Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wet weather... and a song about a spider

Ok. This rain is doing my head in!  The dogs are over it, the kids are over it, my TechnoHusband is over it (his whole long-service leave has been bad weather, aside from a couple of rare sunshiny days here and there).  Even the spiders are over it.  I know this, because they have all taken up residency in my cupboards, under the couch, on the walls, and in the bed sheets.  They have divvied up the prime real estate locations and seem to be satisfied tenants, spread nicely throughout the whole house.  Oh my gosh- that just reminded me of the cutest song ever. We found this fantastic album by Jewel which has all kids songs, but really enjoyable/clever/catchy/funny.  We play it in the car and one of my fav songs is about this spider who goes on a mission....from the bathroom to the kitchen.  I love it! I mean....BoyWonder loves it! Here it is...
It is SO hard to get out of bed in the mornings when you all you want to do is snuggle up and keep warm and dry in bed. The only upside to this weather is that I have an excuse to be lazy and use the two-stroke clothes dryer instead of hanging out washing.I am running out of inside ideas to keep BoyWonder busy.  We've been baking, drawing, painting, playing trains, making music, extended plays in the bathtub and have even resorted to looking at pictures of planes, trains and helicopters on Google Image.

The coolest kids in town have only had about two or three outside plays at school all term.  Thank goodness for interactive whiteboards (Smart boards).  I've introduced Kids Yoga to my classes, and they are loving it.  They all get on their little mini-mats and bend and stretch and breathe while we follow the instructor on the Smartboard. It's not quite as good an energy outlet as running around the playground, but it's not bad.  I'm finding it helps work on a whole range of skills and needs for these little yogis, and it's an activity they ALL seem to enjoy. 

What have you been doing to keep the kids entertained? What's your best rainy day/week/month activity?

P.S Blogger is doing weird things with my text fonts.  Does anyone know what's going on? 

Friday, February 22, 2013

CP = Cutie Pie...results are in (sort of)

Today I finally managed to get through to the hospital department I needed, and the Registrar contacted me to fill me in on BoyWonder's MRI report.  She was not able to give me as much information as I had hoped, and I'll still need to wait for an appointment to talk with the specialist.  The hold-up has been that BW's over-seeing doctor fell ill suddenly and had to stop working, so we were left behind in the abyss of cases without a case manager. But anyway...getting the point...
The GREAT news is that it seems as though BW does NOT have coeliac (yay!) so that's a big 'tick' off our list of things to no longer need  to think about.  The other blood tests are all so far, so good and some of the genetic test results are not back yet.
No longer need to worry about this.
(Source: Google)

(Source: Google)

As for the MRI, the Reg was not able to give me much information other than that there was nothing hugely abnormal on the spine or brain, and we'll need to follow up with the Cerebral Palsy clinic.  I wasn't expecting anything major to show up on the scan, but its a big relief all the same.  

So other than that, we just continue with physio and swimming, and will go from here.  As BoyWonder is soon approaching two,  a few professionals have mentioned the possibility of Botox Therapy in his right ankle/calf.  I'm not really sure how I feel about this suggestion...the idea of putting a toxic substance (even though I know it's safe in small doses) in our  little boy's body doesn't sit too well with TechnoHusband and I.  We were maybe thinking of waiting until he is old enough to consent to it himself. Or old enough to let us know he is happy the way he is and doesn't want to change it.  At the same time though his ankle is starting to get a bit tighter as he grows, and I've heard of plenty of positive outcomes from people who have gone ahead with it.  We just want to do what's best for our BoyWonder. 
(Source: Google)

He's had a an ear infection this week and has gone back to doing quite a bit of crawling.  My guess is that his balance is off and making him feel a little less confident on his feet. The joys!  Here's hoping for a non-eventful, health-full week next week! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Meander through Maleny

On Sunday TechnoHusband suggested that we take a little drive, which took us up the big hill to the little town (with a big heart) of Maleny.  We enjoyed some yummy lunch, a little window shopping, a play in the park and the purchase of some yummy coconut rough from the old fashioned sweets store. Which I am still nibbling on. Mmmmm. Yum!
What was left of BoyWonder's bakery gingerbread man.
'One of these things is not like the other.....'  If you squint your eyes, he looks just like another bollard.

