Monday, 28 February 2011

On the last day of summer

I picked up Noah from school at lunchtime for an appointment.  We headed up the river to both see our friend, and have a treatment - Noah had oxygen energy therapy (a whole other post) and I had another treatment on the Ornamed for my bronchitis.

Every time we drive past the Tamar Island Wetlands I say to Aaron that we need to go there one day for a walk.  Aaron isn't the 'walking and enjoying nature' type, which isn't good because I am, especially when I have my camera in hand.  Today was a beautiful sunny day and the last day of summer (I don't even want to say that as we really didn't have a proper summer this year), and Noah was wide awake just as we were about to drive past on the way home, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to go for a walk together and get some vitamin D on those weak bones of his :(

Kobe was excited at first to go for a walk, but the excitement soon wore off when he saw a stuffed Womat in the visitors centre and absolutely freaked out, thinking it was a real live animal looking right at him!  After screaming the place down he decided that going for a walk wasn't going to be much fun at all, and just sat on the boardwalk sulking!

The lovely lady from the visitors centre came out to show us where the cool frogs were, and after Kobe saw them he decided that it may be okay to go for a little walk.


Noah is looking super thrilled to be hanging with his cool Mum on a school day hey!? ;)

Kobe cheered up for about 100 metres...

but it didn't last long as he got sick of walking and kept falling behind me and Noah.

We finally made it to the first bridge and he was happy to hang and check things out, but that was as far as he was going (unless we wanted to be there till midnight).

The little rat decided that he then wanted me to carry him back the rest of the way. I told him no way and he had to walk, so he sat down and grizzled instead.  With Noah's new chair being so big, I noticed there was a lot of room in front of him, so I put Kobe up with him to have a ride which I thought he would love, but in typical stubborn two year old style, he decided that wasn't good enough either and just sat there yelling 'no!' at me.

All the way back he dawdled as I yelled 'we have to go and pick up the boys at 3 o'clock Kobe! Hurry up!!'.

Next time I'll make Aaron come with me with the stroller, so we can actually enjoy the experience and get to the end! What I thought would be a lovely fun afternoon, turned out to be quite frustrating, but at least we got out in the sun.  It's hard to stay frustrated at this cute little grumpy face for long though.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

"As long as they are healthy"

Tonight I went grocery shopping and had the usual conversation at the checkout with the checkout chick...'how was your day?', 'what have you been up to?'...blah, blah, blah.   She noticed I was buying things that were obviously for a child and said 'how's your little one?' and I said 'he's good, but I've actually got four kids'.

She looked surprised and then asks 'so have you got two of each, or three of one and one of another?'. I laughed and said 'no four boys' to which she just about fell over and then made a comment that I hear so often 'are you going to have another one and try for a girl?'.  It makes me laugh a lot as I'm actually so happy to have four boys and can't even imagine having a girl or even wanting one.

She then made a comment that I also hear quite a lot ...'oh well, as long as they are healthy hey?'

I just smiled and said 'yep' as I really didn't want to embarrass her or make her feel awkward by telling her that I had a son who was disabled.   I know people mean well when they make the comment 'as long as they are healthy' but to be honest, even when they aren't healthy you love them, and I can't say 'even more' as I don't love Noah any more than I love my other boys, but I just love him in a different way - probably more deeply is a better way to explain it.  Having Noah makes you realise know how precious every day is, and he teaches you so much and makes you want to be a better person. 

I know so many people who are wishing that their kids who weren't particularly 'healthy' were still with them right now, or others who haven't been able to have kids at all who would love to be able to love a little one - healthy or not, and lots of people like us who have a child who isn't as healthy as we hoped and dreamt they would be like, but love them so much and probably even more so because of who they are and what they teach us and others.

Having Noah in our lives has brought many wonderful people into our lives as well.  People who are so kind and generous, and without having Noah we never would have met them.

I know that the girl meant nothing by it, but hopefully one day people will see that having any child, healthy or not is a blessing in your life.  Yep it's tough and some days (or weeks) it sucks big time, but if I had the choice I wouldn't go back and change things.  I know that without Noah our boys wouldn't be who they are today, and I'm so glad that they have learnt things that they couldn't have otherwise, if they didn't have Noah as their brother.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Bronchitis

Without fail for the past 4-5 years I have had bronchitis.  Last year I got it when Noah was in hospital, and it was awful trying to help him get well when I was feeling sick myself.

A few days ago about lunch time my throat started hurting, my glands were swollen and I got an awful headache which is very unusual as I hardly ever get headaches. I couldn't sleep as my throat was so sore and headache was so bad and then the next morning I woke up with an awful cold, and my temp was up.

