Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Kill Them With Kindness - MyState Student Film Festival

Jalen has absolutely loved his Media classes over the last couple of years at school, and has decided that it's what he really wants to do as a career.  He's done some very clever things this year including making a pretend ad for Subaru, a piece about 'Fake News' and just finished his short film, which he wrote, directed and acted in along with his friends Rani, Kate and Jackson.  His friends Mel and Zoe also helped him with the sound etc.

When he told me his idea for the short film I thought it sounded ridiculous and that he had lost the plot. But it is actually so funny and he's done it so well (well I think so anyway, but I am his Mum!).  He posted a link to his on his Instagram today and cracked me up as he said "critics are callling it 'a film' and Mum says it's alright".  He definitely has Aaron's sense of humour!

He has entered it in the MyState Student Film Festival, and it has just gone up online today.  There is a People's Choice Award for the most views, likes and shares.  We would love if it you could check it out, like it (hopefully you do!) and share it.  You can watch (and like it on YouTube if you have a YouTube account) by clicking on the video below.   It's called 'Kill Them With Kindness'.

It was fun to watch the whole process.  

Friday, 3 November 2017

October 2017 - 1 Second Everyday

October was a mix of fun and remembering, with school holidays for two weeks and the 6th anniversary since Noah passed away. Hoping November and December go just as fast, as we will be on summer holidays! Bring it on!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Spring School Holidays

It's literally the last few hours of our school holidays, before we head back to Term 4. We were all so ready for holidays as all of us had been sick over the last few weeks of Term 3.  I actually find it hard to settle into holidays at first. I'm always running on adrenaline and going from working full time, to not having anywhere to go and nothing to do, takes a little bit of adjusting to. The first few days I kept waking up at 6am, but it didn't take long until I was waking up at 8.30am and still wanted to sleep longer.  

It was AFL grand final weekend on the first weekend of the holidays.  It was fun getting a text message from my sister in law (Aaron's sister) Trudy, who had run into my brothers Eden and Chrish in Melbourne.  Richmond were playing the Crows in the grand final, and my brother Chrish is a huge Crows fan, as well my cousins Ty and Cade, so they all decided to go to Melbourne for the weekend, to enjoy the grand final atmosphere, even though they didn't have tickets to the game.
We went to watch the game at my Mum's house and would've liked to have stayed then for a few days, but Jay was working and we really wanted to all stay there together, so we came home and decided to go back to Mum's later in the holidays.

Jay has been working hard on a short film he is making for his Media class at school.  It's a comedy and when he told me the concept of it, it sounded ridiculous but it's actually hilarious and is turning out really well.  His friends came around to help him with it earlier in the holidays.  Some were acting, and others were helping with the sound etc.  Here they are checking out the shot.

I love having teenagers in the house.  There's always lots of laughs.

It was so nice to have some time to catch up with friends during the holidays.  I haven't seen my cousin Tim and his wife Helene a lot over winter, so it was good to meet up at different times with the kids, and also go out for tea with them.  I'm not sure who has the most fun though out of the kids or Tim and I!

It was also lovely to catch up with Simone and her husband Simon and their kids.  We all went to the pool together one night, and I didn't get any photos, so this one will have to do. How cute is Emerson who is now 9 months old.

One day we went for a kick up at Aaron's oval.  It still blows me away that he has a whole oval named after him. It's such a special place for us to go.
 It was so nice to have some time to get into the garden over the holidays.  I got my cousin Levi (who has a home and garden maintenance business) to come and do some tree trimming and garden work for me, and it was so good to get those jobs done as I can't do it myself.
Mum was staying at our place when Levi was working in the garden, and she worked just as hard as he did and we got so much done.   Josie and Milly always love playing together.
 Harri has been great and has been taking Milly for lots of walks over the holidays.  One day I was driving back from town and spotted them, just outside our old house we used to rent.
One day while Jay was at work, we went for a drive to Greens Beach.  We of course had to stop at Exeter Bakery along the way and get an eclair (for Aaron of course!).
It was such a lovely day.  It's not really warm enough to swim, but that didn't stop Kobe going in. I loved seeing the Muslim women walking on the beach.
We finally found a couple of nights when we could stay at Mum's.  We love staying with her as it's so relaxing and she of course spoils us.

 One day we went for a huge walk/skate along the road near the beach.

We walked to the house that my brother Eden is building at the moment.  It's right next to the beach and will be beautiful when it's finished.
Harri was so excited to go and hang with Eden while we were at Mums.  He loves playing basketball with him, and went with him to watch his team play one night.
The new Reliquaire shop opened while we were staying at Mum's house, so we went to check it out. It burnt down a couple of years ago, so everyone was very excited that it has reopened as it's an amazing shop.