Oh the pudginess of it all!  Toddler-hood is soooo cute!
Getting his 'dizzy' on

I came across a really sweet little Arts and Craft shop in the main street full of my kind of goodies.  I would have included a photo but a lady wearing those really short shorts with her bottom hanging out kept standing in front of me, and I thought it might be a bit inappropriate.  

It was a lovely day, and just reminds me how much fun it is to be spontaneous every now and then and have a wee little adventure.  I don't do 'spontaneous' very well, I tend to plan...oooh... about 6-8 weeks ahead in general.  But I'm learning!  That's what it's all about right?  

Have you done anything spontaneous lately? Any brilliant suggestions? 
Oh my goodness gracious me.  Adorable.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

CP = Cutie Pie Update...MRI Day

Photo sourced from Google

The other day our little man had his MRI at the Children's hospital under a general anesthetic.  The purpose of this was to 
a) possibly determine the cause and time that the damage causing the CP happened 
b) find out exactly where in his brain the damage occurred 
c) check his spine and make sure there are no problems going on there
d) get some bloods while he was under for some genetic tests and to test for likelihood of coeliac disease (as I have it myself). 

It was a bit of a mammoth day, but everything went really smoothly. BoyWonder had to fast from early in the morning and coped pretty well throughout the day considering his lack of food and sleep! I have to say though...who's idea was it to put play-food and a play-kitchen in a waiting room full of fasting kids?  The first thing BoyWonder did after admission was waltz into the day-procedures waiting room, pick up a plastic banana and try his best to suck some sustenance out of it. 

The next thing he did was toss the apparently useless banana on the ground, find every toy with wheels and drive the mini-coup around the room 'beep'-ing and waving to everyone until they waved back.  Persistent little fella! He had a great time playing, and finally it was his turn to go in for the scan.  
Waiting and playing patiently.

TechoHusband volunteered for the unpleasant experience of being there while BW went 'under' (for the second time in less than two years) and then we went and had some lunch while the scan took place (just over an hour). The staff were all so lovely and reassuring and caring.  They called us in just before he began to wake up.  Poor little man was dazed and confused coming out of it but settled after about 30 minutes, a cheese sandwich and a cup of milk. And some vegemite crackers.  And a banana.  And the remaining crumbs from the cheese sandwich. 

He was pretty suss of anyone in a uniform and the lovely nurses made their observations from the doorway where possible so as to not freak him out too much.  He was distracted fairly easily by games on the iPad, and only really fell to pieces each time he looked at the bandage covering the cannula in his hand (or a nurse).  Slightly pathetic, but cute and hug-worthy none-the-less.   
Nothing like a cheese sandwich on Dad's lap to make everything better!

By the end of the day we were all pretty stuffed, but it went fairly quickly and very smoothly thanks to the help of both our wonderful Mums, and TechnoHusband's sister who all helped with food, transport, and distractions throughout the day. And thanks to our many friends and family who were sending their love.

We won't have any results for a week at least, but I'll be sure to share when we do.

I think that one of the biggest things about this day that I'll take away with me are the faces and families of the other children in the waiting room preparing for procedures.  While it was a small ordeal for us, we waited with young children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Children with debilitating deformities and disabilities.  It really put things into perspective.  We have certainly faced some challenges as a family, but we have a healthy, happy child.  There are so many others facing more than we could even fathom having to think about.  You know that there are kids and families out there really doing it tough; but seeing their faces, waiting in the same rooms, sharing the same toys - makes it very real. I committed the faces and some of the names of the kiddies we spent time with to memory, and said a little prayer for each one I saw as we were there.  And I'll keep doing this, because it's something that I can do.  The boy with no more hair, waiting with his mum as though they'd been here plenty of times already.  The young girl who had a really rough time coming out of anaesthetic.  The sweetest little buddy who gently brought BoyWonder books and toys to play with in the playroom.  The father and his son who exchanged 'dad' talk with TechnoHusband in the hallway.  The very tiny young girl who looked as though she would be facing a lifetime of many very serious difficulties, and her parents- who looked tired. Another little boy, losing his hair who sat and drank a contrast dye even though he really didn't want to.  A shy little fellow who cuddled into mum's leg when BW waddled up to say 'hi'.  The young girl I saw while having lunch with a halo brace screwed into her skull, practicing 'spins' in her wheelchair outside by the garden. They are all someone's precious bundle, someone's Girl or BoyWonder.  And once again, I am SO thankful for ours. When times get a bit tough, or you are having a bad day... think about those in your community who are doing it tougher.  Do something to help them.  Or if you can't, pray for them.  Or think of them, or remember them.  And I can guarantee you will feel better about your own situation pretty quickly.   

