and it will take a while to get back to where it was.

Despite the seizures and him wanting to vomit a lot again, he actually has had a good winter despite his broken leg with no signs of colds, flu or chest infections. Things are finally getting 'back to normal' with him being back at school full time. Today was his first day back at Punchbowl in over 5 weeks. It was nice seeing the three boys all in their Punchbowl tops this morning.

The kids were so excited to see Noah this morning - all running up to him and yelling 'Noah!'. It was so cute to watch. When I left he had a couple of girls around him rubbing his hands and head. It's nice for him to be back at school with his friends and also nice for me as I'm also feeling 'normal' again.

Being stuck at home for a month was tough. I am the type of person that needs to get out regularly or I start to go crazy. I especially felt yuck as I wasn't exercising like I normally was as I was missing my normal gym classes in the morning. I find just getting to the gym every day helps me to cope with everything that we have to deal with. I did get to go every few days as Mum, Di and also Bonnie would stay with Noah so I could have a break, but it's not the same as being in your normal routine every day. Hopefully now things will stay 'normal' - at least for a little while!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Smile with Kobe!

After I was lucky enough to win the Smile Photography Competition at Meadow Mews last year (with a really random photo that I didn't enter till the last minute!), I thought I would enter it again this year - just for a bit of fun. Last year I won a digital camera package which included a digital camera and photo printer. I hardly ever use it as I love my SLR, but it's nice having a spare camera for those times when I don't want to lug my big camera around.

This year I entered about 15 photos - all of the boys doing different things, but of course most of them were of Kobe as he is good for taking cute photos. Today I got a phone call from the lady at Meadow Mews saying that one of my photos was selected as a finalist! I couldn't believe it as I really thought last year was just good luck and didn't think I would have a chance of getting into the final this year.

The photo they selected is one of Kobe that I took in May when we were raking up the autumn leaves at the front of our house.

The woman told me that this year it is a 'people's choice' award, meaning that people have to vote for the winner. The winner of each centre wins a $600 digital camera package and is then in the national final and has a chance of winning $10,000. I'm not that keen on the local prize but I definitely wouldn't knock back $10,000!

The photos are displayed from next Thursday at Centro Meadow Mews for a couple of weeks. You can either vote at Meadow Mews or online. I would LOVE some help to win so I can be in the national final to win $10,000. I know I have no hope of winning it, but have already been dreaming about what I would do with $10,000 - only problem is that there are too many options - we could either put it towards the house deposit (still having NO luck finding any houses!! Grrr), go on a big spending spree and buy lots of things that we 'need' but don't want to waste the money on -like a new table and new couch, buy Noah a new wizz bang mattress for his bed (we priced one the other day and it cost more than a whole king sized ensemble!), buy a second car, get some plastic surgery and liposuction done, buy LOTS of chocolate (to undo all the benefits of the liposuction that was previously done!) , buy lots of cool new clothes, or go on a really great family holiday somewhere fun and warm :)

Who says money can't buy happiness!!!? ;)

If you don't want to vote for Kobe's photo (and why wouldn't you!!?) then you can always help out by voting for my friend Kylie who is also in the final - and was last year too!! Her photo of her cat is awesome. I will post more info about voting as soon as I find out.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Sunny Melbourne

We thought we would sleep in while we in Melbourne, and we did - till 7am! That is about as long as I can sleep in these days. It was nice to not have to wake up to Kobe about 5am or to the alarm at 6am or to have to jump out of bed to get Noah's meds. The boys loved hopping into our bed to watch the footy on TV that we saw live the night before.

I think the boys were more excited about having takeaway food the whole weekend than anything else! Harri kept saying 'are we going to have something special for lunch!!?' - 'special' meaning McDonalds for him! I didn't mind as I got the weekend off cooking :)

We rang Mum in the morning to see how Noah and Kobe were (they were both having a great time with Grandma!) and Mum said it had been really cold, windy and rainy all weekend. We were so grateful we had good weather for the weekend - it was so sunny yesterday morning. The air was cool early in the morning, but as the day went on it actually was quite a nice day - a perfect day for going to the zoo.

We went to catch an early tram to take us out to the zoo and saw a homeless guy asleep on the street. We of course have homeless people in Tasmania, but not as obvious as they are on the mainland. The first day we were there we saw a number of homeless men begging in the mall. Jalen came up to me looking quite distressed and said 'Mum there's a homeless man'. I asked him if he wanted to give him some money and he seemed so happy that he could give him something. He went and gave it to him and the look on his face said it all - he was so sad for the man, but happy that he could give him something. We had a talk about how sometimes things happen that people can't help and other times the choices people make are not good ones and how anyone can end up on the street, and we don't know how he will use the money and it may not be for a good reason, but at least we know that we have tried to help in some little way. I was proud of Jay for wanting to do something as he has never come across something like that before.