Kobe didn't come with us, but went and played with his cousins instead.  It was fun running into my nieces Chloe and Kelsea there.
 We also ran into my cousin Jane, and couldn't resist a photo in the Dr Who room.
 No doubt they're snap chatting or something!
I heard about Tas Rocks  a few months ago, but we hadn't gotten into it back then.   We found a few rocks at a playground one day, and then I looked at their Facebook page to read more about it.  Just as I looked there was a post from someone who had painted some amazing rocks, who had just done a rock drop at City Park.  I showed the boys the photo of the rocks, and they were keen to see if they could fine one.  They were very lucky to find one each.
Kobe was then very keen to paint some rocks of his own, so to finish off school holidays we painted some rocks and did a rock drop at Punchbowl Reserve. He was very excited when someone posted on the FB page that they had found some of them. 

I went up to school for a couple of hours to get ready for school, and Harri and Kobe came with me. They loved checking out the flags (which represent which countries our students have come from, or come from now) in the quadrangle.
 Afterwards we went to Charlie's for an end of holidays treat.  Kobe had only been asking me every day to go!

Even though Kobe loved spending a day with his cousins (thanks Steph!) he was disappointed that he missed out on going to Reliquaire, so we met up with Mum and went there again yesterday.   He was excited to spend his pocket money on some crystals.

We also called in and saw my cousin Fil at her Happy Biome studio. She's very clever and has created and made a lot of her own natural skincare and cleaning products.  Her studio is so beautiful.
We couldn't leave Devonport without a trip to the Bluff.  Kobe wasn't brave enough to swim this time!
Jay has been really busy these holidays with work and Theatre Performance rehearsals for school, so we haven't been able to do a lot all together, but it's been nice to just be able to sleep in, not make school lunches, not worry about sport and just hang out together.
 It's going to be a very busy Term 4 with all the end of the year events and Jay finishing year 12.  I just have to keep reminding myself that it's only 10 weeks until summer holidays! I can't wait!

6 Years

Last week it was 6 years since Noah passed away.  Facebook memories had been popping up every day which have been hard to read.  I had posted that he was having a good day, and I really didn't think he was going to pass away until the night before it happened. 

It's actually really hard to imagine what life would be like if he were still here. For ten years my life was consumed with looking after him, and keeping him well.  My days and nights were full of appointments, giving medication, dressing, feeding, suctioning, re-positioning, bathing, dealing with seizures, toileting and cuddling. I still remember when he died, that I just couldn't believe what life was like for everyone who didn't have a disabled child.  

We suddenly had so much time on our hands.  Everyone thinks they are busy, but no one really understands what busy (and exhausted) means unless you have a child with a severe disability.  It just consumes your whole life - physically, mentally and financially. 

My life certainly is busy now, but it's nothing compared to before.  I can at least sit down for a little while and not have to worry about the time.  My boys can be upset or grumpy, but that's nothing compared to having Noah screaming from cerebral irritation for months on end.  The boys can get sick, but they're over it quickly and don't end up in hospital for weeks at a time. 

There is a lot of things that I don't miss.  But there is so much I do miss. People say children with disabilities are 'special' but we really felt like Noah was.  I miss Aaron and I working as a team, to make sure that Noah had the best life possible.    I miss how he made us appreciate the little things more, like how just Noah smiling or having a good day, could make our whole week. I miss cuddling him on the couch at night, and when we would rub his leg and he would stretch back and smile. 

It's really hard to imagine going back to that life.  My life is so different now.  I learnt a lot while Noah was here, and I've also learnt a lot since he passed away.  I've learnt that there's some amazing people in this world who will help you, even if they don't know you.  I've learnt that even if you feel like you can't do anything to help someone, that small things really do make a difference.  

I've also learnt that most people don't hang around, after the dust settles.  I've come to realise that unless you've experienced grief and trauma yourself, you really don't know how long it takes for someone to get 'over it', as there is no getting over it.  It changes, and grief doesn't consume you as much, but you are never over it. 

I've learnt that it doesn't matter how many blog readers, followers, friends on Facebook, likes or comments you have.  None of that matters, unless you have a true connection and friendship with someone.  It's been 6 years and to be honest I've never felt so alone.   I've met some beautiful people since Noah and Aaron passed away, but I've also learnt who my true friends are, and I'm very grateful for them.  I hang out for my regular dinner with the girls, and catching up with a few good friends as they keep me sane. 

On the anniversary of Noah passing away, I wanted to keep busy and do something fun with the boys. Unfortunately Jay had to work, so Harri, Kobe and I went to the raspberry farm, Marakoopa Caves, Alum Cliffs, the Honey Farm then to the cemetery. 

We hardly ever go to the cemetery now, but it was nice to take Noah some fresh flowers. It was a nice day in the end, and I was glad to get through another anniversary.

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