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Girls Day Out...a Seriously Awesome Surprise

This week I was given an amazing opportunity by one incredibly cool chick...The Veggie Mama.  She writes an awesome blog (one I was reading before I even knew what a blog was) and Big W contacted her with a gift of some vouchers to share with a couple of friends to use at the Baby and Toddler Sale, plus some extra cash to treat ourselves to lunch.  I was so excited, this was definitely going to be the highlight of my week! 

Well,  what a day out we had! Stacey generously invited me and another Caitlin (who is just the loveliest gal!) from over here at Mother Down Under to meet at Big W for a shop-till-we-drop (or get hungry), trolley-filling experience.  I'll tell you what.  When three mammas get toddler shopping...they get down to business.  There was no frolicking through the isles, chitter-chattering over clothing racks or baby-bragging by the nappy boxes.  Nuh-ah.  There would be plenty of time for that later.  It was all list checking, colour comparing, size-finding and...ok...also some oo-ing and ahh-ing over the totally cute goodies on sale.  

Check out my haul!
I can honestly say I was pretty stoked with how much bang I got for my buck.  With sweet little printed long sleeve shirts for less than $5, what should I have expected?  I can't wait to see how cute BoyWonder looks in the green stripy elephant shirt.  And I KNOW he is going to LOVE the shirt with the digger.  He is all about trucks and machines and things that go 'beep...beep...beep...' at the moment.

I am completely addicted to Bonds Baby, and Big W had a huge range of gorgeous prints and baby-soft fabrics for me to drool over.  Colourful singlets are a must have for chillin' out in summer, and avoiding the chill in winter.  Can never have too many singlets.  And mum always told me, 'respectable men wear singlets'.  Nothing like creating a habit nice and early! 
We are that joyous stage of toddler-hood where some toileting essentials could not have come at a better time.  Training pants, and a toilet-seat with with steps (only $30!!!).  Don't forget some bath-time gear- another (unfortunate) but essential follow on to the toilet-training. know what I'm talking about! 

Could not resist a little bed-time bounty.  I seriously cannot wait for snuggly cuddles with BoyWonder in these adorable Bonds PJs, fresh bed sheets and a bed-time story (more things that go 'beep...beep...'.)  I can't decide which I love more.  Night-time cuddles and goodnight whispers and kisses before bed, or morning-time smiles and jibber-jabber stories about dreams and toys in the crib.  

To top the day off, Big W shouted us to lunch and we chose to take a visit to The Velo Project at Moolooaba.  I can pretty much sum this place up in a few words.
Funky. Tasty. That little personal touch. 
 I loved it! The food was fresh and just plain yum yum yum.  I am still dreaming about my next Bananarama Smoothie.  My iPhone photos do not do this artsy, folksy place justice, so please check out Stacey's post here for the real deal.  She has a real camera. And takes proper photos. And writes good. She is the best!  Stacey also is giving you the chance to win a $100 Big W voucher of your own, and $10 to spend at Big W online for everyone.  So go there! Now!

