Monday, December 5, 2011

Just popping in to remind everyone that I am still blogging, you can find me at....

Monday, July 18, 2011

Come over to my new blog!

Don't forget to come over and check out my new blog home!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Parenting Premmies has moved!

Don't forget to follow us and our journey over at Parenting Premmies

I look forward to seeing everyone over there too =)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I've Moved!

I have now set myself up at my new home on Mummy Industries. I would love to see everyone over there too!

Thanks for all the support xx

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm Moving Blog!!!

I am moving the blog over to Mummy Industries! Once everything has been set-up properly I will let everyone know =)

This blog will stay open for a while, however I will not be posting content, updating pages etc here any more.It will take a week or so to get it up and running, so please bare with me while I work things through!

Thanks for all the support! I look forward to seeing you over there too.

Thank you to Bec from Bad Mummy for providing me with this awesome opportunity!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Grieving and Coping After Premature Birth


For many preemie parents, it is shocking to them how deeply distressed they are by the early birth of their baby or babies. Feelings of sadness, regret, anger, powerlessness, guilt and anxiety can feel overwhelmingly intense. As a result, many parents worry that there is something wrong with them-- particularly if thir child survives, and particularly if their child's health and development is fairly good. When you have so much to be thankful for, why do you feel so bad? Ironically, the better a child does, the more the parents may worry about their inability to cope with the "prematurity thing". 

To read more please head to Preemie-l

Monday, May 2, 2011

Strategies to Help Develop Imitation Skills ~ Speech Therapy

* Sitting in front of a mirror can often make copying more fun
* Make sure your baby is watching you. He/she will not be able to imitate unless he/she sees what you are doing
* Start by practising easier skills first. For example, when teaching imitation of sounds, it is easier to start with noises than sounds.
* Your baby will find it easier to imitate a sounds or action that he/she has already done. Watch your baby. When he/she makes a sound or does an action, copy it and then wait to see what he/she does.
* Initially follow your baby’s lead, if he/she is playing with a toy and bangs it on the table, wait. Then take the toy and bang it on the table. Give the toy back to your baby and wait to see what he/she will do. If your child makes a “b” sound copy him/her and then wait. Provide encouragement for him/her to do the sound again.
* Use cues to help him/her understand that you want him/her to copy you. Encourage your baby to imitate the sound or action by saying “you do it”. After you have done the action, stop and look at your baby expectantly. Remember to praise your baby when he/she tries to imitate a sound/action.
* Once your baby becomes good at playing an imitation game with an action or sound he/she has performed, try becoming the leader. Do an action/sound in front of your baby (eg, clap your hands) and then wait for your baby to copy you.
* Make the activities fun and rewarding. Your baby will find it easier to copy things that he/she enjoys doing.

Imitation of actions

Actions with Object
Pat a doll
Feed a doll
Put blocks in a bucket
Rings on a pole
Roll a ball Throw a ball
Knock over blocks
Stir with a spoon
Bang 2 blocks together
Build a tower
Push a car
Wash face
Hit a drum

Imitations of Actions
Clap hands
Wave Goodbye
Raise hands (hands up)
Rub hands together
Bang the table (open hand)
Pat head
Bang fist on table
Raise hand (give me high five)
Tap legs
Cover face with hands
Tap tummy

Imitations of oral actions
Open mouth
Stick out tongue
Put lips together
Pucker Lips
Move tongue side to side
Move tongue up and down
Place tongue to bottom teeth

Imitation of Sounds

Start teaching your child to imitate sounds by copying the sounds that your child makes. If he/she says “bababa”, copy him or her and wait. Try introducing new easy sounds such as ‘ar’ ‘ee’ ‘oo’ ‘pa’ and ‘ba’.

First noises
Brrroom (pushing car)
Ah choo (pretend sneeze)
Tongue clicks (clock)
Moo (cow)
Whee (having a whizzy)
Ah (mouth open)

Then sounds
P-blowing out candle
M-pat tummy (yum)
B-bouncing ball
S-snake sound
T-ticking clock

Later words
Bye bye (waving)
Mine (holding toy to chest)
Go (pushing a car)
All gone (hide toy)
Night night (pretend to sleep)
Me (pointing to self)
Boo (peek-a-boo)

A Word About Songs

Singing songs is a great way to learn about imitation. Sing songs that include actions or simple sounds that your child can imitate. Great songs may include:

Open Shut them
5 Fat Sausages
This Little Piggy
There Were 3 in a Bed
If You’re happy and You Know it
Old McDonald
5 little ducks
5 little monkeys
Put Your Finger on Your Nose
Little Peter Rabbit.

Avado Organics ~ Product Review

I am a huge fan of Avado Organics. The following is my personal review for which I am not paid for.

My absolute favourite product is their lip balms, my lips were so soft and felt so nice when I was using it. I need to get some more!!! The lip balm lasted about 2-3 months with daily use (2-3 times a day).

I also use their shampoo and conditioner. My hair feels so nice and soft after using them.

Another favourite product of mine is their nipple care balm, I used it everyday when breastfeeding Tristan and I not once got cracked or sore nipples. I love it!   

You can find Avado organics in selected Coles stores, Priceline stores, pharmacies and health food stores.

Also, if you head over and 'like' Avado Organics on Facebook and interact with them (likes, comments, reviews, etc) you go in to the draw to win a $15 voucher! Drawn every week!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sensory Ideas for Everyday ~ Sensory Processing Disorder

Sensory Ideas for Everyday
Handout from Avon and Central Primary Health, Child Development Team, Occupational Therapy Dept.

Most of these are aimed at school kids, but there's no reason why it couldn't be implemented at home with younger kids too.

Quiet Corner:
* Shouldn't be used as punishment
* Talk to the child about having some quiet time to help them settle
* Could be screened off/ a child's tent
* Use big bean bags / rugs / big teddies / door stoppers / big cushions to sit in and cuddle
* Earphones to cut down noise - with or without music / stories
* Treasure bag of quiet visual or tactile toys eg oil paintings, stress ball.

Special Tasks:
* Back pack with something weighty in it, draft resister (in Brendan's words a 'sand snake' :lol: ) around the neck
* Carrying a big box
* Helping - moving wheelbarrows, pulling trolley's
* Dress ups

When Lining Up:
* Some children can't tolerate the proximity of others well - may need individual strategies eg chalk circles to stand in/put at head or end of the line.
* Jumping on spot / marching / stomping

Floor Time:
* Tummy lying to listen / individual mats that they fetch themselves / sit cuddling a heavy toy or bean bag
* Use rhythmic song and movement - slow and calm
* review your expectations - how long do you expect them to sit for? For what part of the day?
* Head squeeze / massage around the circle, given by an OT
* If one child needs extra help to settle - on lap / flexed position eg arms in and legs crossed - give them a bear hug.