I thought that it was just going to be an awful cold, but it started to go to my chest as usual and I'm pretty sure I have bronchitis again.  I can't believe it has happened so early this year! It's still (supposed to be) summer!  The first day with it was so bad. I knew I was really sick as I didn't even go near the computer and didn't feel like facebooking or blogging at all! That's how bad it was!;)

I don't even bother going to the doctor about it anymore (who needs to when you have Dr Steve in the house!?;) as I know exactly how it feels and I don't like taking antibiotics for it unless I really have to, so there isn't any need to go to the doctor.

Instead I rang our friend who is a bioresinance therapist and asked if she could fit me in for a treatment.  Luckily she had a spot and I went and had a treatment on her Ondamed machine.  It's hard to explain how it works, and probably sounds very strange to a lot of people,  but I know how much it has helped us with our health so we always ring her first when one of us isn't feeling well.  The machine works on the bodies flow of energy and restores balance where the energy flow isn't right. In other words it gets your body to help heal itself faster.

After the treatment I have to say that although I'm still not well, my chest was feeling so much better just a few hours later and it didn't hurt to cough anymore.  Usually the chesty part would drag on for a lot longer.  I've also been taking lots of supplements that she recommended and homeopathic drops that she made up. 


I've been keeping Kleenex in business buying up their aloe vera tissues and have gone through two boxes in two days! The first day I couldn't move off the couch or bed, but now that I'm starting to improve wherever I go, a pile of tissues sits.




This afternoon I Skyped with Lisa on Jay's bed, and I don't think she appreciated me blowing in her face - sorry Lisa :)


I've hated missing the gym and was tempted to go this morning, but with the way I'm feeling I know there is no way I could do anything.  I'm still not great, but definitely on the way up. I just hope I haven't passed it onto too many people - sorry Simone!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Black Opal IRIS

For around 10-12 months we have been (not so) patiently waiting for funding to come through for Noah's new wheelchair.  He had his old wheelchair now for eight years, and yesterday his OT told us that the average time for having one chair is around five years, so I'm pretty sure Noah broke the record!

Yesterday was Noah's first appointment at the Seating Clinic to have a fitting in his new chair.  We chose a Quickie IRIS which stands for Intelligent Rotation In Space because of the cool way it tilts. 

 Noah's old wheelchair used to have tilt, but if he went back too far it would get back heavy and wasn't very safe, especially if he had a bit of weight on the back of his chair like a bag.

Noah's new chair rotates the seat frame around his centre point of gravity, which means it's so much safer, a lot smoother and he can lay back a lot further and it's still safe as it won't tip like his old chair. It will be nice being able to lay Noah back so far, so he can get the pressure off his bum for a while, without having to get him out of his chair.


The frame colour I chose is called 'black opal'.  I quite like the sparkle through it.

It's so nice seeing Noah sit in it and have so much room. His legs are going outwards too much now because of his hips, so we are going to have to get thigh pads made so his legs don't get pressure marks on the side because they are sitting up against the metal all the time.

Other things we love about it is the new harness, the adjustable foot plates, and the bigger wheels.  It's going to be so much easier to get through things like gravel which was getting very hard with his little wheels on his old chair. By far my favourite thing though is having drum brakes on the handles.  With his old chair we used to have to put the brake on by putting our foot right under the chair which was hard, especially if he was tilted back.  It feels like luxury having brakes on the handles! 

We have to trial it for a week or two and then once we are happy with it and all the adjustments have been made, we can get the back of the seat covered (in Hawthorn stripes of course!).  I have to admit I was a little sad leaving the old one there yesterday after having it for so long, but I think we will get used to the new one. 

We would love to be able to just have the money to be able to buy things like this for Noah when he needs them, rather than having to wait 12 months for them, but we are very grateful to the Variety Club and other organisations which assisted in the funding for the new chair.  For $8000 you would hope that it's going to last for at least 8 years like the old one did!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Tears for Joey

Yesterday Alison and Joey came to visit, so we could see Joey one last time before he flys out of Tassie today. Harri wasn't very happy when I told him Joey was going back home to New Jersey this week. 

While Joey was here yesterday Harri was looking a bit sad, so I asked him if he was sad that Joey was going home.  He said yes and he started crying!  He has loved spending some time with him. 

We have loved getting to know him and the boys are going to miss him lots (but probably not as much as Alison :)

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Harri is going to miss his new mate Joe-ehhh, but decided that it will be okay though because we can Skype him like we did when Alison was in New Jersey with him.

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Travel safe Joey! Thanks for putting up with our crazy boys.  Hopefully one day we will make it to New Jersey and you can show us around :)

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Kobe the Poser

Jalen has been loving his iPod touch that he got for Christmas.  He uses it for many things including listening to music, watching YouTube videos, playing games and his favourite thing to do is making videos on it.