On the other hand when Harri saw the guy asleep on the street he cracked up laughing and said 'that Man is asleep on the street - that's silly isn't it Mum!!?'. It goes to show how different the boys are and how just a few years age difference makes somone a lot more sensitive to situations. Harri didn't even notice the homeless men in the mall the day before.

When we got to the zoo Harri was really tired from the night before, and was quite painful most of the time as he was too tired to walk around everywhere. He seemed more interested in his map than in the animals and kept saying 'how many more are we going to see?'. Jalen though was really excited about all of them. We were lucky that we got there pretty early and at first it was really quiet. We got to get up close and personal with the bear as the keeper had just come out and put some food up near the window before we arrived. It was really cool!

Just after we arrived the lions started roaring. Harri started freaking out and burst into tears as he was too scared to go over to them. He stood way back from the fence, even though they were no wear near it.

The boys loved jumping on all the different animal statues around the zoo - the biggest boy included!

Jalen absolutely loved the meerkats. He sat there for ages watching them and bought a meerkat soft toy on the way out.

They boys were really excited to see the orangutans. Since I went to the Melbourne Zoo a few years ago they have done it up a lot. The orangutans now have a really nice enclosure. One of them was laying right up near the window with a hessian blanket pulled over him - he was so beautiful.

Almost as beautiful as this gorgeous gorilla we saw roaming around! ;)

One of my favourite parts was definitely the butterfly house.

It was amazing inside - so warm and had a tropical feel about it and had hundreds of beautiful plants and butterflies flying around everywhere inside. It was incredible. Butterflies would just come and land on your head or hands. I could've stayed in there for ages taking photos. The boys didn't last long as they found it too hot.

Jalen loved the area with different spiders including a huge huntsman and a redback spider.

Aaron was most looking forward to seeing the tigers, but we weren't sure whether they just weren't out or whether they don't have any at the moment. Jalen did an impersonation of one for us instead!

The boys loved all the different displays of information around at different places.

Harri thought it was hilarious that the elephants, zebra and ostriches were all in the same enclosure together. He kept saying 'they are all friends!!'.

It was such a beautiful day, and it was fun taking the boys to see all the different animals. We left just as it started to get really busy.

We headed back to the airport so we had lots of time to check in before our flight. With Tiger Airways you have to check in 45 minutes before or you miss your flight. I guess you can't really complain when you get seats for $22 but I guess you definitely get what you pay for. The Tiger arrivals and departures are actually 200 metres or so from the main building at Tullamarine. The bus drops you off at the usual spots where you check in for Jetstar and Virgin Blue and then you have to walk all the way down to another separate building. Inside there was a huge line up with only two girls checking people in. They had a woman going off her head at them as they had missed their flight as they didn't check in quick enough. The woman was refusing to move away from the counter as she said it was their fault as she was in the line for so long. Supposedly a call had gone over if anyone had to check in for that flight and they didn't come forward, so they missed out. As she wouldn't move the girl checking them in had to call the manager and she moved counters herself so that she could check other people in - it was so much like the show they have on TV with all the airline dramas.

We checked in and then had to walk back to the main building to get lunch and then back again to catch the flight. One you actually get through the gate to go onto the plane there is another HUGE walk to actually get to the plane! There was very little leg room between the seats - my legs actually touched the seat in front of me and I wouldn't consider myself overly tall. The other thing I did notice is that the staff are a lot more 'casual' looking than other airlines. I guess I would fly again with them if I got $22 tickets as we had no dramas with them, but it definitely is a 'no frills' airline.

Harri was so exhausted that he fell asleep on the way home.

Both Jay and Harri were happily in bed at 6pm last night. It was nice to come home to see Kobe and Noah who we missed a lot. Harri kept saying 'I can't wait to see Kobe - I've missed him'. I would then say 'what about Noah?' and he would say 'I miss him too, but he can't talk'.

Mum said Kobe kept saying 'who's that!!?' when the phone would ring and would get our family photo off the shelf to look at. He didn't seem at all like he missed us when we got home - he was quite happy playing with Grandma. It was so nice to come home to two happy boys, a lovely clean house and tea cooked for us - thanks so much Mum. I know how exhausting it is and hopefully they didn't wear you out too much. It was so nice to be able to get away - even if it was just for a couple of days.
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