Structure of the Day:
* Play doh - standing up, rolling out
* Wiping down chalk board, easels, helping clean tables
* "Painting" the outside walls with water on big paintbrushes
* Exercises - faster and vigorous to energise, to calm do slow, gentle movements - head rolls, toe touches, push-ups (with bent knees or against the wall, trying to lift self off the ground while sitting), be a tree waving slowly in the breeze etc - keep breathing slow, even and gentle - use images like little waves coming in and out at the beach.
* Digging or other heavy work before coming inside
* Carrying, "rearranging" the room
* Blowing games, eg before snack time - might be hard to control in a large group.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Modelling and Repetition ~ Speech Therapy

From a very young age babies learn to listen and 'tune in' to the speech of other people. This is an important skill in developing their speech and language. As you are the one who spends the most time with your child, you are your child's main speech and language model. Every time you speak to your child you are modelling language for them. Modelling can also be used to help teach your child specific target words. However, adopting certain strategies can make your modelling more effective.

Providing a 'good' model of speech for your child involves
* Speaking at an appropriate pace (not hurried)
* Speaking in clear short sentences
* Using mainly key words and appropriate vocabulary
* Using lots of repetition

These strategies help you to gain your child's attention, help them understand you better and encourage them to attempt to copy your language models. You can stimulate them to use language when you consistently repeat the same words over and over again in familiar situations. Modelling is also an effective strategy you can use when your child says a word or sound incorrectly, as you can then model back to them the correct way of saying it.

At first, your child needs time just to take in information and to improve their ability to understand what is being said and what the words really mean. Achieving the goal of clear words takes time. You need to emphasise and repeat on many different occasions before the new information becomes well established as part of your child's vocabulary.

Information in this handout compiled from: Manolson, Ayala (1992). It takes two to talk: a parent’s guide to helping children communicate. Toronto: The Hanen Centre.
Handed out by the Speech Therapy Department at Northam Regional Hospital.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hospital Notes

I finally got around to getting both my boys notes, I have had a read through them and will try to update the boys pregnancy, labour, birth and NICU journeys over the next few weeks. It's nice to finally put in some of the 'missing' information about what happened.

Some things were worse than I remember, or maybe I didn't realise how bad they were at the time? The notes were quite confronting, especially Brendan's.

It was quite easy to get the notes, I rang the hospital and they told me to write a letter and attach some proof of ID with it and they would send them out. It only took about 2-3 weeks to come through too.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter 2011

We started Sunday morning with an Easter Egg hunt! Both the boys loved it.







Then we went to Aunty and Uncle's place for lunch, another egg hunt and then dinner.
Was a lovely day =)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Activities that are usually alerting ~ Sensory Processing Disorder

Activities that ar e usually alerting (many of these activities belong under more than 1 sensory system)

Food: May be taste or muscles
Crunchy - popcorn, pretzels, bread sticks, dry biscuits, dry cereal, fruit, nuts, raw vegetables (eg carrot or celery), frozen fruit pieces
Sour food - (alerting and organising!) - lemon balls, sour lollies
Hot, spicy or bitter flavours
Cold drinks
Ice cubes - cold and crunchy!
Chewing on sugar free gum
Sucking - popsicles, frozen grapes
Sucking or blowing through a straw


Strong scents such as vinegar, garlic, parmesan cheese, coffee

Dance or marching music
Musical instruments
Cause and effect sound toys

Bright lighting in work areas
Visual toys

Cold water play
Splashing cold water on face, neck, hands
Sprinkler play

Fast swinging
Spinning eg on chair, sit and spin
Bouncing on lap, ball
Action songs eg "head, shoulders, knees and toes"
Fast rides eg in a wheelbarrow

Running, jumping, hoping, skipping, chasey
Trike/bike riding

Information from Avon and Central Primary Health, Child Development Team, Occupational Therapy Dept.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


The most difficult part of the journey of prematurity is leaving your baby behind at the hospital after you've been discharged, a baby that should be still tucked away inside. That's when a parents, especially the mother's, grieving process begins. You grieve the loss of pregnancy, a pregnancy that has ended too soon. You grieve the loss of feeling tiny kicks and rolls and you grieve for the loss of a normal pregnancy, a normal birth and a normal baby. I really hate the use of 'normal', but having a premmie is far from normal, far from the ultimate goal of a full-term birth.Yes, I am well aware that even full-term babies can have complications, that some mother's have had to fight very hard to get that full-term baby and that their pregnancies may not have been a textbook one. With prematurity you are guaranteed some kind of complication with the pregnancy, birth and/or baby. I mean otherwise the baby wouldn't have been born prematurely right?

On Thursday (21/04/2011) I became an Aunty. My sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, he was born a few days before his due date and everything went fairly smoothly. She had the perfect pregnancy, labour and perfect baby. There was just a minor hiccup with birth, bub required some help to get out and she required some stitches due to tearing. It really hit home just how far from normal my pregnancies, labours and births were. I know you shouldn't compare them, as everyone is different, every pregnancy, every labour, every birth and every baby is different. But it has been a difficult time for me as I try to process what I have lost, what I should have got but didn't. I look at my beautiful boys and I see how far they've come and they make me so damn proud, but then I see them struggle with something. Brendan with his speech/language or Tristan with his lungs (probably asthma) and it just reminds me just how hard we've had to fight to get to where we are.

I am grieving, I am grieving the loss of pregnancy, the loss of birth and the loss of those precious moments after birth. Brendan wasn't placed on my chest, his cord was cut and he was taken away and I watched as a team resuscitated him, I watched them count compressions on his tiny chest, I watched as they shoved needles in his tiny little body, I listened to the room as it felt like there was nothing else going on except the counting. The counting of compressions as they try to keep his little heart going. I watched as they shoved a tube down his little throat and I watched as he struggled to hang on. You see Brendan was born very sick, he had caught an infection from me (chorioamnioitis) which was compromising his little body even more than the fact he was 10 weeks early. His APAGR at 1min was 2 at 5min it was 4 and at 10min is was 5. I know how lucky we are, I know he shouldn't be here and for that I am grateful, but it doesn't help the pain.

Tristan's birth was a little healing for me, but still far from normal. Tristan was placed on my chest, but it wasn't for very long as he struggled to take his first breaths. He was taken away and again I watched as my child had needles and a tube shoved down his throat. Tristan did let out a little cry while they were intubating him, it was the most beautiful moment. Brendan was about 3 weeks old when he first cried. Tristan stayed in the room for about 45mins before they took him down to NICU. He was far more stable than Brendan was, he was taken away after 15min and was very unstable.

