Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Learn to Swim

The next two weeks is Punchbowl Primary School's 'Learn to Swim' program. The grades 3 to 6 go swimming every day, and this year they get to do it at the Aquatic Centre. We had Di look after Noah for a couple of hours this afternoon, so Harri and I took the opportunity to surprise Jay while he was swimming.

He was really happy to see us.

The kids are divided into groups on the first day according to ability and then work with the same teacher every day as they try to develop their stroke techniques etc.

While Jay was swimming Harri and I both decided to have a play under the bucket. It was nice as there weren't many people there.

Because there was hardly anyone there Harri just sat at the top of the slide, waiting for the bucket to tip until he would go down.

Harri kept saying 'this is heaps of fun, isn't it Mum!!?'. He was just so glad to get out of the house as we have been home a lot since Noah's leg was broken.


It's great knowing they get such an intensive program while they are at school. I think by the end of the two weeks Jalen is going to be a very tired boy.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Smooth Criminal

The other day on Facebook, Sacha posted a classic Michael Jackson tribute that the young single adults from church made.

My boys absolutely LOVED it and watched it over and over again. Since they are always putting on MJ concerts for us we decided to make our own MJ tribute last night. This is their tribute......


video

Monday, 27 July 2009

Footy Trip

Last night Aaron came back from his school footy trip to Melbourne - very tired and very hairy, but he had a lot of fun. He looked exhausted as he came through the arrivals gate. I love seeing all the kids arrive back after their weekend to Melbourne. They all had a great time and were excited to tell their families about it.

I can't understand how he loves to deal with teenage kids every day, but he said gave them a LOT of warning last week that he wasn't going to be taking any crap from them while they were over there. He told them that they were all going to be there to have fun and enjoy themselves and that he and the other teachers wouldn't hesitate in sending one of them home early if they mucked up. He told them how stressful things are at home at the moment with Noah's broken leg and that he was sacrificing a lot in giving up a weekend to be with them and it must have sunken in as he said the weekend was great - in the four years he has gone it was the best group of kids so far.

The assistant principal went with them and she said it was the best school trip she had been on and was thanking Aaron last night for such a well organised trip. It's nice when you hear how much all his effort pays off. I couldn't think of anything more stressful than taking a group of 30 teenagers to Melbourne, but Aaron had a great time. He even shared a room with three of the guys - not that you could pick him out as being the teacher - he fits right in with the students!

It was a big weekend of lots of shopping, and sight seeing. This year they went to the aquarium again.


and of course the main reason they go is to watch three games of footy in three days!



Aaron loved seeing lots of players at the MCG watching the different games.


He tells me he isn't going to go again next year, but we will see. He will be the grade 7 grade leader next year which means he won't have much to do with the grade 9s and 10s, so he is keen to have a break from it.

As we were leaving the airport he had heaps of students come up and thank him for a great weekend. Last night as we were about to go to sleep he got a text from student saying thanks for everything he did to organise the trip. It's nice to know that they appreciated it. Even though it was a fun weekend it is still a very tiring weekend for the teachers and can be stressful to be in charge of that many kids in the middle of Melbourne. It is also a big sacrifice for the families who are back at home without their husband, Dad, wife or Mum so it's nice to know that they appreciated it.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Friends in the Murder House

It's hard to believe that it has been a year since we have seen Justine and Declan. One good thing about winter is that it's the end of the school year for Justine and Declan in Jakarta, which means they get to come home for a little while to catch up with family and friends.

Over a week and a half ago I was home with Noah who was sick with a chest infection. I heard a knock at the door which I thought was strange as we don't usually get someone coming at that time of the day except for the mailman, and I wasn't expecting anything. It was one of those days where you know you are stuck home all day with 3 kids, so I was dagging around with my trackies and uggies and there were toys everywhere. Imagine my shock when I opened the door and there was Justine, Declan and little Felix who we hadn't met yet!! I was so excited to see them and told them they could've given me some warning, so I didn't look like such a bogan! :)

The funniest thing ever was that Jus and Declan are looking for an investment property and were actually just about to look at the house across the road - the 'murder house'!!! I of course told them the story of the double murder in the house a few years ago and Declan asked if I would really be worried about living in a house like that. I said I would as we had seen a lot of the going ons there the night it happened - police cars, forensics, the bodies being carried out, the weapon being carried out and the family distraught out the front of the house. He said he didn't think he would be worried about it.

