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 Children also begin to tune out when they are constantly asked questions and some even become withdrawn, as they dislike being pressured to speak.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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