They say it takes time to heal, but I'm not sure that there is enough time to ever heal from such traumatic experiences. Maybe with time I won't think about it as much, maybe it won't upset me as much at least I hope so anyway.

Prematurity doesn't stop at the hospital doors.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people tell me that everything must be 'ok' now, because the boys aren't in hospital, and just like their full-term counterparts. I'm not sure why people think this, probably because they don't live it. The affects of prematurity do not end just because you've been discharged. The affects can continue for many years. Yes we have passed the biggest hurdle, we came home with our babies which unfortunately, for many families doesn't always happen =( .Yes I guess my boys are ok, they are doing very well, but it's not because they've been discharged it's from all the long hours and hard work we've put in through numerous therapies and specialists. That's why they are doing well, but they still have their issues.

They say most premmies have caught up (development wise) to their peers by the time they reach two. Brendan is now four and is still developmentally delayed. Tristan is almost two (in two months!) and although he has some mild delays I still consider him to be caught up to his peers, actually we have never corrected his age.

Some might disagree with me, but I fully believe that ALL of Brendan's issues are a direct result from the pregnancy complications, his birth and prematurity combined. I believe the combination of placental problems, PPROM (premature pre-labour rupture of membranes), lack of oxygen, the infections, the brain bleed and the fact he was born 10 weeks early have all contributed to his Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Developmental Delays and his ear health and hearing issues. Of course much more happened, but those are the major ones.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Following Your Child's Lead ~ Speech Therapy

Being willing to allow your child to lead gives them the chance to express their thoughts, desires and interests. Taking the time to discover, wait for and listen to their attempts to communicate allows you to get to know your child better. Your undivided attention and warm responsiveness to your child's attempts to communicate will help them to develop feelings of self-confidence and will encourage them to communicate with you more often.

You make the difference. It's hard to help your child learn to talk when you're busy doing everything for them, rushing from place to place or focussed on teaching. Being a responsive partner will give you limitless opportunities to talk with your child and help them learn. If you let your child take the lead in play they will be more likely to communicate with you because they are more interested in what they are doing and more motivated to share it with you.

Observe: helps you recognise your child's focus of attention, body language and facial expressions.
Wait: gives your child the time ad opportunity to attempt to communicate with you.
Listen: helps you to understand your child better and respond appropriately.

Example: A child and his mum may be playing with farm animals. The child then moves over and starts playing with the tractor so his mum stops playing with the animals and begins making comments about the tractor. Eg. "brrm, brrm,brrm, push tractor" The mother then pauses her speech and waits to give her child a chance to respond.

Things that help you follow your child's lead include:
* Being face-to-face with your child. Sit or lay on the floor with them. When you are face-to-face with your child you will be able to see what really interests them and what they are trying to tell you through body language, facial expressions and words.
* Listening. It is important to listen carefully to your child and then respond to their attempts to communicate with you with interest to let them know that they have got their message across.
* Set aside time to interact with your child without distraction. Turn off the TV or radio. Make sure your child has your full attention.

It is important not to pressure your child to speak. If you follow your child's lead and join in their games then there will be lots of natural talking opportunities.

Information in this handout compiled from: Manolson, Ayala (1992). It takes two to talk: a parent’s guide to helping children communicate. Toronto: The Hanen Centre.
Handed out by the Speech Therapy Department at Northam Regional Hospital.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sensory Processing Disorder

Brendan was diagnosed in March 2009 at 25 months old. The reason it was looked into is because Brendan has difficulty with attention, sitting still, was still mouthing objects, high pain threshold, no perception of objects (would run into things/trip over things that he didn't know was there) and showed very strong seeking behaviours. It was first picked up on at Brendan's 12 months corrected paed appointment at which we were refereed on to the OT. The paediatrician also voiced the possibility of ADHD at which we have not looked back on since having the SPD diagnosis.

He is now 50 months old (4yrs 2m) and has been attending OT for 37 months (3yrs 1m), he has been attending Speech Therapy for about 40 months (3yrs 4m).

Brendan has difficulties with:
* Auditory Processing
* Vestibular Processing
* Touch Processing
* Multisensory Processing
* Modulation of Visual Input Affecting Emotional Responses and Activity Level
* Emotional/Social Responses
* Behavioural Outcomes of Sensory Processing
* Items Indicating Threshold for Response
* Registration
* Seeking
* Avoiding

What is Sensory Processing Disorder?
To put it simply SPD is when the Central Nervous System, which receives all the sensory information, does not decipher it correctly.

Another description courtesy of a reader of my blog, Parenting Premmies:
"Sensory Processing Disorder is a neurological disorder that affects how the brain processes information from all seven senses, often causing the child to react inappropriately to their environment."

I've taken the following quote from Lil Aussie Prems - Sensory Processing.
Sensory processing involves the registration, organisation and modulation of different kinds of sensations entering the brain at the same time. It relies on the brain having an intact modulation system to attend to relevant information and inhibit (dampen down) other irrelevant information.

Most people are aware of the main five senses which give us information about what is happening in our environments. They are the senses of:
• Touch
• Taste
• Smell
• Hearing
• Sight
However, there are also two other senses that provide us with information about what our own bodies are doing. These are the senses of
• Movement (vestibular)
• Body position (proprioceptive)

When children have sensory processing difficulties (usually identified by an Occupational Therapist) it can affect things like their attention, fine motor skills, gross motor skills as well as how other children and adults perceive them.

How does sensory processing work???
Each of the sensations mentioned above have receptors within our bodies that register sensory input, for example, our receptors for touch are located within the skin, our receptors for movement are located in our inner ear and our receptors for body position are located in our muscles and joints. Once this sensory input is registered it then travels to the brain to be interpreted. There is never just one form of sensory input being registered, it is usually lots at once e.g. even when we are sitting still there are usually lights on, some sort of background noise and the texture of what we are sitting on etc. Hence the brain needs to sort out what input is appropriate and what is not at any point in time.

For example, if a child is sitting in class and they hear noise in the corridor, they initially attend to it by turning to see what it is, but after a while they will get use to it and are no longer distracted. However, for a child with sensory processing difficulties, if their modulation system is not working properly, the child may continue to attend to this noise even though there are more important things going on in class. This is why children with sensory processing difficulties find it particularly hard to work in a classroom situation as there are lots of sensory distractions.

Problems tend to be at either the registration phase or the modulation phase.