Just as they were about to go to meet the real estate agent I decided to join them and go and have a look at the house (since we are looking to buy - not that I would buy it, but was curious to see what it was like as it is cheap for the area). Declan and I were just about wetting ourselves inside trying to act cool, calm and collected when we were inside.

As we were about to leave the real estate agent gives us the spill about how they didn't have a legal obligation, but had a moral obligation to let us know there had been a tragedy in the house a few years ago and how a couple were murdered by his son in the house. When we got out both Declan and I were relieved to be out as it was just a horrible feeling to be in there - even Declan said so and he felt okay about even buying it before he went in. So that was quite an exciting adventure for a day of being stuck at home - seeing some old friends again and going into the 'murder house'.

Oh - and in case you are wondering - neither of us will be buying the 'murder house'! :)

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Unusually Quiet

It is unusually quiet in the King house at the moment. I'm actually not sure whether I'm loving it or hating it! Yesterday morning at 5.15am Aaron left to go to Melbourne for the annual school footy trip for three days.

This is his third or fourth year he has gone as a teacher. Last year he decided not to go as he had gone two years in a row and we had just had Kobe and we knew it would be too hard with him going away so soon after having a newborn. Unfortunately last year another teacher decided to take on the organising of the trip, and it had to be cancelled as it wasn't organised well enough.

Aaron was really disappointed for the students as it is a big thing every year that the grade 9s and 10s look forward to. He asked his principal if he could plan it again this year and she was more than happy for him to take it on again. As soon as the AFL fixture was announced at the beginning of the year Aaron decided on the dates they would go - he always works it around a weekend when there are really good games on at the MCG. Over the weekend they are watching Collingwood v Carlton, Hawks V Cats and Richmond V Essendon - all at the MCG.

Aaron had fun putting the itinerary together a few weeks ago. They also go to the aquarium, shop and spend time at the Casino tonight having dinner, going to the movies or playing arcade games.

It's a really long weekend on my own with the boys when he is gone, so we thought it would be good to send Jay and Harri out to Mum and Dad's for a night. It turned out that Harri will be there for three nights and Jay for two. After school yesterday Jay caught the bus on his own out to Deloraine. He was SO excited! He said it felt like he was going on the plane by himself. I was relieved to see that Jordan Christie was also going to be on the same bus as he was going home after school, so he kept his eye on him for me and made sure he got off at the right stop!

I spoke to the boys last night and they are having a great time at Grandma and Grandpa's. Everytime I talk to Harri he wants to talk to Kobe. Kobe sits with the phone up to his ear with a huge grin on, when he hears Harri's voice.

So - it is now just Kobe, Noah and I at home till tomorrow afternoon. It's nice having some quiet time in the house, but last night I was wishing Aaron was at home with me so we could enjoy the peace together! He was very stressed about leaving me with Noah's leg being broken, but it has been okay. So far I have coped okay with lifting him on my own. I have just made sure he has had a bigger dose of morphine before I have to transfer him to or from bed.

I am happy that he has gone on the school footy trip though. I know how much he loves it and how great he is with the students, and thinks he deserves to have some time just hanging out with them and having fun. There are three teachers to thirty students, and they only take students that they know will obey the rules and be responsible so it's usually a fun weekend away with little stress. Hopefully the game this afternoon will have a good result with the Hawks winning over Geelong as it will really make the trip worthwhile!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

X-rays and Pictures

Today Noah had a review at the orthopaedic clinic at the hospital. They wanted him to come in to just check that the cast was going okay and to see if the bone had started healing at all yet. He has literally been laying down ALL week and in a lot of pain, so I was really worried about getting him into his wheelchair and getting him to the hospital. Aaron's school has been great and had no problem with him leaving early so he could come to the appointment with me and help me lift him and keep him as comfortable as possible.