The other day he came to me laughing as he had set up Kobe, and had his iPod on the bookshelf videoing the whole time.  He kept knocking on Harri's door and then running away when Kobe would come to open it.  The video is hilarious as Kobe obviously spots the iPod and decides to pose and carry on the whole time.

Check him out!

video

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

"How Many Hours Left?"

is what Harri came into our bedroom and asked us at 10.30 pm the night before school went back.   He was so excited that he couldn't sleep and came and asked us 'how many hours left till school Mum? 8!?'.  I think he was even more excited than I was!   I LOVE school holidays, and am so grateful that Aaron gets to spend all summer holidays with us, but after two and a half months of having them all at home, I was really ready for them to go back.  It makes it easy when I know how much they love school, and that they have such good friends at school.

Yesterday Jay and Harri went back to school, but Noah had a student free day.  They were so excited to see their friends again.


I'm still reeling from the fact that Jay is in grade 6 this year! It only seems like a few years ago that he was in Kinder.  He is so excited for this year as he has a male teacher, and is also a Student Leader.  He gets to run daily PE every morning with other classes, and is so excited about it.  Harri is in grade 1, but he keeps telling everyone he is in 'grade 1,2' as his class is a 1/2. I think he thinks it means he is a bit bigger or something, than his friends who are in a Prep/1.

Noah is in grade 4! Who would've thought!  Especially considering we were told he wouldn't live past his fourth birthday. Last night after an hour or so of getting his things ready for school, it hit me how different it is to prepare things for school for the boys.  With Jay and Harri we just buy a new bag and drink bottle and lunch box, contact their books and buy new clothes and send them off to school.

With Noah I had to make sure I had been to his peadiatrician to have his medication form signed, or he couldn't be given his daily medications at school, type up his news with photos to send to school as his way of sharing his news from the summer, write in his communication book all his daily routines and things they needed to know since last year (like that he had a fractured leg), and pack all the things he needs at school every day - medications, nebulizer, puffers, spacer, and nappies.

Today he went to Newstead Heights and met his new teacher who seemed lovely, but Noah wasn't excited at all and was typical Noah and slept all morning - even after I dropped him off.  This photo shows how bad his wheelchair is right now. He has grown right out of it and doesn't sit in it well at all.  This morning I'd had enough of waiting so went to see if there was any news on his wheelchair.  We had good news and were told that his new wheelchair has finally arrived after waiting for almost a year for funding and for it to arrive.  Now it will take a month or so to have it adjusted to suit him, but it's nice to know that he won't have to have pressure marks on his legs anymore from his terribly fitting wheelchair.

When we dropped the boys at school yesterday, Kobe was so excited to be back in the routine of dropping them off in the mornings, but when he realised that we had to leave the boys at school he burst into tears and didn't want to go.

Kobe was crying all the way out to the van, and was sobbing by the time we got there.  He kept saying 'Jay, Daddy, Harri?' all morning.  I know within a few days he will be back to his usual self and happy to drop them at school, knowing that he is going to see the boys at three o'clock. 

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Although life gets a bit crazy with school going back with swimming lessons, basketball and appointments after school, I'm looking forward to having a quiet(er) and clean(er) house during the day and hopefully a bit of free time to do some things for myself that I haven't had a chance to do over the summer.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentine's Day Birthday

I'm not sure if Simone is lucky or unlucky to have her birthday on Valentine's day. To us Valentine's Day isn't a big deal, but in saying that I can't complain about coming home to a lovely surprise of red tulips and chocolates, from Aaron this afternoon :)

I couldn't let her birthday pass without doing something, so we decided to do a class at the gym together, and then headed to the park with the kids.  Everyone at the gym kept mentioning Valentine's Day, so I had to let them know it was also Simone's birthday.  Tammy and her girls joined us as well.

Another surprise of the day was I actually made some cupcakes (no - not packet mix!) to take the park - with dinosaur sprinkles and all.  I was looking for something girly for the top, but I'm afraid there isn't any girly sprinkles in our cupboard, so dinosaurs it was.

 Simone humored me and pretended to blow out her candle, that couldn't be lit because of the breeze.

It was a beautiful afternoon and the kids had a great time playing together.


Jay had a little tear when Tammy and I were talking to him about what it's like being the oldest cousin, and having lots of little cousins and no one around his age.  I reminded him that it seems like he's on his own with lots of little ones around when we get together with the cousins, as Noah is the closest to his age.

He looked at Noah and said 'if Noah wasn't disabled he would probably be my best mate'.  Jay loves Noah, but I think he's finding it harder as he gets older as he thinks about how things could be different.   He's a great brother to all the boys, and especially to Noah.

Happy birthday Simone! Glad we could catch up and enjoy the last days of summer before the kids go back to school.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Terrible Twos

We have been pretty lucky with our boys.  They usually go through being two with no real dramas and we think we have escaped the 'terrible twos', but then they get to three and show us what they are really made of.