Children with sensory processing difficulties are usually one of 4 types
• Sensory sensitive
• Sensory avoiding
• Poor registration
• Sensory seeking

This type of child often receives too much information for their systems to cope with. The information is not being registered appropriately and hence is being given too much attention. This type of child comes across as:
• Fussy
• A complainer
• Distractible
• Cannot tolerate being too close to others and may push or bite them
• Cannot tolerate a normal amount of background noise

This child also receives too much sensory input to cope with but actively tries to avoid it. A child displaying these types of behaviours will actively try and avoid too much input by doing things like:
• Covering their ears
• Humming to themselves
• Choosing a quieter place to work

This type of child is not receiving enough sensory information (either through the receptors for touch, taste, sound, movement, body position, smell or sight). They need a lot more sensory input than other children in order to concentrate and feel alert. However, they are not the type of children to seek out this input, hence they come across as having/being:
• Poor attention
• Lacking in motivation
• Uninterested
• Withdrawn
• Overly tired
• Apathetic

This type of child is also not receiving enough sensory information (either through the receptors for touch, taste, sound, movement, body position, smell or sight). They also need a lot more input than other children to concentrate and remain alert but they do go about getting this input - hence the term SEEKERS. This type of child comes across as:
• Not being able to sit still in their chair at school
• Active
• Fidgety
• Excitable
• Standing close to or up against people
• Hums to self or talks to self during class time

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Repairing Relationships with a Time-In ~ Sensory Processing Disorder

(This is a guideline. It is of course, harder than this)

I'm Upset and My Child is Upset
When necessary, I start with a "Time-Out" (for me, for my child or for the both of us) until:
* I know that I am bigger, stronger, wiser and kind, and
* I remind myself that no matter how I feel, my child needs me.
(A "Time-Out" can be helpful as a first step, but not as a punishment.)

I'm Calm (enough) and My Child is Upset

We can build a safe "repair routine" together (remember the first 1,000 times are the hardest!).
* I take charge so my child is not too out of control.
* We change location. Go to a neutral place that is our "Time-In" spot, where we can sit together and let the feeling begin to change.
* I maintain a calm tone of voice (firm, reassuring and kind)
* We can do something different (for several minutes): read, look out the window or attend to a chore together.
* I help my child bring words to her/his feelings. ("It looks like this is hard for you" "Are you mad/sad/afraid?")
* I talk about my feelings about what just happened. ("When you did that, I felt ...")
* I stay with my child until s/he is calm enough. (It may take a while for a child to calm down from overwhelming and un-organised feelings. Rule of thumb: Stay in charge and stay sympathetic.)

I'm Calm (enough) and My Child is Calm (enough)
I use the following to support our repair and to make repair easier in the future.
* I help my child use words for the needs and feelings that s/he is struggling with by listening and talking together. (Remember KISS - Keep It Short and Simple)
* I help my child to take responsibility for her/his part and I can take responsibility for my part. (Rule of thumb: No blaming allowed.)
* We talk about new ways of dealing with the problem in the future. (Even for very young children, talking out loud about new options will establish a pattern and a feeling that can be repeated through the years.)

Bottom line: It's the relationship and only the relationship) that will build my child's capacity to organise her/his feelings. My child's problem may look like something that is being done on purpose. But at it's root, it's an issue of needing to reconnect and learning to handle difficult feelings in a safe and secure way. By taking an "I can/we can" perspective ("together, we're going to figure out what you need") my child will realise that I'm in charge as someone who is bigger, stronger, wiser and kind. This will reassure her/him, feelings will settle and organise and the relationship will have been repaired.

Information from Avon and Central Primary Health, Child Development Team, Occupational Therapy Dept.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

ENT Appointment!

We finally saw an ENT yesterday! We ended up going private for a consult and he booked us in to PMH so Brendan can have his tonsils and adenoids removed and grommets inserted. It should happen within the next 90 days.

I'm feeling quite relieved that this is finally happening! We still haven't be able to see a PMH ENT, that appointment is in June, hopefully he'll have is surgery by then!

The only downside is that we will have to stay down there for 2 weeks post op as we live too far away from the children's hospital. I'm not looking forward to that and I hope I can find somewhere that won't cost us and arm and a leg.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tristan at 21months

I had Tristan weighed and measured today and I'm very pleased with how he is going =)

He is now 10.7kg, 85cms long and his HC is 47.5cms. His length is just on the 50th %ile, HC is just above the 25th %ile and his weight *drum roll* is just under the 10th %ile - the highest it's been since he was 3 months old! I'm a very pleased mummy, he is doing so well.

He now has about 15 words =D
Mum, Dad, Brendan, tractor, truck, water, rock, dora, spongebob, bye, car, Mort (the work dog), teddy and hot. 
His pronunciation is a little out... but I understand him =D

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fundraising for Autism

Please visit Go Fundraise and help us reach our target! We are fundraising for Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect).

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder. The current prevalence of autism spectrum disorders is 1 in 160 children and an estimated 130,000 Australians of all ages. Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) provides programs, services and support for people with autism and, importantly, their families too. With your help we can provide hope and make a difference to people living with this isolating disability.

On Friday the 1st of April we attended the Light it Up Campaign. Here's the boys wearing blue =D

Brendan in his school uniform. 

Tristan =)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Special Needs

I'm not sure if it's denial or if it's my own way of coping, but even though Brendan is considered to be Special Needs I really don't see him as that. I mean I know what he can't do, I know he needs extra help, I know that he has a different way of doing things and I know that he perceives the world differently to most people. I think that's what makes Brendan, well, Brendan. Without those things, the hand twitching/flapping, the odd facial expressions, the echolalia, the behaviours many might see as 'naughty' those are all thing that make Brendan who he is. Some might label him a 'difficult' child, and you know throughout most days he is, but not because he is purposely being difficult but because he needs things to be just so and so do I. Brendan and I clash on a lot of things. I am sensitive to all loud sounds, where Brendan craves some loud noises and avoid others. I like to have my personal space where Brendan has no concept of personal space, I'm affectionate and like lots of cuddles where Brendan avoids them and only gives them on his terms when he is ready to cope with that. We are two opposites and he is teaching me to control my own sensory needs too.

On the topic of Special Needs, if you have a child, diagnosed or not, with Special Needs please pop over to the forum and say hi! Special Friends ~ For Special Needs and also visit them on Facebook too.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kindy and Appointments

My weeks have gotten very busy with Kindy and more appointments. Brendan is going to Kindy four 1/2 days per week, Monday and Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday and Friday mornings. From this Wednesday Tristan will be in one full day of day care and Brendan will be going to day care after Kindy. I'm looking forward to having a whole day to myself, what am I going to do? Sleep! Hahaha.

Brendan is doing quite well at Kindy, it's taken him a few weeks to settle in, every morning until today he screamed and screamed while I left. This morning he was distracted and I snuck out. Tristan loves going to the Kindy, he's so interactive with the other children there.