It's such a pain that he has a broken leg (literally!! ha ha) as he actually looks really well at the moment - now that he is over his last chest infection. I'm now paranoid that he may get another chest infection as he's laying around so much and not having all the postural drainage and position changes that he usually has.

Luckily the appointment was pretty quick and he coped okay. We first of all had to go up to radiology to get an x-ray done.

They then sent us back to orthopaedics with the x-ray. We had a sneak peak at it on the way there - it looks awful! The bone up the top is supposed to be straight.

We found out that the orthopaedic department at the LGH is full of young pretty boy Drs! There were all these young Drs there who were all dressed really well. We saw one of the head Drs who said he saw Noah's x-ray on Saturday when we were in emergency. He said that the bone hadn't healed at all since the weekend, but it also hadn't gotten worse so the cast was doing the job. He asked us if there was ever any chance that Noah could walk. We told him there wasn't and he said that he felt that he shouldn't operate (as they usually would) as it would just put extra stress on Noah's body as he would have to have a general anesthetic. We all agreed that it wasn't necessary to operate and we are happy with the plan that they have - to keep the cast on for another two weeks at least and then review him again, and possibly put him in a splint rather than a cast which will be a lot easier to handle. The Dr also warned us that this would most likely not be Noah's only broken bone as he has osteoperosis. We told him we realised that and that it was actually his second broken bone. It makes you paranoid about lifting or doing anything with him, but unfortunately it's just a part of life for him.

While we were out Mum got took a phone message from Noah's school saying that they were shutting down tomorrow and Monday as everyone is so sick with the flu. I said to Aaron that is actually probably a big blessing that he is home at the moment as he would probably get really sick being at school right now.

Yesterday in the mail we got a beautiful card and drawings from the Watsons for Noah. Maddi had drawn some awesome pictures for Noah. This one cracked us up as you can actually see that Noah's leg is wonky in the picture - he is the one on the right hand side with the big smile on his face! I am the second one with the very serious face on - Maddi obviously knows how I'm feeling right now! :) Thanks Maddi for the beautiful pictures - Noah loves them and they made him feel lot happier :D

Mum looked after the boys while we were at Noah's appointment today and on the spur of the moment we made a decision for Harri to go and spend three nights out with Mum and Dad. He was SO excited and kept saying 'it's going to be fun at Grandma's!!!'. It is nice seeing him so excited and happy to go off on his own. Jalen will join him tomorrow night.

Kobe wasn't impressed at all that Grandma was leaving him behind! We told him he could go next year when he was a bit bigger, but he really thought he should be going right now!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Celebrating with Sarah

Yesterday I went up to Noah's school to talk to the principal and AP about Noah's leg and how we will manage with school once the pain settles down. They are both so lovely and always really supportive. They said they wanted to help in anyway they could, and today they sent down Di (his aide) to spend a few hours with him to give me a break.

It was so nice to be able to get out of the house and it was perfect timing as it is Sarah's birthday, and I wanted to catch up with her and Toni for lunch. I won't say exactly how old she is, but she is getting quite on in years! She was showing us all her cool pressies she got and was showing us a cute little scrapbook album that she makes with Chelsea. It's a great idea where they scrap a page and then send it to the other person who scraps and page and it just keeps growing and growing as they send it back and forth to each other. Aaron and I actually starred on a page (thanks Chels!) with photos from the different activities that we have been doing that involve music (as Sarah LOVES music).

Taj was so cute telling me that he was going to have lots of friends coming today and how his friend Oscar now had a baby called Tommy.

Tommy is still so tiny and cute.

I have to say he was loving me and giving me lots of big smiles :)

Toni made some beautiful little quiches and a lemon curd teacake for Sarah's birthday lunch which were VERY yummy (from her recipe Monday on her blog). We all sang to Sarah for her birthday, but I don't think that anyone actually sang as much as Sarah actually did! She kept singing 'Happy Birthday to me!'. I guess you get excited about these little things in your life as you get older! (and I know she will be loving this photo of herself!).

The kids had a great time blowing out the candles with her - lucky she had some help as there were a few candles and we didn't even have enough for her age! (I should probably stop teasing her now about her age since I am older than her!).

