Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Grow Old Along With Me

The first DVD clip I have made about Nan and Pop. This one is just about the two of them. More to come.....

Monday, 30 July 2007

Family Day Care

I have always wondered what it would be like to be a 'Family Day Carer' and today I found out! Di asked me if I could have Skye for a little while this morning, so she came along to the gym with Harri and I. While I was at the gym, Simone asked me if I minded taking her two kids for a little while as she had an quick appointment, which would be a lot easier without the kids.

I thought the more the merrier so after the gym I loaded all four kids into the van and we went to 'Kickstart' at the Kinder, which is a pre-kinder group for kids from birth to age 4. It is on once a fortnight. Harri was so excited to go. Almost every day for the last week he has been asking if we could go to 'Harri's school'. I have been taking my new camera with me everywhere I go, which was handy today as I got to take a photo of all the kids together. I think Harri is over the photos now - he keeps saying 'no photo Mummy!', and turns away when he sees the camera.

When we got to the Kinder Hallie yells out 'cool'! when she saw all the fun things to do. When I walked in with the four kids, one of the Mum's that I know was laughing and saying I looked like a Family Day Carer. The kids had a great time playing and the weather was so nice and sunny, so we spent lots of time outside. Oliver and Hallie are very different to my boys - they are big climbers! I just about freaked out when I saw Oliver climbing up this huge ladder, but he handled it very well. I'm not used to kids wanting to climb so much!

After we came home for a quick lunch we then had to pick up Noah from school to take him to St Giles to get his wheelchair adjusted. He has had the same chair for 5 years now and it is going pretty well considering how old it is, but it is a little bit rickety lately and he isn't looking quite so good in it. An hour later the chair was feeling a lot better and was a lot easier to push. It wasn't worth taking Noah back to school, so he wagged school for the afternoon and stayed with Harri and I. We raced into town before picking up Jay, to try to get new tie down belts for the van. The ones we have are so frayed and aren't very safe. After trying two places, we left town with two frayed seatbelts still. One guy told me to come back tomorrow and he will fix them.

We had ten minutes to fill in, so I took Harri and Noah to the petshop on the way back the car. Harri was hilarious - freaking out at the little puppies everytime they barked! He didnt mind the quiet ones behind the glass, but the yappy ones in cages he wasn't so keen on! Behind the counter was a cockatoo and he got so excited and goes 'look Mum - a parrot - like Captain Featherswords!'. Too much Wiggles for that boy.

The funniest thing all day was Harri with his new 'Cars' tracksuit jumper that he got from Mum yesterday. All day he had the hood on, even though it was very mild. Any other day he would chuck a tantrum because he wouldn't want a jumper on! I asked him if he wanted to take his jumper off when it got warm, but it was a very definate 'No!'. He loves it! Even after his bath tonight he wanted to put it back on and cried when I told him he had to get his PJ's on.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Visiting the Grandparents

After church today we went out to Deloraine again - seems to be a common occurance on a Sunday afternoon lately. The boys were excited as Grandma and Grandpa came home on Friday from their trip to Queensland and Sydney, so we were going out for tea. Grandma had promised them that they would get their presents when they came out.

First of all we called into the hospital to see Pop. Wow - what a change in him! We couldn't believe how well he was compared to when we had seem him the time before, which was only two weeks ago. He was asleep when we first got there but woke up with a big smile when he saw we were there and was quite chatty. He was so funny - he kept joking to us about how everyone thought he would be 'gone' by now and he said he is wanting to keep everyone on their toes! Then he kept saying he just wanted to 'stir things up a little' and was laughing about how everyone had come to say goodbye to him and he was still here and 'had no where to go'.

We laid Noah on the bed next to him and they had a lovely cuddle. Pop kept talking to him and Noah was really wide eyed, listening to him.

Pop was telling us there was a baby plover outside the window and I asked him if his sight was okay and he told me no - that it wasn't! That made me laugh. We then showed him the first DVD clip that I had made - about him and Nan together. We took our portable DVD player so that Nan could see it too. I'm not sure exactly how much he saw (probably not much) but he kept saying that it was amazing with the things we could do 'nowadays'.

Harri was having lots of fun playing with Pop's bathroom door and I told him he had better stop opening and shutting it or Pop would get his big stick out. Pop laughed and said 'I have a big stick, but I don't know how to use it'. Pop said he was getting sick of looking at the four walls of his hospital room and is hoping that he may get to go home with some extra help at home.

The boys were then excited to go and visit Nan who is now in remission from her cancer. The specialist doesn't want to see her for another month! I don't know whether they were more excited to see Nan or their cat - which they are fascinated with. There are two things they love about Nan and Pop's house - the cat and also they know that Nan has biscuits in her cupboard which she is happy to share with them. When we were visiting Pop I told him how I hate animals and he laughed as I told him that I am a mean Mum as Jalen is supposedly the only one in his class that has no pet.