I've been missing a few group appointments as they've just been too difficult to schedule in between everything else. At the moment we have Jibber Jabbers on Monday mornings, which is a speech therapy group and runs for an hour. We also have Kindy Skills Group on Thursday mornings, which is run by the local OT's for an hour. I've also had random appointments most weeks, Dr's, setting up day care, LAC, etc. Tomorrow we have a parent, teacher, therapist meeting at the Kindy, Brendan's teacher, the teacher assistant, Brendan's aide, the speech pathologist and the OT will all be there. Should be a good meeting though!

Brendan is still 13.9kg, we can't quite budge that 14kg mark. I haven't had him measured for a while, might make an appointment for that. He has his 4yr corrected developmental review in May. Tristan is now 10.3kg, I'm hoping for 11kg by 2 years old which is just over 3 months away. Brendan was 11.10kg at 2 years old.

Sorry it's been a while since my last update, but considering all the appointments etc, I just haven't had time!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Brendan!

Brendan born at 30+1 weeks on the 25th of February 2007, weighing in at 1545gm (3lb 6oz) and 40.5cms long. Now four years old and 13.9kg approx 104cms tall.

From small beginnings

Great things happen.

Pics from Brendan's party =)






Cake made by Battered Cakes =)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brendan's 4th Birthday Party

Ok... so... we are doing two parties, one for my friends and kids and one for family. I need to make sure I have enough for both.

Party One
(my friends and kids) Approx 10 people/kids
* Snowballs (choc coated marshmallow)
* Chips
* Crackers and Dip
* Lollies
* Party pies and sausage rolls
* Spinach and Ricotta puffs
* Fairy Bread
* OJ, water and cordial.
* Cupcakes
* Fruit Platter
* Wine for the mummies

I was just going to put some music on and let the kids play while the adults chat.

Party Two (Family, approx 25-30 people)
* Snowballs (choc coated marshmallow)
* Chips
* Crackers and Dip
* Lollies
* Party pies and sausage rolls
* Spinach and Ricotta puffs
* Fairy Bread
* OJ, water and cordial.
* Cake
* My wine, DP's beer
* Sausage's
* Marinated Chicken
* Coleslaw
* Pasta Salad
* Bread rolls
* Fruit Platter
* Jelly
* Icecream

4 salads being brought by family members

This one will be more for the family to get together lol, my boys are the only kids.

(Bolded items are the things I have... I need to buy the others)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Finally! An Update!!

The past month certainly has been a test for us, but things are falling into place now and we are in a better position now. Thank you to everyone who offered support and things for my boys during our time of need. I really appreciate it all xx

Brendan is nearly 4, yep it's scaring me too, 8 days to be exact. Well 7 days and 7 hours exactly he'll be four. He's now 13.9kg and approx 104cms tall. He's now in Kindy, four half days a week (two mornings and two afternoons) he is really struggling with being left there, not that he hasn't been left before it's just he hasn't been left there before. All new kids, new teachers and an aide (which he didn't have before), can be pretty scary for any child, especially one with an ASD. He had his hearing tested today and he has improved, his left ear is now just within normal limits.... read that NORMAL, he's never been normal. His right ear is still bad though and the audiologist would like us to be sooner than June by an ENT, and is doing what she can to get that to happen. She's a gem, really brilliant with Brendan.

Tristan had his hearing tested today too, they wanted to make sure of two things, that A) he's not following Brendan's path and B) that his hearing isn't causing his speech delay. Well he is 100% perfect. PERFECT you couldn't get any better! I am not going to bother getting him weighed this month, 2 reasons... the first being I just don't have time, so many other appointments I need to clean the house at some point! The other reason being I just don't want to. He cracked 10kg last month so I feel I can breathe a little sigh of relief. Yes he might be underweight for his height but so is Brendan.

Thanks for reading

Friday, February 4, 2011

Freak Storm

At 3pm on Saturday the 29th of January 2011 we were suddenly hit with a very strong storm. Most of WA were watching Cyclone Bianca, which we were not concerned about, we saw a few reports in the morning telling people in the suspected path to take precautions. We starting to watch some DVD's and chilled out in front of the TV, it was about 40 degrees so we had the house darkened and aircons going. My parents are staying with us atm and mum had popped down the shops to get a few bits of shopping, when she got home she raced inside and told us all to come outside quickly we need to see something. This is what we saw:


We thought we had a minute or two to move the cars from under the tree and let the dog off the chain. My dad jumped in his car, moved it to face into the wind and wound the windows up, DF jumped in the work ute and back it up to the house and ran over to let his dog off to bring her inside, he didn't get there... the branch on the tree crashed down and everything went black, we also lost our power. Looking out our back door into the storm:


I just got inside with the two kids when the dog bolted inside with her chain still attached, thankfully she had broken the line she was on and was able to get out of the storm. When she bolted inside she got her chain wrapped around Tristan I managed to grab hold of her and comfort her while trying to release the chain, I yelled out to mum who came running in, she slipped and fell down the step badly hurting her ankle (at first we though it was broken) in her agony she managed to let the dog off who bolted. Mum, the kids and I then made our way to the bedroom where we shoved the kids under our bed and I grabbed a bag of peas for mums ankle. It was about that time when the roof started to peel back and fly off. Soon after the first piece of roof went DF managed to get back inside, about a minute or so later and the rest of our roof went. The rain started pouring in and we started to flood in the kitchen, bathroom, kids room, dining room and laundry/toilet. It was about then that the ceiling in the kitchen collapsed.


It continued to rain and we rushed around to save all the important things, paperwork, medicines and grabbed clothes into a suitcase. Meanwhile the two boys stayed under our bed with my mum laying on the ground next to the bed comforting them.We managed to grab the essentials and then the rest of the ceiling in the kitchen came down.


By this time the wind had settled a bit and we started to organise everyone, mum was taken off to hospital and the rest of us loaded everything we could into the car and took the kids up to another house on the farm (about 500 metres up the road, which had only minimal damage) which we were going to be moving in to within a few weeks anyway, so thankfully it was empty. I had started to move a few bits and pieces in too, some of the kitchen things were already here as well as some of the kids toys.