Hope the rest of your birthday is special Sarah. It was lovely being able to celebrate it with you.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Sore and Sleepy

Over the weekend Noah has been very sore. At first I was stressing that the cast wasn't done properly, but now I'm pretty sure that it's because his leg spasms all the time, which is causing pain. Even without a broken leg, Noah's legs constantly spasm. Kids with CP often experience 'clonus' which is an involuntary spasm of the muscle. Usually if we grab hold of his leg when he is spasming and bend his leg at the knee it stops. It isn't usually painful, but when you have a broken leg it is VERY painful. The worst thing is that it's hard to stop the spasming now, because his leg is in the cast so we can't bend it.

The last two nights he has woken up around the same time as he usually does - about 3.30am. This is usually the time I turn him over in bed to make him more comfortable. Now when he wakes up, instead of rolling him over I just adjust the head of the bed as he is sleeping on his back rather than his side. I'm so grateful that we have a hospital bed which makes it quick and easy to adjust the position. so he can at least be moved a little. It was actually given to us from some friends Jan and Brian. Their little grandaughter Courtney passed away a few years ago and was a little bit older than Noah. We got to know her through lots of hospital stays together and we used to tease Noah that she was his girlfriend. When she passed away Jan and Brian gave a lot of her equipment to Noah which we were so grateful for.

The last couple of nights Noah's leg starts spasming as soon as he wakes up, which makes him cry for about half an hour. I have been jumping out of bed as soon as I hear him waking to try to stop the spasming by holding onto the bottom of his foot. After about half an hour of holding and giving some neurofen, things start to settle down.

The boys have been worried about him and asking me if his leg is okay. Last night Harri was talking on the phone to Chrish and says 'Noah's got a broken foot, Chrish!'. As soon as Di arrived today he told her that Noah's leg was broken. Jay has been great at keeping Kobe away from Noah so he doesn't knock his sore leg.

The hardest thing has been lifting him and moving him. One of us carries him, while the other one holds his leg as still as possible. We have had to just let him lay in the same position all day as it's the most comfortable for his leg. Aaron stayed home from school today to help me out as just changing his nappy is really hard, as moving his leg really hurts him at the moment. Today the lovely OT from St Giles came around today with a few different slings for us to try with the hoist. We never use the hoist, but I think I may have to use it now to make it easier to get him in and out of his chair as the cast is so heavy.

The Dr at the hospital said that the pain should settle once the cast was put on. I was surprised when he said that, so having Noah crying in pain all weekend has made me wonder whether everything was okay. I then realised that it was the spasming that was causing the pain as it was making the leg move. Any other person wouldn't usually have to put up with a broken bone, plus their leg spasming at the same time. I emailed my hydran support group on the net about Noah's leg and lots of them have emailed me back telling me to not feel so bad as all of their kids had a break or two as well. One lady told me that their daughter's break was sore for a week before things settled down. I didn't think it was fair for Noah to be in so much pain for that long as the neurofen and panadol just really wasn't settling things down very much, so I decided to ring his GP.

He was great and straight away said that it will take at least a week for the pain to settle down and that Noah shouldn't have to put up with it and said he needed something. I expected him to prescribe him panadeine forte or something similar, but straight away he said 'let's give him some morphine'. I was so glad as I knew it would really help settle things down for him and let him relax a little while it heals. The GP told me he had some in his office and to come down and grab it. When I went to pick it up he told me it was actually from a palliative care patient who had passed away and was just going to be thrown out, so he grabbed it. I'm glad he did now, as it has made Noah a lot more settled today.

He got a lovely card in the mail from Patrick and Lauren. The morphine has made him so settled that he hasn't even seen it yet! Thanks Kylie for being so thoughtful.

Hopefully now we have a stronger painkiller it will let Noah relax more so his leg can heal quickly.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Broken Leg

Today has brought me back down to earth with a thud! Just as we were on a high from our overnight trip away to see Pink, today reminds me that life with a child with a disability is anything but normal. Sometimes I start to think that life is just normal as everything seems to be going along well. Then something happens like this morning. I rolled Noah over at about 4 am like I usually do as he was waking up. This usually means he is getting uncomfortable and once you roll him he settles back down to sleep. I rolled him over and he even gave me a little smile as I rubbed his head.