So what can I say? I am one very lucky lady!  Thanks VeggieMama, and thanks Big W! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Oswald the Ex ...A Cyclone Scorned

This week has been a busy one (when is it not?) getting back into work and back into the routine of the school term - with a couple of exceptions to the norm.  One being that TechnoHusband is officially on his well-deserved long service leave (yay!!) and two, that we got back into routine around the wake of ex-cyclone Oswald.  As one of my friends on Facebook cleverly put it, 'Oswald is not very happy about being an 'ex'.'  We were very lucky here and didn't suffer any major damage, just a damp ceiling and two freaked out doggies.  Many others were not so lucky, and are still waiting for flood waters to drop,  fallen trees and debris to be removed, power to be restored, and homes, businesses and infrastructure to be re-built.  We have quite a few very special friends in Bundaberg who were hit severely, and I can only imagine how difficult the situation has been, and is yet to be that they must face.  

This is a link to a video someone has created and shared on YouTube about the Queensland floods, and the Bundaberg 'story'.

So these holidays we have seen it all - scorching heat waves, devastating bush fires, tornadoes and cyclones, and damaging floods. Yet from what I have witnessed, people have continued to rally together to help those in need and have not been held down by one disaster after another. 

Despite the craziness of the past week/s, I have settled back into work and feel more prepared for the term ahead than I have in a long time.  Last year I returned to work in a PMLBF (post-maternity-leave-baby-fog) and felt lucky if I woke up knowing what day it was.  This year I feel prepared and super-excited about my cool-kid classes, and keeping up some music teaching from home.  I must admit, I am DEFINITELY taking advantage of having TechnoHusband at home.  His support (and current lack of work commitments) has made the re-entry into the school year much smoother than it could have been.  

Since Cyclone Oswald has finished his almighty temper-tantrum, we have really enjoyed some outside time down at the beach in the early evenings.  The sand-walking is great therapy for BoyWonder, and the fresh air, and relaxing family time is great for all of us.  Here are some pics.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Have Shoes...Will Walk

BoyWonder and I had a trip to the 'Big Smoke' this week to meet up with Grandma (my Mum) and purchase some WALKING shoes.  It was very exciting.  Firstly, can I just say that I would highly recommend the store 'Shoes and Sox' at Chermside Shopping Center for anyone who needs to have little feet fitted.  The staff were wonderful, and they know how to properly measure feet and choose shoes to accommodate and support growing twinkle toes.  They also have a really informative website - and an information freak like me finds this very reassuring.

BoyWonder presents with a catalogue of foot-related issues (including ankle-spasticity, curling toes, turning out and rolling in) and a most unfortunate genetic pre-disposition to outrageously wide and fat feet (inherited from his mother, and otherwise known as 'Nagel feet', or... 'the family curse' as I like to call it).  But does this phase the shoe-shop lady?  Not a chance foot-fearers!  She manages to find a sandal and a sneaker, both stylish and supportive - and one pair at HALF PRICE!  BoyWonder couldn't wait to wear his new 'shooshs', and had to be chased down by Grandma before he could run out the door and send me to the lock-up for petty-theft. 

After a mid-morning coffee and cake stop (for Grandma and I) and a ceremonial Vegemite smearing (for BoyWonder) he could no longer contain the urge to show off his clogs and started a stroll down the middle of the shopping center.  After five or so minutes of insisting, unsuccessfully, that he hold my hand and walk in an appropriate direction (ie. straight), Grandma said, 'Oh, just let him go.  It's his first time walking at the shops, he's so proud of himself to be able go where he wants and in his new shoes.'  So I did.  I let him go.  And we followed a short distance behind as he toddled against, around and into the flow of pedestrian traffic, casually but confidently waving to his fellow upright beings, and beaming with pride.  As he swaggered and teeter-totted around, an amazing thing happened.  People stopped. Not just because if they didn't, they'd trip over him.  People smiled.  They smiled big smiles.  People stopped what they were doing, smiled big smiles and made kind comments, asked questions, and even wanted to share stories about their own children or grandchildren.  This little fellow in his little walking shoes was somehow able to bring a little bit of cheer, and some special memories to many people.  And I don't think it was purely because of his 'cute factor', I think he was truly radiating joy - and it was rubbing off on those around him.