Our roof in the paddock next to the house, other parts had been taken about 1-2kms away across the paddock:


Our bathroom, the following day:


It was a terrifying event, the past few days have really tested us all, but we've got through it and we are stronger because of it. As much as the whole thing sucked, I believe it happened for a reason, it happened for the better. We didn't lose a whole lot, and we are insured, no-one was seriously injured and we got a lot of help that day to move us out. We are financially better off in this house and the kids are so much happier too, there is a lot more room for them here.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Housepoet's Famous Lactation Boosting Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip & Flaxseed cookies

Housepoet's Famous Lactation Boosting Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip & Flaxseed cookies
Serves: 6 dozen cookies
Preparation time: 15 minutes

* 1 cup butter or marg
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons water
* 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (can be found at any local health food store)
* 2 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 cups flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3 cups oats, thick cut if you can get them
* 1 cup or more chocolate chips
* 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast* (be generous) (IT MUST BE BREWERS YEAST, NO SUBSTITUTIONS)

* Preheat oven at 375 degrees F.
* Mix together 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and water, set aside for 3-5 minutes.
* Cream (beat well) margarine and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mix well. Stir flaxseed mixture and add with vanilla to the margarine mix. Beat until blended.
* Sift together dry ingredients, except oats and chips. Add to margarine mixture. Stir in oats then chips.
* Scoop or drop onto baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment or silpat. The dough is a little crumbly, so it helps to use a scoop.
* Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on size of cookies.

I used to bake mine into a slice, so much easier! 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Moving House

We are in the process of moving house, I will update everyone when we have moved, unless I get a spare few mins to do a post.



Monday, January 24, 2011

Commenting vs. Questioning ~ Speech Therapy

It is very common for parents to ask their child lots of questions to reassure themselves that their child is listening and understanding, or sometimes just to get a response. However, when you continuously bombard a child with direct questions, you limit their ability to express themselves as you are always in control of the conversation. Children also begin to tune out when they are constantly asked questions and some even become withdrawn, as they dislike being pressured to speak. Excessive questioning often stops the natural flow of conversation and the questions tend to require your child to give only yes/no or one-word answers.

By trying to alter your communication style to include more commenting and less questioning you take the pressure off your child and give them more natural opportunities to communicate with you. By commenting on what your child is doing and then waiting, you create a natural opportunity for your child to respond without pressure. This can initially be very tricky to do if you are used to asking a lot of questions!

Playing with a puzzle
Parent: “what’s that?”
Child: “cat”
Parent: “what’s this?”
Child: “dog”
Parent: “what does the dog say?”
Child: “woof woof”
Parents: “what’s this?”
Child: (ignores yet another question)

Playing with a puzzle
Parent: “oh, dog, you’ve got the dog”
Child: “dog”
Parent: “dog, a big dog, woof woof”
Child: “dog woof woof”
Parent: “yes, dog goes woof woof, put in, put in dog”
Child: “put in”

Try to limit the questions you ask to good questions. A good question can be a powerful conversational hook. It often takes a conscious effort to ask a good question that encourages your child to share his experiences with you. Good questions must be sincere and appropriate to your child’s level. This includes questions that:
* Show your interest and allow your child to lead. For example: “what next?”
* Allow your child to make choices or decisions. For example: “do you want juice or milk?”
* Extend your child’s thinking. For example: “what’s happening?” or “how does it work?”

Information in this handout compiled from: Manolson, Ayala (1992). It takes two to talk: a parent’s guide to helping children communicate. Toronto: The Hanen Centre.
Handed out by the Speech Therapy Department at Northam Regional Hospital.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Imitation and Silly Sounds ~ Speech Therapy

An essential part of learning to communicate is learning to ‘do as others do’. Learning to imitate others is an important skill as it forms the basis of learning. Encouraging your child to copy words is an important step in learning language as children generally imitate words a number of times before they will begin using them on their own. However, before children learn to imitate words, they first need to learn to copy actions and then sounds.

In order to teach imitation of actions you will initially need to imitate behaviours demonstrated by your child. For example: If they bang a toy against the table, imitate their action, and pause. Wait to see if they have another turn. Copy the action again, and then introduce a new action to see if they will imitate. You can use hand over hand to help your child imitate your actions at first and begin doing it on their own. Nursery rhymes are a great way of teaching actions and lots of fun too!

Actions you can target include:
* Banging hands on table
* Copying actions in favourite nursery rhymes
* Sticking out your tongues
* Waving goodbye
* Banging on a drum
* Clapping hands
* Pushing a car
* Stirring with a spoon
* Rolling or kicking a ball

You can also focus on teaching your child to imitate sounds. You can encourage this by making sure you spend time modelling silly sounds during play. For example: you can model animal noises when playing with a farm set or car noises when playing with vehicles. Make it fun and use lots of repetition. You can also make up lots of silly sounds to go with different activities you and your child do throughout the day, such as splashing noises during bath time. The sillier you are the better as your child will pay more attention! The more you model these sounds the more likely your child is to begin imitating. Once your child is imitating sounds you can begin encouraging imitation of words.

Sounds you can target include:
* Indian noises with hand to mouth - ’wah-wah’
* Animal noises - ’moo,’ ’baa,’ ’sss’
* Driving cars - ’brrm’
* Putting fingers to lips - ’sh’
* Blowing raspberries
* Going down the slide - ’wee’
* Banging on chest - ’aaah’
* Turning on the tap - ’woosh’
* Dropping something - ’uh-oh’
* Hiding under blankets - ’boo’

Information in this handout compiled from: Manolson, Ayala (1992). It takes two to talk: a parent’s guide to helping children communicate. Toronto: The Hanen Centre.
Handed out by the Speech Therapy Department at Northam Regional Hospital.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Four Years On.... It's Not getting Any Easier.

Brendan turns four next month and the lead-up to his early arrival has not gotten any easier to deal with. Last night I was looking through some of the 365 photos and one lady, a midwife, had posted a picture of a resuscitaire (a table used in delivery rooms to resus newborns) and it was the same one Brendan had been resus'd on, exactly the same one. It affected me so much that I couldn't sleep last night. It took me hours to get to sleep and I didn't sleep at all very well.

This year I am going to try and break the cycle. I am annoyed with myself that I can't get through a single day without my eyes filling with tears. I know that what happened in that room was not my fault, I know the lead-up to his arrival was not my fault, however I also know that is was my body that failed him... the very person who is supposed to protect him let him down at the most crucial moment. If his own mother cannot protect him when he is at his most vulnerable stage then what hope does he have?

I always wanted to be a mum and I think I am a good mum, most of the time, but hey at least I'm trying. No-one gave me a manual on how to bring up a child who has needed extra care from before he was even born. Even now no-one has been able to give me guidance on how to cope with the curve balls that are being thrown our way. Sure I know we have it pretty easy considering what could have happened... Brendan was supposed to be a miscarriage... at 16 weeks I was admitted to hospital in severe pain and haemorrhaging pretty severely (forget pads, I was soaking towels) they couldn't find the heartbeat and bluntly told me I was miscarriaging, I discharged myself the next day because I believed had I stayed there that I was agreeing with them and I was losing my baby... I was not going to comply! The earliest they could arrange an ultrasound was one whole week later... back then I thought that week was hard, boy how wrong was I.... the ultrasound showed one very healthy heartbeat and that I was bleeding from between the placenta and uterus wall (not good news, but still hopeful news). For a further 7 weeks I was having weekly/fortnightly appointments between OB's and ultrasounds when finally the bleeding eased off and pretty much stopped. I saw the OB at 27 weeks who concluded that I would probably have another bleed before the pregnancy was over and that it shouldn't be too much more, to not be alarmed. At 27+6 weeks I had my GTT, who knows why they sent me for the 3 hour one.... I was in the low-risk category! But that's what they did... I suffered terrible morning sickness throughout the entire pregnancy, vomiting several times a day bringing up each meal (not sure how I survived...) then they made me fast for this stupid test which only made me feel more ill. The lady doing the test told me if I vomited up the fluid I would have to drink another... oh great thanks a lot!