Then at 6.45 am he woke up again - absolutely screaming like he was in major pain. I quickly jumped up to him and rubbed his chest hoping it was just something like and that he would stop. Sometimes when he wakes up he is a little bit stiff and has a bit of a complain until you rub his body and he loosens up. This was a different kind of a scream though - one where I knew he was in lots of pain. I picked him up and put him in bed with me and he fell back to sleep while I was cuddling him. Then at about 7.45 he woke again and started crying straight away. I got him up and we stripped him off trying to work out what it was. Straight away I saw that his left knee was swollen. I knew straight away that we needed to take him up to the hospital to get it checked out.

Five hours later he is back home, laying on the couch, with a full leg cast on. His leg is actually broken! :(

The Dr sent us off for an X-ray and after the first one was done I heard the radiographer looking at the film say to the one setting up for the next shot to get a 'lot of the femur in the next one'. The other radiographer went back to check out why and then went 'oh no'. I asked him what was wrong and he said it was fractured. I felt awful as I had no clue how it happened or when. Kids with cerebral palsy often have fragile bones, so anything could have caused it - Kobe falling on top of him, knocking it into something or just picking him up. I am now wondering whether it happened when we put him to bed or when I rolled him over during the night as he seemed fine all yesterday.

He has to have the cast on for 4 weeks and has to go back to the fracture clinic this week to get it checked out. I have a feeling we may be back before then to get it re-plastered as I think it's going to cause a lot of pressure marks up high on his leg as it's already rubbing in. It will be worse if he has to sit up in his wheelchair as it really cuts into his leg

He was in a lot of pain when they put the cast on and screamed down A&E. Poor Angela Vinen was actually in there also and was in an isolation room with a mask on as she has the flu. She heard Noah screaming and I looked in and she was crying as she felt sorry for him. I felt bad for her. I was actually a bit anxious being in there with how many very sick people were coming in with the flu. They all had to put masks on. The boys thought it was pretty cool though that I grabbed a couple of masks for them on the way out! Jalen now thinks he really is like Michael Jackson!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

P!nk

Yesterday was a very exciting day. A few months ago Aaron and I booked tickets to see Pink on the spur of the moment. When I heard she was touring Australia I said to Aaron how awesome it would be to go and see her, but know how hard it is to get away for a period of time with Noah, so we just forgot about it. Then one afternoon I was having a nanna nap and Aaron had put one of her CDs on while I was in bed. I kept waking up and hearing different songs and kept thinking 'I LOVE that song!', then another song would come on and I would then think 'oh no - I love THAT song!', and every song that came it was the same. I got out of bed and said to Aaron 'let's just go and see Pink - I love all of her songs, and we never do anything like that'. We then jumped on the net and booked tickets. The only concert we could get in Melbourne was in the middle of the week which was going to be tricky with Aaron's work, but we found a flight that would go over in the afternoon and get back the next morning before he had to be at school. We quickly booked it before we changed our minds and have waited months for it to come!

Mum was brave enough to agree to come and look after all four boys. I was a little stressed about leaving Noah as I have never actually left him overnight with anyone except for Aaron when he was in hospital. The night before we left I actually had a dream that I was running late to catch the plane as I was trying to get Noah's breathing to settle down before we left. I then got to the airport just in time to catch the plane, but I had no shoes on and forgot the Pink tickets so we couldn't go to the concert anyway! I tried to not stress too much as I knew Mum had looked after the boys a lot lately and that she knew how to deal with Noah well so I decided to just try to enjoy the time away without worrying about the boys too much. It was exciting as I hadn't been away to the mainland with just Aaron for 11 years!! The last time we flew by ourselves together was when we went to an Oasis concert in Melbourne. We were both VERY excited to have a kid free night!

I was even excited about just being on the plane with no kids!! No kids to entertain for an hour, no kids to make sure their ears weren't hurting, no kids to feed snacks to, no kids to pass books and colouring in books to, no kids to grizzle and complain and ask when we were going to get there!! Of course we decided to make the most of an hour long, kid free plane trip. Aaron paid some extra money to watch Fox sports which he thought was worth the whole trip!