Nan loved watching the DVD clip that I had made and cracked us up with her comments about her being fat in different photos and about her hair looking okay in some photos and not so good in others. She said some phrase about her hair which I have never heard before, and can't remember what it was, but it was very funny. I worked out that it was like us saying that our hair was like a 'birds nest' but it was something to do with a broom and a 'fit'. Will have to ask her what it was again as it was very funny.

Nan then read us a letter from Filipa in Kenya, which was very interesting. It was amazing to hear all her stories about what she is up to over there.

While we were at Nan's, Noah started to get a bit restless and Aaron made a comment that he had enough and probably wanted to go home. It often happens when we are out all day that Noah gets a bit restless and very vocal - yelling out.

We then headed off to Grandma and Grandpa's house for tea. Nicki, Alex and Maddi were already there. It was great to catch up with them - we hadn't seen them for a month. Maddi was walking everywhere.

Grandma pulled out all the presents they had bought back from their trip. The boys were very happy with all the things they got - Harri was especially happy with his 'Cars' tracksuit. Noah got a beautiful polar bear soft toy from Seaworld.

While we were at Mum and Dad's, Noah was yelling a lot. He wasn't happy and all and we both thought it was because he really wanted to go home. We had a beautiful tea that Mum made - roast lamb and baked vegies with apple crumble and sticky date pudding for dessert (you missed out Jared and Becky). We were all very excited to try out Mum and Dad's new dishwasher - until both the drawers were open together and the weight of the drawers tipped the dishwasher forward and the bottom drawer flew out across the floor - breaking a glass! We all cracked up laughing as Mum yells 'who put the dishwasher in'!? and Dad goes 'me, why!?'. We couldn't stop laughing as Dad obviously needed to fix it so it didn't tip forward as there was a big gap between the top of the dishwasher and the bench above it and he thought that putting a little door stop in the top to wedge it in would work! It was very dodgy.

As soon as we put Noah in his wheelchair to come home he started smiling, and once he was in the van he had a huge smile!! When we brought him inside after we got home he had the biggest smile and wouldn't stop smiling all night! And they say there is not much brain up there!?!?!?! Yeah right!

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Picnic at the park

Today was such a nice day for winter! The sun was out and it was quite mild - for Tassie anyway! We thought we would take the boys for a bike ride and picnic. We had planned on going to the Seaport but when we got there, there was some running race on and people were everywhere, so we knew we wouldn't be allowed to ride the bikes there. It was way too busy anyway and there was no way we would have found a parking spot, especially since someone had already taken the disabled park (how rude! :o).

We decided to go to City Park which was a good choice as there weren't many people there. We got some hot chips for lunch, but I think half of them went to the seagulls!

Harri kept saying 'just one more!' everytime he wanted to throw the seagulls another chip.

The boys had a great time playing in the playground and then the boys rode their bikes around the park to see the monkeys, with a quick visit to the ducks on the way.

Harri kept saying he didn't want to see the monkeys and when I asked him why and he said they were 'monsters' and was scared of them! As soon as we got there though he was very excited and decided they weren't so scary after all and kept saying 'look Jay - monkeys!'.

After checking out the flowers we had a little game of soccer - it wasn't very successful as Harri decided he didn't want to kick it but kept throwing it instead! He also didn't want to play without his 'blankie' so he held onto it the whole time. I don't think he will be the next David Beckham.

Noah was really happy to be out and about and in the sun. It was so nice - felt like Spring already! Jalen commented in the car on the way home that it felt like Queensland (um - not quite Jay - I think you have forgotten what it was really like up there). The car was actually hot from the sun and we had to open the windows on the way home! Can't wait until winter is really over.

Lunch with the girls

On Friday we went around to Bec's house for lunch. The last time that Pip, Bec and I had caught up on our own was when we went to the raspberry farm for lunch so we thought it was about time we got together again.

Pip, Bec and I went to Kinder together. It is great having such good friends who know everything about you. I will have to dig out some old photos from the old school days - the leavers dinner photos are classic! We thought we looked so great with our big hair and ruffled dresses! Very scary.

Harri kept pestering us the whole time to put on his favourite DVD - 'Cars'! He was happy once that was on.

Oliver is growing up so fast!

Thursday, 26 July 2007

The 'Mollies'

I just got back home from playing basketball. Thursday night is my basketball night and on Tuesday's Aaron plays. My team plays at the YMCA which is a social league - pretty laid back with only one umpire and only 3/4 courts. I have played basketball since I was about 7 or 8 and used to love playing basketball out at Deloraine. It is a lot more serious out there! I have played in harder leagues before including Baptist league, but I really enjoy playing with our team at the Y as it is just for fun and a bit of exercise.

Our team is called The Mollies, which is an in joke in our church. If you are a 'Molly Mormon' you are considered to be pretty much perfect, which we figured we all are and therefore we called ourselves the Mollies! At one stage our team got very big so we had to split into two. Some of our other players went to another team and had others join them. They are called the 'Triple Ms' which stands for 'More Molly Mormons'.