I never got the results from the GTT, 34 hours after I commenced the GTT my waters broke. I still remember how calm and collected I was, I had gone to the toilet and done my business, upon standing up and taking a few steps I leaked.... nothing unusual (or so I thought) I had been leaking for a few weeks, just put it down to not emptying my bladder properly. I went back to the toilet to change my knickers (and to finish emptying my bladder) yet nothing else came out, (oh well still nothing unusual) I stand up and walk a few steps and it happens again.... now I start to get annoyed, what it going on?! I repeat the process, new knickers, go to toilet and I feel a teeny bit of pressure and then a large *splash* of clear liquid (hmm that's not wee!) still I change my knickers placing in a pad and I head back out to where my mum and my grandparents are (6.30pm). My grandparents were just about to leave so I pack up the coffee cups and then see them out the door. My mum comes back in about 5-10 mins later and I tell her what had happened in the toilet and how strange it was, because I was only 28 weeks I wasn't expecting anything. My birthing classes were booked to start when I was 31 weeks (and run for 5 weeks) so I had absolutely no idea what had happened.

My mum started freaking out a bit, she told me it was my waters breaking to which I replied that it couldn't be because of how early I was. She convinced me that we had better head into the hospital to be checked on anyway because it was something out of the ordinary. We rang the hospital I was booked into and the lady on the other end freaked out as well, she was rushing about with her voice and you could really pick the panic, she told us that they wouldn't be able to see me there because I was too early and that I only had the choice of one hospital and to get there ASAP. Suppose I better pack a few things, by this time it was 6:45pm, I threw in a bag that I had been living out of at mums house (luckily I was staying with her while I had appointments as my house was another 4.5 hours away!). 7pm and we are 10mins up the road when the phone rings, it's the lady from the hospital I am booked into and she is panicky "you aren't in any pain are you?" "no" "if you start having pains come straight here and we will put you in an ambulance to KEMH" "ok" *hangs up* Hmmm maybe this is really serious? Ambulance, only one hospital in the state that will take me now??

On the trip down I was getting excited, maybe I was going to meet my baby soon? How cool is this! I'm going to meet my baby. I knew nothing of premature babies and obviously not a whole lot about pregnancy either :lol:

We arrive at KEMH at approx 8:15pm and mum and I walk into emergency, mum speaks to the lady at the desk and says only a few words "SDH were transferring us, waters broken 28 weeks". Doors fly open, one lady brings a wheelchair another is carrying files, I'm made to sit in the chair and we are taken up stairs for monitoring. That's the moment I start to think, crap this is serious.

We arrive at MFAU and are taken straight in, past a few women in the waiting area, they already had a bed for me. I'm hooked up to a few machines and a nurse comes in and takes my BP while another one does a doppler check on bub. An OB comes in soon after and tells me he needs to 'take a look' (well there goes all my dignity!) he explained that he won't be doing an internal because of the risk of infection and the fact I'm not contracting means they have a good chance to keep bub in longer. He takes a few swabs and orders an IV drip and a needle.... some antibiotics, magnesium, nefedapine (sp?) and steroids.

Sometime around 10pm a neonatologist comes in and explains the chances of survival and the complications which may occur if my baby was born tonight. This was not happening, I'm supposed to give birth and hold my baby and we are supposed to breastfeed and then go home together, what this Dr was telling me was far from that. My baby had 80% chance of survival, 1 in 5 babies die... that's all I could focus on... my baby is dead, I'm never going to get a cuddle, it's going to be taken away from me and put in a plastic box where I have to ask permission to even open the little door on the side and if it does survive it's going to have a severe disability and not have a good quality of life.

I now understand that they have to tell you these things, but at the time it makes it so hard to focus on the positives. At about 1am I am finally taken up to the ward and to my room without my mum. My mum gets let out of the hospital and sleeps in her car (a 2-door hyundai getz of all things) (To Be Continued... at a later point)

This morning I rang the hospital to request my birth notes, Brendan's NICU/SCN notes and Tristan's NICU/SCN notes. I want to know why things happened the way they did and I want to be more at peace with what happened. I couldn't get through today, but I will keep trying. This year I am going to get help, this year I have had enough of sleepless nights and crying over a birth that went wrong; a baby born so sick which I feel could have been prevented. This is the year that I become stronger and face my emotions head on, because I can do this, I have to do this, if not for me then the two precious little people who call me mum.

Thanks for reading x

Motivation Assessment Scale ~ Sensory Processing Disorder

Instructions: The Motivation Assessment Scale is a questionnaire designed to identify those situations in which an individual is likely to behave in certain ways. From this information, more informed decisions can be made concerning the selection of appropriate reinforcers and treatments. To complete The Motivations Assessment Scale, please select one behaviour that is of particular interest. It is important that you identify the behaviour very specifically. Aggressive, for example, is not a good description as hits his sister. Once you have specified the behaviour to be rated, read each question carefully and tick the one number that best describes your observations of this behaviour.

Answers are:
Never - 0
Almost Never - 1
Seldom - 2
Half the time - 3
Usually - 4
Almost Always - 5
Always - 6

1. Would the behaviour occur continuously, over and over, if this person was left alone for long periods of time? (for example several hours)
2. Does the behaviour occur following a request to perform a difficult task?
3. Does the behaviour seem to occur in response to your talking to other persons in the room?
4. Does the behaviour ever occur to get a toy, food or activity that this person has been told that he or she can’t have?
5. Would the behaviour occur repeatedly, in the same way, for very long periods of time, if no-one was around? (for example rocking back and forth for over an hour)
6. Does the behaviour occur when any request is made of this person?
7. Does the behaviour occur when you stop attending to this person?
8. Does the behaviour occur when you take away a favourite toy, food or activity?
9. Does it appear to you that tis person enjoys performing the behaviour? (it feels, tastes, looks, smells and/or sounds pleasing)
10. Does this person seem to do the behaviour to upset or annoy you when you are trying to get him or her to do what you ask?
11. Does this person seem to do the behaviour to upset or annoy you when you are not paying attention to him or her? (for example, if you are sitting in a separate room, interacting with another person)
12. Does the behaviour stop occurring shortly after you give the person the toy. Food or activity he or she has requested?
13. When the behaviour is occurring, does this person seem calm and unaware of anything else going on around him or her?
14. Does the behaviour stop occurring shortly after (one-five minutes) you stop working or making demands of this person?
15. Does this person seem to do the behaviour to get you to spend some time with him or her?
16. Does the behaviour seem to occur when this person has been told that he or she can’t do something he or she had wanted to do?