I decided to have a nap :)
It was very exciting flying into Melbourne and seeing the city.

We caught the Skybus from the airport and was happy to have made it in good time which meant we had a couple of hours in the city before we had to get to our hotel and the concert.

I'm glad that Aaron has been to Melbourne a lot as I had no clue what I was doing, or where to go. He knew exactly where to go to catch the trams and which one to jump on for different places.

We walked around the city for a couple of hours. I felt like a real country bumpkin being excited by all the things we don't see in Tassie - like policemen on horses in the middle of the city.

Aaron was excited to go to his favourite shop - Rebel Sports. It was huge.

Off the Bourke Street Mall is this awesome alley way which is totally covered in graffitti on both sides. There were heaps of people in there taking photos or videoing every time we walked past. I couldn't help but think how much Chelsea would love it for her photos!

Stuck in the alley was a sign of someone trying to sell some Pink tickets.

We grabbed some tea and then caught a train up towards the MCG and Rod Laver Arena which is near where our hotel was. It was just a cheap little place, but it was only a couple of blocks from the MCG so it was very handy.

We dumped all our gear before heading off to the concert. The city looked beautiful all lit up.

It was really exciting walking past the MCG on the way. Aaron has been there a lot before, but he was still excited to be there and even more excited to know he will be back there next week with the school footy trip - to watch three games in three days with thirty students and two other teachers.

The supporting act was Evermore. I've never been a huge fan of them, but like a few of their songs so it was great just seeing them. I had fun stirring Chrish up as he said he liked them, so I would ring him whenever they were playing one of their well known songs.

They played for about 45 minutes, and then while they were setting up for Pink there was a DJ up the front playing different tracks. He was actually really good and played some great songs. When he started playing Michael Jackson songs the crowd really started getting into it - clapping, singing and dancing. It was lots of fun and a great atmosphere as everyone was so happy and excited to see Pink. The camera men started filming different people and it would flash up on the three big screens. It was hilarious watching people see themselves on the screen dancing and then they would get all embarassed or excited and dance even more.

Pink finally came out two hours after the concert was supposed to start! It was sooo exciting. It started off with Pink singing AC/DCs - 'Highway to Hell' without us seeing her and then she came literally flying out of the floor as she was on strings which lifted her in the air! I had heard that she did that a bit through the concert and also saw it on Rove, so thought that was it for the night, but she went back up again, and again and again! She was absolutely incredible! She would sometimes only hold on with one leg or one arm and did so many amazing tricks and flips.


The set was so incredible. It was made to look like a funhouse and had big screens with flashing lights around them and slides.


During the 'Funhouse' song two big blow up clowns came up.

She sang lots of tracks of her new album and also some old favourites too which I was very excited about as I love the songs 'Who Knew', and 'Trouble' which she sang.

She also sang a couple of covers. She did a great job of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

Throughout the concert she joked a lot about being put on YouTube and even made reference to her wanting us to put things on YouTube that she wanted certain people to see . Her voice was incredible the whole time. She sounds just as good live as on her albums. It was unreal to think that she was flying around the room a lot of the time and flipping upside down and still singing so well. You wouldn't have even known that she was doing somersaults and singing as she sounded so good. We took our little point and shoot camera so the pictures aren't good quality, but it was lucky as we can video with it. I actually recorded lots of the songs which are so great to watch now to remember how good she was. This video is of the first song of the encore. If you can watch it to the end as the end of it is awesome!!! (sorry about my poor skills on the camera - I was getting a bit excited at times and the camera was going everywhere!).


video

It was sad when it was all over. Aaron and I both said you could never go to a better concert, and if we had the money we would be back over there again next week in a flash.

We got three and a half hours of broken sleep, before we had to get up to catch the taxi to get to the airport. We arrived just in time for Aaron to get to school in the morning. It was nice flying back into a sunny Tassie day - even though it was a very chilly 5 degrees!

Thanks again Mum for babysitting and letting us have a great night away on our own.
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