Both Jay and Harri really weren't that bad with tantrums.  They would grizzle a bit, but overall they were pretty easy to deal with.  Kobe on the other hand has hit the terrible twos with a vengeance in the last month or so.  He chucks the biggest tantrums - throwing himself on the floor, hitting things, punching things and screaming his head off - usually saying 'NO MUMMY!' or 'NO DADDY!'.

When he doesn't get to have a bat in cricket he throws the bat down and starts kicking it and covering it with sand or grass.  If he doesn't get to play the Wii with the boys, he screams his head off until we put him into bed, and then he screams some more.

The other day he started chucking one of his tantrums in the middle of town, and they make me laugh so much that I had to pull out my iPhone (4!) to video him. This was the result - what a funny boy! If he wasn't so cute, I would be paying someone to take him away! ;)

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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Joe-ehhhh!

The past 6 months or so have been long for Noah's carer Alison, as she has been wishing she was in New Jersey or at least that Joey was in Tassie with her.  Aaron tries everything to make the time go faster for her, including making up stupid songs to sing to her like 'Aley Cat, Aley Cat, Joey is missing you' (to the tune of 'Smelly Cat' from Friends).

A week or so ago, Alison got her wish with Joey arriving in Australia for a few weeks.  Harri was counting down the days with Alison, and could always tell me how many days it was going to be till Joey arrived.  It has been lots of fun getting to know him.  The boys had great fun cooking tea with him one night.


Harri was keen to play a bit of cricket with him in the hall at home.  Supposedly Joey had already had a bit of a hit with someone, so he knew a little bit about how to play and Harri was flabergasted! He couldn't stop asking 'how do you know how to play cricket Joey!!?'.   Yesterday we had a BBQ lunch with them and a hit at the park which was fun. 


The boys love him, especially Harri.  Harri keeps yelling 'Joe-ehhhh!' whenever he sees him in his huge voice.  When I asked him why he says it like that, he says it's because 'that's how Americans say it!'.

Aaron was trying to convince Joey that Hawthorn are the AFL team to barrack for, but Alison has other ideas.

Joey is an awesome photographer. The only thing I hate is that his camera is always pointed in my face! The tables have been turned on me, and I'm not a fan of being in front of the camera at all!
Last Friday Aaron and I went out on a double date with Alison and Joey, which was a lot of fun.   It was good having someone to play Crazy Golf with that was almost as terrible as me!

It's nice to finally have met him after all we have heard from Alison about him. I know my boys will be almost just as sad when Joey leaves, as Alison will be.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Last Week of Summer Holidays

It's crazy (and sad) to think it's the last week of school holidays already! It's incredible how fast it goes.  We have enjoyed being out of routine, but in lots of ways I am looking forward to having my normal routine back again next week.  I've been very random at the gym over the holidays and man my body is letting me know! The couple of times I go a week I feel like I have lost a lot of fitness, and yesterday I did Pump for the first time in week (a weights class) and today my body is aching all over! Usually I don't feel sore after classes anymore - serves me right for not going as often.

We thought it would be fun to get all the gym girls and our families together at the Bike Centre before holidays finish.  We did the same thing at the end of last summer and it was a really warm night, but was pouring with rain, but we still had a fantastic time playing in the rain.  I was actually hoping maybe it would rain again, but we had a nice night for it.

We couldn't have a gym girls get together without having our gym boys there too.  James and Thomas are two of our favourite trainers, and came along with Thomas' family.  We love Thomas' classes and we don't even mind when he yells at us to work harder, because he motivates us and makes classes fun.   One day maybe we will be as fit as they are (in our dreams - we have to keep reminding ourselves we are almost double their age and have a lots of kids between us!).

 Kellie's kids are already back at school (lucky Kell!).  I'm sure she's enjoying having the house a bit quieter with the boys gone in the day, especially now that she has Erryn keeping her busy.

 Kobe was excited to see Charlotte, as she hasn't been at the gym lately.  

 
Noah slept most of the night away, and finally woke up just before we left.

The kids had lots of fun playing together.


and so did some of the adults! Check out Aaron and James on their purple 'girlfriend' bikes! 

It was lovely to catch up with everyone.  Jacquie is always going to be considered a 'gym girl' even if she doesn't come anymore :)


It's now only seven weeks or so until Simone has her little one.  I'm hoping by then Kellie will be back on board at the gym, as it's pretty lonely at the moment having no gym buddies at the gym as Simone has been busy over the summer.   Hopefully after next week Simone and I will both be back at the gym, claiming back our back corner.

The only thing missing tonight was our gym buddy who is across the other side of the world.  We miss you Lisa and hope that by our next summer bike centre catch up, you will be back with us.
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