Now add the number score for each question
Sensory: 1, 5, 9 & 13
Escape: 2, 6, 10 & 14
Attention: 3, 7, 11 & 15
Tangible: 4, 8, 12 & 16

Which ever section scores the highest, explains the behaviour for what the person is looking for.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Special Friends ~ Special Needs Forum

I've started a forum for special needs parents, no diagnosis necessary. It's still new, so not very active yet, but the more people share it about the quicker we can get it to be more active!

Please share with your friends and anyone you know who might be interested in the special needs forum.

Special Friends ~ Special Needs Forum

Look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weight Updates

Had both the boys at the CHN office this morning for a quick weigh and measure.

Brendan weighs 14kg (dressed) and is roughly 104cms tall.
Tristan weighs 10.08kg and is roughly 85cms tall. Which puts him just above the 3rd %ile for weight and right up on the 75th %ile for height :o :o :o He's had a massive growth spurt! At 17 months he was 79cms and 9.66kg, at 18 months we only had his weight checked and he was 9.9kg.

Tristan has been referred on for Speech Therapy, his 18 month report showed that he was well behind for communication and he is also behind for personal-social skills. Problem solving skills are right on par for actual age. Gross motor and fine motor skills are all well above average :D

Over-all I'm not surprised, it's been coming for a while, I don't think he will need a lot of therapy... just a bit of a boost :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Charity Auction Calling on the Help of the Blogging World!

Bloggers we are asking for your help to re-blog this on your blog so we can exceed our 10,000 target in the next 24 hours and even double or triple it!

The Wholesale Baby Charity Auction is coming into its last 24 hours and we need your help to exceed our target of $10,000 and really help those affected by the recent floods! We have many great Families in Business including work at home Mums and Dads who have got behind this Auction to make it a success and Nicole McIver is an example of what a Mummy with young kids can do to help families in need out! There are over 300 items for you to bid on over 2 albums at the Wholesale Baby Page on Facebook and items for all the family to win! In Business we have advertising packages, coaching and time with an accountant plus more for you to bid on too

The auction closes at 5pm AEST Sunday the 16th Jan the target we reach is up to you how many people can we reach and get to bid!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mountains.... Journey to a Better Parent.

The last four years has been a long road with many many mountains. We started off at the bottom of the tallest mountain at birth, we climbed that one the hard way, but once we reached the top at 4 weeks old we slid down the other side quite easily. The mountains got smaller in the first 12 months, with only a few issues, some minor weight issues and difficulty feeding. The second and third year saw the mountains get taller, not as big as the one at birth but bigger than the first 12 months. We have waded through the sea of specialists and therapist and have finally settled into some kind of routine. I feel relieved that the mountains here on in will be smaller compared the the last few years, but I fear that there might be more of them as we prepare Brendan for school.

There is no time to sit back and think of myself, there's no time to sit on the couch and relax to think things through. With so many little mountains in our way we are preparing to cross several at once. If Brendan's only issue was PDD-NOS then my life would be a whole lot easier.

The past four years has always been about my boys, it always will be about them. But this year I am going to make time for me. One of my goals is to get more help with parenting Brendan, to look at disciplines and better management (ok, that's probably not the best word....) of him. I don't like the parent I am, I never wanted to be like this, but I have no idea what else I am supposed to do. This year I want to become a better parent.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Starting 2011

2011 has not started out well for a lot of Australians, most of us have probably been glued to the TV screens, listening to the radio, checking up on the news websites or reading the newspapers. There have been many disasters, from flooding to fires. So far the most devastating would be the floods in Queensland. It's been so difficult to sit so helplessly and watch these events unfold, I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like for those caught in the floods or fires.

2011 has started out in a positive way for us...
* Brendan got a diagnosis which has opened some doors for him, he starts Kindy in just under 3 weeks.
* We set a date for our wedding, finally.
* We are getting organised to move house, hopefully next weekend.
* I opened up a new forum for Special Needs Parents, Special Friends. It's still very new and still getting off the ground.

I hope the rest of 2011 falls into place for us too, it's been a rough 4 years!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The 365 Day Project

This year a few friends of mine and I have decided to do the 365 day project. The idea is you take one photo a day for a year to have a year full of memories. I have started my project on a seperate blog over at Sally's 365 Day Project. Please also visit my friend's blogs at: Create-able Me's 365 Day Project & MummyE2's 365 day Project. Enjoy xx

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tristan Update

There isn't a whole lot to update on Tristan. His speech is coming along now, he has about 10 words (only I understand them though). He'll have a hearing test in the next 1-2 months just to make sure he isn't going to have the same problems as Brendan does with his ears. He is still on a dairy-free diet and his nappies have improved. Developmentally I have no concerns, he is doing everything I would expect from an 18 month old, plus more. He loves scribbling and is already trying to jump (nearly two-feet off the ground jumping!). His bow-legs and inward toeing are no longer a concern for me either, one leg has improved and is barely noticeable (if you didn't know you probably wouldn't pick it). The only concern I have is his lungs. He still requires ventolin, even though the warmer months are here. We've devised a plan for winter this year to hopefully stop him from getting any worse (I'm hoping as he's a year older his lungs will be better). Photobucket

Friday, January 7, 2011

Update on Brendan

I thought I would update on Brendan first, as so much has happened in the last month for him. The biggest news is that he's been diagnosed with PDD-NOS, which is also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder. I'm still waiting on the official report, which should hopefully be here early next week. It's been a long fight, and I'm glad I never gave up, I can finally relax a little knowing that he is going to get more help now. He had his 4yo needles just before Christmas so he is now all ready to start Kindy!

Brendan weighs in at approximately 13.5kg and is around 105cms tall, he won't stand still long enough to measure either accurately LOL.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Welcome Back!

Well, it's been a long month! Firstly I apologise for abruptly leaving... my facebook, blogs and email were all hacked into. I lost my facebook fan page, personal page and all of my blogs. So here I am starting fresh again!

I will slowly be adding back in my info posts to the blog as thankfully I had backed up my blog in September, so I only really lost 2 months worth of posts.

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and an excellent New Year. All the best for 2011!


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