On our team is Jade who is our all rounder, Emily who is a great shooter - especially from the three point line, Felicity who just goes and goes and is a great defender, Pauline who is our tall player and a great rebounder, Kate who is also an all rounder and very good at intercepting the ball and Tania who is a great defender too - she is very good at hassling the other team!

We have just been split into grades at the Y and our team is in A grade. Don't know if that stands for 'average' or something else! I think it must stand for 'Awesome'! :o) I like being in that grade as I like a good game where I feel it is evenly matched and that you get a good workout from playing.

The pre-game warm up - eating 'toobs'

The action shot - Pauline our awesome rebounder -
the only one in the key against 5 of the other team!

After the game - everyone is stuffed but very happy with the result!

Yes - that IS 46 to 44 in our favour! It was a tough game.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

My Gym Buddies

At least four days a week (usually five) I go to the gym. It usually depends on Noah and if he is well and whether he is going to school or staying at home and how busy I am with appointments for him. I drop the boys at school and then do the 9.15am class each morning. They have free childcare which is great as Harri gets to go and play for an hour or so with other kids his age, while I am sweating it out. It is cute when we are in town or out somewhere and he sees one of the kids from the gym - he gets very excited. This morning when we got out of the car at the gym he goes 'Look Mum - Annabell!' and was so excited to see her.

Three mornings a week I do Pump (weights class) and the other days I do Body Combat, Body Step and sometimes I do RPM ( very rarely though as I'm not a big fan of RPM - unlike Simone!). Other times I do Fitball, or Body Jam (or fat burner as it is known at Theogenes) and every now and then I do Aqua Fitness. My favourite class is Pump and I also like Step, Body Attack and also Aqua Fitness if I can be bothered to get in the pool. When I first joined I used to just use the equipment such as the treadmills, steppers, cross trainers and bikes but that got VERY boring after a while and I switched over to doing the classes. They are so much more fun and I know that once I am in there and start the class there is no stopping until it is finished!

I was excited today as I knew that both of my gym buddies - Bonnie and Simone were going to be there for Pump today. It isn't that often that we are there all together as Bonnie has to work a lot. Whoever gets there first usually sets up everyone's gear next to each other so that we can chat throughout the class. Often Simone and I are getting into trouble for talking too much and not paying attention! We have been threatened many times by the instructor that we will have to do an extra 25 push ups!

Last week I arrived later than usual to Step, so there was no room to set up both Simone's and my step next to each other. I was very mean and I set up my step towards the back of the class, while I set Simone right up the front - right in front of the instructor! Everyone thought it was a great joke - especially the instructor Casey, who kept making comments about Simone being up the front and how she did a better job up front. On the way out of class he then asked if Simone had done something to offend me as he wondered why she was right up the front and away from me.

We have heaps of fun together. I hate the days when I am there on my own. I have been going to the same gym now for eighteen months so I have gotten to know a few different people, but its not the same as Bonnie or Simone being there.

It is great being able to do something for myself. Before this year I haven't really been able to do very much as Noah has needed a lot of care, but with him being at school full time and his health being a lot better, I now have a lot of free time during the day that I have never had before. I have been thinking lately how 'easy' it is for most people to just be able to do what they want, when they want, as I had taken that for granted before Noah was born. This week I was stuck at home for two days as Noah wasn't well and I remembered what it was like before he started school.

It is nice feeling fit again and even though half the time I wonder why I go to be put through torture, I love the feeling that you have when you have finished a class. People joke that I am a gym junkie, but I'm not really. I love eating chocolate too much and going to the gym lets me eat chocolate and other yummy things and not put on too much weight! If only it didn't taste so good! It is also a great stress release.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Jalen's Cooking Show

Yesterday was a 'student free day' at Jay and Noah's school so the boys had a long weekend. In the morning Jay and Harri came to the gym with me, while Noah was home with Di and then the rest of the day Jay kept bugging me to 'do something fun'. He really wanted to go to the park but it was too cold to take Noah out, and Noah decided that he was going to vomit all day anyway.

Jalen decided he wanted to make 'Jalen's Cooking Show' and wanted to cook something 'all by himself'. I told him he couldn't really cook by himself yet, but I would help him and he could do most of the work. He was very excited.

He decided that chocolate chip cookies were the go. He read the recipe out and told me everything we needed and then I let him go for it with lots of watching over his shoulder. What a mess! Sugar was everywhere.

He was very excited to work out that if we needed 1 and a 1/2 cups of sugar that we could use the 1/2 cup measure and fill it three times and then when we needed 2 and a 1/2 cups he was excited to tell me we needed to fill the 1/2 cup measure 5 times. Talk about a maths geek like his Dad!!!

Harri came to watch for about a minute and decided it wasn't as exciting as he had hoped as he wasn't allowed to sample the mixture, so he went back to what he was doing.
Jay did a great job and was very happy with the results - I think he polished off about 5 cookies in an hour!

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